Ribs, Burgers, and Sunshine


The sun is shining and it is sure a GORGEOUS day in Colorado! Some of my  Minnesotan friends make fun of me, but there is really nothing like the living in the state with 300 days of sunshine. With all of that sunshine, it means lots and lots of grilling! My absolute favorite. Primarily because you get a smokey delicious tasty, with a crispy texture. Makes the simplest foods and recipes, even better.

Half of our summer is spent grilling, the other half is spent either eating cold leftovers or peanut butter banana rice cake sandwiches because we are too busy to sit down and enjoy a proper meal (anyone else?!). This post I am going to highlight two of my favorite grilling recipes that are perfect for your next BBQ!

Sticky Balsamic Ribs with Coleslaw & Grilled Corn

8 large cloves garlic
4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 cup water plus 2 cups hot water

Day 1
1.Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt.
2.Stir together with rosemary, brown sugar, vinegar, cayenne, remaining tablespoon salt, and pepper. Rub evenly all over ribs and transfer to roasting pans, meaty side up.
3.Marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours. Alternatively, marinate in a zippered bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap.

Day 2
1.Preheat oven to 425°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
2. Pour 1/2 cup water into each roasting pan and tightly cover pans with foil. Roast ribs, switching position of pans halfway through, until meat is very tender, about 1 3/4 hours. 3.Remove pans from oven and transfer ribs to a platter. Add 1 cup hot water to each roasting pan and scrape up brown bits. Skim off and discard fat, then transfer liquid to a 10-inch skillet. 4.Add vinegar and brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil until thick and syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes. 

5. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas). Brush some of glaze onto both sides of racks of ribs. Grill, turning occasionally, until ribs are hot and grill marks appear, about 6 minutes. Brush ribs with more glaze and serve remaining glaze on the side

*Adopted from Food52's book- Genius Recipes 

3 cups chopped cabbage
1 carrot, peeled into slivers (I tend to use a veggie peeler)
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
A  few green onions if you are feeling adventurous!
1/2 cup mayo (or if you want to make this a healthy option, which I usually do, I do half greek yogurt, half mayo)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of Koshar Salt
Freshly ground pepper to your liking!

1. Combine all veggies in a large mixing bowl
2. In a smaller box, mix yogurt and mayo, add vinegar, sugar, and salt and mix until smooth
3. Top cabbage mixture with dressing, add the pepper

"Grilled Corn"
Secret.... this is the EASIEST way to make "grilled" corn. You can 1. take frozen corn put it on some foil and just grill it (add salt and pepper, obviously!) Or... if you just want a quick mindless way to do it, turn your broiler on high, and broiled the frozen corn for 8-10 minutes. Easy and delicious!

Burgers with Lemon Potato Salad and Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Cinnamon 

Burgers with Lemon Sauce
1 lb of  ground beef (fat is your friend in burgers)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup panko
1 egg, mixed
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-4 ounces bacon, finely diced
2 bunches parsley, minced
Slices of Gouda cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth, do not overmix! This will result in dry burgers, no bueno
2. Make meat into patties (about 6oz)
3. Fire up that grill, and grill to your liking. My preference is a solid medium. While grilling, add the cheese.

Add a pretzel bun for good measure and top with your favorite mustard, mayo, or lemon sauce (see below)! (Not a fan of ketchup around these parts).

1 egg yolk
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mayo
Garlic clove, minced
1/2 lemon juiced

I placed all ingredients into a magic bullet and blended until smooth. If it gets too thick, just add a little water!

Lemon Potato Salad 
8-10 small red potatoes, cut into quarters
Scoop of mayo
Zest from 2 lemons
Juice from 2 lemons

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
Few drizzles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Boil potatoes until soft
2. In a small bowl, mix mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and garlic powder
3. Allow potatoes to slightly cool, once cool place potatoes in a large mixing bowl, drizzle Olive Oil onto potatoes until slightly covered.
4. Add mayo-lemon mixture
5. Taste, assess if additional lemon, salt, or pepper is needed. If it is too creamy, add a little more Olive Oil

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Cinnamon 
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Add all ingredients in bowl and mix until evenly coated
3. Place sprouts on a lined tray and bake for 30 minutes

Enjoy friends!

Brunch time


Hello hello my friends. Did everyone have a good Easter (I know now its nearly 3 weeks ago, oops)?  Ours was quite delightful, if you follow along on social media, you know that I hosted my first ever Easter brunch, and I was VERY excited about it. For me, hosting a holiday was always one of those monumental things on to qualify you as an official adult. In our old space in Minneapolis, hosting was nearly impossible. We had a tiny, tiny place that would host 4 comfortable in the kitchen, max 6, and the floor plan was so boxy and compartmentalized that it felt crowded ALLL THE TIME. Now, our new place in CO isnt necessarily that much larger, but it has a much more open floor plan making hosting much more doable. With that, I decided go full speed ahead and host a little brunch with my sister/brother in law and our new Colorado friends.

Fruit and Veggie Tray
Cheese Platter
Strawberry –Feta Salad (courtesy to my sister)
Cauliflower – Sausage Frittata
Roasted Carrots with Carrot Pesto (my favorite dish)
Asparagus with Lemon and Parm
Whiskey Glazed Ham
Bacon (duhgotta get that flava flave in)
Berry Scones
Southern Biscuitsserved with Whipped HoneyApricot Jam or Pepper Jelly
Carrot Cake

The menu was on my mind for weeksdo I stick with lemony springtime flavors or do I utilize that last bit of winter producedo I go the traditional brunch route or do I do something completely random and funI ended up going with a funtraditional springy menu with a few minor twists

I broke up the food preparing, which was probably one of the BEST things I did. 

 Mainly because, I had a few blips in the road ( of course, it can't be perfect, am I right?!)  and the blips may have included a smoke alarm (something, VERY, common in my kitchen, dreaming of homeownership one day and having one epic hood) 

Breaking apart the grunt work over two days was amazing and made for one, stress free morning and resulted in most of the food being ready at the same time (half of entertaining for me is trying to get all of the food to be done at the same time)!

Lemon- Parm Asparagus
1 pound asparagus
½ cup grated parm
Zest and juice of lemon
1 tbsp of butter

1.     Cut ends of asparagus to remove the bitterness, then cut in half
2.      Fill pot with a few inches of water, place asparagus in a steaming basket, steam for 5-10 minutes or until tender
3.     Do not over cook, which results in vegetable turning pale and having a soggy flavor
**would also be very good with a hollandaise sauce (goal for next year)

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Pesto

¼ cup pine nuts
1½ pound small carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise if larger
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes; let cool.
  2. Increase temperature to 450°. Toss carrots with 1 Tbsp. oil on another rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Roast, tossing occasionally, until softened and browned, 15–20 minutes; let cool slightly.
  4. Pulse pine nuts, garlic, and remaining oil in a food processor to a coarse paste. Add Aleppo pepper, one-fourth of carrots, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. water. Process, adding more water as needed, to a coarse purée; season with salt, black pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.

Cauliflower- Sausage Frittata

8 large eggs
½ cup milk
A good pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ cup grated parm cheese
½ onion, (I used white, would always recommend yellow) diced
8 oz Sausage (I would go with one that is a little spicy, so Italian)
2 cups (or so) of cooked cauliflower ( can easily replace with vegetable of choice)
Olive oil

1.   Preheat oven to 350
2.     Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Do not over mix, over mixing will result in a frittata that is flat. Add in cheese
3.     In a 10 inch oven proof skillet, grease with olive oil (or butter if you would like!) and cook onions on medium until they are translucent (about 5-7 minutes)
4.     Add sausage and cook until browned
5.     Add cooked cauliflower
6.     Pour in egg mixture and cook on stove top until edges are firm (5 minutes)
7.     Once edges are firm, bake in oven for 14-20 minutes

**note: can be substituted for any vegetable
*** to save time, precook the sausage so you can just add it in for an easy morning dish, meat can also be replaced with cooked ham or bacon

Martha Stewart Berry Scones

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy cream
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup of your berry or fruit of choice
Sanding sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together 3/4 cup cream and egg. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Stir in berries. With a fork, stir in cream mixture until just combined. (The dough should be crumbly; do not overwork.)
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 6-inch circle. Cut into 6 wedges and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until golden, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

**I did not cook with white chocolate chips this time and slightly regret it. The scones were delicious, not too sweet, but think if there was chocolate or a nut of some sort the texture would have been better

***Also just a side note to laugh about. When preparing the batter for the scones, I decided to double the recipe. I had gathered all of the ingredients, and had just about finished when I realized I major uh-oh, I had used bread flour instead of the normal all purpose flour, oops! I didnt want to waste the batch so I proceeded and made the second batch with normal, all-purpose flour and decided I could compare the different afterward. The result? The scones with all purpose flours had a better texture and improved flavor. The guest did not notice the difference between the two scones but I noticed the scones with the bread flour rose higher, and were much more dense (and basically more bread like).

Whiskey Glazed Honey Ham (cooked in the crock pot)

1 ½ cups of any cheap whisky (you can use the good stuff, but I wouldnt waste it!)
¾ cup Honey
¼ cup Molasses
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
A good grind of pepper
4-5 pound ham

1.     Whisk all ingredients together until smooth
2.     Place ham into crockpot
3.     Pour glaze over ham
4.     Cook on low for 3-4 hours until internal temp of the ham has reached 145 degrees.

This was one of my MAJOR time savors I utilized. Im telling you, its genius. Plop that ham right in the crock up, glaze it, and let it cook baby! Just make sure you turn it from time to time ( I turned once an hour). The result was a juicy, perfectly cooked ham that toke no space in the oven. Basically, its fool proof and was the perfect way to cook my first full ham.

Hope you can enjoy these recipes on any spring holiday, not just Easter. Think, graduation brunch…. Showers, birthdays….Also, will be working on the photo game to get it tip top shape! 


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