July 1, 2015

Balsamic Glazed Beef Ribs

You better lick your fingers when you eat this. I don’t care if it’s not proper table manners, fuck that don’t waste my sauce! P.S. the rib recipe also makes an amazing beef stock! Here’s what I used:

  • 2lbs beef ribs
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of oregano
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2" Garlic peeled and smashed
  • 3 garlic cloves smashed
  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 -2” piece of ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 onion minced
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • Honey (add more honey to taste if you want the glaze to be sweeter)
Cut beef ribs into sections, I kept two ribs on each cut. Season generously with salt and pepper. So I brine boiled the ribs because, 1. It was too hot for me to cut the stove on and 2. I didn’t feel like waiting hours for tender ribs.

Place ribs in a deep pot with all the ingredients and fill with water until everything is covered. Bring to a boil, turn down, and let simmer until cooked through. You may need to add more water.  

While that’s cooking get your glaze together. Add the balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Add all the ingredients and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

Take the meat out and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.

DO NOT THROW the broth AWAY. Save it for beef stock to use later. I recommend freezing in small ziplock bags or airtight containers.

Add the ribs to a stovetop grill so you get that good smoke flavor and grill marks, add the glaze on all sides, and cook until it caramelizes on the ribs. (Btw my mouth is watering…and I already ate all the ribs L).

Cut up the tops of few chives and sprinkle over the ribs if you want to be fancy. Serve with wet naps, but don’t let them have it until they lick the glaze off their fingers! Hehe

Wasted Watermelon Popsicles

I’ve been drinking, watermelon…if it tasted like these popsicles then…never mind…

Little known fact. I’m pretty obsessed with popsicles. Especially if they have chunks of fruit, yes, gimme. I feel like watermelon is a bbq staple and so is booze so why not mix the two together.

Here’s what I used.

  • Half of a small watermelon blended – I only ended up using about a quarter, but if you are a real person with real Popsicle molds then you will need more than me
  • Leaves of 4 springs of thyme
  • Simple syrup – to taste
  • 2 shots of Green Hat Navy Strength Gin
  • 3 shots of Vermouth
  • Juice of 2 limes – again…taste, I like the tangy tartness

Herbed Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-cup water
  • 5 leaves of sage
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of lavender

Note: This recipe is very fluid; feel free to use your own measurements to suit your taste.

Simple Syrup
Add the water and all other ingredients to a small saucepan. Let it simmer, stirring until the honey and the sugar dissolve and let simmer some more so that the herb flavor is infused, stirring periodically. I kept it on low for about 20 mins.

Chop up the watermelon and blend to your desired smoothness, you can keep some chunks in there if you like.

Add simple syrup to taste. I would recommend adding a bit more to account for the freezing.

Add the thyme leaves, vermouth and gin one shot at a time, testing each time to make sure you like the flavor, I like my mixture very skrong strong.

Pour into molds and freeze. Serve with vino verde or champ. Have more than one!

Note: trader Joe’s sells the best vino verde.

June 23, 2015

Make it Quick: Ethiopian Inspired Dinner Party in One Hour


Of course the day I plan on having a dinner party the metro is single tracking or some shit. Blah.

When I finally get home from work I had roughly an hour to pull things together. Luckily I prepared the day before. I cleaned everything, so all I had to worry about was getting the food together.

bbelle #sls stylish life simplified tip!
Prep everything you possible can ahead of time. Cleaning, food prep/shopping should all be done in advance so that you don’t stress yourself out.

Table Setting

I picked several low profile (not tall) plants that I had around my house and a candle for ambiance and aroma. I always prefer using fabric to a tablecloth, it cuts down on waste, looks much more unique and adds texture. Black and white fabric is a great pallet starter and it goes with everything.

bbelle #sls stylish life simplified tip!
Use plants instead of flowers as a centerpiece. It’s a great alternative in a time crunch, is an unexpected touch, and great way to add texture.

Luckily I did not have to think about booze this time! My good friend Ian picked brought the goods.

We started off with a rose champagne, the fruit forwardness of rose lends itself very well with spicy food. Next, we moved on to the Riesling. It is a terrific food wine, especially a dry version plays well with a whole array of foods, but best with spicier food.

I butterflied it so that it would cook much faster. Seasoned with sea salt, pepper, Zhoug and a dusting of Berbere on both sides. Then laid the chicken on a bed of lemon and onion slices. I used two slices of my herb butter for flavor and moisture, because the chicken was pretty lean. I covered and baked until the chicken reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, basting every 10 minutes or so. After it was cooked through I broiled it on low to get the skin nice and crispy. Let it rest and then serve.

Red Lentils
Berbere spice is my jam. Ever since I ate at this Ethiopian spot in Atlanta I’ve been obsessed. For the red lentils, I used this recipe and added zest of half a lemon. Turned out so yummy. I will say this; they are VERY easy to overcook! Babysit them, err on the side of caution. I added extra garlic, fresh tomatoes, and zest of one lemon to this recipe. Serve with a lemon wedge.

Nothing fancy here. Since I knew I’d be pressed for time I figured sautéed spinach would be easiest. I cooked it once everything was finished with salt, pepper and a clove of minced garlic. I would have loved the make collards.

If you have no time to bake or prepare anything, this is perfect. A scoop of mascarpone, two scoops of mango sorbet, minced basil and cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne. So. Fucking. Good. And super simple.

June 15, 2015

In Living Color

Me: Hey boo
Friend: Wow that is a Jamaicany ass outfit!
Me: Sure is!

I always have to stop myself from wearing all the colors and prints all together, unless it works of course. I’ve already talked about how much I love bright color blocks in general but especially for work. Since I started my new job about a month ago, I’ve been breaking out of go-to outfit syndrome and dressing much better. I’m working with marketing/creative folks now and the dress code is much more casual. Give my wardrobe frrrrreeee! Also helps that I finally got my life together and organized my closet! Blazers, collard work shirts, other shirts, pants, dresses, work dresses. Makes it simple to get ready in the morning.

Blazer: Pixie Market | Tank & Pants: H&M | Shoes: Vintage | Bracelets: Orese

June 8, 2015

Beets by Belle: Bloody Mary Alternative

I’ve tried many times to get into Bloody Marys. Each time the response is the same…ECCKK! They are a bit too savory and vegetabley for me. So! I’ve been working on an alternative. The base is beet, carrot and celery juice and I tried a slew of booze to see what would go best with the flavors. Everything was gross except gin, which was magically delicious.
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