Best Ever BBQ Sauce

Easy & Homemade: Best Ever BBQ Sauce.

Best Ever BBQ Sauce

My husband has a particular palette- to say the least. So he really picks up on the smallest of flavors in things and that isn’t a bad thing per-say. I have found that his taste buds have refined my cooking and has got me experimenting more and more in the kitchen to create versions of things that he likes. One of the things he has a tough time with is store bought BBQ sauce. Some are too sweet, some are too tangy- you get the picture, sort of a 3 bears situation.

So when I wanted some yummy country style boneless ribs a few weeks ago I decided to create my own BBQ sauce that way my husband could be equally as happy as I would be when they hit our mouths. I’m not too particular when it comes to Barbecue sauce, I haven’t found many- if any, I haven’t liked, ever. My favorite chips are Barbecue flavored, my favorite sauce is Barbecue Sauce, and I will happily put it on everything (you should really try it on a burger. It is AMAZING).

I have to be honest, the whole rib cooking process didn’t go well for me. They took FOREVER. I wasn’t expecting them to take too long so I waited way too late to cook them. Needless to say, we had dinner at 11pm that night. I mean, we eat late anyways (hello, second shift schedule) but I was super frustrated when I realized just how long they were going to take. But i’m dedicated and I wanted my ribs- dang it, so I went for it anyways. THANKFULLY, the barbecue process was extremely simple. All I did was gather the ingredients I wanted to infuse into it and added a little at a time until I was over the moon satisfied.  Even though the ribs took forever, I can happily say that they were worth it. Ohhhh, how worth it they were. The ribs melted in my mouth and the barbecue sauce was perfectly sweet and perfectly spiced that without the barbecue sauce I can’t say the ribs would have been worth it. So I am super happy to be able to share it with you!

You need:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1.5 cups of Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon on Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 8 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Red Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar

Throwing it all together:

All you need to do is throw it all together in a pot, bring it to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low heat for 2 hours. 

Not. Even. Kidding. IT IS THAT EASY. And the only thing I had to buy for it was extra ketchup. We like sauce in our house so I didn’t just have 2 cups of ketchup sitting around, haha. Please, try it out! You won’t be sorry. My husband and his palette did something super rare it was so good- they sung it’s praises on Facebook, a land he never visits.

Have you ever have any kitchen time surprises? Did you give in or keep cooking? Let me know in the comments :)

IMG_0529

Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets

IMG_0529

I am thankful for my husband for many reasons- not only does he love me, but he goes above and beyond for our family, he makes me laugh every. single. day, and he prays for our marriage just as much as I do, are among many of them. One more reason I am thankful for him is that he works really hard to make a life for us. Almost 1 year ago we decided that I would be a homemaker and he would go out and earn money after I got laid off right before our wedding and he started a new job. 

One thing we have struggled with is finding something really filling that reheated well for his dinner at work. He works 2nd shift, so he needs something that will fill his stomach that is used to having dinner around 7:30pm but something that works with a lunch box. It’s not hard finding a few things but who wants to eat the same thing, every day, every week?

We have had a few successes with things but this week we have created one that makes the favorites list! Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets. My husband has always loved pizza hot pockets but they are expensive when you have to buy more than 1 box and has added preservatives, so this homemade version is better for you and much cheaper. And on the plus side, if you have kiddos- they will go crazy for this too.

IMG_0525Pile it all on. A little pile of goodness!

IMG_0526Pinch it all together. What a cute little pocket!

IMG_0527Get it ready to bake! I love me some oregano.

What you need:

  • 1 Store Bought Pizza Crust (or your own recipe)
  • 1 jar of Pizza Sauce
  • 2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever your favorite cheese is)
  • Mini Pepperonis.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano (optional)

Throwing it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While your oven is preheating, roll out your Pizza Dough to a medium thickness. About how much you would stretch it out if you were making a regular pizza.
  3. Take a pizza cutter and cut your crust into little rectangles, cutting horizontal and vertical. It will make about 8 rectangles.
  4. Take each rectangle and spread on a little sauce to one side of the rectangle, then pile on a small amount of cheese, then layer on some pepperoni, and then top it off with more cheese to seal it all in.
  5. Next, fold the untouched side of your pizza dough over the side with the toppings and then pinch it closed with a fork or your fingers. I used a fork tonight but I honestly think your fingers work a little better, and it’s easier! :)
  6. Plop them on a greased cookie sheet and then brush on some extra virgin olive oil all over the pizza pocket. If you like oregano, mix a small amount into your oil before brushing on for a little Italian taste!
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust becomes golden brown. My husband likes his a little extra crispy so I broiled the tops for 2-3 minutes at the end.

That’s it! And they are soooo yummy. Who doesn’t love little portable pizza’s? My husband likes to dip is into more pizza sauce on the side, so that’s also worth a try if you like things a little extra saucey :p Next week, we plan to try cheeseburger homemade hot pockets. Stay tuned to see how those turn out.

IMG_0462

The Ultimate Meat & Potatoes Dinner

IMG_0462

My first ever blog post revolved around a delicious meat and potato dinner. It is amazing and has always been a favorite meal of mine. Not just because it’s easy either, but because it is one of the meals that even when you are stuffed full you really want to continue eating it. Since my very first post, I have revamped the recipe and make it THAT much better and a little bit more healthy for you. Don’t be fooled by the healthy addition though, it is even better now. Trust me!

What you need:

  • 1 entire link of Polish Sausage
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt

Throwing it all together:

  1. First thing’s first, let’s get to chopping! Chop everything up. Cut your link into small slices, slice up your peppers into slivers, and chop your onion up into big chunks! Make sure and cut your potatoes into even slices so they all get cooked through. You don’t want some potatoes that are burnt, some that are still stiff, and then some that are done. Just pay attention while you slice and keep them as uniformed as possible.
  2. While you are slicing, heat up your oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and have your oven preheating on 400 degrees. Then throw the meat and veggies into the skillet.
  3. Cook everything in the skillet just long enough to get a nice little sear on the sausage, so about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove everything from the skillet and place it into a 9×13 baking dish once the sausage gets a nice dark color on the outside. Then take your salt and evenly distribute it over the yummy goodness.
  5. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven.
  6. DEVOUR.

Just talking about this recipe makes me want some, and I JUST had it yesterday. This recipe never gets old and my husband requests it ALL the time. I know you and yours will love it just as much :) Enjoy!

IMG_0403

Raspberry Passion Iced Tea

When I used to work at Starbucks, one of the greatest things I discovered was the Passion Iced Tea. I no longer work for Starbucks but I do still dabble in drink making, I worked for coffee shops all during my teenage years and up until I was 21, so not making drinks is just…well not possible for me.

I always have Passion Tea on hand, it’s full of flavor and makes even the cloudiest day a little sunny. So when I was doing my weekly cleaning of my fridge last week, I stumbled upon some raspberries that needed to be eaten and knew just what to do- mix it up with Passion Tea! Raspberry is a perfect complimenting flavor for the already fruity taste that the tea carries and marrying the two together is SO easy. So go grab a box of this delectable liquid, and get ready to change your life- yes, it’s THAT good.

What you need:

  • 3 Passion Tea Bags (you can find them at any grocery store in the coffee/tea isle).
  • 1 cup of Raspberries
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 1 cup of Sugar

Putting it together:

  1. Take your raspberries and gently smash them. You aren’t wanting to smush them up into goo or anything, just a little smash to get things going.
  2. Now, bring to a boil your 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of your freshly mashed raspberries all together.
  3. Once your boil is reached, turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer until all the sugar is dissolved- about 3 minutes.
  4. Set your sugar mixture off to the side and let it cool completely once finished simmering. About 20-30 minutes.
  5. Once your mixture is cool, boil 3 cups of fresh water and then place your tea bags in the water once the boil is reached. Take it off of the heat and let it steep for 5 minutes.
  6. After the 5 minutes is up, take a slotted spoon and scoop out your tea bags- pressing them up against the side of your pot right before removing them to get all the extra water and flavor out of them.
  7. In a pitcher, stir together your raspberry syrup and tea until well combined.
  8. Enjoy! :)

This would be fantastic to serve at a cook out or family gathering. It would look beautiful in a glass pitcher so everyone can see the beautiful color. Your friends and family will down it quick, so adjust the recipe to serve the amount of people you have over. This recipe will serve about 4 people!

Enjoy this delicious, summer in a glass drink! For an extra kick, add in lemonade or apple juice in place of 1 cup of tea!

This weeks post: reader choice! 

Hello, lovely readers. This week I am bringing it to you guys! What would you rather see up on the blog this week, a delicious yet simple summer drink (alcohol free) or the Mexican dinner I made today for my husband and I? Comment below and let me know, your choice may be featured on tomorrow’s post! 

IMG_0337 (2)

Sweet and Savory Pork Chops

Have you ever been in a food rut? Not too long ago the only thing my husband and I ate was some sort of chicken breast. Chicken, Chicken, Chicken. Everyday. You kind of get to the point where you are like, if I eat another piece of chicken I am going to turn into a chicken. You totally burn yourself out on something when you eat it constantly, even if it takes a few months, the burn out comes. Unless it’s chocolate, I can seriously eat that everyday.

So how does one avoid turning into a chicken burning out on something? You mix it up! As you guys know, I love to cook so usually mixing it up is what I do best when it comes to menu planning, but when I first began to want to lose weight I some how got the idea in my head that all we should eat was chicken. Now, I have gotten educated about losing weight and realized that portion controlling is the way to go. Say no to deprivation! Eating chicken everyday seriously chased me away from dieting after I ate so much of it. I was tired of just eating chicken. But now I have ventured into the world of different meats, and I have began to start cooking a meat that was often served to me as a child- pork chops. Delicious, tender pork chops.

This past weekend I bought a pack of these delicious pieces of meat and created a scrumptious sauce to serve on top to make it that much butter. After cleaning my plate, I knew I had to share it with you guys! Between the deliciousness of the sauce and the crispiness of the pork chops, your taste buds will be fully satisfied.

Ingredients

For the chops:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3-4 pork chops

For the sauce:

  • 14 ounces of Coke
  • 1/3 cup of Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of Water
  • Mushrooms (optional)

Throwing it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together your eggs. In a medium shallow pan, mix together your flour, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dip your pork chops in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture. This will make it extra crispy.
  4. Take your coated pork chops and pan fry in vegetable oil for about 1 minute per side. You are just wanting to get it a little crispy.
  5. Put your pork chops into a 9×13 pan and finish baking in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the middle is done. Depending on the thickness of your chops, it may take a little longer. I suggest using thinner chops for this recipe.
  6. While you’re baking the chops, it’s time to make sauce! Take 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sautee your mushrooms on medium heat until brown. I used baby bellas but you can use your favorite mushroom, if any! :) Remove the mushrooms from the pan and sit them aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk your coke, brown sugar, and ketchup until well combined. Then pour the mixture into the same pan you sauteed the mushrooms in.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-high and allow the sauce to reduce just a tad. About 1/4 of an inch.
  9. While the sauce is reducing, combine your cornstarch and water in a bowl and then slowly begin to add it into the sauce, whisking the entire time.
  10. Once the cornstarch is well combined, allow the sauce to thicken (about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Then, is using, add if the mushrooms back into the sauce.
  11. Now, all that’s left is to spoon the sauce over those delicious pork chops and enjoy!

Have you ever been in a food rut?

IMG_0287

Easy Seafood Skewers

Ever since I was a little girl, Seafood has been my favorite food. I have so many fond memories of family gatherings involving fish fry’s and my parent’s spending a large amount of time cracking crab legs for me. So anytime the opportunity for Seafood presents itself, I’m there!

This past week, I had a hankering for scallops. My hankering for scallops lead to an immense craving for shrimp. And then, Seafood Skewers were officially on the menu. I found myself counting down for the rest of the week for our seafood night. I decided to make it on the weekend so my husband and I could really sit and indulge on them without the pressure of getting it all cooked before it was time for him to get to work.

Some people see Seafood and think that when they want it, they’ll just go out and get it at some over priced Seafood Restaurant. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I love Red Lobster. I was just there 2 weekends ago. But you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money to enjoy some delicious seafood. You can buy it at your local grocery store, Kroger has an amazing fresh seafood selection. And you can make it right in your own kitchen, you can, I promise you can! Take a look at how I made it this past weekend and get ready to have your own delicious seafood feast, right in your own home.

What you need:

  • 1 pound of Sea Scallops
  • 1 pound of Large Raw Shrimp
  • 2 fillets of your favorite white fish (I used tilapia), chopped.
  • 8 skewers
  • 1 cup of Butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper

Putting it together: 

  • Begin by melting your butter in a small pot on medium heat.
  • While your butter is melting preheat your oven to 375 degrees and gather your ingredients. Make sure all of your seafood is thawed, cleaned, and ready to go.
  • After your butter has melted, whisk in 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning and sit it to the side.
  • Salt and Pepper your seafood to taste.
  • Begin to place your seafood on your skewers. You’ll have more shrimp and scallops than you will fish, so make sure to keep this in mind while you build your skewers. You can go in any order that you like but I liked to alternate the scallops and shrimp and sometimes adding in some fish between them.
  • Take half of your butter mixture and pour it into a large, glass, baking pan.
  • Place your skewers into the pan.
  • Brush the rest of your butter mixture over your skewers.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shrimp is pink, the scallops are lightly browned, and the fish flakes easily with a fork.

SEE?! How easy was that? I bought all of my ingredients pre-cleaned and fresh. So it was an easy assembly. If you buy your fish with skin, skin it. If your shrimp has veins be sure to remove the vein and rinse it off well.

Enjoy your seafood night!

What is your favorite Seafood?