Smoky, Sticky, and Easy: Oven Pork Spare Ribs

2018-07-29 087555067320381627937..jpg

Imagine this — a smoky, sweet, and acidic aroma filling the corners of your kitchen. You open your oven and you have beautiful, juicy, and perfectly tender ribs just waiting to be slathered in sauce and broiled to a perfectly sticky consistency.

That’s the recipe I’m sharing with you today. A smoky, sweet, and delicious pork spare ribs recipe. In order to make these, you need about 5 minutes to prep and 2 hours to cook. This are great for a Friday after work meal, a simple Saturday “BBQ”, or a Sunday supper.

Continue reading →

$10 Weekday Gourmet: Amazing chicken recipe from fridge to table in less than 45 minutes (Serves 4-6)

If you know me well you know that one of my favorite words is “cheap”… not in the sense that I like low quality things. I’m actually quite the opposite. I tend to like very high quality things (food, clothing, jewelry, vacations) but I do my best to acquire these things at cheaper prices than most people would pay.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

My approach to food is no different. I love dining out at high quality and highly recommended restaurants. But I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to eat out every night and honestly, I don’t think I’d want to. I like cooking way to much and after a long day of work, it’s sometimes nice to just chill at home.

I think most people are like me. People want food that tastes a good as possible, as quickly as possible, and as cheaply as possible. I want to start sharing some recipes that I’ve found that have allowed me to do just that!

Processed with VSCO with  preset

As I’m writing this post, I’m sitting here eating a meal that I’ve made TWICE (yes, I said it, twice) in the last week. The Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce recipe by Food & Wine has been my favorite and I wanted to share this meal and recipe with you. I have a few suggestions for how to make this recipe as quickly and cheaply as possible and the best side dishes to pair it with.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

This recipe is delicious and it really is easy. The parsley sauce combined with the roasted lemons is a match made in heaven…. And yes, you heard that right. you CAN eat roasted lemons. Skin and all. Just make sure you slice them thin and remove any seeds.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

I’ve been blessed to live in a town where I have an abundance of grocery stores that are all pretty close together. My husband and I try to stick to a strict budget of about $70 a week for ALL our groceries. We eat at home at least 5 nights a week and I bring my lunch to work from home as well…. All that to say is that we have quite a few meals to make with a relatively small budget. I have to take advantage of all the stores in the area to create delicious meals without going over budget. I’d honestly rather save money on food and put some of our savings in our vacation fund.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

For this recipe we did our shopping at Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market in Smyrna, Georgia. I warn you, you can get some great deals here but the shopping experience is always an… experience. But again, for me, it’s worth it for the savings.

I spent $8.13 plus tax for most of the recipe ingredients (I had garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in my pantry).

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs: $3.95
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley: $0.69
  • 16 oz of White Mushrooms: $2.49 (This is cheaper than the mushrooms suggested in the original recipe)
  • 1 Lemon: $1.00

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Tonight I paired this recipe with mashed potatoes. The first time I made it I served it with Garlic Quinoa and broccoli (we always have quinoa in the pantry and broccoli in the freezer). Regardless, I suggest serving with a carbohydrate  and a green veggie.

 

My steps for getting this recipe plus two side dishes on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large heavy sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Step 2: Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place chicken and olive oil on the preheated pan and let roast for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Cut mushrooms and lemons while chicken is roasting. Toss with olive oil.

Step 5: Add mushrooms and lemons to pan with chicken and allow to roast for 30 additional minutes.

Step 6: Prepare quinoa as outlined on package. I suggest cooking in chicken broth instead of water.

Step 7. Chop parsley and garlic and mix all ingredients for the sauce.

Step 8: Cook broccoli as desired when there’s just 5 minutes left for the chicken to roast (microwave or stove top with salt and pepper is easiest).

Step 9. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! To find the recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce please CLICK HERE.

Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Entertaining

DSC_0211

I recently celebrated my first birthday as a married woman. My husband and I had our families over for cake and ice cream in the middle of a long and busy weekend. We wanted to have heavy snacks that would keep our guests full, but wanted food that did not require a lot of prep.

I went last-minute grocery shopping and filled my cart with easy to prepare items, dressings that I planned to doctor up, chips, salsa, cheeses, and meats. Purchasing foods that don’t require much preparation but look good on a spread is key for last-minute entertaining. Here are my 7 simple tips for creating a welcoming (and delicious) spread for a last-minute party.

1. Cook simple favorites that you’ve made hundreds of times: I love chicken nuggets. I’ve made them hundreds of time and chicken nuggets tossed in BBQ or Buffalo sauce are “Boneless Wings”. Boneless wings are easy, delicious, and most people love them. I served my boneless wings in a crudite server with a blue cheese dressing and fresh celery sticks.

DSC_0216

2. Do as much as you can the day before: I cut all of my cheeses the day before and refrigerated them in ziplock bags. Cutting the cheese the day before was a simple step that saved me a lot of stress. I also “set” my table the day before. Knowing where my dishes, cutlery, and plates were going to go ahead of time allows for me to have a more inviting setup.

DSC_0213

3. Create a menu with foods that can be eaten at room temperature: I am a fan of cheese platters and since the items tend to be eaten rather quickly they don’t need to be kept warm or cold. Chips and salsa are easy and lately my guests have loved pita chips with hummus. Having to keep foods cold or warm means more work for the host.

DSC_0218

4. Be selective with processed and pre-prepared items: Avoid pre packaged or pre-prepared foods as much as possible. If you have to use pre-prepared items, doctor them up where you can. I used a pre-bottled blue cheese dressing but to give it a bolder taste I crumbled fresh blue cheese and added it on top.

5. Use disposable plates and cutlery (when appropriate): I love having clear glass plates available for my guests to eat off… but I opt for sturdy and simple disposable plates when I’m on a time crunch. Disposable plates are being produced at a higher quality and the best part is that you don’t have to stay up as late clearing and washing dishes.

6. Invest in quality serving trays and platters: One tip I came across when registering for wedding gifts was, “Invest in white”. Plain white dinnerware, platters, and serving trays are timeless. Foods look better on white and you don’t have to worry about the color of your food clashing with the color of your plate. Food also looks better in sturdy and quality dishes. Take the extra few minutes to place the chips in a bowl, the lemonade in a carafe, and the turkey on a platter. Macy’s The Cellar line has a variety of items available in all price points. Most of my serving dishes are from The Cellar line. Crate and Barrel has slate boards which are pretty to use as a cheese trays. Use soapstone chalk to label your items.

DSC_0215

7. Buy Ice: I believe the best way to keep canned beverages cool is by placing them in a beverage bucket filled with ice. If you forget to buy ice, you won’t have any ice available for your guests to use in their cups. Spend the extra $2.00 and buy a bag of ice.