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Greek Pork Souvlaki

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With all the warm weather and sunshine we’ve been having (i’m going to ignore the fact that Mother Nature was trying to snow today) I have been getting really excited for spring! One of my favourite things about spring and summer is all the BBQ I don’t have to do but get to enjoy. My hubby is in charge of that department. I have purposely avoided all BBQ lessons in an attempt to keep it from becoming a part of my cooking resume. I like passing the buck (literally) over to my hubby when it’s that time of year. Firstly, it gives me a break in the kitchen since I only have to prepare the side dishes and secondly, I’m positive the result of me BBQ’ing would be charcoaled remnants of meat, a lack of all facial hair, third degree burns or a spontaneously combusting propane tank flying through the neighbours fence. So I steer clear of that genre of cooking.  But with the deck free of snow and the sun shining, I am more than happy to try some new recipes and send my hubby outdoors.

These souvlaki skewers were part of our greek dinner the other weekend and not only were they amazing but so easy to prepare! I chose pork but you could use whatever preference of meat you like. We served them aside greek salad, pita’s and tzatziki and lemon rice (recipe to come). I hope you like them!

Happy Monday everyone!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 2 lemons juiced

Directions

 1. In a glass dish, mix all ingredients. Place cubed meat pieces into the mixture and toss to evenly coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
2. Place marinated meat on skewers and BBQ or bake in the oven. (If you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in warm water for at least 20 minutes before using)
Barbecuing is one percent inspiration, and ninety- nine percent perspiration. – Thomas Edison


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Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

My brother was staying with us for a few weeks when he moved back to town last month. I’m so glad he’s back home and I was soooo excited to have some company in the early afternoons when I get off work early. But that posed a problem. Now I was feeding two grown men and myself (and I can out eat both of them on a regular basis) So I had to expand my usual light dinners to a much more meat-and-potatoes friendly menu. I told my brother I’d treat him to some homemade slow cooked ribs even though I’d never made ribs before. Now that is sibling love if I ever heard of it.

So I made an easy BBQ sauce and cooked them all day in the slow cooker while I was at work. My house smelled like a steakhouse when I walked in the door and my brother loved the ribs! The sauce was great over rice as well. He is a true rib connoisseur so I knew they were good. This picture was the ONLY chunk of ribs that stayed in one piece pulling them out of the pot. The rest literally fell off the bone. And baking them first made a huge difference in sealing the juices in. Hope you like it!

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs (enough to fill a 9 x 13 baking dish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • several dashes of hot sauce (depending on taste)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Place ribs in a shallow baking pan. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes. Drain fat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, BBQ sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender. Enjoy!

A smiling face is half the meal. – Latvian Proverb


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BBQ Turkey Burgers

I never crave fast food but lately I can’t get enough of burgers! Veggies burgers, beef burgers, chicken burgers, turkey burgers…. It’s a sudden addiction for me. But since I value my arteries too much to visit the golden arches i’ve decided to improvise. PLUS it’s BBQ season! It’s so nice to be cooking outside vs in front of an oven for a change and food always seems to taste better when it’s cooked and eaten outside.  I personally prefer leaner meat so this is a great healthy alternative if you’re limiting your red meat intake, or fast food intake. These turkey burgers remind me of thanksgiving dinner squashed between two buns and what’s not to love about that?! I serve mine with fresh coleslaw and fresh cut veggies. Or if I really need a fast food fix, I serve with homemade oven fries. Either way it’s a great summer dinner! Mmmmm….

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1 1/2  plbs ground turkey breast
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 small bell pepper, green, red or yellow, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (Montreal Steak Seasoning)

Toppings:

  • 4 kaiser or hamburger buns
  • havarti cheese
  • red pepper relish
  • leaf lettuce
  • tomatoes

Directions

1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside.

2. Combine and mix rest of ingredients in large bowl. Divide mixture into equal patties. BBQ for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. (if you want melted cheese then add during the last two minutes of cooking)

3. Pile cooked burgers onto buns. Top with cheese, turkey bacon, relish, lettuce and tomatoes. Enjoy!

It is better to have burnt and lost, then never to have barbecued at all. – William Shakespeare