Our Best Irish Recipes – Bon Appétit

Our Best Irish Recipes – Bon Appétit.

St. Patrick’s Day is under 2 weeks away so now is a good time to start planning out some of those great Irish recipes in advance of the day that is everything Irish. Bon Appetit has put together 18 recipes that are Irish-inspired recipes to help you celebrate the day with great drinks, corned beef and fun desserts. Check it out!


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A Sweet Treat for Dinner – Pineapple Sweet Ribs

Ribs are always one of my favorite meals no matter what time of year it may be around here. many people may equate making ribs for dinner along with the summer time and barbecues, but most of the time I make my ribs in the oven anyway so I can just as easily make some ribs in February as I can in August. When I saw some baby back ribs on sale at the store recently I picked some up and then set about trying to find a good recipe to do something a little different. I had also picked up a fresh pineapple that same day and was looking for a way where I could combine some of the flavors and came across this recipe from Taste Book for pineapple sweet ribs. Their recipe makes the ribs over a grill so I adapted the recipe to fit into my use in the oven and I went about making some fine tasting ribs.

Pineapple Sweet Ribs

2 racks baby back ribs

1/2 cup beef stock

For the Dry Rub:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin

For the Glaze:

1 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon dry rub mix

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup barbecue sauce

To make the dry rub, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic salt, onion salt, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and cumin together in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the dry rub mix for the glaze mixture and apply the remaining rub generously to the front and the back side of the ribs. Pat the rub gently to ensure that the rub adheres well to the meat. Marinate for at least one hour at room temperature or up to overnight covered in the refrigerator.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the ribs in a large baking or roasting pan along with the beef stock and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the ribs for 3 to 3 1/2 hours in the oven until they are tender.

While the ribs are cooking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, add the pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon of dry rub mix, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and barbecue sauce until it is well blended. Heat the mixture over medium heat, bring it to a simmer and turn the heat down to low and allow the glaze to simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens.

Remove the baking pan from the oven and take the foil cover off of the ribs. Brush all sides of the ribs with the glaze until they are well coated. Place the ribs bake in the baking pan and turn on the broiler. Broil the ribs to caramelize the glaze on the ribs, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven and place them on a cutting board. Cut the ribs into single or double portions and place them on a platter and serve with any of the remaining glaze.

I really liked the sweetness of the pineapple to go along with the glaze and the balsamic really helped to top things off. The ribs came out perfectly and were falling off the bone, just the way I like them. The combination of pineapple and pork goes so well together that it makes a great glaze that would probably work well on pork chops as well. I actually served some diced pineapple along as one of the side dishes with some baked beans, corn and boiled potatoes. it was a nice meal that made us think of the summertime as we freeze here in February.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork, Sauce


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The Easiest Cookies You Will Ever Make – Brownie Crinkle Cookies

When it comes to eating cookies, I have my classic favorites. I love homemade chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and even just plain sugar cookies. I even venture out a little bit and enjoy the Heath bar brickle cookies for a little bit of an extra flavor. When it comes to cookies in the house Michelle and Sean are the real experts and lovers of all things cookie and Michelle is always on he lookout for a new cookie to try or make. Sometimes you want a recipe that you can put together really easily and have done fast, as was the case last week when Michelle was looking to bring some cookies into her office one day. She had used the chocolate crinkle cookie recipe in the past and really loved it and I had never seen her make it before until I was amazed at what was in it and how quickly it all came together. I had seen her make these from Martha Stewart’s recipe at Christmas time, but never like this.This recipe comes from the Best Ever Cookie Collection and uses only 4 ingredients to get it all together.

Brownie Crinkle Cookies

1 package of boxed brownie mix

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with nonstick spray or use parchment paper or a silicon baking mat on the cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix the dry brownie mix, water and egg together with a spoon. Mix for about 50 strokes or until the ingredients are well blended. Place the powdered sugar in a separate shallow bowl or dish. Shape the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls or use a small cookie scoop to make the dough balls. Roll the balls in the sugar until they are well coated. Place the cookie balls on the prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains in the center of the cookie when it is touched lightly. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies, give or take and if you ever wanted a nice brownie in cookie form this is it. It has that great chocolate flavor you get from a brownie in just a little cookie form and the powdered sugar is the perfect touch. I could see making these even just a little bit larger and putting some ice cream between them to make some awesome ice cream cookie sandwiches. I am not a milk drinker myself but Sean swears you have to have them with a  cold glass of milk to finish them off. Michelle left a few at home for us and brought the rest with her to the office where they were quickly devoured and gone. This recipe gives you a great alternative way to use that box of brownie mix you have sitting in the closet if you don’t feel like having brownies and want a cookie instead.

That’s all I have for today (it’s Monday – busy work day!). Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Cookies, Cooking, Dessert


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50 of Our Favorite Cake Recipes (Yep… 50!) Slideshow – Bon Appétit

50 of Our Favorite Cake Recipes (Yep… 50!) Slideshow – Bon Appétit.

It’s the weekend and perhaps you have some free time to do a little baking this week to make a nice dessert for Sunday dinner. You can never have too many great cake recipes to fall back. You need different cakes for different occasions, so here Bon Appetit has put together 50 of their favorite cake recipes for you to cover everything from special occasions to a simple coffee cake or pound cake and everything in between. Check it out!

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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Cakes, Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dessert


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Fresh Market + Geoffrey Zakarian = Awesome Spaghetti and Meatballs

I am always on the lookout for a good deal when it comes to grocery shopping. If I can get a bargain that we can get a few meals out of that is even better and I am willing to drive a little bit if I have to get there. That is why I buy a lot of my meat and produce from Adam’s Farms, which is a good 20 mile drive for me but well worth it. I had also forgotten that we have a Fresh Market that is about the same distance away from here and I always found good stuff when I would go there when visiting my family in North Carolina so I signed up to get their emails and see what kinds of deals they might have. It turns out on Thursdays they do a store special called the Little Big Deal where you get the ingredients for a dinner to feed a family of f our all for the cost of twenty dollars. The run the special every Thursday and this month’s special was a spaghetti and meatballs dinner, where they included a pound of whole wheat pasta, a pound of lean ground sirloin or ground turkey or a beef-free substitute, a jar of tomato sauce, a bag of salad and a family size fruit tub all for twenty dollars. It seemed like a good deal and I had been playing to make a new spaghetti and meatballs recipe I got from Geoffrey Zakarian so I thought I would adapt these ingredients from Fresh Market into the recipe and see what I came out with.

Geoffrey Zakarian’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, finely processed

6 ounces heavy cream (as needed to soak the breadcrumbs)

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

1/2 cup diced onions

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

8 ounces ground pork

8 ounces sweet pork sausage, no casing

8 ounces ground veal

5 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1 egg

Kosher salt

Basic Tomato Sauce recipe, to follow

1 pound spaghetti

Freshly cracked black pepper

For the Basic Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 leaves fresh basil

1 clove garlic, chopped

Pinch red pepper flakes

One 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, drained and processed in a food mill or food processor

Soak the breadcrumbs in the heavy cream in a medium bowl. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onions and the garlic until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rosemary, remove the pan from the heat and then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, about 30 minutes.

Combine the breadcrumb mixture, the onion mixture, pork, sausage, veal, Parmesan cheese, parsley and the egg in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on low-speed, mix until all of the ingredients are well incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, mix all the ingredients by hand until everything is well incorporated, then add some salt for seasoning.

Heat a small saute pan to cook a sample of the mixture. Taste the mixture for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Form the meatballs into the desired size and shape and place them on a wire rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill the meatballs for about 1 hour so they have a chance to set.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the meatballs until they are browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Bring the Basic Tomato Sauce to a simmer in a large pot or Dutch oven. Transfer the meatballs to the pot with the tomato sauce and allow the mixture to simmer until the meatballs are tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the spaghetti until al dente per the package instructions. transfer the cooked spaghetti to the sauce with the meatballs and toss. Add some black pepper, garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve.

To make the Basic Tomato Sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, basil, garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Use the sauce right away or chill the sauce until you are ready to use it.

Okay, I did make a couple of changes to fit some of the ingredients I had from the Fresh Market. First, for the meatballs I used a mix of meatloaf mix and he ground sirloin I had on hand instead of just pork and veal. For the tomato sauce, I did a mix of making the basic sauce and using the jar of sauce I had purchased, which was an organic tomato and basil sauce, so it all worked out very well. I have to say I was a little concerned about the meatballs because I didn’t think they would have much flavor and it looked like a lot of breadcrumbs in the mix that had set with the heavy cream, but I was pleasantly surprised. the meatballs turned out to be very tender and had great flavor to them. Michelle even commented that she thought they were the best meatballs she had ever had, so that was pretty high praise. We even had enough leftover so we will get another meal or some lunches out of it, so that twenty dollars is going to go pretty far. We served the meal with the salad that came with the deal (it was a Caesar salad and quite tasty) and I had made a baguette so it was a nice meal and the fruit was a great way to top it all off. Both the recipe and the deal from Fresh Market are definitely worth checking out.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Pasta, Pork, Sauce


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Copy That! – Copycat Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Wings

I love Buffalo wings and get them often when we go out or make them myself around here when I get the craving for some but lately I have found that I have really liked the boneless Buffalo wings as well. They are nice pieces of white meat chicken with some great breading and that Buffalo wing sauce. It just seems like the perfect combination and I am more likely to have boneless white meat chicken around the house than I am to have chicken wings in the fridge or freezer, so it only made sense for me to try out a recipe and see how I would like it. I had just recently had some of Chili’s boneless Buffalo wings when we were there one night so that seemed like a good recipe to try to replicate as my first one out of the box. I easily found a copycat recipe at Todd Wilbur’s website Top Secret Recipes so I went about giving this one a try.

Copycat Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Wings

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

1 cup milk

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3-4 cups vegetable oil

1/4 cup hot sauce

1 tablespoon butter

Bleu cheese dressing, for dipping

Celery ribs, for dipping

Combine the all-purpose flour. salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Slice each chicken breast into 1/2-inch size chunks. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer, Dutch oven or large cast-iron pan until the oil registers on a thermometer 375 degrees.

In batches, dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off, then dip the chicken into the flour mixture. Repeat the process of dipping the piece into the egg mixture and breading mixture to give the chicken piece a second coating. Continue this process until all of the chicken pieces have been coated well. When all the chicken pieces have been coated, arrange them on a plate and chill them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

When the chicken is done resting, drop each piece into the hot oil and fry the chicken for about 5 to 6 minutes or until each piece is browned. You may have to do this in batches so as not to crowd the pieces while they are cooking.

As the chicken fries, heat the hot sauce and the butter together in a small saucepan set over medium heat, stirring to combine the two well. When the chicken pieces are done frying, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Place the chicken pieces into a covered container such as a large jar with a lid or large plastic container with a lid (a large zipper-top storage bag will work for this as well). Pour the sauce over the chicken in the container, cover the container and then shake the container gently until each piece of chicken is coated with the sauce. Pour the chicken onto a platter and serve the chicken with the bleu cheese dressing and celery pieces on the side.

Granted it is a lot oil to use for frying but if you want to get that great crunchy coating it seems like your best option. I do have baked version that I plan to try to see if it comes out the same way, but I have to say the coating was pretty darn good on these and I really liked them. I left some without sauce because Sean and Michelle prefer them that way but I really enjoyed them and they make a great appetizer for any party or you could have them for a meal with some fries. it is definitely one I will try again.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry


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Manic Mealtime? Make Lime and Garlic Barbecue Chicken

As I noted yesterday, Mondays are a particularly hectic day around here because it is usually my busiest day of the week for work. Since I start working at 5:30 AM, sometimes Monday run until 5 PM, not leaving me much time to plan for dinner or anything else for that matter. That is why usually on Mondays I try to find a recipe I can put together rather easily and in under an hour, preferably even in under 30 or 40 minutes if possible. I am usually too tired by that point to go all out for a big meal so something simple often works well. This week I decided to take a turn out using some of the chicken thighs I had on and tried out this recipe I got from The original recipe is for a lime and garlic barbecue chicken salad, but I decided to adopt it and make it my own and turn it into a chicken dish without the salad component.

Lime and Garlic Barbecue Chicken

7-8 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)

1/2 lime, juiced

1 cup fresh or canned diced pineapple

4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

In a large bowl whisk together the barbecue sauce, olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and lime juice. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and toss the chicken thighs to make sure they are coated well and evenly. Allow the chicken to marinade at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and heat until the oil is smoking. Add the marinated chicken thighs to the pan, along with any excess marinade, and cook the chicken until it is browned on each side, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Add the pineapple to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan, cooking the chicken  until it is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning the chicken about halfway through the cooking process, and the pineapple is nicely caramelized. remove the chicken and pineapple from the pan to a large platter and serve.

You get all kinds of great flavor to the chicken from the marinade, including the nice combination of the lime juice with the soy sauce, but I really liked what the pineapple brings to the dish most of all. You get the great sweetness of the pineapple throughout he dish and it seems to go very well overall with the chicken. I served this very simply with some rice and some fresh green beans and it made a great meal. You could use any chicken pieces that you like with the marinade – drumsticks, wings, breasts or boneless breasts – and I think it would turn out just as well, you would just have to adjust your cooking times accordingly for the pieces that you were using.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Fruit, Poultry, Sauce


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