Summer Ribs and Avocados

This morning, I woke up, ran through my chores at the speed of light before bolting out the door. I have been getting a little stir crazy, so I went to the mall and tried on a number of fun little outfits. I love shopping, and today I had a blast trying on some really fun little summer outfits. I decided after trying on a candy-colored striped dress that it was time for guacamole and some summer barbecue. Nothing says “summer” like a pile of perfectly caramelized ribs and a whole  bunch of zesty guacamole and chips.

So I went to the store… they were having a sale on avocados. 10 for $10!!! So I gathered 10… that is I think I gathered 10! Because when I got home I realized I miscounted and had 11… I think I “stole” and avocado!

Anyway… Today I tried a different method of cooking my ribs. I alternate between the dry rub I wrote about HERE and wet barbecue sauce where I cut up the racks into segments. Anyway… the point is today, the ribs came out absolutely tender and succulent with just the right amount of crisped fat and bubbly barbecue sauce so I thought I would share! The method is easy peasy, but remember to crack a window or run a fan because the heat from the oven definitely makes the kitchen quite warm!

Easy Peasy Oven Baked Pork Ribs 

  • Baby Back Pork Ribs
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Barbecue sauce (any variety!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Rinse and pat the ribs dry
  3. Mix together the salt, pepper, paprika, and chili together.
  4. Sprinkle on both sides of the ribs
  5. Lay ribs on rimmed baking sheets, meat side down.
  6. Cover the entire sheet tightly with foil
  7. Bake ribs in foil wrapped baking sheets for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until ribs are tender
  8. Drain fat
  9. Return ribs, meat side up, to pans
  10. Brush with barbecue sauce and bake at 375F for 30 minutes, until bubbly and delicious
  11. Serve!

I didn’t take pictures, because I’m a bum these days… but there is a picture of the finished ribs on my instagram… so check that out HERE

Seeking Serenity

It’s only been a couple weeks since classes started again, but I already feel the need to run away. I feel responsibility to do this league long list of things, but inside I just want to fleetly race away. I was asked when the last time I painted, and I didn’t remember. In fact, it’s been months and months since I last unpacked my oils and painted. What happened to me?

Anyway, as always my serenity comes from long hours of patiently cooking, painting, or running. I haven’t cooked in quite a while, but these ribs are the right answer for any number of ailments. Brushing the ribs with mustard and dry rub, and then patiently waiting as they gently bake in your oven? This is as close to end of summer salve as it gets. And as summer unwinds and turns dramatically into fall, this is the perfect way to kiss summer goodbye. And for those apartment dwellers, like myself who do not have grills, this is perfect.

I eyeball the ingredients and taste before generously patting the ribs with the rub. Feel free to change and add the herbs you want to make your ribs taste the way you like. The only necessities are brushing the bottoms of the ribs with mustard and some salt/pepper and then a generous pat of dry rub.

Dry Rub Ribs (Kaprise Kitchen style)

  • 3 to 5 pounds of baby back pork ribs. (I’ve used spare ribs with good results)
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground red pepper
  • pinch of lavender powder
  • 2 tablespoons of fine mustard
  • salt/pepper
  1. In a bowl mix together all spices and sugar but the mustard and salt and pepper.
  2. Trim ribs as necessary. I normally trim any unsightly bits and overly fatty sections. Pat dry with a clean paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper
  4. Brush the bottoms of the ribs with the mustard
  5. Pat the dry rib over the tops of the ribs and sides. (I once patted the entire rack with rub…. it was a bit messy and the flavor was no different, so spare the bottoms of the ribs).
  6. Before pre-heating your oven, scrub the racks and line the lower shelf with foil that is tilted slightly towards the center to prevent any dripping. If you have one of those super-sized cookie sheets that will protect your entire lower shelf… use that.
  7. After preheating the oven, place the ribs directly on the oven shelf
  8. Bake ribs in a 275 degree oven for 2 to 3 hours. I normally let mine cook for 2.5 hours and then raise the temperature to 400 degrees and brush the tops of the ribs with just a thin layer of BBQ sauce (I’m not cool, so I buy mine at the grocery store. This time? The yellow one)
  • I have read a number of recipes on wrapping ribs in foil and blah blah blah but you know… that’s so complicated and this is so much easier
  • I do like my rub on the sweeter side, so feel free to scale back the sugar if it’s just too much for you
  • If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you can use a dry packet of Italian salad dressing with the sugar. You won’t need to salt the ribs or do anything else.
  • If you are from Baltimore? Do what I know you will, use Old Bay!

17 Degrees

After spending a week in Florida, with my furry jacket stuffed in my suitcase and dancing down the streets in flats and running outside in the sunshine, I’m feeling down. I want to go back and pick up another bushel of blood oranges and walk on the beach with the sand squishing in my toes while the red juice runs down my chin. I want to put that $15 bikini I fished out of a clearance bin back on and roll around on the sand.

Not to mention the start of classes. EWWW. I’m happy to be back in my cozy apartment with my fluffy little munchkin, but  this morning when the thermometer read 17 degrees… I was blue. 17 degrees is even too cold for a cold weather running junkie like me. My little dog was thrilled, it’s not wonder, because she was born wearing a cashmere sweater… but me? I was born cashmere-less.

Anyway, this general ennui has spread… I’m sitting in the library leafing through Income Tax law and looking through pictures from last week. The sun! The sand! The beautiful hotel!

Normally when I am stuck inside I resort to baking, rolling out jam tarts and baking mounds of chocolate cupcakes. This time? I have  rolled like a taco in my blankets and watching itunes movies on repeat. I didn’t even finish unpacking from Florida yet! And this morning? I realized the puff pastry I was defrosting on Friday was still on the counter in a floopy and gloopy mess. I realized this morning, as I chucked this goopy mess, that I must need a new spark. And inspiration.

So I have given myself a project. I will post every single Monday and Friday of each week (twice a week!) with recipes, pictures optional. You all can keep me on track.

This is a recipe for bbq chicken that I use frequently when I feel that the massive quantities of buttered bread should be offset by some protein. The removing the skin from the chicken is a bit tedious, but it is well worth it.

BBQ Oven Roasted Drumsticks (a Kaprise Kitchen original and favorite)

  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup of bbq sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Worchestire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled lavender
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard
  • salt/pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Using a pair of kitchen shears, remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks. I slide the tip of the shears under the skin and cut from the meaty part of the chicken to the end of the bone. Then I cut through the little tendon and peel the skin from the meaty section down and over the end of the bone. Then I push back the clear and gelatinous membrane from the chicken before rinsing and patting dry.
  3. Cut two diagonal slices into the meaty part of the drumstick, just until a little before you hit the bone.
  4. Whisk the bbq sauce and ingredients together in a small bowl. Using a basting brush, brush the chicken with  sauce
  5. Reserve any remaining sauce for basting
  6. Lie the chicken in the baking dish with about 1 inch of space on each side.
  7. Bake chicken for 30 minutes, rotating the pan once during cooking and basting with remaining sauce
  8. Raise the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the juice run clear when you prick with a knife.
  9. Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving

Notes on this recipe:

  • Skinless drumsticks are available for purchase at some groceries, however they normally charge up to 2xs more per pound for skinned chicken. I prefer to do it myself (because I am a control freak) and normally buy about 5-10 pounds of drumsticks, skin the chicken and then store it in freezer bags (4 per bag) for whenever I want to have this dish.
  • I use a specific type of bbq sauce (with a yellow label), but the name escapes me right now… but that one is my favorite. Feel free to use any type of sauce you want… this chicken is just as good with a soy/ginger sauce as it is with bbq sauce.
  • During baking, try not to open the oven more than once to rotate the pan, the high temperature required for this dish is essential in having the chicken cook evenly and brown perfectly.
  • If you prefer a slightly crisper crust on your chicken, sprinkle a little salt on the tops of the chicken, it’ll help crisp up nicely.