Dem Bones

Zesty Sticky Thai Spareribs

I’ve never been a sun worshiper. I was always content with (ok, slightly vain of)ย  my very pale, snow white, not too wrinkled complexion. When I was a kid, the trend was to rub baby oil on yourself and go outside and quite literally fry your skin to reach a skin tone that hopefully wasn’t lobster red but nice and golden brown. Few succeeded but they all kept trying anyway, burn after burn after burn. About the only time in my life I’ve ever had a tan instead of the burn I usually get after 32 seconds exposed to sunlight…just call me Vampirilla was when I was a little kid and always outside and when I lived in Houston for a year and swam every day. Sun bathing as a hobby never interested me. My tans were EARNED… either playing or swimming

Now at 47, relatively wrinkle free (I usually get guessed as being late 30’s, early 40’s due to lack of sun damage and I love it lol), things seem to have changed. Hello wrinkles here I come! As many of you know, we moved late last year. The home we bought sits on ten acres of land and we have a pool. Not a huge Olympic in ground pool, but a pool nonetheless. Well, part of having ten acres means upkeep. I mow a large portion with the push mower every week (my husband does the larger portion on the riding mower) plus we now have a huge garden to take care of. Add in pool maintenance (being in the pool floating on a floatie counts as maintenance. Really. I’m…er….making sure there are no bugs in the pool) and other out doors things and I have found myself outdoors a LOT. For a while I burned every time but now I have a rather respectable tan.

Beyond all of that however, I’ve come to realize that the sun has this weird thing called heat. And that this heat, for a woman who has suffered from arthritis since in my 20’s (virus gone awry, settled in my joints) feels damn good on my old middle aged bones. So I find myself spending more time outside for that reason and in the process accumulating more wrinkles tan. I haven’t been this tan since I was 13. But heat is good. Bones like heat. Yes, yes they do. Precious precious heat. My precious.

Sorry. I was having a very warped Lord Of The Rings moment there. GEEK ALERT!

Bones really do like heat however. Not just mine; all bones. Look at the photo above. Don’t those bones look like they enjoyed the heat to you? If not, I can tell you that we certainly enjoyed what the heat DID to said bones hehe. I had 2 racks of spareribs I was making (my daughter & her family were coming over) and wanted to do something different with each rack. You’ve probably noticed by now that when I make pork, I tend to go for Asian flavors a lot of the time. They and pork just go so well together. I used a Thai Seasoning blend from my favorite spice company, The Spice Hunter . That mixed with other ingredients for a spice rub then a few times glazing it with a fantastic (if I do say so myself) thick and spicy sauce made these out of this world.

So as I always say… give these a try. You won’t be disappointed. Also, yes these are made in the oven. I wasn’t in the mood to die of heatstroke using the grill when I could be floating in the pool ๐Ÿ˜› Nor are they cooked in the crockpot (I don’t care for them that way as they get too soft) nor are they covered and cooked for 50 hours at 10 degrees (same reason). They are cooked at a reasonable temp for a fairly small amount of hours compared to many recipes and they turn out tender as can be, yet still slightly crispy. Best way next to grilling. Trust me.

Sticky Zesty Thai Seasoned Glazed Spareribs

  • 1 5 lb (approximate) rack of spareribs
  • Spice rub-
  • 4 tablespoons Spice Hunter Thai Seasoning Blend
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely crushed anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (preferably a low sodium version)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • Sauce-
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (this is more just for a touch of flavor & to have a base to start from)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (again; preferably low sodium)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (amount optional but at least use SOME or I’ll cry)
  • 1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce (use your favorite brand)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons plum sauce
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • zest and juice of one orange
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with heavy duty foil….more than once. Again; trust me. Nothing worse than trying to clean a pan with stuck on sauce of any kind.
  2. Lay the ribs down flat in the pan. In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over the ribs. Rub them in well into the surface of the meat. Let stand for at least 15 to 30 minutes.ย  (unless it is unbearably hot in your house. Refrigerate them if so).
  3. Bake at 350 for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until a fork/knife/spork/large sword/stuck into the meat shows that they are tender but not quite done. You should be able to pull on the meat and it come apart but you don’t want it falling off of the bones. This isn’t a pot roast.
  4. While they are baking, in a large pot, combine all of your sauce ingredients except for the orange zest and lime zest. Zests have better flavor if added at the end of cooking in a food like this.
  5. Bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add in the zest and stir. Turn off the heat and set aside. Reserve some of the glaze (about a cup) to use as dipping sauce later.
  6. When ribs are tender, glaze with the sauce. Turn heat down to 325 degrees. Cook for 15 minutes, then glaze again. Do this two more times for a total of 4 times glazing and another hour cooking.
  7. Take the ribs out and let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with the reserved glaze.
  8. Make sure you have lots of napkins


This Little Piggie Went To Market


Sesame Ginger Garlic Pork Loin Chops (Ignore that toddler finger in the photo lol)

This little piggie went into my tummy.

When I was a kid, my imagination was just as active as it is now. And no, my parents never put me into much needed therapy hehe. But when I would hear that old rhyme, I always imagined piggies, dressed in cute knee length dresses, pushing a shopping cart through Jewel with little piggie kids being freely allowed to throw packs of Twinkies and ice cream into the cart. Because piggie parents are cool like that. I also always felt sorry for the little pig that stayed home. WHY did he stay home? Was he in trouble? Too busy reading Charlottes Web? Eating roast beef? As to that, do pigs eat roast beef? My mind would envision him with plate, napkin around the neck and snout buried deep into his food.

Yes. I was a strange strange child. Continue reading

Oink. Oink I say. Oink.

Spicy Sweet Southwestern Pork Chops

I have mentioned before that we love pork in our household. I’ve mentioned it more than once actually. because…well… we love pork. Or at least, I love pork and my family is forced to follow along in my cloven footprints because of it. I have posted quite a few porky recipes in here (especially when one considers that I am primarily a baking blog… pork cookies anyone? A nice baked pork and rice pudding perchance?) with one of my personal favorites being My ode to Anthony Bourdain . I’m still waiting for him to leave his wife and come find me and take us all (my husband and kids have to come too…) away to live in fatty pork sin.

Last night I was talking to my brother about my and Russ’s future plans for our land here. We hope to someday have animals, including raising a pig or two a year. The problem would arise at slaughter time. After I got the pig out of our bed where it would be ensconced watching old Porky Pig cartoons, took back the TV remote and box of Twinkies from it, I would be lost. I’d be sitting there with my knife…ax…machete…spoon (hell, I don’t know what I’d use to kill a poor innocent piggy!) bawling hysterically, asking the pig to please do me a favor and just fall on the knife…spork…spoon…ax… and make it easier. Truthfully though, when we get to the point of slaughter, we’d have to send them out to someone because unless it was a case of the poop hitting the fan world wide, and we HAD to do it, neither my husband nor I are the slaughtering types. Continue reading

Chili Today Hot Tamale

Lamb Chili. It's not baaaaaaddddd (hehe. I slay me)

C’mon, you know that old joke. You MUST know that old joke. You’re five years old (well, not now but think back that far which for some of you wasn’t long ago and for others (like me) was so far back that you recall riding on the backs of dinosaurs) and you go up to someone and ask them what the weather is like. They say “I don’t know; what’s the weather like?” You then reply, with all the wit your five year old sense of humor can muster, “It’s chili today and hot tamale!!!”. You then proceed to roll on the floor laughing so hard that you wet yourself and get put in the corner for an hour. Ok, so maybe that last part was just me. But it was funny darn it!!! Funny I say!!! Totally pee worthy.

Moving on ๐Ÿ˜› I know some of you (though very few at this point) are still enjoying cool, if not actually cold, weather. And even if you’re not, if you’re anything like me, you agree with the idea that you do NOT have to save chili for Fall and Winter. I said that same thing when I put together
This Chili Recipe Here which is actually my all time favorite non beef chili. Go ahead; check it out. I’ll be here when you get back.

You back now? Didn’t that one look yummy?! It is; trust me. But the one I’m posting now could easily vie with it for first place on favorite non beef chili. This uses lamb, which I love enough that when I saw this recipe online (for the life of me, I’m not sure where I found it and the paper I have it on doesn’t have a web site listed and there are 9 gazillion variations of this so I’m not sure which I changed used.) I knew I had to try it. I’m one of those people that when I am eating a specific meat (or sweet for that matter) THAT’S my favorite. Roast chicken? Favorite. Replace it with roast duck? Favorite. Put a steak in front of me? Favorite. Lamb? Yep… favorite. You get my point. This chili is now my favorite! ๐Ÿ˜› Continue reading

Bacon Makes Any Food Better

Well, maybe not ice cream..or jello… or candy (sorry, chocolate bacon lovers) Yeah yeah, I know, there actually IS bacon ice cream and bacon candy but there are some things I just can NOT get behind. I am however still petitioning congress to make bacon, cheeses of all kinds, wine and chocolate part of the government supported food plans. For some reason whenever I call or write though, no one is ever in the office anymore. I can’t imagine why.

I’ve mentioned before that I love corn bread. I prefer it the southern way a la no or very little sugar. But I will eat it with sugar too so long as it’s not heavily sweetened. As the saying goes, if I want cake, I’ll eat cake. If I want cornbread, I’ll eat cornbread. Hold most of the sugar please.

You really have to forgo the sugar if you’re making a cornbread with add ins like this one. I added a couple of tablespoons to help with color but that’s it. This was based on Ina Gartensย  corn muffin recipe and I have to say, even had I been making it plain, I couldn’t have brought myself to add the full cup of sugar she called for. Really? A full cup!?

But this way? Say yummy with me! C’mon… say it! SAY IT DARN IT OR NO RECIPE!!

Erhmmm, sorry. I’m calm now. Continue reading

Dip Because I’m A Dip

 

 

Hard to take a decent picture of dip. I mean, it's DIP... ๐Ÿ˜›

When I was a kid, people who were ditzy were called dips or dippy. I have no idea if that was a regional thing or just that the people I knew were strange. Please don’t answer that. But suffice it to say that I fell squarely into the dippy category.

Thus the title of this post. I mean, this dip has chicken, cheese, bacon and green onions in it too but titling this “Dip for the chicken” or “dip for the bacon” just didn’t make much sense to me. I can be a bit chicken at times (like when eating liver is involved) but I am not related to pork products in any way. Hmmm, I’ve been known to be piggy. As for cheese, we all know I can be cheesy but “Dip for the cheese” just sounds stupid.

Fine, I admit it!! I couldn’t think of a good post title and this is all just a coverup to make it sound planned! It was “Dip-Gate”! A vast right wing conspiracy!! Erhmmmm, sorry, I think I was channeling Hilary Clinton. *Shudders* Now THERE’S a frightening thought.

Sigh. I really need to get out more.

Moving on.

Still have a couple of big holidays coming up. You may have heard of them. And they tend to be big eating holidays too. Not like Columbus Day… or Groundhog Day. Personally, I don’t go overboard on yummy foods for those two.

In my family, it has become a tradition to have our big meal on Christmas Eve. It has also become a tradition that the meal is mainly appetizers and finger foods. Mind you, with my kids and hubby that still means enough food to feed a small country but still… appetizers.

One of the things we all enjoy is dips. Not so much the ubiquitous kinds like cold french onion dip with chips (I save that for maybe a twice a year craving and TV) but more substantial ones. Preferably with meat. Lots of meat. Or cheese. Lots of cheese. Or even better, with both.

You’ve all probably heard of Buffalo Chicken Dip by now, even if you haven’t tried it. Hot cheesy dip that is SUPPOSED to taste like buffalo wings. Too often however, tasty as it is, it bears no resemblance to wings. With that in mind, I had no qualms keeping the same basic idea and taking it even farther down the path away from “Wingdom”. Ha!! You thought I was going to say that I had created one that tasted exactly like a scoopable buffalo wing. Admit it… you did, you did you did..

Oh heck no. As much as I love wings, I kinda like that the dips aren’t perfectly like them. But being me, as usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So try MY version of Buffalo Chicken Dip. Hot, gooey, cheesy, chickeny (yes, that is now a word) bacony (hey; spell check didn’t say anything. I guess bacony really IS a word!), oniony (damn; not a word. Stoopid spell check.) and oh so yummy with tostitos or celery (if you’re feeling strangely healthful which is a waste of time with this dip) or off of your fingers. You may want to let it cool before you try that last one though. Just sayin’. I will not be held liable for burned fingertips :-p

Newly Revised Deluxe Version Of Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2 10 ounce cans chicken, well drained
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 to 3/4 (if you’re brave) cup hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot)
  • 1 3 ounce package bacon bits (yes, you could make your own bacon but this is meant to be easy, not work)
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese (I’d put more if I could but no one else in the family likes blue cheese, the boogerheads)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, hot sauce and dressing.
  3. Stir in the chicken, breaking up any large chunks (but don’t mush the crap out of it; leave some pieces), the bacon, the green onions and 2 cups of the cheddar cheese.
  4. Spoon into a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish or 9 inch pie plate.
  5. Top with the rest of the cheddar cheese, the blue cheese (and some extra green onions if you want)
  6. Bake at 350 until lightly browned around the edges and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with veggies of tostitos or fingertips.