Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Ummm! Baby-Back Ribs

If you’ve never read Marilyn Pappano, you have a real treat waiting for you. She is truly one the best writers out there . . . bar none!

Marilyn isn’t just the best when it comes to writing, she’s also a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s cook. Her hubby is her right-hand man in the kitchen (and makes a burger to die for!) The two of them make some of the best food ever! My mouth is watering just thinking about some of the fantastic yummers I’ve enjoyed at their house.  

One year Marilyn gave me a book filled with their favorite dishes. She’d mentioned she was making one for her son, and I begged for one for Christmas. I got so much more than I bargained for. Wonderful, easy to follow recipes, a beautiful book, gorgeous pages.

Cookbook publishers should be beating her door down. But until they do, you can get some of her recipes over at .

It’s good stuff!

Marilyn’s Baby-Back Ribs are so good. G-Man likes them so much he gets hungry for them and fixes them himself every now and then. <g>

1 rack baby-back ribs
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
brown sugar
2 medium onions, quartered
barbecue sauce

Rinse and dry ribs. Preheat oven to 375. Place ribs on a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat heavily with paprika, then with brown sugar. Add onions; fold foil over tightly. Bake for 45 minutes for 1 hour.

Remove ribs and onions to foil-lined baking pan. Coat well with barbecue sauce. Broil at 400 for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Serve with plenty of napkins!


Martha’s Spaghetti

A meat sauce on spaghetti. The sauce contains ...

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of G-Man’s favorite dinners. If I add garlic bread and salad, the boy’s in heaven!

I call it Martha’s Spaghetti because I got the recipe from watching Martha Stewart, but I had to change it a little. First, she didn’t have meat in it (can you imagine?) and she did have cheese in it. 😦

So here’s Susan’s version of Martha’s Spaghetti.

2 T olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes
1 T dried basil
1/4 pound hamburger
2 cans chopped tomatoes with spices (with green peppers and onions)
spaghetti–cooked al dente

Peel and slice three or four cloves of garlic and fry along with a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden. (Careful, garlic burns easily.) When the garlic is ready, crumble in 1/4 pound of hamburger meat and cook until all the pink is gone.

Next pour in two cans diced tomatoes with spices. Add 1 tablespoon dried basil. (If you rub it between your CLEAN hands as you put it in the pot, you’ll release the oils and flavor.)  Cook on medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken.

Drain cooked spaghetti noodles (al dente) and add to the meat sauce and stir together until the sauce starts to stick to the noodles. (This is where Martha puts in cheese. It makes the sauce thicken faster and stick to the noodles. We opt to live with thinner sauce and forego the cheese.)

That’s it–ready to chow down!

Next time: Smothered Snake.