Monday, August 29, 2016

Baby Back Ribs

I have a confession to make.  The closest I have ever come to “cooking” baby back ribs is heating up a rack of the Lloyd’s fully cooked ones I usually have in my freezer for my first dinner back from Mau`i each year.  Strangely enough I have not seen them on sale for me to stock up on for a couple of years now so when I happened to see the meat that was on sale at the butcher at Farmer Joe’s were baby back ribs, I decided to try making it myself.  Leaving my husband to request it when our number was called while I shopped elsewhere, I discovered that he only bought a ½ rack to test, just in case it did not come out.  Oh, the confidence!! 

I am happy to say that this quick way of parboiling for 25 minutes and finishing on the grill was a success making me wish I had the full rack!! 

Baby Back Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce Rachael Ray Recipe -

Note:  I did not have bourbon so left it out and used red wine vinegar vs. cider vinegar and the BBQ sauce came out just fine. 

Price:  $7 for 2 servings =  $3.50 per serving


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Slap In the Face Open Face

Sometimes you just have one of those days where anything that can go wrong does.  Just as I was reheating my chicken fajita leftovers for a late lunch, I felt like I was slapped in the face as I found that my flour tortilla skins had molded.  UGH!!!  Scrambling to figure out what else I can have for lunch as I stared in my mostly empty fridge, scramble it is!!  I whipped up some eggs as the base for my fajita toppings and threw everything over toast turning that slap in the face into an open face. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Steak and Plantain Tacos

Not sure if it is our subconscious, Murphy’s Law, or what, but we often find ourselves unintentionally making and/or eating pasta, beef, or going vegetarian days in a row.  So after just making fajitas a couple of days before and consuming a plate of 4-5 street tacos of lengua (beef tongue), tripa (tripe), and camarons (shrimp) for lunch, what’s for dinner tonight?  Murphy says tacos again!    

My husband found this recipe from a Real Simple magazine his co-worker left behind and the addition of the plantains reminded him of the surprisingly delightful combination in the arepas we previously had at Pica Pica. 


  1. Although the recipe had most of the ingredients cooked up in an iron skillet, my husband did it on the George Forman grill – cooked bell peppers first for 3 min so it can soften more as it rests, then steak, plantains last.  Just remember the George Forman cooks both sides simultaneously.
  2. Split the plantains in half lengthwise before grilling to ensure it cooks thoroughly


  1. Make sure to find plantains on the riper side, otherwise the core may remain woody after grilling
  2. I am not a big cabbage person so we just added grilled red bell peppers instead but I bet pickled cucumbers would be a nice substitute too

Price:  $12 for 4 servings =  $3 per serving (2 tacos)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chicken Fajitas

Since chicken breast tend to be a challenge making it flavorful and easy to dry out, I lean towards steaks when I make fajitas at home and save the chicken for ordering out so I can let the experts handle it.  However, when we decided the last minute to have fajitas and my steak supply in the freezer was running low and earmarked for a different dish, I finally decided to give the chicken the old college try with this online recipe we found. 

Price:  $12 for 4 servings =  $3 per serving (2 ½ fajitas per serving)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Well Dressed Salmon

I always stock up on salmon this time of year when Costco carries the Wild Sockeye Alaskan salmon for $9.99/lb so am always on the lookout for new preparations of this versatile fish.  With both cucumbers and tomatoes in season and therefore in my fridge already, this well dressed salmon was a refreshing way to serve it during the summer.  To ensure my salmon is cooked thoroughly, instead of pan frying it, I went with my tried and true method of roasting it for 12-13 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven before dressing it. 

Notes:   Since I did not have dill on hand, I substituted with fresh basil and it was just as tasty

Price:  12 for 3 servings =  $4 per serving

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Falafels were something I use to have in my dinner rotation every couple of months due to easy access to fully cooked falafels (Trader Joe’s) so only assembly required.  Maybe it is because I became more adventurous in my recipes these days but as I was standing at TJ”s this past week trying to figure out what’s on the menu for the week, I was gently reminded of this former staple.  You can freshly make any of the ingredients yourself or you can pick them all up from TJs and just assemble.  It is back to basics. 


Trader Joe’s fully cooked Falafels (2 packs)
6 Pita Breads (12 pockets)
Tahini Sauce
Baby Spinach Leaves


  1. Heat the fully cooked falafels per package instructions
  2. Cut pita breads in half to create 12 pockets (heat if desire)
  3. Spread inside of pita pocket with hummus, add 2 falafels per pocket, top with spinach and tahini sauce
Price:  $16 for 6 servings = $2.67 per serving

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Quiche Muffins

When I saw this super easy recipe to not only make quiche but individual sized ones in a muffin tin, I knew I had to try it.  With spinach leftover from the bibipmap I made 2 nights before and onions and cheese always a staple in my fridge, I was only missing the tomatoes which I skipped.  Not sure if that is why it was not as moist as I expected but with eggs only 1.29/dozen at Trader Joe’s talk about a budget friendly option and one I can always try again once I get those tomatoes! 

Price:  1.20 cents for 6 quiche muffins = 20 cents per quiche muffin