Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baby Back Ribs

I seem to be venturing away from the recipes that my family makes over and over, to some of my new favorite recipes that I want to make sure I don't lose. When I was visiting Ducky and Fed in Long Island, Duck made AMAZING ribs. She found the recipe on Epicurious.com, and it can be found here.


2 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pounds baby back pork ribs

1 12-ounce bottle dark beer

1 18-ounce bottle good-quality barbecue sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Whisk chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Rub spice mixture all over ribs.

3. Place ribs in heavy large roasting pan.

4. Boil beer in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes.

5. Pour beer around ribs.

6. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake ribs until fork-tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

7. Combine barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan. Simmer until flavors blend and sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (Ribs and barbecue sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead.

8. Cool slightly, then cover separately and refrigerate.)

9. Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

10. Brush ribs with some barbecue sauce.

11. Grill ribs just until heated through, about 3 minutes per side.

12. Transfer ribs to platter.

13. Bring remaining sauce to simmer.

14. Brush ribs with more barbecue sauce.

15. Serve ribs, passing remaining barbecue sauce separately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chili (super hot, super meaty!)

We went to Marianne & Jacob's Superbowl potluck party last year and Chris brought his legendary meat chili. It's hot, but so good. He didn't have an exact recipe, but we have the ingredient list and just sort of throw things in the pot and cook. Hopefully you can use this list to throw together your own amazing chili.


1.75 pounds ground chuck
1 pound sweet italian sausage
1 pound hot italian sausage
1 package oscar Meyer boiled ham
5 rashers of bacon (crisped
1 real ripe tomato
1 12 oz. can of peeled tomatoes
1 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
3 sliced jalapenos
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans (dark)
1 can of kidney beans (pink)
Onion salt
Sea salt
Garlic Powder
Flour (for thickening)
Curry powder
Crushed Red Pepper
A tiny bit of Tabasco


1. Brown/prepare the sausage and ground beef. Cook it a little less than you would if you were going to eat it regularly. Add to pot.

2. Crisp the bacon (because it will cook with the sauce). Add to pot.

3. Chop up the veggies. Add to pot.

4. Slice the tomatoes, but do that in the pot, as they'll be peeled and messy.

5. Throw in the beans and cook for a long time on low. The longer it cooks, the more the spices settle in. Refrigeration helps that, too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vegetable Lasagnia

My friend Swati made vegetable lasagnia at a party 4 years ago and I enjoyed it so much that I stole the recipe from her. Now think I make this recipe more often than Swati does. It's soooo tasty!!! Also, this is a great dish to cook in bulk and freeze in individual serving sizes!


Lasagna noodles (I prefer the no bake kind because it's easier)
Butternut squash 1 large, or 2 small
Tomato sauce (what ever you prefer)
2 tablespoons pesto 2 tablespoons
2 bags shredded cheese (I prefer the Mexican mix, but mozzarella works too)
Parmesan cheese
1 medium container ricotta cheese (I prefer the low fat/part-skim ricotta)
Frozen chopped spinach


1. Cook butternut squash until soft. You can either peel, cube and boil the squash or halve and clean out the squash and then bake in a glass pan (skin up) with about an inch of water until soft (approximately 30-45 minutes.

2. In a bowl, smash butternut squash. Mix in pesto and the thawed and squeezed spinach.

3. In a large glass pan, put one layer of tomato sauce.

4. Add a layer of lasagna noodles.

5. Add a layer of ricotta cheese.

6. Add a layer of butternut squash mixture.

7. Add a layer of shredded cheese.

8. Add a layer of tomato sauce.

9 Repeat steps 3-8 until you have 3-4 layers.

10. Top with tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and a little parmesan cheese.

11. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

12. Remove foil. Bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

13. Let stand 5 minutes.

14. Serve with additional tomato sauce if desired.

15. Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Tasty, Super Easy Bean Dip

Tauren made this on Christmas eve this year and I fell in love. It is so tasty, so easy, and not too bad for you (depending on how much cheese you add). I LOVE THIS BEAN DIP!!

1 can of black beans
1 can of refried beans (make sure to look at fat content because some have low or none and some have high because of lard)
1 jar of salsa
1 8 oz package of shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar)

Mix all of the ingredients together and heat stirring regularly (in microwave or on stove top) until the cheese is melted.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or veggies