My March Madness…

Happy Spring foodie friends!  Yes, I know, if you live in Minnesota, it isn’t feeling much like it yet…

Augie Dogie

Even Augie says “I’m outta here!”   You know it’s been bad when the cats want to migrate south….

It’s been a crazy ‘mad’ month for me… the hubby flew out of town twice this month…it’s tax time, as you know…which always makes me a little psychotic!

Oh and this is happening at the end of the month…

Store closing announcement!

Yep, ten+ years of basket-making, all coming to an end on March 31st.  Don’t be sad for me; in fact, that reaction is so strange to me!  I am THRILLED and excited and optimistic and THANKFUL that I have been able to do it for so long!  Last year, after getting my license as a Realtor® I decided the time had come, to say goodbye to that chapter and to move on to the next!  I am totally loving Real Estate and decided it was time to devote my full attention to it.  Now, if the snow would just melt already…

MPIMN 3-19-14

I have had a little fun this month; one of the association’s I am on the board of, MPI MN, hosted it’s monthly lunch meeting at the Hilton Minneapolis-Bloomington last week and the lunch was amazing!  The room was a gorgeous Spring setting, the meal was completely gluten, dairy & nut free!  The dessert was my favorite…Coconut & Kiwi Panna Cotta…oh my!  It is quite the challenge to undertake, for an entire meal and they killed it!  They brought their A-game, just when they needed to, for a crowd full of Meeting Planners who, I bet, will be looking to book events there very soon!  But my favorite part, was a video the hotel had made, a parody on one of my favorite songs “Don’t Stop Believing”…I will edit this post and include a link to it when I get access to it.  It was GREAT!  I love it when organizations think totally outside the box for getting their message out into the noisy world.  And people, if you haven’t figured it out yet, VIDEO IS KING in marketing right now!

Rueben's

As you know, the other big fun in the month of March is St. Patrick’s Day.  I am Irish, yes, so I feel obligated to join in the fun, although I will admit to not having a green beer for quite some time, happily.  And yes, I know, Rueben’s are not necessarily eaten in Ireland, but it’s the tradition my family loves.  The first day, we have our Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots & Potatoes…it’s really hard not to polish off the entire hunk of meat!  Day two, brings the Rueben…ahhh, I just love this sandwich!

Corned Beef

The hubby has to help me slice it thin…he’s way better at that then I am!  And I love watching him cut things…is that weird? 🙂

Frank's Kraut

Oh, and don’t skimp on good Kraut.  Frank’s is always the one we grab…not just for Rueben’s, but for Hunkie Ribs as well.

Homemade 1000 Island Dressing

I also like to make my own 1000 Island Dressing.  We hardly ever eat that kind of dressing, so if we buy it, it literally will sit in the fridge for an entire year.  Gross.  Making your own is SUPER easy, and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

Homemade 1000 Island Dressing:

1/4 c. Mayo

1 T. Ketchup

Splash of Worchestshire Sauce

Pickles, chopped (as small as you want)

1/2 t. Sugar (or more to taste)

Optional:  dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together and adjust to taste.  We also make the Rueben’s and then put the dressing on the side…just easier to eat that way.  This time, we decided to have Onion Rings with our Rueben’s 🙂  They were Alexia brand, and SUPER tasty!

Rueben's

As I write this, the birds are heavily chirping away in my backyard.  I hope it’s a sun-chant.  Poor things, they have got to wonder what is going on!  The weather forecast calls for warmer temps by the weekend…keeping my fingers crossed for that!  Think Spring – Think Spring – Think Spring!

See you next time lovelies!

❤ Shawn

A family recipe, Hunkie Ribs…

Mise en Place

Greetings food-lovin’ friends!

Yes, I know I’ve been away awhile…I have been busy with family & work… the kind that pays the bills, so sadly my food blogging has taken a back seat this past month.  I have also been getting ready for a couple great blog post series for the Summer, that I hope you’ll join me on!

Pulled Pork Salad

First, a “Summer of Salads” sharing all things entree salads with you.  I’ll talk a little about the different types of salad greens, how to make some (mostly) light & healthy dressings and then share some of my favorite entree salads!  Be sure to bookmark the hashtag #summerofsalads on Twitter so you can follow along!

And second, “Summer Sippers” a cocktail blog post series.  I haven’t really done the cocktail thing in the past, but have started to really enjoy a good cocktail instead of wine some nights.  Especially in the Summer!  Again, bookmark #summersippers and I hope you’ll join me on both Summer series!

Summer Sippers

So let’s talk about Hunkie Ribs.  I know, the name is strange.  The dish is a bit as well.  My husbands (partly Hungarian) father makes this dish and ever since I’ve been with my husband, he’s been making this for me.  It’s mostly a winter dish, because it can be pretty heavy if you choose to eat it with mashed potatoes.  I haven’t ever tried it on the grill (using my dutch oven or something similar) but might give that a go this summer.  And you have to like sauerkraut to like the dish!  Did you know, sauerkraut can be enjoyed on things other than hotdogs & brats?!  Actually, you wouldn’t even have to eat much of the sauerkraut to enjoy the dish, as you’ll see, the ribs cook on top of the sauerkraut, soaking in all that deliciousness from the kraut!  But come on, give it a try!  I LOVE the sauerkraut mixed into my potatoes! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

Hunkie Ribs:

Pork Spare Ribs

Frank’s Kraut

Paprika (use any type, but we like both regular & smoked)

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Garlic, granulated

Seasoned Salt, we use Lawry’s

Grab a big baking dish, glass or metal is fine.  We like to use Frank’s Kraut when using sauerkraut.  We’ve tried other kinds, but Frank’s is crunchy & has the best flavor.  Open the bag of kraut and place in the bottom of the pan.  On a seperate cutting board, cut down the ribs into 2-3 bone sections.  Place those on top of the kraut.

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Take your Lea & Perrins and sprinkle over the ribs, generously.  (you’ll want the ribs fully coated with it, so don’t be shy about it!)

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Grab the granulated Garlic and sprinkle the ribs with it, not too much, but enough so each of the ribs have some on it.  Then sprinkle the ribs with the Lawry’s seasoned salt.  Again, about as much as with the Garlic.

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Next step, is the Paprika.  Now, we’ve used all kinds of Paprika over the years.  Our favorite spice store, Penzey’s, carries four different kinds.  You can use sweet, which is the most traditional, but add in Hungarian and/or smoked for an extra kick!  You’ll want to thoroughly coat the ribs with the Paprika.  See the picture above, the coating will be THICK.  Trust me on this…you’ll love it when it comes eatin’ time!

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Once you’ve completed the Paprika step, wrap the pan in plastic wrap.  Then cover the plastic wrap with foil.  You want an air-tight seal on the ribs.  The foil helps the plastic wrap from melting during baking.  Place the ribs in the oven, set to 275 degrees for 2 & 1/2-3 hours.  Low & slow baby.

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When the ribs are done, the pan will look like this when you pull away the foil.  Be careful when pulling back the plastic wrap, that steam is gonna be HOT.  The meat should fall off the bone almost immediately. Serve this deliciousness over a bed of mashed potatoes or if you want to be healthier, next to a crisp salad!

Hunkie Ribs!

I am already working on my next post, more or less a wrap-up of the past month, food-wise.  So hopefully you’ll see that in the next couple of days.  I am hoping to begin the #summerofsalads series this week, with a great picnic salad for Memorial Day weekend!

Until then,  I want to know….how do you like to eat sauerkraut?

Cheers, Shawn