Spice-Crusted Thick Rib Pork Chops

What’s that you say? You would like another complicated grilling recipe for the files? Sure! Let’s do it!

This dinner came to be for two reasons. The first, I have this amazing book I checked out from the library. I’ve put it up in my Amazon store in case you aren’t a library hound too. It’s Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue. There were, of course, multiple Bobby Flay books on the library shelf. What made me check this fat book out instead, was the review from Jamie Oliver.

Adam is the most inspiring barbecue chef in the world. – Jamie Oliver

Uh…ok. Sold!

I am so mad at myself for not taking a photo of my favorite part of this recipe. While grilling, you brush melted butter on to these pork chops with an herb brush. To create a brush, you wrap sprigs of thyme to a wooden spoon or dowel with twine. How fun is that! I promise to photograph the next fancy-pants herb brush!

The second reason we made this chops for dinner was because I’m so chickened and beefed out! Sometimes walking through the meat section of the grocery store just starts to ick me out. Hmm, which dead animal am I hungry for today? I usually walk away from the pork section, because I was once told that pigs are as smart as 3 year-old humans. How sad is that? Wilbur, Babe, those smart three little house-building pigs! Alas, I pulled the trigger and bought us some intelligent meat.

Usually pork is dry, dry, dry. These fat pork chops are wonderful and it’s mostly because of the brine. I’ve brined poultry before, why hadn’t I thought of brining pork? I only had 7 hours to let my chops soak, so I can only imagine how much more juicy they would be, had I let them soak for the suggested 12-24 hours.



Before sharing the recipe, I thought I’d break up all the text with a photo of Max. He was so proud to be allowed to use a knife for buttering his bread. We are on Spring Break here and I took the boys out to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Dallas wanted to know what the white things were. After explaining that they were cloth napkins, Dallas let me know that we were at a really fancy restaurant and he felt like Sofia the First.



Spice-Crusted Thick Rib Pork Chops
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thick, juicy pork chops with a flavorful crust.
Recipe type: Pork
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 6
  • For the brine:

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups cool water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Six 1½-inch-thick pork rib chops (8 to 10 ounces each)
  • For the seasoning blend:
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the dressing:
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 bunch thyme sprigs, tied together in a bundle
  • Fleur de sel or kosher salt
  • Finely ground black pepper
  1. In a large bowl, combine the red pepper flakes and boiling water. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to rehydrate the flakes. Add the cider, cool water, salt, brown sugar and garlic. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place the chops in an extra-large food-grade zip-close plastic bag (or divide between 2 large bags). Pour the brine over the chops, squeeze out any excess air, then seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 1 day.
  3. When ready to cook, heat one grate of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium-high and the other to medium-low.
  4. To make the seasoning blend, in a small bowl mix together the chili powder, mustard powder, garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne. Set aside.
  5. To make the dressing, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, honey, shallot and garlic. Shake well, then set aside.
  6. Remove the pork chops from the brine, letting any excess brine remain in the bag. Discard brine. Lightly pat dry the chops with paper towels. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on all sides of the chops.Using your hands or a brush, evenly but lightly coat the chops with the canola oil.
  7. Place the chops on the medium-high grate, and grill with the lid open until they are well marked and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip, still over medium-high, to a clean part of the grate, then grill with the lid open for another 3 minutes.
  8. Brush the chops with butter using the thyme bundle. Move to the medium-low grate and close the lid. Open the lid every few minutes, turning and moving the chops as needed.
  9. Cook until the desired doneness.
  10. Give the dressing a quick shake and drizzle about half on a clean plate or cutting board. Top with the chops and let rest for about 5 minutes.
  11. Cut the chops to separate the meat from the bone and slice the meat on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices, drizzling with the remaining dressing, and making sure all slices are coated. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper.

Coffee – The Old Way

Armenian Coffee


Just when I thought it had all been done, I learned about old school coffee. What you are looking at above is Armenian coffee. What makes it Armenian? It was made in a Jazzve, given to me by Lisa. Now, I know what you are thinking….

You KNOW Lisa Whelchel?




No, I don’t. Plus, I’m pretty sure she isn’t Armenian. I tried Googling her nationality and it turns out…she’s, American. Uh, ok. She doesn’t look Native, but whatevs.

I’m talking about the Lisa that I always talk about. You can read more about my wild, stripper-pal Lisa in the following posts. Fine, she’s not a stripper.

Armine’s Ghoribia

Kettle Corn

Apple Cake

Lisa gave me a jazzve. Doesn’t that sound like a band name? You can read more about Jazzve’s at The Armenian Observer. Don’t everyone run over there at once, ok?

If you want the short answer, a jazzve is  the most awesome little coffee pot that looks like it should hold creamer. It’s sturdy, it comes in all sizes and it makes coffee smooth and strong enough to kill. 



Jazzve’s and all other coffee making pots of this sort are said to work better on gas stoves. But like they say in Kindergarten, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”

You know what else they say?

First is worst. Second is best. Third is the one with the treasure chest. Fourth is the one with the hairy chest. Fifth is the one with the Barbie dress. 

That’s changed since I was in school. I’m happy to see the word “turd” removed from the rhyme. Way to keep it classy 5 year olds!

Anyway, Lisa says that everyone argues over who created this way of coffee brewing first. I had seen a great Greek Coffee making video on YouTube and apparently, Turkish folks like to call it their own as well. All I can add is, I wish I invented it. It’s awesome!

Here’s what you’ll need to do, once you get your hands on a jazzve. (You can find a link in my amazon store!) You’ll want to use the smallest mugs you have and ideally end up using demitasse cups. (Again, check my amazon store)

Coffee - The Old Way
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dark, smooth and rich coffee, made slow.
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Coffee
  • finely ground coffee
  • sugar
  • water
  1. Add 4 ounces of water for every cup you plan to brew, to the pot
  2. Add 1 heaping teaspoon (use your silverware, not a measuring spoon) for each 4 ounces of water you have added
  3. If you desire a sweetened coffee, add 1 teaspoon of sugar per 4 ounces of water
  4. Place your pot over a hot burner and wait a few seconds before stirring the contents
  5. Put the spoon down!
  6. Don’t walk away! Wait until you see little baby bubbles forming around the edges of the pot.
  7. As bubbles form, lift the pot from the heat to settle and then lower back down onto the heat again.
  8. Repeat until there is a nice set of foamy bubbles covering the coffee. The pot can QUICKLY bubble over, so be careful!
  9. Gently pour each cup full of coffee and get set for heaven.


Honey Garlic Glazed Tri-Tip

Are you searching for one of those recipes? You know, one of those, it’s gonna take up my whole day shopping and prepping type? One of those that turns your Sunday into a culinary adventure?

I’m gonna stop sugar-coating it and get real.

This recipe is a pain in the butt.

Aren’t the best ones always the biggest hassle-makers, though?

Now that we have our gifted Weber up and running (thanks again McCords!), we are officially opening our family’s grill for the season. I picked two cookbooks up at the library, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (which I have checked out at least six times now) and Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue. I’ve mentioned before  how Food Revolution is my favorite cookbook, I need to just break down and spend the money on my own copy already! Then again, garage sale season is creeping near and the library always has at least one on hand.

So yes, back to the pain in the bootay tri-tip recipe. It will blow your minds, friends. Tri-tip is tasty on it’s own, we know this. With the ridiculously elaborate four steps of Adam Perry Lang, it changes from tasty to “You better call your mom and tell her you love her, it’s so good you just might die,” delicious.


Check this out, you rub down the meat with a paste, then you season with a rub, then you oil it down. NOW you can finally start grilling, then you’ll be glazing each side before you lie the meat down in it’s fourth set of flavors on the cutting board. Not one step is overkill either. They all work so well together. And what do you think about the last step, the final dressing step? I have never thought of creating a dressing on a cutting board for my meat to lay on. Genius!

You are going to want to print this out and have it ready for summer, take my word!


Honey Garlic Glazed Tri-Tip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Beef
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 6-8
  • Flavor Paste:
  • ¼ cup chile powder
  • 1 T. Worcestershire
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. beef base, such as Better than Boullian
  • 2 tri-tip steaks, 2-3 pounds each
  • Seasoning Blend
  • 1 T. garlic salt
  • 1 T. lemon pepper
  • 1 T. ground black pepper
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • Honey Garlic Glaze
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t. crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 T. Worcestershire
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, halved and grated
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • Finishing Dressing
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • salt
  1. Preheat one grate of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high and another to low. Stir the flavor paste ingredients together and spread on all sides of the trip-tips. Combine all of the seasoning blend ingredients.
  2. Combine the vinegar and pepper flakes for the glaze in a container with a tight-fitting lid and let sit for 1-2 minutes for the flavors to develop. Add the apple juice,honey, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic to the container. Melt the butter and pour over the top. Shake to combine the glaze ingredients and set aside.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning blend evenly on all sides of the tri-tips. Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coat the tri-tips with canola oil.
  4. Place the tri-tips on the high temperature grate, keep the lid open, and do not move them until they are well marked and have a light char, 2-3 minutes. Flip, keep the lid open, and repeat on the second side. Move the meat to the low temperature grate, close the lid, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Give the glaze a quick shake and then brush the meat. Continue to brush with the glaze until desired doneness. 6 minutes for rare, 7 minutes for medium, and 9 minutes for well-done.
  6. Drizzle the olive oil on a cutting board. Add the zest, juice, chives, and fleur de sel. Top with the meat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat, against the grain, into ¼ inch slices, dredging them in the dressing.




I can’t wait to share with you my new favorite beverage that should be outlawed. Don’t worry, it’s just coffee, but it is an eye-twitch inducing mug of yum!

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Cookies

For all you baking volunteers out there, I have found the best sugar cookie recipe! I’ve been on my church’s baker list for a number of years now, which means I’ll get an email a few times a year, asking for some baked goods to be donated. I’ve made butter cookies in the past, but wanted something new for this go around. Whenever I need a no-fail recipe, I usually search through The Pioneer Woman’s site. While this is not a PW recipe, it came highly recommended by her, which was good enough for me!



I have made the original version of these cookies, which are vanilla-almond flavor and they turned out just as well. I’m sure you could have a great time playing around with different extracts. Lemon seemed to be a perfect touch for my Palm Sunday donation to church.

If you are looking to make some frosting or icing, royal or buttercream, I have a suggestion for you. Rather than killing yourself with those four bottles of food coloring that come in the McCormick box, head over to a craft or baking store. The Wilton icing colors are amazing. If you want violet, you add a drop of violet. You aren’t adding two drops of red, then one of blue, then wait, two more blue, then “Oh no”, maybe orange? Check out how much easier life can be…


Lemon Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thick, adaptable sugar cookies!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 24
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold & cut into chunks (I use a grater for mine)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
  3. The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling
  4. Roll on a floured surface to about ¼″ to ⅜″ thick, and cut into shapes. (Bridget suggests freezing them for 5 minutes, which I found to be helpful)
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes.


Hopefully you are enjoying your Saturday and not spending it running errands! Kim

Korean Beef

Korean Beef


So you have some ground beef (or turkey) in the fridge and the only things that come to mind for dinner are meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs. You could try a taco route, but you don’t have all the ingredients. Same goes for a pasta dish. What else is there left to do with ground meet? Korea-fy it!

Granted, there probably is no Korean person I know that would call this a traditional dish. In fact, this recipe comes to you from one of the whitest girls on the internet. Lizzy Writes is a fun blog I found through Pinterest and it is also where you can find the recipe for Korean Beef.

Korean Beef
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Beef
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • ¼ - ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger with garlic in the sesame oil. Drain most of the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.
My kids loved this as did my husband. I found it a little sweet, so next time I’ll take it a bit easier on the brown sugar. That said, Korean Beef has won a place in my menu plan as a once a month dinner.

Time to put the littles to bed. They are seriously excited at the possibility of trapping a Leprechaun overnight. Happy St. Patrick’s Eve, friends!