A cup of love...

A cup of love...

The sweetie and I like to stay in for Valentine’s Day, in part because we love to cook, but even more importantly because we like to be cheap.

This year, we paid homage to our Southern family members with a V-day BBQ. My manly man smoked a cigar on the patio while he babied his baby-back ribs (they need to be flipped every 30 minutes!).

Here’s what we did…

I made the perfect potato salad. It started with red potatoes. Shopping tip: baby reds cost $3.99 per pound, whereas the larger red potatoes cost 98 cents per pound and I found no difference in taste or texture. Go big or go home.

Large red potatoes, cheaper than the smaller ones

Large red potatoes, cheaper than the smaller ones

The potatoes are mixed with a vinaigrette that included honey, lemon zest, shallots, whole-seed mustard, parsley, seasoned salt, garlic and olive oil. Then, you mix in crumbled bacon and Gorgonzola cheese. Finish with chopped green onions. Please tell me how this could not be delicious?

Mayo-free potato salad

Mayo-free potato salad

The tater salad normally has chopped boiled egg on top. We instead used our eggs to make deviled eggs…my mom’s recipe that is simply mayo, Dijon mustard, pepper and a couple shakes of vinegar. I finished them with paprika.


Now, the ribs. Boyfriend got two nice racks of baby-back from the grocery store, which we brined and then coated with a dry rub (black pepper, red pepper, paprika, oregano, brown sugar, salt, etc.)

Rub it in

Rub it in

Once the coals were hot and the mesquite bricks were on, boyfriend placed the ribs over indirect heat. And he checked them every 30 minutes for four whole hours…

Waiting to hit the coals

Waiting to hit the coals

Meanwhile, boyfriend made Cook’s Illustrated’s “simple barbecue sauce.” He mixed molasses with ketchup, pepper, espresso, onion juice, sugar, chipotle sauce, garlic and oil. It seems like BBQ sauce is really just a hodgepodge of whatever you can find in the cupboard. The sauce was thick, sweet, smoky and delicious served alongside the ribs.


After all that hard work - AMAZING

After all that hard work - AMAZING

For dessert, we had a simple plate of strawberried dipped in chocolate.


We watched DVDs the rest of the night, I drank red wine and he had the Hop Henge IPA from Deschutes Brewery. It was a good Valentine’s Day.



2 responses to “XOXO

  1. You guys are too cute. Sounds like you had a great V-Day!! 🙂

  2. Sometimes I want to be in your relationship.. I just need two people who cook and do nice things for me.

    Move to Portland and make me FOOOOOOOOD!

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