And today's dinner was so delicious, I feel I outdid myself. :-)
I prepared back ribs, baked beans, cucumber salad, and mixed berry pie.
The baked beans are my favorite part. I took the Frugal Gourmet's recipe for Boston baked beans, and adapted it slightly for my slow cooker and ingredients. One bag of Great Northern beans soaked the quick way, with the addition of a teaspoon of baking soda, plus 3/4 lb bacon, a medium onion, maple syrup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, ground mustard, salt and pepper. I made three layers of the soaked beans, chopped bacon and sliced onions, then mixed the rest of the ingredients with hot water and poured it over. Then I let it cook on high for about 5 hours. High is 300º so that could just be done in the oven in a crock with a good lid.
The cucumber salad is made of whatever I have around. I don't know why the picture makes it look thin and foamy. It isn't at all! Today's has sour cream, red wine vinegar, milk, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, mixed with cucumber, finely diced onion, and some chopped mint leaves.
The ribs were just baked slowly all afternoon, coated in a seasoning blend and wrapped in foil. Wrapping them in foil helps them steam so they are very tender, and if you want to, you can put sauce on them at the end, turn up the temperature, and cook them a little longer.
I love the mixed berry pie with the frozen triple berry blend from Costco. They taste amazingly fresh and go well together.
My usual crust is very basic; 2 1/4 cups flour (my flour is a 5:1 ratio of unbleached white flour to unbleached white whole wheat flour,) 1 tsp salt, 1 stick cold butter, chopped. I pulse that in the food processor, then add a mixture of 1/3 cup cold water, 1 egg, 1 tbs white vinegar, and pulse again just until it's all clumped together. Dumped out on a floury counter, kneaded very lightly and quickly, then refrigerated while the filling is prepared. It's important for the pie crust to be cold when it goes in the oven so the butter doesn't melt right at first.
I use 6 cups of fruit with 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tbs flour, a splash of vanilla, and two splashes of orange liqueur. That's a basic fruit pie recipe, by the way, that you can easily adapt for different fruits. Some require a little more or a little less sugar, and some want cinnamon or nutmeg, as well, and a different type of juice or liqueur. I use almond extract for cherry pie, for example.