Archive | February, 2011

Baby Back Ribs BBQ

12 Feb

I have been sick all week. Coughing, runny nose, sore throat, can’t sleep sick. And the weather has been more beautiful than it has been in over two months (as far as I can remember). So of course I’m a little bit bitter. Today I decided to take advantage of the weather and tough out the runny nose and BBQ some ribs.

Now, we by no means eat everything organic or local. I wish. We don’t have the money or the time to really be able to cook every night or buy everything from farmers markets or CSAs.  But we try. One way we try is to buy most of our red meats or special occasion meats from the meat market. The Meat Market is on the UC Davis campus. It’s a program where the animal science majors raise the animals on campus, and then butcher them for units. Since it’s an expensive program, they sell the meat and all the money goes back into the program. So not only are you supporting locally raised meat, but also education! So there is my little plug for meat markets. They aren’t much more than the grocery store and I wouldn’t be surprised if every university with an animal science program has one.

So on this beautiful sunny Friday afternoon I stopped by the meat market and picked up some ribs and used my special super easy sauce to BBQ them up. We actually ate it with the “Chicken and Everything Else Salad” without the chicken in it. Pretty pretty good.

Recipe adapted from Weber’s Real Grilling book.

Baby Back Ribs BBQ

  • 1 tablesppon EVOO
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon pure chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup cola
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • rack of baby back ribs
  1. Clean up the ribs if there is excessive fat or the membrane in the back if it’s there.
  2. Spread sauce all over the ribs-focusing mainly on the meaty side.
  3. Grill over direct medium heat for 35-40 minutes, flipping twice. Reapply sauce as needed/wanted.
  4. Transfer the ribs to a plate and cover with aluminum foil, let stand for 10-15 minutes.


Chicken and Everything Else Salad

11 Feb

We are so close to Spring I can taste it. I know… I’m such a Californian, but even just a bit of fog and rain is enough to be “winter” around here and make me crave beautiful California sunshine. We’ve had a glimpse of what’s to come this week with temperatures in the high 60’s and sometimes even in the 70’s! In this spirit I thought about summer time foods–BBQing and salads! Then I thought, why not combine the two! Since I haven’t had a huge salad for dinner in awhile, once I thought to have one, I decided to throw basically everything I had into it… hence the name “Chicken and Everything Else Salad.”

The other great thing about California is that even though it’s “winter” I can still dig into the ground enough in order to grow some plants! In December I put in some Simpson Elite lettuce and Spinach, they finally look big enough to start “harvesting” so I cut off a couple leaves to put this together. Can’t get much more convenient then that!

Chicken seasoning adapted from Weber’s Real Grilling book.

Chicken and Everything Else Salad

Chicken Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared chili powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Salad “Extras” Ideas

  • Spinach any other kind of green leaf
  • Dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cooked tri-color rotini
  • Garlic croutons
  • Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 cook Quinoa
  1. Combine the seasons for the chicken and spread it all over the chicken
  2. Grill the chicken over Direct Medium heat until the meat is firm to the touch and no longer pink in the center, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once. Shred into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine everything you can think of. Add dressing and toss. Season with pepper.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

9 Feb

No, that is not a typo in the headline… these are Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (two chocolates).

This week I had to bake something for a bake sale at school and started searching the internet for something good. Bake sale things need to appeal to the masses, look good, and be unique. I stumbled upon this recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins. Unfortunately, it was from a woman who lives in Malaysia so all of the measurements were in mL and she did all of the measurements in weights instead of cups. Now, I understand that to an expert baker weights are a much more accurate measurement and you will probably have a higher success rate yadda yadda yadda. However, for a quick-whip-em-up-for-a-bake-sale type recipe, measurements in cups are much nicer.

So I tried the recipe once over the weekend to make sure it was good and to weigh everything then write down the measurements in cups. Then I made them again on Monday night (the bake sale was Tuesday) and tripled the recipe and it came out great. I didn’t see how many muffins were left over at the end of the day, but I’m pretty sure the muffins went fast.

Also a great idea for a Valentine’s Day breakfast (and lunch and dinner and dessert)!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 sour cream
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 8 oz chocolate chips (or more…)
  1. Grease regular-sized muffin molds (or line them with paper lines)
  2. Whisk (A) together in a mixing bowl; make a “well” in the ceneter. Set aside.
  3. Whisk (B) together to combine, then pour into the “well” that you. Using a rubber spatula to fold the mixtures together. Don’t overmix–the batter should still be lumpy.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin molds. Each mold should be about 80% full. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

You can even freeze them and reheat them later!