Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baked Barbecue Ribs

I've been using this recipe for years and it's absolutely fool-proof. I love that you can throw a rack of ribs in the oven for a few hours and simply have worry-free, amazing barbecue ribs.

I kind of feel guilty that I'm finally posting this recipe because I've talked about these scrumptious
ribs on multiple occasions (see here & here).

This recipe is perfect for the Labor Day holiday because you can prep everything the night before and then pop the ribs in the oven, day of. Then you're left with enjoying time with friends and family instead of spending your holiday watching over your meal or standing in the heat next to a grill.

With these ribs you still get the the tangy barbecue flavors and the meat just falls off the bones. Not to mention, your house will smell divine.

These Baked Barbecue Ribs are by far the easiest and tastiest ribs I've ever had, or made :)

Baked Barbecue Ribs (recipe adapted from

Bone-in Ribs (I try to find pork ribs with plenty of meat on their bones)
1 large white onion
1 red bell pepper
2 yellow peppers
1 fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)

BBQ Marinade
- 16 oz Barbecue Sauce (I 100% recommend using Sweet Baby Rays these ribs are not quite the same without it)
- 1 tablespoon minced Garlic
- 2 cups Orange Juice (any variety - pulp free)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut ribs to fit evenly into your cooking pan.

Start by chopping your red and yellow peppers, onion, and slice the jalapeno. Add all the veggies to the bottom of a pan. Tip: Use a disposable pan for easy clean-up.

Mix the BBQ Marinade by combining barbecue sauce, garlic, and orange juice. Whisk all ingredients together.

Next, add your ribs to the pan by laying them evenly over the onions and peppers, meat side up.
Pour the BBQ marinade over the ribs. Cover the pan with foil.

Bake at 325 degrees for 4-6 hours, turning once during cooking. Remove foil cover the last hour or 2 of cooking. Once done, let ribs cool for five minutes and serve immediately.

Serve them up with my delicious deviled-eggs, corn-on-the-Cobb and my chocolate-covered peanut butter cookies for desert.


I'm linking up with Emily for Tuesdays Recipe Swap

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft peanut butter-y cookies meet dark chocolate-y goodness. 

These cookies are off the charts!

Perfect for an after-school snack, teacher gifts, or just to enjoy yourself. You can't ever go wrong with a peanut butter + chocolate combination.

I came across this wonderful recipe when I ordered my new Nordic Ware Baking Sheets. My husband loves Peanut Butter cookies and I love sweets. So with much anticipation I was ready to put my new baker's half sheet to work - and try this new recipe. Just like the baking sheet, these cookies did not disappoint. 

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts (divided)
  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix butter and peanut butter on medium speed until well combined
  • Add 3/4 cup flour and next 5 ingredients (through vanilla extract) and mix until smooth
  • Add remaining flour and mix to combine
  • Stir in 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • Place level scoops of cookie batter on baking sheet
  • Flatten with a fork
  • Bake for 7 - 9 minutes, or until lightly brown on the edges
  • Remove from oven and let cookies completely cool on a wire rack
  • Melt chocolate over low heat. Once melted dip each cookie into chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and refrigerate cookies until chocolate is set.
  • Enjoy!

  • Mix Batter until Smooth
    Place even scoops onto cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork before baking
    Cool cookies and let chocolate set

    I hope these cookies get your week off to a great start! 

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    Five Faves Friday


    My First Mug Swap - I joined Kallie from But First, Coffee for my first ever Mug Swap. It's similar to pens pals like when we were kids except you virtually meet another partner and begin knowing each other (via several emails). Then, once you get to know each other a little better you send your partner a coffee mug and visa versa. How cool is that?! A new friend and a coffee mug is included.

    Isn't she a doll?! Kallie also shares fabulous makeup tips on her blog.

    My Mug Swap Partner - So the mug swap gets even "cooler" when your partner happens to be one of your favorite bloggers. I have the pleasure of being partnered up with Lindsay from Pursuit of Pink. She is completely rad, and we have TONS in common. I have loved getting to know Lindsay more, even though I frequent her blog quite often. It's really been fun getting to know each other on a more personal level. My hope is to continue our Blogging Friendship even after the swap. As a new mommy, Lindsay shares lots of baby tips and her favorite Mommy products, as well as other fun things like make-up, life stories, and the transition of moving outside the city limits. Check her out, you'll instantly love her!


    Back-to-School - I know all my mommy friends out there can attest to this, but I am so ready for school to start next week. After meeting some of my students I'll be teaching this semester and gearing up for classes myself, I am super stoked to get back into the swing of things and get this school year off to an excellent start.

    Farm Kings - Finally!! My favorite TV show, Farm Kings, is back for another season. I just love love love everything about the Kings. It inspires me so much and I hope to one day grow up in be a farmer. (seriously!) I know it sounds crazy but I love that they can spend their work day out in the fields with their produce, flowers, and animals. It seems like the perfect job to me. A lot of hard work, but still so rewarding. I would just love to spend a week on their farm with them... until then, I'll get my weekly fix by watching the show.


    One And Only - I am completely hooked on Emily Griffin's newest book, One and Only. She released it earlier this Summer and I've finally had the chance to dive in and start reading it. It's been so hard to put down. I love the story of Shea's love for football and her Alma matter. I especially love that the plot in based in Texas and centered around the profession of working in a college setting and writing. See the similarities?! If you haven't read it, it's definitely a must read.

    So there ya have it. What are your favorites from this week? What are looking forward to in the upcoming week?

    Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend and a very happy school year!

    I am linking up with Lauren Elizabeth, Amanda, and Erika.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Deviled Eggs

    School's starting, the summer is coming to an end, and Labor Day is right around the corner. I for one, haven't even began the semester and I am already gearing up for the first holiday once we return. 

    Labor Day always seems like the last hurrah before sending off the summer. Even though we've technically been back in the swing of things, it seems the last chance to mingle with friends and family with a cold one in your hand. It's just enough to tease you a little bit and wish you were still in the hot dog days of summer. 

    Labor Day also seems like the perfect opportunity to squeeze in that last backyard barbecue before the madness of the school year and gearing up for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays (YIKES!). 

    To me, it always seems like this time of year just simply flies by. I'm sure my fellow teacher friends out there can agree... 

    So what Labor Day barbecue is complete without Deviled Eggs? 

    None, I tell ya.

    Deviled eggs are the perfect addition to any barbecue/ grill-out and pair quite well with my Baked Barbecued Ribs (recipe #comingsoon). These eggs are a cinch to whip up and are simply divine. Make them during any holiday or festivity... or just make a few to brighten up lunch. They're super quick, and I guarantee you have most ingredients already in your fridge or pantry.

    The trick to great deviled eggs is to make really bright, yellow egg yolks. Tips can be found below. 

    Fun fact, my husband has never tried a Deviled Egg until I made them. And guess what, he loves them. Now he requests them all the time, but I told him he'd have to wait until Labor Day.  Poor, B.

    Deviled Eggs

    • 8 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
    • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
    • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste
    • Paprika (and or parsley flakes) to top

    • Boil Eggs, cool, and peel under cool water.
    • Halve eggs length wise. Carefully remove yolks and place in a small bowl.
    • Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickles, mustard, Tabasco. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • Stir well until lumps are not longer visible.
    • Fill yolk mixture into a large Ziploc bag. Concentrate yolk mixture into one corner of the bag. Cut the small corner of the bag.
    • Using the bag, fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. Garnish with paprika and or Parsley (or chives).
    • Store covered in the refrigerator, serve chilled and ENJOY!
    • TIP: For really yellow egg yolks use my Mom's tried and true method of boiling eggs. Place eggs in a large pot, cover with cool water. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes ONLY. Remove from heat and cover, let eggs sit in hot bath for 8 minutes. Gently pour out hot water and replace with cold water and ice. Let eggs sit in ice bath for 15 minutes. Peel eggs under cold running water.
    Boil Eggs
    Cover eggs with cold water and ice
    After the eggs are peeled, Halve eggs length-wise
    Add mayonnaise, chopped dill pickles, mustard, and Tabasco to egg yolks
    Yolk Mixture
    Place mixture in one corner of a Ziploc bag
    Use bag to evenly fill eggs with mixture
    What plans do you have for the Labor Day holiday? Will you be cooking or grilling out?

    Linking up with Emily for Recipe Swap

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Adopt don't shop

    Tomorrow, August 16th, marks a very special day in the Dallas/ Fort Worth Metroplex {and surrounding areas}.

    Saturday, August 16th, is Empty the Shelter day. 

    Now, typically, I do a Five Faves Friday post, but I wanted to share with each of you something so special and near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share our story of pet adoptions. You see, we have several rescued pets. They are our world, our everything, our {fur} babies, if you will.

    They have brought so much joy and special meaning to our lives, and I could not imagine living life with our our little "Pet Pack".

    We began a long time ago in the early 2000's. B was off at college and I was living it up in the burbs {not really}. We each wanted/ needed a special companion.

    Brian rescued a shelter dog and he named him "Oscar P" - aptly named after our school's founder's pet duck.

    Oscar has been with Brian throughout his entire college career and is one of the smartest and best doggies around. He can even get a beer out of the fridge... now tell me how many designer breeds can do that! We don't really know what breed Oscar is, and we love him regardless.

    Next, I got my little Chihuahua, Chip. He has been with me through various stages of life and has always shown me unconditional love and protection.

    Chip enjoys laying in the sun and being the "big" dog of the house. He loves snuggles and sticking out his tongue.

    When B, completed his first degree we rescued three shelter cats with the intent of providing them a "foster" home until we could place them in a loving environment. We already had a cat and I wasn't completely on board with the whole cat idea. Needless to say, we both got attached to them and now I will never not have a cat {or a couple}.

    Cats are truly a special species and if you've never owned a cat you'll not have the slightest clue what I am talking about. Cats, in my opinion, get a bad wrap. However, people who own cats will have an instant connection with you because you both "know" what it's like to be a cat owner. Cats are self sufficient and a ton of fun. They can do all sorts of crazy tricks, flips in the air, and makes thousands of different noises. They like to sit in the most inconvenient places and stick their rears in your face (which sounds horrible), but they are seriously the coolest pets. The will protect you form bugs, rats, snakes and other rodents (simply because they will kill them so you won't have to). The love of a cat is like that of none other and when they give you that "look" your heart instantly melts. We've had our cats since they've been itty bitty kitties and I must say having a kitten is crazy and fun all at the same time. What other animal do you know that can clean itself?

    Pico is my special man. We have a very strong bong and he knows it. He likes to "bop" the other cats on the head to let them know who's boss and he loves to lay on his back all legs spread. When we first got Pico he was very sick and we were unsure if he would make, much less turn into the beautiful man that he is. He has bright blue eyes, and a gray-ish white coat. When Momma calls, he always comes running. He's my man!

    Raul is the baby of the family and enjoys singing and "talking" to me. He's a feisty little thing that loves his Momma. He enjoyes sitting in the sun and watching squirles out the window.

    Nala is the only other girl in the house and has some very sassy "catittude". She enjoys sitting under the covers and loves her Daddy very much.

    Smokey is my handsome yet shy boy. He and Nala are very close and do almost everything together. He's the sweetest cat and has never had a temper. He's super laid back and enjoys when Nala licks his head.

    Baby Kiki (above right) is my crazy cat that wakes me up every morning at 7 am. He loves his treats and loves to get us out of bed so he can take over. He and Pico are BFF's and they spend most of their days together. I love his little pink nose and he looks like he has a mask due to his markings. He's very eccentric.

    A few years ago, we also rescued a Pekineses... Get this, a lady at Walmart was just giving him away, or she was going to surrender him to be euthanized. {Who does that!?} We took him in and realized he has very special needs. Again with the intent to find him a home, after a few quirks and a million and one bouts of laughter later - we couldn't part with him. He's one of those dogs that only a parent can love. I'm convinced he is a product of bad breeding practices, and we love him none the less.

    So now, almost 10 years later we are left with a small heard of cats AND dogs. They truly are our EVERYTHING.

    Gizmo and Chip helped Daddy when he proposed to me. Oscar has protected us. My cats have killed several (small) snakes that I have slithered their way near our house. They have comforted us when we are feeling upset or hurting. They have allowed us to love something other than ourselves. And, most importantly, they have allowed us to provide for them. Something that brings us both so much pleasure day in and day out.

    Regardless of where you are in the world, I encourage you to adopt or rescue a shelter pet. If you must have a specific breed PLEASE PLEASE look into the rescue groups that are available before shelling out hundreds (even thousands) of dollars. Please do not shop. Many breeders do not properly breed their animals (i.e. inbreeding) and typically these are the dogs that end right back up in a shelter and eventually killed.

    You also must know that having an animal is a HUGE commitment. It's a commitment to yourself and more importantly to another being. Pets have souls and feelings. They need love and attention. Along with food, adequate shelter, and lots of care.

    If you've been thinking about getting pet, this weekend is the perfect time to get one. Check out Empty the Shelter Day. Adoption fees are waived and you are bringing joy to an animal that so desperately needs love and a good home.

    I know that our rescues are on the side of extreme and some people think we are out of our minds, and that's okay. But until you rescue a pet of your own, you'll never truly now the positive impact a rescued pet will have on you - and them.

    So if you have a pet or if you're thinking about rescuing one...

    I leave you with a few of my pets tips I've learned over the years:

    1. Establish a routine (especially for feeding).
    2. Never EVER leave you cat or dog in the car during the summer (or spring) months. Don't do it! And if I see it, I will call the police and will try to rescue that pet from a hot car. It's just wrong.
    3. Please do not let your dog chew on rubber toys (chocking hazard)
    4. Always take your pet to the vet for an annual exam
    5. Provide a safe place for your pet (a comfy crate, area or room)
    6. Talk to your pet - they like that
    7. Provide plenty of safe toys & use them to play with your pet
    8. Do not leave little dogs or cats outside at night 
    9. Establish your dominance (you might need a professional's help)
    10. and, lastly, Enjoy your pet!  

    So, please, Save a Life and visit your local shelter. 

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    #WineWednesday: Making a Splash

    Hey Y'all!!

    First, I want to start by extending a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful readers who provided feedback on my post last week. I received some really fabulous feedback and can't wait to try some of your suggestions from the survey.

    This week's wine is Cannonball Chardonnay

    Let's Dive in, shall we?

    I was suggested this wine from a dear friend, who also happens to work at a package store. You wouldn't believe the connects I have... 

    just kidding. 

    He assured me that it was quite tasty and that if I really enjoyed Chard (which I do) then I should definitely give this one a shot. 

    No need to twist my arm. 

    After, I came to my senses and let it chill for a bit.. Don't know how you do the voodoo that you do. So, well it's a spell, hell, makes me wanna sip sip sip. (no, wait... wrong place. Bonus points if you can name that song tho!) 

    Anyway, I let it completely chill to get it at optimum drinking temperature. 

    See here in the South, it's hotter than a which's tit, in a brass bra! I mean: It. Is. Smokin' Hot! 

    The delightful little boy doing a Cannonball on the label really hit home for me. Shoot, it is Summer after all. (In case you needed any reminder) 

    A couple of glasses down the wine hatch and I was doing a Cannonball myself! (no, really!)

    This wine is the Perfect Summer Wine. So refreshing with light notes of citrus. Yet, still bold and oak-ey. (trust me, it's a word)

    Customized Etched Wine Glass from Gifted Sistas
    Reigning from Sonoma County, a little less than $15 a bottle and a ease-of-access twist top - this wine will now be one of my favorites! 

    Pairs wonderfully with ribs (I would know) and I would totally bring this pool or LAKESIDE. 

    Thank you for the wonderful suggestion, friend! 

    Wishing you all a wonderful #WineWednesday & be sure to share your wine photos using the #WineWednesday hashtag. It's like a virtual wine tasting and I'd love to see what your sippin' on!

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Chicken Salad

    Chicken Salad


    • 2 bone-in chicken breast
    • 3  stalks of celery (2 for boiling chicken, 1 to include in the salad)
    • 1/2 large white onion
    • 1 green apple
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
    • 1 cup real Mayonnaise (like Hellmann's)
    • Garlic Salt and Pepper (to taste) 
    • Begin by boiling the chicken. (I am a firm believer that if your chicken is seasoned and boils properly your salad will always taste great.) To Boil Chicken: Roughly chop 2 stalks of celery into large pieces. Chop white onion into fourths. Add chicken to a large pot and cover with water. Add chopped celery and onion and bring to a rolling boil for about 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked. I like using bone in chicken because I feel it gives the overall chicken more flavor.

    • Once chicken is cooked, remove chicken and set aside to cool.
    • Meanwhile, finely chop one celery stalk and the green apple. 
    • Once chicken is cooled begin to shred chicken, and remove from bones. I use my hands to pull the chicken apart, but if you'd like to save your hands from getting messy use two forks. But, FYI the hand method works the fastest.
    • Add shredded chicken to a large bowl. Add chopped celery and apple. Add 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. Add one cup of mayonnaise and garlic salt & pepper to taste.
    • Gently mix all ingredients, until combined.
    • Cover salad and refrigerate. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    • Enjoy!

    Texas Women Bloggers