Melt-in-your-mouth Oven-Baked Bourbon-Honey Glazed Ribs

Back when I was just a wee little sprout gazing through my window at New York City, I often wondered what life would be like if I lived in a house instead of an apartment. What it would be like to stand outside on a patch of earth and say “mine!” and know it was true.

Well, it took me a very (very) long time to get there but I finally got my little patch. The fact that it’s a dusty, hilly, weedy little patch covered with poison ivy and crab grass doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm one bit. Okay, maybe a little bit, but just you wait, in twenty or thirty years this yard will be… a tiny bit nicer (we work slowly).

One thing I’ve discovered since living in a house; standing on a deck with a cocktail in hand whilst some form of meat sizzles on a grill is one of life’s simple pleasures. Another thing I’ve discovered; it is nearly impossible to make meltingly tender ribs on a grill unless you are a grill master. (We are not Grill Masters. We are not even Grill Journeymen.)

Melt-in-your-mouth Oven-Baked Bourbon-Honey Glazed Ribs

This Spicy Bourbon-Honey BBQ Sauce is so good, I want it on everything.

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*Partnering with Castello for A Summer of Blue*
Steak with Blue Cheese Chive Butter & Balsamic Red OnionsOkay folks, strap yourselves in tight because it’s going to be an exciting ride (picture me winking and making a clicking noise while pointing at you).

This is a ‘seal the deal’ kind of dinner. The kind of dinner I make for Matt when I really want him to say “Huh? Whatever. I wasn’t listening but ‘yes’ as long as you make this again.” It’s that good.

There’s something about the combination of rich beef and tangy blue cheese that just works (which is why the best burger combination is blue cheese and crispy bacon, in my opinion). Well, this recipe takes that classic pairing to the next level.

We grilled New York Strip steaks and topped them with the most delicious blue cheese and chive compound butter and served it with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme. You’re licking your screen, aren’t you? I understand, here’s a tissue.

Steak with Blue Cheese Chive Butter & Balsamic Red Onions

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Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme

Sometimes I think I would probably be fine just having condiments for dinner. A few pickled grapes, maybe some chive Hollandaise licked off a spoon. And these. A whole bowl of these, please.

I wanted something a little sweet and tart to go along with our Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter and as soon as I saw Ina Garten’s recipe for Balsamic Onions, I knew I wanted to do a version of it. I added thyme because I love their flavor with anything roasted, though rosemary would also be great. I also increased the cooking time by quite a bit because I wanted the onions to be quite soft and caramelized, as opposed to still crunchy.

Steak with Blue Cheese Chive Butter & Balsamic Red Onions

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Cold Spring General Store

Beautiful teas at Cold Spring General Store.

A couple of weekends ago, Matt and I spent a wonderful afternoon discovering treasures in an absolutely lovely Hudson Valley town, Cold Spring, NY.

“Wait,” says a person with GoogleMaps, “Isn’t Cold Spring literally the next town over from Beacon, where you live and have lived for the last three years.”

Why yes, as it happens, that’s true. Let’s just gloss over that fact for the moment, shall we?

Cold Spring General Store

So many lovely things.

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IMG_5681 - Version 2

Comrades! While Emily is entertaining you all indoors with delicious seasonal goodies, I thought I’d update you with news from the garden to show you what’s been going on outside the house this year. This is technically our third full spring/summer, but our first since we bought the house. We were loathe to install anything permanent during our rental period for fear we’d do irreparable damage to the property – now of course, we’re quite merrily doing plenty of irreparable damage and NOT GIVING A HOOT.

So: the garden. Over the last couple of seasons I’ve built two 8’x4′ raised beds. I’ve planted vegetables that we tend to use most in cooking – garlic, onions, dark greens and squash – with varying success. The first year, we had what seemed like two fresh zucchini every day. We’d eat them, go down to the garden the next day and pick off two more. The second year, we didn’t notice ANY squash growing until late in the season, I moved a leaf aside and found one enormous zucchini that must have been growing un-noticed for a month. [Emily: I wish we had taken a picture of it because it seriously would have needed an NSFW tag]. That was the first and last squash we had that year.

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Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb BarsA few years ago while we still lived in Brooklyn, Matt and I belonged to a CSA. If you’re not familiar with it, CSA stands for ‘community supported agriculture’. The gist of it is that you pay in advance for a ‘share’ of what the farm produces.

It helps the farmers because they get money in advance so they can better finance their year, and the customer gets a weekly (or bi-weekly) supply of the freshest, just-off-the-farm produce.

Of course, by investing in the farm’s potential, you also share some of the risks. If there’s a flood, or a blight, or a generally low yield of crop that season, you might not get as many tomatoes as you’d like and you just have to channel your inner hippie and roll with it, man. What’s more likely though, is that you’ll end up with way more of a certain fruit or vegetable than you know what to do with. And that’s when you have to get creative.
Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

There was one week during our CSA that we received more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life outside of a grocery store. It was a huge box of them. We had them on yogurt and on cereal. I made blueberry syrup. Matt made a crumble. And still we had more. And then I made Blueberry Oat Bars with the rest and kicked myself for not making them sooner because they were the best thing ever. They’re not so sweet that you’d feel guilty having one for breakfast but they have that crunchy, nutty topping that is such a treat.

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

Blueberry Bars with Strawberries and Cream

For July 4th, we’ll served them with Macerated Strawberries and Maple Whipped Mascarpone.

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