Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fall off the bone spicy baby back ribs

4 words to the wise

Have you ever wanted to try to make ribs, but been worried about tough meat? Fear no more! I made these for memorial day. It starts with a dry rub and a slow roast and is finished off with your favorite sauce on the grill. It's super easy!

Fall off the bone spicy baby back ribs
Makes 4 large servings
2 racks baby back ribs
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chipotle)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all spices in a small bowl until well blended. Using your hands, rub spice mixture over the ribs until coated evenly. Place ribs, rounded side up, in a shallow baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 2 hours.
Preheat grill on high heat. Brush barbeque sauce over ribs and place on the grill. Cook covered 6 minutes. Brush more sauce over ribs and flip and grill 6 minutes more. Serve alongside with some corn and asparagus salad (pssst I blanched my asparagus and used canned corn as a shortcut) and dinner is done!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Photo of the Day - Kicking back beach style

3 words to the wise

Carolina Beach, May 23, 2009.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photo of the Day – Buzz off

3 words to the wise

These flowers were filled with bumblebees last week at Duke Gardens. They were climbing all the way into each flower. Seems like a bee's paradise!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Best damn turkey meatloaf

5 words to the wise

I've decided to share my beloved meatloaf with you folks. It's only cause I like you and I feel guilty for not blogging much these days. I prepared this Sunday and just tossed it in the oven last night for 55 minutes and it was delightful.
Jeni's Best Turkey Meatloaf
Makes a 9 inch loaf (about 5 servings)
20 ounces lean ground turkey (breast)
2 eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I use store bought dried stuff)
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tb ketchup (for topping)
5 large white button mushrooms, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tb oil
1 tsp ground sage
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt, divided
dash of black pepper
handful of parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and onions (sprinkled with 1/2 tsp salt) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the 3 tb ketchup. Add mushrooms and onions. Knead ingredients with hands until everything is mixed evenly. Dump into a nonstick 9 inch loaf pan and form a loaf with a rounded top. Top with remaining ketchup and bake for 55 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Orecchiette with escarole and sundried tomatoes - a promise kept

2 words to the wise

I cooked two meals last night and will be blogging them both. This first one was an experiment. I'd never had escarole before and I bought a beautiful head of it at the farmer's market this weekend. If you're never had it, it's a bitter green that mellows nicely after being cooked for awhile. We both really liked how the sweetness of the sundried tomatoes balanced out the remaining bitterness of the escarole. If I had some ricotta on hand, I would have tossed a little of that in too, but alas, I was out! You could use any pasta with this really, but I like to use ones with fancy names cause they make me feel fancy. Make sure to rinse that escarole really well. You don't want to bite into grittyness like we did. Poor hubby, I kept insisting it was the sundried tomatoes because I didn't want to gross him out ;)Orecchiette with Escarole and Sundried Tomatoes
Makes 6 servings
1 head escarole, washed and cut in half inch ribbons
2 large shallots, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 tb olive oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 lb orecchiete (little ears)
2 tb grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta per package instructions and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots, red pepper and sundried tomatoes to the pan. Fill pan with however much escarole will fit and wait to cook down a little so that you can add the rest. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 8 minutes. It will cook down A LOT.Remove from heat and toss with pasta, pasta water and parmesan cheese.
Serve warm alongside some other yummy italian creations. We had ours with chicken parmesan and a fresh tomato salad.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photo of the Day - Peony

3 words to the wise

Did you know the delicate, fragrant petals of peonies are opened by busy little ants? It's true.
This photo was taken at my mom's a few years ago. I thought I'd post it just to show you.

They have a great many varieties of peonies at Duke Gardens, but my favorites were the classic pale pink.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Photo of the Day - Irises

3 words to the wise

Until my trip yesterday to Duke Gardens, I really had no idea how many iris varieties there are. It's not just a difference in color either. Being near the end of their season, I didn't photograph all the varieties there, but take my word for it.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo of the Day - Kicking back

3 words to the wise

From our trip to Duke Gardens this afternoon. Many more photos to come tomorrow.

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Beer migration

6 words to the wise

I am not a huge lover of beer. I do like it and I will drink it, happily. However, if I am allowed only one drink (which I am since I'm nursing) and am given the choice of beer or wine, I will always choose wine. There are a couple of beers I hold quite closely to my heart and perhaps it's that they are so hard for me to get that I love them so much.

Beer number one is Fat Tire. It's brewed in Colorado. I used to live there with my father and when I went back and visited several years ago, I tried Fat Tire for the first time. I fell in love with it. I was treated to it again the last time I was in Arizona. I was sad not to find it on the east coast. That is, until 3 weeks ago. I was in Moe's (the fast food mexican joint) and they were selling the Amber Ale by the 22 oz. bottle. Later that week, I found one last bottle for sale at Parker and Otis. This weekend though, I was very very happy to be treated to it on tap at Tyler's as one of their seasonals. It seems Fat Tire has finally made the ride to the east coast.

Beer number two is Sweetwater Blue. I was turned on to this by two friends that had friends in Atlanta. It's a lovely ale with a hint of blueberry. I looked forward to holidays when the friends would make the trek up from Atlanta and always with some Sweetwater Blue. Well, life happens and people move, drift apart, get divorced, etc. I haven't had Sweetwater Blue for many years. That is, until last night. When I was shopping at my local Kroger yesterday, I traveled down the beer aisle to see if they maybe had Fat Tire. This is when I spied the six pack of my other beer love. At $9.14/6 pack, I find it a little steep for casual daily consumption (not that I drink beer daily), but this was a special occasion. I was celebrating my two favorite beers migrating to Durham!

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Photos of the Day - Spring Blooms

4 words to the wise

There was a time, not too long ago, when I used to post photos of the day. I don't know why I stopped. Yesterday I spent my day with moms, including my own. My mom has a beautiful garden. Actually it's her whole yard that is landscaped gardens. I'm always inspired by the flowers.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

God I suck

4 words to the wise

This poor blog has been so neglected since the baby has been born. It's not that I don't have the time to cook. I do and I do. And my love of food hasn't dwindled. I've just not been filled with inspiration to photograph and document what I'm cooking. The baby gets all of my attention and focus. I keep her (private) blog current and filled with almost daily photographs.

From here out, I'm going to make an effort to cook a lot of food on Sundays (so I can freeze or easily finish off dinner during the week). I will try to blog these cooking ventures for you. I do apologize for the decrease in post frequency, but what can I say? Take a look at who's occupying my time (isn't she cute)!

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