Monday, August 21, 2017

Baby Back Shortribs, Crockpot go!

Fall will be here in no time and as usual we are looking for something to satisfy our family at dinnertime that takes little effort and of course we want tasty and hopefully delicious too. This is where a crockpot comes in handy.

I really love my crockpot and I use it a lot.  I like tenderness of my meat and quite honestly the convenience. Whether it's beef, pork, chicken or turkey there always seems to be a recipe that you can usually adapt and make in the crockpot.  Most times I opt for chicken but when the occasion arrives and a craving for beef tempts your taste buds well most times I would use my oven friendly cast iron pot but on those days I don't want to watch a pot well here's where my gadget of choice. 

I really love beef ribs (when we are out to dinner a lot of times it's bbq ribs I order)so I am always looking for an easy recipe for them so as I can make. 

When I saw this recipe for crockpot beef ribs I was cranked up and ready to go. This was the first time I prepared beef ribs so I was excited but skeptical. I did not want to be disappointed!

 I was at the butcher the other day and beef ribs caught my eye.  We don't go to the butcher too often because I like convenience so we shop nearby.  This butcher is a bit of a drive.  It's worth the trip but I must think ahead of what I want to buy before I go so I make a list.

When we go to this particular butcher I stock up!  I buy lots of fresh sausage, ground beef, bacon, ham.  While we were waiting to be waited on I just so happened to see a whole rib of beef. I asked if I could have half and he said accommodated me. I guess you just have to ask!

 I have never made beef ribs so I didn't want to make too much since I would be the only person eating them....

If you like crockpot cooking and feel like some beef ribs this might just be a recipe you can use. It looks simple enough.


2 lbs. baby beef back ribs

1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 T mustard
1 T salt

  1. Mix water, ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and salt in a medium size bowl.  Making sure to stir well to dissolve brown sugar and salt. I actually made my mixture the night before and covered it so I was sure all sugar was dissolved.

  1. Place 1/2 of sauce to the  crockpot.

  2. Add short ribs into the sauce, top with remaining sauce. Set crockpot on low, cover, and cook for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Apple Glazed Pork chops

Today was the kind of day I just didn't know what to make for dinner.  I didn't feel like fussing but thought just maybe if I made a few adjustments to this recipe I had come across it could work for us.

I had most of the ingredients but was lacking two things, pork chops and apple cider.  We have a  small grocery store nearby so I sent hubby out for the chops.I didn't want to buy a large container of apple cider so I improvised and used applesauce which I always have handy in my refrigerator.  I figured other than being maybe a little thicker it could work and it sure did.

Tasty with just enough of a glaze to coat the pork chops it wound up being a very good choice.  Improvising can work and today it did for sure.  Yummy!

Recipe as written:  I will note my adjustment for you.  

1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork chops
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 T flour
2 T oil

1 cup apple cider ***(Note) I used 4 oz. applesauce.  You can use 8 oz. if you like extra glaze.
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In  a small bowl, mix garlic powder, chili powder and flour, pinch salt and pepper

Pat pork chops with paper towel and season both sides with above flour mixture.  Let set for a few minutes to allow pork chop to absorb moisture from pork chops.

In a large skillet over medium heat add oil.  Add as many pork chops as can fit in your pan without overcrowding.  Cook for about 3 minutes until dark golden brown on first side and then flip and cook on other side for about 2 or 3 minutes more or until you feel comfortable that it is cooked.

Transfer to plate and cover with foil.

Return skillet to heat and add apple cider or as I did the 4 oz. of applesauce, vinegar, honey and Dijon to skillet whisking to combine.  Bring mixture to a slow boil, scraping sides and bottom to de-glaze the pan.  Allow to boil rapidly for a few minutes, add pork chops to skillet, turning to coat and serve immediately.  If you have extra glaze spoon on pork chops.  Serve with boiled potatoes and green beans if desired.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Five Days of Easy, quick and delicious meals and a bonus dessert

Since school will be starting for a lot of kiddo's Mom's and Dad's will be pondering what to make for dinner.  I like sharing some easy suggestions for everyday meals.  I have over 200 easy recipes on this blog but occasionally don't post all of them because they are so easy I'm thinking them up while I am cooking.You really can do this too!  It is not difficult.

I find that for my hubby and I since we are the only two most days I cook for that buying a few items at the beginning of a week or pay period works for easy meals. Whether you are a large family, single or a couple these recipes can be easily adjusted to your needs.

These meat, fish, poultry items can be found in small packages or larger depending on what size of family you are cooking for.  I'm thinking about some meals that take very little preparation and time to say the least but satisfy and taste good.

Here's where my idea comes in handy.

  If your store has specials this may be the way to start.  My local grocery store has items that they sell 5 for $19.99 which works for us.  They package approximately one lb. packages of ground beef, chicken, round steak, beef cubes, pork cutlets etc.  They are all fresh cut and will have a use by within a week. If I don't use them by the time of expiration I freeze them for later.  Check out your local grocery store they may have some too!    I buy that special quite often and play with ideas I have as well as what I have in my pantry, refrigerator or freezer.

You can make meals so quickly adding spices and herbs. Onions, garlic and different seasonings (as in paprika, lemon pepper etc. your family might enjoy.  Play with spices remembering to start slowly with amounts.  You can season too much and that would possibly not work as they might not want that particular seasoning again if you are too heavy handed with them.

Below are a few I have made this past week.  I did link several recipes but most are my playing with food so recipe is needed.  Enjoy!

Crockpot honey pork in garlic sauce

Link:  Sticky Chicken
Pink Angel Food Cake  Box Angel food cake prepared as directed on box.  Add 8 drops red food coloring


Friday, August 18, 2017

Braciole/ A family favorite



Today as I was rolling my Braciole I called our son and said "Come over I'm making your favorite" and he knew exactly what I meant.   My recipe is very basic and I think easy to do.(You just have to try it!)  Rolling and tying may seem to be challenging but it isn't if you allow yourself some time.  Once you do it, it is a breeze!

Cooks Note:When I make Braciole, I season, roll and tie with twine before browning.

Before adding to sauce either bake or fry until lightly browned.
  Note:  This recipe for Braciole freezes well. I have included some pictures.  Hope they are useful!. Happy Cooking!!!!

Here is my recipe:

2 lb. thinly sliced round steak (trimmed)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2  cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Fresh or dried parsley
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic (garlic powder can be used as well) (about 1/2 tsp. total if using garlic powder)
olive oil to rub on trimmed steak
salt and pepper

Trim and cut round steak into approx. 4 inch slices ..If meat still seems thick, pound on both sides..Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned breadcrumbs,garlic, salt, pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese.. Roll from narrow end in toward center. . I use a toothpick to hold the braciole together until I am ready to tie with thread( I use light colored thread as it is easier to see when you are about to remove.).   Bake at 400 degrees until browned..Add to basic sauce and cook.. You can also fry braciole in a few tablespoons olive oil until they are browned Instead of baking them.  I make a basic sauce with tomato paste, tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper or you can add the braciole to your favorite jarred sauce and cook for 2 to 3  hours slowly until meat is tender..  They also make great sandwiches !  Delicious and a nice change from meatballs in sauce..  Happy Cooking!

Don't forget the garlic inside and be sure to add some to your sauce..Oh that garlic..just love it!!!

About 2 lb. round steak( I trimmed and cut to size)

Generously sprinkle with above ingredients

Use a long piece of thread and put thread under steak and knot on top and keep rolling and tying several times to hold.

In sauce and starting to cook..Will be done in approx. 2 to 3 hours..

Here's a handy kitchen gadget

Mini Chopper (Love it) I like Cuisinart but any good food chopper is of value and they are under $25.00

7/12/11 11/25/12

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine with peas and ricotta

Easy seafood meal for two or ten.  Adjust amounts accordingly.

I always buy frozen shrimp when it is on sale. It's the best buy for quick meals.  Adding pasta or veggies to it and lightly sauteing is a great quick meal for the family too. This recipe had a nice twist to it by adding some light ricotta cheese to make the creamy texture.  


8 ounces pappardelle or Fettuccine cooked according to directions.
8 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divide
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup thawed frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Light Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Romano Cheese


In a large pot, cook pasta as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Rinse with hot water and drain.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and saute until aromatic about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, about 4 minutes, turning frequently. Remove the shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and add the lemon zest, lemon juice,remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, peas and basil. Saute for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the Ricotta Cheese, Grated Parmesan Cheese and reserved shrimp and toss to coat for 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

From my kitchen to yours,