Me: The Baby Arugula Caprese Salad, paired with a Chablis
She: The Macaroni and Cheese Shells & baby carrots, paired with a glass of milk.
I made this yummy dish and daugher turned up her nose at it. She wanted to try the mozz, but without the "black stuff". Pepper.
So I made her mac & cheese and carrots.
It was a quick and satisfying din-din. Fresh farm tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, olive oil and balsamic. Served with Trader Joes Tuscan Pane bread!
It's surprising what a change of scenery can do for a kid's appetite. She ate her entire meal as she watched the people walk the street.
No dinner is complete without Silly Putty at the table:
Now I know all you grillers, smokers and hardcore BBQ men out there are probably scoffing, snorting and wielding your extra-long tongs at this oven-braised version of baby back ribs. But hey, grills hate me, and if the oven is going to give me that moist, fall-off-the-bone result I crave, then the oven it is, dangit!!
So, let me get my groveling out of the way. My apologies to Barbecue Bachelor and Chris from Nibble Me This for taking the easy way out. :P
But I stand proud, because the results were still faaaan-freakin-tastic!
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe.
- 1 rack pork baby back ribs (Note: the rub makes enough for 2-3 racks of ribs)
- 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tupelo honey
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
Remove the membrane from the back of the rib rack. Once you get it started, it's pretty easy to pull off in one piece:
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Cut the rack in half for easy fitting. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Cover and refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. Then...
In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Tightly wrap each rack in a piece of heavy duty foil, leave one end open for pouring in the liquid. Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Seal tight. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove the racks from the foil and transfer all the liquid from the packets to a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thicker consistency.
Turn oven to BROIL.
Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.***************
The brown sugar in this rub seems to absorb right into the meat as you're rubbing it on! It looks so pretty even before braising. See?
Aaaaand done. This was after the glaze was applied, and prior to cutting. Just look at how the meat pulls away from the bone!
This one turned out blurry, but I was in such a hurry to scarf these down, I didn't care. Look at the juicy goodness from the braising liquid just pooling at the bottom!
Finally! Plated. Served with mac & cheese, baked beans, and sauteed swiss chard! The presentation is suffering a bit here because of my haste. Apologies!
I'm so happy the West Chester Grower's Market is back in swing. Just look at these gorgeous vegetables! And so reasonably priced. Fresh, local, and cheap: the trifecta!!!
Baby red potatoes, fresh carrots, and sweet onions...oh and that's my parsley and sage I've been growing! But what to do with it all?
Chop up the herbs, and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, of course! Ready for a nice roasting.
I had some pretty split chicken breasts from an Amish vendor. I left the skins on (they get so tasty with all the herbs and oil!) and seasoned the breasts with mashed garlic, salt, pepper, the chopped sage & parsley, and drizzled with olive oil. I added everything to a 9x13 glass pan and squeezed half a lemon on everything.
Roast on 400 degrees F until chicken is browned and veggies are tender. Toss veggies every 15 mins while baking.
Woohoo!! My food blog was recognized by Mary Bigham from WCDish as one of the Top Five Chester County Food Blogs!
I saw that Mary updated her blog with this article, but I had no idea it was published in the local Chester County Cuisine & Nightlife, too. Dr. Zibbs gave me the big news when I saw him strolling the West Chester Grower's Market today, with his Wawa coffee. I usually see him in a suit, and hardly recognized him. He likes to roll like that - incognito.
So after I saw Zibbs, I lugged my bag-o'-goodies with my birthday girl in tow (Lilly is 5 today!) over to Fennario's because now I was craving coffee after seeing his. There, I snagged 3 (OK, 4) copies of CCC&N for myself, and a Mexican Organic coffee. :)
Could I have more links in this post, please?
Anyhow, I don't know how Mary does it. She's one busy chick. I mean, I just spoke with her last week, or so and it's published already! How exciting :D Thanks, Mary!
Somehow, I know Zibbs was involved in this, so a big thanks goes out to him, too. The best way to thank Zibbs is to send blog traffic his way. So please...GO. Follow, too. He loves that.
I have mint and basil for an army, and some leftover cantaloupe to use. I made this as my side for lunch yesterday - it was so refreshingly good.
I can't say enough about this lovely little salad. I'm certainly bringing it to my next gathering, and I'm adding watermelon to it!!
I saw Giada do something like this before, but she added Amaretto. I thought I wouldn't like it, and this salad definitely does not need it, so I omitted it. Double the recipe if you're making for a party.
- 1/2 cantaloupe
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 handful of fresh sweet basil
- 1-2 TB of simple syrup (recipe follows)
Pour over, and toss.
The perfect match for my broccoli-cheese (leftover) baked potato!
Recipe for simple syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
This is great for bringing to a housewarming, or just a casual get-together. I brought this one to a friend's home this weekend, and it was a total hit. Makes a yummy app or light lunch!
- Flour, for sprinkling on your work surface
- 1 sheet puff pastry - I used Trader Joe's Puff Pastry (freezer section)
- 1 lb fresh asparagus (supporting local farmers, bought mine at Petersheim's Produce in Booth's Corner Farmer's Market)
- 1/2 lb of gruyere cheese, shredded (I bought a 1/2 lb at Carlino's in WC, but didn't use the entire thing.)
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- kosher salt
- cracked pepper
First, flour your work surface and shape the puff pastry sheet based on the length of your asparagus. Score the puff pastry sheet with a knife, to make a 1-inch border around the inside, like a picture frame.
Next, prick the inside of the border with a fork. This will keep the inside from puffing up as much as the outside. Bake til lightly golden, about 15 mins, or until it looks like this:
Remove the pastry from the oven, and trim your asparagus according to the length of the border. To ensure uniformity, align the tips, not the stems...then trim.
Sprinkle the grated Gruyere within the border, and top with the asparagus you just trimmed, like so:
Next, brush the asparagus and the pastry edges with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Careful not to over do the oil. The cheese makes its own oils as well.
Return to the 400 degree over for 15-18 more minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Serve Warm.
I made 2 sizes, based on my asparagus lengths:
I brought this one to my friend's home...
And saved one for lunch the next day!
- Russett Potatoes (supporting local farmers, bought mine at Petersheim's Produce in Booth's Corner Farmer's Market
- Kosher Salt
- Olive Oil
Scrub each potato with a brush until clean of all dirt. Dig out any bruises with the tip of a knife.
With a thin, sharp knife, pierce each potato 4 times on each side, evenly. This will prevent potatoes from exploding in the oven.
Place olive oil in the cutest bowl you can find, like this one I painted at the Painted Plate in West Chester...ain't it sweet?
Then roll each potato in the olive oil, then rub the oil into the potatoes with your hands. In a separate little bowl, have your kosher salt ready. Rub each oiled potato with the salt. Like so:
Then place on rack in oven.
Bake for 45 mins, or until a fork goes in with ease.
You've got perfect, crispy, crunchy, salty potatoes!
Top with your favorite topping. I used sour cream, butter, and my fresh chives I've been growing in the window :)
When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to plan a picnic. Lilly was so excited for it and she wanted to help, too.
It's a pretty simple mix, but instead of oregano, I subbed Herbs de Provence. I took the skin off some pieces, and left it on others.
It smelled yummy! You can eat it warm, but it was realllly good served cold!
It rained all Saturday morning (and I don't think it has stopped since) so the park was too wet to have our picnic. Plan B was on our top porch overlooking the streets of WC! It turned out to be a great Mommy & Me day.
My next picnic purchases will be this cool roll-up table in a bag, and that cute waterproof picnic blanket from Crate and Barrel:
Now. Could it stop raining so I can plan a real picnic?
Like I said. Meh. It's fine to polish off at work.
Anyone have a better idea for isreali couscous? I really do like the texture.
Remember when I was all laid up a few weeks ago? And friends showed up bearing food, gifts, company, etc? Well, it's my turn to pay it forward the best way I know how: food.
I work with a person, whom I've known since I started there - about 8 years. He's always asking about YOU, but remains private about himself. He's always positive, and seems to genuinely care.
Today he asked about my health, and I gave him the update. I asked how he was. He almost didn't tell me, but he said he had just suddenly lost his mother-in-law. Now his wife is out of town, and he's tending to the kids. I'm sure it's crazy times.
I decided to make my Orecchiette and Sausage dish for him, and some chicken tenders and mac & cheese for his kids. Oh, and chocolate chip truffle brownies with mini peanut butter cups.
All I can say is, he better be at work tomorrow! :P
Have you done your good deed today?
I made this for dinner last night. I know, I know, it's typically a breakfast food, but my tummy can't handle all this flavor so early in the morning. I've been dying to make this for a long time, but my fear of disliking the runny eggs stopped me. I've come to enjoy them again in my adulthood, little by little. What a quick, nutritious, and flavorful dinner!
- 2 corn tortillas
- 2 TB canola oil (one for frying the tortillas, one for frying the egg)
- 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 egg
- Ranchero sauce (leftover from the Chilaquiles) -
- crumbled queso anejo
- chopped fresh cilantro
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan. Fry the egg to your liking...I did mine sunny-side-up. Remove from pan and place on the place ontop of the tortillas.
Nuke your sauce for 1 minute or til hot. Spoon over the egg.
Crumble the queso anejo over the sauce. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
MMMM! I had this with a Corona, too. Shh!