BBQ Ribs

bbq ribs

Today I made bbq ribs (sans bbq).  The ribs were slowly cooked in the oven for several hours.  They came out very good, finger licking good.  Meaty and falling off the bone.  I had ran out of bbq sauce so tried to make my own smokey sauce by combining ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a drop of liquid smoke.  Came out quite good, maybe next time I’ll add a bit of vinegar…

On the side I made a fresh, crunchy salad of cabbage, fennel, apple from the neighbor’s tree and pecans, with a lemon/mustard vinaigrette.  Starch of the day was sweet potato mash.  No wine today after all the holidays…


Argentinian Beef

Time for some meat and (sweet) potatoes!  I grilled skirt steak on the barbecue.  What made it Argentinian?  Chimichurri sauce!  I marinated the beef in this concoction of parsley, garlic, rosemary, oregano, tomato, pepper and olive oil.  It has a very distinct taste.  Very nice!

I served it with oven roasted sweet potato fries and a salad with oranges and red onion.  Of course paired with a glass of red wine, a 2011 French Bordeaux.  My husband said that he would order this meal again if he had selected it in a restaurant!

Street tacos

Yesterday it was Taco Tuesday!  I made two kinds of street tacos, carne asada (beef) and carnitas (pork).  The carne asada was seared on a skillet, the carnitas was slow cooked.  Street tacos are supposed to be pretty plain.  I just added some chipotle cream, onions and cilantro.  Although there was also some homemade guacamole, cheese and beans on the side for the kids.  The tortillas are smaller than with regular tacos.  I had flour and whole wheat tortillas, I personally prefer the flour ones.

I also made Mexican chili soup as a first course.  This is a tomato based soup with red chiles added.  Other ingredients were onions, bell pepper, limes (from the neighbor’s tree), coriander (cilantro seeds) and cilantro.  It was pretty spicy, but adding a splash of sour cream and some broken up tortilla chips reduced the heat. There is nothing like a nice hot bowl of chili soup to warm you up on a cold winter night.

Short ribs

It’s been cold at night, so time for a hearty winter meal: short ribs!  Braised in red wine, with mushrooms, onions and spices (Herb de Provence, garlic, salt, pepper).  Served with a sweet potato, butternut squash mash.  No white carbs today!  Also made a salad with lots of goodies: egg, walnuts from Chico, cabbage, cilantro, with lime dressing.  Enjoyed with a glass of the leftover red wine.

Christmas Party

Catered a Christmas Party for a friend (I was invited as a guest as well 🙂 ).  It was meant to be ‘just’ finger food, not a whole meal, but still substantial, since there would be some drinking…  It also was a low-key event, so presentation was low-key as well 🙂 .  I can present it more ‘elegant’.

This is what I made: deviled eggs, filled with salmon, topped with caviar, hummus (plain and eggplant) with (store bought) pita, salsa (spicy) with (store bought) tortilla chips (natural and blue), sate (pork) with peanut sauce, plus (store bought) french bread to dip in the peanut sauce, Brazilian cheese balls, goat cheese + bacon filled peppers, colorful vegetable plate, chocolate coated figs and apricots, cognac infused chocolate truffles.  Almost all these dishes were gluten free, except for sate with peanut sauce, pita, chips, french bread.  Things I didn’t make: samosas with green and red sauce, three kinds of cheeses with grapes, various nuts.


Plums flambé

Plums flambé!

I had to use up some plums, and made “plums flambé” for dessert.  Normally I do it with apples, but tried plums this time.  It is quite easy to make: slice plums, put in a pan, add butter and sugar and heat up.  Once it is warm you can flambé it with some alcohol.  I use dark rum (Mount Gay).  Fill a sauce ladle with the rum and heat it over a stove burner.  Once it is warm it will either ignite itself, or otherwise spill a bit on the flames and it will ignite.  For full effect dim the lights and pour over the plums in the pan!  Served with vanilla ice cream on the side.  Yum!

Coq au Vin

French food today!  Coq au vin (chicken in wine), potatoes au gratin and salad.  I prefer red wine for the coq au vin, but you can use white wine as well.  A delicious meal.  Prep time for the coq au vin was only about 20 minutes.  Chicken, wine, mushrooms, carrots, pearl onions.  Slow cook for about 2 hours.  The potatoes were thinly sliced (unpeeled 🙂 ), put in layers in an oven dish with cream and cheese (gruyere this time).  I added orange and plums to the salad.  Paired with (don’t tell the French) Italian red wine.  Might be a better meal than ‘Turkey Dinner’ tomorrow…


Lamb, yorkshire pudding, wine

Today was lamb day!  My son’s favorite, especially when he has been climbing.  New Zealand lamb, baked in the oven, served with green beans and oven baked potatoes (I cooked the potatoes with the lamb in the same oven dish).  Served with cranberry and garlic (kid’s favorite) sauce.  I don’t like the ‘traditional’ mint sauce (too much like eating toothpaste).

And of course, almost forgot, served with another kid’s favorite: Yorkshire pudding.  No, not a dessert 🙂  It’s English, and fluffy (supposed to be, most of the time), kind of like a popover.  They are made of eggs, flour, milk and a bit of lamb juices and baked in the oven.

The meal was paired with a nice glass of Bordeaux.  Not bad for a Monday night!

Yorkshire Pudding


We had some friends over and decided to make fajitas (Tex-Mex).  Always fun to fill your flour tortilla to your liking with beef and all the other fixings, like salsa, cheese, sour creme, and guacamole.  I used a flank steak for the beef.  Normally I bake it on a large skillet.  Now I grilled the beef after a few hours in a marinade on the bbq till pretty rare, cut the beef in strips and finish it on the hot skillet with onions and bell peppers.

I also made a home-made salsa, based on Tyler Florence’s Salsa Roja recipe.  I used dried ancho chiles, dried Anaheim chiles and chipotle chiles from a can (I didn’t have dried).  I used a bit more peppers then the recipe called for, so it was very hot!  I split it in two, and added a bit of sour cream to one part to reduce the heat a bit.  At the end of the meal both were almost finished, a good sign! 🙂

Home made salsa roja