Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oven Baked Spareribs! YUMMO!

It's been so nice outside the past several days, and I'm enjoying this time of year.  The yard is all cleaned up, the pool is open, the water is crystal clear, and we even swam today! Going to get some flowers tomorrow to start planting, I love it when the yard is looking great.  I am so excited for Summer, the kids only have three weeks of school left, bring on SUMMER!

Spareribs, I just love them, but they have to be cooked the right way.  They have to be tender, with the meat just falling off the bone, and I have this easy recipe that I came up with years ago.  It's easy, you will love them, try this recipe, you'll never go back to grilling Spareribs again..... I promise!

Oven Baked Pork Spareribs

1 Rack of Pork Spareribs about 3lbs
1 bottle BBQ sauce (or make your own if you wish)
Water covering the Spareribs to the top

Cut the Spareribs up into separated ribs, and put them in a roaster COVERED. Add the water and bake in a 350 oven for 1 1/2 hours. Drain all the water, and all the fat will go with it! To the roaster pan add the BBQ sauce making sure all the ribs are covered. Cook in the oven for another HOUR covered, the last 20 minutes UNCOVERED, this will add color, and everything will get all caramelized.  Serve with your favorite cornbread, and a big salad!  YUMMO!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Well it's another rainy day here in Northern New Jersey.  It's all good, I have things to do inside the house today, and when I'm outside gardening, I feel my house suffers!  I found this really delicious cake on Pinterest the other day, yes.... I love searching for new recipes and ideas on there, if you want you can follow me at LizSomma.  
So I came across this Cinnamon Bun Cake, it looked really delicious, and easy. I made it last week for coffee at my friends house, and everyone LOVED it. It calls for a 9x13 pan, but I made it in 2 small square pans, one for my friends house, and of course one for home, and my family LOVED it as well.   Here's the recipe.
Cinnamon Bun Cake
3 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) Butter, melted

1 cup ( 2 sticks) Butter, softened
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

2 cups Powdered Sugar
5 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
Swirling the batter!
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Growing Celery.......So EASY!!!

I was on PInterest the other day, and found this really neat trick in growing Celery, in your own home. I love celery, I use it in many different recipes, soups, salads, or just eating it raw with a little salt.  Even our dog Perdie enjoys it.

 I tried growing Celery last year in our veggie garden, and the stalks grew, but were skinny, and very bitter in taste.  So this trick is a simple, CHEAP, and plain interesting.

The Stem or base of the Celery!
 Cut off the stem of the celery, and place it in a shallow bowl, with warm water, and watch it grow!

After a few weeks, I'll plant them in my garden, and HOPEFULLY I'll have Celery that we all can enjoy!  It's fun, and the kids are getting a kick out of the whole thing.

Celery planted in the garden, or in a container!

I tried this with Romain Lettuce, and look already just after a couple of days..........

Romain Lettuce! 
See the little green coming up....that wasn't there a couple of days ago! I'll plant this along with the Celery, and we'll see what I get.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Pizza!

There is nothing like homemade Pizza,  I've been making it for years.  My Mom always made us homemade Pizza, usually on Saturday nights, and she would make four big rectangle pans, and we NEVER had any leftovers!   Back then Mom bought the pizza dough, and it was really good.  I use to use store-bought pizza dough too, until about 10 years ago, when I got my Kitchen Aid Mixer, it's so easy to make all kinds of bread doughs in a Kitchen Aid Mixer, and this Pizza dough is one of the easiest!

Homemade Pizza

The Dough - for 2 Pizza Pies!
1 1/4 cups warm water (warm water, NOT HOT)
2 TBS sugar
2 Tsp. Active Dry Yeast

In a bowl add the water, then the sugar and yeast...mix with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes until it gets all foamy, this is called "Proofing the Yeast".

Yeast all foamy
To the Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl add:
4 1/2 Cups Bread Flour (I use Bread Flour, but you could use Regular too)
2 TBS oil (I use olive)
1 tsp salt
Yeast Mixture already foamy

With the Dough Hook attached, mix on low. Increase speed, and mix until all the mixture forms a ball around the dough hook, you may have to scrap the sides of the bowl down with a spatula.
Dough hook with dough around it

Now look is the dough forming a ball around the dough hook like the picture above? Or does it look like a "cake batter" in the bowl? If it looks like a batter, add 1/4 cup more flour, you want all the dough mixture to be wrapped around the dough hook, that means it's done kneading. Or, there may be extra flour on the bottom of the bowl, then you need to add a little more water. Take the dough out of the bowl, and work it a little with your hands, if sticky add some more flour to your hands. Put in a well oiled large bowl, let rise for one hour.
Dough all risen and ready to spread!

These are the tricks to bread making, if you don't have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, you can use this same method, just the OLD FASHIONED way.....knead with your HANDS!!!!

When the dough is done rising, it will double in size, punch down. Divide it into 2, and let sit for about 5 minutes, will be elastic and easy to spread. Spread each loaf onto a greased pizza pan or stone. You don't need a rolling pin, use your hands. Now it's all ready to be TOPPED!

Toppings for the Pizza - makes 2 pizza pies!

About 1 cup or more Tomato Sauce - sometimes I even use jar Tomato Sauce! Now don't faint!!!!
4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parm cheese
Italian seasoning to taste
Garlic powder to taste

After spreading the dough onto your pizza pan or stone, top each pizza with 1/2 cup sauce (if you like more, use more), then top each with 2 cups of the shredded Mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle on the Parm cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste. Use your imagination, do you want meatballs or pepperoni, mushrooms on your pizza? Go for it!

Bake in a preheated 450 oven. Put one pie on the top rack and the other one on the bottom rack, the top rack pizza will brown lightly on the top and melt the cheese, and the bottom rack pizza pie will brown the bottom crust, so you need to switch them around during the baking time, get a long spatula, and look at the bottom crust, is it browning to your liking? Yes, then switch them around so the top racked pizza pie bottom crust gets brown, nothing like a soggy pizza bottom crust!!!!

Take out, and cut and ENJOY!