Beef Plate Ribs

Aaron Franklin reports his favorite chunk of BBQ happens to be beef ribs.  Not the small beef back rib rack you can find in any grocery store but beef PLATE ribs that come from the underside of the cow. These ribs are enormous, they look like dinosaur ribs. The ribs have incredibly marbled meat that sits on top of the ribs.

I found these at Red Raider Meats last week. They are very easy to cook – rub with kosher salt and pepper, smoke at 285 until done.

There’s almost no trimming necessary, no need to wrap in foil and all that mess.  Just smoke em’ till they’re done.


I got my 6 pound rack started on the smoker at 9 in the morning, they were done right at 5 o’clock.

I let them rest for 30 and cut into them, not that you needed a knife. Seriously – these things were soft.  The flavor is pretty good although I don’t think this is my favorite cut of BBQ.  They meat tastes like pot roast but with twice the flavor and 4 times the softness. You can literally put a finger into the meat and pinch out a chunk. Even Catalina liked them:




Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

A few weekends ago I took the kiddos to the Lubbock Lions Club Annual Breakfast.  The kids got to eat fantastic hotcakes and I got to enjoy the wondrous spectacle of watching volunteers working giant griddles to produce thousands of pancakes.

The pancake griddles are amazing, if you look closely you can see that they hold 30 pancakes at a time.  The gentlemen cooking our hotcakes saw the kids staring in awe and made us special mickey mouse shaped pancakes.


And the kids doubled up on the sugar by cashing in some tokens for popcorn and cotton candy.  It’s a miracle they haven’t developed diabetes already.

Hello Fresh: Crispy Chicken Parmigiana Salad

Tonight’s dinner comes from Hello Fresh, a company similar to Plated that we have tried out previously.  A friend of Sara’s got us a week’s worth of food boxes as a gift to try out the service.  The boxes contain awesome ingredients with easy to follow instructions, it appears most of the recipes are geared toward a 25-35 minute start-to-finish time.

This recipe involved roasting potatoes for a potato salad along with prepping a breaded-chicken main. The chicken is pounded flat and then sour creme and parmagiana breading is put on top.

After the potatoes have roasted for 25 minutes they are mixed with a lemon juice and sour creme based dressing and then the spinach is mixed in to wilt a little bit.

The final result was a delightful breaded-chicken and fresh spinach salad:


The kiddos had picture day at school so Sarai dressed them up in some new duds:


Monday Salmon

We’ve fallen into a routine for the past month: Monday night Salmon followed by 3 nights of Hello Fresh Meals and a special meal on Friday.  And so it is that Catalina joined me to cook Salmon and sides.  I nervously monitored her use of a chef’s knife to prepare the green beens: she insisted on helping cut them.

She was very excited with her work.  We roasted the green beans along with cherry tomatoes.  2 happy customers:


Fried Wontons

After starting my education on Chinese food I quickly strayed down the path of evil: Americanized Chinese food.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for greasy scrumptious food. I found a truly excellent blog called The Woks Of Life and located a Fried Wonton recipe.  Then Catalina and I went to the kitchen and got to work mixing wonton stuffing and prepping 3 sauces.

I read the blogs instructions for two different ways to fold the wontons, then gave Catalina the rundown.  Her folds looked a little different than mine, but she had a ton of fun making her wontons.

The end results tasted AMAZING, we all agreed the Sweet Apricot Dipping sauce was the favorite of the three.


Oliver played with legos during the cook and also worked on an especially important writing assignment that his teacher sent home from school:



Every Grain of Rice

For Christmas this year I received a wok and a cookbook about chinese cuisine called: Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking.


The wok is a 14-inch carbon-steel model that needed to be seasoned before use.  I followed the instructions on the wok by first scrubbing the hell out of it with a scouring pad to remove the store coating that is meant to prevent rust.

After scrubbing off the coating I heated the wok of the stove on high heat and applied/removed many layers of oil.

The resulting ‘patina’ is slick as snot and ready to cook with.  I began with trying the most ‘Americanized’ recipe in the entire book: General Tso’s Chicken.  I also grabbed a fried rice recipe to use as a side.


The cookbook is full of awesome looking recipes, there is also an extremely helpful section that includes descriptions of ingredients for the book that was indispensable when I went to Lubbock’s finest ‘oriental’ markets to stock up on supplies.


The General Tso’s chicken recipe went together without trouble but looked nothing like the picture … it also didn’t taste like I was expecting.  It wasn’t bad, just not what I was looking for.  So much for beginner’s luck!

On the other hand the Fried Rice was spectacular!!!  The recipe included peas, pineapple chunks, onions and eggs.

Overall not a bad first go with the new wok.IMG_2234


Good Morning from the Brinkers!

This morning as the kids were getting ready, Oliver asked to listen to the new Adele song, “hello.”  I turned it on using Spotify and after Adele’s version finished, “hello” by OMFG started to play. The kids thought it was a fun song, and it gave me the idea to make a video of our morning routine, which, as you will see, usually involves a bit of chaos, messiness, and at least two cups of coffee 🙂

We had fun making this together. I made the film on my phone using the iMovie app, which I didn’t even know was possible until my friend Sally and her daughter showed me films they’d made with the app.  Fun times! I hope that in a decade we will enjoy looking at this little vignette of everyday life.

– Sarai