Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012

With the flop of last week, I am glad to report there are three keepers tonight! Ribs, fruit salsa, and muffins...what are you in the mood for?

Last week I tried a chicken recipe in my new pressure cooker, and it ended up a little dry. Chicken is a bit tricky in that way...cooked well it is delicious and moist. But a little too long and it gets so dry! Needless to say, I think the pressure cooker is designed for cuts of meat that are cooked well in traditionally slow and long cooking recipes. So...I stumbled across a very easy sounding ribs recipe and thought it had great potential. My two big rib eaters gave the dinner a big thumbs up, so it is on the list tonight! Ryan has already thought of a way to tweak it further when the weather warms up a bit, but he thought they were great for indoor "dead of winter" ribs! They were tender, falling off the bone, and since we used our families favorite bbq sauce, they tasted great.

On Saturday morning I felt like treating the kids to something a little special, but didn't really want to have to wait too long or run out for any special ingredients. In my basket of recipes I had a one called Snickerdoodle Muffins. One of the best parts of this only makes 8 muffins!!! Jackpot! These are muffins that are begging to be eaten fresh from the oven, so having a small batch makes so much sense. The muffins themselves were good, but when you dipped them in melted butter and rolled the top in cinnamon sugar....excellent!!! You guessed it...these were voted a keeper after the first couple of bites. Additionally, we thought a lot about my father-in-law that breakfast since he adores Snickerdoodle cookies. I think the next time he is in town we'll have to make these for him!

And finally...have you become addicted to Pinterest yet? I ignored it for a while, but one of my sisters encouraged me to check it out, and then of course I encouraged my other sisters to check it out...and now we are all on it. There are great ideas for everything and anything, but I have found some fun food inspiration. So far I have been mainly "pinning" the ideas to my board, but I did try a fruit salsa recipe that I saw. It looked great, and when I read the ingredients I just happened to have all of the fruit it called for on hand! I was called to make it, and glad I did. The kids thought it was fun to eat with the baked cinnamon chips, but I thought it was also great as a fruit salad. I made it a second time this week just as a fruit salad. I will admit that the original recipe called for a bunch of extra sugar and more preserves than I used, so I left that out, and it was still delicious! Give it a try! Given that it is Girl Scout Cookie time, it was nice to have some fresh fruit salad in the fridge!

Next week Ryan will be tied up for a few dinners, so we may resurrect Sloppy Joe's and breakfast for dinner...not sure how many new things I will get a chance to try, but I am sure I'll find something!

Happy Cooking!

New Recipes
Pressure Cooker Ribs
Fruit Salsa
Snickerdoodle Muffins

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

* 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
* 2 tart apples - peeled, cored and diced (Honeycrisp, granny smith)
* 8 ounces raspberries
* 16 ounces carton of strawberries, diced
* 1-2 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I used raspberry)

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray

Cinnamon sugar:
1 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
4.Bake in the preheated oven 11-12 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be serve with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and the original recipe called for white sugar, brown sugar and more preserves. We didn't even try it with the sugar, and we loved it! We made the chips the first time we made this, but later in the week we made it a second time and I didn't cut the fruit as small and it was delicious as fruit salad!

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

* 1 rack St. Louis Style Ribs
* 2 cups Ginger Ale
* bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

1. Pour ginger ale into the bottom of the pressure cooker. Place rack in the pressure cooker.
2. Prepare your ribs (remove connective tissue and trim any excess fat). Cut your ribs to fit in the pressure cooker, and lay on the rack.
3. Bring to high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.
4. After 35 minutes, quick release the pressure, remove the ribs and empty the ginger ale. Place the ribs on the bottom of the pressure cooker, and cover in the BBQ sauce. After emptying the sauce, fill the bottle about 1/2 way with water, shake, and then pour on the ribs.
5. Bring to high pressure, cook for 10 additional minutes. Quick release the pressure after the cooking time, and enjoy!

For winter indoor ribs, these were great. When the nice weather returns, we are planning on cooking them 35 minutes in the pressure cooker, and then transferring to the grill to finish the final cooking. That way they'll have the BBQ taste, but will cook pretty quickly!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Ingredients for the muffins
* 1 1/2 c. + 2 Tb. flour
* 3/4 c. sugar
* 2 ts. baking powder
* 1/4 ts. salt
* 1/4 ts. nutmeg, or cinnamon, or apple pie spice
* 1/2 c. milk (I only had skim on hand and that worked fine)
* 1 beaten egg
* 5 Tb. melted butter

Ingredients for the topping
* 1/2 ts. cinnamon
* 1/4 c. sugar
* 2 Tb. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Combine first five ingredients.
3. Add milk, egg, and melted butter, mix gently to combine.
4. Butter or spray a muffin tin, and fill 8 muffin cups 1/2 full and bake for 17-20 minutes, until tops are light brown and springy to the touch.
5. While muffins are still warm, dip in butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Serve warm.

These were so easy to throw together, and definitely best served warm from the oven. One of the fantastic things about this recipe is that it only makes 8 muffins, so there aren't a ton of leftovers that will get cold. These would be fun as part of a brunch if you made them in your mini muffin tin as well!