Thursday, April 10, 2014

Country Dinner Recipes (Homeschooling in the Kitchen)

Homeschooling in the Kitchen: Country Dinner
With this "Country Dinner" meal, I was introduced to two new techniques - braising and a one-dish cake. Braising is a cooking method where food is partially submerged in a flavorful liquid and cooked slowly at a moderate temperature so that connective tissue and collagen breaks down and helps tenderize tougher cuts of meat. This cake is perfect for when you want a sweet treat with minimal cleanup. You can mix, bake, and serve all in the same dish.

Braised Pork Ribs


2-3 pounds pork spare ribs

2 quarts (32 oz total) canned tomatoes (you can substitute 1 large ~33 oz can of tomatoes)
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
¼ cup light rum (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar

1. Gather ingredients and wash hands. Turn oven on to 350°F

2. Preheat an oven-safe Dutch Oven on medium heat.

3. Brown meat in heated Dutch Oven in batches. (Don’t overcrowd the pan or put ribs in more than one layer, or the meat will not brown.) Brown the meat on each side for about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all ribs are browned. Remove pan from heat.

4. While meat is browning, prepare the sauce. Place tomatoes, spices, rum and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth.

5. Pour ½ cup of sauce in empty Dutch Oven. (Be careful because the liquid will sizzle and boil up.) Use a wire whisk to scrape the fond* up into the sauce. *The fond is all of that browned bit of stuck-on meat and caramelized juices. There is a lot of flavor in here.

6. Pour the rest of your sauce into Dutch Oven, and whisk to combine the caramelized sauce and fond with the rest. Return the ribs to the Dutch Oven, nestling them into the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours, or until meat pulls away from the bone easily.



7. Serve with baked potatoes and blueberries.

Note: This can also be prepared in a large slow cooker, but you'll need to brown the meat separately, deglaze the pan, and then put the meat and sauce into the slow cooker.  Cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 4.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake #glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan

1 cup King Arthur Gluten-free multi-purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp baking cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup So Delicious coconut milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup baking cocoa
1 ¾ cups very hot water

1. Pre-heat  oven to 350°F.

2. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of the cocoa, the baking powder, and salt in a 9” round Pyrex pie plate. Combine with a fork. 

3. Stir the coconut milk, oil and vanilla in a separate mixing bowl.

4. Pour the milk mixture into the pie plate. Combine together with a fork until the batter is smooth. Spread evenly in pie plate.

5. Sprinkle the brown sugar and the other ¼ cup cocoa over the batter.

6. Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. (You are going to pour the water into the pan next, and it’s easier and safer if you don’t have to carry it across the kitchen and risk it sloshing. The baking sheet is so if it bubbles over, you are only cleaning the sheet, not your oven.)

7. Pour the water evenly over the topping. DO NOT MIX the water in. Just shove the rack into the oven and shut the door.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven, or until the top of the cake is dry.

9. Serve the warm cake in dessert dishes. Top with ice cream if desired, and spoon some of the fudge sauce in the bottom of the pan over the cake and ice cream. Enjoy!

Other posts in this series:
Real Men Make Quiche
Planning Meals
Food and Kitchen Safety
Mis en Place and other final prep

April Blog Hop
This post is part of the Schoolhouse Crew Review 5-Day Blog Hop.  There are over 60 families blogging about just about everything homeschool related you can think of.   Here are some friends you might like to check out (and what they're writing about):

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence ~ Missouri
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back ~ Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ A Christ-Centered Home

If you have a few extra minutes and would like to check out all of the blogs in the hop, click on the banner at the left!

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.


  1. This looks amazing! I pinned it to make sometime.

  2. Meg @ Adventures with JudeApril 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Thanks! It was so good...Luke loves anything sundae-related, so he was really drawn to it. I was really skeptical, but when it came out of the oven I was impressed!


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