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Monday, 8 May 2017

Slow Cooked Chinese Style Ribs

When you think of BBQ food you may often think of charred sausages, undercooked chicken and dried out burgers, but with a little forward planning it doesn't have to be this way. Meat can be pre cooked beforehand in the oven, slow cooker or sous vide and then finished off on the bbq for that bbq taste, without the risk of making your guests ill!

We have a gas bbq which is great for all year round cooking, and as it's the type with lava rock it really does taste as though it's been cooked on a charcoal bbq. Bbq's in our house don't have to be a major event, and I'll quite often cook dinner outside when the weather is nice, which can save on a lot of washing up!

Pork ribs are delicious on a bbq, but they can often be tough if they haven't been pre cooked, or dried out if they've been on the bbq for too long. This recipe for Chinese style ribs produces moist meat that's full of flavour and comes away easily from the bone. I've pre-cooked them in the slow cooker, coated with sauce and then finished off on a hot bbq.

Sticky Slow Cooked Chinese Style Ribs

The ribs in the large bbq pack from Great British Meat Co, are perfect for this recipe. 1kg of ribs contains around 10 ribs; enough as an appetiser for a family, or a meal for one or two.

Sticky Slow Cooked Chinese Style Ribs

Slow Cooked Chinese Style Ribs

2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1cm fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp honey
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (optional)
1kg pork ribs

  • Mix together the soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, honey, garlic, balsamic and Chinese 5 spice together
  • Coat the ribs in the sauce and add everything to a preheated slow cooker
  • Cook on high for 2 hours, or until the meat comes easily away from the bone, but doesn't fall off when touched
  • Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and add the liquid to a saucepan
  • Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer for approx 10 minutes, until thick enough to coat the ribs - if you like your ribs spicy then add the sweet chilli sauce now
  • Coat the ribs with the thickened sauce and cook on a hot bbq for a few minutes each side, ensuring they are heated through thoroughly

Sticky Slow Cooked Chinese Style Ribs

I've got quite a lot of bbq recipes & tips on this blog, which can all be found here.

I was provided with a large bbq pack free of charge. The pack is currently on offer at £32.50, and contains enough meat for for 8-10 people.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Rhubarb Cake Traybake

Well that was a bit of a typically rubbish bank holiday with the weather. It's May but we spent much of the weekend wrapped up in winter coats watching football. Where we should've been sitting on blankets in the sunshine, we instead had the blankets over our knees to keep warm!

Thankfully the sun came out on Monday afternoon allowing us to spend a couple of hours in the pub garden, catching up with friends who we somehow only seem to see when the sun comes out and we bump into each other over a pint. The best kind of friends!

I hear the sun is shining in Portugal, and as that's where I'm heading next week for a break with old friends I'm happy that I will be able to wear my flip flops at long last.

Rhubarb Traybake

This weekend did mark the arrival of our rhubarb though, which does make me happy, as I bloomin' love rhubarb, firstly because it doesn't require me to have any green fingers to grow it, and secondly because it makes a mean crumble. On Sunday I cooked a roast dinner (which is a bit of a rarity here), and followed it with a home made crumble  and a rhubarb cake. I started to panic when I checked the baking cupboard & realised that the girl teen had used up all the caster sugar making her speciality chocolate mug cakes, but had thankfully left me 3 eggs, which was enough for the cake. I used soft brown sugar instead of caster, but it would work equally well with caster, albeit a little paler in colour.

Rhubarb Traybake
Rhubarb Traybake

It's a lovely moist cake, and it can be served warm or cold, on its own or with custard or vanilla ice cream. It's also great for packed lunches and picnics, and keeps well for a few days in an airtight container.

Rhubarb Traybake

Rhubarb Cake Traybake

Hijacked By Twins

Celebrate Star Wars Day with Swagbucks Collectors Bills

In honour of Star Wars Day, Swagbucks has a special one-day-only collector's bill available exclusively through Search! It's an 8 SB bill available all day long - and here's the best part: If you get it, you'll get an automatic 20 SB bonus as well!

If you aren't already a member of Swagbucks, it's a site where you earn points (called SB) for Searching the web, shopping, discovering deals, taking surveys, and watching videos. Then you redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal, New Look, M&S, Debenhams, and more! They've awarded hundreds of pounds in free gift cards already in the UK, and I've personally earned over £400 in gift cards since November, which I've used to buy clothes, gifts, electronics and more!

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Swagbucks now

Friday, 28 April 2017

Creating a Desk area out of an Unusable Space

A few years ago we knocked the utility room out of our relatively small kitchen and extended the kitchen out into a conservatory. Whilst we now have a pretty large kitchen/family room space there isn't a great deal of workspace. There's enough for cooking and prepping food as we also have an island, but I longed for somewhere to organise our lives. I needed a little desk area to keep the family diary, letters from school, the wheelie bin calendar, and other general bits and bobs, without taking up a much needed area of worktop.

A couple of years ago I made a memo board wall, but as it was mostly behind the kitchen door it didn't really work for me, and there still wasn't anywhere to keep the diary apart from in the hallway, and I kept forgetting to look in it!

I then came up with the genius idea to change the opening of the kitchen door. Instead of opening into the kitchen, it would open out into the hallway, freeing up that unusable kitchen wall which would no longer be hidden behind the door. We did similar in our ensuite bathroom last year, and it made a huge difference to the space, making it feel so much larger.

I found a local chippie on Checkatrade, who changed the opening and refitted a new door for £40, enabling us to fit a shelf to the kitchen wall. A few accessories were purchased, and I now have a handy shelf for all our paperwork and reminders, plus somewhere to hang school artwork.

Creating a Desk area out of an Unusable Space

Creating a Desk area out of an Unusable Space

 photo kitchen2_zpsxxjqul3t.jpg

Creating a Desk area out of an Unusable Space

Copper Clock : John Lewis
Wire Memo frame : Maisons du Monde
Stacking mugs : Waitrose
Memo pad & Notebook : Sainsburys
Copper beaker : Sainsburys
Copper bulldog clips in jar : Sainsburys
Copper tealight holder - New Look
Copper vase : Tesco
Shelf & Brackets : Ikea
Half glazed door : B&Q

Creating a Desk area out of an Unusable Space


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