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Category — Holiday

the other entrée

I served these chicken breasts along with the pop-pop-popular Baby Back Ribs at my Memorial Day BBQ. People raved about the ribs but must have enjoyed these too, since they were all gone at the end of the evening.

I also made a couple of Harmony Boards, one fruit and one crudités.

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May 31, 2018   2 Comments

Linda’s ribs

These ribs were the hit of my Memorial Day BBQ. Today, I had planned on posting another recipe from Connor’s birthday dinner, but several of the guests asked that I post this recipe first and I love nothing more than pleasing my friends and family. <3

There is only about 15 minutes of hands-on prep time and another 15 or 20 minutes of grilling time, the rest of recipe  is hands-off time in the oven. See, easy!

You can use your favorite barbecue seasoning rub, or use my favorite Food Network rub. I’ve been using it for nearly 10 years. The recipe for that rub is included.

I used purchased BBQ sauce, but of course, if you have a favorite recipe, use that!

Linda’s Easy and Delicious Baby Back Ribs

  • 5 to 6 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 3/4 cup barbecue seasoning rub *recipe below
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two large baking sheets with heavy-duty foil.

Lay ribs out on the baking sheets. Season all over with the rub, using all 3/4 cup. Cover baking sheets tightly with heavy-duty foil.

Roast in oven for 1 hour.

Gently remove top foil and brush ribs with half of the barbecue sauce. Carefully and tightly re-cover with the foil and return to the oven for 30 minutes, ribs will be very tender.

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill ribs, brushing with sauce and turning several times, until slightly charred and glazed, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Transfer ribs to a cutting board. Cut into one or two rib portions and serve.

Serves a crowd

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May 30, 2018   No Comments

mini Le Creuset … and grits

This is the last of my Easter brunch recipes. The real reason I made these was so that I could use the adorable green mini Le Creuset Petite Cocotte (little Dutch ovens) that my kids gave me for Christmas several years ago. The green was the perfect pop of color for my Easter table.

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April 12, 2018   2 Comments

got to have bacon!

Even when the centerpiece of your Easter brunch is a spiral-cut ham – that does not mean you can’t throw in a little bacon too!

The original Southern Living recipe called for a cast-iron skillet. Since my cast-iron skillet was in a storage cupboard in the garage that was blocked by a bunch of boxes and folding chairs, I used a large heavy skillet instead.

I’ve mentioned this tip before, but it’s worth repeating. If you have a pot or pan that needs to go in the oven that does not have an oven-safe handle, or even if you’re not quite sure if it is oven-safe or not. You can still use that pan. Just double wrap the handle in heavy-duty foil (or wrap 4 times with standard foil) and just like magic, you have an oven-safe pan.

Hash Brown-Asparagus-Bacon Quiché

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash browns (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Fresh minced chives, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or another oven-safe heavy skillet over medium until browned and almost crisp, but still tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve drippings in skillet, and let cool slightly.

Add asparagus to skillet, and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until lightly browned and just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a medium bowl.

Add hash browns, bacon, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper to hot drippings in skillet over medium-high; stir to combine.

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April 10, 2018   1 Comment

Easter brunch (or any brunch) cocktail

This was our Easter cocktail. For the non-drinkers, I made up a batch of the citrus mix, sans the brandy, and added flavored La Croix sparkling water instead of Prosecco.

The lemonade ice cubes make the drink so festive. Since I have this long ice-cube tray to work with, I served the cocktail in champagne glasses. If I was using a standard tray, I’d have used wine glasses instead.

Sparkling Citrus Brunch Cocktail

Ice Cubes

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 cups prepared lemonade

Cocktail

  • 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco, chilled
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) brandy
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Citrus slices for garnish

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April 9, 2018   2 Comments

two butters, a mayo and a spread

It sounds like the start of a joke. “Two butters, a mayo and a spread walk into a bar…”

But this is no joke, these are what I served with my biscuits and ham at our Easter brunch. My entire Easter menu was inspired by the Easter menu featured in this year’s Southern Living Magazine.  Although, I made several changes in recipes and menu choices to fit my taste. For instance, their menu featured a Creole Mayo, I am a fan of Sriracha Mayo, so that is what I made. More Easter brunch recipes will follow in the coming days, for today, let’s look at these four.

I took a poll at brunch and asked for everyone’s favorites. The radish-chive butter won hands down. The second favorite was the other butter, made with orange marmalade and apricot preserves. The final two were tied for third. All four make for a perfect ham and biscuit sandwich.

Radish and Chive Butter

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped radishes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

Beat salted butter and salt with an electric mixer on high-speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Gently stir in finely chopped radishes and chopped fresh chives. Scrape compound butter into a serving bowl, sprinkle with more chives. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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April 3, 2018   1 Comment

Easter-themed April Fool’s pranks

You have a week to pull off these two pranks. It only took me about 15 minutes to “make” my fruit and vegetable Easter chocolates. I can’t wait to see the reactions!

I went to Target to shop for the foil-covered chocolate eggs. After carefully examining what was available, I decided on the Nestle Crunch Nest Eggs over the traditional Hershey’s Eggs because they were slightly larger. You see, you’ll be swapping out the chocolate eggs for grapes, so a similar size is a necessity. The Nestle Butterfinger Nest Eggs where the perfect size too, but the foil isn’t as pretty or “Eastery”  – yes that’s a word!

April Fool’s Fruit and Vegetable Easter Chocolates

  • Nestle Crunch Nest Eggs
  • grapes
  • Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
  • Brussels sprouts
  • a bit of patience

Very carefully and slowly loosen the foil on a Crunch Chocolate Egg. On the first one I attempted, I made the mistake of completely opening up the foil. Don’t do that! It is too hard to fold it back together nicely.

Instead open the foil just enough to remove the chocolate egg.

When choosing your grape, go a little smaller, rather than larger or the exact same size. I used the grape on the left.

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March 25, 2018   6 Comments

2 for the price of 1

This year we get two holidays for the price of one on April 1st.

I suppose April Fool’s Day isn’t a true holiday, especially when compared to the importance and holiness of Easter, but I’m going to give you cute ways to celebrate both anyhow.

Today a fun and messy, yet clean, way to color Easter eggs and tomorrow a couple of fun Easter-themed April Fool’s jokes to play on family and friends.

Shaving Cream-Dyed Easter Eggs

  • Hard cooked eggs
  • White vinegar
  • White shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Lot of paper towels

Place the eggs in a bowl and pour in enough white vinegar to cover. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes and then remove eggs from vinegar and set aside. Soaking the cooked eggs in vinegar before dying gives you more vibrant colors. The vinegar may then be poured back into the bottle and used again, no reason to waste it.

Spray the shaving cream into a cake pan or onto a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Use a spoon or spatula to press down the shaking cream to make it smooth and dense.

Add 4 or 5 drops of two different colors of food coloring, of your choice, to a small area of the pan.

Then run the tip of a paring knife or a toothpick through the two colors to “marble” the colors together.

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March 24, 2018   No Comments

caprese flag

Everyone loves caprese salad, or at least everyone I know love it!

There are many variations of Insalata Caprese, but the classic Italian salad consists of layers of ripe tomato slices, sliced mozzarella and basil leaves that are seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It is made to represent the colors of the Italian flag.

I have made it as an hors d’oeuvre before, but this time I assembled it to resemble our American flag for a 4th of July appetizer. I wish I could take credit for coming up with the easy idea on my own, instead I saw a video on the Food Network Instagram page on the morning of the 4th. I immediately jumped in my car and headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up the ingredients. This was too clever and yummy to NOT make!

 

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July 11, 2017   1 Comment

Patriotic Kabobs

Independence Day has come and gone, but there are plenty more patriot holidays between now and July 4, 2018. Labor Day is only eight weeks from today. Columbus Day is a month after that and before you know it, Veterans Day is upon us! The point is, don’t wait a year to make these fun and easy dessert kabobs.

I whipped a few of these up for the grilling tips segment I did last week and then made them again the next day for a 4th of July party I was invited to. Technically, I may have invited myself. But I tried to make the hosts feel it was worth it by bringing these kabobs along with an awesome flag appetizer, the recipe for which I will post tomorrow.

When I made the kabobs for television, I used pound cake. I quickly discovered that pound cake is not the best choice. Angel food cake works better, so that is what I used on the 4th. The pound cake is too dense and has a tendency to break apart when skewered. The angel food cake is light and fluffy and stays in place. Large marshmallows would be a great choice too.

I’m not providing you with any quantities here. I made as many as I could until I ran out of one of the ingredients. The first thing I ran out of was strawberries, then I was done.

After making four or five, it was getting tedious, so I decided to make three at once. I held three skewers in my left hand and added the ingredients with my right. I was done in no time.

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July 10, 2017   2 Comments