Meet Pip

She’s one of two of our fur babies around here. She keeps me company in the kitchen, always waiting for me to give her a treat. One of her favorite treats is spinach leaves or crunchy romaine. It’s kind of like feeding a pet rabbit. She also loves to relax, as you can tell.

20140112-130919.jpg

Snowed In

20140112-124746.jpg

When I was a kid my mom would cook her version of BBQ ribs. Instead of using traditional pork ribs she would use “country-style” pork ribs and would add her own BBQ sauce. It was a big hit with my sister and dad, but I was never a big fan because of the BBQ sauce. Lucky for me, mom would just cook a couple of pieces of meat without the sauce. This was how my mom kept me happy and full growing up, but was more than likely the main cause of my pickiness.

I was recently grocery shopping and stumbled upon “country-style” pork ribs in the natural/organic section. I felt like I needed to look up a recipe to use them in as a way to remember my mom’s recipe. I googled “country style pork ribs” and Melissa D’Arabian’s recipe for Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs came up and included really great reviews. I grabbed the ribs and made sure I had the rest of the ingredients and headed home.

I decided to try making this recipe during a recent snowstorm/cold spell I’m sure many of you experienced. We were expecting 8-12 inches of snow with wind chills reaching as low as -40°. I decided it was the perfect day for a braised dish. I got my Dutch oven out and got the pork in the oven. Instead of the polenta that Melissa serves I decided to make a simple risotto, my first attempt at it. I used this easy online tutorial that I found on thekitchn.com. When it was all done I placed the risotto on the plate, placed a piece of pork on top and finished it with a little bit of the braising liquid and it was delicious! The ribs were tender and the braising liquid was so flavorful. Gen loved it all as well, which is always the ultimate approval. I will be making this again for sure in the future. I’m not sure if I’ll have a snowstorm to go with it, but that won’t even matter. This dish could stand up on its own for sure.

A Small Kitchen Can Be a Good Thing

My husband and I live in a rental and have for a few years. Our kitchen is a small galley style set up and although it isn’t ideal, it isn’t the most terrible place to cook. I have a small prep space to work from that is completely fine most of the time. Of course there are nights when I say to Nick, “promise me that some day I can have a kitchen with more counter space?” and he always says, “I promise”, and then I continue on with what I’m making, frustrated, but making the most of it.

Where am I going with this? Well, a few years ago at Thanksgiving, our employer gave us all a turkey to share with our families. This was a wonderful thing for them to do, but for me and Nick, it had us wondering what the heck we were going to do with two turkeys?

We decided that after work we would drive our two turkeys into the city and donate them to the local homeless shelter. Our plan to do this after work started to spread to other employees who shared our same predicament and by the time we left work, we had five turkeys to donate.

This morning I got to work and checked my email. Yep, free turkeys for employees again this year and an added note, “We will once again be supporting a turkey donation program this year.” I read this and smiled. It seems that this year our company is donating the use of the company truck to transport the donated turkeys to the same homeless shelter that Nick and I drove our five turkeys to just a few years ago.

I like to think that Nick and I started something that year and who knows if that’s how this got started? But if it wasn’t for my small, often times, frustrating kitchen and lack of space, this turkey donation program maybe would have never come to be.

Fall Off the Bone Chicken

20131118-150033.jpg

I had been trying to find an easy and delicious chicken recipe. I made a few, but didn’t get the results I had been looking for. The meat was always tough and the recipe was a little too involved for a weeknight meal. Finally one day I just googled, “fall off the bone chicken” and Christina Ferrare’s recipe appeared. I tried it and loved it! The chicken was so tender and juicy and literally fell off the bone which was exactly what I was looking for. I’ve tweaked it a bit for my family’s taste preferences and make it about twice a month. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Fall Off the Bone Chicken
5 bone-in chicken legs
1 T of honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup of Dijon mustard
the juice of half of a lemon
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T of olive oil salt & pepper
chicken stock (if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken legs with salt and pepper and place in a glass baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine honey or maple syrup, Dijon, lemon juice, soy sauce, and olive oil and whisk vigorously to combine. Pour over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour. After one hour, remove foil and baste with cooking sauce. Continue to cook uncovered for an additional hour, basting every 15 minutes with cooking sauce. Your chicken will slowly turn a beautiful dark caramel color. When done, enjoy with your favorite side dishes. I like to serve ours with rice and broccoli. Enjoy!

My Genuine Kitchen

Awhile ago I was listening to my favorite podcast, The Splendid Table, and Lynne read a quote by James Beard that went something like this, “In a house without a genuine kitchen, one of the delights of growing up is lost.” I heard it and I stopped what I was doing and wrote it down. I started to imagine my life with kids and what I wanted my “genuine kitchen” to look like someday. I imagined baking birthday cakes from scratch, cooking big Sunday meals, and trying all kinds of new recipes.

Since hearing that podcast, my husband and I have welcomed our daughter, Gen, into our lives. She’s my inspiration for this blog and keeps me wanting to learn new things everyday. Welcome to My Genuine Kitchen!