sweet & spicy ribs with potato wedges

ribs & potatoes

I know, I know — I did it again.  This time it wasn’t just a few months since I’ve posted, but almost a year! It’s not that I didn’t want to, but this past year has been crazy! If you remember this post, you remember that I made some big life changes last spring.  I can now say that I successfully completed my first year of my Ph.D. at Stony Brook, I celebrated one year with both my kitty and my new car (still so in love with both), AND some more big news — I got engaged in January! Most of you who read this blog probably know this already since I totally took over Facebook with pictures and posts about the big day. But, basically, Mike proposed in the city on my birthday weekend and everything was as perfect as could be. I have to share one picture (that most of you have seen) just because this was the best moment of my life so far…

the best moment of my life

Anyway, with all the craziness of school and starting to wedding plan, I unfortunately have barely had time to cook anything exciting.  This led me to realize that not cooking  = stress levels through the roof.  Spending half a day on the weekends preparing a fantastic dinner for my fiancé (still so fun/weird to say!), my family, or some friends is just one of the most fun and relaxing things in the world.  This year has forced me to see that I really need to make time for myself despite how busy life can get. Starting now, I am doing my best to be more committed to cooking (and I guess exercise since a girl’s gotta fit into her wedding dress!)

This past weekend it finally felt like summer, so I took Saturday to enjoy myself and do all my favorite summery things .  I spent the morning at the farmer’s market, where my best find was bottled cold brew coffee from Gentle Brew Coffee Roasters. As you can see, I re-used the bottle to hold some fresh flowers and I just find it to be adorable.  I then spent the afternoon preparing this recipe for sweet and spicy ribs that I found in June’s Bon Appetit. What says summer more than BBQ ribs!?  We enjoyed this with roasted potato wedges and my Oma’s famous cucumber salad (recipe not included here because it deserves its own post). Pair this with your favorite summer cocktail (mine is gin & tonic) and surround yourself with your favorite people and chow down outside and relax — that is what my family and I did!


sweet & spicy ribs

  • 2 St. Louis style ribs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper (cut this in half if you’re not a huge fan of spice!)
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

roasted potato wedges 

  • large potatoes (I used 5 which generously served 3 people)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

sugar & spiceribs are rubbed


For the ribs:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt in small bowl and set aside 1/4 cup of the spice mixture.  Rub the ribs with the remaining spice mixture.  Wrap the ribs tightly in two sheets of aluminum foil and place on baking sheet.  Bake 2-3 hours, until tender. Let cool. Remove ribs from foil and save the juices by pouring into a heat proof measuring cup/bowl.

Melt butter in medium sauce pan until foaming and just starts to brown (do not burn).  Add 1/4-cup reserved spices and juices from baking the ribs. Simmer until reduced by a third.  Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar.

Prepare the grill on medium high heat and oil the grate. Grill ribs, basting with sauce and turning occasionally, until charred in spots (about 5-10 minutes).  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice between ribs and serve with remaining sauce.

Ribs can be baked one day ahead and stored in the fridge.  They should be brought to room temperature and grilled before serving.

For the potatoes:

Slice the potatoes into thin wedges. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. (After the ribs came out of the oven, I upped the temperature and tossed these babies in — the timing was perfect!)  Serve right out of the oven topped with parmesan and chopped parsley.

taters   ribs on the grilllll

Rib recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

How I eat it: with a Tanqueray and tonic outside on the porch

Enjoy! And I promise to be back soon with more recipes 🙂

the meal


skirt steak with accordion potatoes & cucumber-radish salad

the full meal

Oh, yes — spring is upon us. And it’s finally starting to feel like it (okay, maybe I’m jumping the gun a little bit with that statement). I know I haven’t posted since January but here I am, back with a full meal for you.  And even better, it’s a meal for the grill to get you pumped up for the warmer weather to come!  I know a post with a meal may be overwhelming, but I am always debating what sides to make with a certain meat or fish, so I hope you find the ideas helpful!

This Sunday dinner was inspired by the May 2013 Food & Wine Magazine.  All three components of this meal are a slightly modified recipe from the spring-filled edition.


For the skirt steak:pre-mise en place

  • 2 lbs. skirt steak, trimmed of fat and scored
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

For the potatoes:DSC_0719

  • 1 lb. fingerling or baby white potatoes
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • bay leaves

For the salad:

  • 1 large cucumber or 3 Kirby cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small dried red chile, crushedsmoked peppahs
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 large radishes, thinly slice
  • 1 cup mixed herbs (I used parsley and dill)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the steak:

In a food processor, combine parsley, red onion, red pepper flakes, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and salt and pepper. Puree until nearly smooth.  Scrape marinade into large resealable bag. Add steak and turn until well coated, pressing marinade into steak.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Remove steak from marinade and let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.  Light a grill, oil the grates, and brush steak with oil. Grill steak over high heat, turning once or twice, until lightly charred outside and medium inside (about 5-6 minutes per side).

Transfer steak to carving board and let sit for 10 minutes.  Slice across the grain.

marinade   DSC_0780

For the potatoes:

Slice potatoes at 1/8-inch intervals, cutting down but not through the potatoes.  Transfer to a baking sheet covered with tin foil. Whisk olive oil with paprika.  Drizzle potatoes with 5 (out of the 6) tablespoons olive oil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.  Insert small bay leaf into each potato and roast 45 minutes longer. (Note: Roasting time may depend on how large your potatoes are or how well your oven cooks — I adjusted the initial recipe times of 20 and 20 minutes.) Remove potatoes from oven, discard bay leaves, and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

paprika oil   little potatmins

For the salad:

In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the cucumbers, garlic, chile, sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice.  Seal bag, shake, and squeeze slightly to mash the cucumbers and release the juices.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Drain cucumbers, reserving 2 tablespoon of cucumber juices. Discard garlic and chile. Whisk cucumber juice with remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add cucumbers, sliced radishes, and herbs. Season salad with pepper.

DSC_0755   DSC_0716


Recipes adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

How I eat it: with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon =)