Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Grilled Fruit

Courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Happy 4th Friends,

Host a beautiful and delicious Fourth of July backyard party with this easy idea for food, decorating and fun - All-in-one...

Chances are you're used to barbecuing and eating watermelon during the warm summer months, but if you've never combined the two then now might be the perfect time. Grilled watermelon loses a bit of its sweetness, but keeps that signature watermelon flavor. So pull out the salt, pepper and olive oil and slap that melon on the grill.

An out-of-the-box Fourth of July Backyard Party Idea, right?

Bon Appétit and Happy 4th of July, Friends...

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Live well,

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sparkling Favors

Courtesy of Brian Patrick Flynn

Hi Friends,

This Independence Day try using red, white and blue in new, unexpected ways to create an American summer soiree.

Instantly turn sparklers into placeholders or party favors with ribbon and paper tags. Once the sparklers are removed from their packaging, bunch them up, then tie them together with red, white and blue ribbon. Before tying and curling the ribbon ends with scissors, slide a hole-punched paper tag through one of the strands with your guests' names proudly on display.

Consider this entertaining idea to make your gathering both patriotic and practical.

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Live well,

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fixin's - Baked Beans, Potato Salad and More...

Courtesy of FoodNetwork
Recipe Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Hi Friends,

Yesterday, we shared 5 tender, slow-cooked BBQ rib recipes that will make your mouth water but the 4th is not the 4th without ribs and ribs are not complete without, you guest it - baked beans. Here are just a couple of our favorites...

Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 50 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Neelys BBQ seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Neelys BBQ sauce, recipe follows
  • 3/4 cup chopped pork or beef brisket
Neelys BBQ Seasoning:
  • 1 1/2 cups paprika
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
Neelys BBQ Sauce:
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the red pepper, onion and garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the baked beans and remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Cover the beans and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

Neelys BBQ Seasoning:
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Neelys BBQ Sauce:
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Perfectly Baked Beans

Recipe Courtesy of Ree Drummond

Total Time: 2 hr 40 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 2 hr 10 min
Yield: 18 servings
Level: Easy

  • 4 slices regular bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced
  • 6 slices thin bacon
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Fry the regular chopped bacon in a large, deep skillet until the bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Add the onions, peppers and jalapenos, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, mustard and chipotles, and bring to a simmer. (If the skillet is not large enough, add the beans and heat to a simmer and then transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients). Pour the flavored beans into an aluminum pan. Top with the uncooked slices of bacon (you can halve the slices if you like). Then bake until the beans are bubbly and the sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Egg-Pickle Potato Salad

Boil, peel and cube 2 pounds russet potatoes; toss with 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise, 2 chopped scallions, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 tablespoon each dijon mustard and vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt. Toss with the potatoes. Voila!

Grandma Jean's Potato Salad

Recipe Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Total Time: 3 hr 5 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 2 hr 40 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

  • 5 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup salad dressing, (recommended: Miracle Whip)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Salt
Boil cubed potatoes until they are tender. Drain and cool. In a large bowl add celery, onion, 2 eggs and pickled relish. Add the salad dressing, yellow mustard and sugar. Stir well. Place the sliced egg on top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Let the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours or overnight.

Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad

Recipe Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

The Neelys whip up a classic salad that goes great with barbecue ribs. Elbow macaroni and ham are mixed with hard-boiled eggs, celery, relish and mayo for a creamy taste of summer.

Total Time: 2 hr 35 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 2 hr
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces ham steak, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks chopped celery, including leaves
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickled relish
  • Kosher salt and pepper
To make the hard-boiled eggs: Add the eggs to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring up to a boil over medium heat. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 14 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Peel the eggs and chop. Reserve.

While the eggs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large serving bowl, combine the eggs, ham steak, celery, shallots and lemon juice Add the macaroni and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickled relish, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the dressing to the macaroni and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

Apple Pie

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total Time: 3 hr 30 min
Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Cook: 2 hr
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Intermediate

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

Make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean size bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.

Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg. Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Cook's Note: You may freeze the uncooked pie, but don't brush it with egg or dust it with sugar beforehand. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, from the frozen state, until golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Apple Pie

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total Time: 3 hr 15 min
Prep: 1 hr 40 min
Cook: 1 hr 35 min
Yield: 6-8 servings
Level: Intermediate

For the Filling:
  • 3 pounds mixed apples (such as Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Pink Lady)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
For the Dough:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
Prepare the filling: Peel, halve and core the apples. Cut each half into 6 wedges and toss with the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the firmer apples begin to soften but still hold their shape, 8 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and toss until the juices begin to thicken, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool completely. (The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Make the dough: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and pulse until it disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Beat 1 egg with 1/4 cup ice water in a bowl, then add to the processor and pulse once or twice. (Stop before the dough gathers into a ball.) Lay out 2 sheets of plastic wrap; divide the dough between the sheets and pat each into a disk. Wrap the disks tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Roll 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface (or between 2 pieces of floured parchment paper). Ease into a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass pie plate. Add the filling, mounding it slightly, and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Chill the pie while you roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch round.

Lay the dough over the filling and press the 2 crusts together around the edges. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp with your fingers. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl and brush over the top crust; sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top with a knife a few times to let steam escape. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pie on a baking sheet; bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, 55 to 60 minutes. (Cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly.) Transfer to a rack and cool until set, 2 hours.

Photographs by Con Poulos


Mamma Jean and Mamma Neely share a little Memphis hospitality with recipes for the Southern childhood favorites; Gina's Collard Greens and Calley's Sweet Potato Pie.

Gina's Best Collard Greens

Recipe Courtesy of The Neelys

Total Time: 2 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2 hr
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Level: Intermediate

  • 5 bundles collard greens
  • 4 cups salted water
  • 3 large smoked ham hocks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Thoroughly wash collard greens. Be sure to pull leaves apart and remove any sand. Chop collard greens.

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a simmer. Place smoked ham hocks in salted water and cover for about 90 minutes. Cook ham hocks until slightly tender. In the same saucepan, add remaining ingredients and collard greens.

Cover and cook greens for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cook's Note: Make sure at least half of ham hocks are covered with water. If not, add additional water.

A Neely holiday dinner wouldn't be complete without this family favorite.

Calley's Sweet Potato Pie

Recipe Courtesy of Calley Anderson

Total Time: 3 hr
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 2 hr 30 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • Maple whipped cream, optional, recipe follows
  • Maple Whipped Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into sweet potatoes. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.

Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Maple Whipped Topping:
In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners' sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.

Sweet Potato Tartlet

Recipe Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 12 servings
Level: Easy

Pat and Gina make delicious individual sweet potato tartlets.

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 large baked sweet potatoes
  • 3 store-bought rolled up dough
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Whipped Cream, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together butter and brown sugar until it becomes a sand-like texture. Add eggs and beat with electric mixer. Add whipping cream and vanilla extract; mix until smooth. Add in flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

Scoop out the inside of the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a medium bowl and mash. Once mashed, add potatoes into the flour mixture and blend with electric mixer.

Roll out the dough and with tartlet pans, divide the dough into 12 (4-inch) rings. Spray the tartlet pans with nonstick cooking spray and insert dough. Cut off excess dough with a knife.

With an ice cream scooper, scoop out potato mixture; about 1/4 cup each and place into tartlet pans.

Bake for 30 minutes. Once cooled, garnish with whipped cream.

Your backyard gathering will be the talk of the town with these delicious southern-inspired dishes guaranteed to please. Bon Appétit...

Happy 4th!

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Live well,

Friday, June 23, 2017

Best BBQ Rib Recipes

Courtesy of FoodNetwork
Recipe By: Patrick and Gina Neely

Hi Friends,

BBQ ribs is a staple at every 4th of July celebration and today our featured recipe comes as no big surprise. The Neelys use a meaty St. Louis-style rib cut for this classic recipe. They rub the ribs with a seasoning mixture, cook them low and slow over indirect heat and then baste them with their homemade barbecue sauce. Yum!

Here's the Neely's Wet BBQ Ribs Recipe
Total Time: 10 hr 25 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 4 hr
Cook: 6 hr
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

  • 32 ounces ketchup
  • 16 ounces water
  • 6 ounces brown sugar
  • 6 ounces white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ounces light corn syrup
  • 3 to 4 pounds spare ribs
  • 2 ounces Neely's Seasoning Mix, recipe follows
Neely's Seasoning Mix:
  • 4 ounces paprika
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a stockpot or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce temperature to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the spare ribs, removing the upper brisket bone and any excess fat; this will produce a St. Louis-style rib. Rinse the ribs and season with Neely's Seasoning, and then cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.

Indirect cooking in a barbecue pit is recommended to prevent burning. Cook at 250 degrees F (curled side of ribs facing up) for the first 3 hours, and then increase the temperature to 300 degrees F for the final 3 hours. Baste the ribs only during the last 30 minutes of cooking to prevent sauce from burning.

Neely's Seasoning Mix:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Neely's BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

Recipe Courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Pat and Gina's classic recipe for barbecued spare ribs can be served dry, with just an extra sprinkle of their simple house seasoning, or wet, with barbecue sauce.

Total Time: 27 hr 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 24 hr
Cook: 3 hr 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

  • 1 slab pork spare ribs (about 4 pounds)
  • 4 -ounces Neely's BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 quart Neely's BBQ Sauce, recipe follows
Neely's BBQ Seasoning:
  • 4 ounces paprika
  • 2 ounces white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
Neely's BBQ Sauce:
  • 16 ounces ketchup
  • 8 ounces water
  • 3 ounces brown sugar
  • 3 ounces white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 -ounce lemon juice
  • 1 -ounce Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 1 -ounce light corn syrup
  • 2 ounces Neely's BBQ Seasoning
Place pork rib slab flat on a clean chopping board. Pull off membrane. Cut off the excess fat and meat. Season both sides of the slab with Neely's BBQ Seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Preheat your grill at 275 degrees F, using hickory wood and charcoal.

Place the slab on the grill away from the flame, using indirect heat. Cook the slab for approximately 2 1/2 hours with the curl side up. Flip the slab over to finish cooking for approximately 1 hour or until you get full "bend" in the slab.

For dry ribs: Pull ribs off grill, sprinkle Neely's BBQ Seasoning over entire slab. Cut between the bones and serve.

For wet ribs: Pull ribs off grill, pour Neely's BBQ Sauce over slab. Cut between the bones and serve.

Neely's BBQ Seasoning:
Mix all the ingredients and set aside.

Neely's BBQ Sauce:
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a stockpot or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce temperature to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.

Yield: 1 quart sauce

Cherry Cola Glazed Spare Ribs

Recipe Courtesy of Sandra Lee

Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 1 hr 45 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

For Ribs:
  • 1/3 cup Sandra Lee All-Purpose Rub
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki mix (recommended: Kikkoman)
  • 3 racks pork spare ribs
For Glaze:
  • 1 cup cherry cola
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup cherry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki mix (recommended: Kikkoman)
For Glaze:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine All-Purpose Rub with 2 tablespoons teriyaki mix. Sprinkle seasoning over ribs and pat in.

Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan. Tightly cover with foil. Bake in oven for 1 hour.

While ribs are cooking, make glaze by combining glaze ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Remove ribs from oven and carefully drain fat from roasting pan. Generously brush with glaze and continue baking ribs, uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes more or until tender, turning and brushing occasionally with glaze. Remove from grill and cut into servings. Serve hot with glaze on the side.

For Outdoor Grill:
Set up grill for indirect cooking over medium heat. (No heat source under meat). Prepare ribs as directed. Place ribs in rib rack over drip pan on hot grill. Add a handful of hickory chips to hot coals or smoke box. Cover grill. Rotate ribs around rack every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, add 10 briquettes to each pile of coals and another handful of soaked hickory chips. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours. About 20 minutes before ribs are done, remove ribs from rib rack and lay meat side down on grill. Generously brush with glaze and pile ribs in center of grill over drip pan. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Turn ribs and brush on more glaze and re-pile. Cook an additional 10 minutes.

Who Loves Ya Baby-Back?

Recipe Courtesy of Alton Brown

Total Time: 4 hr 35 min
Prep: 1 hr 10 min
Cook: 3 hr 25 min
Yield: 2 slabs ribs
Level: Intermediate

Alton shares his technique for making perfect-every-time baby-back ribs. These easy indoor ribs are spiced up, then braised in the oven and glazed with a homemade sauce.

2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Braising Liquid:
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

NOTE: This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.

Spice Rubbed Smoked Ribs with Maple-Horseradish Baste

Recipe Courtesy of Bobby Flay

Bobby uses a spice rub which tenderizes the meat and creates a crust on the outside as the ribs smoke. Then he tops them with a maple-horseradish glaze for an unconventional barbecue sauce.

Total Time: 2 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Bobby smokes his spice-rubbed ribs, then finishes them when guests arrive.

Maple-Horseradish Glaze:
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup Spanish paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 cups wood chips (hickory, mesquite, or applewood)
  • 4 racks pork ribs (3 pounds each)
Glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ribs: Stir spices together in a medium bowl.

About 1/2 hour before cooking time, soak hickory chips in enough water to cover. Drain chips. In a covered grill, place slow burning charcoal in both sides of a drip pan. Sprinkle coals with wood chips. Bring temperature to 220 degrees F.

Rub top side of each rack of ribs with about 3 tablespoons of the rub. Place ribs, bone side down, on grill. Close cover or place cover on the smoker. Grill about 4 hours, adding chips every 20 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of grilling, brush liberally with the Maple-Horseradish Glaze.

Last but not least, 'THE RUB"...

Rib Dry Rub

Recipe Courtesy of Central BBQ

This Memphis-style rub adds so much flavor and a great crusty top (the "bark") to ribs that you won't need barbecue sauce at all.

Total Time: 10 min
Prep: 10 min
Yield: about 9 tablespoons, enough for 4 servings
Level: Easy

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Pack on the dry rub onto your next rack of ribs.

Try your hand at making tender, slow-cooked ribs at home with these BBQ rib recipes from Food Network chefs and become one in your circle.

Bon Appétit...

Happy 4th!

Check back for more great Independence Day ideas from your friends at Interior Design.

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,

Thursday, June 22, 2017

11 Deep Cleans You Can Do in One Hour or Less

Compliments of Brian Patrick Flynn
Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Hi Friends,

Degunk Cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets take a beating. Get them extra clean with a light scrub of 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1 cup of baking soda. Wipe away the mixture with a clean, damp cloth.

Refresh the Microwave

Your microwave is one of the most used and abused appliances in your kitchen, so its interior is likely spotted with cooked-on food and liquid. To loosen the mess, combine one cup of water with a splash of vinegar, a couple of drops of vanilla extract and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Heat the mixture for one minute on high. Let the bowl sit for several minutes before opening the door. This allows the aromatic steam to get to work softening the burnt-on residue. Open the door and carefully remove the bowl. Using a damp, clean cloth, wipe out the inside of the microwave.

Deodorize the Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is supposed to clean your dishes, but is it actually clean? To give it a nice bath, first remove and clean the filter by soaking in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes. Rinse, then replace. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the dispenser of an empty dishwasher, then run a heavy cycle. If you want some extra deodorizing, sprinkle one cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and leave overnight. The next day, run an empty cycle and scrub any remaining debris with a toothbrush.

Renew Shower Fixtures

Mineral deposits and calcium buildup can cause your showerheads to clog up and look spotty. Go the extra mile, and submerge them in zipper storage bags filled with warm, white vinegar. Just be sure to fill the bags so that the fixtures are completely submerged, then secure the bags with a zip tie.

Disinfect the Washer

White vinegar is an easy, natural way to disinfect your washing machine. This will help eliminate mold, mildew and their accompanying odors. If you’ve got an extra stinky situation, run a wash cycle with bleach afterward.

Deep Clean the Iron

A dirty iron can put a major wrinkle in your day. Avoid that by keeping your iron's surface super clean. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto a cotton napkin or piece of paper, then iron over the salt. The dirt will cling to the salt and come off the iron. Genius!

Freshen-Up Mattresses

We spend a lot of time in our beds — 3,000 hours per year, actually. That's the equivalent of four months! So, keeping your bed clean is important. First, vacuum your mattress, then sprinkle baking soda mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil on top. Let this sit for a couple of hours, then vacuum the mixture away.

Pamper Window Treatments

Window treatments can cost a pretty penny, so it's wise to protect your investment. A thorough vacuum with a soft brush attachment can help remove any dust and lint that may have built up over time. Your draperies may require professional cleaning, so check the fabric care label. Some types of fabrics can be washed at home, just be sure to test for colorfastness before you toss them in the washer. At the very least, give them a good steam or ironing so they look like new.

Bust Baseboard Dust

If you want to truly deep-clean your home, you need to deal with those dusty baseboards. Go over them with a vacuum brush attachment or a stiff broom to blast the first layer of dust. Next, wipe them clean with a mixture of warm water and a splash of vinegar. Lastly, dry them off with a clean cloth, then swipe them with a dryer sheet which will reduce dust in the future.

Dust HVAC Vents

Your HVAC system controls the quality of air you breathe indoors, so you should keep it as clean as possible. Thoroughly dust the vents with a damp cloth, then dab car wax onto a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the vents down. Use a knife slipped inside the cloth to get into the crevices. The wax coating will help repel dust buildup in the future.

Blow Off Electronics

Use a paint or makeup brush to loosen dirt and dust from nooks and crannies, then blast with compressed air.

Giving your house a deep clean can be kind of life changing. Use these top tips to knock out your most thorough spring cleaning ever — one hour at a time.

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Live well,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy First Day of Summer!

Courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac

Hi Friends,

We love Summer and wanted to share some information and great ways to celebrate the season with you. First, lets get information on the summer solstice facts-plus, fun ways to enjoy summer!

The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

This summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year; check your local Sun rise and set times-and how the day length changes!

Now, 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer...

How will you celebrate the solstice and all that extra daylight? Here are 10 ideas plus, some "summer essentials" from the General Store!

1. Light a bonfire: The solstice day was traditionally celebrated by dancing around the bonfires. Check out our dramatic fire bowls and fire pits.

2. Go fishin': We love to get out on the water. Consult our free Best Days for Fishing chart-plus, tackle-box and bait tips.

3. Plant a seed or a tree: Traditionally, to the farmer, the solstice is the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting, and an occasion for celebration. Browse our neat seeds kits and containers.

4. Cook outside: There's nothing as tasty as grilled food. Have a big cook-out on the solstice. Get a taste of our mouthwatering Grilling and BBQ sauces.

5. Camp: Plan a camp-out to enjoy the great outdoors whether it's a tent in the backyard or a cabin in the woods! Check out the camping store page for some fun ideas. Don't forget the best natural insect repellent on Earth to enjoy the outdoors in peace.

6. Listen to songbirds: We love our feathered friends. Attact birds to your garden with our beautiful bird feeders.

7. Get pampered. Midsummer Day, near the solstice, was said to make old people look younger. It was also thought that walking barefoot in the dew would keep one's skin from getting chapped. Summer certainly does cure the winter dries. You can also check out popular gardener's lotions and fisherman's soaps to soften calloused working hands. There's even an "annulment of time" rejuvenating cream!

8. Let the light in! With all this extra daylight, hang one of our gorgeous suncatchers or decorative accents for your window or porch. Here is the Almanac suncatcher, shot in our town of Dublin, NH, against the backdrop of Dublin Lake.

9. Read a book. Temperatures rise and lazy days ensue. Relax on the beach or the porch and read up on gardening tips, natural health, and more. See our great books and guides.

10. Watch the night sky! In ancient Egypt, the new year was celebrated when the star Sirius rose around the time of sunrise. This roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River. Click for our free monthly Sky Map and explore the night sky from your own backyard!

Enjoy these lovely hot Summer days...

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Live well,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6 Things People With Super Clean Homes Do Every Day

Compliments of Chelsea Faulkner

Hi Friends,

Are you tired of frantically wiping and swiping every time someone comes to visit? Or better yet, would you like to reduce or eliminate the impending sense of doom you feel as cleaning day approaches? By incorporating these simple cleaning habits into your daily routine, you can become one of those magical people whose home is always super clean and guest-ready.

Make the Bed
As my snooze-button-hitting self knows, making my bed daily is one of the most difficult habits to maintain. But, it's so worth it. Not only does it instantly make your room look cleaner, but it's been suggested that people who make their beds daily actually sleep better! Tidy bed = seriously awesome zzz's.

Clean Up Right After Dinner

Don't leave the dishes until tomorrow. If a plate, pan or fork is used, rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. It's that easy! Once that's done, wipe down all those sticky cooking surfaces and spot-sweep any stray crumbs that fell while cooking. You'll sleep much better knowing there isn't a hot kitchen mess waiting for you in the morning.

Quick Tip: Clean as you cook to make after dinner cleanup a breeze.

Do One Load of Laundry

Does it seem like your laundry suddenly piles up out of the blue? Keep on top of laundry (and closet clutter) by doing one manageable load each day, or every few days, depending on the amount of clothes-wearers in your household.

"Clean" the Bathroom

Compliments of House of Jade Interiors

Let me preface by saying I never clean my bathroom. Instead, I maintain a constantly clean one by wiping and swiping as I go.

Pick Up as You Go
Straighten couch pillows, put hair tools back in their proper spots and store shoes neatly back in the closet immediately after you use them. These simple tasks take just a few seconds but will make your home look and feel so much cleaner.

Check One Item Off Your To-Do List

Compliments of Julia Sudnitskaya

Whether it's dusting your nightstands, organizing the sock drawer or vacuuming highly-trafficked areas, checking one small cleaning task off your to-do list each day will keep housework from feeling overwhelming. Plus, you'll never have to sacrifice a Saturday to cleaning ever again!

Voilà, now you're one of those magical people whose home is always super clean and guest-ready...

Check back for more great ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

Your kind contribution will allow us to continue sharing great, no cost and cost saving ideas for your space. Click the "Donate" button below to make a contribution. Thank you!

Live well,