Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to make Simple BBQ Ribs - A Guest Post

This weeks Blog is a guest post!

I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Tiffany and I'm a friend of Jessica's. She is a great cook/ baker and I've been blessed to try a few of her amazing creations and make them at home. Like her Lemon Cookies.  I'm from Kentucky so I'm a country girl who likes to cook. I'm more of a throw it into a pan/ Chopped style cook. So a lot of the seasonings on my recipe are to for your own tastes. I like to keep it simple and easy. I also like to find multiple recipes and blend them together to my liking and it usually turns out pretty good. I've been on a low carb diet so I've been eating a lot of meat and this was the first time I made ribs in the oven. I usually make them in the Crockpot but I wanted them quicker. The creation is: 

Simple BBQ Ribs -  stop drooling
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Apple cider vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
Your choice of BBQ sauce
Grill mates: Memphis Pit BBQ seasoning packet
4lbs pork or beef ribs. 
1 small onion
This recipe really depends on how much meat you are using and also if you use the seasoning packet or your own dry seasonings. First preheat the oven to 350-375. I used just a simple deep pan for mine. Melt about 1 ½ cup of butter in the microwave. Once melted add ½ a cup of apple cider and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce to the mixture. Stir it up. Next lay out your meat and season with pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper (be easy with the cayenne pepper if you don't like heat, I've learned my lesson) until covered on both sides. Remember this is a lot of meat, so you will use a lot of seasoning! You can either use a ziplock bag or a container with a lid. Put meat in bag; add butter mixture and seasoning packet. Shake like a salt shaker; until all pieces look covered in seasoning. The meat should not be dripping or soaking (you can also do this and put it in the fridge and bake the next day so the seasoning can marinate). Chop the small onion up into slices and put on bottom of the pan. Put meat on top of onions. A recommendation would be to use aluminum foil lining the pan. Put in oven for about ½ an hour (depending on meat size) and I flipped mine once the sides looked cooked. Once fully cooked take out of the oven and let it rest. I think Sweet Baby Rays's BBQ sauce is the BEST. I took the meat out piece by piece and covered with sauce and let it sit for about five minutes – that is all the longer I could wait. Get the paper towels out and enjoy. J

A special thanks to Tiffany or as I call her Sailor Mars for this week’s blog post wish I had been there to sample some ribs, mmmm mmmm mmmm I do love ribs!! Hope you all enjoyed it!!  Feel free to volunteer to write one week!


Her cut of meat

Time to shake it like a salt shaker!

Covered and ready to cook


Let's get Saucy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to make cabbage rolls

I would like to start out by saying I am still looking for guest authors for the blog, all you have to do is cook something, take photos (they don't have to be good), write down all the steps, tricks, tips, and what you would do next time if you did not like the way it turned out. Email, or text me if you have my number for more questions, you could also send me a note on facebook or comment in the comment section.

So that being said here is a small fact that most of you may or may not know. My family is German, no I don’t mean we have German in my blood, I mean my great grandfather came over on the boat, as did his wife, making my grandmother first generation American. Her husband was pretty much 80% German too, so when I say we are German I mean like really German. That being said we ate a lot of German meals around the house. Lot’s of potato pancakes, sausages, sauerkraut, cabbage, and cabbage rolls. I do not like any of the before mentioned foods. Well, kind of. I kind of like sauerkraut, I kin of like cabbage rolls, and potato pancakes are ok. Sausages I don’t mean like breakfast sausage I mean good old-fashioned bratwurst. I do not like at all. Not one bit. I hate them; just writing about it I have a giant frown on my face. Now that being said Peter loves all of those food items. Therefore, he will ask for them from time to time and I will make them and eat something else. However, the other day he asked for cabbage rolls. Made just like my mother, not the lazy way though. Do you know how much time it takes to do it…. like forever. Okay not that bad. But you have to steam the cabbage, cut a rib off and roll each one up. That is just more effort than I wanted to put forth, however, since he was having a bad day at work I thought fine. I will do this.

So this is what you need:

1 lb of Hamburger

1 lb of Sausage or ground pork (there is a flavor difference)

1 can or bottle of tomato juice, which ever is cheaper

1 head of cabbage

1 c. Rice (cooked or uncooked does not matter)

8 oz of sour cream (1 c)

1 small onion

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

Get a giant bowl and boil some water in your teakettle or in a pot on the stove, I don’t care, no judgment here! Cut the end of your cabbage off and cut into the center off the end to get rid of the connection with the leaves. This is where it grew out. Plop it in your bowl, and then pour the boiling water over top the cabbage. Let it sit. In the mean time take the meat, rice, onion, and seasonings then mix them all together. If you use cooked rice the meal will cook faster. Now once it is all mixed pull off a leaf of cabbage, cut the rib off and roll a small amount of meat product into the leaf then place it on the bottom of the pan, seam side down, so they will stay wrapped, and continue doing this until you have wrapped all the rolls with cabbage, you may have to change your water a few more times. Now, if you run out of big enough leaves of cabbage do not fear, just shred some up and roll your meat then put the cabbage on top of it. This is also the easy way: shred the cabbage make meatballs out of the meat mixture and layer it meatballs then cabbage. Once all this is done pour your whole bottle of tomato juice over top, add a lid and let cook on low for at least 2 hours or so on top of the stove, please stir every now and again, you can make this ahead and toss it in the Crockpot AFTER it is fully cooked. Now about 45 minutes before you eat these take some of the juice off and mix it with the sour cream to get a thin pink sauce, pour it over top of the cabbage rolls and stir. Let cook for another 45 minutes, and then serve with some buttered bread on the side. So how do these taste? Well like meatballs. They are okay, not my favorite food, however, test subject Mom, Peter, and Malia (the youngest niece) loved them.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to make Green Velvet Cupcakes

Today I made green velvet cupcakes. I made them because I needed something for St. Patricks day that is coming up so red velvet cupcakes using green food coloring seemed the best way to go. So I went to the store and bought everything I needed including a bottle of green food coloring, and instead I bought yellow…yeah someone here did not read. In my defense the yellow was in the green section. Okay so here is what you need.

2 1/2 c. of Flour
2 c. Sugar
1 tbsp. of Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. of Salt
1 tsp. of Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 c. of Oil
1 c. of Buttermilk
1 tbsp. of Vinegar
1 tsp. of Vanilla
1 oz of Green food coloring (or any other kind like blue for Tardis blue)

Pre heat the oven to 350, grab the cup cake pan and some liners put them in the pan. Mix all the liquids together. Toss all the dry ingredients into another bowl and then add the wet to the dry mix until combined and then put into cupcake pan and bake, I made mini cupcakes which cooked for 13 minutes and the standard cupcakes which cooked for 18. I cooked them and then let them cool and frosted with cream cheese frosting, it was delicious. Derek and Sara both ate these and loved them…and you will notice in the photos that Sara is doing something; she added the batter to the cup cake batter dispenser. It was really great because I always make a mess she did not.  So I hope you make some cupcakes either red, green, blue, or whatever color you want. Also I am currently hoping to have a few guest bloggers on here so if you are interested let me know! By the way I did make red velvet before and it turned out bad but this recipe was the best ever! 

Story Time

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to make Shepherds Pie

This week I made Shepherd’s pie. First of all I need to tell you all a secret, I am not a mashed potato person. There I have said it. I am no longer ashamed by the fact that I do not like them mashed. I do like them baked, fried, and pan cooked. Just not a mashed potato person, and guess what is on top of Shepherd’s pie…. mashed potatoes…. cheese too…you all know how I do with dairy. That being said I have never really tried or wanted to eat lots of Shepherd’s pie. I think I have had it a total of four times in my life. However, I do remember the first time… it was my favorite. Literally the other 3 times I have had it were a huge disappointment. As many of you know test subject Sara is one of my best friends. Here is what you may or may not know. Her family when we were growing up did not cook. Literally, they maybe cooked seven meals a year. They were very busy and lived off the Schwan man. Now that being said, I loved going over to eat at their house, and Sara loved going to my parent’s house to eat (grass is always greener in the other pasture huh) we were weird I know. Anyway, the point of this story is to explain Shepherds pie, so one Sunday afternoon Lynda (Sara’s mom) made us dinner, aka she threw something in the oven, she was getting ready for work and of course we were hungry! So she threw Shepherds pie in the oven. I had never had that before! It was amazing. The top was perfect, the bottom was perfect, I ate more than normal and was pleased…imagine my disappointment the next 3 times when it was not nearly as yummy. Now I know what you are thinking, well maybe it’s because you had it when you were young and it’s not how you really remember it. Well I did not ask you. So fast forward some years, test subject Jon makes Shepherds pie, it’s decent, not what I was expecting. Sorry Jon…then fast forward two years Peter get’s Shepherds pie at the pub, I taste, It’s okay, next time I go I get it, it’s terrible (the lamb in it was bad…I was really upset) now in 2013 I am sitting here trying to figure out dinner, I have ground beef…I really don’t think Peter wants Sloppy Joes, Hamburgers, or Pasta and Meat Sauce again…I know I’ll attempt Shepherds pie! So I did! Did it turn out the Schwan mans? YES! Well almost. Mine was not as crispy on top but it’s ok…. I know how to fix it for next time! So here is my recipe…enjoy make some!

**By the way no Shepheards were harmed in the making of this pie, I am not the barber of Fleet Street nor am I Mrs. Lovett with her meat pies...there are no actual Shepherds...**

What you will need:

1 lb of Hamburger (or whatever, you can use lamb, it’s traditional, but expensive)

3 – 4 carrots

Frozen peas…. I used canned…

1 can of corn

Soy sauce (or Worcestershire)

1 8 oz can of Tomato Sauce (or 2 – 4 tbsp of paste)

1/2 c. of beef broth

1 onion

4 tbsp of butter

Mashed potatoes (side note later)

Pre-heat oven to 350. Okay first sauté onions, butter, and carrots together in a large skillet, once they are “cooked” place in a bowl off to the side. In the same pan brown your hamburger (you really don’t have to wash in between I promise it wont be a big deal). Once it is brown drain it! I did not…I regret this… cook that beef well too ok! Once drained return to pan and add carrots and onions back into the skillet; once they are all in there add 1 – 3 tsp of soy sauce, the beef broth, and tomato product, cook it until it boils and starts to thicken. Add about 1/4 – 1/2 c. of flour to this mixture, it will allow it to stay thicker, I only added 1/4 c. and it needed more just do it until you think wow that’s thick! Now add the peas and corn (they don’t really need to cook) and pour into a large baking casserole dish. Then top with thick Mashed Potatoes. Here is my side note, I bought a bag of potato flakes that you just add water to, okay I bought two, anyway, my potatoes ended up being thick so I added extra water, big mistake, you need them thick for this recipe so don’t make thin potatoes that you would eat, make goopy thick potatoes that you would not normally want to ingest. Okay so top beef mixture with potatoes and you can make a design with a fork if you want. Bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown. Serve and enjoy. Also you can add cheese to the top the last 10 minutes, I did for Peter, however, next time I am skipping the cheese! Anyway I loved it, it was my new favorite thing and Peter ate lots! So yay! Enjoy oh and if you were wondering, Lynda, Sara, and Tom have been cooking a lot more. It always surprises me when Lynda makes something, because not only is it yummy, but the fact that she cooked something! Love you Lynda!! So my fifth time eating it, I loved it! Make some. Message me, comment, whatever!