BBQ Ribs

I have NEVER made ribs, but I do love to eat them. I’ve never attempted to make my own barbecue sauce, well because when you see entire Food Network specials dedicated to something, you automatically assume that it has to be one of the hardest things to make from scratch. Not the case. In fact. I decided to just wing it and see what would happen. No recipes, just hope. (ha!)

First I marinated my pork ribs overnight in sea salt, black pepper, 1tsp of EVOO and about a tbsp of garlic & herb seasoning that I picked up at TJ Maxx oddly enough.

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Then I added a little bit of canola oil to a hot pan and seared each rib for 2mins on both sides. I then placed them to the side in a foil covered oven safe dish while i moved on to my BBQ sauce.

Side Note: I am so very proud of this sauce! It turned out way better than I could have possibly hoped.

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Easy Peasy BBQ Sauce (too corny? whateva. I’m not Rachael Ray)

1cp Tomato Sauce

1/2cp Ketchup

1 Yellow onion

S & P

1/4cp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2cp Packed light brown sugar

1tsp Chili powder

1tbsp Garlic & Herb seasoning (to carry the flavor out from the ribs but feel free to use whatever you want)

1tsp EVOO

1tbsp Apple cider vinegar

Add EVOO to hot pot, add diced yellow onion and allow to sweat for about 3mins.

Add all other ingredients and allow to simmer on low heat for about 10-15mins.

Pour half of the mixture over ribs.

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Bake ribs at 350* until internal temp reaches 160*- this took me about 2hrs, I made mine in my brand new ridiculously large toaster oven that i’m in love with.

After 2hrs I poured the rest of the mixture over the ribs and left it in the oven for another 20-25mins.

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Served with oven roasted potatoes (evoo, garlic & herb seasoning, sea salt and pepper) and steamed broccoli. It was gooooood. Like REALLY REALLY goooood. If you try the sauce definitely let me know!

Catch me on twitter @NotSoSuite.

Easy Peasy BBQ Sauce on Foodista

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Summertime Carbonara

When I think of summer dinners, I think of light and refreshing meals, nothing too heavy. Pasta has a bad reputation for being a heavy, greasy, food-baby causing carb but I for one, love it and as with anything else it’s all about the preparation (and the portion, of course). I’ve been curious about making carbonara ever since I saw it on the Food Network. I actually completely forgot about it until I read the June issue of Clean Eating Magazine and I came across their recipe for Summertime Carbonara.

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Question: How are you suppose to mix the egg with the pasta without completely scrambling said egg? I got this

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See? That would be scrambled eggs people. But in the end it turned out well.

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I loved the radishes, it added a nice little crunch. The dish wasn’t heavy at all and yielded a generous portion (2cups per serving). I would definitely make this again but I still want to make REAL CARBONARA. Bring on the FOOD BABY!

Follow me on Twitter! I promise I don’t bite. ———>

Brown Sugar Chicken

I promise that I’m not stalking Jenna. Actually, this isn’t the first time I made her 30 minute lemon brown sugar chicken and it was just as perfect as I remember. It’s like the perfect mixture of sweet and tart. I never would have thought to put brown sugar on chicken breast, which is funny really because I pretty much put brown sugar on everything else. I paired it with cheesy spaghetti, clearly I’m obsessed, and mixed veggies. NOTHING can out shine the chicken! Make it and then send Jenna a gift.

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I am a messy cook. Do you see that counter? (i got flour INSIDE the dishwasher. Que?)

I’m also pretty sure this chicken was on steroids. Do you see the size of that ONE chicken breast?!

This chicken is awesome. That is all

Sunday Dinner

For as long as I can remember, sunday dinner has always been a BIG DEAL. Something about getting the family together after church and laying everything out on the table always made it the highlight of the week. When I was younger, we almost always had dinner at my Aunt Kat’s house. She loves to cook and her home just has this welcoming feel, as soon as you walk in you’re greeted with hugs and kisses. When I grow up (23 clearly does not count), I want my house to be “The House”. The place where the family comes to gather, where people can literally feel the love, and where they know they can get a great meal. Since then, my family has moved all over the place, Aunt Kat now lives in the south and my cousins can literally form a bridge from Trinidad to California. Last night, I made my own sunday dinner. It was small and no where near as elaborate as Aunt Kat’s, but I’m sure she would be proud solely based on the fact that I didn’t burn the house down.

Garlic Rosemary Pork chops with Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

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Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops

Marinate Pork Chops overnight using any marinade you like. I used S&P, fresh garlic, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and 1tbsp of

Pat pork chops dry using a paper towel.

Dip pork chops in flour- shake off excess flour, you only want a light coating.

1tbsp of Canola Oil into frying pan- Brown pork chop on both sides remove chops and place on baking sheet

Add 1/2cp of chicken broth into the pan scraping up all of the brown bits (that’s good stuff), add 1 heaping tbsp of chopped garlic and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (preferably from your grandma’s herb garden. Thanx Gram!)

Sprinkle in a pinch of flour and whisk. Allow to simmer for about a minute to thicken up then pour over pork chops before placing into oven uncovered.

Bake for 20-30mins at 375

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

Cut squash in half length wise (or quarters) and place in a roasting pan (or in my case a lasagna dish) fill 1/4 of the way with water. Toss in the oven for 45mins at 375

Once the squash is out use a fork to scrape the “spaghetti” into a large bowl

1tbsp butter, s&p, 1/2cp of fresh parmesan cheese- MIX

Voila! Cheesy Spaghetti Squash!

Things I Learned:

Oil will forever burn the hell out of me.

Spaghetti Squash does not taste anything like my favorite carb but, it is in fact, delicious in its own right.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to cut a spaghetti squash in half length wise without losing a finger. So I cut it into to quarters and I still have 10 fingers.

Next time I want to use a leaner cut of pork. This bad boy was FAT.

The more I cook, the pickier I am about my ingredients. ($8/lb?! It’s okay. I’ll take it!)

A camera can, in fact, eat pictures. The pic above is all that survived.

Spaghetti Squash

Creole Chicken & Okra

I’m not sure what my current obsession with Clean Eating magazine is, but I like it. Sadly I’ve been getting Clean Eating for a few months now, and though month after month I flip through the pages excitedly I rarely make anything. Confession, the first time I tried okra I HATED it. It was weird. It was slimy. It was slippery. I could only get down half a piece before giving up. Maybe I had bad okra? Either way this recipe completely changed my perception. Okra is, in fact, delicious. I have been making a conscious effort to stay away from processed food and Clean Eating is making it surprisingly easy.

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I pretty much followed the recipe step by step, so unfortunately I can’t post it. But I promise that it was delicious.

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You can never have too much hot sauce. Ever. Hot sauce is a gift from the heavens. True story.

More clean eating recipes here and here.

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

I love Thai food, almost as much as I love Indian food (Indian will always be my first love). When I came across this recipe for Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp, my heart fluttered a little. This may sound silly, but most of the time when I fall in love with a dish, I automatically assume that there is some complicated science behind it. Not so. This dish came together so easily and took less than 30mins! Cooking the brown rice was the longest part. I do have one qualm though, I will NEVER peel and devein shrimp ever again! Get it? Got it? Good. Most seafood counters have this awesome service where they peel and devein shrimp for you. Why did I not use it you ask? I thought that I should learn how to do it on my own. I will never make that mistake again. I followed these instructions on how to properly cook brown rice. Fact: Brown rice is harder to cook than white rice. I don’t care what you say.

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Scallops, Pasta, Pesto, Oh My!

Last night I learned one thing, when it comes to cooking scallops I have no idea what the eff I’m doing. Let me back track, it all started with an issue of Clean Eating magazine (April/May 2011 pg 30), where I saw a recipe for Seared Scallops over Pea Pesto Linguine. I figured cooking scallops couldn’t be much different from cooking chicken (mistake number 1). Despite the step by step guide on the VERY next page explaining exactly how to cook said scallops I did my own thing (mistake number 2). After cooking my scallops until the texture was similar to rubber erasers, I read that that you are suppose to cook scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side. So I learned a few things last night:

*Butter will, in fact, burn the HELL out of you.

*Pea pesto is delicious and I will soon make a jar to keep on hand at all times.

*You should NOT put oil in your pasta water in attempt to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot. You’ll just end up with oily pasta and the sauce will not stick to the noodles. With that said, a quick stir once or twice and large pot (probably larger than you think you need) will prevent the noodles from sticking to both the pot and clumping together.

*1/4cp of fresh lemon juice in this recipe is plenty, unless you prefer your pesto super lemony.

Note: I subbed butter for olive oil and broccoli for asparagus.

I am now determined to learn the science behind cooking perfect scallops.

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