Memorial Weekend Slow Cooker Pork Spare Ribs

Very rainy weekend in South Florida which means no BBQing for Memorial weekend. So instead I settled on some slow cooking Pork Spare ribs….

Started off with 6lbs of some lovely Pork St. Louis spare ribs which I patted dry and then drenched each one individually with the below dry rub:

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  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsps of cumin
  • 2 tsps of black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsps of ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsps of garlic powder
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 2 tsps of ground red pepper
  • 2 tsps of oregano

Slice to large onions and once you have covered each rib with the rub, layer in a slow cooker/crockpot, and in between each layer place quite half the sliced onions and then top with the other half.

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Top it all off with 1 1/2 bottles of Green Apple Cider – I used Woodchuck this time round – Woodchuck

If you would rather stay away from anything with alcohol content, you can use regular apple juice 🙂

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Place lid on slow cooker/crockpot and set to slow cooking for 6 hrs.

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For the final steps, I removed all the ribs from the slow cooker/crockpot, dipped them in BBQ sauce ( I used Sweet Baby Rays – Sweet’n’Spicy) but you can either make your own or use your favourite of course. This batch turned out nice and spicy and full of flavour.

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And them baked them for 20 minutes in a 400 F deg oven. Whilst that was happening, I whipped up some mashed potatoes and there you go, Memorial Weekend dinner is ready ❤

Have a safe holiday everyone!

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Daddy Memories – Butter Bean salad

As a little girl, I vividly remember my dad preparing what I think was his favourite salad, which in turn became my all time favourite of course!

So today I decided not only to re-live that memory, but to take it to another level in honor of  the great guy that he was, ❤ and I am sure that instead of being insulted by the changes, he would be proud of his little girl.

The original salad was very simple, below is a list of the ingredients:butterbeans

  • Butter Beans
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Dusting of oregano

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, just mix the above ingredients and it’ oh sooooo tasty, and the best part was dipping  pieces of a fresh baguette into the leftover juices!

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In those days there was no fancy vinegar, no cilantro and goodness know’s what else, especially in Uruguay.

But nowadays, with the available ingredients, new flavours, fancy vinegars, etc…. I decided to take this salad to the next level.

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Not too many changes, just a few additions, so here it goes………

  • Butter Beans – stayed the same I used 2 cans
  • Sliced Tomatoes – stayed the same, used 2 medium tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions – stayed the same, used 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and Pepper – stayed the same, tsp of each
  • Olive oil and vinegar – used olive oil but replaced the vinegar with same fabulous Lemongrass Mint infused White Balsamic vinegar from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company
  • Dusting of oreganoreplaced this with some chopped cilantro
  • Added a can of sliced Hearts of Palm that are easily available nowadays but when I was a kid they were an expensive commodity!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and I do recommend that you try both versions, they are both great 🙂

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

On this over the top very hot Memorial Weekend, the idea of standing next to a BBQ adding to the already Florida heat was totally unappealing!

So I decided to make something that can be prepared inside under the wonderful air conditioning, and then transported pool side, that was tasty, light and refreshing…..

Original chicken wraps are usually done with minced chicken, but for the lack for such ingredient I replaced it with cubed chicken breasts and it turned out as good!

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For this particular recipe I used the following:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into tiny small cubes (or you can use a lb of minced chicken of course)
  • 1 large onion cubed
  • 4 sliced scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 12 tbsp Sriracha sauce (if you prefer it non spicy use just 1 tbsp)
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce

As stated above I didn’t have any minced chicken so I started by slicing and cubing my chicken.

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Once that is done quickly sauté in a tbsp of olive oil until nicely cooked, drain fat and add the chopped onions, chopped garlic, scallions, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, minced ginger and sriracha sauce.

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Cook for another 5 minutes and its ready!

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Now its time to grab that lovely crispy Romaine Lettuce, top up with a nicely loaded tablespoon, squeeze some lemon juice and add some fresh scallions and enjoy!

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I served them pool side with of course a refreshing cocktail in hand ❤

PS: You might wonder why there is no salt and pepper in the recipe but the seasoning in the Hoisin, Soy and Sriracha sauce are all you need :-).

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Pio Nono Relleno like my mama makes it…

A good memory of home is something we call a Pio Nono. We buy them frozen and they are very thin rolls of a heavenly slightly sweet very thin sponge cake that can then be filled with savory or sweet wonderful things.

A staple in my house made by my mama was the Pio Nono stuffed with Tuna, Hearts of Palm and sweet corn, mixed with a bit of mayo and spices, covered with a little bit of more mayo and decorated with green and red peppers.

A very special person (mama Gaye) asked that for her little birthday celebration I make her what we now call, my special Rolly Polly! Slight technical hitch, there was nowhere near the house where I could get hold of this frozen life saving rolled sponge cake!

In preparation for tonights dinner, last night I decided to make it myself, not that its a difficult thing, but it has a tendency to stick and crack easily (well that’s just me)!

The experiment was a success and by bedtime last night I had myself a Pio Nono ready to be filled out tonight!

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This evening as soon as I got home, I mixed the tuna, sweet corn and chopped hearts of palm, seasoned them with pepper, paprika, chopped chives, little mayo and a squirt of ketchup. Gave it a little taste for flavour approval and then spread it evenly on my Pio Nono!

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Then I gently rolled it up……

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And all that is left to do is add a few finished touches, a little mayo all over, some chopped chives and red peppers and a little fresh dill for the final decorating touch! 🙂

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This is all that was needed to make one very special person happy ❤

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAYE! 

Cheesy Cauliflower Garlic Breadsticks

I have been seeing this cheesy cauliflower garlic bread recipe around Facebook for a while, and today, a cold rainy day in south florida is the perfect day to put this recipe to a test!

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As usual I changed a few ingredients and happy to say that the result was great! One very important part of this recipe which is omitted in the original is the size of the baking pan you decide to use as it will determine the thickness of your so called “bread sticks”.

I started by using 15 x 11″ pan but had to change to a 13 x 9″ in order to nicely cover the entire bottom of the pan and still have some height in it!

Below is the recipe I used (the one from Facebook) with my changes in parenthesis.

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella, divided ( I replaced with 1 cup of shredded cheddar for the topping)
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley (I am a cilantro lover so used cilantro instead)
  • Marinara, for dipping (didn’t do this part, not a fan of marinara sauce 🙂 )

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I decided to be practical and place everything in my food processor – first I processed the cauliflower until it became a nice paste, then added the garlic cloves, eggs, oregano, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I also sprinkled some cilantro and red pepper flakes onto the dough before I put it in the oven.

Placed the above concoction onto my baking tray lined with parchment paper and placed in the over at 425 °F for 25 – 30 minutes, until nice and golden.

Then topped it off with the rest of the shredded cheese, cilantro and red pepper flakes and baked for another 10 minutes.

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If you are looking for an alternate non carb garlic bread, I must say this perfectly fits the bill!

Hope you enjoy it as much as my daughter and I did, of course the hubby (a bread lover) was not too sold on it.

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Portabella Mushrooms….

Mushrooms are the type of veggies that I really like, they easily absorb any flavour you infuse them with and are a great alternative to meat!

I found a recipe for Stuffed Caprese Garlic Butter Portabella Mushrooms and decided to give it my usual twist.

Started by mixing some melted butter, parsley and minced garlic, placing the mushroom caps on a baking sheet lined with foil, and then gave the mushrooms a good brushing with it on both sides.

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I seasoned both sides with some salt and pepper, nothing worse than eating a bland mushroom, lol and left them upside down.

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I topped them with sliced  vine ripened tomatoes and then grabbed some goats cheese, which I lovingly sprinkled all over the tomatoes (you can leave this out but I ❤ goats cheese).

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Then I thinly sliced some creamy mozzarella and broke into pieces and sparingly covered the tomatoes on each mushroom.

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I don’t particularly like raw mushrooms and the recipe said to just place under broiler for 8 minutes. Instead I placed them in a 350 °F for about 10-15 minutes and then placed them under the broiler for about 6 minutes. They turned out just perfect!

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Whilst the mushrooms were baking, I placed about 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar in a casserole and reduced it till it was nice and thick.

As soon as the mushrooms came out of the oven, I covered them in chopped basil and gave them a nice drizzle of the balsamic reduction!

They were sooooo good, that my daughter Phoebe ended up going back for seconds, which is always a good sign ❤

 

 

Southern Hospitality in full swing….

I had the pleasure of doing a fabulous road trip from Arizona to Northern Florida with my  good friend Maureen. One of our stops took us into this small little town in Louisiana called Sulphur.

We drove into this place after having driven across the entire state of Texas so the need for a rest and a good hot meal was imminent!

Nothing like a quick chat with the locals to find out what the best place for a good meal is that does NOT involve fast food! 🙂

The recommendation took us to this empty restaurant called Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen. I say empty because other than the staff there wasn’t a soul to be seen. We did debate about going elsewhere and glad we didn’t! First thing we asked when we walked in was “Are you still open”?

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Immediately the entire staff pulled us in and said, as long as we are in the establishment, we must be served and served we were!

We had everyone’s attention, got offered the option of the buffet or food of the menu and got chatting with one of the waitresses who was full of history, stories about the town, about the owner and everything you might want or need to know!

We ordered the Seafood Gumbo and I have to say, my first impression was, why am I getting what looks like dirty water? But one taste of it and the first impression flew straight out of the window.

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Our dinner was just what we needed, comfort food, warmed up our tummies and had that lovely spicy kick.

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This is what I call Southern Hospitality, they made sure we took our time, they never rushed us out, thanked us over and over for stopping by and were full of smiles ❤

So, if you ever find yourself in Sulphur, Louisiana, stop by Hollier’s for a Southern Cajun meal!