Oven Baked Dry Rub Ribs 

It has been a wet summer so far in Georgia. Which makes it difficult to have some BBQ on demand. Although I am not complaining and would much rather have some smoked ribs, this is a great alternative when you have to cook indoors. After many racks and even happier faces, I think I have a winner. 

Tools Needed

  • Oven preheated at 300 degree F
  • Large Pan
  • Large plastic container 
  • Ramikin
  • Measuring spoons 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of Goya Adobo 
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 rack of Ribs 
  • 2 tablespoons of Canola or Vegetable Oil

Directions

1. Mix the spices together well

2. Put oil on the ribs and rub all over. Then pat on dry rub. 


3. Let sit for at least one hour or over night in a large plastic container .


4. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 3 hours on 300 degrees F. Rotate rack after each hour. Do NOT flip. Take off cover for the last 1/2 hour . 


5. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Add BBQ sauce on side for dipping eat as is.

Serve with your favorite veggies or cole slaw… 


Enjoy ! 

Ericka 

Patelillos Baked or Fried 


Admittedly we haven’t been really in our healthy food kick. However, you can still make food a little healthier just in the way you prepare it. 

Now pastelillos are a staple in any Puerto Rican home. I am mixed (Peruvian and Puerto Rican) however, I really wasn’t taught a lot of Peruvian cuisine. Ask me about pernil, arcapurias or arroz con gandules…. I’m your girl ! 

They really are not hard to make at all and the varieties are endless.

Tool Needed 

  • Pan or cookie sheet
  • Oven at 350 degrees
  • Fork
  • Fryer or pot with oil medium high 


Ingredients

  • 1lb Ground meat cooked snd grease removed. ( I used turkey and beef prepared same way 1 cube of sofrito, Adobo and garlic powder. I had plenty of left over meat. I didn’t make picadillo just flavored ground meat, freezes well)   
  • 20 Goya Discos ( the orange ones or white ones work the same) 
  • Sliced or shredded cheese
  • Fryer or pot with oil 

Directions 

  1. Take out the discos and let sit for 10-20 minutes depending how frozen they are. And preheat oven to 350 degrees f and/ or fryer on medium high. 
  2. Spread out cookie sheet and add a slice of cheese or shredded cheese. 
  3. Add beef or turkey 
  4. Fold and pinch ends then lay to use fork to press in sides to finish sealing them. 
  5. Lay the ones going in the oven evenly.
  6.  Add to oven flip once after 10 
  7. For fried pastelillos, heat oil to medium high. Once heated add no more than 2 at a time. 
  8. Wait 1 minute and flip over and cook another minute. Remove from oil and place on plate with a paper towel. 
  9. Dig in ! 

The baked pastelillos were not greasy at all they had a good crunch and the flavor was awesome. 

The fried pastelillos cooked a lot quicker and did not retain much oil. When you use the oil nice and hot it will not sop up a lot of oil. 

Either way you make it, it is yummy. Use it for an appetizer or (like us) a meal. 

You can stuff these discos with seafood, chicken, guava, just about anything. Just a few ingredients and you have a feast. 

Until next time,

Ericka 

Better Than a Big Mac Burger


No need for fast food today ! Having an almost completely made from scratch burger is not as hard as you may think. These are all ingredients you have on hand and the burgers freeze well so you can prep for another time. This made at home version will definitely be a keeper. 

The hubby was feeling good so he grilled for us which made it even better. I totally recommend using the grill for burgers but if you don’t have it handy ( or don’t want to) I would use the oven with a baking rack or a George Forman grill ( be careful not to over cook on the George Forman because it will dry out the burger ).

So let’s get down to business.

Tools Needed

  • Grill/ Oven/ George Forman
  • 1 medium bowl/1 large bowl
  • Wisk or fork
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Large Pan
  • Storage container 
  • Spatula

Ingredients

For Burger 

  • 2 teaspoons Adobo ( you may want more or less. I always make a test mini burger before finishing to make sure I seasoned it well ) 
  • 1 onion soup packet 
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs 
  • 2.5 pounds of 73/27 ground beef ( most of the fat goes away and makes a juicier burger)

For Big Mac Sauce (Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Chef Recipe) 

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann Mayonaisse 
  • 2 tablespoons Wishbone French dressing 
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar 
  • 4 teaspoons of Sweet Pickle Relish 
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon of minced white onion

For the sandwich

  • American or Cheddar cheese 
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Hamburger Dill Pickles 
  • Sesame seed bin 

Directions 

The burger 

  1. Add ground beef into a large bowl and spread it out. This is so when you pour rest of the ingredients it blends out better. 
  2. Add onion soup mix and adobo.
  3. Mix the egg and milk together and pour over the adobo and soup mix. Then add the bread crumbs and mix. Mix until incorporated do not over mix it can make the burger tough. 
  4. Grab a handful of the meat and pat down into a flat circle. Leave a little dent in the middle so they don’t pop up as much. Lay on a pan each time. Depending on the size hands you have it can make about 12- 1/4 pound burgers 
  5. Put in the fridge to cool down for 1/2 hr or put in the freezer for like five minutes. This will help the flavors develop.
  6. Once cooled down grill the burgers to your liking. (We are medium well people but it came out well but they were still juicy. ) 

The sauce  

  1. In a medium size bowl add all the ingredients and mix well
  2. Place in a small storage container and let sit for at least 10 minutes ( the longer the better). This about 1 cup of Big Mac Sauce 

To finish the sandwich:

  1. Use one seasame seed bun, spread a generous helping of sauce on the lid.
  2. Add lettuce and pickles to the lid 
  3. Place cheese on the burger patty … if you want to go the traditional route use 2 patties but that is optional. If you choose to do two … (I strongly suggest putting a layer of sauce in between the cheese and the second patty) 
  4. Top the burger and dig in !


This is a keeper . I have made it twice in a week. The sauce it pretty much dead on for Big Mac sauce.  No more lines, no more paying extra for Big Mac sauce …. just homemade yummy goodness ….

Enjoy ! 

Ericka 

Mini Tomato Pizza

So after some trial and error recipes this weekend ( crock pot bread and a chicken recipe ) , I finally made something worth the talking about. I had some tomatoes that needed to used before they got squishy ( and I was hungry and wanted something quick). When my daughter saw me making these she kept saying, “you making tomato pizza mami?” So I said yes …. but with no dough or bread ….. end result delicious, easy and did I mention really low carb ? And even if you were not dieting, this is still pretty great! 


Tools Needed

Cutting Board

Sharp knife ( serrated if possible ) 

2 cup round container 

Medium sized cookie sheet 

Oven at 350 degrees and 450 or broil. 

Ingredients 


2 Big tomatoes (beef steak are the best but use what you have ) 

1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

3/4 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

1/2 tsp of oregano 

1 tsp garlic powder

Cooking spray or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

1. Cut tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick
2. In the 2 cup container add the Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic powder and mix.


3. Take the tomato slices and cover each side with the Parmesan mixture and put on a greased pan or use some cooking spray. 


4. Cover each piece with the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle some extra oregano if desired.


5. Place in your oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. 


6. Take out of the oven and increase the heat to 450 or broil and put back in the oven until mozzarella is melted or browning. 


7. Add salt and pepper if you do desire. I didn’t need to but it is just preference. (Seen below is top and bottom of the Tomato. ) 

Enjoy ! This can be meal or snack …so yummy! 

Ericka 

Roasted Zucchini and Yellow Squash 

Growing up zucchini was the most abundant vegetable that grew. We mainly made zucchini bread and cooked it some how. However, I recently rediscovered these vegetables in my healthier eating and this was my happy medium to cooking something tasty and healthy. This is definitely a great way to use your zucchini  and  yellow squash harvest. 

Also the ladies at work smelled my lunch and asked me for the recipe and it’s so simple. 

So without further delay ….

Tools Needed
Knife

Cutting board 

Large cookie sheet or pan 

Oven at 400 degrees

Ingredients 

2 zucchinis sliced into strips

2 yellow squashes sliced into strips

1/4 cup  Parmesan cheese grated or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan shredded ( can add more to taste)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion

Few dashes of salt and pepper 

A pinch of Italian seasoning 

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
Directions 

1.Cut zucchini and squash into strips, place in cookie sheet and sprinkle the olive oil all over.


2. Sprinkle all the spices ( garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper)and Parmesan on the zucchini and squash and mix by hand until evenly distributed. 


3. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Eat these alone or package for work the next day ! Reheats well. Using the shredded Parmesan will give it more chrunch. I strongly recommend this as side dish that can go with any meat.
Enjoy !

Ericka 

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping sauce 

This recipe was so yummy I had to make it again. Fresh and homemade. It takes a little work but totally worth it. 

I got the original recipe from a page I follow on Facebook for Bette Mills. I just made it my own because I love the coconut crust.

This is so much better and more economical than going to Red Lobster. Although the dipping sauce is different for about the cost of 1-1/2 orders of Red Lobster’s Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp that usually has like 8 butterflied shrimp. I made 42 Jumbo Shrimp. Even cheaper if you already had the mixes handy or left over from a party or daily night cap ( I’m not judging lol).

Tools needed

3 bowls or pans

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons 

Small bowl for sauce 

Deep fryer 

Plate 

Ingredients 

Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup pina colada mix

1/4 cup of crush pineapple

2 tablespoons of white sugar 

Shrimp 

2 -12 oz bags of raw jumbo shrimp peeled

2 cups of shredded coconut

3 cups of plain bread crumbs

2 tablespoons of pineapple rum ( I used Captain Morgan )4

1 cup of milk

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of white sugar 

1-1/2 cups of flour 

Directions 

Take the sour cream, pineapple, piña colada mix, and sugar and mix well and put in the refrigerator to chill while you work on the shrimp.


Turn on deep dryer on 350 degrees F

In one pan/ bowl put 3/4 cup of flour and leave plain.

In the second bowl take the 3/4 cup of flour left, salt and sugar mix together. Add rum and milk and mix very well and let sit.

In the third bowl put 1 cup of the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of coconut and mix together. The recipe I used I made this mix three times. I like the crust a lot and I wanted to make sure I had plenty. If you desire less crust or light coating this is all you will need. 


Dip the peeled raw shrimp in the plain flour evenly. Shake off excess.

Dip in the batter shake off the excess. Should be thick enough to coat. 

Place in the breadcrumb and coconut mix and cover well. Place on plate and repeat.


Once fryer is ready add shrimp evenly in one layer. Fry for 2 minutes or until a nice golden brown. 


Drain and set aside and repeat.

Serve with the chilled sauce and dig in ! 

This is great even as a left over. You can reheat the next day or eat cold with the dip and it stays crunchy!!! 

Enjoy,

Ericka

Sweet -N -Sour Chicken 


Tonight I was feeling ambitious. Not only did I make the chicken, the rice and my first try at making crab rangoons that I so miss from New Jersey.

Anyway back to the chicken. This recipe has quite a few steps but so worth it in the end.

Ingredients


3 lbs of Chicken Breast or Tenderloins 

Garlic salt

4 eggs 

1 cup of corn starch 

Sauce

6 tablespoons of Ketchup

1-1/2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce 

1 cup of White Sugar

3/4 cup of Apple Cidee Vinager 

Oil for pan or deep frying 

Tools needed

1 small sauce pan

1 Cookie sheet 

1 spatula 

2 deep bowls 

Cutting board

Knife 

Deep Fryer or deep pan 

Oven 

Directions 

Cube chicken in 1 to 1/2 inch pieces. ( They can be bigger just adjust cooking time) Add garlic salt to taste to the chicken.


In a bowl beat 2 of the four eggs and in the other bowl put the corn starch and add a little more garlic salt and mix.


Put the pieces of chicken in the corn starch first and shake off the excess. Then dip in eggs and put to the side until you are ready to fry.


Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes in the deep fryer or pan fry in 2 inches of oil until both sides are golden brown.


To make the sauce

Mix sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and vinager together in the small sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken and it will be ready to spread on the chicken.



In your oven heated to 350 degree f, put the chicken in the oven and cook for 15 minutes and turn and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens on the chicken.


Serve with some rice and what ever side…. 

Deliciousness ! 

Enjoy !

Ericka