Okay…the recipe title is probably (okay, it is!) less than appealing, but this really is delicious! Take a chance and trust me :-p
As I mentioned in the post with my cream puff recipe, I am of German descent. That being said, I developed a taste for sauerkraut at a very young age. I know a lot of people, my mom included; just opening a can or jar of it is enough to send her out of the house, for the entire day!
The following recipe is a dish I make every Autumn as the leaves begin to turn and there is a distinct chill in the air. Football is on the TV in the background and hot apple cider is simmering on the stove. This is also a recipe my mom made when I was growing up and to my recollection is the only way she will eat sauerkraut. My boys LOVE this and they are in the “picky” phase of childhood. Sam ate two helpings and Luke, who is so picky that if it is not covered in chocolate, he just puts it in his hair…ate his entire plate without putting a single morsel on his head! 🙂
Ribs N’ Kraut with Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce (on the side)… Both of these recipes were made in a Crock-Pot.
3 -4 lbs. Pork Country Style Ribs with bones (DO NOT use boneless Pork Country Style Ribs, the marrow from the bones is essential to the “sweetening” of this dish)…(I always double this because I usually have a line out the door when I make it)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 cans Sauerkraut, undrained (I used 1 big jar plus 3 cans for 7 lbs. country style pork ribs with bones)
1 large Onion, sliced in rings (I used 2)
1/2 tsp. Caraway Seeds (I just “eyeball” it and taste along the way, caraway can become overpowering if you use too much)
1 cup Water (I omit this and just use the juice from the sauerkraut)
1 tsp. salt (I omit this too)
Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.
Brown ribs in a heavy skillet with hot oil.
Put alternate layers of sauerkraut, sliced onion rings, caraway seeds (if you want them) and ribs in the crock-pot/slow cooker. I start with kraut and end with kraut. Cover and set Crock-pot on low for 8 – 10 hours.
Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce…in the Crock-pot!
I woke up yesterday to an email with a link to Kimberly Bouldin’s article in the Columbus Gluten-Free Food Examiner on Crock-Pot Applesauce, which was inspired by Stephanie O’Dea over at A Year of Slowcooking. I make homemade applesauce every year but yesterday was the first time trying it in the Crock-pot!
8 large Apples (I used a blend of Jonathan, Roman Beauty and McIntosh apples), peeled, cored and cut in quarters
1 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup Apple Cider (if you do not have apple cider on hand, you can use water..I just like to “bump up” the apple flavor a bit).
Peel, core and cut your apples into quarters, place in the Crock-pot.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat.
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. When the apples are soft, mash with a potato masher or you could use an immersion (stick) blender to achieve a super smooth texture. Personally, I like my homemade applesauce chunky so I lightly mash with a potato masher.
A nice bonus to making applesauce in a Crock-pot is the lingering aroma of apples and cinnamon filling the house…very cozy!
So, as you can see it is a “brown” meal! I could jazz it up with some color, etc. but quite frankly some things are good enough to withstand the lack of visual appeal! Although, I did add a sprig of parsley for the photo 🙂
Now for Star Wars…
I am embarking on what could quite possibly “make or break” me in the coolness category for a couple of 5 3/4 year old boys. My son Sam and his pal Garrett are turning 6 early next month. Since their birthdays are very close together and they share the same friends, Garrett’s mom, Kristen and I decided to throw a co-party for Sam and Garrett. Not only does this save some moolah, but it saves TIME, which seems so sparse this time of year. As I am sure it is with many boys of the 6 year old age group…they are OBSESSED with Star Wars. Sam actually started watching the movies when he was 2 with his dad and is transfixed by “the dark side.” Wondering if I be concerned??
Anyhoo… Kristen made Storm trooper helmet invitations. These are so cool! She designs SVG files on her computer so her Cricut can cut them out. I love it, wish I new that BEFORE I bought all of my Cricut cartridges! Kristen is brilliant in the creativity department. I am in constant awe of what she creates. If you are a crafty person and like card making and/or scrapbooking, you should check out her blog, Katydid Creativity and Paper Adventures. Kristen is also a member of the design team at BasicGrey Challenges. We made assorted colors to represent the different troopers and even included pink and purple for the girls!
Storm trooper helmet invitations:
I am going to *try* and make a cake like this but take it a step further and make an attempt at using fondant. I am going to stick with a clone trooper helmet because the storm trooper helmet looks a bit intimidating! I have never used fondant in my life so if I can carve the shape correctly (I am currently going to cake carving school via “Ace of Cakes” on the Food Network!) and the fondant is a bust…I can still decorate with regular icing. There are also cupcakes in the freezer for backup!
I am also making a Death Star pinata! Inspired by another blogger, Aimee Austin, I am going to follow her lead and buy an already complete pinata, dismantle it and recreate the death star. Aimee used a Halloween eyeball pinata to start and I found a soccer ball pinata at Target…just need a ball! I am making good progress, have taken off all the fringe-y tissue paper and am decoupaging white tissue paper on the ball to smooth it out. Today I am going to begin painting it then I am going to use black art tape for the detail work. I will post my progress as I go!
Wish me luck!