Monday, December 03, 2007

Ribs, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread

Our Sunday decorating commenced after breakfast when SP built a fire that we kept going for most of the afternoon. We got the decorations out of the garage and brought in the tree we picked out on Saturday. We put on some Christmas music (yay for DirecTV's XM Satellite Radio) and got to it. In between hanging ornaments and garland we worked on our respective dishes for dinner that night - country-style ribs, mac & cheese and jalapeno cornbread.

The ribs were a disappointment that night, but excellent the next day. SP decided to experiment with boneless ribs we saw at the wholesale club, but they were dry in some parts and perfect in others (something we discovered after we'd eaten). SP made a rub using various spices (I think thyme, white pepper, dried sage, cayenne and salt were involved) and a mop using apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. I asked him to make a tomato-based BBQ sauce to go along with the ribs and we're both glad he did. That involved tomato sauce, Worcestershire, white vinegar, onion powder, salt and pepper (among other things). After we'd eaten I attempted to salvage some of the rib meat for our lunches and discovered that it was perfectly cooked in some parts - it tore into perfect shreds of meat that we mixed with the rest of the BBQ sauce. If only all the meat had been that good. At least our lunches were tasty.

For the mac & cheese I mixed cheddar with some mozzarella in my usual recipe, adding a bit of grated garlic for an extra zing. It was thick, rich and creamy. The cornbread is an Ina recipe. I made a half order since the regular recipe makes way too much. As it is we only ate half the pan for dinner and lunch the next day. I'm saving the rest for chili tonight.

These pictures didn't come out as well as I'd hoped so I'll take some more later, but just to give you an idea here's our tree:

... and the banister leading up the stairs:

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  1. awww, christmas stuff. and a fire all day. *crying* I am so nostalgic about the holidays. I'm envious that you have a house to decorate - we don't have room for anything.

  2. Melissa - Awww...I'm sorry! Your new apartment looked so big. I'm sure you have room for something. Our house is teeny tiny but we still found room for a tree. It just isn't Christmas without a fresh tree making the house smell all piney. :)

  3. I love the Christmas tree and the bannister - that's pretty adventurous to wrap it around the bannister! We have that too - maybe I should do something about that. How is your cat enjoying the tree? Had any problems with him attacking it yet? :D

  4. Katie - Thanks! I really need to get a better shot of both - I'm not happy with either.

    The garland on the banister is fake so it was really easy to wrap it around. And the lights (can you tell there are lights in there?) make it look so pretty.

    He could care less about the tree. He's not very cake-like most of the time. :P The most he'll do is drink the water in the tree stand, but we wrap it in tinfoil and cover it with the tree skirt and he usually stays away. The rest of the stuff - the ornaments and lights - don't interest him at all.

  5. it's not that big, only 830 sf. and with the tv and standing speakers in here, the dj equipment next to that, the computer next to that, and the bookshelf in the dining room... yeah, no place to put it. ;P I just have a lot of good memories of christmas in new hampshire from when I was young. a real tree and the smell of it. :) maybe one day I'll have a house where I can do that again.

  6. Katie - I just noticed that instead of saying "cat-like" I said "cake-like." Whoops! :)

    Melissa - Aww...I'm sorry. If you didn't live clear across the country I'd have you come to my house to sit in front of my tree with a fire in the fireplace and that good piney smell lingering in the air. I hope one day you can have that same experience again from your childhood.


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