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October 2013
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January 2014

November 2013

thanksgiving check listing

i feel half hearted for this year's turkey day, i am excited & grateful to be able to enjoy the day and all that it'll have to offer to its fullest. however i feel like this is going to be the last "traditional" one that my whole fam will be attending. there is so much chatter and planning for all these new adventures that will be happening for 2014 that i can't help but be left with this bittersweet feeling.

while change can feel uncomfortable it can also be exhilarating if you welcome the new-ness. i just need to keep reminding myself of that and keep checking things off of my giant life to do list of what i'd like to do and experience.

what will i be providing for our feast this year?

Apple pie (5 of 5)

cran-apple pie is my mom's favorite and usually is requested so it made it's way on to my list.

Tgives12 (1 of 2)

a personal fav - sweet potato pie, hey you. yes you made it too the under dog of pies. i make mine with white sweet potatoes an accident that has now formed into tradition, its funny when that happens.

Tgives12 (2 of 2)

these unseen photos are from last year's thanksgiving hosted by my sister in law. bottom left pot, was the first time i brought my collard greens n' wild rice side dish and it will also be making a reappearance.

as far as new goes, i will be testing out this recipe for parker house rolls by joy the baker. rolls are always something that gets left out of my fam's usual spread and it seemed like such a shame. do you see how pretty those babies are?! added.

smitten kitchen's chocolate pie.

homesick texan's version of chocolate pie. don't you love that old recipe card as much as i do?

i've been inspired to do chocolate pie - never made one and i still have insecurities working with chocolate in the kitchen. when you find yourself non stop thinking about something you have to get it out and try. a spark that turned in to a fire so i'm going to put thought and a whole lot of love in to this baby and hope for a delicious outcome.

you want your food to taste good? be in love with it, think yummy thoughts through out the process and don't rush.

i'd love to know your thanksgiving favorites and if you'll be bringing anything to your gatherings this year. i want to share a recipe but gees which one??



i'm going to go pie prep and watch Waitress.

such a lovely movie, here's the trailer if you've never seen it.

breakfast surprise!


this morning i planned on grabbing a latte and stopping by pinkbox doughnuts to indulge in some doughy goodness. it's my off day.. so i figured ya know, treat YO self. staring into their double glass case filled with oh SO many options i over heard chatter of cronuts..

i perked up right away since my foodie feeds have been buzzing about cronuts for i don't know.. forevs. but sadly there has been no reliable sources in Vegas to get my hands on any. leave it to pinkbox to pull through and surprise a lady! if you missed my last post about them, i truly have a deep love for this special little doughnut shop.

Cronut (3 of 3)

what i thought?

SUPER rich, flaky edges and you really should eat it while its still nice and warm. they do deflate a little and it sort of reminds me of a krispy kreme glazed doughnut to be honest.. just a smidge but better. you really have to try them for yourself. there was a 5 min wait time for them but it was worth it to have them hot and fresh. yum!

this also came home with me too. stolen from my instagram feed! find me @ritabakes to keep up with my daily eats & b.s. if you're curious about my shenanigans.

i have quite a ferocious instagram habit. being able to quickly capture little moments of your life, precious. i'm forever trying to be better at snapping more of just what's on my plate.



Cronut (2 of 3)

recipe box: texas sticky ribs

Tx ribs

a few weeks ago i was invited to a party at an old friend's house and was excited to hear it would be a rib cook off. although i didn't participate there was so much to choose from with all the guests that did. i tried 3 different options and all were so good. my favorite tasted like there might be a hint of a curry powder and had just the right amount of sweet. maybe i tasted some honey? mm.

after some beers, ribs, and friendly people i left inspired to make some ribs of my own.

Tx ribs (1 of 10)

months ago i was gifted this texas spice rub medley by my brother in law who is currently working out in TX and thought it'd be the perfect time to use it.

i don't own a grill, and a man has YET to build me a meat smoker, so we're tackling these babies in the oven. did i mention how easy this is going to be? i don't like my bbq too craazy sweet and usually lean towards the tangy and smokey choices.

Tx ribs (3 of 10)

why texans are hilarious, season flavor break down:

good shit is a sweet n' salty seasoning, special shit is their all purpose, and aw shit is hot n' spicy.. of course.

Tx ribs (4 of 10)

i ended up using a bit of the special shit and some aw shit, i like it spicy. bring the heat skip the sweet!

Tx ribs (5 of 10)
Tx ribs (6 of 10)

line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil. season the pork ribs generously starting with bone side up so you end with the meatier side on top, season as well.

Tx ribs (7 of 10)

grab a same sized piece of foil to cover and fold the ends to seal the ribs into a nice neat package. let them sit out for about 45 mins, getting all that flavor settled in, and then preheat the oven to 275. they will cook for an hour, need to be flipped then cook for an hour and a half, flip and finish the last 30 mins with the meatier side up.

Tx ribs (8 of 10)

once the ribs are in the oven gather the ingredients to make the bbq sauce. yes.. we are making our own. i didn't think i could either but we're doing this business.

in my kitchen most things get a little asian-ized.. it just happens, so some ingredients are not exactly traditional for a bbq sauce. creativity or otherwise known as trial and error.

Tx ribs ingredients

up close on the smaller items.

if you're thinking "holy crap, what the hell is tamarind powder?!" it's okay, we have some options if you don't have access to some schweirdie asian goods.

Tx ribs (10 of 10)

put all ingredients in a medium size sauce pan and simmer on low heat for about an hour. stir occasionally.

Tx ribs (1 of 1)

once it has had time to cool you're left with a rich, tangy and slightly spicy bbq sauce. this was a "i surprised myself" good recipe.. keeper for sure. a little effort makes a world of difference, tastes nothing like i've ever had in a bottle.

now to just wait for the ribs to finish their 3 hour stay in the oven, don't forget to flip!

Tx ribs (1 of 7

switch the oven to broil once you've removed the baking sheet. wait 30 mins to let cool then unwrap the foil package carefully and remove the top layer completly.

Tx ribs (2 of 7

using kitchen tongs flip the rack of ribs and smother with bbq sauce, flip meat side up and smother the top with more sauce.

Tx ribs (3 of 7)

place back into the oven's broiler for about 25 - 30 mins. keep an eye on them, take them out once a sticky glaze has formed from the sauce.

Tx ribs (4 of 7)

voila! they're finished.

Tx ribs (5 of 7)

sunday dinner consisted of fall off the bone sticky ribs, white bread and pickled okra. that's just how you have to do it.. some kind of pickle feels needed.

my take on a bit of texas was a success in my book and will be making again for sure. that bbq sauce could be delish on so many things too! oh the possibilities.

what'd you have for dinner?



Tx ribs (7 of 7)

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Texas Sticky Ribs




  • ribs

    • full rack baby back ribs
    • texas dry rub seasoning
  • sticky asian bbq sauce

    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup ponzu
    • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon tamarind powder (or 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder



  • ribs

    1. rinse ribs, pat dry.
    2. use foil lined baking sheet and coat both sides of the rack of ribs with dry rub. cover with second sheet of foil and fold edges to seal in to a package.
    3. cook in a preheated 275 degree oven for 3 hours. flip at least 2 times in the oven.
  • for the bbq sauce

    1. in a medium sauce pan on low heat mix all ingredients together and simmer for at least an hour stirring occasionally. set aside.
  • finishing in the broiler

    1. once the cooked ribs have cooled for 20-30 mins unwrap foil package and remove top layer. smother in bbq sauce and place back in the oven under the broiler for 30 mins until a sticky glaze forms.


enjoy with white bread and pickles!

girls & boys

love is not a choice.

this is all for today, little bit of visual motivation.

put that body of yours out in the world.



recipe box: citrus bundt cake

Orange bundt
most hopes come with the best intentions. it starts with a dream or idea that you can't shake off and you decide you must have it. the longer you think about it the more you want it and so you make a plan. put pencil to paper and start jotting down notes and building the pathway to what you want that keeps itching at you. even though it scares you, you put yourself in motion and start gathering what you need. preparing. with each action you trustingly get closer and closer to bringing that dream of yours to fruition.

Orange bundt (3 of 11)

baking absolutely like that. particularly to me and i'm sure to some of you out there too.

just a tasty idea itching to be brought to life at the back of your brain.

Orange bundt (4 of 11)

for me there is always a strategy, a list of ingredients, the proper preparations and precautions.

everything in there places please.

Orange bundt (5 of 11)
its a dream so you went an extra step, always trying to make it that much more special.

you can make sugar more special.. use a fork to mix it with citrus zest - ooh la la. for this bundt cake i went for the hat-trick and used orange, lemon AND lime. whoa.. i know. being bold is necessary though.

Orange bundt (6 of 11)

see magical?

Orange bundt (7 of 11)
sometimes the most important is laying out the proper groundwork ..its totally the most important part. remember this part.

grease, flour and prep every nook of your pan. not kidding, do it right.

Orange bundt (8 of 11)

your work is done, you've put in the effort and you're almost at that finish line that you've been envisioning.

Orange bundt (9 of 11)
and then you fall flat on your face..

Orange bundt (10 of 11)
sometimes things turn out ugly and get messy - all your hard work feels wasted and you can't help but feel defeated.

the only thing left to do is scrape together the pieces of yourself and try again. find a new method, take a moment and learn from what happened.

but there are also always new dreams to dream too.

life isn't always pretty but it's worth a try every time. when you expect something to go one way and it doesn't that's when you have to remember that the crumbs are just as scrumptious as the whole cake.



Orange bundt (11 of 11)


Citrus Bundt Cake

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    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • dry ingredients

    • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  • infused sugars

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 tbsp orange zest
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
    • 1/2 tbsp lime zest



  • in 2 separate small bowls

    1. using a fork mix together lime & lemon zest into first cup of sugar until it becomes extremely fragrant. repeat process with second cup of sugar and the orange zest.
  • in a kitchen aid stand mixer with a paddle attachment

    1. blend olive oil with both infused sugars. add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time. add orange juice and continue to mix for 4 mins. slowly add dry ingredients until just incorporated.
  • preheat oven to 375

    1. greasing the bundt pan is super important, make sure to get in every nook and cranny. a little extra flour to help do the job.
    2. bake for 1 hour to an hour and 15 mins. clean toothpick test!