Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs

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A common misconception that I’ve run across being a gluten free  girl is that I feast nearly on a diet that consists of  a very fussy, high maintenance almost “chick-like” fare consisting mainly of bunny food like organic lettuce, edamame, tofu and spring fed water.  Hrmpf, if only they knew.  Not only did I never seem to ditch my inner adolescent tomboy *smile*, this girl … right here…  is not afraid to eat seriously, messy, comfort food in any shape or form.

Take last night’s dinner, for example.  Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs.  Roasted in the oven in 15 minutes on each side, throw them in your crockpot for the day and ladies and gentlemen, you will have the most delicious, tender,  meat-falling-off-the-bone ribs you have ever made without the fuss.  It’s that simple.

But for those who like to look at pictures and follow recipes along (like me) … I’ll start by introducing:

The cast of characters:

ingredients

Nothing out of the unusual and totally customizable to your taste.   In our home, we are big garlic and onion powder fans, so in this picture, you see Smithfield ribs (on sale for $7.99!), garlic salt, onion powder, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.   You should also add to this list your favorite barbecue sauce.  If you are gluten free or are serving this dish to a person you love that is gluten free, please be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it does not include modified food starch.  And on that same note, as silly as this seems, check and recheck the ingredients listed on the packaging of your ribs.  Food manufacturers are actually sneaking in wheat and modified food starch in places where they definitely DON’T belong like MEAT for example.  Trust me on this one.  I know.  Nothing ruins a great meal for person with Celiacs or Crohns Disease  than being surprised with a unexpected gluten reaction.

While the oven is preheating, remove the packaging of your ribs and generously sprinkle the ribs with the spices on one side and place them on a foil lined pan for easy clean up.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip the ribs over and repeat the process.

ribs partially cooked

After both sides have been browned in the oven,  remove the ribs and let them cool just a little bit to make them easier to carve.  Cut ribs in slabs of 2 to 3 (depending on the size of your ribs) and place them in your crockpot standing up on their side.

ribs in crockpot

Standing the ribs on the side is important as it allows the grease to drain off the ribs and helps the ribs brown.  Using a pastry brush, very lightly sauce each all sides of each riblet.  I’ll warn you, this part is messy but oh-so-worth-it!  I also sprinkle on just a smidge more spices on at this point if I’m feeling naughty.

And that’s it; that’s all she wrote!  Cook on low for 8 hours you will get ribs that will make grown men cry and teenagers hug you:

finised ribs

The bad news:  They won’t want to go out for ribs ever again.  Oh the sacrifices we endure for our families 🙂

Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs 

• Any type and amount of beef or pork ribs that will fit in your slow cooker
• Salt and pepper
• Garlic powder, Onion powder, creole seasoning, seasoning salt or whatever tickles your fancy

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Remove packaging, rinse meat, and place in deep baking pan in single layer

3. Sprinkle both sides of meat with salt and pepper to season. (I prefer to season mine individually so the spices don’t cook off during the cooking process)

4. Bake meat in oven for 15 minutes, flip meat over and bake on other side for 15 minutes

5.Remove meat from oven cover all sides of meat completely with bbq sauce and place in slow cooker on side if possible

6. Cook on high in crock-pot for 6 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours

7. Serve and enjoy!

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The Pie that landed me a proposal

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This pie recipe, will always be, near and dear to my heart.  You may have seen it floating around the internet under the name Shoney’s Strawberry Pie.  But in our home,  we call it the Engagement pie or The Pie That Will Make Any Man Propose  😉

One summer’s day, not too awfully long ago, my then boyfriend (and bachelor of 20 years, I might add) turned to me and said, “Honey, You know what my Mom use to make when I was a kid that I loved?  Strawberry Pie. ”  “Really?”, I replied.  “Go on.  Tell me more like what?  A glazed pie, a cream pie, a gel pie, what…?  I’ve never really made a strawberry pie but I’ll give it a shot. What made it so special?”  He looked at me and smiled with a some what quizzical expression and said, “I think … oh heck I don’t know.  You know me.  I don’t exactly have a refined palate like you do.  My Mom is a very traditional Southern cook.  She just cooks and bakes really wholesome good food.  Oh wait!  I think she calls it Shoney’s pie or something like that.  I don’t know why I like it so much.  I think it just invokes so many good memories from  my childhood.  It always just tasted so fresh and tastes like Summer to me.”

So with this arsenal of information, I scoured the internet and poured through reviews of various Shoney’s pies and gluten free pastry pie crusts and voila!  The perfect gluten Strawberry Pie.

Three days later… on a sunset beach, he proprosed.   During the very surreal moment where a beautiful diamond was being placed on my finger, I smiled and said, “It was the pie that closed it was the deal wasn’t it.”  We both laughed.  He replied, “I’m not saying if it was or if it was or wasn’t…but is it too early to ask if we can have this on our 50th anniversary together?”

I now present to you… The Engagement Pie 🙂

To make the Pie:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoon strawberry Jell-O
  • Enough cleaned strawberries to cover the pie shell

Directions:

Blend sugar, cornstarch and water together and cook to almost pudding stage. Add Strawberry Jell-O. Place drained whole fresh strawberries into baked deep-dish 9-inch pie shell. Pour cooked mixture over berries. Chill 2 hours at least. Top with whipped cream.

To Make The Most Amazing Homemade Whipped Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:

Whip heavy whipping cream with vanilla, almond extract and powdered sugar until stiff. I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer and let it really set up to the consistency of frosting.

To Make The Gluten Free Pie Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter or margerine, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup shortening, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Combine flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Combine egg, cold water and apple cider vinegar in small bowl; beat with fork until mixed. Add egg mixture to flour blend mixture; stir just until moistened. Shape pastry into a ball; flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic food wrap; refrigerate until chilled (at least 1 hour).

Remove from refrigerator; let stand 15 minutes at room temperature. Unwrap pastry; place onto parchment paper lightly floured with gluten-free flour blend. Lightly flour pastry with gluten-free flour blend.  Roll out pastry into 12-inch circle. Transfer pastry to ungreased 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly against bottom and sides and sealing any cracks as necessary. Crimp or flute edge.

For baked unfilled pie shell, prick crust all over with fork. Bake at 475°F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Fill as desired.

Perfect pesto

I.Love.To.Cook.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  I.Love.To.Eat.Good.Food!  A lot of people would challenge me on that, given me on my most recent weight loss but again, I attribute this to Gluten Free living.   As I mentioned earlier, I have been gluten free now for nearly two years now.  Actually, come to think about, more like 18 months.  I eliminated all wheat and modified starch from my diet in January 2012.  Since that time, I have lost 22 pounds!   The crazy part about all of this is that I really did not intentionally try to lose this weight.  It just sorta happened.  While living gluten free does come with it’s challenges and limitations, it is overall a healthier way of living.  Contrary to what the media tells you  and all of the cookbooks that are now widely available, you really don’t need a bunch of expensive proprietary ingredients to live this way either.
Case in point?  Last night’s dinner 🙂  Perfect Pesto!  If you like Tilipia, love the taste of pesto, want dinner on the table within 30 minutes and have an amazing meal that rivals your local Italian restaurant then this is the meal for you!
Ingredients:
1 pound of Tilapia.
Prepared pesto.
That’s it.  No foolin’.
Grease an oven pan very thoroughly.  Fish sticks very easily to a hot pan. It’s not fun to have to scour a pan after a delicious meal.  Trust me on this one.
Cover each filet with a generous amount of pesto.  I think the original recipe I followed said 1/4 cup.  I never follow directions.  As a former teacher, I’m a real rebel that way *lol*.  I just made sure each filet was thickly covered with pesto from top to bottom.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
That’s it.  Your done.  Fin.
Result?  Amazingly tender, tilapia.  The olive oil from the pesto and the basil melts into each flake of the filet into yummy goodness.
For the pasta, I used corn based pasta linguini.  Tossed it with homemade garlic oil (olive oil I had sauteed 3 garlic cloves in) and bit of parmesan cheese.  That’s it!
Doesn’t sound or look like your typical “diet food” does it?
Enjoy!

Reflections of being gluten free 2 years later

Yes, I know… 8 months later, I’m back. I really wish I had some super cool excuse like … a new baby … or I won the lottery ! But I don’t. This thing called life just seemed to get in the way.

Since I’ve been gone for quite a while… I don’t want us to to feel awkward so I’ll give you the top 3 reasons *wink*. You ready? Here we go.

1. I finished my education requirements for Insurance Board requirements. I am now your go to girl for such exciting things like Property and Casualty insurance, Life, Health and Variable Annuities. This my friends, are what Lifetime TV movies are made from.

(Aaaand I just heard the sound of snoring as dozens of heads fell on the keyboards… Moving right along.)

2. I chased my poor sweet newlywed husband’s medical problem for 3 straight months. I wish I was kidding about this but I am not. The first quarter of the 2013 was not a very good one. I literally spent the first day of 2013 in the Emergency Room.

3. I got a full time job in the whacky world of Insurance. I had this job for 3 months before being laid off. Oh the irony of 3.

So now you are caught up.  Are we good?

Now back to the subject matter at hand.  Gluten Free.  My question for you today is… how sick are you of hearing about Gluten Free?  All the cool kids are doin’ it, ya know 😉  I’m kidding.  I find it very intriguing that it’s the hippest and latest dietary trend of this country.  Very reminiscent of this country’s obsession with the Atkin’s diet back in the early 2000s.

I have been Gluten Free by choice for nearly two year’s now.  I did not choose this lifestyle for dietary reasons.  Let me rephrase that.  I did not choose this lifestyle for weight loss reasons.  I initially chose this lifestyle to support my husband and to see if it would reduce any autoimmune symptoms that I had within 30 days.  The reduction of these systems (migraines, lethargy, chronic headaches, eczema to name a few) is what has kept me gluten free. The weight loss is just a side benefit 🙂

What has been the hardest part of being gluten free you might be wondering?  The convenience… or should I say the lack of convenience.  Gone are the days where I can just stop “anywhere” to grab a quick bite while I’m shopping, doing errands or even being on vacation.  Don’t get me wrong, there are restaurant chains that are gluten friendly but I have to literally plan my day around my meal plans.  With this being said, it’s easier to eat healthier meals at home and may be a key factor why I’ve lost the weight that  I have.

Being a Foodie and Gluten Free can be a challenge for sure … but not impossible.  More on that subject later.

Today I leave you with one of my favorite Gluten Free meals.. Fettuccine Alfredo.  Serve it over corn based noodles.  Your guests will never know the difference.  I’ve been told that my Fettuccine Alfredo is as good or better than Olive Garden and/or Carrabas.  You be the judge.

Fettuccine Alfredo

 8 oz uncooked fettuccine

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black or white pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

In large sauce pot, cook fettuccine as directed on package.
While fettuccine is cooking, in 2-quart saucepan, heat butter and whipping cream over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper.  Drain fettuccine; return to sauce pot. Pour sauce over warm fettuccine; stir until fettuccine is well coated. Sprinkle with parsley.