Jonesin' For Taste

Jonesin' For Taste: July 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Crock-pot Dr. Pepper BBQ Beef Sandwiches (gf)

Give my husband a good sandwich with some homemade BBQ sauce and he is a happy man.  This is super tasty and I love that it is made in the crock-pot.  No heating up the house, I don't even need to be home. Just perfect for when we will be gone playing but will be home to eat dinner.  And the sauce on this is amazing.  My hubby and I have agreed I just need to stop buying BBQ sauce because nothing can compete with a good homemade BBQ sauce.  Serve this over rice, quinoa, or gluten free bread instead of the bun for a gluten free version.

Crock-pot Dr. Pepper BBQ Beef Sandwiches (gf)

2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3-6 lbs beef brisket
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
One 12-oz. can Dr. Pepper
Rolls, for serving

BBQ sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp prepared mustard, I like using spicy brown

In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Set aside 1/2 tsp of the mixture.  Rub the remaining mixture on the beef.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Brown the beef brisket on all sides.  Transfer beef brisket to crock pot.  Add the Dr. Pepper to the skillet and simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes scraping up the browned bits.  Pour the Dr. Pepper mixture over the beef in the crock pot.

Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Shred the beef and transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.  Pour the juices from the crock pot into a bowl or gravy separator.  Skim off fat.  Return beef to slow cooker and pour 2 cups of the juices onto the beef.  Cover and keep crock-pot on warm.

In a small saucepan, heat the BBQ sauce ingredients and the reserved 1/2 tsp spice mixture over medium heat.  Stir 1 cup of the mixture into the beef, and reserve the rest.

Split the rolls, mound the beef on top, and serve with the reserved sauce.

Recipe adapted from Barbecue Beef Subs from Rachel Ray Magazine

Make It and Love It

Easy beef stew, crock pot or dutch oven
Root Beer Beef Stew
5 ingredient Pepper Steak
5 Ingredient Pepper Steak
Asian Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans
Cantonese Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans
Crock Pot Korean Style Short Ribs
Crock Pot Korean Style Short Ribs

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Fabulous Friday- Triple Coconut Cake

Once upon a time I had coconut milk and got sick.  I have avoided it for over 20 years but after seeing so many recipes that looked delicious I decided to give coconut another try.  Man, I have missed so much deliciousness.  Don't pity me for too long.  I have been making up for my lack of coconut by having it often and savoring it completely.

For my husband's birthday back in May we went through my cake board on Pinterest and I told him to choose one for me to make.  He had chosen a coconut cake but that recipe I had pinned was outrageous.  It was supposed to soak for like 3 days and people said it wasn't that good anyways.  Wow.  So I was off to scour the internet for a new recipe.  I finally found this particular recipe and we enjoyed every last morsel of that cake.  We may have hidden the last big slice from the kids just so we could savor it one last time after they had gone to bed one night.  Don't judge us, it's that good.  And that last 1/4 cup of reduced coconut milk didn't go to waste.  Look out for a delicious use for the rest of that milk.

Triple Coconut Cake

Isn't he handsome!  Love that man!  My daughter and I had lots of fun making this cake together.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Creamy Dill Pasta Salad (Seafood Optional)

I served this pasta salad with the ribs I posted last week.  My hubby digs on this salad and I love how versatile it is.  I have made it with crab, tuna, shrimp, and just the plain ol' pasta salad.  They all have been awesome and they all taste slightly different depending on what kind of seafood you add.  I use whole wheat pasta to make the salad a little more substantial (and healthy).  I use Kraft mayo with olive oil instead of regular mayo because it is a little lighter and I love the taste of it so much more.  I used to HATE mayo.  Like don't bring that thing near me because I might gag kind of hate.  But I tried the mayo with olive oil and decided I could like this mayo thing.  And I do.

Creamy Dill Pasta Salad (Seafood Optional)

3 cups uncooked spiral whole wheat pasta
6 oz. can black halves halved and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp dill weed
1-2 cans tuna, 1 cup chopped shrimp, 8 ounces crab, chopped, optional

3/4 cup mayo
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

Cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook.  Rinse in cool water.  Drain well.  Place in large mixing bowl.

Add vegetables and and, if using, seafood.  Toss to mix.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined.

Pour over pasta and salad and stir to coat.

Chill and serve.

Slightly adapted from Fix-It and Enjoy-It cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Fabulous Friday- Pesto Ranch Chicken (gf)

In talking with my husband one day during dinner, he asked why I wasn't taking pictures of what we were eating.  Ha ha, talk about the plight of a blogger's spouse always waiting to eat until your wife has finished taking pictures.  Any who, I informed him the meal I made was from a fellow blogger and I had made it as it, and loved it.  I realized I need to be sharing these recipes.  There have been a few recipes that I have tried that we have hated.  Only one thus far was really awful but sometimes it can be hard to pick out the good from the bad.  So I've decided that each Friday I will feature one recipe that we have adored and hopefully you will go check out that recipe from that blogger and enjoy their wonderful recipes, just as we have.

Onto our first featured recipe.  I made this last week and we enjoyed it immensely.  Absolutely delicious and a crock pot meal using just 4 ingredients.  Few things are better than that.  The only thing I changed was using boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Crock Pot Pesto Ranch Chicken (gf)

Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken by Picky Palate

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuscan Style Pork Ribs With Balsamic Glaze (gf)

We love cooking outside but it is something we have not done much of since we have moved out here to Georgia.  There are a lot of bugs!  Like outrageous amounts of bugs and when the weather is nice enough to be outside the bugs are out in full force.  But this summer has been so much nicer!  We have actually been outside a few times.  One day we were having our church's missionaries over for dinner but we had been busy all day and I realized I didn't have what I needed to make the dinner I had been planning on.  I did have ribs in my freezer which I pulled out to thaw and knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make.  This is my all time favorite way to do ribs.  The spice rub on them is awesome!  I have made this countless times and will make it countless more.  I love the fact that  there is no basting and essentially no turning.  I turned them once in 2 hours and then twice more just really quick when I added the glaze on at the end.  Low maintenance dinner during the summer is right up my alley!  These can be made in the oven or on the grill. I have made them both ways and obviously cooking them on the grill just kicks it up a notch.  So go make some killer ribs and knock the socks off the men in your life!

Tuscan Style Pork Ribs with Balsamic Glaze (gf)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp crushed red pepper, optional, depending on how much heat you like
up to 6 lbs pork ribs
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a small bowl combine oil and all spices.  Rub spice paste all over ribs and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours (Or as long as possible.  I always forget this step so it only sits out for 30-45 minutes.  It's still delicious.) or refrigerate over night.

For grilling:  Preheat grill to 325 degrees, for charcoal that is about 30 briquettes.  Cook ribs directly on grate for approximately 2 hours, flipping once halfway until ribs are tender.

Brush ribs with vinegar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more each side.

For oven: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Arrange ribs on a large rimmed cooking sheet or roasting pan, meaty side up.

Roast ribs uncovered for 2 hours until tender.

Preheat broiler.  Brush meaty side or ribs with balsamic vinegar and broil 6 inches from heat until browned, about 2 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes then cut between ribs, or serve in slabs.

Adapted from Fix It and Enjoy It Cookbook by Phyllis Good

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancakes

During the winter I did lots of baking, especially muffins so that we would have breakfast on hand to add variety to our morning meals.  Man, or child, cannot live on cereal alone.  During the summer though the thought of using my oven for extended periods of time just makes me way too hot.  So pancakes are a great alternative.  My kids love them and these particular pancakes have become a staple.  My hubby and I love them because they are delicious all on their own- no syrup needed.  That's a good thing all around in my opinion.  I like to make lots of different flavored ones- blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, peach, vanilla with chocolate chips, etc.  There are so many possibilities because there are so many different varieties of yogurt.  Sometimes I use Greek yogurt other times I use light yogurt.  It just depends on my mood and what I have on hand.  

(pictured, clockwise from left: key lime topped with whipped cream, blueberry, and raspberry)

Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancakes
Makes about 12 pancakes

2 large eggs
1 cup yogurt (any flavor or style, fat free, whole fat, Greek, you choose)
2 to 4 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Butter for skillet

Whisk egg and yogurt together in a large bowl. If using a thin yogurt, do not add any milk. If using a regular yogurt, add 2 tablespoons milk.  If using a thick, Greek-style yogurt, add 3 to 4 tablespoons milk. Use a flavored yogurt, to achieve different flavors.  I have also done a key lime pie flavored pancake using key lime pie yogurt, ¼ cup plus a dash of lime juice (adding no milk) and adding about ½ tsp lime zest.  It was a more subtle flavor than I had hoped for but it was still delicious.

Whisk in melted butter and vanilla extract. In a separate, small bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet only until dry ingredients are moistened. A few remaining lumps is fine.

Melt a pat of butter in the bottom of a skillet over medium heat.  Scoop slightly less than ¼ cup batter into your skillet leaving room between pancakes. The batter is thick, so gently flatten the pancake using a spatula or I use my ¼ cup measuring cup that I use to scoop the batter out to flatten them.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the pancakes are dry around the edges and bubbles form on top.  Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes.  If the pancakes are cooking too quickly, lower the heat because if they cook too fast the center will be under cooked since the pancakes are on the thicker side. Keep the pancakes in a warm oven as they are done cooking, until you are ready to eat.

Note: These are perfect to make in large batches and freeze.  I place wax paper in between the pancakes and freeze them in a ziploc bag.

Make It and Love It


Monday, July 1, 2013


I've mentioned before how I have lots of fond food memories growing up.  This is another one of those meals that I have great memories of.  We would make these as a family right at the dinner table.  My mom would set up the deep fryer in the middle of our table and we would each have a dumpling press and we would make a ton of these, frying them as we went.  It was a lot of fun.  My kids are too little to do this yet but you bet it will be something I do with my family.

Pork Wontons

1 lb. lean ground pork
1/2 head green cabbage
3 green onions (white and green parts)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
wonton wrappers

Coarsely chop the cabbage and onion.  In the food processor with the blade attachment, finely chop cabbage and onion but do not mince.  Mix with the remaining ingredients.

Place 1 tsp filling in the center of the wonton, press air out, wet edges, press and seal edges.  Fry in deep fryer until each side is golden brown.

They can be frozen by placing uncooked wontons on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bring to room temperature in a single layer to fry.

This makes a ton of wontons.  If you don't want to make the entire recipe into wontons, take about half of the pork mixture and make fried rice.  Cook the pork mixture until browned and add leftover rice and scrambled eggs.  Continue to mix it all together in the pan until heated through.

You may also be interested in:

Make your own take out- Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans
Cantonese Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans
Make your own take out-5 ingredient Pepper Steak
5 Ingredient Pepper Steak
Just 6 ingredients this make it yourself sweet and spicy chicken is incredible
Honey Glazed Chinese Chicken
A healthier alternative to traditional fried rice using edamame and quinoa for nutritional punch
Quinoa Fried Rice

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