1 c. turbinado sugar, ground
¼ c. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
2 tsp. ground mustard
4 Tbsp. chili powder
6 Tbsp. Spanish paprika
1 2.25 lb. slab of baby back pork ribs (also known as loin-back ribs)
2 Tbs. yellow mustard


The day before cooking, mix all ingredients aside from the ribs and the yellow mustard together to form the seasoning. Take slab of ribs and turn over so the curved side is up. Using your fingernail or a knife, pry under the membrane until you can put your finger under it and then pull it off. Sprinkle this side of the ribs with approximately 1 tablespoon of seasoning, then approximately 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard. Use the mustard to help evenly distribute the seasoning. Turn ribs over and repeat the process. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight.

To cook, start a smoker and bring the temperature to 200°. Use apple or cherry wood chunks to provide smoke and flavor. Place ribs in smoker, curve side down. Smoke for 2 hours at 200°, then raise temperature to 250° for approximately 2.5 hours. Check for tenderness by testing if the bones will pull apart with a slight bit of pressure. If they are still tough, allow to cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from smoker. For a dry-style rib, sprinkle with approximately 1 tablespoon of rub. For a wet-style rib, glaze with approximately 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce.


Serves 2

Tortilla Casserole
Tortilla Casserole

Ingredients2 cans cream of chicken soup ¼ c. water 1 c. chopped onion 2 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped up into small pieces 10 flour tortillas, torn into cracker-sized pieces 4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheeseDirectionsPreheat oven to 350°. Mix together in a saucepan soup, water, onions and chicken. Layer bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with half of the tortilla pieces. Spread half the soup mixture over the tortilla pieces. Top with two cups of cheese. Repeat, layering the remaining tortillas, soup mix and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before serving.YieldNutrition

Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes
Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes

IngredientsFor the Meatloaf 1 pound lean ground beef ½ c. seasoned bread crumbs 1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese 3 Tbsp. ketchup 1 egg ½ tsp. celery salt ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper For the Potato "Frosting" 3 c. mashed potatoes Blue, yellow and pink food coloringDirectionsPreheat the oven to 375°. Line muffin tins with 12 foil liners. In a large bowl, gently mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, cheese, ketchup, egg, celery salt and pepper until well-combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Place the muffin tins on cookie sheets and bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. To make the potato "frosting," divide the mashed potatoes among three small bowls. Add a few drops of blue, yellow or pink food coloring to each bowl and blend to create pastel frostings. Spread a generous dollop of colored topping on each cupcake.YieldMakes 12Nutrition

Chicken Tacos
Chicken Tacos

Ingredients2 spinach or whole-wheat tortillas 1 package Hormel Carved Chicken Breast ½ c. corn, cooked and drained ¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese ¼ c. shredded lettuce 2 Tbs. low-fat ranch dressingDirectionsLayer from bottom to top in tortilla: carved chicken breast, corn, shredded cheddar. Drizzle low-fat ranch dressing on the mixings and top off with shredded lettuce.Yield4 servingsNutrition

Chicken Skewers on Watermelon and Feta Salad

Ingredients Chicken Skewers: 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into small pieces about the same width as the chicken pieces 1, 8-oz. jar pimiento-stuffed olives (or Queen olives), drained 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided Juice of 1 lemon 1 Tbs. honey 2 Tbs.finely chopped mint, plus extra sprigs for garnish Salt and pepper to taste 1¼ to 1½ pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts, cut into small pieces Short bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes Salad: 2 clean heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces ½ small watermelon, rind removed, cut into small chunks 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste ¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds, salted preferred Directions Place bell pepper chunks in bowl with olives and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss and set aside. In another bowl, combine juice, honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, mint, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix well and add chicken pieces. Toss to coat. Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers alternating chunks of bell pepper and olives.With a parent’s help, cook over medium heat on barbecue grill until chicken is lightly browned and thoroughly cooked, drizzling with Read more