Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Double Done Rib Rub & BBQ Sauce!

Remember waaaay back last July, for my Mr's Bday feast, I shared pictures of some fab ribs, promising that I would share the recipe that summer?  Ya, well, I'm a liar liar pants on fire, I guess.  That recipe has yet to be shared, even though I have made it countless times since.  It's just that there's very rarely any leftovers to take pics of!  Which surely means, that this is a recipe to be adored.

This recipe is a little labour intensive.  I usually break out the ribs on a Sunday when I have extra time, or if there's company coming for dinner, and we wanna get a little fancy schmancy, and sauce up our faces.  I'll prepare the ribs and sauce usually in the morning, or even the night before if I'm really slim on time, or want to avoid having the oven on in the heat of the day.  Finally pulling them out to grill along with whatever sides are accompanying.

I know some people take their BBQ seriously, I'm so not one of them.  I make no claims on knowing what's what for doing up meat, I've just found that this is the recipe that works best for me, taste and technique wise.  I've got a lot to learn when it comes to grilling, but am having lots of fun experimenting and learning as I go.  The labour involved here is worth the result; a mouth-watering fall off the bone rib dish, perfect for summer BBQ season!

Double Done Rib Rub

I generally use 2 slabs of Pork Back or Side Ribs..whatever's on sale!

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

First I rub 'em in sauce and bake 'em all wrapped up in tin foil on low for a couple hours.

Preheat oven to 250 F.  Mix all ingredients together and slather both sides of the ribs.  Wrap in tin foil, and bake for about 2 hours.  While the ribs are baking, get your sauce ready!
Note:  You will (Optionally) use the juices from the baked ribs in the BBQ sauce, read ahead!

Double Done Ribs BBQ Sauce

1 small onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup Bullseye BBQ sauce or your fave BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
reserved rib juice or water (about 1/2 -1/2 cup in lieu of grease)

Using a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil, and saute onions until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger, and saute for an additional minute.  Next add ketchup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, salt & pepper, followed by reserved rib juice.

Once the ribs are baked, let them cool for about 10 - 15 minutes.  Then carefully open tin foil, just enough to create a small funnel to release the juices.  Funnel those juices directly into your homemade Double Done BBQ Sauce, and stir to combine.  If you'd prefer, feel free to swap water for meat juice instead.

Re-wrap ribs (using same tin foil), and place somewhere cool, if preparing ahead.  Or unwrap tinfoil from ribs and proceed to BBQ.  Same with sauce: pour into jar, and refrigerate until ready to begin grilling the ribs, or stir up sauce and grill right away.

Preheat grill, to a medium - high heat with a low flame.  Slather ribs generously with homemade sauce, and turn ribs every 5 minutes or so, reapplying sauce on each side, so you get a delicious caramelized exterior with your preferred amount of char.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy Moly, Guacamole!

I'm always in pursuit of the next best food creation, it must be the researcher in me.  Always searching for something tastier, faster, better...that I forget all about my tried and true recipes.  This guacamole recipe, is one I can always rely on, and is much requested, and repeated dish in my house.
I learned how to make guac (guac = is short for guacamole, in Koots speak;)), from my best friends mom, Kathy.  Kath's guac was THE best guac in the Kootenays!  Once, before I moved to Calgary with all my girlfriends, they even had it shipped via airmail (!), from Nelson, with disastrous results!  I'm sure all the girls would have a giggle at the memory of this oozing care package.  But, I would imagine, in our late teens, far from home, to have that taste of Kath's guac, and all the memories that go with it, would make it worth a shot!

When I was home last summer, all the girlfriends got together at the Harris', and of course Kath had a big ol' bowl of guac on the table along with an amazing spread.  I noticed that her recipe has changed slightly, one thing I remember is the addition of cilantro?  Darn that wine!
My interpretation of the recipe has also changed slightly over the years.  I used to add sour cream and mayo, but have found I don't miss it (or the calories!) without them.   An avocado is creamy enough on it's own!  A couple-few avocados, along with a few other simple ingredients can be thrown together in minutes, never fails to impress, and for some of us, brings back the best of memories!


4-5 ripe avocados
1-2 lime(s), juiced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped (purple or white)
1 tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Have ready a medium sized bowl.  Slice each avocado from stem to tip, rotating the knife 'round the pit.  Twist, and them turn the avocado, pulling apart as you do so, and the pit should remain on one half.  If the avocado is sufficiently ripe, you should be able to pop out the pit by grasping/gripping with your fingers. Or alternately, carefully using a sharp knife, bring swiftly down onto the pit, so it adheres, and then remove then knife, that will take the pit with it!
Using a spoon, scoop out the ripe fruit of the avocados, and place in the bowl, and then mash it all up up with fork.  Add the juice of the lime, minced garlic, as well as the salt & pepper, and mash some more, chunks are yummy, leave them.  Finally add the chopped onion and tomatoes, and stir to incorporate.  Taste, and add more salt & pepper, or lime as you wish!  Serve straight away, accompanied by tortilla chips or veggies, or smear it on toast!
If making ahead there are a few options to avoid browned (brown = oxidized) guac:
1) Place a spare pit or two in the top of the guacamole, and cover securely with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
2) Squeeze extra lime juice over the top, and then mix well prior to serving.
3) Using a well-sealing container, cover the guacamole with a layer of water until ready to eat, and then pour off water and mix before serving.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Trail Mix Popcorn!

I cannot believe it has been so, so, long since I've shared a popcorn recipe with you!  My air popper kicked the dust a few months back, and I kinda lost my popcorn mojo along with it.  I still had my Whirley-Pop as a back up, and was still faithfully eating my Friday popcorn meal, but just hadn't got my stuff together enough to post about anything I could get excited about.  But low and behold, for my Mother's Day present, my sweet little fam gifted me a new air popper!!  A beautiful red Cuisinart model of my dreams!  It was enough to reignite my popcorn inspirations, with a new muse at my side.

For this Trail Mix Popcorn, I used my coconut oil, honey and sea salt recipe, and built on it with the addition of cinnamon, and then a whole bunch extra yummy's.  I was originally just going to add nuts and seeds, But once I got started adding stuff, it was hard to stop!  You know how when you buy a big ol' bag of trail mix, and you end up picking out all the raisins & chocolate chips, crossing your fingers behind your back when somebody calls you on it?  Can't be just me?!
The addition trail mix to this sweet and salty popcorn is pretty beyond, plus you get to customize your trail mix your way, so you don't feel like something is missing, or end up picking through it for the good stuff you crave!

Trail Mix Popcorn

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
sea salt to taste
Trail Mix ideas: shredded or ribbon coconut; chocolate or carob chips; sunflower seeds; cashews; peanuts; almonds; M&M's; pumpkin seeds; raisins; pretzels; Etc. Etc. Etc!

I use a air-popper for my popcorn, and then do my best to remove any unpopped kernels.  My technique is to use two bowls, shake the the first bowl so the seeds fall to the bottom, and then transfer to the second bowl by hand.
In a small pot, melt your coconut oil, and add honey, stirring until the two blend (you could also do this step in the microwave).  Pour about half over the popcorn, sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon, and give popcorn a toss (you may need to toss with your hands), then add the second half of the coconut oil & honey and another sprinkling of sea salt and more cinnamon, tossing again, so that it's distributed throughout the popcorn.  Finally add in all your Trail mix goodies! Because of their weight, the trail mix add-ins will naturally gravitate towards the bottom of the bowl, so toss as you nosh!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chewy Toasted Sesame Kamut Bars

I was reorganizing my pantry this past weekend, and unearthed some long forgotten treats and treasures.  One thing I found was a big ol' bag of Puffed Kamut cereal, it was about to expire, and I needed to find a way to get the kids to eat it!
Kamut (ka-moot), if you're not familiar, is an ancient grain which closely resembles puffed wheat, and tastes very similar as well...maybe slightly more nutty in flavour.  Kamut does contain gluten, but has been said to be "easier to digest", and some people who don't tolerate wheat well, can tolerate kamut.  I myself don't have Celiac disease, but I would love to hear from those of you who do, and your experience with kamut!  

What I love about these bars in particular, is the taste of the roasty-toasty sesame seeds, the crunch of nuts and sunflower seeds, and the chew of the kamut, almost like a "rice crispy"square, but replaced with healthier ingredients.  It's a fast and easy no-bake recipe, and got a thumbs up by grown-ups and kids alike at my house!

Chewy Toasted Sesame Kamut Bars

1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or roasted peanuts (optional)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups Kamut Puffs

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, or grease with coconut oil or butter, and set aside.  
Using a medium sized pan, over medium-high heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring & keeping an eye to ensure they don't burn!  Using the same pan & keeping the same heat, add the peanut butter, honey, brown rice syrup, and salt.  Stir until whole mixture is warmed through, and well combined.  Remove pan from heat, and add the cereal, and sunflower seeds or peanuts if your using them.  Stir until completely incorporated.
Pour into the prepared baking dish, and spread as evenly as your able.  Transfer the dish to the fridge to cool completely, before cutting into bars.  They stay chewy when kept in the fridge, but are more soft kept covered at room temperature.