Saturday, June 29, 2013

St Louis Style Ribs for a Summer #BBQ #SundaySupper



It is Sunday Supper time and I was so excited to see the theme was Summertime BBQ! Wooohoooooo we loooovvvvvvvee us some BBQ here and with the temps actually rising here in Western Washington (I know who knew?) the grill is getting extra action. We have been grilling just about anything that doesn't sit still, I am serious! 

We have done Baby Back ribs but I really wanted to give the St Louis style a try. You know if you watch any show on Food Network or The Cooking Channel there is a big rivalry between the two. I heard that St Louis have a bit more fat on them, and Kevin loves more fat (hello clogged arteries calling), so we decided to give them a try. 

I also changed my sauce a bit to add more of a St Louis flavor. I wasn't sure how it would come out or how we would like it compared to the usual sauce we make.  Well I shouldn't have worried, it was so good! I took them to a pot luck and the ribs were the first thing to go. People were actually dipping bread in the leftover sauce!! Now I am getting requests for them. Spicy, tangy, mmmmmm I love it when a plan comes together!



Grab some slabs of meat!



and doctor those bad boys up!!



Make sure to coat 'em realllllly good



Now wrap them up nice and tight and put them to bed for awhile.



Then let them sizzle and bring out out of that tangy meaty goodness!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken



I know you have all had to listen to me whine about the fact that Kevin doesn't really like Mexican food. I still make him eat it of course, hey the perils of loving a food blogger right? But I actually do try to make things he considers his favorites from time to time, one of those being Chinese food, especially Sweet and Sour Chicken. He usually orders that every time we eat anywhere that has it on the menu! 

I however shy away from the fried chicken bites smothered in neon orange sauce. It just doesn't look or sound appetizing to me. I did find a canned version that was a bit less offensive, and that is what I made for him for a few years. However, I knew that I wanted to come up with a version that didn't come out of a can, didn't take forever to make, and was budget friendly (it is a little over $2 per serving). 

So look no further, I know this one will please the whole family!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pork Loin Chops with Spicy Grilled Pineapple Avocado Salsa for #SecretRecipeClub



I always get excited when Secret Recipe Club time comes back around. I am excited to find new blogs and check out their recipes, I am excited to find that one that calls my name, and I am so excited/nervous when I post the recipe. I always hope that the original author with like what I have done, be it copy their recipe or add my own twists.

This month I was assigned The Spiffy Cookie. First of all I love the design of Erin's blog. I wish mine looked half as good!! Secondly she has a serious amount of sweet treats!! It was hard not to choose something along those lines with so much yumminess to choose from. But Kevin and I have been trying to lose a few pounds so I knew I needed to try and go to the healthier side. 

It took me quite some time to pick out what I wanted to try. There were so many great dishes to choose from. But we have kind of been on a pork kick lately so when I saw her Pork Loin Chops with Avocado Mango Salsa I was hooked! I Knew it was something we would both enjoy.

We have been buying a lot of our meat at Costco lately and we ran across these fabulous pork loin chops. Most of them are almost 2 inches thick!! Needless to say I was super excited to get these bad boys cooking. I couldn't find any ripe mangos so I decided to take a little turn and do pineapple. I have done pineapple salsa before in my Fish and White Bean Tostadas with Pineapple Avocado Salsa, but I decided to go beyond that. I have been wanting to grill lately...I mean grill everything! So I jumped at my chance and decided to throw some pineapple on that bad boy and grill 'er up! Also we like things on the spicy side so I decided to go with my Pico de Gallo recipe and throw in the pineapple avocado twist. It really doesn't end up being super spicy with the pineapple thrown in, but if you are not a heat lover you can always bump down the amount of jalapenos.

I broke out my cast iron skillet so I could sear the chops and then put them in the oven. Have I mentioned I love my cast iron skillet? It is a true love affair I am serious. Got a nice sear on those cops and tucked them into the oven to finish. Let them rest a bit and then topped them with this wonderful sweet/heat salsa. It was the perfect compliment to the pork. We both loved them!! Plus we had salsa left over for ship the next day!! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup - Get all of the flavors of a classic chicken pot pie in this quick and easy to make soup your whole family will love.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Goodies from the #FoodBloggersPropSwap



I was so excited when I came across the Food Blogger Prop Swap hosted by Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.AnEdibleMosaic.com. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun to be assigned a partner to send surprise goodies to. They don't know who you are or what you are going to send PLUS someone is assigned your name so you get a box in the mail full of surprises yourself. I mean it is like Christmas right? 

I don't know what I was more excited about, sending the box to my secret swap partner, or seeing what I would receive. I think it was pretty much a tie. Although I was very nervous because this is my first time and I wasn't sure what to send and was worried wondering if they would be able to use the items I sent them. I am crossing my fingers on that one!

Now I am excited to start hitting estate sales and yard sales to see what little treasures I can pick up not only for myself, but for my next swap buddy.

The box I received was from Haley. Her blog CheapRecipeBlog.com is awesome. It is full of fantastic recipes that won't drain your wallet. If you are looking for some very budget friendly meals you have got to check out her blog. Plus she is just a sweetheart! She sent me a little note with every prop.




When my box arrived I was so excited to open it!


I couldn't believe how many props she fit into one box!


Look at all of this great stuff!!








So pretty.





I can't wait to use this plate!















Gorgeous!!


I am in love with these napkins.





This has my mind working





I love the idea that we both have these now so we can see what we use them for!!






Haley read my mind with these! I have been looking all over for these straws. Thank you so much Haley for all of the fantastic goodies you sent to me. I am so excited to start using them!!



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Herbed Garlic Bread



I am so sad with how this picture came out. So sad that it doesn't show just how mouth wateringly (is that a word?) good it is! I am seriously obsessed with this bread now, which isn't good because I am trying to cut carbs and lose weight *sigh* Although I have lost 10 pounds! Yay me!!

Kevin wondered why I wasn't getting the regular garlic bread that we always get from the store. You know, the pre-made garlic bread from the bakery? Or even another favorite of ours, Texas toast (which makes an awesome burger bun). But I wanted to try and have the garlic bread we love, without the garlic butter than is slathered on from the store bought loaf. Although don't get me wrong, I am not bashing slathering. Slathering can be very very good!!

This bread does take a bit of butter but it is mixed with olive oil. Then add the garlic and herbs...mmmmm crunchy garlicky heaven!! Give this bread a try for your next pasta meal you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pork Chops with Potatoes and Apples



I have been trying to come up with more pork recipes since Kevin told me he is getting tired of chicken, Mexican food, and pasta. Don't get me wrong, I won't quit coming up with those recipes (figure the odds that I don't make pasta or Mexican food ppffttttt), but I was glad he said he was open to some new pork dishes. We had to get him past his craving for the old style chops with all of the fat on them though. I know fat = flavor but not a half inch ring all the way around of it! 

He actually found some great packs of ribs at Costco. Nice and thick with a bit of fat but not too much. Some of the are even thick enough that I could butterfly them. So I am working on a few recipes with that in mind. One of my past favorite was my Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops. Kevin really loved those so it will be quite the task to come up with something he loves better. He has begun to love my obsession with cooking my pork dishes with apples in them. I just love it and I mean pork and apples go hand in hand right?

This dish was actually spun off of a dish from The Cooking Channel. I really can't remember the show name. I had the TV on in the background white I was working and overheard what was being prepaired. Her dish sounded interesting and it made the wheels start turning in my head. Hers seemed a bit more on the tart side (it had capers and pepper corns in it I believe) but I wanted to go the opposite way and incorporate my darling apples in it. So this is what I came up with. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Deviled Crab Dip



A while back I said that I was going to try to make more appetizers. We don't entertain much, unless it is the kids coming over, so I have decided to use our Sunday NASCAR (and eventually football GO SEAHAWKS) day as a great excuse to throw together some "nibbles". 

I had really been craving some seafood and almost made some of my Halibut Ceviche, which we all love, but I knew I wanted to make something new for the blog. Then I thought of my second favorite seafood.....crab. OK now do I make a hot crab dip, cold crab dip? So many decisions, but the weather was actually nice for a few days so I went with cold.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blackberry Custard Pie



I am so happy that summer is here. BBQing, macaroni and potato salad, and pies all seem to go hand in hand with it right? Well allergies seem to be going hand and hand with it for me this year too! I have had some trouble in the past with them, but nothing compared to this year! Sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, headaches, and that general feeling of cotton in your head has not been very conducive to make good food, taking good photos, and posting something that doesn't sound like I am just babbling (although I think some of my posts do sound like that from time to time with no allergies to blame them on). 

I saw this pie originally on Bunny's Warm Oven. As many of you know, I am not a baker. I do it around the holidays and that is about it. But I have been wanting to try it more and more. Her Creamy Blueberry Pie screamed MAKE ME MAKE ME at me. Maybe that was the fog of my allergies making me think it was screaming at me but my taste buds, plus many of my Facebook followers wanted me to make it ASAP!

Kevin is not much of a dessert guy, and with the kids all living away now I knew I needed to entice him to eat this pie. Blueberry is not one of his favorites. Oh he has eaten them and liked them. For example, when I made my Blueberry Pancakes with Greek Yogurt and Lemon he came back for seconds. But his favorite berry hands down is blackberries. So blackberry it was going to be.

I stayed pretty true to the recipe, just a few tweaks. I was so nervous while it was baking. It smelled soooo good but would it taste good? Then I took it out of the oven to cool. It looked sooooo good, but would it taste good? We had dinner and as soon as it was over my daughter, who was spending the night that night, was on me to cut the pie. OK OK sheesh. Well I carefully took some pictures, then cut the pie and of course she had to wait while I took more pictures (the hazards of being part of a food bloggers family). Then I finally gave her the pie. I cut a piece for Kevin as well and held my breath as they took the first bite. Whew was I happy when they both looked at me with big smiles and said it tasted fantastic. My son and his girlfriend came over and they enjoyed it too!! I may have this pie baking thing down.....oops I had better not jinx myself!!!