Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's For Dinner??

Tonight I made a new meal. We are celebrating getting renters into our old house. We also are celebrating our great budget last month. I made ribs, the ones I got on sale...they were 30% off because they needed to be froze that night. I also made a fresh cucumber and tomato salad and cantaloupe. We will be having caramel apple pie for dessert...after a while I am stuffed now. Here are the recipes for our meal. I searched until I found recipes that matched ingredients we had. I was going to run to the store for BBQ sauce but instead found the recipe that had all my ingredients. So I didn't have to spend any extra money...

My meal costs
Free cucumber and 2 tomatoes from the garden
$5.29 Ribs
$1.00 (estimated) One large tomato
$0.57 1/4 Cantelope (A huge canteloupe; been eating it 2 days; original Price was $2.28.)
$1.16 1/2 of an apple pie

Not bad for a family of four and this was an "expensive" meal. I usually try to get more for my money but wanted to make this a special meal.

All the ingredients for the sauces I had in the fridge or pantry. I used dried seasonings. I am not patient enough to calculate a tablespoon of this and a tablespoon of that. I also used one giant cucumber (you wouldn't believe the size of that thing) and two smaller tomatoes from my dad's garden. Then I used one large tomato I picked up from the Farmers Market.

It's amazing by keeping a few select things on hand you can make a world of dishes.


2 pkg. country style ribs
1 c. catsup
2 c. water
1 onion, diced
1/8 c. Worcestershire sauce
Dash celery salt, garlic powder, seasoned salt & pepper
1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix together all the ingredients except the ribs. Put the ribs in crock pot. Pour the mixture over ribs. Cook on low 8-10 hours in crock pot. Good with baked beans and corn bread.



1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves
5 fresh oregano leaves
3 small fresh cucumbers (pickling or thin slicing)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, vine ripened

Mince garlic or press through a garlic press. Let garlic stand in balsamic and wine vinegars for 10 minutes (this takes the "edge" off). Discard any garlic which has green sprouts in the center, as the flavor is too sharp and bitter for this salad - use for another purpose.

Wash basil and oregano leaves (pick at noon time on a sunny day for best flavor). Roll up leaves and slice into little strips (chiffonade). Chop and add to your best olive oil and allow to stand in oil while garlic marinates.

Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients. Wash cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel cucumbers, leaving a scant amount of peel (helps with digestion). Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch coins (circles).

With a sharp knife, remove stem and blossom end from tomatoes (a very small amount). Slice tomatoes into wedges, being careful not to crush and lose juice.

Place tomatoes and cucumbers in salad bowl and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.

Combine olive oil with vinegars, whisking together well. Use to dress tomatoes and cucumbers; serve at room temperature.

Variations: Add 1 thinly sliced red onion, pitted oil cured black olives and fresh mozzarella, sliced (or use the small bocconcini).

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