Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Impromptu Dinner Party, Ribs, Potato Salad, and Hot Fudge Dessert

Last weekend my husband, affectionately known as the Poolboy around these parts, and I decided to have friends for dinner on the spur of the moment.



We spent the morning working in the garden - the Poolboy with his saw and other "he man" machinery; my husband is currently building an outdoor bar/storage hut for our barbecue - and me with my gardening gloves and pink hat to shield me from the sun.



Yippee Kay Ay Mother Foodies!!

All in all, it was a perfect morning. We sipped fresh ground coffee with real cream while the sounds and smells of early summer surrounded us.

The cheerful chatter of birds, the comfort of newly toiled earth, fresh cut grass, and something unmistakeably hopeful drifted around on the morning summer breeze.

***

Our garden is coming along nicely and we're almost ready to begin thinning out the beets - which means it's just about time for one of my favourite foods ever - baby beets and beet tops.

As it is, I have to control myself from picking and eating at this point because the tender shoots of the beet tops are so delicious.

The best way I can describe them is that they taste like summer.

One of progresses lost treasures that you will never, ever be able to find in a box.

But don't worry, when the day comes I'll show you exactly what to do with these amazing little morsels.

In the meantime, though, all that weeding, hoeing, and hammering got us hungry and found us by mid afternoon at the grocery store contemplating what kind of feast we should conjure up for dinner.

Blame it on the sun, or maybe even the pink hat - we were in the mood for something rib stickin!

So we picked up a couple racks of pork ribs, and the fixins for my famous potato salad.

I've been making this particular recipe for ribs and potato salad for years now and have become famous among our circle of friends with it.

In honour of that, and because we had so much food, we decided it would be a great to share our abundance - so we phoned some friends and "VOILA!" - instant dinner party.

Now, as in my youth, unplanned, impromtu gatherings and get togethers are always the most fun.

If you like ribs and want to try a recipe that never fails - give this one a go!

Like many of my dishes, it's slow food and in order to get your meat just right, it's gonna take a little extra love and time to create this particular magic...

The Pink Cowgirl's Honkey Tonk Ribs!

For printable recipe click HERE



First...

Cut your ribs into chunks and put into a large saucepan with one quatered onion, two stalks celery, one carrot, three cloves garlic, one tbsp salt, one bay leaf. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour.

Remove the ribs from the water and then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile... The Secret's in the Sauce!


* 2 cups ketchup
* 2 cups tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
* 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery salt, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer.

Slather ribs in barbecue sauce, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. You can leave these overnight, they just get better and better sitting in that sauce!

Remove from fridge an hour before grilling and bring to room temperature.

Grill on medium high basting frequently until they look like the picture above or pop into the oven under the broiler - just watch them because they'll brown quickly!

Allow ribs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Wonderful when served with a nice cold beer and my all time favourite recipe for potato salad!

Cowgirl Potato Salad














For printable recipe click HERE


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 cup miracle whip
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tsps minced dill pickle
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced pimento
  • 1/2 teaspoon shredded carrot
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, sugar, onion, mustard, vinegar, celery, pimentos, carrot, parsley, pepper and salt. When potatoes are cooked, dump them in with the mayo. Mix well, add chopped eggs. Chill and serve.

While the ribs and potato salad did their thing, I went hunting around my treasure cupboard for just the right table setting.

I'm addicted to thrift stores, garage sales, Value Village, and even the Dollar Store and am constantly on the look out for interesting items with which to create table scapes.

Being that our cowpoke dinner was going to be rustic, I decided to experience "metamorphasis" and set the table in a part of the yard we haven't landscaped yet. Proving yet again, that magic can be found anywhere!



I chose a rustic looking red and green checkered table cloth purchased last summer at Value Village and then mixed it up by using some funky dishware I had kicking around from a shopping spree at Dollarama.



To continue with the rustic charm, I put out canning jars to use as glasses and tied our cutlery together with chive and thyme from my garden.



We ate, and ate until daylight became dusk



In between was a lot of laughter, more than a little red wine, and one of my favourite, easy summer desserts...

Ice Cream Sundaes!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes and feel free to ask questions if you're unsure about something.

***

Friends, family, and food.

Throw in a little laughter and a whole lot of love and what you have is everyday magic...

Bippity

Boppity

Boo!!!!

Love from,

The Kitchen Witch

(Stay tuned next week for a DIVINE recipe for lemon pepper marinated ribs)

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Beautiful, lovely as always. I think I have inspiration for this Sunday with friends.
    Thanx

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  3. Far to much Yum Yum going on here! On the other hand, down here on the bayou it's been hot, and I mean HOT girl. Yesterday the heat index was a sweltering 105 degrees. There is no way to enjoy one's self when you can smell concrete. My wife and I would love to enjoy and evening outside, but not at the expense of heat stroke. I so glad you enjoyed ya'll's evening. Hugs.

    Bryan.

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  4. I will have to try the ribs and the dessert...I have a good potato salad recipe but might try yours for something different...I am looking forward to your lemon pepper ribs as well!!

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  5. Hi everyone - nice to see you!

    Bryan, that's terrible that it's so HOT! I'm excited to tell you, though, that I watched a Bobby Flay Gumbo throwdown the other night and am committed to learning how to make gumbo this summer! I just have to locate okra...

    I've got the lemon pepper ribs marinating as we speak. As well, some recipe ideas for surf and turf burgers (I just typo'd and wrote "surf and turd" LOL!) and another easy delicious weeknight pasta dish.

    Happy eatin y'all!

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  6. What a perfect evening!

    I have no patience for grilling out, probably due to the mosquitoes. The ribs sound delicious though....

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  7. ~MAVE~

    "I JUST TYPE-OD AND TYPED TURD FOR TURF!

    LOL!"

    GF, U R SUCH A RIOT.

    THAT LINE GOT A BELLY LAFF OUTTA ME.

    I'D SWEAR ON A STACK OF BIBLES U'D B A JUST. THAT. FABULOUS. COMMEDIENE!

    CALLING DIBS ON THE POSITION AS PRESIDENT FOR YER FAN CLUB!

    EVERYTHING LOOKS AND SOUNDS SO GOOD, SISTAH FRIEND.

    EVEN THE PORK RIBS ON MY STRIKE FROM PORK ANYTHING DUE TO SEVERE PORK BURN OUT FROM HAVING TO BUY GROCERIES WITH FOOD STAMPS!

    I HAVE TO ASK U...

    HOW MANY RECIPES FOR POTATO SALAD DO U HAVE?

    THE ONE OF YERS THAT I LOVE THE MOST IS THE EUROPEAN POTATO SALAD.

    I COULD EAT ALL OF IT BY MYSELF, IT'S SO FABU!

    THE FIRST TIME I TRIED IT I TOOK IT TO A CHURCH LUNCHEON AND IT WAS THE HIT OF THE WHOLE EVENT, AND ALMOST EVERY FEMALE THERE BEGGED ME FOR YER RECIPE.

    JUST THINKING ABOUT IT HAS MY MOUTH WATERING RIGHT NOW!

    ("IS IT JUST ME OR DID THAT SOUND KINDA DIRTY?")

    A DEFINITE GIGGLE AND A SNORT ON THIS ONE, TOO!

    I'M THINKING IT DIDN'T UNTIL U SAID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

    ROFLOLOLOL!!!

    U KNOW, I AM ALWAYS AMAZED AT HOW TREMENDOUSLY REFINED YER PALATE IS.

    MOST OF THE STUFF U SHARE HERE I HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF UNLESS IT WAS ON THE COOKING CHANNEL, AND AS YER NUMBER ONE FAN (WELL, OK, NEXT TO THE PB AND TH) I HAVE TO SAY U HAVE EVEN SHARED SOME THAT DESERVED TO B ON TV AS WELL.

    I HOPE U HAD A GREAT WEEKEND, SWEETCHEEKS.

    TOWANDA, BABY!

    HUGZ AND YER FAVE BEER AND/OR LAGER...

    ~IDGY~

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  8. Hi Jinx,

    Truth be told, most of the time I do my ribs in the oven. Right now I'm doing the lemon pepper marinated ribs. They've been in for two hours and smell AMAZING!!

    Idgy, you are always so kind to me. Thankyou for all your support and friendship. To answer your question, I have two main potato salad recipes - this one and the European. I love them both. The one I posted here tastes a lot like deli salad and I find it just goes perfect with ribs.

    Hope your having a terrific Sunday - CHEERS!

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  9. I saw the Potato Salad, and licked the screen...DANG, that looks good!!!

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  10. Love your table !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

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  11. It is very good potato salad Mike, and Super Easy to make!

    Hi Kammy, thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I love ribs & potato salad. And the dessert. OMG!!! I want some right now. Your table is pretty fabulous as well. Loved your post.

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  13. O.k., now I'm drooling on my keyboard. My husband would be ever so greatful if I cooked him your dinner. Mmmm, it all looks fantastic and not just the food either. Your table setting was so cute. Love the herbs you tied around the silverware. You little Martha Stewart, you......minus her overly cool (biotchy) presentation and step-on-anyone-who-gets- in-her-way determination. Gotta give these a go. Thanks Maven. Keep rockin' the pink cowboy hat!!!

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  14. Looks guuuuud! I enjoy your writing!

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  15. Hey everyone! Thanks for commenting :-)

    Josie, Martha Stewart has sure had her influence on me. The PB and my friend's husband had the time of their lives teasing me about the cutlery!

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