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Thanks Scott Pollacek - about me

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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.

DSC 2731 500

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.  


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.

Ribs on smoker

  • 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.  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


Maine Squeeze Ice Cream


For the 4th of July weekend we decided to make some homemade ice cream.  We have a ton of blueberries and some fresh lemon so we came up with this recipe for the "Maine Squeeze".  Maine because when we vacationed in Maine a few years ago we got completely hooked on blueberries, and squeeze for the hint of fresh lemon.  Really this is a great vanilla ice cream base with a swirl of blueberry compote.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  This vanilla base can be used for a whole lot of flavors.  Get creative and leave a comment with what you have tried.

Maine squeeze ice cream


For the vanilla ice cream base:

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs

For the blueberry swirl:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/8 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbs cold water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the blueberry swirl:

  • Combine the berries, honey, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until the blueberries begin to burst.  
  • Add the corn starch, salt and vanilla, cook until mixture begins to thicken.  Add lemon zest just at the end.  
  • Cool mixture and keep in the fridge until the ice cream is ready.

For the vanilla ice cream base:

  • In a medium saucepan combine the cream, half and half, vanilla bean seeds 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 1 hour.

heavy cream for ginger ice cream

  • In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat to a homogeneous consistency.

eggs and sugar for ginger ice cream

  • Bring the cream mixture back to a boil and turn the heat off. Immediately strain and whisk a third of the cream mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and then immediately whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining cream mixture.
  • Chill the mixture over an ice water bath.

almost ready to freeze the ginger ice cream

  • Churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions (30 minutes to 1 hour).

ginger ice cream into the ice cream machine

  • Pour half of the soft ice cream into a container and top with half of the blueberry swirl.  With a rubber spatula gently fold the blueberry swirl into the ice cream.  Top with the remaining ice cream then blueberry swirl and gently fold again.


I find that the vanilla base is a little sweet on it's own but with the tart blueberry lemon swirl it balances out nicely.  If you were using this on it's own or with other falvors, you may want to cut the sugar a bit.


Scott Pollacek - about me


Pad Thai Zoodles


We are late to the zoodle game.  Honestly, I never heard of it until this past winter.  Once we saw it, we went out and got a spiralizer and started to experiment.  This was the first recipe we tried, and it has been a go-to ever since.  Not exactly Pad Thai, but more Pad Thai inspired.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • sesame seeds (for garnish optional)
  • fresh lime wedges (for garnish)

Spicy Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs of peanut butter
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs corn starch (to thicken the sauce)


  • In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ground ginger, coriander, red pepper flakes and corn starch. Set aside.

spicy peanut sauce

  • Spiralize the zucchini, slice the chicken breast into thin slices and prepare the pepper, onion, carrots and peanuts.

spiralized zucchini



  • Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil and scramble the egg in the hot pan.  When the egg is cooked remove the egg and add the sliced chicken. Saute for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add red peppers, onions and carrots.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add zucchini noodles and peanut sauce. Flash stir fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until all noodles are coated.
  • Serve and garnish with sesame seeds, a squeeze of fresh lime, the scrambled egg and the chopped peanuts.

pad thai zoodles


Scott Pollacek - about me


Creme Brulee


This is always a crowd pleasing dessert.  It's been a while since we have made it, but I saw a post from a while back that reminded me how much we love this.  I think we will have to make it again this weekend.

makes: 4 Servings


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp good vanilla extract
  • 8 tsp fine raw sugar or granulated sugar for caramelizing

creme brulee


  • Preheat oven to 300°. Keep a pot of hot water nearby.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and sugar and cook, stirring frequently until steam rises, approx. 4-5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until blended. Gradually pour hot cream into yolks, stirring constantly.
  • Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, divide among four 7-ounce ramekins.
  • Line a 3" deep baking pan with a clean kitchen towel, place ramekins in pan, and add hot water to fill pan halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil.
  • Bake until set, 30-35 minutes, until the centers of the custards shake gently when the pan is shifted.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool slightly.
  • Remove the ramekins from the pan, cool to room temperature, then chill thoroughly 3 hours or overnight.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle the custards with 2 tsp. Sugar and caramelize the topping with a kitchen torch, or place the ramekins under a broiler, 2-3 inches from the heat source for 3-4 minutes.

Scott Pollacek - about me


Bourbon Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


We love cookies!  We love chocolate chip cookies!  I don't even know how many different cookie recipes we have, and we use them all.  This is a new one for us.  Chocolate chip cookies with bourbon (and taragon) in them.  Tried it out for th efirst time and surprise, surprise... we love them.  The sea salt is optioal, but we have found with many of our cookie recipes that a little sprinkle of salt on top really brings out the flavors and makes a great cookie.

bourbon chocolate chip cookies


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Tbs finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • Course sea salt to sprinkle tops (optional)

bourbon chocolate chip cookies


  • Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Continually stirring, heat until it browns to make brown butter. Remove from heat once butter turns nutty brown. Set aside to cool
  • In a bowl stir together the flour, baking soda & salt
  • In a stand mixer, beat together cooled butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg, egg yolk, bourbon & vanilla extract, beat until well combined
  • Add in flour mixture, mix until evenly incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and tarragon by hand. Chill dough for 30 minutes
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop cookies dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet
  • Top with a sprinkle of course sea salt (optional)
  • Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes

Adapted from

Scott Pollacek - about me

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