Monthly Archives: June 2015

Easy-Peasy, 3-Ingredient, BBQ Ribs in the Pressure Cooker

 

Ribs in Pressure Cooker

I *love* using my pressure cooker! Perfect for someone like me who thinks I’ve got everything going for me and I’m having a productive day, only to be brought up short in late afternoon with, “When’s dinner? I’m hungry.” Oh, right…dinner.  Forgot about that.  And you can’t pull out your crockpot at that late hour! So here’s another easy-peasy pressure cooker recipe, with only 3 ingredients, that produces tender, sticky ribs you thought you could only get from a low & slow professional!

I could’ve sworn the ribs were in the fridge, but I was wrong. No worries! I dropped the frozen ribs in my 2-gallon jug, full of hot water, and they were thawed in half an hour.  😀

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Remove baby back ribs from their wrapper and cut into 4 sections. Place the elevated cooking rack inside the cooker, pour in 2 cups of ginger ale and then lay rib sections on top of rack.

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Set pressure cooker timer for 25 minutes and ensure vent is sealed.

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When timer is up, vent out the steam completely before opening up the cooker. The ribs might not look pretty without their dousing of BBQ sauce, but try the meat here. So tender and juicy! Now we’re going to add the sauce and make the ribs sticky. You can do this on your grill, if you prefer. We’ve done that, but it’s faster and stickier under the broiler. You chose!

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Turn on your broiler, remembering that your oven door needs to be cracked when you are broiling. My oven rack is 7 inches below my broiler. This gives the sauce time to get sticky and really adhere to the ribs. If the rack was closer to the broiler, the sauce would blacken more. Pick your preference!

Remove meat to an oven-proof dish, underside of ribs facing up. Spread on your favorite BBQ sauce – ours is currently Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy!

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Keep an eye on your ribs under the broiler; they can go from zero to burnt pretty quickly when left alone, but take forever to caramelize when you stare at them. ;o) Ours were under the broiler approximately 7-9 minutes per side.  When you have achieved your desired level of color and stickiness on the underside of your ribs, remove from broiler, flip, sauce the other side and back into the broiler for another 7-9 minutes. Do you see how the sauce just fused to the underside of the ribs, below?! It was so hard to put them back under the broiler for the other side because I just wanted to dig in!

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And…voilà! RIBS. ARE. DONE! To be honest with you, we could have left the top side of the ribs under the broiler longer, to achieve the same, infusion of matte sauce the back got, but it smelled so good, we couldn’t wait any longer. ;o) And they were still deliciously sticky! 

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Give these a try and let me know how they turned out! And check out my other Easy-Peasy Pressure Cooker recipes.

A Sunset Picnic with The Hubs & Nature

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B was at sleepway camp since Sunday afternoon and I pick him up yesterday. On Wednesday evening, our last night alone together, the hubs and I made a picnic dinner and went away from the city and the lights to watch the sunset and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
He put a blanket and some cushions in the back of the truck and backed it up to a pond. After eating we laid down and just talked and listened and watched. It was beautiful and peaceful.
We saw lightening bugs; there are none where we live! Bats flew above us and bullfrogs talked to each other across the pond. An owl woke up and took off for his nightly hunt. We heard deer stomping and snorting in the woods behind us. It was so lovely.
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Our” bed”, cooler of dinner and thermos with tea. Trust me, those cushions from an old oversized chair in the basement were so comfy! Bug spray in bottom left corner.

 

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Selfie with my love.

 

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Partially eaten dinner sandwich in my lap. I made The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch-Style Chicken with thighs, instead of breasts, put them on potato rolls and wrapped them in foil for the trip to the pond. YUM-O!

 

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Final pic before leaving: the hubs, the evening star and the pond.

#TuesdayShoesday

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It’s #TuesdayShoesday and these are my shoes today – my bare feet!
I cleaned and cleared out our bedroom yesterday and it felt so good! Six bags of clothes were Freecycled and the room is so much bigger without all the stuff that was dumped in here.
Today, I’m tackling the playroom that B can’t even play in because it’s become another dumping ground. So, I have no need for shoes today. I may not even get out of my pink PJs! ;)👡

Blessings by Laura Story

Have you ever heard the song Blessings by Laura Story?  If not, click on it, above, and listen to it before reading on. I’ve always loved that song. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’ve always liked the “sad” songs since I was a kid or maybe because what she is singing about resonates with me. But even though I love this song, I didn’t really understood it for the longest time. What blessings could possibly be found in our worst pains and losses?!

Then one day, a couple of years ago, I was in the car, this song came on the radio, and I immediately thought of Janet (not her real name). God connected the dots for me right there and showed me an example of what blessing could come out of Janet’s cancer and her family losing their child, sister and mother.  Before receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, Janet did not have the most positive attitude. She was not happy with her situation when she compared it to others’. Sometimes she felt others had an obligation to share their blessings with her because she didn’t have what they had. She focused on the things she didn’t have instead of the things and people she did.

When her cancer was discovered, it was pretty progressed and doctors were not optimistic.  But you know what?  Janet didn’t wallow in self-pity, didn’t wonder “Why me?” or get angry at God.  She had an amazing transformation in attitude, spirit and heart after her diagnosis.  She realized every moment on this earth and all the people in her life were precious and she wanted as much time as possible to let them know that and to show God she could praise him in the storm. She wasn’t going to accept defeat and die without a fight.

It took the knowledge that her time left on earth had an expiration date of months, not decades, to change.  Janet had a love of life and appreciation for each day and those with her like she’d never had before.  She praised God in private and out loud to whom she came in contact.  She went through ugly treatments and terrible side effects saying, “God is good!”, being grateful for medicine that helped her fight.  She turned it all over to God and trusted Him to get her through this.  And, oh boy, did God do amazing things in Janet! Her tumors started shrinking.  Doctors could not explain what was happening, but Janet knew. She was given more time to enjoy life since she was finally enjoying it they way God wanted her to. She lived so much longer than any doctor expected! And when the cancer started progressing again, quickly, she made sure she said everything that needed to be said to those she was leaving behind.

Her inspiration to all of us for having joy in her heart while going through treatments was a blessing.  Her example to her daughters of how to face fear, illness and the unknown head-on, with God, family and friends by her side was a blessing.  Her girls memories of their mom’s final months were of joy, love, believing in and receiving God’s healing, not the negative, unhappy woman she was before, and that was a blessing.

I wish she could have lived longer to do all the things she wanted to with her girls, and see them grow up and become moms of their own. Even though her life was cut short, at the end of her life she was blessed with an inner peace and love, something her family had wanted for her for so long. She was a wonderful example of hope, the power of prayer and how God is always waiting with open arms when we are ready to turn to Him.

Why am I writing this post now?  I was doing housework today with music on in the background and this song came on.  And them another example of a blessing came into my head.  Shortly after turning 2 yrs old, B became very sick. After he was released from the hospital, he was still ill, but we were sent home with diagnoses, medicines and machines and we had to learn to care for him. He was too sick to go to daycare some days and when he was well enough to go, they could not administer his meds per their policies.  I don’t blame them!  I asked my parents to watch him while I worked and they graciously said yes. Then, after a month of watching B, my mom sat me down and said she and my dad could no longer care for B. It was too much.  My dad had recently retired and they wanted to travel. They wanted to enjoy their grandchild and his needs needed to be met by me, his mother. She told me I needed to quit my job and take care of my son.

We were still paying medical bills from his hospital stay and now we had to go down to one salary?!  How would we make ends meet?! But it was the right thing for B so we did it.  And it was tough!  It’s still tough, 10 years later, to make ends meet on one salary. But they always do meet. We don’t have everything we want, but we always have what we need.  And the best part? We have a healthy, happy young man whom I’ve had the privilege to homeschool the past 5 years. That’s our blessing.

A couple of other examples popped into my head and then a voice said, “You should go blog about this. Others need to know, too.” Yes.  I heard a voice.  And I know Whose it is. He’s spoken to me a couple of times in the past few months and gave me instructions. Things I didn’t want to do because I was scared.  But after the fact, I knew He was right and I should have done them. I believe my fears would not have come to fruition because He put the opportunity there to begin with. He was going to hold my hand through something to show me I could do it but I didn’t want to trust Him. So today, I’m listening to Him and acting on it.

Have you received a blessing from tragedy, loss or pain? A heart attack could scare someone into changing their eating and exercise habits. Surviving a car crash, even though months of hospitalization or physical therapy is needed, could stop someone from ever texting and driving again. Did you ever see the movie Mr. Mom? Dad losing his job and staying home with the kids while his stay-at-home wife reentered the work force. Dad got to get to know his kids, make memories with them, and both parents got a greater appreciation for what the other did. A terrible accident or illness to a child, forcing a “super mom” to admit that she can’t do it all and a workaholic dad to get into the parenthood trenches and help, instead of just being the paycheck.

“The song Blessings really came out of a redefining of the word blessing that’s been going on in my life for a few years now. I grew up hearing that word blessed…I think subtilely I began to see blessing as something that was centered around health or prosperity. Which was hard these passed few years when I was facing a situation with my husband’s health. We were praying for healing and God, for whatever reason, wasn’t answering our prayers the way we wanted Him to. So, was He blessing us? That was our question….It’s just us investigating this idea of, could God possibly be blessing us through not giving us the things we’re praying for…Even though we do have more questions than answers at this point in time, I do know this: that there is a blessedness that comes through waiting on the Lord. There is an intimacy in our walk with the Lord that comes through walking through that valley. There is a reliance on His Word that we only know when everything else in life fades away. And so, in that sense, I truly feel like I’ve been blessed.” Laura Story

Bubble Boy

4:30pm, Saturday, June 6th, 2015
It’s Summer.  The pools are open.  And this Summer, my son is of an age where the pool grants him a new priveledge: he can go to the pool ALONE.  He’s old enough, according to the HOA, to supervise himself at the pool.  However, his father and I do not exactly agree with that.  As soon as he got that pass, he’s bugged us every. Single. Day. to go to the pool. The pool is not my favorite place to go and part of me is glad that he can go without me.  However, the other part, the bigger, freaked out part, is scared.

Some of his friends from the neighborhood were heading to the pool this afternoon and invited him to come along.  “NOOOOOO!” I screamed inside, but I knew he had to go sometime.  Only one of the other boys was old enough to go alone, like B, so I figured there must be a parent going with the other two, right?  Right?!  But I don’t know the other parents.  I don’t even know these kids!  I see them everyday when B plays with them and they’re all very polite and friendly when they speak to me.  However, some kids can lose their minds in the water.  I’m sure you’ve all seen one of those – splashing everyone in the face repeatedly so their victim can’t catch their breath; jumping up, putting their hands on a person’s head and pushing them under the water; swimming up behind them and pulling their swimsuit down.  But I let him go at 3:40pm.  I’m so worried!  Therefore, I’m typing right now, to keep me from doing a survailence drive-by of the pool.

The hubs is currently 2 hours away at a party and I sure could use him here!  He could sit on me to stop me from going or I could pull out The Obey and tell him to go check on the boy.

I keep thinking about the time that B almost drowned in this same neighborhood pool.  One section is zero-depth entry to 3′ and the other section is 3’6″ on both ends and 3’10” in the middle.  On a day when he was more than a foot shorter than he is today, he wanted to see if he could stand in that 3’10” part of the pool.  He started on one side, I stood at the edge of the other side and he started walking towards me.  You know how you sort of hop from foot to foot when you cross a pool?  You’ll get there faster, if you don’t weigh much, than you would dragging your legs through the water at a walk.  So, he was hopping and happy and getting lower into the water.  Then at the end of a hop the water splashed over his face.  He didn’t fully submerge, and he continued to hop, bobbing up and down, but when he went down, the water surface enveloped his face.  Then it covered his face on the way down.  Then he stopped progressing forward, although he still bobbed up and down.

I got concerned and I called to him if he was OK.  He was not up long enough each time to answer me.  I looked at the lifeguard who was sitting in his chair, right above B, watching him.  You see, we were the only 2 people at the pool besides the lifeguards at this time.  I looked at the lifeguard with this, “Are you gonna DO something?” expression and he just kept looking back and forth between me and B.  I guess he needed me to tell him to go in?!

I jumped in, swam over to B, pulled him up and held him.  “Are you alright?!”  He coughed.  He gasped.  When he caught his breath he said desperately, “Thank you, Mama!  It was too deep!  I couldn’t keep my head above the water long enough to call you.  I opened my mouth to yell ‘help’ but it just filled with water!  Thank you for saving me!”  He had a death grip on my neck and I started to cry.  (In fact, I’m crying right now, reliving it.)

The lifeguard called down, “Is he OK?”  I didn’t answer because I knew nice words would not come out.  But I shot him daggers and all I could think was: no thanks to YOU!

We were the only 2 people at the pool and I had to save my son.  Now, I am worried about him drowning, unnoticed, on a day when 50 – 100 people are at the pool and the lifeguards spend more time watching the teenagers and the hot moms more than the kids.  (I know cuz I’ve watch those lifeguards ever since that day B almost drowned!  And I’m not looking at their abs, either.)

4:55pm
I told B he had to come home when the break whistle is blown at 5:45pm or when his friends left the pool, whichever came first.  I’ve made it halfway and I’m still in the house.  Yeah, me!  OK, back to me and my fears…

Then why, you ask, after telling you this scary story of drowning and lady-watching lifeguards, did I let my son go to this pool without me or his father?  Because he’s growing up.  Because, how will I ever be able to let him go to sleep away camp this Summer if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks without me?  Because, how will I ever be able to help him move into his college dorm room, take him to dinner, drop him back off in front of his dorm and then drive away without him if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks without me or his father?  Because how will ever be able to keep a smile on my face and say goodbye to my baby when he and his new bride start their own life together, if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks to the death pool without me!

5:06pm
I finished typing the last paragraph at 5:01pm.  Then I went to the bathroom to wipe my eyes, blow my nose and reread the last paragraph for grammatical & spelling errors, since it was typed through the blur of tears.

A teeny-weeny part of me let him go, hoping he would lose track of time so I’d have to go down there to get him, worried out of my mind, and then have the pleasure of taking the privilege of going to the pool alone away from him, because he can’t respect my conditions.  ;o)  I know that’s terrible of me, but he is my child!  I grew him!  He is a piece of my heart, walking around in this cruel, scary, dangerous world, and I am allowed to want to keep him in a bubble!  I just can’t actually keep him in a bubble.

5:12pm
I only have half an hour left until he has to pack up and come home.  Thank you for being here!  I’m glad I chose this outlet instead of being Piper’s Mom from New Year’s Eve (one of my FAVS!  If you haven’t seen this movie, do!)

5:52pm
B misunderstood when I said he was to head home after the 5:45pm break whistle was blown; he thought he had to be home at 5:45pm and he was home at 5:44pm. :o) He had a blast!  He ate the sandwich I packed him.  They all stayed together and played nicely.  He swears the lifeguards did not blow the whistle at them at all.  ;o)  But, no parents went with them!!!  B and one other boy were old enough to go alone but the two remaining boys were not and their parents let them go to the pool alone anyway.  The lifeguards didn’t check any of their passes when they walked in!  *sigh*

I’m not fighting that battle today, though.  My son had a great time and came home safely.

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