Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Barbeque Ribs Anyone Can Make!

104. Prepare to be delighted!!! This Barbeque Rib recipe is so stinkin' easy but the bold flavors will knock your socks off...can you tell I've been watching Guy Fieri lately. I was always afraid to try ribs because I had heard so many stories of how difficult and lengthy the process is. I watched Alton Brown make BBQ Ribs once and it takes him 3 days...nope...not for me!
Till I tried this recipe...what a breeze...I just roast them the night before and sauce them and grill them right before the meal.

This recipe comes from my beautiful friend Heidi. She made these ribs for a party and I fell in love. She was gracious to share her recipe.

Sticky Sweet Ribs

2 racks pork back ribs, about 4 pounds (Costco is best bargain! in NY)

1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce, plain

1/4 cup pancake syrup, maple

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar once and white balsamic once...both tasted fantastic!)

McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, enough to cover ribs

(I used this brand and they were delicious.)


Mix barbeque sauce, maple syrup and brown sugar, set aside (u can add more syrup/sugar if desired; also, u can add herbs to make it spicy or savory, but not needed) I doubled the recipe so there would be extra after you grill them.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place ribs in their racks(I just mean do not cut them) w/meat side up, bones down, in a large baking/casserole dish or roasting pan. (My pan isn't long so I will cut off several ribs and place under the rack of ribs...they tend to be more tender =-)

Shake Montreal Steak Seasoning all over meat-side of ribs, enough to evenly cover

Pour vinegar into bottom of dish or roasting pan, with ribs and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake about 90 minutes or until very tender (I never have to do more than 90mins)

Remove from oven and carefully lift off tin foil - watch out for steam- OUCH!

The ribs are now fully cooked and just need to be 'sauced' finished'

Heat bbq to medium and place ribs meat side down without sauce - but you can baste the back with the sauce

Cook until they start to develop grill marks, and turn over - now baste the top

You could stop here after they grill a bit on this side, or you could baste them a bit more and then give them a couple more minutes meat side down - that's what I do

Give 'em one extra baste after they've been removed, just before you serve them.

We made these and took them to a picnic on Labor Day...what a treat!

"Whether the weather be fine

Or whether the weather be not

Whether the weather be cold

Or whether the weather be hot

We'll BBQ in all the weather

Whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not."

~ Old Saying

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Italian Bread

103. The smell of baking bread...*smile*...it makes your senses come alive! Have you ever driven by a bakery in the early morning, when they are baking bread? It smells sooo goood!

I have a wonderful recipe for Italian Bread which I've used for many years. It is from an old Fleischmanns Yeast recipe booklet. I have made loaves and rolls and the recipe adapts very well. I was so in the mood for it today so I pulled out my bread machine to mix up the dough but I added dry Italian seasoning, about 2 teaspoons, to flavor the bread and it was wonderful!
My stone bar Pampered Chef baking pan is excellent for baking bread.
Italian Bread

4½ - 5½ cups unsifted flour (depending on the consistency of the dough)
1 T Sugar
1 T salt
2 packages Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast or 2 tsp yeast
1 T butter
1 ¾ cups very warm water (120ºF.-130ºF.)
Corn Meal
Peanut Oil
1 egg white
1 T cold water
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add butter.
Gradually add warm water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let rest 20 minutes.

If you are making dough in a bread machine, place the warm water in first, then butter, salt. Next, the flour, sugar and last, the yeast. Turn machine on and select the "dough" setting.

When dough is ready, sprinkle corn meal over the bottom of a heavy baking sheet. Shape dough into two loaves 15 x 10 inches long or round, 6 rolls or one large loaf. Make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts on top of each with razor blade or sharp knife. Brush the dough with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.

Bake in 425º oven for 15 minutes for rolls, 20 minutes for loaves or 30-35 minutes for one loaf. Remove from oven and brush with egg white mixed with cold water. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes longer until golden brown.
I added the dry Italian Seasoning at the point of the flour.
Then I sprinkled coarse salt
on top after I brushed the loaf with oil.
The bread was crusty, and soft inside...and the flavor was exceptional.
There was no need for butter, the flavor of the bread could stand on it's own.
But, of course, butter always makes it taste divine!
This week, I think we'll try this recipe again, but this time add parmesan cheese.
Happy baking!

"A wise and frugal government,
which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement,
and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
~ Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


102. I spoiled my lovely family this past Saturday morning and made them homemade "Waffles".
Yes, they take time to prepare, but the outcome is so worth it!

My recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, "The American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Cookbook". The recipe is "Wake'Em Up Cinnamon and Raisin Waffles" on
pages 271-272. You can make the waffles with or without raisins, (for all you folks who don't appreciate the wonder of raisins =-).

Wake 'Em Up Cinnamon and Raisin Waffles

¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
* * * * * * *
1¼ cups milk
2 eggs, separated
½ cup melted butter

Combine the ¼cup flour with the raisins to make chopping easier. Chop the raisins into nice-sized bits. Set aside. Combine the remaining flour with the other dry ingredients; sift, stir well with a whisk and resift. Blend well the egg yolks, milk and butter. Lightly combine the dry and liquid ingredients until there are no lumps. Stir in the raisin bits. Beat the egg whites until they peak;
gently fold them into the batter.
Bake in a greased waffle iron until golden brown.
Serves 5.
We enjoyed our breakfast!

"A house is not a home unless it contains
food and fire for the mind as well as the body."
~ Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apple Raisin Pie

101. I have a tremendous love for my daughter's Apple Raisin Pie! She is quite the Pie Artist!
Could it be her secret ingredient is love? It is simple and basic...but isn't that the point? Aren't the best recipes and foods we love, made of the most basic ingredients?
Crust for a 9" double crust pie.
Fill crust with your favorite apple filling and add raisins for a wonderful change.

"Good Apple Pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness."
~ Jane Austen

Friday, September 4, 2009

Most Delicious Foods

100. Over the years, I've enjoyed many delicious foods, desserts and international specialties. Here is s culinary journey for you to enjoy with some of the most memorable tastes...100 to be exact...

100. Barbeque Ribs at Porkey's Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, AL which has since closed.  The restaurant was small with the ovens in plain view. The ribs where the best I've tasted and the flavor lingers in my memory.

99. Sour Cream Raisin Pie from a small restaurant in Millersburg, Ohio Amish Country

98. Pike Place Market, Seattle Washington, in 1982 when we discovered a small shoppe called "Starbucks" and we shared a cup of black coffee. (We should have bought stock in the co.)

97. Portland, Oregon, 4th of July, driving back from Mount Rainier (where we threw snowballs at each other)...stopped at a roadside diner and had killer Sour Cherry Pie.

96. Again, Portland, Oregon where we ate at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served the best "Hamburger" with bean sprouts, avocados and cheese. I can taste it right now!

95. Federal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island, in college, we ate at a fantastic Italian Restaurant marvelous "Eggplant Parmesan".

94. My moms homemade, handmade "Pierogi"

93. The yummiest dinner rolls are homemade at the Der Bake Oven in Berlin, Ohio

92. The best "Chicken Cacciatore" I have ever eaten was in East Providence, Rhode Island at a small restaurant downstairs of a Knights of Columbus. My roommate in college threw a bridal shower for me...I love you Ruth!

91. Struffoli! Italian Cookies...Julia makes the best!
90. Alice's Tea Cups most delicious scone is their "Buttermilk Scone". You just want to smile when you taste it...especially covered with their red raspberry jam and butter!!

89. Bellville, Ohio Bed and Breakfast, The Frederick Fitting House, "Asparagus Frittata"

88. One of the most memorable meals we've had was at the Spread Eagle Tavern & Inn located in Hanoverton, Ohio. This beautiful, historic inn was built in 1837. Each plate was a work of art. Their special touch was their "Shoestring Potatoes"...yum! Seafood and steak was fantastic!

87. "Popovers" to die for! The name of the restaurant slips my mind but it was located in Massachusetts...north of Springfield. When you broke them open, a puff of steam escaped!

86. Springfield, Massachusetts, Sumner Avenue...Bakery...the best "Bismark" donut with jelly and cream!!! They would make the donut long like a hot dog roll, then slice the donut, fill it with jelly and then top it off with whipped cream...Wow!

85. Swensen's "Swiss Orange Chip" ice cream. Fantastic!

84. "Fiddleheads" in Sugarbush, Vermont. Buttery and tender!

83. "Lobster" at The Boat House in Newport, Rhode Island. It isn't on the menu but if you ask the waiter for the lobster special...*wink* *wink* he knew what you meant.

82. Grimaldi's Pizza...Brooklyn & Garden City, NY

81. Madeline Patisserie, NY, NY...had the most beautiful and best ever French Macaron's which has since closed.

80. Zabars...the whole experience is a taste sensation!!! I especially like to eat a panini in their deli and then pick up cheeses and tortellini.

79. Matzo Ball Soup is delicious at the Stage Door Deli on 8th Avenue, NY

78. New England Clam Chowder, Jordans Lobster Farm...*sigh of content*

77. Braun's Seafood on the North Fork of Long Island, NY...in Cutchogue. We love to stop in and order the fried scallops and white fish. Fantastic!!!

76. The Donut Plant on Grand Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan is a very interesting little shop. We first learned about it on a Throwdown with Bobby Flay...we just had to go! We found this little shop after we slogged around China Town for a half an hour on foot, passing the fried ducks, melting mounds of fishy ice from the seafood vendors and squealing at the rat that crossed our path. But finally, we found it! And sang the Hallelujah Chorus! The donuts were worth it! We ordered the Lavender Glazed, Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate, Tres Leche, and Blueberry Donuts! They were still warm and unbelievable!!! The owner of the shop actually came out and asked us how we liked them! We told him we came because of the Throwdown...he was greatful! We took some home but found, the next morning, the donuts did not taste good at all...you have to eat them fresh! Another interesting fact is, they sell the donuts in Zabars. We saw them there the next day...still...not as good as going to The Donut Plant!

75. Prantl's Bakery in Shady Side, PA...a good friend told us to check it out for the best cream donuts, cookies...and all around pastries! Great little home town bakery in the Pittsburgh area.

74. Corky and Lenny's Jewish Deli in Chagrin Falls, Ohio have fantastic Pastrami on Rye, Matzo Ball Soup, pickles...actually...everything on the menu!!!

73. Cantaloupe Pancakes with Maple Syrup, we enjoyed at a small restaurant in Sugar Bush, Vermont. They were so uniquely delicious...I've never tasted pancakes like this since!

72. The Clam Box on Wollaston Beach, Massachusetts. You will just love every bite. Their Clams are the best prepared any way you'd like.

71. Another seafood restaurant that is fantastic is on Cape Cod...a small little roadside restaurant...but oh what a seafood delight...

70. Broasted Chicken from the Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth, Michigan...delicious!

69. I love the Peanut Butter Pie and the Roast Beef Dinner at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek, Ohio. I just love going to this restaurant!

68. My paternal grandmother's "San Antonio Cocoa Cake"...a delicious chocolate memory. I will have to post this recipe someday.

67. Crown Tower Coffee and Tea Company in Mansfield, Ohio. We were so excited that a new coffee shop opened up close to us! We visited on the opening day and met the owner who took us on a coffee tour of beans. He installed a huge roaster in the shop and imported a huge variety of raw coffee beans that he would roast himself. You could request the exact intensity of roast and choose any type of bean. It was a coffee lovers delight!!! Then we moved...*sniff*

66. Char's Potato Salad...I love it!

65. The best "Hoagie" is from Danny's in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. As a child, my father would bring us to this pizza shop. By the way, a "hoagie" is similar to a "sub", "grinder", "footlong"...it's a regional thing, "Yunz".

64. The Pretzel Shop on Carson Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a great find! People line up outside to buy these hot, Soft Pretzels by the dozen. We got in line and were very excited to try them...delicious...although you have to eat them the same day you buy them. They are homemade that day and have a very wood fired flavor!

63. Raspberry and Grape Juice Sorbet my daughter makes...it is soooooo good!

62. Elaine's awesome Chili! She makes it in a huge pot and prepares cornbread with jalapeños on the side.

61. Sarris Candies in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania is fantastic! They have fantastic Chocolate and their Chocolate Covered Pretzels are wonderful!!!

60. I love, love, love the Cupcakes from Billy's Bakery in NY. Everyone goes nuts over Magnolia Bakery...and they are very good. We first tried Bill's Bakery cupcakes randomly at the Car Show in the Javits Center and while looking for a quick munchie...we spotted a cupcake sign. What a nice change from a hot dog or slice of pizza. And here is this quaint little cupcake stand. They were delish! Since then, we have visited the bakery and love everything they make.

59. Have you ever had Tiramisu? Ok, how about Pumpkin Tiramisu? It is fantastic!

58. I really enjoy the restaurant "Bravo". It is Italian, casual-white tablecloth, delicious pasta and yummy oil dip and bread, not to mention their pizza!

57. Captain Tony's Pizza in Rochester, NY is very memorable!! My most favorite pizza was their White Clam Pizza!!!! Wow! It was AWESOME!

56. Bread is a staple in our lives...but you know, there are certain moments in time when you experienced Fantastic bread! Portuguese Rolls are one of those memories for me! In Springfield, Mass, we could always find fresh, delicious Portuguese Rolls!

55. In the North End of Boston, which is the Little Italy of the city, Francesca's was the best. Years ago, you could stop in for a Slice of Pizza..."Killer"!

54. My roommate in college invited us to her home for break. Her mom was an awesome cook! I will never forget her Lobster Newburg. So very, very delicious! She served it in a silver chaffing pot. What an elegant meal!

53. Frozen Custard from Abbotts in Rochester, NY. Insanely good!

52. Wanda's Jag, Portuguese Rice...the best!!

51. I grew up eating Polish food, so when I heard about Veselka, in the east village of NY I had to try it! My sister and I were so excited, so we went with our families, and it was wonderful. The hot Borscht was delicious! Especially with fresh sour cream and fresh chopped dill on top!

50. Veselka's pierogi were delicious as well!

49. Tom's Linguini and White Clam Sauce...on Christmas Day...1982...college...the Best!!!

48. When I graduated from college, we celebrated at an awesome Chinese Restaurant in either Edmond or Everett, Washington. The decor was breathtaking. We sat in a Chinese Sampan boat. And the food was outstanding! I can not remember the name!!!

47. My favorite Greek food was at the Greek Food Festival at the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in McMurray, PA. The Spanikopita is always a favorite and the Souvlaki dinner with rice pilaf!

46. Barb's handmade Baklava...too wonderful! Thanks for teaching me how to make it!

45. Amish cooking is total comfort food! The Hartville Kitchen in Harville, Ohio is a fantastic restaurant! Everything is so delicious and the portions are enormous! Roast Beef, Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Pie, Gravy.....love, love, love it!

44. Tzatziki or Greek Cucumber Sauce is delicious! It is wonderful with a Gyro! My favorite restaurant was in Mansfield, Ohio called Athens Greek Restaurant. The best! The restaurant was nothing to look at, but the food...and the coffee...worth the trip!

43. My maternal grandmother's Meatloaf...so good! Grandma would make sandwiches for my siblings and I for our trip home. We would break out the sandwiches 2 blocks away from her house and devour them. Good memories.

42. Char's Brasciole...so delicious!

41. My daughter Emily's homemade Apple Raisin Pie! You are the best Apple Pie Artist!

40. My sweet mother-in-law's homemade New York Cheesecake. She would make it for my father-in-law's birthday. It is better than any cheesecake I have ever tasted....including Juniors in NY...and I have the recipe...sorry, it is a family secret...*hehehehe*

39. Gino's in Long Beach, NY has the most incredible Italian food!!!! Their Pizza Rustica is one of my favorite pizzas...

38. Also, at Ginos, their Mussels in Sauce with a side of Pasta is memorable. Piled high and steaming...soooooo gooood!

37. My honey's homemade Potato Pancakes or Latke. He grates the potatoes by hand...mixes them with wonderful ingredients and serves them with applesauce and sour cream.

36. In Door County Wisconsin, sour cherries grow bountifully! I will never forget picking cherries with Emily when she was 2 years old and the fantastic Sour Cherry Jam! I love cherries!

35. Mario Batalli's Restaurant "Lupa" in NY is fantastic! No, better than fantastic! To start out, they bring a bowl of Infused Oil and Rustic Italian Bread! You could make a meal from that!...

34. ...Insalate with Escarole, Walnuts, Red Onion and Pecorino was divine!...

33. ...Riccotta Gnocchi with Sausage and Fennel....I have never tasted anything so unique and the flavors just kept developing as you ate it. The sausage was homemade on the premises that morning. After our meal, the waiters all came over to the table with a small slice of cake with a candle in it. They were all foreign and they sang, in broken English, "Happy Birthday". We were stunned. After they finished they asked who's Birthday was it...we laughed and told them we were not celebrating a Birthday but our Anniversary...they asked what Anniversary...we said our 25th Wedding Anniversary...to which, the surrounding patrons and waiters all said, "Wow!" Our waiter saw us exchange gifts and assumed it was for a Birthday.

32. Al's Venison Breakfast Sausage...it is better than any breakfast sausage I have ever tasted!

31. Darlene's Grape Pie...yes...grape! It is made from Concorde Grapes and is incomparable to any other pie you have ever had. Darlene made the best!!!! Her niece had her make grape pie for her wedding instead of a wedding cake...that is how good it is!!! I could go for a piece right now!

30. I remember sending out for DiAngelo's Pita Pokket sandwiches when I was in college. The Veggie Pokkets, especially the Greek Pokket was my favorite. I don't know how they taste now...I just know, back then, a starving college student, they were terrific!

29. There is a Puerto Rican Restaurant in NY, on 8th Avenue called La Taza De Oro or "The Golden Cup" that has some of the best spanish food around!. My favorite was the Bistec Enceballado or Steak and Onions...OMG! Tostones, Pasteles and the Cafe con Leche with the Arroz Con Leche. OMG!!! I want to go back...Daisy...Miguel...let's go!!!

28. My mother and maternal grandmother's Cake With 1000 Faces. Wonderful! My grandmother was a culinary art's student in Poland many, many years ago, and developed so many wonderful recipes.

27. The Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, MA is so quaint and the food is hardy and delicious! Their entrees were wonderful and they seated us right next to the fire place. Such a great memory! They were known for their delicious Seafood and Steak, Sweet Potato Fries and Apple Crisp.

26. There was a great Mexican restaurant in Monroeville, PA, El Campasino. I loved to get the combination platters, #7 which came with awesome Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, Enchilada and a Chili Relleno or Chili Poblano. And they had killer salsa and never ending tortilla chips.

25. A very favorite recipe I've discovered is Bell Pepper and Onion Crostini with Pesto. I have made this recipe several times and it is a winner.

24. The Dudt's Bakery was in our hometown and it was always a special occasion to have a cake, cupcakes or any pastry from their shop. My favorite was the Pastries and Danish...who am I kidding...everything was my favorite!

23. "Canolli"...an Italian pastry tube that is deep fried dough, filled with sweet ricotta cheese. Sometimes there is citron or chocolate chips mixed in with the cheese. I love them!!! The best I have ever had were from a bakery in Island Park, NY called Agrigento's Bakery.
22. My honey's Italian Tomatoe Sauce with Meatballs/Sausage...MMMMM so Good!

21. In New England, a traditional item offered in Seafood Restaurants is Corn Fritters. The best is when they place them in a small bowl and pour maple syrup over. Yum!

20. A very memorable meal was in a Roadhouse near Hopkins Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. The restaurant was huge! Peanut shells were tossed on the floor, the country music was turned up loud...and the Steaks were fantastic!!

19. Hot Pastrami Sandwich at Lido Deli in Long Beach, NY. I also like their Matzo Ball Soup and Cole Slaw.

18. Aye Carumba's Tostone's and Quesadillas.

17. My mother's Stuffed Peppers. They are so yummy!

16. Have you ever had Scallion Pancakes in a Chinese Restaurant? Fantastic! Home On 8th, NY. Unfortunately, this great restaurant has closed.  So sad.

15. Darlene makes the best Peanut Butter Fudge in the World!

14. I love to eat at Texas Roadhouse!! They bring out wonderful, hot, Homemade Rolls with cinnamon butter...the salad is great and the steaks...like "budda".

13. Scallops are at the top of my favorite seafood list!

12. For Easter each year, my mother makes Sweet Bread and fills it with poppyseed and raisin filling, nut filling or fruit filling. When we were kids, we couldn't wait to dive into the bread. She would bake on Saturday and we couldn't touch it till Sunday. It felt like forever!

11. Russian Tea Cakes...delicious cookies!

10. In the fall we love to go apple picking. One of the best farms near us is in Cutchogue, NY called Wickhams Fruit Farm. They have the best homemade Donuts...freshly made...

9. ...Wickhams Honey is fantastic!...

8. ...And, Wickhams fruit...any Fruit they have available, is the best! Apples, Peaches, Berries...

7. Whoopie Pie's are so much fun to make and to eat. My favorite are made by my sister...she is a perfectionist and her recipe is fantastic!

6. Rooibus Tea has become one of my favorite teas. It comes from the rooibus bush grown in Africa. I remember meeting a Missionary from Africa and we talked about Rooibus Tea. He said it is a bright red bush. They picked the leaves and then made tea from them the next day...what an experience! He said the flavor was divine!

5. A cup of Espresso...with just a teaspoon of sugar...is a happy place!

4. We enjoyed desserts at Billy's Bakery and I ordered their Carrot Cake. It is Killer!

3. A Grilled Salmon with lemon-dill sauce...perfection!

2. Fresh Tomato and Onion Salad sprinkled with chopped parsley and Balsamic Dressing...now I could make a meal out of that...especially when the produce is from your own garden!

1. The most favorite meal ever... "Becco", Lidia Bastianich's restaurant in Manhattan, NY I have never enjoyed a meal so much. From the delicious appetizers , awesome bread, the homemade pasta...which was all you can eat...to the grilled tuna and the best Ossobuco in the world!!!! We were fortunate to go with friends who are related to the executive chef...we didn't even look at a menu but were told to just sit back and enjoy and we would be taken care of. What an incredible food experience!

There you have it! My top 100 favorite food memories. I have squeezed my brain so hard it hurts!

"If more of us valued food
and cheer and song above hoarded gold,
it would be a merrier world.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien


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