July 4th is right around the corner. If you’re looking for some recipes to impress at your cookout, Rania Harris has you covered!

Barbecued Baby Back with Red Sauce and Mustard Sauce

Red sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar – packed
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Mustard sauce:

  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon each of green and pink peppercorns – crushed

Ribs: 5# baby back ribs – cut into 4 rib sections


Red sauce: combine ingredients in a small heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes.

Mustard sauce: in a small heavy saucepan, reduce the brandy by half by cooking over high heat. Add the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes.

Ribs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Place them in large roasting pan and cover them with foil. Roast the ribs for about 3 hours. They will be very tender.

Prepare barbeque grill on a high heat. Brush ribs with your choice (or choices) of sauce and grill ribs until sauce begins to brown slightly and ribs are heated through. Brush occasionally with additional sauce, about 5 minutes per side.   Transfer to platter.Pass remaining sauces separately.

Peach Shortcake with Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for buttering the dish
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpos flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup peach schnapps
  • 8 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the milk until frothy. Add the 1 1/3 cups of granulated sugar and beat at high speed until the mixture is thick and pale, about 7 minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg mixture, then fold in the melted butter until incorporated. Spread the batter in the prepared dish and bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar with the peach schnapps. Stir in the peaches and let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until firm. Cut the shortcake into squares and serve with the peaches and whipped cream.

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