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Thanks Scott Pollacek - about me

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Ribs

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I love good ribs!  I could break into the baby back ribs song, but I spare you the singing.  We have tried for years different methods of making ribs at home.  Some were good, some not so good.  But finally we have found the perfect method for cooking ribs.  So this really isn't a recipe but the process that we follow to slow smoke ribs.

Picking out the right ribs is important.  I suggest going to your butcher or local meat market and asking for St Louis style pork ribs.  You want there to be some fat, and nice meaty ribs.

Next is a good rub for the ribs.  there are lots of good rubs available in the store, but I like to use my own rib rub recipe.  Although it is called a rub, you shouldn't actually rub it into the flesh of the meat.  That will just tear up the meat.  Coat the ribs with a little bit of olive oil, spinkle with the rib rub, and pat it so that it sticks to the meat well.  set it aside for at least an hour so the rub turns to a syrupy marinade.

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3-2-1 smoking method:

Prepare your smoker (Or grill).  We use a small electric smoker since we don't really cook a ton of meat all at once.  

 smoker

If you are using a grill, you'll want to cook the ribs over indirect heat, and keeep the temperature around 225.  Once the temperature has stabalized, add the glazed ribs to the smoker.  You should have a pan of water or even better, a comnination of water, beer and apple cider in the smoker to produce steam that will keep the ribs moist.  Add a few chuncks of hardwood chuncks for the smoke.  I like to use a combination of apple wood, cherry and hickory.  This method of smokig is called 3-2-1 smoking for the length of time for each stage of the cooking.  I have done this many times, and the ribs are always juicy, tender and flavorful.

  • The first 3 hours the ribs will be on the smoker with smoke, meat side up.  Make sure that the water pan has enough liquid throughout the cooking.  I also like to spritz the ribs with apple cider a few times in the first 3 hours.  
  • The next 2 hours you will wrap up the ribs in aluminum foil, and add some apple cider before sealing up the foil.  Back on the smoker this time meat side down, no smoke necessary for these 2 hours since the ribs are wrapped up.  
  • The last 1 hour, back onto the heat, meat side up, without the wrap and still no smoke necessary.  The final 15 to 30 minutes you can add barbeque sauce.  Sometimes I like to finish off the last few minutes on the gas grill with higher heat to get a little char on the ribs, but that is up to you.

The ribs are really cooked through after the first 3 hours, but the 2 hours in the foil wrap make them very moist and tender.  You will notice the meat is starting to pull back from the bones when you unwrap them after being in the foil.  After the full 6 hours on the smoker the ribs will be tender and flavorful.  My mouth is watering writting this up.  I can't wait for the ribs to come off the smoker today!

Scott Pollacek - about me

 
Jan
14
2014

Sun Room Tile

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You might remember around 6 years ago we tiled a whole lot up at the camp.  Well, I guess it is about time we finished what we started way back then.  We had planned to redo the sunroom tile as part of that project, we even bought the tile for it but never got around to it... until now.  Of course after 6 years, the scope of the project got a little bigger.  We have added radiant floor heat, and are putting in a ceiling fan and recessed lights as well.  Here is a slideshow of the progress so far.  A few more weekends until it is complete.

Scott Pollacek - about me

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag white chocolate baking chips - chopped
  • 1 cup craisins lightly chopped
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted  
White chocolate cranberry cookies

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven 350°F. 
  • Blend butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until mixed.  Sift toghether the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Stir sifted dry ingredients into dough mixture, add chips and craisins. Chill about one hour in refrigerator.
  • Measure out about 1 oz dough balls and slightly flatten. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Makes around 4 dozen cookies.

Notes:  Dough will seem dry or stiff, but flattening the cookies before baking makes for a perfect cookie.  They do not spread much in the oven.  We have found that the base of this recipe makes great cookies.  It's very easy to experiment with alternate chips and ingredients.


Scott Pollacek - about me

 

Mint chocolate chunk cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (10 ounce) mint baking chips
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted  
Mint chocolate chunk cookies

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven 350°F. 
  • Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and eggs until mixed.  Stir in mint baking chips and flour. Chill about one hour in refrigerator.
  • Measure out about 1 oz dough balls and slightly flatten. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Makes around 4 dozen cookies.

Notes:  Dough will seem dry or stiff, but flattening the cookies before baking makes for a perfect cookie.  They do not spread much in the oven.


Scott Pollacek - about me

 

Cranberry Margarita

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We are testing this one out as a possible cocktail for Thanksgiving.  Hopefully it tastes as good as it sounds.  It takes a little prep time, but the cranberry jelly can be made up to a week ahead.Cranberry Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Make cranberry jelly by combining the cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbs orange juice in a saucepan.  heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick and jammy.  Add orange zest and chill.
  • Mix the salt, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and pepper on a flat dish.  Wet the rim of your glasses with lime juice, and dip the rims into the salt mixture to "salt" the rims.
  • For each cocktail, combine ½ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. orange juice, 1½ oz. tequila, and 3 Tbs cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake. Strain into prepared glass.
  • Enjoy

Scott Pollacek - about me

 
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