What is a Country Style Rib? And other ponderings.

Lately I keep looking at this blog and wanting to change it. I have a feeling in the next couple of weeks it will look different. The urge to rearrange and make it more user friendly is becoming more of need than a want for me lately. I see it moving up on my to-do list. 

Lots of things are changing. I don’t know why this surprises me so much at times. Really there is no constant or normal in life. It is always changing. Change is the only thing that one can really count on. What I am use to today will be different weeks, months and years from now. I can say, “when my kids were this age (fill in the blank), it was some of the best times for our family”. But really I can say that at any time. Sure my dinner table is not filled with my kids and I ponder if we need this huge farmhouse table my husband built anymore. But now I have time to get to know this guy I have been married to for 26 year too.  It’s a different time for us. Something we have never had since we got married and then started our family.  I am also am getting to know me. I have more time to myself these days. To do those things I said I would do. To try things I thought I wouldn’t  have guessed I would do.   Change is always happening. While I love the comfort of a routine and to have those around me I love, it’s not always possible and I have to look within to find the comfort I need. To put my hopes in anyone or anything else to provide that sense of grounding is just not right. It is expecting to much of others. I am responsible for my own happiness. 

Then there is the change that comes in the stuff your use to having. Say like a gas bbq girll in the backyard.  I can’t even remember when we bought it. I know I was so excited for my husband to have such a nice grill. We had a green weber charcoal grill before that. But we were new homeowners and while the charcoal grill was great, we wanted the big silver grill in the yard as we had a large family and had their friends over a lot. Ok hoenstly I was terrified the flames form the charcoal grill being used on our decks off our kitchenw ere going to catch the wood shingles on our house on fire. So enter the gas grill and the above ground pool stage in our life. 

 Recently the grill in my opinion died. There I was looking at new grills on line when my husband walks in and says “what you doing?” I tell him and he then shares with me he ordered the parts for way less than the full cost of our girll to fix it.  The parts arrive, a trip or two to the local hardward shop for a few nuts and bolts to fix something else and viola, it’s fixed.  My husband has always been fabulous at fixing things. I’ve addmitted it was in the top five reasons for marrying him. 

Summer is that time for using the grill and cooking outside so we don’t heat up the kitchen. So this was a bit different to not have a grill to cook on. I was looking through the local grocery store flyer and saw that Country style ribs were on sale. My first thought was let’s grill those tasty suckers up. But the grill was not fixed as of yet. So I went  looking for something else. In my hunt, I discovered that country style ribs are not ribs at all.

So what are they? Well they are from the shoulder. Sometimes they have the bone in them , like I used in the recipe below, or they are boneless. They are part of the loin so really the name is Pork Loin Country Style Ribs.  I know they have great flavor and are much cheaper than ribs with more meat and well this past week they were a steal at my loal store.

With the grill broken and a hot Sunday ahead it was crockpot time. I debated tossing them in with a dry rub. Then I thought of making a sauce. My thoughts then went Asian.  I found the following recipe at Manilaspoon.com  

Everyone loved them. Which I think I have mentioned before I am now feeding a house full of guys. This was easy too. I just popped it all in before I left for Yoga class. Came home, enjoyed my day and later made up the Asian Slaw to go with it and we were sitting around the table eating before going out to garden in the cooler evening air. 

Crockpot Asian Syle BBQ Country Style Ribs

  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of honey (real honey)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce or Tamari
  •  1/2 cup of ketchup ( no HFCS in it, Trader Joe’s brand organic brands don’t have HFCS in them)
  • 3 TBLS of Sweet Chili Sauce ( Again no HFCS in it)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (optional but add if you want a little kick)
  • 5lbs of Country Style Pork Ribs
  1. In a bowl mix all the ingredient for the sauce together with a whisk. 
  2. Dip each rib into the sauce to get it coated and place in crockpot.
  3. Pour remaining sauce over ribs in crockpot and put the lid on it.
  4. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
  5. Enjoy!

Why am I saying to avoid HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  I do it as I have an allergy to it. I get headaches, cystic like acne on my face and bad fatique from it.  BUT if you are trying to loose weight, get healtheir or just plane feel good, you should skip this crappy sweetener like it’s poison.  Simply cutting HFCS out of your diet can help you big time with weight loss.

Give it a try for a few weeks. See how you feel. I’d love to hear from you.

Blessings and good health!


Certified Holistic Helath Coach, registered with the American Association of Drugless Practritioners

Reiki Practitioner


Turkey isn’t just for November. (Green Chili Turkey Burgers)

Monday is the big kick off day for Shelly’s 10 Day Kick Sugar Challenge. Got a great group of folks together who are learning all kinds of things about sugar and how it is the real enemy isn’t fat but it’s sugar when your trying to loose weight. Also that sugar can mess with everything from hormones , diabetes, cancer, heart disease infertility, impotence and even depression.

If your interested in joining this FREE online group, email me at Shellyowens88@gmail.com. 

One thing I admit that I love is a good greasy cheeseburger with bacon. There is nothing wrong with a good cheeseburer to be honest, if you hae one every now and then.  The issue usually lies in the sugar in the white bun, the fries and the soda (diet or not) that people wash a good burger down with.  I wanted a burger but the idea of making my own burger, skipping the bun and cheese while on the sugar kick, got me sort of sad. But this easy to make turkey burger is full on flavor, can be put in a large piece of lettuce as a wrap or even put on top of a salad and taken to work as leftovers.   I served it with a nice corn & tomato salad that is super easy to toss together while you got your burgers on the grill or ahead of time and chill.

Green Chili Turkey Burgers

  • ground turkey 2lbs
  • 1 can of diced chili peppers
  • 1 small red onion , diced
  • a bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tsp cummin
  • 3 tsp chili powder or chipolte powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper 
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form into patties
  3. Grill or broil.

I served with a dalop of freshly mashed avocados mixed with lime juice and salt.

Corn & Tomato Salad

  • 2 cans of organic corn (check for no sugar), drained
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes , halved
  • green onion , chopped
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. mix everying in a large bowl.
  2. Serve right then or chill in the fridge.

Help in the kitchen-Creamy tomato and spinach pasta

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. It can even be harder to accept help when you know you need it and it’s offered without asking.  Lately that’s been the name of the game around here.  My 14 yr old son has been cooking at least once a week, my daughter (age 21) has been cooking once a week and add in hubby who cooks 3 times or so a week  (yes they menu plan too) and well it’s less time in the one room that use to feel like it was all mine. But I work full-time hours these days and not a nine to five job.

I love my family cooking. There is nothing nicer than having someone cook for you. There is just a level of guilt in it for me. Like I should be doing this. I after all, was the main person to cook meals around here for 25 years.  It’s a change that’s been a little hard on me I have to admit. While I have changed my work hours , thanks to a very understanding boss, so that I can be here in the evenings to help my son with homework, I am still not cooking like I use to. I was laughing with a woman the other day about how I use to bake bread and once made my own pasta from scratch. These days , when I sit down to menu plan, it’s what can I cook that is easy, quick and healthy and or like comfort food. Though I am sure some of the dishes I make are not comfort food to my family the way they are to me.

I thought I’d share a quick tip on menu planning. Especially if you have multiple folks cooking in your home. A great tool to use that is free is Pepperplate. You can use it online to store your favorite recipes, write out menus, use a planner, and even make up a grocery list.  It’s also an app. So you can access it anywhere. Waiting for a kid to get out of school in the parking lot? Menu plan right there using the app.  Easy.  Great thing is you add in meals on the planner and other family members using the same account can see what you is for dinner and or add things to the weekly planner.  So go check out Pepperplate.

Ok so last week my daughter cooked up a wonderful pasta dish she found at Food.com. I will have to say, if you have been following my blog you know I unusually do diary free. Well over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly adding in diary again to my diet. For me it is not the lactose that bothers me it is the casein. I’ve been learning a few things about this and found out there is some dairy that is actually casein free that I could have been eating this whole time. Oh well.  Anyhow this recipe has cream cheese in it. Use an alternative dairy free cream cheese in place of it if you can’t eat dairy. There are some great ones on the market.

The following recipe is super quick, easy and very tasty. It was a hit in our house and I look forward to my daughter making it again.


Serves 4

      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 small onion
      • 2 garlic cloves
      • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
      • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
      • fresh ground pepper, to taste
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
      • 2 ounces cream cheese
      • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
      • 1/2 lb penne pasta
      • 9 ounces fresh spinach
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
    2. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7 to 10 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander.
    3. While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic.
    4. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent, about 5 minutes.
    5. Add the diced tomatoes with juices, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic.
    6. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
    7. Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce.
    8. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy.
    9. Add half of the parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted inches Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
    10. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3 to 5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated with the creamy tomato sauce.
    11. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.