Fall Off the Bone Ribs

ribs

This weekend is Rib Fest. In our house we call it the most wonderful time of the year.

We only live a block away from the park where it is held so all weekend long we can hear the crowds, the bands playing and smell all the ribs cooking.

I am getting hungry just thinking about it!

As much as I love Rib Fest I can not go more then once. It is just too expensive and very crowded!

It is also insanely hot every year and I can’t tolerate the heat.

I love ribs and a good pulled pork sandwich as much as the next guy but standing in a long line in sweltering heat is not my idea of a great time.

So as an homage to Rib Fest I am making some delicious, sticky and sweet ribs at home.

These are an all day affair. Between the marinating time and the cook time its about 8 hours.

But they are so worth it!

Fall Off the Bone Ribs

2 racks of pork ribs (or beef ribs if that is what you are in to)

First you need to make your rub.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

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Before you can start rubbing your ribs you need to remove the silver skin on the underside

Insert your knife under the skin and twist up creating a hole

Grab the skin and pull from one end to the other

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Now apply the rub

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Wrap in foil for put in the fridge on a baking sheet for several hours. I have been tight on time and only done one hour and they were still delicious.

After the ribs finish in the fridge you need to slow cook them in the oven

I cook mine at 225 degrees for 3 hours

Keep them in the foil and on the baking sheet

After the three hours is up it is time for the BBQ

I keep them on the foil for two reasons:

1) it keeps my grill clean

2) sometimes the meat starts to fall off the bone and I don’t want it to fall between the grates.

Now it’s time to make the sauce

I use this sauce for ribs, chicken and hamburgers

You will need:

3/4 cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Let simmer until bubbles start. Take off the heat and let sit for at least 5 minutes before using

Slather the sauce on the ribs at the tail end of cooking that way your sauce doesn’t burn

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Remove from BBQ and cut into pieces and enjoy

As much as I love Rib Fest and all the different vendors and types of food there are, there really is nothing better then sitting on your back porch with a cold beer and a rack of ribs.

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There are tears in my chocolate frosting

11 Years ago I met the person that would change my life forever

She is funny, smart, probably the most caring person I know, and absolutely gorgeous

This amazing person is my baby girl Sofie

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Well I guess she isn’t a baby anymore. We are entering tween territory. Hence the tears.

I swear just yesterday she looked like this

sofie

It is definitely hard to watch your kids grow up and it is hard to feel them pull away and assert their independence, but at the same time it is nice to see that we have raised such a wonderful girl.

A girl who would give her left arm for vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. She is definitely my daughter!

So as per her request I am making her favourite cake. Not going to lie I sometimes get lazy and use a boxed mix.

One thing I will NEVER skimp on is icing. Home made chocolate butter cream is the best. Nothing in a container can compare.

cake

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

3 1/2 Cups powdered sugar

1 Cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup room temperature milk

In your mixer cream your butter until it is smooth. Add in your cocoa and powdered sugar.

I cover my mixer with a rag at this point so nothing goes flying out the top

Add in the vanilla and milk

Make sure your butter and milk are not cold at all. If your butter is remotely cold you will have chunks of butter in your icing. That is just gross and not something anyone wants to eat.

If your milk is cold it will cause the icing to seize and not spread as easily.

That’s it. In just 3 minutes you can have the best chocolate frosting!

I love to decorate cakes and make them all fancy, but for Sofie’s cake I thought that plain and simple is the way to go.

After a crumb coat and 20 minutes in the fridge I added on the final icing layer.

A trick I learned on youtube is to smooth your icing with a ruler. Works like a charm!

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For the cake topper I used melted white chocolate and sprinkles to create the number 11

It could not be easier

Print out a large number

Put it on a baking sheet and cover with parchment or wax paper

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Melt your chocolate and pipe (or use a squeeze bottle like I did) around the edge of the number

Add a little extra at the bottom for your toothpick

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Fill in with the remaining chocolate

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Cover with sprinkles and let harder for at least 15 minutes

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Happy Birthday Sofie!

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Chocolate Chip Shamrock Shake

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I must admit I have never had a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds

I am intrigued by the cult like following that they have but I know I will never ever order one.

In the spirit of St.Patrick’s day I made a healthier version and it is pretty darn good. I have no idea if it tastes anything like the McDonalds version but it is minty and creamy and Callum likes it so it must be good.

You will need:

1 Avocado

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp. honey (more if you like it sweeter)

1 tsp peppermint extract (more if you like it super minty)

1 cup  vanilla almond or coconut milk

1 cup ice

Put all of your ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

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I needed a little extra kick so I added some chocolate chips to mine and blended it again. It was super delicious. Added bonus everything in it is good for you. Pretty sure that you won’t find any nutritional value in the ones McDonalds is serving.

Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

 

 

Blueberry Breakfast Buns

buns

 

It is day 3 of our no sugar challenge and we are doing surprisingly well.

Monday was a bit rough before and after school but that could have been due to the fact that the kids were tired because of the time change.

So far they haven’t asked for anything sugary which is good, but Callum did tell me that this was “the dumbest dumb thing ever”.

I think he may have been going through sugar  withdrawal at that moment.

Personally I am enjoying it. My skin looks better already and I don’t feel like a bloated beast that wants to snack 24/7.

The kids have been in great moods and we haven’t had any major breakdowns about going to school or crying for candy or treats after school. They have adjusted really well.

It definitely takes a little extra time in the kitchen because we aren’t eating anything that is premade.

Mornings seem to be the hardest. Grabbing a bowl of Lucky Charms was the go to here but not anymore. Now it is scrambled eggs, or Greek yogurt with fruit.

This morning I made the kids blueberry breakfast buns as a treat. They are super filling, delicious, and as a bonus for some, they are vegan.

Blueberry Breakfast Buns

1 cup + 1 tbsp. oat flour*

1 cup whole wheat flour **

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup non dairy milk (you can use vanilla flavoured if you like)

1 tbsp. flax meal ***

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 canola oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

* Oat flour is just oats that have been ground up in the food processor

** You can use spelt flour instead of whole wheat. If you use spelt flour you will need to add an additional 3 tbsp. to your batter.

*** Flax meal is ground flax seeds.

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix all your dry ingredients except for the flax meal

Add the flax to your non dairy milk and let sit for 1 minute

Add your wet ingredients to the dry mix

Stir until just combined

Add blueberries

Scoop large spoonfuls (I use an ice cream scoop) on to a lined baking sheet

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until they are golden brown and set in the centre

Let cool before you attempt to eat as they are VERY hot

I make the mix the night before and toss it in the fridge. I add the blueberries in the morning. It just makes life easier.

These buns are a tasty way to start the morning. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

 

 

 

Hearty Red Lentil Soup

soup

I am freezing!

For the last three days the temperature has averaged -28

It is so cold that part of Niagara Falls is frozen

Now that’s chilly!

To combat these arctic temperatures you need hot and hearty food.

My need for hot and comforting food along with my new found guilt of eating meat led me to search for protein and iron rich non meat sources.

Lentils fit the bill. They are high in iron, fiber and are chock full of vitamins.

Not going to lie, I was skeptical about how I would like lentil soup. I am told fairly regularly that I am a picky eater so I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to like this soup at all.

Well colour me shocked. I loved it! It was rich and filling and goes really well with Challah toast.

Lentil Soup

1 large carrot diced

2 celery stalks diced

1/2 sweet onion diced

4 cups water

1 container Knorr vegetable stock

1 cup red lentils

1 tbsp. olive oil

Dice your celery, carrots and onion and cook them in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until the onions are transparent

Add your water and vegetable stock

Add lentils

Bring to a boil

Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. The lentils will have turned yellow and will have fallen apart.

*If you can’t find the Knorr stock you can use 4 cups of vegetable broth*

This soup was perfect for a day when the temperature reached a high of -36. Fast,comforting and filling. You can’t ask for much more.