Thursday, June 20, 2013

Recipe #226: Wedge Salad with Grilled Grape Tomatoes and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Another grill recipe!  Only the tomatoes are grilled for this one, but it does make a huge difference.  I followed the recipe except for adding extra of some of the ingredients (noted).  Of COURSE bacon makes it even better!  Recipe credit to


1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled (I used a little more more)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint grape tomatoes (I used a whole pint)
2 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled (I used four strips)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion


Heat a grill or grill pan and place the lettuce wedges on a platter.

Prepare the vinaigrette by briskly whisking together the Dijon, vinegar, and garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to create an emulsion. Add the sugar and blue cheese, and whisk gently to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly oil the tomato slices, and season with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred on the outside and then transfer to the platter with the lettuce wedges. Pour the vinaigrette over the lettuce and tomato and top with bacon and red onion.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recipe #225: BBQ Ribs

I love my grill.  I grill nearly every day that the weather will allow.  Beef, pork, chicken, fish, lamb, veggies, fruits.......somehow up to this point I hadn't tried ribs yet, and on a whim and without a chosen recipe, I bought some at the store.  I hunted down this awesome recipe on the always-awesome, which I chose for its rave reviews.  I was delighted that I already had all of the other ingredients except an onion.  I knew that it being a 2-day process, these would turn out great since all of my recipes that take a long time are definitely worth the wait.  I wouldn't change anything about this recipe unless you want it to be more spicy- then I'd add some hot pepper spice to it.  The sauce already has a little bit of a kick but it's also sweet.  I had to wash my face after- there's no elegant way to eat ribs!

4 pounds baby back pork ribs (I used about 3lbs)
4 cloves garlic, sliced (my changes are in the directions)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I had light brown)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove crushed garlic (my changes in the directions)
1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Place ribs on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Scatter 4 cloves of sliced garlic over ribs. Cover, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Cool slightly.  (Instead of garlic, I used black pepper and garlic powder)

In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and ground cumin. Rub spices over cooled ribs. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In a small saucepan, mix together brown sugar, cider vinegar, ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, onion, dry mustard, and 1 clove garlic. Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour. Reserve a small amount for basting; the remainder is a dipping sauce. (I used minced garlic, seen in the below pic as yellow pieces, instead of the clove)

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Place ribs on grill. Grill, covered, for about 12 minutes, basting with the reserved sauce, until nicely browned and glazed. Serve with remaining sauce for dipping.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Recipe #224: Gazpacho Soup

I was scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed the other day and stopped dead in my scrolly-tracks when I saw this recipe posted by Bizarre Foods, the TV show hosted by Andrew Zimmern.  The picture was gorgeous and it reminded me of the day we tried gazpacho soup in Spanish class in highschool, and I had loved it then, long before I learned to cook.  This involves NO cooking though, just chopping and blending- you can't go wrong!  It makes a LOT (more than half of a very large pot) and is so fresh tasting.  The only changes I made were to leave the skins ON the cucumbers and tomatoes for more nutrition....and also because I was being lazy.  I added some hot sauce to mine too once I started eating it for a little kick.


  • 7 medium tomatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and seeded
  • 2 cucumbers (about 1 pound)—peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • One 46-ounce jar tomato juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped yellow bell pepper and snipped chives, for garnish


In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the cucumbers, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, chopped parsley, fresh basil, dried basil, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco.
In a blender, puree the mixture in batches until nearly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomato juice and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the gazpacho for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Season the soup again if necessary and transfer to bowls. Garnish with yellow bell pepper, chives and parsley leaves and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The gazpacho can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.