Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Hump Day: Recipes, Reading, & Relaxation

Last week I blogged about the beginning of school...this week we're talking about the "three R's" again, but they don't have a thing to do with reading, writing or arithmetic! That's right, we already have a little breather in the form of a favorite holiday...Labor Day!

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, although it dates back to 1882 in New York. Always on the first Monday of September, it provides one last "hoorah" for the summer.

This holiday is celebrated many different ways. For some it's out on the lake or lying on the beach...others it's a picnic or barbeque... still others it's floating in a pool or hanging out at the house. In any scenario, Labor Day for most involves good food and an extra day of relaxation.

At last count I (LG) have 11 magazines subscriptions...I know, I know - this seems like quite a topic jump, but bare with me for just a minute. While many months they pile up beside my bed, I love to steal some quiet time with a magazine (or good book for that matter). They never get tossed without reading, although some do wait awhile for their turn. I was roaming the recipes on the site for my Better Homes and Garden magazine when I noticed all their "Labor Day Recipes" and decided to share.

This Labor Day weekend I plan on making a dent in my bedside magazine stack, catching some last rays of summer (with SPF of course!), and enjoying something yummy from the grill.

What are your Labor Day plans? What's your favorite magazine?

This weekend remember to Read something fun, enjoy a good Recipe, and spend some time Relaxing.

Scroll on down to view these tasty sounding recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Reggae Baby Back Ribs
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pounds pork loin back ribs, cut into 6- to 8-rib portions
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil
1 small fresh habanero chile pepper, finely chopped*
Mango-Guava BBQ Sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, ginger, salt, lime peel, cumin, and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over ribs; rub in with your fingers. Place ribs in a resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
2. For mop sauce: In a medium bowl, combine broth, rum, lime juice, oil, and habanero pepper. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
3. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan in a grill with a cover. Test for medium heat above pan. Place ribs, bone sides down, on the grill rack over pan. (Or place ribs in a rib rack; place on grill rack). Cover and grill for 1-1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until ribs are tender, brushing with mop sauce every 15 to 20 minutes. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Cover and grill as above, except place ribs in a roasting pan.)
4. While ribs are cooking, prepare Mango-Guava BBQ Sauce. About 15 minutes before ribs are done, brush some of the mango sauce over ribs. Pass the remaining sauce. Makes 4 large servings.

Mango-Guava BBQ Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cups chopped mangoes; 2/3 cup packed brown sugar; 2/3 cup chopped onion; 1/3 cup lime juice; 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/4 cup guava paste; 3 tablespoons honey; 2 tablespoons tomato paste; 2 cloves garlic, minced; and 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until slightly chunky.

Margarita Grilled Corn
8 ears fresh corn in husks
4 tsp. finely shredded lime peel (peel from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. chili powder
Small Limes (optional)

1. Carefully peel back corn husks, but do not remove. Scrub ears with stiff brush to remove silks. Rinse ears. Pull husks back up around corn. Place in large pot; cover with water. Soak 2 to 4 hours; drain well. Peel back husks and pat corn dry with paper towels.
2. For lime salt, in small bowl stir together lime peel and salt. Brush some of the butter on corn. Sprinkle lightly with lime salt and chili powder. Fold husks back around ears. Tie husk tops with strips of corn husk or 100% cotton kitchen string.
3. For charcoal grill, grill corn on rack of uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, turning and rearranging occasionally. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place corn on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)
4. To serve, remove ties from corn; peel back husks. Pass remaining butter, lime salt, chili powder, and limes for squeezing.

Creamy Cherry Cobbler with Pound Cake Topper
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 of a 10.75-ounce loaf frozen pound cake, thawed and coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large saucepan combine granulated sugar and cornstarch; stir in cherries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
2. In a small bowl beat together cream cheese, brown sugar, and lemon juice with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth.
3. Spoon about half of the fruit mixture into a 2-quart disposable foil pan. Dollop cream cheese mixture over fruit mixture in the foil pan. Spoon remaining fruit mixture over the cream cheese mixture. Cover pan tightly with foil.
4. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around edge of grill. Test for medium heat over center of grill. Place foil pan on rack in the center of grill. Cover; grill for 15 minutes. Uncover pan. Sprinkle top of fruit mixture with cake pieces and drizzle with butter. Keep pan uncovered. Cover grill; grill for 10 minutes more.
(For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Place foil pan on grill rack over burner that is off. Grill as above.)
Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

*All recipes are taken from Better Homes & Garden Magazine

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