Oven Baked Dry Rub RibsĀ 

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 

Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon

I am going to be completely honest, I HATE SALMON. I know it’s healthy, high in omega-3s, better than red meat in your diet, etc. I am like a lot of people who think Salmon is very fishy. Turns out if it tastes that strong then it probably isn’t real fresh however…. I just didn’t like it. 

My husband is the one who wanted to eat more salmon. It is an expensive fish, especially if you buy it fresh and wild caught is the best type to get. Now being on a budget, we got 16 oz Wild Caught Pink Salmon bags at Aldi for $ 3.99 on sale. It contained 4 portioned cuts of fish. It worked well to go from frozen to finished in less than 25 minutes. Of course you can use fresh totally up to you. 

This recipe is a keeper since it made change my mind ( and taste buds) of something I hated eating. Maybe it will change your mind too. 

Tools Needed 

  1. Oven preheated at 375 degrees F 
  2. Knife and cutting board 
  3. Ramekin for mixing sauce
  4. Aluminum foil 
  5. Cookie sheet or pan


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons County Crock Spread melted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion powder 
  • 1/8 teaspoon Black pepper ( plus to season to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (plus to season to taste)
  • 4 pieces of Salmon 

Directions 


1. Mix the melted spread, minced garlic, lemon juice, Oregano, black pepper, salt, and onion powder. Mix well.


2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. 


3. Add the garlic lemon butter mix to the Salmon.


4. Wrap individually and add to oven at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. 


5. Serve with mash potatoes and broccoli. Add some of the juice garlic lemon butter. Delish! 

Lunch will definitely be leftovers. 

Enjoy!

Ericka 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza


When we moved from New Jersey, we left behind some good food. We would frequent some of the local pizza shops and get large pizzas with the perfect crust and toppings …. fast forward 2 years later in Georgia in our town, QT and Little Cesar’s often where we fill the pizza void. That is until I started making it myself. 

Making pizza is not hard. It takes good tools, seasoning and time. The more you make it the more you master it . Buffalo Chicken Pizza is one of our favorites. This is how I make mine. 

Tools Needed

  • Kitchen Aide Mixer
  • Oven 
  • Large Cookie Sheet
  • Several mixing bowls
  • Knife 
  • Spatula 

Ingredients 

  • Dough ( can be purchased made at store or homemade I prefer homemade) 
  • 2 lbs of chicken breast 
  • 8 oz bag of 4 cheese Italian shredded cheese 
  • 8 oz bag of mozerella cheese 
  • 1 cup + drizzling of Frank’s buffalo wing sauce 
  • Ken’s Blue cheese dressing 
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons Goya Adobo
  • Black pepper to your taste 

Directions 

1. In a bowl, season the chicken breast with the garlic powder, Adobo and pepper. Add a little oil when seasoning it will help keep the chicken moist. Place in pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Let sit on the counter for ten minutes before proceeding to next step. 


2. While chicken is sitting, raise the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees. Next, spread the dough out on the greased cookie sheet. It is better to spread by hand but you can use a rolling pin to spread but let the dough rest again for a few minutes to rise again. No need to be perfect. 


3. You can shred the chicken by hand, cut it with a knife or use your kitchen aide * my favorite way *.  Add chicken to your kitchen aide using the paddle attachment. And put the chicken in and put speed on low slowly increasing to medium until shredded to your liking. This will take a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup to a full cup of the buffalo wing sauce and stir the shredded chicken in the kitchen aide. 


4. Add the chicken to the rested dough evenly.


5. Add the mix of cheeses over the chicken. Add as much or as little as you want. I had some more chicken so I added more . 


6. Drizzle some more buffalo wing sauce all over pizza. 

7. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until the sides and underneath are golden brown. 


8. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over the pizza or place in side for Dipping.

Very easy and so tasty ! Kids can have fun making this or pepperoni or cheese pizza ! 

This is a great pizza recipe to have handy for game night or football food etc. 

Enjoy !

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 

Homemade Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


Now I have to be honest, I thought this would be harder.  Making food from scratch is always seen as the best you can provide for your family. And being a busy mom who works full time, I constantly challenge myself to do something new to liven up mealtime. There is nothing more I would love to than be home with the kids, coupon, and be a full time homemaker. But until that opportunity is available, I’ll be cooking and baking to my hearts content. 

Back to dessert…..

The best part is you probably have all the ingredients already in your cabinet and fridge. 

The cake recipe is made with all purpose flour so it makes it even easier and less expensive to make. The batter itself is good on its own. The buttercream icing can be completely optional. 

Tools Needed

  • Hand mixer or Kitchen aid mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon


Ingredients

  • 2-3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 cups of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup of Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp of Real Vanilla Extracts
  • 4 Large Eggs (room temperature) 
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup of Whole Milk

Directions 

1. Cream (mix) the sugar and room temperature butter.


2. Add one egg at a time and blend until incorporated.


3. Mix all the dry ingredients together. You can do this by sifting or placing in a bowl and mixing.


4. Start by adding half the flour mix and mixing into the wet mix and alternate with the half the milk. 




5. Add to a pan that was buttered and floured. This is enough to make a double layer cake. ( I made 1 9×9 pan and 6 cupcakes.)


6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


7. Set aside to cool. 
Add the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (See recipe here) and serve !


It is so moist and yummy ! 

Enjoy! 
Ericka 

Fresh Bread with Dipping Oil

Today was a beautiful day. A little cold in Georgia but nothing to complain about.  I woke up very motivated and wanted to make something great. So I started early (like 8 am don’t judge me šŸ™‚ ) Started my dough and let it rest and took my time with it.

 So after yet another productive day and several movies( Secret Life of Pets, Trolls and Moana). I was able perfect my bread and really enjoy it.  And nothing smells better then fresh bread especially since I have been limiting my carbohydrate intake.

Tools Needed

Kitchen Aid Mixer

1 tablespoon 

1 cup 

Oven at 350 degrees 

Small pot that can go in the oven

11 x 17 Pan (add like 1 teaspoon or so of oil to the bottom or spray with a non stick spray. )

Ingredients


4 cups of AP flour ( bread flour would be better but I have always used All Purpose) 

3 Tablespoons of Granulared Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

1 Packet of Yeast 

1 cup of warm water (115-130 degrees f) 

1-1/2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Shortening 

Directions 

1. In a bowl add the warm water and add sugar and stir. Add yeast to the mixture and let sit for 5 minutes. 

When you first add the yeast

After 5 minutes


2. Take the shortening and put in the microwave for like 20 seconds to let it soften and then stir until it smooths and add to the yeast mixture. 

3. Add oil. Add flour and salt to the yeast mix. Start mixing slow so the flour doesn’t go every where. 


4. It will start forming into a ball. 


5. Once formed, check by grabbing the dough, your fingers will leave an indent. 


6. Smooth out into a ball. This took about 4 minutes on 3.


7. Let sit in the bowl covered with a towel and place in the microwave. Let sit for 2-3 hours. 


8. Punch down. It will maintain your imprint.


9. Form it back into a ball. And let it sit for another hour in the microwave. 


10. Punch down and remove and cut it into two pieces.


11. Form into two loaves. 


12. Cut slices into the top of the bread.


13. Let rest while the oven warms up. Add the pot with about 2 cups of water warm up in the oven as well.  When the oven beeps, put it in the oven . 

14. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and rolling over and hitting the bottom sounds hollow. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting …. it should be an hour but I couldn’t resist. 



For the Dipping Oil


Ingredients 

3/4 -1 cup of olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon of Garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon of Salt 

Pinch of Oregano 

Directions 

Mix all together and let sit while bread is cooking .

End result !!!!

Enjoy !!!

Ericka 

Easy Homemade Lattes


Most people cannot live without some coffee in the morning. But having a good; if not great, latte comes at a steep price because of the machine that makes the frothe. Now, I am definitely not saying don’t splurge but for the budget conscious people (like me!), you have to make due with what you have but you want to feel like you spent some well earned money. 

To make a long story short …. You can do this yourself without a frother or espresso machine. All you need is 2 cups, a push wisk, microwave, and your coffee maker or Keurig.

Tools Needed

2 – 12 oz or larger mugs

A microwave

Coffeemaker or Keurig 

Push wisk 

Ingredients

Milk

Strong coffee or espresso

Sugar 

Directions

Put 2-3 oz of milk ( can be soy, almond, skim, 2%, or whole ) in a microwaveable cup (12oz) .

Microwave Milk for 1 minute (the milk has to be warm to hot for it to foam up )

During this time make your coffee. I use Bustello and my Keurig I use the reuseable cup and use medium size setting for an 8 oz cup . I brew my coffee and at my sugar to the black coffee.

When you take the milk out of the microwave use the push wisk and push down for about 30 seconds to a minute it will just about double in size. The thicker the foam you want the more you wisk.

Once it is at the desired thickness pour in the coffee and stir. And there you have it your latte. Add cinnamon or a drizzle of caramel to make it fancy! 

Let me know how you spruce up your coffee ! 

* I added a link to a decent push wisk. Just click on the word “wisk”.  I am not being paid by Amazon or anyone for mentioning it.