Pick a Peck of Peppers: Short Ribs Two Ways

Pick a Peck of Peppers: Short Ribs Two Ways

Social-distance Summer just got hotter with pecks of peppers, two ways!  Add fresh air and “bubble friends” for this backyard feast!

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During this time of social-distancing, my “Bubble Friends” and I have taken turns hosting Potluck Sunday suppers. 

The host couple picks the theme and the rest of us bring the appys, sides, and dessert. We gather together on our porch, back deck, kitchen table; wherever we can dine and raise a glass in the open air with good friends…Well, you get the picture.

Recently it was my turn. 

We’ve been in this social-distance bubble for quite some time, so when it was time to plan my dinner theme, my thoughts raced away from grilled steaks and barbecue. 

I was looking for something that was unexpected on a summer’s night. 

I started thumbing through my Sunday Best Dishes cookbook and paged right through to the Slow and Sly Supper chapter. I saw the picture for my Chili Roasted Short Rib dish and a light bulb went off.

Let’s stuff a pepper or two or three…and my dish was born!  The recipe follows, but what made the evening really special and what makes every potluck supper really special…..The friends who share your bubble. 

Give this dish a try.

Invite your Bubble Friends and ask them to bring a dish. Open the windows and enjoy!

Short Rib Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Breakfast Skillet with Glazed Eggs


Serve these most delicious stuffed peppers with yellow rice and black beans for a hint of Mexico cuisine cooked in your very own kitchen.

10 to 12 beef short ribs, prepared as follows, shredded, tossed with sauce from pan

10 to 12 large poblano peppers (you can substitute with Anaheim peppers)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup prepared enchilada sauce

4 ounces Queso blanco cheese, grated

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Serves:   6 to 8

Time:  All Day or Overnight Cuisine

Prepare the short ribs according to the Chili Roasted Beef Short Rib recipe written below. You can do this the night before or even several days in advance. Remove the meat from the bones and shred. Place the meat into a large bowl. Spoon the sauce that remains in the pan over the meat and toss to combine. You should have one big bowl of meaty, saucy rib meat.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Slice one cut into the side of a pepper. Gently pull the pepper open and carefully remove the seeds and ribs. Place the peppers into a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil on the inside and out. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the peppers just begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the peppers. Pour enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place some of the shredded Queso blanco cheese into the bottom of each pepper. Spoon the short rib meat into the pepper. Fill with as much meat as you can. Place the peppers back into the pan with the sauce and top with cheddar cheese. Place the dish back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, and the beef is warmed through.

Chili Roasted Beef Short Ribs (from Sunday Best Dishes)


Prepare these ribs in the morning and slow roast in the oven while you enjoy your Sunday afternoon. It’s melt in your mouth comfort with just a hint of heat.  

8 beef short ribs, about 3 to 4 pounds (choose ribs that are thick and meaty)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup (or more) unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, diced, about 1 cup

2 large carrots, diced, about 1 cup

2 medium celery ribs, diced, about 1 cup

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced, about ¼ cup

2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and deveined, diced, about 2 tablespoons

1 750ml bottle red wine

1 quart homemade beef broth, or low sodium beef broth 

1 cup tomato paste

1 cup chili sauce

1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and diced, about 2 tablespoons

2 cinnamon sticks

Chopped, fresh cilantro

Yield:   18 bite size cakes and about 6 large cakes

Time:  45 minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Preheat the oven to 250°. Season the ribs with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large roasting pan) over medium high heat. Dredge each rib in flour, shaking off the excess. Place each rib into the oil and brown on all sides. Remove the ribs to a platter. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until the veggies are soft. 

Pour in the wine and beef broth. Stir in the tomato paste and chili sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil. Return the ribs and any juices on the platter to the pan. Bury the cinnamon sticks in the sauce.

Cover the Dutch oven with the lid (or place aluminum foil over the pan). Place the pan into the oven and cook until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone, about 6 to 7 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the cover. Place the ribs onto a platter and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.


Easy Fruit Crumble recipe for the winter weary

Easy Fruit Crumble recipe for the winter weary

I know what you’re thinking…desserts like this are a summer thing, but I see no reason not to rejuvenate your winter weary soul with this super easy recipe RIGHT NOW. Besides, it calls for orange juice and after my holiday hangover, I could really use some recipes with refreshing citrus zest and juices.
The weather outside is frightful and seasonal fruits won’t necessarily be in, but you can absolutely shop the freezer aisles for this crowd pleasing dessert.

Good thing all my favorite fruits are available frozen, and apples tend to survive the Florida cold. Here they get baked into a bubbly sweetness that possesses just a hint of fresh sage. It’s not cobbler because these are traditionally made with biscuit batter baked in. My recipe calls for flour and rolled oats, and I think you’re going to love it for the same reasons I do.

This is an excellent way to clear out the fridge. Absolutely any fruit you have on hand, whether it’s bruising in a bowl or frozen, works. Obviously, the fresher the fruit the better, but once you bake your concoction with vanilla, your kitchen’s going to smell divine. Stay inside, stay warm, and offer your loved ones this most cozy dessert…

Easy Fruit Crumble
Serves a crowd
60 Minute Cuisine

For filling:
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
4 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pound fresh sweet cherries, pitted, about 2 1/2 cups, pitted and halved
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon, finely chopped fresh sage
For crumble:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the fruit into a shallow baking dish, coated with vegetable oil spray. Add granulated sugar, juice, vanilla extract and fresh sage. Toss with your fingers.
Place the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a bowl. Add the butter pieces. Use your hands to smush the butter into the dry ingredients to form the crumble. Crumble the crumble on top of the fruit. Bake until the crumble is golden and the fruit juices begin to bubble over the top, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Serve the warm crumble with a garnish of ice cream or chilled whipped cream.

The Nutcracker “Sweet”: Cherry Nut Crumble Cake

The Nutcracker “Sweet”: Cherry Nut Crumble Cake

You know what’s awesome about Christmas? It’s all those late night chats or early mornings in the kitchen with someone who’s come to visit. Picture it, you’ve got your hands wrapped around a steaming coffee mug (decaf or regular depending on the hour), and the center piece of the conversation is this Cherry Nut Crumble Cake.

The orange zest in the recipe gives it a little refreshing kick; the cherries are a bit ahead of season, but you shouldn’t have any trouble folding them into the batter as frozen berries work just fine here. This recipe hails from my Coffee Mates chapter in Sunday Best – isn’t it a gooey, mouthwatering marvel just before it goes into the oven?

There are so few days to go before the big day arrives. I would love to know what kind of sweet treats you serve in the weeks leading up to, and on the day of Christmas. I’m sure you have a tradition. Delicious pastry happens to be one of mine. See all my annual traditions (but translated into food of course) in my new cookbook, SUNDAY BEST DISHES. Once you add it to your collection, you can sing “my true love gave to me”, the gift of YUMMMEEE….

Cherry Nut-Crumble Cake



1 cup fresh cherries, pitted with stems removed

¾ cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 medium orange, about 2 teaspoons

Chop the cherries on a board with a sharp knife and place them into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and orange zest.



6 tablespoons butter, melted

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup chopped walnuts, about 3 ounces

¼ cup brown sugar

Place the flour, walnuts and brown sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse 2 or 3 more times.



2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups butter, room temperature, 3 sticks

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the eggs. Spread half of the batter into the pan.

Drain excess juice from the cherries and spoon over the top of the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the top and spread with a spatula to somewhat cover the cherries. This doesn’t have to be perfect! Run a knife through the batter to swirl everything together. Sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake until the coffee cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.






How to Make a Heavenly Shepherd’s Pie

How to Make a Heavenly Shepherd’s Pie

Sunday Church Suppers are the most fun during the holidays. My chapter on Tote Along Dishes offers several recipes that are created to share with friends. For your Church Christmas pot luck, take a look at my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie Topped with Sweet Potatoes.

When you follow my instructions and pipe the sweet potato onto the top of the casserole dish in artful little dollops, compliments from the congregation abound! The way you do it actually uses up precious sweet potato that might have been thrown away. You simply spoon the potatoes from the bowl of the processor into a re-sealable plastic bag. Squeeze the bag to remove all of the air. Cut the corner off the bag and press out the potatoes into decorative dollops. It’s soooo soul delish!

Want to wow everyone all 365 days a year. Be sure to order your copy of Sunday Best Dishes today for the foodie on your Christmas list! Remember, Jorj.com subscribers get a FREE autographed bookplate.

Shepherd’s Pie Topped with Sweet Potatoes


Sweet Potato Topping

4 medium sweet potatoes

¼ cup half and half

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Roast until the potatoes are squishy soft, about 30 minutes. Cut each in half and peel off the skin. Set the peeled potatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Pour the half and half into the bowl. Add the butter and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the sweet potatoes are pale orange and fluffy. Let them cool while you make the filling.



2 pounds ground lamb

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups

2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced, about 1 cup

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 cups home made beef broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 whole cinnamon stick

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

1 (10-ounce) package frozen pearl onions, thawed

Crumble the lamb into a non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir the meat, breaking up any large clumps. Cook until all of the lamb is browned and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb to a bowl. Pour the juices from the pan into a heatproof container and discard when cool enough to handle. Drizzle the olive oil around the bottom of the skillet. Cook the onion, carrots and garlic in the skillet until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the lamb and any juices from the bowl back into the skillet. Dust the lamb and veggies with flour. Spoon the tomato paste into the lamb. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stir the cumin, thyme and rosemary into the filling. Season with salt and pepper. Bury the cinnamon stick in the meat.  Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and onions and continue to simmer until the peas are soft, about 5 minutes more. Remove the cinnamon stick and spoon the filling into an 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish. Dollop the sweet potatoes over the top of the filling. Set the oven to the broil setting. Place the casserole directly under the broiler and heat until the potatoes just begin to turn golden brown on the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Turkey Day Take-Alongs

Turkey Day Take-Alongs

I talk a lot (yes, I hear you) about hosting holiday dinners, especially Thanksgiving. But, I realize a lot of you guys are the “bringers”. You have offered to bring a dish, or asked by your hostess to bring a dish, and don’t want to come empty-handed to the party! It’s hard to bring the traditional sides, because these are steeped in custom. (Heaven help me if I offer hubby a dressing casserole that doesn’t include white raisins!)

I thought I would give you a couple of my untraditional side dishes that are easy to make in advance, bake at the last minute, and that travel well. Here ya go and here’s a visual preview of the wonderfully tasty mess you’ll make:

Stuffed Tomatoes: Cut plum tomatoes horizontally and gently squeeze out some of the seeds. Take a knife and slash a couple of slits into the core of the tomatoes. Place them (slashed side up) into a baking pan, coated with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs, and top with Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. Bake at 375° until the tomatoes are soft and the cheese is soft and melty, about 25 to 30 minutes. You can prepare these tomatoes the day before. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and roast before you are ready to leave. These are wonderful served at room temperature.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha Aioli, Fresh Mint and Chopped Peanuts: The most important part of any Brussels Sprouts recipe is to blanch them first. This produces a soft sprout that is moist and flavorful. That said, the best way I’ve found to blanch sprouts is in the microwave. Remove any tough leaves from the outside, cut in half and place into a microwave safe bowl. Add a little water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 4 or 5 minutes. If you have a vegetable setting, you can use this to pre-cook your sprouts. Transfer the sprouts to a baking dish, coated with olive oil. Sprinkle with more olive oil, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400° until the Brussels are soft and the outer leaves are beginning to char, about 25 to 30 minutes. You can prepare the Brussels Sprouts the day before. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and roast before you are ready to leave. For the sauce, combine ½ cup mayonnaise with 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce. Place the “aioli” into a squeeze bottle, mince up some fresh mint leaves and chop some roasted peanuts. When the Brussels sprouts come out of the oven, drizzle the sauce over the top and sprinkle with fresh mint and chopped nuts. These too, are wonderful served at room temperature.

Roasted Zucchini with Olives, Capers Parmesan Cheese and Pine Nuts: I hope you are seeing a theme with these veggie dishes! Cut zucchini into 1 ½-inch rounds and place into a baking dish that has been coated with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the zucchini with pitted, chopped Kalamata olives, drained and rinsed capers, grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Bake at 375°until the pine nuts begin to brown, and the zucchini is soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Yup, these are great at room temperature also!!

And, finally here is an appy recipe that you can make in advance, assemble before you leave your house and place on the table when you get where you are going!

Pumpkin Hummus

With Home Made Pita wedges and Crudité

Serves a Crowd

30 Minute Cuisine

There’s nothing like a light and healthy appy at the beginning of a calorie laden meal. This hummus is light and airy and has just the right touch of fall pumpkinness to make everyone happy!

For Hummus:

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

Juice of ½ medium lemon, about 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

For Pita Chips:

4 whole pita chips, cut into wedges (about 32 total)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about ½ cup

For Crudité:

Celery sticks

Carrot sticks

Radishes, sliced

Petite green beans

Bell peppers, sliced into strips

Place the chickpeas, pumpkin puree, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, thyme and paprika into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to form a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the pumpkin hummus into a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the pita wedges onto a baking sheet. Brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until the tops of the pitas are golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve the hummus with warm pita wedges and crudité.