Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beyond the Bottle . . . .

No no, this post is not about Martini Friday or anything alcohol related.  Instead it’s about those bottle dressings and sauces and marinades that provide a little shortcut to meal prep.  Sure, they are easy.  But honestly, I find the taste to be mediocre.  And the list of ingredients contains a lot of unpronounceable junk.  So for a while I’ve been making my own when I can.  I started with salad dressing.  My favorite is something I call Lemon Herb Vinaigrette, even though I don’t actually put any vinegar in it.

If it doesn't contain vinegar is it still vinaigrette?
This dressing is simply lemon juice, herbs (fresh from the garden when I can, dried during the winter), a little fresh ground pepper and olive oil.  I used to whisk up what I needed for my salad, but lately I’ve been shaking it up in a canning jar and keeping the extra in the refrigerator for a few day’s worth of salads.

Then the other day I came across a recipe on Clinton Kelly's website for barbeque ribs.  I almost never cook ribs at home but I thought this recipe looked really good and really easy, so I decided to give it a try.  I was also intrigued by the idea of making my own barbeque sauce instead of using the bottled stuff.  Spoiler alert: It was a huge success!!

The meat absolutely just fell right off the rib bones!
As usual, I put a bit of my own spin on the recipe.  I used beef ribs instead of pork because that’s what I prefer.  They were expensive, but I consider this a treat meal and also it was WAY cheaper than if Pete and I went out for ribs.  The barbeque sauce was so easy to make - you just mix together the stuff and let it simmer.  I was too lazy to go buy bourbon so I searched on-line for substitutions.  One suggestion was to substitute one part vanilla and two parts water.  It was delicious but I’ll still pick up some bourbon the next time we hit the liquor store so I can try it that way.  I also added some cumin and chili powder to spice it up a bit, because that’s what I like.  I think next time I’ll fiddle with reducing the sugar a bit.  However, I could totally make it the exact same way next time and be thrilled because it was so so so good!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So barbeque sauce is now added to the list of things I’ll never by bottled again (along side salad dressing).  I like that I can make my own with fresher ingredients and less preservatives and other crap.  I like to know exactly what is going into it and that I can fiddle with the amounts.  Because it is much easier to bolus for those tricky sauces and dressings when you actually know and can control what is in them.


  1. You should ALWAYS have bourbon on hand. Just in case I drop by! Nothing better than a bourbon old fashioned :)

    1. Hmmmm, all those bourbon, whiskey, scotch things just taste like a glass of nail polish remover to me (not that I've ever actually sipped a glass of nail polish remover). But cook or bake with them and I'm on board!!

    2. Karen, I'm with you!!! Bourbon does taste like what nail polish should taste like. I've never had a drink of nail polish either though!!! U've inspired me too to try and make these on my won!!! Go you!!!! HUGS!!!!

  2. You mentioned bourbon. That DOES make this about Martini Friday. HA! I'm as lazy as they get (my picture is in the dictionary next to the definition) so I've never made dressing or BBQ sauce. I'd like to start though. You may have inspired me. May. Have. I've got to get over the lazy part first. :-)


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