CHEW THIS! Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, July 20th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs
Blaise Doubman

This column and recipe is dedicated to my brother, Damon! We haven’t, admittingly, always been really close over the years, but within the last few years I think our relationship has changed for the better. I have learned that he is his own person, who can make his own decisions and doesn’t always need me to make those decisions for him. Ha! Sounds like your typical brother relationship. Yes, there was awhile there when I felt the need to try and control and make every decision for him. Hence the relationship strain. But once I realized, and I really always knew, that he was a talented, smart person, I knew he would be OK. He knows that I will always, no matter what, be there for him, no matter what he needs, and that is all that really matters. I can’t even begin to share with you the stories we share and laugh about, growing up together in a small town filled with family. Green rocks from neighbors, video game filled afternoons with Sonya and Katana, pool fights, bike rides, Harriet the Spy, Mario’s hard shelled enemies, moon shoes, bus rides, car rides, hiding in connecting closets, grilled cheese sandwiches, back to school shopping with Grandma and Grandpa and so many more memories that I will cherish forever. Plus, memories and stories, we are still making today. I am lucky to have Damon for my brother and love him very much. Shout out to Damon for putting up with me for so many years! I am sure he deserves some type of award for sure! Ha!

Growing up my brother, Damon, was a very picky eater. Not much has really changed, although his tastes have expanded in certain categories. BBQ ribs for an example. His love for them started with my Dad, Jamie, and my Grandpa Max, ordering them at Grindstone Charlies. Damon’s first bite of BBQ ribs can be described as love at first bite. Ha! He has loved them ever since. I think he was about 8 when this love began and has continued all these years. I can still remember him eating them, making a mess and using those little square wet wipes to clean up. Somewhere there is a picture of this that I need to find! It was the funniest thing. Over the years I have watched him grow and change but his lover for bbq and ribs have never faltered. When developing bbq style recipes he is my “go-to” taste tester and always helps me improve or change the recipe in ways I hadn’t thought of before. Same thing with this recipe I am sharing here with everyone today. It is one of his favorite meals! I highly recommend this recipe! Try it, and as usual, send me a message or email and let me know your thoughts!

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

You can substitute the boneless ribs, for bone-in ribs if you desire.

3-4 pounds boneless ribs
2 cups favorite bbq sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by lining your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.

Place in the boneless ribs.

In a large bowl combine the bbq sauce, lightly packed light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper. Pour evenly over the ribs and spread evenly.

Place on the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.

Carefully remove the ribs onto a serving platter. Top with additional bbq sauce, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of black pepper before serving. Serve these hot!

Ask and Answer: I have been getting lots of inquiries about my cookbooks. I have decided not to continue with any reprints, meaning what I have in stock now is all I will ever have. This will be your last opportunity to buy my cookbooks directly from me. Supplies are extremely limited. “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” are $15 each, $12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling. Send payment to Blaise Doubman, Box 47, Kennard, IN 47351. You can use PayPal and Venmo with my email blaisejdx@gmail.com Contact me with questions about my special business bulk deals. This is a first come first serve offer and once supplies are gone, they are gone for good so I encourage you to act fast.

CHEW THIS! Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake 

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, July 6th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
Blaise Doubman

Indiana strawberry season seems to be short and fickle. I cannot tell you how many times my Dad, Jamie, has missed the season by just a day or two. “Bell’s Strawberry Farm” is where my family and I visit every strawberry season. Located in Hagerstown, Indiana at 16447 IN-38 it is a must see stop for anyone and everyone loving strawberries. They have a couple of options available at their business. You can “pick your own” or simply just buy what has already been picked. For those who know me, you can guess my favorite option! Ha! I buy what is picked. They also offer other delicious things such as local honey, Amish baked goods and homemade strawberry freezer jam. Let me talk about their jam for a minute. It is fabulous! I have made strawberry jam for years and even shared a recipe here with all of you for my version a couple of years ago. Their strawberry jam though, beats mine, yes there I said it! Ha! Delicious on toast, bagels, waffles, ice cream or even just a simple spoon.

Their strawberries and strawberry freezer jam got me to thinking about homemade strawberry shortcake. I usually buy an angel food cake to go with strawberries during that time of the year and always insist on buying one instead of making one from scratch! Why? There is literally very slim difference in taste, texture and even ingredients between the homemade and store-bought variety. Making an angel food cake from scratch is a very touchy thing because you cannot deflate the egg whites and you must keep things at a certain temperature. Plus, have you ever tried to cool one? Once removed from the oven, it must be turned upside down for several hours before removing and serving. Maybe it is just me but that just seems like so much work for something that tastes identical to something you can buy for less than $5! I have had taste test after taste test, and nobody could tell the difference between homemade and store-bought angel food cake. For this recipe though I was inspired by the old-fashioned flavors of an actual shortcake. I wanted the taste and texture from what I remembered when I was younger. This recipe is so easy to whip up and will keep at room temperature for several days. Warm a slice up or serve it cold and top with strawberries and whipped cream. I love this summertime dessert and is even delicious topped with frozen strawberries and ice cream! Happy Summer!

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

This can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If chilled or frozen, remove and allow to thaw at room temperature before cutting and serving.

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a regular sized loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat the soft unsalted butter for at least 15 minutes until extra light.

Gently pour and beat in the white granulated sugar.

Beat in the large eggs, adding in only one egg at a time.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

In a glass measuring cup combine the milk, pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract.

Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir the mixture well to combine after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes.

After baking, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Carefully run a knife outside of the shortcake, loosening the edges. Turn out onto a piece of parchment paper to cool.

When cooled and ready to serve, cut thick slices with a serrated knife.

Store leftover pieces tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of messages about how to properly melt chocolate. There are lots of way to melt, or temper, chocolate and I find the easiest way in the microwave. Start by adding the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and add in a tablespoon of solid vegetable shortening or coconut oil. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth, combined and melted. Use as desired.