Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dinner with Friends revisited

So I have been teasing you with this menu for when we had some friends over on Tuesday night, right? Well, it was delicious. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of our beautifully set table and the delicious food! Instead, I had my husband take a picture of the leftovers. They were still delicious...

Here is why there is no awesome photo:
1. I got out of work later than expected thanks to some cranky people on the phones.
2. My husband's truck died and that was the night we could pick it up. However, since he was still coaching and I somehow beat him home, I had to throw the ribs in the oven so they would cook long enough and then throw on running clothes so that I could run there (it's about a mile and a half away) and make it over to the mechanic shop before they closed and then they wanted to explain what happened. While I normally LOVE that mechanics take the time to explain things to me even if I'm a woman (thank you Mechanic Scott!), I really didn't need them to reenact ripping the dome light out of the car.
3. Our guests showed up early. However, they showed up with rocky road cheesecake, so who cares?!

Coach S and Mrs. Coach S are adorable! We had a lovely dinner, great conversation, and made plans for another get-together. Hopefully, it's to watch a Packer game or play with their new puppy! I could totally see why Coach S and my husband are friends. While they may talk slowly, you can tell that their minds are moving 100 times faster. Unlike me, a motor-mouth, my husband carefully considers the words that come out of his mouth 98% of the time. If only I would learn to not plow people over with words! I'm sure that's exhausting.

OK, back to the food. Ribs and potatoes are going to be the focus here because, that's all I have a picture of to share with you.

My husband does the grocery shopping for us based on a careful and detailed list. He does a great job! He found wonderful baby back ribs on sale!

Here is the recipe (I made this one up based on a lot of recipes and mostly what my mom told me to do):
3 pounds of baby back ribs, thawed (approximate weight)
2-3 tablespoons of Galena Street rub from Penzey's Spices (alternatives are the Northwoods spice or Emeril's original)
Splash of vinegar
1 18 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce - This is my husband's favorite. I also like the hickory or honey flavored variety. However, this went really well with the rub.

How to:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the ribs bone-side down in a baking dish. I used a 13 x 9 inch pan, but had to cut the ribs to fit. (I REALLY wish I had a picture of this for you). I drizzled a bit of vinegar over the tops of the ribs - just enough to get them wet. Sprinkle the rub spices over the ribs. You don't have to get carried away here, but make sure the spices are even. Then bake in the oven for 2 hours. With 30 minutes left to bake, you can either choose to baste them a bit with the pan juices or you can cover the ribs with sauce. I go for the sauce, but that's just me. If you don't want them so messy, you can leave the sauce off or just on the side. Bake for 30 more minutes.

The garlic oven roasted potatoes were modified from Kitchen Crush Ina Garten's recipe. This is a super easy recipe and it is always a hit! Here is the real recipe.

Here is what I did:
3 lbs of red potatoes, washed and cut in inch-sized chunks
1/4 cup of regular grapeseed oil (I'm a fan of the Wildtree products)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tablespoon Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle (Italian seasoning)

Since you've got the oven hot, you don't need to preheat the oven, but you'll just bake them longer. However, if you're just making these alone, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes and chop them into quarters or inch-sized chunks. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with the oil and garlic. Warning, if you crush your own garlic like I did, your hands will smell like garlic for a while. Then spread the potatoes on a baking sheet (I cover mine with aluminum foil for easy cleaning) and then sprinkle them with the Italian seasoning. Bake for about 1.5 hours if they're at 350 with the ribs or for about 45 minutes to an hour at 400. Turn them once or twice during the baking time so they get browned evenly.

Here is what everything looks like when it's done:

OH MY GOSH! Ok, so I'll have to give you the photo later if I can figure out how to get it off of my phone since he texted it to me instead of e-mailing it to me. Hmm... We will get this fixed. I hope! In the meantime, use your imagination!

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