Black & Blue Clafouti

Inspired by a cherry clafouti photo in "Canning for a new generation" and then this post
decided to make a clafouti with blackberries and blueberries (since that's what I had!).

I had thought with a french name it would be complicated, but really it's like an oven baked pancake or dutch baby, just with fruit/berries! So this came together quite quickly- my only complaint is that it heated up the house. It's quite lovely and would make a great dinner party dessert or poluck dish.

Since I don't keep milk in the house, I had to sub out for rice milk. I omitted preheating the oven (always the dare-devil I like to check which things really need a preheat versus not)... and next time I'd definitely preheat the oven. The cake batter seeped to the bottom- I think it would be better distributed if placed in a preheated hot oven.

Note: it is quite wobbly when hot- so I'd advise scooping with spoons (or prep in individual ramekins!). Or let it cool and it will slice easier. We actually preferred the flavor and textures of cold clafouti. It makes a good breakfast :)
Layer 10 -16 oz of berries (blackberries & blueberries or any kind you like) in a pie pan.

Beat 4 eggs with electric mixer until frothy. Add 1/4 C sugar and continue beating.

Add 1 C milk or non dairy mylk (I used rice milk) and stir.

Finally add:
1/8 tea salt
1/2 C flour (I used whole wheat white flour)
1 TB lemon juice
optional: almond or vanilla extract

Pour this liquid over the berries in the pie pan. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until set.

Serve hot or cold. (slices better when cold, or use spoon when hot)

Purple Cauliflower Biyrani (Indian rice pilaf)

How do you make a full dinner dish out of famer's market cauliflower? Usually cauliflower takes a side role, roasted with peas to go with curry or grilled with something else on the bbq.

This is a one dish rice dinner that uses up lots of veggies! It's a cross between a biyrani and pilaf. The one cup of rice cooks up to make quite a lot of food- so you can make it for company, or know you'll have lunch leftovers! Reheats well.

In large pan, heat until seeds start to pop:
olive oil
2 tea mustard seeds
2 tea cumin seeds

After about 60 seconds, then add 1/2 to 1 diced onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook until onion starts to brown.

Next add and stir for 30 seconds:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB grated ginger
1 tea garam masala
1 tea corriander

Add 1 C white basmati rice to the the oil and spice mix and toast for 60 seconds. (I normally use brown basmati in other dishes, but it takes longer to cook. If you use brown, then add the veggies after the rice is cooked partially so the veggies don't get soggy).

Now add a few cups of hot water and stir in:
chopped purple cauliflower
optional diced purple cabbage
optional any other veggies you want to add (green beans, carrots, celery?) 

Make sure it's got enough water to cook the rice (i.e. looks watery in the pan). Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Once rice is cooked through, add:
green peas

Season with turmeric, amchur/amchoor (or substitute lemon juice), and salt.

Serve hot.

Tomato Basil Bacon Zucchini Pasta

Inspired by this post to try blanching the zucchini pasta, and to try bacon/tomato/basil as a topping.

I thought it would be good (really anything with bacon is good) but this was excellent.  It made it to the "Favorites List" immediately. And I think I could make it for guests (albeit with some strange looks but upon one taste I'm sure all would be pleased).

I love that this comes together quickly once the chopping/prep is done, and doesn't really heat up the house as it is all stove top- thus the perfect summer weeknight meal.

For two people, can double for more. 

Get a pot of water boiling with a teaspoon of salt

Slice 2 small zucchini into noodle strands (I use a gadget I bought in Japan that makes 1/8" by 1/8" noodles when you drag it along the zucchini).

Chop 1 large tomato (or a pint of cherry tomatoes) into chunks.

Slice large handful of basil into ribbons. 

Chop odds and ends of bacon (these are cheaper than full slices at the meat counter) into bit size pieces.  I'm approximating 2-4 oz of bacon?

Once the water is at or nearing a boil, start sauteing the bacon in a dry pan.  Cook until bacon is browned on both sides, nearly completed cooking.

Put zucchini strands into the boiling water and boil (blanch) for 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and basil and cracked black pepper to the hot bacon pan- careful it will splatter. Stir around and get the chunks at the bottom of the pan to incorporate with the bacon-fat-tomato-juice liquids.

When zucchini noodles are done, drain in colander.

Scoop up bacon/tomato/basil mixture and plop over each portion of strained zucchini noodles. Serve immediately.


Easy Whole Wheat Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

These are simple and the ingredients are easy to remember (one, one, one, one)!

Mix together:
1 C buttermilk (or milk or rice milk)
1-2 bananas, mashed
1 egg

Add and stir in:
1 C whole wheat white flour
1/4 to 1/2 tea salt
optional: cinnamon

Fry up in small pancake rounds using 1 TB butter.

Serves 2 as big breakfast or dinner. 

Good as is, or drizzled with maple syrup, additional bananas, and/or toasted walnuts.


Beet Chips (raw vegan)

Picked up some golden beets at the farm stand for cheap.  I'm still trying to love beets. I can now tolerate them, and I'm using the French phrase "I just haven't had them enough times" to explain why I don't-yet-love beets.

Sliced thin on a mandolin these are quite beautiful with concentric rings.

After dehydrating the slices at 105 F for several hours, they aren't quite as pretty. But the sweetness intensified and there's just a hint of earthiness.

I figure I can snack on these here and there and see if I can develop more liking for beets!

Eco Idea: DIY Organic Cotton Handkerchiefs

Normally don't write about non-food things here, but just couldn't resist after finishing this project! 

I've been working on  breaking my tissue habit- I have tissue boxes everywhere (4 around the house and one more in the car).  It creates so much waste in the tissue and the landfill-ness that it finally came to the top of my eco-ROI-list (yes the informal ongoing list in my head of tasks, sorted by their "eco-ROI", which is how much better for the environment they are divided by how much extra work it entails).

Buy 2 yards organic cotton knit fabric (should be $5-8 per yard or less- try to use coupons!). 

Cut fabric into 9.5" squares (a rotary cutter and cutting mat helps!)

Serge the edges, rounding corners so you have just one end of serger thread hanging out.  

I used matching white thread, but you could go fancy and use blue or metallic thread or whatever- just don't pick colors that look like snot or that are rough on skin.

Make enough to keep a stack of 5+ at each place you normally keep a tissue box.

Optional: make boxes to hold the folded handkercheifs, or make boxes with another compartment for the used/dirty tissues. This is next up on my list.

Wash: throw in the wash with like colors. I don't worry about doing these in a separate load or on hot unless someone had a really nasty cold :)

Bread Pudding Master Recipe

Bread pudding is so simple to make and economical because it uses up old/stale bread.  You can prep it ahead of time- it does well after sitting (unlike cakes or muffins that need to be baked right away in order to take advantage of the whipped eggs or baking powder/soda).

Ratio to remember: 2 eggs per 1 cup milk/non dairy milk

Bread Pudding Master Recipe: 

Combine liquids:
2 eggs
1 C milk/cream/buttermilk, non dairy milk (rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk etc.)
1/4 C (or more) sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, sugar etc.) 
1/8 tea salt
1 tea vanilla extract

Pour over 3-4 C cubed bread (stale is fine, try whole wheat bread, challah, sourdough, baguette, bagels etc.) in a pan that holds the bread.

Optional: add your favorite add-ins. Examples: raisins, chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate, finely chopped nuts, cinnamon, berries, diced apples, etc.

Let the bread soak up the liquid and stir every couple minutes.

Bake at 350 for approx 25-35 minutes or until set- you want custardy at the bottom and slightly crispy/browned on top.

Serve as is, or with whipped cream, drizzle of honey/maple syrup, scoop of ice cream or fresh berries.

  • Cinnamon Raisin bagels+ extra raisins + extra cinnamon
  • Chocolate milk + chocolate chips + almond extract
  • Diced apples + cinnamon + walnut chunks

Simple Roasted Sweet Potato

Saw it on a blog somewhere and then had to look it up! This is a simple meal and very filling- lots of nutrient dense carbohydrates :)


Prick one large sweet potato with fork tines (to help release steam later).

Place in oven on a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 400 with potato inside, let it cook for total of 45 minutes or until soft throughout.

Once soft, split open, dab with butter or coconut oil and salt, optional roasted garlic.

Nutritional facts: my sweet potato was quite large, about 350-400 grams.  Half of that is about 200 calories, plus any butter you added!

Fried Egg Tortilla Wrap

This was a quick and filling breakfast. 

Fry 2-3 eggs (farmer's market is best!) in olive oil or butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put lettuce on 1 ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. 

Place fried eggs on lettuce bed, dab salsa (tomatillo salsa pictured here) and wrap!


Honeydew Melon & Bok Choy Smoothie

The name pretty much says it all. 

Blend 1 baby bok choy with 1 cup of honeydew melon and a little water.

Thrifty tip: when cutting up melon, you don't have to discard the seedy goo in the middle. It's actually quite sweet, and with a high powered blender most of the seeds break down and make your smoothie creamy.  I use the inner seeds and membrane as part of my 1 cup of melon.

Chia Oats Breakfast

This is a new breakfast favorite- I'm surprised I haven't blogged it sooner! Got the idea from my friend for overnight oats (simply soaking rolled oats in nut mylk for a while), then added the chia seeds.

1 tablespoon of chia seeds proves 2.4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind!) which is enough for most diets (of course you can always eat more- chia seeds are delicious!) Omega-3s protect the brain and are essential for many functions in the body.  Most Americans don't get enough omega-3s, hence this is a great way to start the day.

If your oats are raw or home-pressed, and you make your own nut mylk, then this is also a raw breakfast.

Combine in a bowl:
1/2 C rolled oats
1 TB chia seeds
1/2 C rice milk or other non-dairy milk

Let sit for 5 minutes or more for the oats to fluff up and soak in the liquid.

Top with fruit (plums, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, banana etc.)

Approximate nutritional info (before adding fruit): 275 calories; 7.5 grams protein, 33.2 grams carbohydrate, 7.65 grams fat; 2.4 grams omega-3 fatty acids.

Blender OJ (orange juice)

After reading about the disgusting process for producing orange juice in those cartons at the grocery store (i.e. stored in tanks for over a year and spiced up with orange flavor packs that aren't disclosed on labels), I've switched to making my own-- in the blender.

Simply peel a few oranges, toss into high speed blender with a little water and let it whirl.

The blender method is easy to clean up and provides more fiber than juicing.


I scored 7+ pints of raspberries for less than $8! Of course I had to go in the hot sun and pick them myself-- but totally worth it!  On the west side of Portland, West Union Gardens is the best berry (raspberry, blackberry, currant etc.) u-pick farm. Seriously, berries are one of the highlights of living in the northwest.

Aren't they pretty in my new japanese bowl from Daiso? Thanks Lorisan!

These were eaten by the handful (pint-ful?), and on quinoa breakfast porridge. Yum!

Olive Buckwheat Flatbread (raw, vegan, grain & gluten free)

These are really good with your favorite dip, like hummus.  Haven't tried it yet but assume these flatbreads would be awesome with baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip) or guacamole.  This is a nice recipe because you can enjoy "chips and dip" party-style while maintaining high-nutrient-density eating.

Blend until combined:
1/2 C pitted kalamata olives
1 C chopped celery
1.5 C water

Now add to blender and blend until combined:
1 C flax meal
1/2 C raw buckwheat groats

Pour onto one (or two) 14"x14" teflex lined dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 104 F, for 4 hours on each side or until done (how thick you poured/spread will affect the drying time). 

Leave as one big sheet and tear into rustic pieces, or score when you flip the breads to get squares or triangles.

Vegan Sag Aloo (creamy greens & potatoes)

I love any Indian dish with spinach it seems, so when I came accross a recipe for a vegan sag aloo in "Chloe's Kitchen" I knew I had to try it! This is very light but satisfying- you wouldn't even know it is vegan/dairy free!

Also it cooked up fast because you boil the potatoes- one those are done then you throw everything in a large skillet. 

This is an excellent way to use up greens from the farmer's market.  Spinach, mustard greens, swiss chard... anything that is light and leafy (avoid heavy greens like collards) should work great.

Cut 1-3 C potatoes into bite-sized chunks, boil potato chunks until done. I like waxy potatoes like yukon gold or red potatoes.

Chop 1 large bunch of greens into pieces the size of a dime or smaller. I used swiss chard (stems removed). Spinach, mustard greens or any leafy greens from the farmer's market would work (except collards which I suspect are too think). The food processor is great at this.

Blend 1/4 C raw cashews with 1/4 C water in high speed blender until creamy. Set aside.

Now we're ready to cook.  Pour 1 TB olive oil in hot saucepan. Add and cook for 30 seconds:
1 tea mustard seeds
1.5 tea ground cumin
1.5 tea ground coriander
1.5 tea garam masala
1 TB grated ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Optional: If you are light on potatoes or have mushrooms sitting around, you can dump up to 1 C sliced mushrooms in at this point.

Dump in the chopped greens, stir.  After 30 seconds add the cooked potato and cashew cream. Stir and warm through over low-medium heat. 

Add salt to taste and 3/4 tea amchoor powder (sour dried mango- or substitute lemon juice).

Serve with roasted Indian cauliflower peas (pictured), brown basmati rice, parathas or chapati bread. 


Salmon & Veggie Soup

This is a great way to use up whole salmon (or other fish) as you can use the leftovers from hot smoked salmon and the trimmings in one dish.   Make the salmon stock ahead of time.

Saute 1/2 diced yellow onion in olive oil until starting to brown.  Add thinly sliced carrot, celery and diced yukon gold potatoes. Saute for a few minutes until starting to soften.

Add salmon stock/broth (or use fish stock or veggie stock), stir to scrape the veggies off the bottom of the pan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 15-25 minutes until potato and veggies are soft.

Stir in corn, leftover cooked salmon (I used leftover smoked salmon!). Season with salt and pepper.

Once warmed through, serve with crackers or sourdough bread. Optionally garnish with chopped parsley.

Variation: Salmon Potato Corn Chowder
Puree cooked potatoes and add to the soup. Optionally add cream or whole milk.  Substitue carrot and celery with more corn. 

Hot-Smoked Salmon on Weber Grill

My friend James taught me how to hot smoke salmon.  Hot-smoking is like grilling, but with a wood-chip-smoking phase.  This is different from cold smoking that is much slower and uses lower temperatures (and usually can't be done on a traditional grill).
And more importantly, it's not hard to do and doesn't require special equipment. Use a standard Weber grill (although one with a hinged grill inside will help but isn't necessary).  Pick up some alder wood chips and charcoal and you're ready to go!
So delicious! This is good hot, cold, on sandwiches, in soup or sushi/temaki rolls.

Hot Smoked Salmon Method:
Rinse 1-3.5 lbs of salmon fillet in water.

Place salmon, skin down on foil on a baking sheet.  Pat dry with paper towel. Fold sides of aluminum foil to make a tray.

Generously spread spice rub/mix over salmon.  The spice rub should contain salt, sugar and black pepper. I like smoked paprika too! Here's my spice mix:
4 TB paprika or smoked paprika
2 TB white sugar
1/2 tea onion powder
1 tea salt

Let the salmon sit at room temp with the spice rub on it for 20 minutes while you work on lighting the grill (I've read it is best to cook seafood when it is at room temp anyway).

Get a generous amount of coals/briquettes going in a chimney starter.  You want to have enough so your fire is strong when you shut the vents for the 5 minute smoking at the beginning. Too few coals and the smoking time will extinguish the fire. 

Once flames are shooting 5-7+ inches out the top of the chimney starter, then pour half of the hot coals on each side of the BBQ grate, leaving 8-10 inch pathway through the middle of the grate where the salmon will sit.

Get ready by putting the salmon and foil onto the top grate of the grill.

Pour several large handfuls (approx 4 C?) of alder wood chips directly on the hot coals.

Immediately place the top grill with salmon on the grill. The salmon should not be over the coals- you're going for indirect heat.

Close the lid over the grill. Close all vents (top and bottom). Set timer for 5 minutes. Assuming you had enough coals and they were hot and flaming then this will not extinguish the fire- it will get the wood chips to smoke and infuse the salmon. 

After 5 minutes, open the vents (top and bottom).  Set another timer to check the salmon in 7-10 minutes.

You will cook the salmon until done, approx 10-25 minutes in total after the initial 5 minute smoking. The time depends on the heat of your grill/coals and the size/thickness of the salmon fillet.

Salmon Broth (what to do with the trimings when you buy whole salmon)

New Seasons was running a special for whole wild keta salmon at $4.99 a pound!  Previously scared at the concept of buying a whole fish (?!!) I decided to take the plunge. And it was worth it. 

Usually places will fillet it for you on the spot.  And then you get the extras/trimmings for free.  And the price per pound is usually lower than the fillets sitting there.

The trimmings I got included the salmon "cheeks" (meaty pieces with fin attached from right behind the head) as well as the spine and the meat around the spine.

I threw the salmon trimmings into pressure cooker pot with the usual stock making companions: onion, celery, parsley, black pepper corn, bay leaves.  I had a corn cob and husk laying around (and had read about making corn stock) so I threw that in there too. Added water.

Sealed the pressure cooker and brought it up to pressure. Then reduce hte heat, maintain pressure and cook for 10-20 minutes. Let the pressure come down, then strain.

The little bits of meat left in the pot made excellent dog treats.

And the stock made really good salmon soup!!

Potato Harvest (and why everyone should grow potatoes)

I've come to the realization that everyone should grow potatoes.  Here's why:
  1. most of the time you've got old, sprouting, squishy potatoes going bad in your kitchen that you would normally throw out or compost. So this is the ultimate in thrift!!
  2. potatoes are on the "dirty dozen" list for most pesticide residue, so they are important to buy organic. Or grow your own!!
  3. potatoes thrive even in bad soil
  4. potatoes don't need tons of water (so I can put them out of the reach of the sprinklers and they'll survive the summer)
  5. potatoes don't seem to care about the weather either (at least not in Portland Metro area, zone 7 ish). I started some in February- they just took longer to grow.
  6. home grown potatoes taste more potato-ey than store ones... sooooo delicious!

Favorite ways to enjoy home grown potatoes: roasted, mashed, potato salad, in soup, or on salad!

Method for Home Grown Potatoes:
Find old squishy and/or sprouting potatoes. Any kind will do (yukon gold, red, russet, fingerling, purple).

Cut into chunks, preferably with at least one eye/sprout per chunk.

Place chunks in soil.  I use a deep bucket. Fill the bucket 1/3 of the way with soil. Spread potato chunks out. Pour in 3-5 more inches of soil over the top. Spread remaining potato chunks out.  Pour remaining soil, to cover by at least 5 inches.

Let the potatoes grow. Don't worry, it will take a while for them to tunnel up and for the green shoots ot appear at the surface.

Let them continue growing until the greens turn yellow and start to die. It doesn't matter if they flowered or not.

Dig up the potatoes. Rinse and enjoy.
 Note: we grew this amount of potatoes (8-10 lbs?) in two large buckets (approximately 9 cubic feet). These were from store bought yukon gold, red and purple potatoes that had gone bad in our kitchen!

Roasted Baby Potatoes and Farmer's Market Carrots

When you've got home grown baby potatoes and uber-fresh carrots, this is what you do with them!  Their flavors really shine. This is so simple but so delicious.

Wash potatoes and carrots

Slice carrots lengthwise into halves.  Cut any large potatoes into chunks, otherwise leave the small ones whole.

Place carrot and potato on rimmed baking sheet. Toss a glob of bacon fat, butter or olive oil.

Place the pan in a 350 or 400 F oven. In a few minutes the oil/fat should melt. At this point give the pan a shake to toss the veggies in the fat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over.

Continue cooking until soft on outside and crisp on outside, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy on their own right off the pan, or with a side salad. 

White Cherry Vanilla Preserves

Fell in love with cherry preserves at Frog Hollow's restaurant in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  Big chunks of cherry goodness is just the thing for dreary winter days.

I read in a jam book about using the kernels inside cherry pits to add a maraschino flavor to jams and preserves.  And I've also been fantasizing about white cherries and vanilla in a jam... so here it goes!

White cherries are notoriously overpriced- anywhere from $4.99 - $7.99 a pound at farmer's markets and grocery stores. I got mine by picking my parent's tree-- nothing beats three pounds of cherries for FREE.  Some farms will let you U-pick cherries- so you'd get a better price per pound.

White Cherry Vanilla Preserves
Makes 4-6 half pint jars

Sterilize 6 half pint jars.  Get ready fresh lids for the 6 jars.

Wash and pit 3 lbs cherries (stemmed and pitted- approx 8 C).  I used white cherries (queen anne, or rainier). You could also use  dark sweet cherries (like bing). Sidenote: I love my Push Button Cherry pitter (call the phone number on this website and arrange a mailing, then pay by check) which I got for $9.95 including shipping - I can pit 3 lbs of cherries in less than 10 minutes!! Another reason to love: it is a small device as it sits on top of a small mouth canning jar- meaning less storage space.

Using a towel and a hammer, smash a few of the cherry pits on a cutting board. Remove the white inner kernel from inside the cherry pit. Do this until you have 1 TB of cherry pit kernels. Roughly chop the kernels, then place in a tea strainer.
From left to right: white inner kernels from inside cherry pits; queen anne cherry, pits.

Put cherries in saucepan with a splash of water. Bring to a boil, stirring & crushing fruit a little bit. Place the cherry pit kernel tea strainer in the pan.

Add 1 C sugar and stir to dissolve

Add 1/4 C lemon juice. Scrape the seeds from 1 vanilla bean into the mixture and stir. Don't worry if they clump at first-- the 20 minutes of simmering will make them spread out.

Cook for 20 minutes, until reaches desired gel.

Turn off heat, let rest 5 minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean, seal with lids.

Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

BBQ Spice Rub & Sauce (home made from tomatoes)

Adapted from my friends' folks favorite recipe. The recipe made a little over a quart (large canning jar).  It was delicious on slow cooker bbq ribs

I don't normally keep ketchup in the house (in fact I used the last cup of kethcup from an old-old container- yay for cleaning out the fridge!). Hence I'm using canned tomatoes/tomato paste which worked well.

You can make this vegan by using a vegan version of Worcestershire sauce.

The recipe requires 2 hours of simmering on the stove, so be prepared! I'd bet you could adapt this for the slow cooker- something like a few hours (3-5??) on low is where I'd start experimenting (although I wonder if you'd want the lid on or off?).

Mix the spice rub and set aside: 
8 TB paprika or smoked paprika
4 TB white sugar
1 tea onion powder

Combine the following in large wide saucepan.  (next time I want to try making in slow cooker for 4 hours on low- not sure how much adjustment is required for slow cooking the sauce.) 

2 C pureed tomatoes (I used what I had which was 1 C ketchup, 6 oz tomato paste, some water and 28 oz diced canned tomatoes, pureed)
8 oz water
6 TB brown sugar
6 TB white sugar
1 TB black pepper
1/2 TB onion powder
1/2 TB dry mustard powder
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
4 TB of spice mix
(See above)

Bring to boil, then simmer on low for 2 hours until thick and dark. 

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

This is from a Cook's Illustrated recipe for ribs, cooked in the slow cooker and finished under the broiler. It's great because you don't have to do anything with it for the 5- 6 hours that it cooks-- so you can set it up, enjoy the day, and then finish it for dinner.  The worst part was boiling down the sauce, and removing the ribs from the slow cooker (they fell apart!)

Buy 3 lbs of pork ribs. Select small ones, like baby back as they are easier to maneuver.  Specifically you want the width of the ribs (i.e. the length of hte longest rib bone) to be shorter than the height of your slow cooker.

Use a spice rub/mix to coat the meaty side of the ribs. My spice mix is:
8 TB paprika or smoked paprika
4 TB white sugar
1 tea onion powder

 Place the ribs into the slow cooker, wrapping them inside with the meaty sides facing the walls of the cooker.The rib bones will be perpendicular to the ground (i.e. standing upright).

Pour 3 C barbecue sauce over the ribs in the slow cooker. I make my own with this BBQ sauce recipe.

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Prep a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Check at the 5-6 hour mark- are the ribs tender?  Once tender, remove the ribs, placing them meaty side down on the prepared baking sheet. Tent with foil.

Let the barbecue sauce in slow cooker cool for 5 minutes, which will let the fat rise to the top. Spoon off and discard the fat. Pour the barbecue sauce into large saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the sauce is thickened down to 2 cups (approx 15- 20 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush ribs with some of the sauce. Broil 2-4 minutes or until beginning to brown.

Flip ribs over (meaty side up now), baste with more sauce. Continue to broil 9-12 minutes until browned and sticky. You can baste with additional sauce while cooking if you want.

Let rest 10 minutes. Then serve.

White Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie

I'm a big fan of smoothies with almonds and a delicate fruit- like almond & peach or almond & white cherry.  I find that adding peach or white cherries to other fruits overpowers the delicate flavor, so I like them on their own like this. Feel free to swap out the cherries for peaches!

Blend until smooth:
1/8 C almonds
1.25 C pitted white cherries (Rainier or Queen Anne)
1" of vanilla bean
1-2 C water