Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

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Mexican Toastadas

I have always loved spicy food. I thought I could handle heat that is until at Seventeen I traveled cross county to Texas. The salsa there was so hot my mouth was inflamed for the rest of the day. I dared not eat another lick […]

How to Cut an Onion

One of the most called for ingredients in a recipe is chopped or diced onions. If you have extremely sensitive eyes the tutorial on how to cut an onion without crying will provide a successful tear free way to chop onions.

Kansas City Style Sticky Spareribs

Kansas City Sticky Spareribs

Growing up in the South ribs were a pretty common commodity at dinner, picnics and barbecues. In Texas the golden trumpet of barbecued meats was the brisket. While here in California is seems the beloved Tri-tip takes 1st place. I have never cooked ribs before, ok once at a friends house but my sister was co-chef and we ended up charring them to death; which was not much different from the way my father grilled them. It has been 11 years since I left the Sunshine state and even longer since I had rib because I was a pour college student. I was not about to let another summer go by without the taste of ribs. Yes I have been to a BBQ restaurant our here but what they served up did not constitute fine finger lick’n Southern barbecue goodness. The worst part was what they tried to charge for the monstrosity.

This recipe was tucked away in my file folder of ‘need to try’ recipes. It is not Dale’s BBQ but they were tasty and satisfying. I have to confess though I do not have a grill so our ribs were roasted in the oven. It is not the same as eating real slow cooked smoked ribs where the meat just falls off the bone but they were moist and tender so if you do not have access to a grill it is doable.

Source: unknown
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp hot paprika
4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 racks pork spareribs (7 pounds total)
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

For Grill: Soak 3 cups woods chips in water according to the package directions or for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, celery salt, salt and pepper. Run a knife down the length of the bone side of each rack to split the skin, then season all over with the rub.

Remove the grill racks, arrange a drip pan or disposable baking sheet on one side of the grill to catch drippings. Drain the wood chips and transfer to a 2-foot long sheet of heavy duty foil. Wrap tightly creating a secure pouch, then poke 10 holes in the top to create a smoker box. Place the pouch on the side of the grill opposite the drippings pan. Set the grill racks into place, close the grill and preheat to 325 degrees.

Working quickly, arrange the ribs, meaty side up, over the drip pan. Grill, covered, turning occasionally, until the meat shrinks away from the bone and is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combing the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the ketchup, honey and vinegar over medium high heat and season with salt and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Brush the ribs all over with the sauce, arrange meaty side up and grill uncovered, turning once at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut the racks unto individual ribs and serve with the sauce on the side.

Variations:
For a tangier less sweet sauce add more vinegar.
To bake in the oven: prepare ribs as above with rub. Wrap ribs in heavy duty foil and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Check ribs after 2 1/2 hour mark if they are tender coat with sauce and continue to bake 20-30 minutes.Watch the ribs like a hawk. The oven tends to dry meat out especially pork.

August Resolution to Make

Photo: courtesy iVillage.com It amazes me that a single event can seem so far in the distance and then sneak up on me before I know it. Last Christmas I made a goal to be prepared. Unforeseen circumstances crushed that goal into tiny particles of […]

Watermelon Lime Granitas

The Summer sun is upon us and it is relentless. Thank goodness for pools and sprinklers. There is nothing more refreshing in the dead heat of summer than cool sweet juicy watermelon. “When I was a kid” watermelons used to have seeds. We would have […]

August Website Review: xobobox.com

my-square-meal

Our August website review is just in time for back to school lunch box shopping. Xobobox.com was created by Meg, a stay-at-home mom concerned with the excess waste produced in school cafeterias. Her website is not only directed at children. Hungry adults can find tasty nutritious meal ideas and up to date conservation savvy alternatives to the plastic bag lunch containers. Meg says her motivation is to “steer us all towards a healthier and more sustainable environment by promoting healthy recipes (for you and the environment) and by reducing food packaging waste.”

My favorite lunch boxes are the Go Green Lunch Box, Laptop Box and the Easy Lunch Box. They offer one convenient container with compartments to separate food. Lunch bag coolers are available at a separate cost but are a must to keep any perishables from spoiling. Be sure to visit their websites for easy healthy meal ideas.

Photo courtesy of MySquareMeal.com

Barbecued Corn Relish

Do not let this summer season go by without trying Barbecued Corn Relish. This recipe happens to be a companion recipe to grilled salmon flavored with barbecue sauce; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the corn relish on a taco salad. You could also serve it up […]

Boiled Eggs Tips and Tricks

My favorite way to eat eggs is soft boiled with a runny yolk and a piece of toast to dip or mixed with a side of grits; it is part of my southern upbringing I suppose. Hard boiled eggs can be equally tasty sliced in […]

Blueberry Scones Over Melted Peaches

Blueberry Scones with Melted Peaches

I have longed for summer fruit since December. The stock of homemade jams and frozen fruit vanished before the new year. I was fortunate to discover a U-Pick strawberry and blueberry field close by.  The kids went hog wild filling up buckets of fresh picked berries. We ate as many as our tummies could stand, blended some into smoothies and froze the rest.  I’ve been waiting for the peaches in the backyard to ripen so we could make blueberry scones with melted peaches; a modern take on the southern peach cobbler.

Source: unknown
1 pound fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (1/2 pound frozen)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 2/3 cups flour
3 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tbsp
2 tsp granulated sugar or raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8X8 or 9X9 square pan.

In a large bowl combine the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Toss; set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using your fingers or a pastry blender, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the blueberries and toss. Add 1/2 cup cream. Mix with a fork until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface. Gather the dough and pat into a 1-inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges.

Pour the peaches into the prepared pan. Arrange the wedges on the top. Brush with 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until scones are golden, about 50 minutes to an hour. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Variations:
– To bake just the scones arrange wedges on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
– Substitute apples or nectarines for the peaches.

Summer Vacation Park Relay

One of our favorite things to do when we travel is find neighborhood parks to play at. Some of the parks we have discovered are so grand and amazing that we add them to our day trip list. The day trip list consists of locations […]