Sunday, March 8, 2009

update to the update

Ok. Let's get the negative part out of the way.....I rinsed off the ribs, in hopes that the suggestions would save them from the garbage can. The rub seasonings, and of course, the salt, permeated the meat. Rinsing did not work. The hopeful part: I'm hoping that the salt content of the one bite I took will help my sore throat feel better sooner, than later!

Good news..... Jello cake, delicious! Even though the outer edges were completely over baked, the jello made it so moist and yummy! SO SO good!!

Here's how to fix a Jello cake for you and your family:

Use whatever flavor combinations you would like, you could even use a couple of different colors of jello to make the cake look more festive.
I used Lemon cake and Raspberry jello

1 box of cake mix
1 small box of jello

Prepare cake mix according to box instructions and bake
When the cake is ready, allow it to cool, just so it's warm to the touch.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the jello, in a measuring cup, according to package instructions

Once the cake is warm to the touch, take a toothpick and poke holes all in the cake. Then pour the jello over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cover and place in the refrigerator until cool and set. You could even "frost" it with whipped topping.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Update on last night's menu

Update for last nights supper menu: I had a good plan, but it didn't work out quite the way I'd hoped. The little boy was running a fever, and was very cranky. I sat in the chair to rock him, and try to help him feel better. The door was open, as was the kitchen window and the sound of spring birds drifted in. It was warm under the blanket and the chest cream, I had put on the baby's chest to help him breathe better, gently wafted up to me. It had lavender in it, and some camphor to soothe and open his airways. The rocking of the chair calmed the little boy, and me too. I remember looking at the clock and realizing that dinner was not going to go as planned, who cares, cuddling with the baby was the most important thing. With that, we both drifted off to sleep. I woke up a little while later and put the baby in his bed. I went into the kitchen to start dinner. I got the grill started, the ribs out of the fridge, and the dishwasher filled up. I was on a roll, I went outside to put the ribs on, and the baby woke up crying his eyes out. I hurried and put the ribs on the grill, ran inside and set the timer and got the little boy. He was burning up. I gave him his medicine and he would not let me put him down. So, I wrapped him up in a blanket and took him outside with me to the grill. I turned the ribs and set the timer again. They smelled so unbelievably good, I was very impressed with them. I wanted to bite into one right then, but they weren't done. Inside I went and the little boy felt so bad that I quickly realized we weren't having potatoes, or cake for that matter. I turned off the convection oven, and put the potatoes away. The timer went off, and we went outside to get the ribs off the grill. Ummmm, yummmy, they smelled so good, they were done perfectly. At least the ribs were going to be ready when my husband came home from work! I took a bite, and my high expectations were quickly dashed. As you know, I'm a novice cook and I don't do too well with the whole "measurement" thing. I'm a work in progress. Well, here's a learning lesson for you, from my mistakes. Those yummy smelling ribs tasted like I'd pulled them from the salt sea. They were so salty, they burned my mouth! Coughing and head shaking followed, and a lot of disappointment. Here's the lesson, when adding seasoning's to make a rub, pay attention to the salt content in EACH seasoning you are using. Use the seasonings as sparingly as you can. I called my husband to tell him, and he said he'd pick up dinner on his way home. When my husband came home, he smelled the ribs and exclaimed they couldn't be as bad as I said, they smelled too good. He took a bite, and said, "they're not so........oh my......yes, they are! Boy, wow, those are very salty, ohhhh, my mouth!" He and my Mom both suggested I rinse them off and see how they taste then. I don't hold out much hope, but I'll try it. Since Chris was home, I decided I'd bake the cake. At least one thing would be home made! I turned the convection oven on and mixed up the lemon cake mix. Poured it into an 8 X 8 pan and set the timer for 40 minutes. My convection oven takes SO long to cook/bake anything I always have to add 10 minutes or more to the suggested time. 40 minutes later, I tested the cake with a toothpick to see if it was done. The toothpick came out clean so I pulled the cake out to cool and put the cupcakes in to bake. After the cake cooled a little bit, just so it wasn't hot to the touch, I took a tooth pick to poke holes all through the cake. I had noticed the middle of my cake had fallen in a bit, but didn't think too much of it, until I poked it with my toothpick. The exact center was totally liquid, except for the top crust. I had to put it back into the oven, for about 20 more minutes until the middle was done. I was so disappointed, I haven't tried the cake, I just think it will be like eating a piece of lemon flavored leather. I went ahead and poured the jello over the top and let it soak in, hoping that it will soften up the over baked outside. We'll see. I was almost in tears, my husband hugged me and told me not to worry, he and Ben will still eat the cake. Bless him, he's the sweetest thing! Ben and I did have a cupcake today, they were really good and moist. The Lemon cake and the raspberry jello is a wonderful combination.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Boneless Beef Ribs, Roasted Little Red Potatoes, Baked Beans, Lemon and Orange Jello Cake

I haven't blogged in a few days, because my little boy and my husband have been sick. Monday, my little boy's stomach was upset. This resulted in my having to change sheets, and do an extra load of laundry or two. Blankey got soiled and this caused the little fella' to be really upset, thank goodness we have an extra! Monday night, my husband came home from work and his cold was a lot worse than it had been the night before. So, I had to take care of two sick guys. Our dinner was fried chicken from the deli, with dill & red potato salad. The little guy had peaches, and a Popsicle.
Tuesday I did post the recipe to my favorite food in the world, Beef Roll ups. It wasn't much of a hit with my two sick guys, but I enjoyed them very much. I didn't watch closely enough and I let all the water simmer out of the pot, which meant my roll ups were a little more "done" than I would have liked. But that is a learning lesson, and they were still good. The baby was feeling better, but still not eating really good. He had a little potato salad, and strawberry's, blueberry's and crackers. He loves fruit, thank goodness!
Wednesday we had homemade chicken noodle soup, with grilled salami, cheese and tomato sandwiches. The little boys stomach was feeling better, but now he has a cold. He ate grilled tortilla and cheese, chopped up tomatoes, and some strawberries. He's been drinking a lot of fluids, which is really good, he needs to stay hydrated. We had a little bit of ice cream for desert, covered in blueberries.
Last night, we had some more fried chicken, the rest of the potato salad and broccoli. The baby ate all of his broccoli, a little bit of chicken and most of his potato salad. He's so stuffy and runny that it's hard for him to eat. I hate for him to be sick, I hope he'll feel better very soon.
So, here we are, on Friday. My husband is feeling a lot better, but the little boy is not. He took a 45 minute nap today, and doesn't seem to want to rest at all. I hope he'll eat better tonight, so far he's not had much of an appetite, except for cookies.....hmmmmmmmmm
I have some boneless ribs in the fridge. My brother makes the best ribs I've ever had, but I don't have the rub he uses, so I looked in my spice cabinet. I found some Caribbean Blackening spices, some Garlic powder and Lawry's seasoning salt. I poured some of each into a zip lock bag and added some freshly, cracked black pepper. I added the ribs and rubbed the seasonings in really good. It's been such a beautiful day, I think I'll turn the grill on and grill them up. About 30 minutes or more before I put them on the grill, I'll take the ribs out and let them get to room temperature. They cook more evenly when they are at room temperature.
I've never tried to make the Jello Cake, but I watched either my Mom or Sister do it once, so I think I can do it. I'm using a box cake mix, Lemon flavored. After it's baked I will let it cool, then poke holes in it and pour the Jello over it and put in the fridge until we are ready to eat it. I'm actually going to bake half into a cake and the other half into cup cakes. Just for fun! I have those silicone cupcake baking cups, with feet. So I can decorate the cupcakes to look like fun little monsters. I think the baby will really enjoy that, I know his Daddy and I will!
I'm going to quarter the little red potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle some of the same seasonings over them, that I used on the ribs. Then bake in the oven until they are crispy and delicious. I may even add some Parmesan cheese over them when they are done. Sounds good to me! Guess we'll see. I'll let you know. Bye for now, I'm going to see if the baby will take a nap now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beef Roll ups or Rouladen, Mashed ranch potatoes, and corn

Hey Paw! What's for supper?
Beef roll ups, also known as Rouladen, with mashed, ranch potatoes and corn with butter.

My favorite dish in the world is Beef Roll ups. It's a delicious dinner and it's fun too. I have made these twice and I think I did pretty good. They still don't taste as good as my Mom's. Maybe because I have to put forth the effort to make them, or maybe they just lack Mom's special touch, either way they're still my favorite!
I posted the recipe on my Big Oven web page, along with some other recipes I came up with. If you want to go see them, go to you'll see several recipes I've posted. Let me know what you think!
Make sure you give plenty of cooking time for the roll ups, they'll take a couple of hours to cook. If you rush, you'll end up with raw hide roll ups, and that would be so YUCK!

Beef Roll ups (Rouladen)
12 1/4 inch thick sirloin slices (have butcher cut for you)
3 tbl. canola oil
12 wooden kabob skewers or tooth picks
Worcestershire sauce
12 kosher dill pickle sandwich slices
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons pickle juice
4 cups hot water
3 slices of bacon
1 Heavy deep skillet with good fitting lid
1 jar plain American mustard

Assembly & cooking instructions for Beef Roll ups (Rouladen)

Cut bacon slices in 1/2 and then cut lengthwise in 1/2 (1 slice will yield 4 slices)
Cut kosher dill pickle sandwich slices into approximately 1/8" slices and cut those slices into 1/4" strips
Spread each slice of sirloin with a thin layer of mustard
On one end of the sirloin slice place 1 bacon strip and 1 pickle strip
Roll up and push the skewer through to hold the meat together, trim the skewer as needed.
Heat oil until very hot and add the roll ups with tongs to the pan
Brown on all sides
Drizzle Worcestershire sauce on each roll up (it will sizzle and smoke)
Immediately pour in enough hot water to come 1/2 way up the roll ups
Put on the lid and turn down to low and cook until the water is almost gone
Add more hot water and let that cook down so you have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy
Remove the roll ups to make the gravy, retain liquid from cooking in the skillet
Add 2 tablespoons pickle juice, 1 tablespoon mustard and the cream
Start with 1/4 cup of cream and add more if you like
Salt and pepper to taste

Mashed Ranch Potatoes:

4 large potatoes
salt & pepper
ranch dressing

Boil a pot of water
Peel and cut your potatoes into thin slices (this will speed up cooking time. If you don't mind a few extra steps, you could always steam your potates with the skins on. Once they are fork tender, peel off the skins and mash. Leaving the skins on adds flavor and vitamins.)
Pour out the water, retaining a 1/2 cup
Mash the potatoes adding the retained water, milk and butter until they are light and fluffy and taste like you like. Add salt and pepper, then add a few squirts of the ranch dressing, to taste.

No brainer
Frozen corn
salt and pepper

Pour frozen corn into a pan, add water to cover, add 2 tbl. butter and heat on medium high until the water is gone and all that's left is butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yummmmyyyyy1

Baby Artichokes and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes over Pasta

Baby Artichokes and roasted tomatoes over fettuccine, a romaine salad with parmesan and vinaigrette, and maybe some garlic bread to round it out.
If you peek at, you will learn how to prep baby artichokes. They come 12 to a clamshell at Whole Foods. If you have a big family, you may use all of them. If it's just you and the hubby, you can prep them all and store them for future meals. So read up on preparation and then proceed with this menu. Of course, if you are not the preppin' kind, use a can of water-packed artichokes and breeze through this menu.
Now, in the header of this blog, my sis says I am the recipe gal. Begging to differ, I am very exact when I write recipes; otherwise, I am a tosser of goodness into the pots on the stove! This will be one of those recipes.
8 freshly cooked baby artichokes, halved
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed
2 large garlic cloves
enough pasta for your family cooked the way they like
olive oil
sea salt
Line a baking pan with foil (easy clean up). Preheat oven to 375. Toss artichokes and tomatoes together. Mince the garlic with one of those gadgets over the top, and toss again. Pour over about 2-3 TB olive oil. Place pan in oven and roast vegetables for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes start wrinkling, some brown spots are on the 'chokes and everything smells good.
Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Scrape veggies off of foil onto pasta. Add another 1-2 TB olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of sea salt. Toss everything together. Eat.

Romaine Salad
1 head of romaine hearts
1/2 cup chopped scallions
herbs, chopped, your choice
vinaigrette dressing or your favorite bottled dressing
Freshly grated parmesan (grate on the large holes of a box grater)
Chop the romaine. Toss into a bowl. Add the scallions, herbs and dressing. Toss. Serve.
Sprinkle the freshly grated parm over all.
Garlic Bread
Mix together 1 minced garlic clove and 2 TB butter with 2 TB olive oil. Put in microwave for a minute until butter is melted.
Using a silicone brush, brush butter onto 4-6 slices of french or italian bread. Sandwich bread works in a pinch. Put all the bread in a foil pouch. Heat in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Hint: Put pouch on the bottom rack while the veggies are roasting.