giving thanks (and some seriously delicious ribs)

I'm not supposed to be writing this post right now. I have a ton of work to finish and so desperately want to make time for a walk in this beautiful town tomorrow morning. I'm in Healdsburg, CA with a group of amazing food bloggers and journalists learning all about charcoal and barbecue, thanks to the graciousness of Kingsford Charcoal. But that's not the real reason I'm posting tonight (I promise to talk more about 'cue and coal in a few days)


Being surrounded by truly talented people who are also like minded about community and caring for others (Diane took up a collection to tip the band), laughing with new friends Jen, Brooke and finally getting to meet the wonderful Denise and Lenny, has reminded me how thankful I need to be everyday. Yes, it's a tough economy, and the juggle of motherhood and a career is a challenging, delicate balance, but I'm blessed with more than a lot of other people out there. And, so I leave you with this one thought. Take just one minute each and everyday to remind yourself about the positive things in your life. I'll bet they make the annoying little things going wrong at any given moment seem even pretty insignificant. Rather than just celebrating the good times during this holiday season we're about to enter, cherish the little moments that happen every day.


That's Brooke, in case you're curious.

Perhaps it's the Seghesio wine, or maybe it was the band that started playing Van Morrison, reminding me how much I love the Mr. and our little girls, but tonight I'm aware of how rich my life is. I also want to take a second to thank you all for joining me in the kitchen. Here's an oldie but goodie, and by all means fire up the grill and make these kickbutt ribs right on it using a heatproof pan.

Seriously Delicious Ribs

Serves 4 to 6

The golden rule of low and slow for traditional barbecue, holds true when adapting to an indoor technique. An easy-to-make dry rub and slow braise in a 250º oven yielded results to satisfy my craving. Friends agreed. Serious 'cue eaters may think this technique blasphemous, but one taste and they may be bringing a side of apologies.

2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoons instant espresso powder
¼ teaspoon allspice
1teaspoon chipotle powder, optional

Braising Liquid/BBQ Glaze
1 cup sparkling white wine, like prosecco
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.

2. Add all the dry rub ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until ingredients are combined, about two or three 1-second pulses. Rub mixture evenly all over each rack of ribs, making sure to coat top and bottom. Place ribs, single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan and let sit, covered, in  the refrigerator for one hour.

3. Meanwhile, place liquid ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute.

4. Remove rib from refrigerator. Pour braising liquid over ribs, wrap tightly with heavy-duty foil and place in oven, side by side if possible. Cook for 2 ½ half hours. Alternate pans halfway through if cooking on separate racks in the oven.

5. Remove pans from oven, discard foil and pour or spoon the braising liquid into a medium
saucepot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a vigorous simmer and let cook until liquid reduces by half and becomes a thick, syrupy consistency, 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Preheat broiler. Brush the glaze on top of each rack of ribs. Place ribs under the broiler until the glaze begins to caramelize, one to two minutes (watch carefully, or all your waiting will be spoiled by burned ribs!). Slice and serve with remaining glaze on the side.