Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Grandma's Oven Barbecued Spare Ribs

"This is one of my favorite recipes that my Grandma makes.  The ribs are slathered in a savory sauce that is finger-lickin' good!"

4 to 5 pounds Pork spare ribs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 of a lemon, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Few drops Tabasco sauce

Cut spare ribs into pieces of 3 or 4 ribs.  Spread in a shallow baking pan, meaty side up  Season with salt and pepper.  On each rib piece, place one lemon slice and sprinkle chopped onion over all.  Bake, uncovered 45 minutes at 450 degrees.  Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over ribs, reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast uncovered, 1 to 1.5 hours.  Baste occasionally with sauce. 

"I baked the ribs in my Dutch Oven.  It worked great!" 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Perfect Pancakes

"We love this pancake recipe.  It makes the lightest, fluffiest pancakes.  Just slather with butter and syrup and your morning will be off to a sweet start!"
1-1/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In another mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, canola oil and vanilla; add to flour mixture.  Stir mixture just until blended, but slightly lumpy. 

In a large skillet or on a griddle, heat 2 Tablespoons canola oil and 1 Tablespoon butter.  Pour about 1/4 cup pancake batter onto skillet or griddle for each pancake.  Cook until bottoms of pancakes are golden brown, the tops are bubbly and the edges are slightly dry.  Flip pancakes over and cook other side.  Serve with butter and syrup.  Makes 6-8 pancakes.

TIP:  Of course you can always add chocolate chips or blueberries to the pancake batter to make these pancakes even more perfect! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

"Bananas and chocolate chips, what a yummy combo!"
1-3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about 2-3 bananas
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add bananas, butter and milk.  Beat with an electric mixer until combined.  Add eggs, vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup flour and mix until completely blended together.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour (I like to use Pam Baking Spray or Bakers Joy.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 1 loaf. 

"Loaf of golden brown goodness, ready for slicing!" 

"Hot out of the oven, with butter melted on top.  YUM!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Herb Vegetable Dip

"This dip is so easy to put together and is delicious served alongside any vegetables."

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon Bon Appetit seasoning*
1 teaspoon dried dill

Mix all ingredients together.  Chill.  Serve with cut up vegetables like carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, sliced sweet peppers, green onions, broccoli or cauliflower.

*Bon Appetit is a seasoning blend of onion and celery.  It can be found on the baking aisle near the other seasonings.  If you can't find it you can use 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon celery salt instead.   

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Mamma Mia!"

1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 smal1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1-(24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce, any flavor
1-(14.5 ounce) Hunt's diced fire roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1-(8 ounce) box manicotti noodles 
1-(8 ounce) package Italian-blend cheese
1-(8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, heat canola oil.  Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder; cook until ground beef is browned and onion and garlic are tender.  Add spaghetti sauce and canned tomatoes.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.  Cook manicotti noodles according to package directions.  Allow noodles to cool so that you can handle them.  In a 13x9 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, ladle enough meat sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.  Stuff noodles with meat sauce and lay on top of meat sauce in the pan.  (TIP:  If you find it difficult to fill the noodles, you can lay them in the pan, slit them open, spoon the meat sauce onto the noodles and turn them slit-side down.)  Cover noodles with mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.  Ladle on remaining meat sauce and cover with Italian-blend cheese.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.  Serve with salad and garlic bread for a complete Italian meal.  

"I love Italian food!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mom's Potato Salad

"This potato salad is so simple to make and has only 5 ingredients.  It's DELICIOUS and is perfect as a side dish for any of your Summer get-togethers!"

"Don't you just Love Summer!"

8-9 medium-sized red potatoes
1 small onion, chopped finely
*4 hard boiled eggs*, chopped finely
Desired amount of Miracle Whip (I used 1-1/2 cups.)
Desired amount of yellow mustard (I used 2 Tablespoons.)
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil whole potatoes for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and allow potatoes to cool enough so that you can handle them.  Peel potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Combine potatoes with chopped onion, chopped eggs, Miracle Whip, mustard, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

I sprinkled the top of the potato salad with dried parsley flakes and paprika to add some color.

*To see how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs, visit my Kitchen Know-hows Page:

"Creamy and Delicious!"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake With Strawberry Syrup

"Strawberry Shortcake is my absolute favorite dessert and I have it every year on my Birthday.  This year my Hubby made it with homemade shortcake and strawberry syrup.  It was so YUMMY!" 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup or 1 stick cold butter
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Stir together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Combine egg and milk and add to flour mixture.  Stir just to combine.  Pour into an 8-inch round cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Cool and slice into wedges.  When ready to serve, cut wedges in half lengthwise and layer with macerated strawberries and strawberry syrup (recipes follow) and top with whipped cream.

Macerated Strawberries:
6 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (orange flavored liqueur)

Stir together strawberries, sugar and orange liqueur.  Set aside until ready to assemble shortcake.

Strawberry syrup:
2 pounds strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Combine strawberries, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Remove from the heat and strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl.  Discard solids.  Cool syrup. 

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla  

Combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form.

To assemble shortcakes:
Layer shortcake, macerated strawberries, strawberry syrup and top with whipped cream. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mom's Beef Stew

"My Mom makes this easy, beefy stew and my Husband and I love it.  It combines a store-bought seasoning packet, stew meat and fresh vegetables and the best part is that it cooks in the slow cooker so dinner can be cooking while you go about your busy day."

1 packet of McCormick Slow Cookers Hearty Beef Stew Mix
2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
5  cups of cut-up fresh vegetables (My Mom uses a combination of fresh sliced mushrooms, chopped onions and sliced carrots.)
1-1/3 cups water

Place stew meat and vegetables in slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix seasoning packet with water and pour over beef and vegetables.  Stir well.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

TIP:  We love to serve this stew over mashed potatoes.  It's also great with french bread. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New York Cheesecake

"This is my all time favorite cheesecake.  It's velvety smooth and so DELICIOUS!"

1-3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, melted
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan with foil (to keep water from water bath from leaking into pan). Combine crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with filling.

4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, sugar and corn starch until well combined; scraping down sides of mixing bowl often. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add cream. Mix ingredients until smooth. (TIP: Don't over mix filling. Just mix ingredients long enough to combine completely.) Pour into crust. Place cheesecake into a roasting pan. Pour enough water into roasting pan to come up the sides of the springform pan about 1 inch. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Place in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, remove rim of springform pan. Top with desired toppings and devour!

Visit my MooseCreek CheeseCakes page for more delicious cheesecake recipes.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade

"A Strawberry Simple Syrup takes lemonade to a whole new level.  It's tart and sweet at the same time and it looks pretty too!"
"How SWEET it is!"

Prepared Lemonade (Make your lemonade from frozen concentrate, fresh lemons or powdered mix.)
Strawberry Simple Syrup (Recipe follows)
Lemon slices and whole strawberries, for garnish

Strawberry Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
a few strawberries, cut in half

Combine water, sugar and strawberries in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.  (This will allow sugar to completely dissolve and syrup to thicken.)  Remove from the heat and strain to remove solids.  Allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

To assemble strawberry lemonade:
Fill glass with desired amount of ice.  Pour 1-2 Tablespoons of Strawberry Simple Syrup into glass, depending on how sweet you want your lemonade.  Pour in lemonade.  Garnish glass with lemon slice and whole strawberry, if desired.

"Cool and Refreshing!"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chia's Simple Salsa

"My Hubby invented this delicious salsa.  We love to eat it with chips, over omelets and slathered on any Mexican food that we make.  It's Divine!"

Chips n' Dip

4-(14.5 ounce) cans Hunt's Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic, drained
1 red onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
1-(7 ounce) can Ortega Diced Fire Roasted Green Chilies
1-(4 ounce) can La Victoria Diced Fire Roasted Jalapenos
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon or 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon dried cilantro

In the bowl of a food processor, process drained tomatoes until desired consistency and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add red onion and garlic to food processor and process until finely minced; stir into tomatoes.  Add green chilies and jalapenos.  Add lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and cilantro and mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.  Makes approximately 2 quarts.

TIP:  Store in quart jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Polka Dot Brownies

Vanilla chip 'Polka Dots' baked inside and sprinkled on top of mocha frosted brownies.  "CHOCOLICIOUS!!!"

Mocha Brownies:
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup vanilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Remove from the heat and add sugar, flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of vanilla chips. Spread in prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread Mocha Frosting (recipe follows) over hot brownies.

Mocha Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from the heat and add cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Stir until smooth. Pour over hot brownies.

Allow brownies to cool completely and then sprinkle with 1/2 cup vanilla chips.

Perfect Polka Dots!