Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kowboy's Baby Back Ribs

The Menu:
Kowboy's Baby Back Ribs

The Original Recipe:
I have never bought a slab of pork ribs before. When I saw them at the butcher shop, they were just staring at me to buy them. So, I did. These were the best ribs I have ever had. I don't know if it was because they were fresh, or if it was the technique that I used. Either way, I will be making these for my oldest son when he comes home from vacation this summer. They were delicious! They fell apart and just melted in your mouth. If you are like me, then I cannot stand to eat fatty meats. The gristle and fat just gross me out. These were so tender, that all the fat on them just melted into meat and the taste was just off the hook. I did good. Real good. So good in fact that we ate them all before I even thought about a picture! I was to busy licking my fingers to care. Nice. *A picture has appeared! I made them for my teenager, and he loved them!

Kowboy’s Baby Back Ribs

2 lb. slab of Ribs

Rib Rub (You may double depending on how many ribs you have):

2tbls. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

2 tsp. McCormick steak seasoning

1 tsp. oregano

a few pinches of kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tbls brown sugar

Homemade BBQ Sauce:

1 cup ketchup (we use Hines!)

1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbls.. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbls honey (you can omit if you like tangy sauce)

1-2 tbls. rub mix

Mix together Seasonings. Rub on slab of Ribs reserving about 1-2 tbls. of rub mix. Slow roast them in a covered baking pan on 200 degrees for about 6-8 hours(You could easily use a large crockpot or an electric roasting pan). 

Meanwhile, mix up your BBQ sauce. Mix the remaining rub with ketchup, apple cider, Worcestershire  sauce and honey.  Set aside.

After the 6-8 hours heat up your grill and  slide ribs onto the grill.  Baste the ribs with sauce while they cook on the grill to crisp up the outsides or until they fall apart (about 10 minutes each side) .

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spicy Sausage Spaghetti with Garden Herbs

The Menu:
Spicy Sausage Spaghetti with Garden Herbs

The Original Recipe:
I had a lot of leftover things in my refrigerator this week. I had a carton of grape tomatoes (had my grape tomatoe plant not broken these would of been from my garden, too!), about 4 diced up green onions, and some leftover whipping cream (from my Strawberry Basil Lime Curd Tart). I was sure that I was going to use this in some type of spaghetti dish, and I think this was the best spaghetti I have ever made! All those fresh herbs and ingredients! Yum! We get our meat from our local butcher, too, so it was fresh. Oh man! This was so good! My kids ate it, too. Spice and all! It tasted that good!

Spicy Sausage Spaghetti with Garden Herbs

1 lb. spicy sausage
1 carton whole grape tomatoes (about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup whole)
4-5 green onions (with tops), chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups crushed tomatoes (I used what I canned from last summer)
Lot's of fresh herbs, used the leaves from the sprigs and chopped( I used 5 big leaves of sage, 4 leaves of basil, 1 sprig of rosemarry , 3 sprigs of oregano, & bunch of thyme sprigs)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
Spaghetti noodles-aldente ( I used a little more than half a box)

Start your water boiling for your spaghetti noodles in a pot. Meanwhile, in a saute pan, cook and crumble sausage until no longer pink. Add onion and green pepper. Saute until softened. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cover and let cook until tomatoes begin to pop. (They really do pop, I heard them!). By this time your spaghetti noodles should be cooking in a seperate pot.  After the grape tomatoes pop, add the rest of the tomatoes, salt and pepper and herbs. Let cook about 5 mintues to incooperate flavors. Add whipping cream, and stir to combine. Once noodles are drained, add them to the pan with the sauce. Leave the lid off, and let them soak in the sauce for about 5 minutes or so, stirring to combine. Serve with a nice crusty bread.

I shared this recipe over at Ms. enPlace blog today... She has a great recipes to share from the garden!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sausage, Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

The Menu:
Sausage, Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

The Original Recipe:
I found this recipe while browsing through my blog list that I follow. I knew right when I read the title of this recipe that we would love it. One of our favorite meals is sausage gravy and biscuits around this house! We also love this recipe for Grandma Macks Breakfast Casserole. It's one of our all-time favorites! So, mix the two together, and voila! You have this recipe! Loved it! I didn't add the cheese either. It didn't need it. I would make this to take to potlucks for our church where we take a breakfast dish, too. Oh, yes... I almost forgot to say... I made the biscuits and fried up the sausage in the morning. I cut the biscuits in half, & I let it all cool for about an hour. I then assembled it, but the tops, I just tore the biscuits up, but the bottoms I left whole (half). I covered it and let it in the fridge all day long until about 4, when I usually start getting supper ready. So, it was assembled from about 10 in the morning until 4.

Sausage, Biscuit, and Gravy Casserole



• 8 large buttermilk biscuits, frozen or refrigerated

• 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage (without casings)

• 8 eggs

• 1 envelope country gravy mix

• 2 cups milk

• 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


Bake the biscuits according to package directions, using the lower end of the recommended cooking time so they do not overcook. When cool enough to handle, cut the biscuits in half to create a top and a bottom. Set aside.

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, until fully cooked. Use the edge of a spoon to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.

Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the baking dish with the bottom halves of the biscuits. Scatter the cooked sausage on top of the biscuits. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese over the sausage.

In a large bowl, whisk together the gravy mix, milk, and eggs, until well combined. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.

Arrange the top halves of the biscuits over the eggs. Lightly press the biscuits into the egg mixture.

If desired, cover and refrigerate the mixture for a few hours or overnight.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 50-55 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the biscuits during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

The Menu:
 Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

The Original Recipe:
This is from a little McCormick packet of seasonings that were individually measured in their own little squares. I hadn't planned on buying this, but my husband saw it and said it sounded good. Plus, tt has the recipe right on the back with the measurements, so you could technically make this with out buying this packet. So, I thought I'd share. They were really good, and bonus! the kids ate them with the red peppers and onions and all! They really liked these! I was so happy! I served them with a side of Taco Rice and they were good to go! These were simple enough that I would make them again, and maybe even grill them next time, too.

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

From McCormick’s Garlic Lime Fajitas Recipe Inspirations package
Makes 8 servings


1 teaspoon dried minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried minced onions

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup each lime and orange juices

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

8 flour tortillas (8-inch)


Mix juices, oil, all of the spices and salt in a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.

Cook and stir chicken in large heated skillet on medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Add bell pepper, onion and reserved marinade; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Return chicken to skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.

Spoon chicken mixture into warmed tortillas. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crockpot Rootbeer Pulled Pork (Sandwiches)

Crockpot Rootbeer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The Original Recipe:
I have been making a lot of sandwiches lately. It's warm out, and it seems to be the easiest thing to throw together at last minute before baseball games. This was another success! I have heard of using rootbeer in pulled pork before, but this is my first time actually using it. I normally make my pulled pork sandwiches with this BBQ sauce, but I wanted something different and my kids loved the thought of using pop in their food. This was simple and tasted great.

Crockpot Rootbeer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 lb. boneless pork roast
2 cups root beer
1 cup chili sauce
1 small onion cut into slivers

Add everything into the crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Separate pork into shreds and add back into crockpot. Serve on buns. I did top mine with a bit more of regular bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Rays).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

The Menu:
Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Don't ya just love how messy this picture is?
 I am such a messy cook, but the end results are delicious!

The Original Recipe:
Ok, so since I had made the Strawberry Basil Lime Tart, I cannot get enough of the Strawberry Basil flavor. It is just taking over my thoughts! Now, since McDonald's has the strawberry lemonade slush drink, I figured, why can't I make something like that at home!?! I just made it with out the slush part, but I could see adding some ice and this drink in a blender and blending it to make it slushy. Yum! I have a strawberry patch, and basil growing in my garden, so that was a freebie! I also could have made fresh lemonade, but I didn't have any lemons, so I used good old Country Time Lemonade mix. My husband even liked this drink. He took a small sip to taste it, then poured a big glass. I took that as a thumbs up from him.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

2 cups strawberries, rinsed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8-10 basil leaves
Country Time Lemonade prepared as per 1 gallon on back of container

In sauce pan mix strawberries, sugar, and water together. Cook until strawberries are softened, then add in basil leaves. Using stick blender, blend until smooth. Add to lemonade and stir. Refrigerate until cold, then serve. YUM! *Now, you could use a sieve and sieve out the strawberries and seeds and just use the syrup that the strawberries make, but I don't mind bits of strawberry and basil in my lemonade. The way I see it, people like pulp in their OJ, then I can have strawberry in my lemonade.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Strawberry Basil Tart with Lime Curd

The Menu:
Strawberry Basil Tart with Lime Curd

The Original Recipe:
I found this on a food blog called I knew that when I saw it I had to make it. We have a plethora of strawberries in our patch, and I have a ton of basil growing outside so what better way to use them! I am not a baker. I tend to lean towards comfort foods when I cook and bake, but I have a friend April who always makes things outside of my comfort zone, and I tend to love her cooking and baking. So, when I saw this and I thought to myself-self I thought-" this looks like something April would make!" I knew I had to try it for myself. I am glad I did. SOOOO good!! This is a perfect blend of tart and sweet and the basil gives it a great twist. It was so easy to make, too. I didn't have a tart pan, but a 9 inch deep dish pie plate worked fine. Also, I learned that when assembled it looks good right away, but give it less than 30 minutes on a hot humid day and it turns to mush. It still tasted great, but it didn't look pretty. If considering taking this tart to a potluck, of any kind, I would only assemble the crust and curd and let cool, then take the whipped topping and strawberry mixture along in separate bowls and then assemble right before serving. This way it still looks pretty to others.

Strawberry basil Tart with Lime Curd

3 cups of Lemon Shortbread Cookies
5 tbs melted butter
2 tbs brown sugar

Curd: 2 tbs lime zest
5 egg yolks
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup lime juice
5 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Whipped cream:
¾ cup whipping cream
¼ cup white sugar

 5-8 leaves of basil
1 ½ cups chopped strawberries

1/4 cup powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until finely crumbled. Add the melted butter and the brown sugar. The brown sugar will give you a nice caramel flavor that you won’t get with white sugar. Pulse away until it looks like wet sand. I like to dump the contents of my food processor into the middle of a tart pan (use a tart pan with a removable bottom) and then assemble the sides before packing the bottom; it makes it easier to get even, sturdy sides. Then move on to the bottom and pack it really tight. Bake the tart crust for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, allow to cool. Then make the curd. It’s really an unappealing term for such a lovely treat. Whisk the zest, yolks, sugar, and lime juice in a bowl until well combined. Add the butter with the lime mixture to a pan over medium low heat. Whisk until thickened, about 8 minutes. Pour the curd into the cooled tart crust and chill until set, about 15-20 minutes.
Then make the whipped cream. In a stand mixer, add the whipping cream and the sugar. Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Now, you can add this to the top, but I didn’t want to hide the beauty of the berries under all of that fluff, so I added it to the middle, on top of the cooled and set curd.
Then stack up the basil leaves and roll them up tight like a cigar and chop them really finely to make skinny tiny ribbons, about 1 tbs worth. In a bowl, combine the ribbons of basil, the chopped strawberries and the powdered sugar, stir until well combined. Add the berries to the top of the tart and serve fairly immediately. If you plan to make the tart ahead of time, you can cut make everything as instructed, but keep the strawberries separate and save the basil cutting until the end, just top the tart with the strawberry basil mixture right before you serve.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Better than Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches

The Menu:
Betther than Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches

The Original Recipe:
I found this on Babycenter and with these hot days upon us, I thought this would be perfect to cook. It uses the crockpot, so you don't have to use the oven or even stand over the stove. There is no going out in the heat to grill, so it makes it just about perfect for a hot day. These were good. I made "French Bread Rolls to Die For" recipe to use as the buns. I had plain old hamburger buns, but someone suggested making onion rolls to eat these on. So, I did and YUM!! They were good and perfect for this sandwich! This sandwich isn't anything like Arby's if that is what you are thinking, either. The meat is intended to be shredded, so you get a shredded beef sandwich. The sauce is sweet and oniony.. it was really good. My kids ate their whole huge sandwich! I will make these again. Oh! and YES, leave it cook for 24 hours on low... it's perfect!
* I also melted some velveeta(light), with some milk to make a nice cheesy sauce to add ontop. I also used some bbq sauce (those who wanted it), in place of that Arby's special sauce they use.

Better Than Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches

1 beef roast -- 3 to 4 lb.

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 pkg onion soup mix

1/2 cup water

1 chopped onion

1 pinch garlic powder

salt and pepper

You just put a 3-4 lb. roast in the crockpot with 1/2 cup brown

sugar,1 pkg onion soup mix, 1/2 cup water, 1 chopped onion, a pinch

of garlic powder and salt & pepper. You let it cook for 24 hours!

I usually start it after dinner in the evening, then stir it in the

morning. By dinner that night - it's ready! They're great on onion buns!

*4kowboy's notes: I used some velveeta cheese melted with milk to make a cheese "sauce" and some of the kids added bbq sauce ontop of theirs, too.

French Bread Rolls to Die For

The Menu:
French Bread Rolls to Die For

The Original Recipe:
I found this on Babycenter suggested to go along with the "Better Than Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches" (You HAVE to check out these sandwiches!). It was suggested to caramelize onions and add in with the dough, and instead of making 16 rolls, to make hamburger bun sizes out of them. I separated mine into 10 buns. They were a bit big, but my kids LOVED them! They ate their whole sandwich which says a lot! My husband was in awe that I made these! I am getting a lot better at making breads, so I am so happy these worked out well for us. I will definitely make these again!

French Bread Rolls to Die For

Calley's Recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups bread flour

1. In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour.
3. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
5. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
6. Deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls.
7. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
8. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
10. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

*4kowboys notes: Caramelize onions; allow to cool and add into dough before flour so that it all incorporates. Seperate into 10 bun size rolls.