Monthly Archives: June 2014

My Famous Slow-Cooker Ribs

I never thought I liked ribs until I found this recipe. In fact, Derek says these are the best ribs he’s ever had! I took a few different ribs recipes and combined them into this delicious offering. The best part is that they cook in the slower cooker all day, so they’re ready when you get home from work! :-)

As a stay-at-home wife, this is my favorite way of cooking. I can throw something together in the morning, work on errands & freelance writing all day, and have a meal ready when Derek gets home!

photo 1


Trust the recipe, not the picture above. ;) I’m not a good food photographer! Oh, and did I mention this meal serves 2 and comes out to about 600 calories a person? Not too shabby!

Here are two recommendations to get you started:

slow cooker

Derek uses the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Cooker. It’s AMAZING. Allows you to program cooking times, even based on food temperature, and has a removable liner for easy cleaning.

To get this recipe right, you must also buy Garland Jack’s Secret Six Original Recipe BBQ sauce. This is key to the recipe and the taste just won’t be right without this brand:


If you can’t find it, you can buy it on Amazon here. And yes, there is a package of “Tums” in the back of this photo, haha. You won’t need it for these ribs! :D Without further adieu:

Slow-Cooker Ribs


  • 3 pounds of beef short ribs
  • Minced garlic (or minced roasted garlic)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Liquid smoke
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • BBQ sauce (I recommend Garland Jack’s Original Recipe)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Red pepper flakes


Put the ribs in the slow cooker. Cover with minced garlic or minced roasted garlic (however much you want to use), pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes, all to taste.
In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup water, about 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, a bunch of Worcestershire sauce, about a tablespoon or so of soy sauce, a tablespoon or so of liquid smoke, and 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Mix together and pour over the ribs in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375. When slow cooker’s done, transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Cut off the fat to save calories. Coat ribs on all sides with BBQ sauce. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (until sauce caramelizes and sticks to the ribs.) :)
Eat delicious ribs! :)
Edited to Add:
I’ve been asked where to get Liquid Smoke. You can get it at the grocery store, where other stuff like Worcestershire is sold. I use Colgin’s brand Natural Mesquite flavor in the recipe. If you can’t find it, here’s a link to get it on Amazon or a larger size (or even a two-flavor pack). :D
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Low-Calorie Baked Pasta — Husband Approved!

I recently combined a few recipes to create what I just call “Baked Pasta.” It’s low calorie and my husband LOVES the dish! When it comes to baked pasta dishes, he can be tough to please. So I take this as a resounding win! :-) The recipe is a combo of cheese, pasta and hamburger, with some good spices mixed in. Here’s a photo of my plate before I ate it. I’m not a great photographer, so this may only look semi-appetizing:

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It makes four servings, and each serving is less than 600 calories (depending on whether you choose the lean and low-fat ingredients, like I do, or not.) I bake it in a small round casserole dish (about this size) because I’m just making a small amount for my husband and me.

Baked Pasta


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (try for 97% lean or higher)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of macaroni (I use whole grain macaroni)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I use low-fat or fat-free sour cream)
  • black olives
  • 1 teaspoon or so of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon or so of tomato paste
  • 28 oz tomato sauce
  • half a can of cream of mushroom soup (I use the 98% fat free kind)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I use the low-fat or skim-milk cheddar to cut calories) (you can substitute or add in mozzarella if you prefer)
  • garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • Montreal steak seasoning (optional)


Boil the macaroni so it is “al dente.”

Cook the hamburger meat until it’s very well done. While cooking, add garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Throw in some Montreal steak seasoning if you want it a little more flavorful. After the hamburger’s cooked, drain and add the tomato sauce, red wine, and enough tomato paste to get it to a nice consistency (it won’t take much.) Add more spices if you’d like it more flavorful (like oregano, basil, parsley, etc.) Add the sugar to cut the tartness of the tomatoes. Add the dijon mustard. Mix well and let it simmer until you’re ready for it.

In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, cream of mushroom soup and more garlic.

Layer the ingredients into a small round baking dish. Start with just a small layer of sauce to keep the pasta from sticking. Then add a layer of pasta, a layer of sour cream mix, some cheddar cheese, then more pasta. Repeat. Sprinkle a little extra cheddar on top. Top with sliced black olives.

Bake on 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes. The dish should be bubbling when you take it out.

Bonus Note: Pink Bakeware Links

I used to have a super cute collection of pink (officially “cranberry”) glass bakeware. The glass dish I use is the last of it. If you’d like to buy your own pink bakeware, you can still find a few items on Amazon. I’ve put some examples in my “pink bakeware” Amazon store, along with a list of other recommended pink cooking products. Visit my store and check it out! :-)

Remove Personal Information Before Sending a Word Document

Just a little “FYI” before you email that paper to your professor or send a resume to a potential new employer… Inspect your Word document to make sure it doesn’t have any personal information. Just to be safe, I like to remove the “author” information and the “last modified” version. Do you really want your professor to see that you last modified your paper 5 minutes before turning it in? Or do you want your potential employer to see the “author” of your resume is your parents, because they own the software?

In Microsoft 2010, it’s easy to change. Just click on “File,” and you’ll see a page that includes Related Dates and Related People. Click on “Check for Issues” next to “Inspect Document” right before you send it. You’ll get a dropdown menu with “Inspect Document” as an option. From there, you can check for and remove whatever items you want, such as “Comments, Revisions, and Annotations” or “Document Properties and Personal Information.”