Archive | July, 2014

Mixed Summer Berry Pudding

summer pudding (3)


Mixed Summer Berry PuddingThis recipe is a great way to use slightly over ripe berries.  It’s a wonderful summer dessert that requires no time in the oven!  It does need to set up overnight, so it requires a little planning, but it comes together quickly and can be made a day or two prior to serving.  It’s perfect for summer entertaining because all that is needed when serving is just a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream or – my favorite – nonfat frozen yogurt.

7 C mixed summer berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or strawberries)
½ C 2 T granulated sugar
¼ C water
12 slices white sandwich bread, crust removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for serving

1.) Prepare the mold:  A day before you plan to serve the pudding spray a  9″ loaf pan with pan spray.  Line with plastic film, making sure to press film neatly inside mold.  Set aside.  You may also use a 2 qt mixing bowl for a rounded shaped presentation.
2.) Make the pudding:  Combine berries, sugar and ¼ C water in a medium sauce pan.  Simmer over medium high heat until sugar is completely dissolved and berries have given up their juices.  Stir in lemon juice.
3.) Pour ¼ C berry juice in the bottom of the prepared mold.  Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of bread.  Cut the bread as needed to fit snuggly. * I like to use the best pieces for this layer because the dessert is served inverted, so the first layer in the pan will become the top of the dessert.  Spoon 1/3 of berry mixture over bread slices.  Smooth berries evenly over bread.  Top with a second layer of bread and berries.  Repeat until all berries have been used, ending with a layer of bread.  Pour any extra juices evenly over the top of the assembled pudding.   Cool and then wrap pan with plastic film.  Place a weight on top of the pudding and refrigerate overnight.
4.) Plate and serve pudding:  Unwrap pudding and turn over onto serving platter.  Carefully remove plastic and slice and serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen nonfat yogurt.


best ribs



Typically grilled ribs require hours of smoking at low temperature (200-225 degrees) and lots of time over a hot grill.   This recipe makes great ribs but avoids the time consuming hours over the grill.  By oven roasting and then quick grilling them with a tasty homemade bbq sauce you can enjoy ribs almost anytime, but especially this 4th of July weekend!


2 T                                         kosher salt

2 T                                         black pepper

2 T                                         ground chili powder

1 T                                         smoked paprika

2 t                                         ground oregano

1T                                           thyme

2 racks                                pork spare ribs (3 1/2 & down)


Prepare the ribs:  Trim the ribs to remove the tough membrane and bony end of ribs.  You can do this or have your butcher do this for you.  The skirt flap and breast plate may have already been removed, but it is necessary for you to remove the sinewy, tough membrane along the back side of the rib.  It can be removed easily by inserting the tip of a knife along the corner of the membrane.  Using a paper towel, grasp edge firmly and slowly pull membrane away from the bones.

Dock the meat between the bones to allow rub to flavor the meat more fully.

Place ribs on a rimmed sheet pan and season ribs with prepared rub and let rest, refrigerated, for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Slow roast ribs for 1 ½ – 2 hours.  You want the fat to render and the meat to pull away from the bone.

The ribs may be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Brush sauce (see recipe below)  on cooled, roasted racks of ribs.

Grill over medium heat for a total of 15-20 minutes or until lightly charred.  Each time you flip ribs, add a little more of the bbq sauce.

Allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes.

Hold rack vertically and cut downward between the bones into individual ribs.

Serve, passing extra bbq sauce on the side.

Serves 4-6


2 t                                         vegetable oil

2                                             onion, minced

4 cloves                             garlic, minced

1 1/3  C                             brown sugar

½  C                                      red wine vinegar

2 C                                        ketchup

¼ C                                        Worcestershire sauce

1 T + 2 t                            smoked paprika

2 T                                         Dijon mustard

2 t                                         cayenne

Salt and black pepper to taste


Heat oil in sauté pan over medium high heat.

Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

Makes approx. 3 Cups