Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sunday Family Dinner

Sunday Family Dinner
(yup, a beloved tradition)


The Fam (of course) & Some Friends (always)

Barbecued Ribs & Chicken
Roasted Veggies
Grapefruit, Onion & Basil Salad
Fresh Cucumbers in Cider Vinegar Salad
Lettuce Salad w/Bottled Dressing
Poppy Seed Noodles (for those not on South Beach)
Some Gross Gerber's Concoction for Little Miss Magic
(that she refused to eat, as you can see below)

"MOMMY! wha dees?" "i NO eat dees!"

"I eat dees!"
Little Miss Magic loves her ribs 'n chicken!
The veggies? Not so much.

Mood & AmbienceExcellent, as always!
To the right is the cast of dry characters that go into making perfect barbecued ribs. For a package of (Costco) ribs (about 9 pounds worth), line one very big cookie sheet with foil. Rinse ribs and put on cookie sheet, underside up. Sprinkle with fresh ground kosher/sea salt and black pepper, then with Penzey's Bavarian, Galena Street and Northwoods seasonings (Penzey's is my personal favorite brand). Finally, with a fine sprinkle of brown sugar. All amounts are to your personal taste. Turn ribs over and sprinkle with all seasonings again. Cover tightly with foil and put into a 250º oven for 2 to 3 hours - after 2 hours, check for tenderness. Continue baking until rib meat easily separates when tested with fork. When done, turn off oven. Ribs can be held at this point for an hour or two at room temp. Any longer than that, cool completely and store in fridge. Make your favorite barbecue sauce, (or buy your favorite) and simmer it until it is thickened. Don't forget to put your very own secret ingredients into your sauce
and simmer it until it is thickened, (one of my secrets is cayenne pepper. The other? Nope, not tellin'!). About 20 minutes before you eat, fire up the grill, put the ribs on, coat with barbecue sauce and grill till sauce caramelizes, 5 or so minutes per side. When taken off the grill, cover with foil. Just before serving, cut ribs into 3 - 4 rib pieces.

For the bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs, sprinkle with salt, pepper, Galena Street and Northwoods. Place on another cookie sheet and bake, uncovered, at 350º for about an hour, or until they are cooked to an internal temp. of 170º. Grill for about 5 minutes per side, until the barbecue sauce caramelizes.

Little Miss Magic's mommy (Miss H.) made the grapefruit salad and it was FANTASTIC! (It's a recipe from Giada de Laurentis and you can find it here.) Must admit I tried it because Miss H. was hovering right next to me and I really didn't want to be rude by not at least trying it. You see, I eat with my eyes, I hate olives, so, consequently anything with olives in it or on I don't eat. Suffice it to say this was one time I am so glad I went beyond my usual expectations. Oh. My. GOD! You can't even begin to understand what an unbelievably wonderful, delicious, perfection-in-a-bite combination that fresh grapefruit and fresh basil are! Get rid of the olives and I'll eat this till the cows come home. FABU!
Our next little treat was a huge platter of roasted veggies Jules (the other usual family hostess) "threw together". BTW, she throws everything together, and always brilliantly. You see, she is throw 'n go cook so there's no set recipe. This time, she marinated green and yellow squash, grape tomatoes, red peppers, sweet onions, eggplant, portabello's and whole garlic cloves in a combination of balsamic, olive oil and a bit of molasses that was mixed with salt, pepper and a bunch of herbs. When all was said and roasted, she threw a handful of feta cheese over everything. The veggies were served at room temp. Bee-You-Tee-Full!!

Hmmm...we also had my family's famous - at least to us - Fresh Cucumber Salad. We take an English cucumber, peel it in stripes, slice it about 1/4" thick and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle the bowl liberally with fresh or dry dill and fresh ground black pepper. If you're of the Southern persuasion, you can also add a pinch of sugar at this point. Then we cover the cukes with apple cider vinegar (no other will do), add some water and cover all with ice cubes. Sprinkle salt over the ice cubes and let sit for no less than 30 minutes. Serve cukes with a slotted spoon so you don't make a mess of your plate. This dish usually doesn't make it to the actual dinner. There are many pilferers that make short work of this.

Our meal also included mundane greens with your choice of mundane bottled dressing - it's Jules' and my way of protesting that people don't eat what's served to them (dammit!). And because there were so many protests from the carb-addicted-non-South-Beach-embracing segment of this unruly crowd, Poppy Seed Noodles were also a last minute addition. They're wonderful, delicious, fabulous...and totally unnecessary. So be it! If you're interested, Poppy Seed Noodles are simply hot cooked egg noodles tossed with butter, poppy seeds and fresh ground black pepper. Top with Parmesan or Romano. Oh, and be sure to offer a fresh roll of dental floss to all those eating this.

Dessert is never a big thing - but there's usually ice cream, and, of course, Oreo cookies, around so those with sweet tooths don't feel too deprived.

The very most important part of this day is the FAMILY in the Sunday Family Dinner. Jules and I (along with our hubby's...well...sorta) have inadvertantly established a family tradition that I truly believe will long outlive us. Our six kiddos really do get upset with us if we miss too many Sunday's in a row. It has become an important part of their lives.

We couldn't be happier.

Here's to Sunday Family Dinners.
Here's to Family Traditions whatever they are.
So very important!

P. S. Pretty sure the meal was well liked. ;-)



P. S. (and a very serious one): We found out today that Jules' dad has had a very serious medical emergency. She and the rest of her brothers and sister have flown to Milwaukee to be with him. Please offer your thoughts and prayers. It will be so very appreciated. Thank you so very much!


  1. Wish I could've been there. Yummy.

  2. You are tagged. I just started reading you blog and love it. So, I need to know more about you.

  3. I'm all of a sudden feeling very hungry. Another great post, your blog is so entertaining.

  4. Mmmm. This is not fair, me here, drooling on the keyboard and none of this wonderful food in my refrigerator. Thanks for the recipe. They are going into my "To try" file. Mmmm.

  5. Looks fabulous! Everyones giving away their rib preparation lately!
    I've never heard of the seasonings you mentioned. East Coast only?

    Warm thought to Jules' dad....

  6. I have been eating contract feeder, hopital food for three days...why, oh why did I read this post...I want to come home...see you soon

    Thanks asthmagirl for your thoughts:)

  7. I have been eating contract feeder, hopital food for three days...why, oh why did I read this post...I want to come home...see you soon

    Thanks asthmagirl for your thoughts:)

  8. I am so jealous! It's so quiet here all the time. No big fam meals on Sundays. When I was young, I often wanted to escape my large family, and now that I'm older, I am so missing it! I think it's wonderful for you.
    Prayers for Jules' father have just gone out.

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