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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Ribs

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Yet another recipe I found on Facebook courtesy of Tasty on Buzzfeed! I changed it up a little bit and they came out amazing! And yes, they browned IN THE SLOW COOKER!  Wow, talk about falling off the bones. I will definitely be making these again! The original recipe called for 1 rack of ribs, I had 2 so I doubled the recipe. Took a little clever maneuvering of the ribs but they came out just beautiful.  The recipe will be for 1 rack but definitely, double it up to two.

The smell in my kitchen all day was heavenly. I also used a mix of honey and agave. I didn’t have enough honey in the house so I improvised. I think if I had used all honey they may have been a little sweeter but these came out just fine. Use all honey if you want or all agave or both. Sticky, messy, tender, melt in your mouth pork. They are a little bit like Chinese spare ribs but better, way more meat for sure. I used St. Louis style ribs but I am sure you can use any type. I like the St. Louis because they are meatier. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand! Leftovers will be divine!

Tip: Use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup! Trust me!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (2 ½-3 lb) rack of pork ribs, halved
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup agave
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine in a small bowl the salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Season the ribs evenly by rubbing all over and on the sides.
  2. Add the honey/agave, soy sauce and garlic to a large slow cooker. (I used a 5 qt)
  3. Carefully place the ribs into the cooker and turn them over into the sauce until they are coated. Then place the ribs standing up (yes I said standing up, this confused me at first too), with the meatier side down so that the meat side is against the walls of the slow cooker. Bones should be facing in. (Since I used two racks I had 4 pieces and I just overlapped them a little making sure most of the meat part was against the wall) You can also now pour sauce all over them making sure all get covered.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. (I checked them at 7 hours and turned them over, still keeping the meat to the wall)
  5. Check to make sure also that the meat is cooked through and tender when the time is up.
  6. Carefully remove the ribs to a cutting board and cut apart. They will most like fall off the bone. 
  7. Serve with additional sauce from the slow cooker if you desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strufoli (Italian honey balls)

 This is a reposting of a previous blog from last year! Still a timeless treat no matter what the holiday is, and this time it’s for Easter! So give them a try! They are not hard to make, honest!!

This is a recipe that my grandmother (Nana) used to make for us years ago, usually around Easter. Though they are good at any time of the year for any occasion. The first time I made these it took me forever to roll each little ball. Then I talked to my Italian Aunt Rosie about making them and she laughed when I told her I rolled each little ball individually. She said that took way too long! She told me to roll the dough into long strips like giant pretzel rods and just cut them! Simple! These little honey balls are really good and bring back so many childhood memories. They stay fresh for a very long time and you can even freeze them for another time! (Without the honey of course!) They really are simple to make and always a hit.

Strufoli (Honey Balls)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

2½ cups flour

½ cup honey

vegetable oil

colored nonpareil (confetti)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. The last ½ cup of flour can be added if necessary to make a smooth dough. Let dough stay in bowl, covered with a dish, for ½ hour.

2. Roll out portions of dough. Cut dough into strips, rounded like pretzels, then cut into ½-inch pieces.

3. Heat about 2½ inches of oil in the bottom of a pan or deep fryer. Fry the pieces of dough, a handful at a time. If you can do this in a frying basket, it will be easier to take them out. Place pieces on paper towels to drain.

4. Heat honey until just under the boiling point. Place strufoli in a bowl and drizzle honey over them, gently tossing. Arrange on a large platter and sprinkle with the nonpareil (confetti). You can shape into a mound on a large flat dish or into a wreath.


Makes about 150 little strufoli

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Honey-Glazed Chicken

I used to make this recipe quite a bit many years ago. For some reason I haven’t made it for a while. I don’t know why. It’s delicious and very easy to make. The recipe calls for a broiler/fryer chicken cut up but when I make it I like to use chicken thighs. Love chicken thighs. It also works with any chicken parts you want. I will also swap the honey for agave nectar and brown sugar for Splenda brown sugar substitute. But that’s just me. Feel free to use regular honey and sugar.

This is a great meal for family dinners and even to serve to company. I will definitely be making it again very soon. I will have to be planning my dinner menus out now so this will be one of the first ones I add to the menu. It will be a hit. I also like to serve this with my recipe for Spiced Carrot Strips. (Recipe will be posted tomorrow!)

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 broiler/fryer chicken or parts (about 3 pounds), cut up

½ cup butter or margarine, melted, divided

¼ cup packed brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1½ teaspoons curry powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl or bag, combine flour, salt and cayenne pepper; add the chicken pieces and dredge or shake to coat.

2. Pour 4 tablespoons butter into a 13″x9″x2″ baking pan; place chicken in pan, turning pieces once to coat.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder and remaining butter; pour over chicken.

4. Bake 45 minutes more or until chicken is tender, basting several times with pan drippings.

Makes 4-6 servings

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Homemade Granola

Some time ago, actually almost a year ago, I found this recipe in a little magazine that was stuck into my Sunday paper called Relish Magazine. Now I look forward to it every month. It’s loaded with recipes, tips, articles and so much great information. I usually end up saving the whole magazine rather than cutting out all the recipes. Well this recipe is for granola. I really like granola as a snack but most of the store-bought stuff is so loaded with fat and calories that the so-called “healthy” aspect of it is pretty much irrelevant. But when I saw this recipe I was pleasantly surprised. For every 2/3 cup serving there is 230 calories and only 4.5 grams of fat! Not really that bad! Plus it has 4 grams of fiber per serving also which helps. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a little on the high side for calories but compared to some of the regular store-bought granola out there it is still lower. Either way I like that I know exactly what is in this. The original recipe calls for honey but we like to use agave nectar. Calorie-wise it’s about the same but better for the glycemic level. So check out this recipe and go make up a batch!

Photo is for illustrative purposes only.

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

4½ cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked

1/3 cup sliced almonds

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup agave nectar (light or amber)- use honey if you want, same amount

¼ cup apple juice

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries (yummm) 🙂

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the agave nectar or honey and apple juice. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat thoroughly.

3. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice during baking. Let cool; add raisins and cranberries.

Makes 12 servings

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Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

Any excuse to make a pasta salad is good for me. This is a different take on the usual pasta salads because you don’t usually have cucumbers in a pasta salad. This also has peas and cubed ham. Sounds delicious just thinking about it! I always use the lighter versions of mayonnaise and sour cream but you don’t have to. It’s up to you. I will also use the whole wheat pasta in this recipe but if you really don’t like it just use regular pasta. Either way it’s a tasty side dish for a hot summer day! Or cold winter day! Pasta salads are always a good quick meal or side dish for any occasion.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup light mayonnaise

½ cup light sour cream

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, chopped in chunks

½ teaspoon dried dill weed, crushed

2 green onions (scallions), chopped

¼ cup chopped black olives

1 teaspoon white pepper

8 ounces fusilli pasta (spirals)

1 cup peas (canned is fine)

1 lb. smoked or plain ham, cubed


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor or blender, purée the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, honey, salt, cucumber, dill weed, green onions and pepper.

2. Cook pasta according to package, drain.

3. Toss warm pasta with the dressing ingredients. Stir in the peas and ham and olives. Chill until ready to serve.

You can even add some shredded cheddar or other cheese if you want.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK MY WEBSITE: http://www.cucinadiandrea.com!!!

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Strufoli (Honey Balls)

This is a recipe that my grandmother (Nana) used to make for us years ago, usually around Easter. Though they are good at any time of the year for any occasion. The first time I made these it took me forever to roll each little ball. Then I talked to my Italian Aunt Rosie about making them and she laughed when I told her I rolled each little ball individually. She said that took way too long! She told me to roll the dough into long strips like giant pretzel rods and just cut them! Simple! These little honey balls are really good and bring back so many childhood memories. They stay fresh for a very long time and you can even freeze them for another time! (Without the honey of course!) They really are simple to make and always a hit.

Strufoli (Honey Balls)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

2½ cups flour

½ cup honey

vegetable oil

colored nonpareil (confetti)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar,  and butter. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. The last ½ cup of flour can be added if necessary to make a smooth dough. Let dough stay in bowl, covered with a dish, for ½ hour.

2. Roll out portions of dough. Cut dough into strips, rounded like pretzels, then cut into ½-inch pieces.

3. Heat about 2½ inches of oil in the bottom of a pan or deep fryer. Fry the pieces of dough, a handful at a time. If you can do this in a frying basket, it will be easier to take them out. Place pieces on paper towels to drain.

4. Heat honey until just under the boiling point. Place strufoli in a bowl and drizzle honey over them, gently tossing. Arrange on a large platter and sprinkle with the nonpareil (confetti). You can shape into a mound on a large flat dish or into a wreath.


Makes about 150 little strufoli

1 Comment »

Spicy Garlic Barbecued Pork Ribs

Who doesn’t love barbecued ribs? Nobody that I know of! But when it comes to barbecuing them everyone tends to shy away because they “take so long”! No they don’t! Not how I do them anyway! For my recipe you do have to think ahead and marinate them overnight for the best results. You can also marinate them a few hours ahead of time, but overnight is best. I’ve searched and searched and watched and watched all the ways to have great barbecued ribs. The one recipe I found to be the best so far was from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I tweaked her recipe to make it more Genua! These are also made to be cooked on a grill with charcoal. I’m sure they’ll be fine with a gas grill but we have charcoal. I also use either pork loin ribs or St. Louis Style ribs as we love to have meaty ribs! Don’t be scared by the amount of ingredients either. It’s not so bad. I am the first one to skip making a recipe because of the amount of ingredients! Remember it’s all for the marinade/sauce!

Spicy Garlic Barbecued Pork Ribs

INGREDIENTS:

3 racks of pork loin ribs or St. Louis Style ribs (6-8 lbs)

1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

1 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)

6 cloves garlic, minced (you can add less if too much garlic for you)

1 tablespoon chili powder (you can add less if too spicy)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (you can add less if too spicy)

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (or you can use 1 tsp powder)

1/3 cup cider vinegar

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the vegetable or olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the onions and garlic for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned.

2. Add the chili powder, ground cumin and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the zest and ginger and cook for an extra minute.

3. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, mustard, soy sauce and orange juice and simmer uncovered on low heat for 15 minutes, until thick. Stirring occasionally.

4. Marinate the ribs in 2/3 of the sauce for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

5. When you are ready to grill prepare the grill with a single layer of hot coals and then add a few more coals 5 minutes before cooking, which will keep the fire going longer. Place the ribs on the grill and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice to cook evenly on both sides. Brush with marinade as needed.

6. Check the ribs after 30 minutes. If they are still not ready (thicker ribs may take longer) just cook for another 5-10 minutes. Check to make sure they are to your liking. EAT!!

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