Wednesday, August 8, 2012

She Will Come Back With A Vengeance!

Whew!  It has been a LONG time since I have blogged (3 months on Friday)!  To be fair, it has been a little crazy in my household as we got used to having 2 little girls under 2 and I went back to work mid-June.  Now that we have put together some semblance of a schedule, I feel like I can pick up the blogging once again.  Luckily, we have been trying out LOTS of recipes and I have tried to remember to take as many pictures of the process as possible.  Below are two tried and true recipes that we truly enjoy and continue to make in our house.  Enjoy!

Breakfast Loaf
Degree of Difficulty: 3-4
Mess Factor: 3
Taste: 8
I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest, but ultimately this became my own recipe based on tools I had on hand and the ingredients my family enjoys.  It's pretty easy and pretty quick to make.  The hardest part and the reason I wavered on my difficulty score comes into play when trying to roll up the loaf with the filling.  I tend to make too much filling, so when I roll up the loaf and try to flip it over to put the seam on the bottom it's a mess.  After my first attempt, I have just left the seam on the top which usually means it opens up.  I don't really mind, but you can see both options below and make the recipe whichever way works for you!

The original recipe recommended one pound of Jimmy Dean sage sausage and cheddar cheese.  We always have mozzarella cheese on hand, so I decided to go with a more Italian flair and use ground Italian sausace.
 After browning the sausage, I mix it in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs and a cup or so of cheese.  I really just eyeball the cheese depending on how I am feeling (I'm usually feeling cheesy)!
 Once all of the filling is mixed together, it's time to stretch out your french dough.  I buy the Pillsbury french loaf, split it down the middle (not all the way) and stretch!  The more you can stretch it, the more filling you can fit.  Careful as it can tear and getting the tears back together is not easy. 
 Fill the stretched out dough, then attempt to pinch the ends all together.
The ease of the next part is up to you.  If you want to leave it as is, place it in a 350 degree oven for 16-20 minutes, and the seam will probably open, leaving you with something simliar to the picture below.

It is still incredibly tasty and it's not the most hideous breakfast available, so this is the option we prefer.  The first time I made this, my dad helped me flip over the loaf so the seam was on the bottom.  He then got a little creative with some fruit and made a snake to entertain the girls!

Easiest Ribs Ever
Degree of Difficulty: 1
Mess Factor: 3
Taste: 9
This recipe is actually from my aunt and uncle.  They make the best ribs and I am lucky enough to enjoy them when we have large family gatherings at their place.  These ribs literally fall off the bone and their taste is entirely derived from the spice rub you choose.  Experiment until you find a rub that works for you.  If there is any leftover ribs, take the meat off the bones and use for pulled pork sandwiches later in the week!

There are 3 ingredients for this recipe: ribs, apple juice/grape juice/apple cider, and spice rub.
Liberally apply your spice rub on both sides of the ribs and place in a large baking dish.  I used a disposable pan because we were bringing these to a friend's house and I thought it would be easier for clean-up.  ONce your ribs have been covered in the rub, pour apple juice, grape juice, or apple cider (hard cider in our case) into the baking dish until it comes up about 1/2 an inch. 

Cover the baking dish with tin foil and place in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours.  You can do this just as easily on the grill.  Use low heat and cook for at least 3 hours.  The longer these cook, the more tender the ribs will be!
I am sorry I don't have a picture right after these came out of the oven but we were in a hurry (when aren't we in a hurry?) and I forgot!  Here is a pic of what we had leftover at the end of the night.  We have made these with several different spice rubs and continue to experiment.  Our grocery store, Schucks, has the Weber Grill spice rubs on sale all the time and I usually pick up whatever flavors look exciting that week. 

I am have plenty more recipes and pics, so hopefully I should get up at least one more blog post this week and at least 2 next week.  Plus, I finished the headboard in our master bedroom and we are in the process of painting our kitchen cabinets.  Wait until you see the transformation!  Glad to be back!


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