Tag Archives: holidays

4th of July JELL-O Shots


Happy 4th of July! Today marks eight years since Paco and I got together. He asked me to forsake all other anniversary celebrations in favor of our wedding anniversary, so I will not wish him a happy anniversary.

Instead, in honor of our great nation’s birthday, I’ve made red and blue JELL-O shots.  JELL-O shots are really easy to make, although you do need to think a few hours ahead so that they will have time to set.

I use the 3 oz dixie cups, and fill them about halfway with JELL-O mixture. If you fill them too full they become too large to take as a shot, and you don’t want people choking on your festive adult beverages! One 3 oz package of JELL-O makes 12 shots with this recipe.

JELL-O Shots

1 c water
3 oz package of JELL-O
1 c vodka
12 dixie cups

Heat the water in the microwave for one minute. Add JELL-O powder, stir until dissolved. Add vodka, stir, and pour into cups. Refrigerate until set (four or more hours).

Barbequed ribs


Paco is in Dallas this week, but for whatever reason, right before leaving for Texas, he wanted to make ribs. He bakes them slowly in the oven so that they’re tender but not falling off the bone, then finishes them on the grill.

We served them with macaroni salad and sweet and tangy cole slaw.  This would make a great 4th of July meal!

Barbequed Ribs

1 rack of pork ribs (regular back ribs, baby back ribs, or spare ribs)
kosher salt
black pepper
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
your favorite barbeque sauce

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place the ribs on a baking sheet, and season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Cook for three hours.

When the ribs are tender, remove them from the oven. Preheat the grill to medium high heat, then grill for 10 minutes on each side.  While the ribs are cooking, baste them with barbeque sauce.

Slice the rack into individual ribs and enjoy!

Corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day!


Inspired by a rainy weekend and my friend Amara, I decided to make corned beef hash and cabbage for a festive St. Patrick’s Day meal. Although I did not think of it in time to brine a fresh brisket, a store-bought corned beef did the trick.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

3 lbs corned beef brisket or round (or brine your own!)
bay leaf
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 onion, diced
5 large carrots, in thick slices
6 pieces celery, coarsely chopped
(optional) 1 pound of peeled, diced potatoes
1 small head of green cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges

Rinse the corned beef thoroughly to remove the brine. Place the meat in a large dutch oven, then add the mustard, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and thyme to the pot. Add enough cold water to the pot to just cover the meat. Bring the water to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 3 hours.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and return to a simmer. (If you are adding diced potatoes, you can add them here as well.) Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the cabbage wedges to the pot and allow to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.

When the meat it tender, remove it from the pot and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the excess fat from the meat and cut into thick slices. Arrange on a platter surrounded by the cooking liquid and vegetables. If you did not include the potatoes, serve with mashed, roasted, or boiled potatoes, and spicy mustard on the side.