Archive for July, 2011

BBQ Ribs

If someone asked me to pick my favorite meat dish, more than likely I would choose BBQ pork ribs.  I almost always order that when C & I eat at “steak house” type restaurants and I usually enjoy them.  I have wanted to try to duplicate that taste at home, but it is hard to find baby-back ribs at my local groceries.  I guess that most of them end up at restaurants instead.

Right before Memorial Day weekend, our local Kroger advertised baby-backs on sale no less.  I made a quick trip to the next town on my lunch break to purchase some and, wouldn’t you know, I managed the get the very last package that was in the meat case.  Whew, that was close!

The basis of this recipe was on Kraft’s website and I altered it to suit my taste.  I ended up overcooking them just a little because I wanted to make sure they were done.  Next time, I will cut the cooking time down by about 5 or 10 minutes and just go by the instant-read thermometer.  The recipe below will show the altered cooking time, not the time I used for this recipe.  Just remember to check them with a meat thermometer and you will be fine.

1 rack baby-back ribs

BBQ rub & sauce of your choice


Preheat your grill to medium heat, about 425 degrees.  Slice off the silver skin (the white membrane) from the back of the ribs.  This is just connective tissue and will get tough when it is cooked.

Liberally rub the ribs with the seasoning.


Place the ribs on a large sheet of aluminum foil and then cover with another sheet of aluminum foil.  Fold up the ends of the foil so the ribs are encased in a foil bag leaving one short end open.  Pour one cup of water into the foil bag and close up the last side leaving just a small hole for steam to escape.



Place the ribs on the preheated grill and cook with the lid down for 40 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the foil, but be careful of the remaining water because it will be really hot!  Spread the sauce over the ribs and cook for 10 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the ribs is at least 160 degrees.  Take them off the grill and let rest for 15 minutes, slice, and enjoy!  Don’t forget your napkin!




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Thoughtful Thursday

Today is the last travel day for the virtual re-telling of our anniversary vacation.  We stayed the night in West Virginia and started toward Kentucky Friday morning.  Before we got too far, we stopped for brunch at Tudor’s Biscuit World.  Check back next week for a post all about the food we enjoyed on our trip.

This was the first time that I had travelled through West Virginia and it was an eye-opening experience.  The interstate was like a roller coaster.  We would go up, up, up and the go down, down down.  Usually I don’t have any trouble pulling hills with my little SUV even with the cruise control on, but these weren’t just hills.  After one particularly steep incline where I had to take the car out of cruise and creep up the “hill”, there was sign that read Sandstone Mountain.  No wonder my little car was taking its time going up!





We drove through Charleston, WV and caught a glimpse of their capital building.  This is a very industrial area with lots of factories and coal everywhere.


As we were getting closer to Kentucky, we took a very short little side trip.  As you leave West Virginia going into Kentucky, you are right next to the Ohio River and Ohio itself.  Since we were that close, we decided to cross (yet another) bridge and add Ohio to the list of state we went to on this trip, along with Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia.




Finally, it was back home to Bluegrass Land!  Well, almost back home.  We still had a four hour drive after we crossed the state line, but we were getting close.  We made it home that evening around four o’clock and were worn out, but it was so worth it.

We are at the end of our virtual trip.  Some of you are probably thinking “FINALLY!”  I will have one more post next week highlighting the restaurants we ate at while we were gone.

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Join me over at Eat At Home Cooks for her spotlight on powdered sugar.  It is sure to be a sweet treat!

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Menu Plan Monday

Here we are again…another Monday and this happens to be the last one in this month which seems incredible.  July has just flown right by!  This week is supposed to be a little more bearable weather-wise around here and I am glad of it.  Last week, south central Kentucky saw temperatures in the high nineties with heat indexes well over 100 degrees and sometimes over 110 degrees.  I know I was very thankful for my office job and air conditioning.

Since this week may be a little cooler, I plan on cooking a little more this week than last week.  I am planning on trying about three or four new recipes this week so stick around for the results.  My in-laws (best ones ever) bought me a countertop ice cream maker for my birthday so I am anxious to try different recipes for that as well.  To show you how thoughtful they are, they also included a vegan ice cream cookbook since I am extremely lactose intolerant.  I can’t wait to try some out and see how they compare to the real deal.

Southern Plate’s Deep Dish Pizza (new)

Ham Biscuits with roasted potatoes & cucumbers (2 nights)

Basic Pancakes with bacon (new)

Salisbury steaks with roasted potatoes

Homemade Fudge Rounds (new)

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I am a big fan of pork, whether it is pork chops, shredded pork BBQ, baked ham, or this simple recipe.  I came up with this one on my own so it is REALLY easy!  Ha!  I am not the person who usually comes up with the recipes, I just cook them.

This one is my little creation with just three ingredients and about an hour of your time needed.  That’s not too bad, is it?

Pork tenderloin, approx. 1-1.5 lbs.

Montreal grilling seasoning

BBQ sauce of your choice (I want to try to make my own sometime.)


Season the loin with the grilling seasoning.  Preheat your grill to medium (about 375 degrees) and then prepare it for indirect heat.  My grill has three burners so I left the middle and the right side on medium and turned the left burner to low-medium.  Then I put the pork loin on the left side.



Grill the meat for about 15 minutes then turn once, and only once.  I have learned in my limited grilling experience that the fewer times you touch the food, the better it will be.  Also, use tongs to turn it, not a fork.  When you stick the meat with a fork, you will lose the good juices.


Cook for about 10 more minutes, then apply the BBQ sauce and cook for about 5 minutes more.  Using this method, the sauce won’t burn and become hard.


Let the meat rest for about 20 minutes then slice and enjoy!




Please join me over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for her Full Plate Thursday feature.

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Our virtual vacation is starting to wind down…”today” is the day we leave the beach and start toward home.  Sigh!  I knew I would like the ocean, but it was even better and more awe-inspiring that I could have imagined.  I would love to go back sometime!

We spend a couple of hours on the beach that morning just soaking it up a little longer.





We left Virginia Beach and headed toward Colonial Williamsburg.  Since we only planned on staying a couple of hours at Williamsburg, we didn’t buy tickets that would have given us access to the interiors of some of the buildings and the storytellers, but we still enjoyed it.  If you are a history buff and have a full day to spend there, then the tickets are probably worth the money, but it worked out perfectly for us to just walk the streets and sight-see instead.  A lot of the houses along the paths are private residences anyway and you won’t have access to them even with a ticket.  Here are a few photos of the sights at Colonial Williamsburg…










That afternoon we drove to West Virginia and spent the night.  Friday morning we headed toward Kentucky.

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Menu Plan Monday

Here we are again…it’s Monday!  Time just seems to fly by, doesn’t it?  Sometimes I would like to slow down the world a little bit.  How about you?  There are so many things that I would love to see and do but there never seems to be enough time.  Oh, well.  I guess that means that I need to slow down myself and enjoy doing what I am doing and not think about the things that don’t get done, but that can be hard for a type-A like myself!

I was a little ahead of myself on our schedule last week.  For some reason, I had it in my head that we had to attend a baby shower yesterday.  It’s next Sunday! (Slaps head)  At least I have the gift ready on time.  Other than that, there shouldn’t be much going on around here this week and I am thankful for that.  Our house is showing signs of neglect and a good housecleaning is in order before long.  I hope all of my readers have a blessed and successful week in whatever they are doing!

This week’s list looks a little short because we may eat out a couple of times, but who’s complaining?  I am not, that’s for sure!

Cheesy corn chip skillet

Grilled burgers and fries

Pizza night

Steak & Seafood night

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mallow Bars (new)

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For the July edition of the Picture Perfect Cooking-Southern Plate project, I have chosen a very refreshing drink that I think everyone would love!  It is sweet with just a hint of tartness from a little bit of lemon juice and it goes down so easy.  Sometimes a little too easy, since these juices have quite a bit of natural sugar, so a little glass goes a long way!

I first had a drink like this in the Applewood Farmhouse restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN a couple of years ago.  I tried to duplicate it, but I could not get the taste just right.  I think Southern Plate did though because this is just how I remember it!  Make this on a hot summer day and watch it disappear!

1 quart apple juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice


Mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher and chill until ready to drink.  Serve over ice and enjoy!



Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage where I linked this recipe.

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Welcome back to your virtual tour of C & I’s 10th anniversary vacation.  We are up to day 4 of our trip and it was the busiest day yet.  That was Wednesday of the week we were gone and we decided to make that day sight-seeing day.  Once we started out that morning, there were so many things to see that we ended up staying out and about longer than I had planned and didn’t have quite as much beach time as I had hoped, but that was okay.  We saw some amazing things while we were touring!

We started the day going to see the first lighthouse built in the United States.  In fact, it was the first public works project in the newly founded country.  It is located at Fort Story military base  which was just a few miles up the street from our hotel.  Since it is on an active military base, we were required to show our driver’s licenses and our vehicle had to be inspected.  After that we were instructed on where to go and that we could not take any photos except at the old lighthouse. 


This is actually the “new” lighthouse that is still used today so we didn’t get to go in it.


This is the “old” lighthouse.

There were many, many steps to climb!



Upon leaving the lighthouse, we headed toward Norfolk to continue our touring.  Now, let me tell you a little “secret”, I usually DO NOT LIKE BRIDGES, especially shaky swaying bridges.  As C was driving along he looked out over the water and asked what something was.  That “something” was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a 20 mile long bridge with, not one, but two underwater tunnels.  He asked if I wanted to go over it and, before I could chicken out, I said yes!!  I am so glad I did, too.  That drive was one of the most beautiful and interesting 20 miles I have ever been on.




Notice how it says “no stopping”.


Well, we had to stop.  Once you are in the tunnels, there is only 1 lane per direction.  We had to stop our way to let a wide-load hauling semi-truck come through the other way.


This was a helicopter that looked like it was chasing this boat.  It just kept getting closer and closer!

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We are officially standing in the Chesapeake Bay.



There is a restaurant and the fishing pier below on one of the man-made islands at the tunnel entrance.


After this wonderful little side trip, we headed into Norfolk.




Norfolk’s downtown has been revitalized and it was so pretty.  We were heading to the Hampton Bay Naval Museum, Nauticus Science Center and the USS Wisconsin Battleship.  When we got to the end of the street to find a parking garage, this was our first view of the ship…


Pretty awesome, isn’t it?  This was one of C’s favorite stops along the whole trip.  He loved the museum and science center, and especially the battleship.  You give yourself the tour and you have access to many parts of the ship.  Here are a few shots of the museum and ship.

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As we were leaving to head back to Virginia Beach, I spotted the MacArthur Memorial.  We didn’t take time to stop, but I snapped a couple of photos from the street.

We returned to Virginia Beach, hungry and tired.  We found a little pizza place just down the street from our hotel and went there.  I’ll have more info on that in a later “foodie” post.  We spent some time on the beach and enjoyed an beautiful sunset and full moon.



There are only a couple of days left of our vacation to share with you, so please check back next Thursday for the next installment!

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Almost-Wordless Wednesday

The power of lightening…




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