Netflix Inspired Pre-Thanksgiving Feast! (BBQ Ribs)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Netflix for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Happy Holidays, friends!
Are you cooking like crazy? I have been! Today was off to such a wild start. The little turkeys and I went grocery shopping this morning.  (It took us three hours to go to two stores!)  We have such a busy week ahead…Thanksgiving and then Ava’s 4th birthday, and then, before we know what hit us…Christmas! I don’t think I leave the kitchen long enough to breathe during this time of year.
Thank goodness for nap time, right?! Seriously, one of my favorite things to do, especially during this hectic season, is to put the girls down for their naps and turn on the TV while I start the nightly dinner process alongside ‘my girls’ Giada or Pioneer Woman. There is just something wonderful about hearing another mama (or human over the age of five) talk to me about life and food after a long, hard day. It’s like therapy for me. I feel like I’m in the kitchen, cooking with friends.
That brings me to what I have to share with you today – Netflix! I always thought of Netflix as a ‘movies only’ company. Really. I was that clueless. But, after looking into it more, I found that Netflix let’s members enjoy their favorite TV shows too, anytime and anywhere they want! With Netflix you can watch your favorite shows on an iPad in the kitchen, the big screen in the living room, or even on your phone while waiting in line at the grocery store. This is such good news! Netflix has been making some BIG changes regarding the consumer’s experience, in regards to streaming, making the process visually appealing and easy to navigate. (You can even connect your Facebook account to Netflix and share what you’ve been watching with friends.) Netflix also can suggest shows for you based upon the season (i.e. Thanksgiving) or your own personal streaming history. True fact. Oh, and instant video streaming is just $7.99 a month! Now, I don’t know about you, folks, but my cooking shows are costing us, oh, about ten times more a month. True fact, also. This is definitely a product that my husband and I are going to seriously consider for our family. I think the unlimited access to documentaries is a plus for him too. He loves them. Strange guy. 😉
Anyway…on to dinner! Turkey is NOT on the menu tonight! We’ll have plenty of that soon! Tonight, it’s all about the mister, and we’re having Curtis Stone’s “Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs” (inspired by the political drama ‘House of Cards’. I’ve yet to see that show. You? I’m more of a Hallmark channel or HGTV kind of gal.)
These are ready for the oven!  Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to try!  Can’t go wrong with Curtis Stone and ribs, right?!
Freddy’s Sticky Saucy Barbecued Ribs
Every time I’m watching “House of Cards” on Netflix, I want to taste those ribs that Frank eats from Freddy’s BBQ Joint. Now we all can sink our teeth into those sticky saucy ribs right along with Frank! These ribs are served with a barbecue sauce more like the one you’ll find in North Carolina (where Frank is from originally) – one with plenty of vinegar, mustard, and a touch of heat. I’ve included two cooking methods for you to try –the original true barbecue method where the ribs are slowly smoked in the barbecue, and the quicker oven-baked version – both are finger lickin’ good! (Curtis Stone)
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 5 hours (includes marinating time)
Cook Time: 4 1/2 hours (for barbecued ribs) or 2 1/2 hours (for oven-baked ribs)
Make-Ahead: The barbecue sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated; reheat before using.
Spice Rub:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Barbecue Sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup whiskey
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 racks pork baby back ribs (2 1/2-pounds each)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Optional Special Equipment to Barbecue the Ribs:
One 13 × 9-inch (or larger) disposable aluminum foil pan
3 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour
Clean spray bottle
To prepare the spice rub:
1. The day before you cook the ribs, make the spice rub. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin together. Place the ribs on 2 large baking sheets and rub the ribs all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Meanwhile, to make the barbecue sauce:
2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is tender.
3. Stir in the paprika, then stir in the whisky and vinegar, bring just to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring the sauce to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring often to prevent scorching, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. 
4. Prepare an outdoor grill for low cooking over indirect heat: For a gas grill, place the foil pan over one or two unlit burners and half-fill the pan with water. Turn on the remaining burner(s) and heat the grill to 300°F. Spread 1 cup of the drained wood chips on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil directly on the lit burner and wait until the chips are smoking before you add the ribs to the grill.
5. For a charcoal grill, place the foil pan on the charcoal grate on one side of the grill and half-fill the pan with water. Build a charcoal fire on the other side and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash and you can hold your hand just above the cooking grate for 4 to 5 seconds. (To check the temperature more accurately, cover the grill and drop a long-stemmed metal candy thermometer through the top vent; it should register about 300°F.) Sprinkle 1 cup of the drained wood chips over the coals.
6. Combine the vinegar and 3/4 cup water in the spray bottle. Season the ribs with the salt. Place the ribs on the cooking grate over the water-filled pan. (Don’t worry if the ribs extend over the pan, as the pan will still catch the majority of the dripping juices.) Grill, with the lid closed, turning the ribs over and spraying them every 45 minutes or so with the vinegar mixture, adding another cup of drained wood chips at the same intervals, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is just tender. For a charcoal grill, you will need to add 12 ignited charcoal briquettes (or the equivalent in hardwood charcoal) to the fire along with the chips every 45 minutes to maintain the grill temperature. (Light the charcoal in a chimney starter on a fire-safe surface, or use a small portable grill or hibachi.) For either grill, do not add more wood chips after the 1 hour and 30 minute point, as too much smoke will give the ribs a bitter flavor.
7. Once the ribs are tender, begin brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat. Continue brushing the ribs with the sauce, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Alternatively, to bake the ribs:
8. Position the racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the ribs on the baking sheets with foil. Bake the ribs, rotating the baking sheets and basting the ribs after the first 45 minutes, and recovering them with foil, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the ribs are tender and the meat has shrunk from the ends of the bones.
9. Uncover the ribs, baste them with the barbecue sauce and continue baking for 10 minutes, brushing them lightly with the barbecue sauce every few minutes or so, allowing the sauce to set before applying the next coat.
To serve:
10. Using a large sharp knife, cut the racks into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Some notes about the above recipe and my own diversions… 
One – I went with a smaller cut of ribs (and boneless), because this was more than enough to feed me and the hubs.  The children are living on mac ‘n cheese.  Another true story.  I stuck with the original amounts on the sauce recipe, because we will put a good BBQ sauce to use any day.  I wouldn’t be shocked to find the mister drinking it.  Eww!  haha  Did I take that too far??
Two – I don’t go into the liquor store, like ever. If you saw the kind of day I’ve had, you may suggest that I do… However, I chose to substitute apple juice for the whiskey called for in this recipe. I’m sure that they would’ve tasted just as delicious, if not better, but I have to shop with three monkeys, and a store full of glass was just not happening this week. 😉  You can make the sauce ahead, pour it into a glass canning jar, like the one pictured, and store the extra in the refrigerator.  (We’re having pulled pork on Monday, so I will put the leftovers to good use!)   
Three – As far as cooking, I went with the quicker, oven method.  For the same reason…I have three monkeys to tend to, plus, it’s 20 degrees outside!  We’ll be revisiting this recipe for sure once the weather is warmer, because my hubby loves ribs on the grill…and in the smoker…  He loves ribs.
Thank you, Netflix (and Curtis Stone), for access to a great recipe, and now an affordable, user-friendly TV experience.  You have made us one happy household…
Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Enjoy watching your favorites with your favorites this holiday season!  xo!
Like Netflix on Facebook.  Follow @Netflix on Twitter, and Follow Netflix on Pinterest to get the latest streaming updates!  
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unique and affordable gift ideas!

looking for a unique, touching Christmas gift for the ladies in your life?

well, i’ve got some great ideas for you! (note: none of these links are affiliate links. aka – i’m not getting paid for saying this! i love these ideas/products!)

1 – STITCH FIX! this company is awesome. it’s convenient. it’s fun. and the best part…it lets you shop in the comfort of your own home! what neat is that you could easily send a loved one a ‘fix’ and let them shop from a surprise box of beautiful and unique fashion-finds. for example, send it to your bestie, or sister, or mama, and say, ‘pick out your favorite piece! it’s on me! merry christmas! xoxo” and then, they pick it, pop the remaining items back in the mail, and there you have a fun way to take your loved one shopping! it’s got that element of surprise combined with the control that every woman appreciates when shopping for herself. i know i’d love one for christmas!

2 – HAPPY MOMMY BOX! i love this idea, and i think the ladies behind it are superb! win-win! simply, get online and send a Happy Mommy Box to that mommy (or mommies) that you want to bless. like Stitch Fix, the contents you (or she) will receive are a surprise! knowing natalie and mandy, though, they will be fabulous month after month. there’s still time to receive a december box {click here}. you could gift the entire box, or you could sort through it and gift each piece separately to people you have in mind! for example, last month’s box contained adorable finger puppets and a beautiful necklace (among other items). so…give your niece the puppets and your sister the necklace! perfect!

3 – CHELSEA MADE APRON! – yes, i am partial on this one. {see why here.} i love these aprons for the big or little cook in your life! the quality and uniqueness of these aprons are unmatched. i am 100% in love with anthropologie, people. like, in love. BUT, i can say that even their aprons can’t compare when it comes to craftsmanship and artistry! Chelsea makes each piece by hand and adds any personal touches that the customer desires. on top of that – the aprons are lined, making them durable and soft. you can visit Chelsea Made here and use the code ‘klover house’ for $5 off until december 25th. just think, a matching set for a mom and her sweeties would be such a thoughtful gift!

4 – CHOCOLATE APPLE ORCHARD!ginormous apples drenched in caramel, chocolates, and nearly every good thing you could imagine. does it get any better?!!! i have had enough of these to know that they are all divine! they even make custom orders! you can check out my daughter’s personalized ‘belle’ apple in this post. for ava’s birthday, we are having chocolate apple orchard create six of the disney princesses. she is going to love it! this company also makes chocolate/caramel dipped pretzel rods. these are perfect if you’re looking for party goodies or if you want to send someone a little treat in the mail. (they are available for delivery.)

5 – THE VINTAGE PEARL! – i’ve personally ordered from this company and i love their stuff! (and the heart behind the company!) you can customize pieces and they are so dainty and beautiful.

6 – RUBY RAY JEWELRY! i love these bangles! this mama is the epitome of ‘cool.’ love her taste and craftsmanship. there are so many styles to choose from, and if you follow her on instagram, twitter, or facebook, you will be the first to hear of new pieces and specials/deals. wear these pretties alone or with a chunky watch…dress them up…dress them down…swoon. love ’em.

ok, so there are my ideas thus far! i’ll keep you posted as i come across more!

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godiva goodness

do you smell that???  is it chocolate?


it’s the adorable truffle pop burning a hole in your wallet!

i joined the godiva rewards club like forever ago.  which entails:

rewards club members enjoy
  • FREE piece of chocolate every month
  • spend $20 and receive a free gift the following month
  • free standard shipping for one online order

so each month, the girls and i trek out to our local shop and treat ourselves to a truffle. but, yikes, it is EXPENSIVE! three of these cute under the sea themed pops cost me $8!!! (2 for $5 or $3 each!) plus, they don’t count in the selection for your freebie. i always get the pops, b/c along with cuteness that instantly draws in the girls, anything on a stick, versus the palm, draws in mama! (especially anything involving chocolate on a stick.)

so after today’s splurge of 3 truffle pops (for my two big girls and my niece) and 2 regular dark chocolate raspberry truffles for me and my mom (aka “mema”), i looked at the whopping total of $10.25, and the wheels started turning…

we only do this once a month, but it is really expensive. i’d hate to nix it all together, so i thought of a way to shave just a few of the dollars off… ready?

bring your own sticks!!!!!

ahh! ureka!

the cutesy pops are super cute, and yes, themed unfortunately, so they are going to be really hard to resist. but…if i buy a regular truffle decorated with pink drizzle or those little white balls – we’re sold too!

our purchase today:

2 truffle pops @ 2/$5
1 truffle pop @ $3
1 reg truffle @ $2.25
1 reg truffle FREE
TOTAL: $10.25

if i would’ve brought my own sticks:

1 reg truffle FREE
4 reg truffles @ $2.25 each
TOTAL: $9.00

see? if i had thought of this a year ago…that would have saved us a lot of money by now!

i have a bag of those little white cake pop sticks. i’m going to throw like 10 in a ziploc and keep them in the car, so when we go to godiva next month, i’ll have them handy. then, before i give them to the girls, i’ll just shove a stick in each! can’t believe i’ve been paying extra essentially for a stick that i’ve had at home and just gets thrown away after 94 seconds anyway. (and a whole bag of those little sticks only cost a couple of dollars!)

beat the boredom! summer series and giveaway!

hello, lovie bugs! can i call you that? that’s what i call my kiddos, and they like it, so…

anyway! good things in store this week! starting TODAY, we (six fantastic bloggers and i) are teaming up to bring you the ultimate guide to surviving the summer! it’s flying by, and maybe your fuse is already fizzled, or you feel like, “whoa, mama, i didn’t even get to get this thing started, and it’s almost august!” we’ve got it covered. we’re there too – wherever ‘there’ is – i’m sure we’re there with you. kids climbing the walls…bank account draining faster than that sixth pot of spaghetti noodles you made this month already…dreading yet another night of trying to plan a meal that might not involve the oven – can’t we all just live off of watermelon until september???

yep. we’re there too! and we’ve got some awesome things in store for you this week. loads of ideas! worst case scenario…you’ll find some inspiration that will kick-start your own creative juices and get you enjoying the rest of the hot, summer days ahead! (or the rain. yes, we’ll also address the rain. bleh.)

oh, and on top of that…there’s a generous giveaway coming up on sunday, july 14th!

here’s an easy schedule for you to follow. just stop by klover house every day this week, and follow the links below to check out each day’s post! hop on over to that blog, and while you’re there, make sure you peruse some of the other writings. these ladies know their stuff, and i admire each one of them! true gems.

monday (today! 7/8) your modern family is bringing you some fantastic ideas for free (or almost free) summer activities for your kids and family! who doesn’t need or love free?! i know we do! summer can be expensive!

tuesday (7/9) mamagab will be showing you the ins and outs of a busy bag swap, and (i love how she puts it) keep them away from the heat and away from the tv!” oh you know we’re there…”moooommmm, can i watch cinderella [for the twelfth time this week]???” “noooooooooo. go find a caterpillar.” huh? yep. i need a busy bag.

wednesday (7/10) beauty in the mess is sharing outdoor activities for preschoolers and beauty through imperfection will be posting about indoor activities for preschoolers! woot! woot! i need this one too…

thursday (7/11) here at klover house, i’ll be sharing ideas for summer-living in small places & spaces. (we are currently townhouse owners with three small kids, and we are also in the process of home staging/selling, so i’ve got some sanity-savers for ya!)

friday (7/12) smartter each day is talking about starting and hosting a neighborhood bible club. daunting? nope! not after reading this! 🙂

saturday (7/13) snippets of inspiration is sharing some great summer recipes with you! hallelujah. a meal that someone else has already planned out for me and may not involve watermelon. we will all sing your praises, danielle, here at the klover house.

sunday (7/14) stop back here to link-up some of your favorite summertime ideas, recipes, etc., and for a chance to win these great products. we are each contributing to the giveaway package, which means that one of you will win all of these prizes! not too shabby!

the winner will receive: a pink summer necklace with earrings, another beautiful jewelry set, a personalized ipad/e-reader slipcover case, bottle of essential oil, a scentsy warmer, scents and an extra light-bulb, pampered chef products, the book, a familiar shore, and primal pit paste.

(the primal pit paste is our contribution here at klover house. i personally use this product and will rave about it until my stink comes back! haha which i hope is never! seriously though, this is the first product i have found in nearly sixteen years ~since everyone smelled like ‘teen spirit’~ that has eliminated my arm pit odor! unreal. but real. totally real. and the ingredients are all natural! i am not a fan of chemicals in and on my body, so this made me especially happy. only four simple, clean, organic ingredients and zero stink. i’d say that’s enough to make you want to happy dance, right? and it’s your’s if you win! and if you don’t win, still go check out their website and buy this stuff up! i plan to write a review post at a later date with more details. and, no, i am not receiving anything in return for this stellar review. ha! i just like it that much and love to share about it! and the company graciously is gifting the product to you on our behalf! no need to smell ferociously after a day of chasing littles at the park! you’re welcome!)

*fyi* for anyone new to klover house, our site is still being referred to as “ava.n.isla” on the rafflecopter form below. once you click on the link, you will see our new name. oh lovely technicalities…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

eden’s birth announcement

finally got the little sweetie’s birth announcement completed. she just turned five weeks yesterday. better late than never, right?

i waited for my pamper’s gifts to grow codes to add up. with 600 points, you can “purchase” 10 free 5×7 birth announcement cards. i also used the 40% off cards code CARD40 (good until june 30th). with those two discounts combined, i was able to save about $45.00. that’s a lot of money that we can now use elsewhere!

i also ordered by going through the “shop at home” site. you can find a link to the site at the bottom of the right sidebar. going through sites like “shop at home” and “ebates” will give you a percentage of your purchase back in the form of a check. i’ve been doing this for years, and if you time your purchases right, sometimes, you can get a lot of money back. i figure if you’re going to buy online anyway, why not take advantage of a little cash back while you’re at it?

how about you? found any good deals lately?

Joyful Monogram Girl Birth Announcement
Shutterfly has cute baby announcements and Valentine’s Day cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

potty training in a weekend!

As many of you know, I am a mommy to three, beautiful, little gals (see pics).

I was just talking with my sister-in-law last night about how, when Ava was little, her favorite foods were scrambled eggs and EDAMAME! Yes, my little peanut would eat an entire meal of edamame (or broccoli). I was so diligent with giving her plenty of fruits and veggies.

Then, as she aged, and her grandparents grew bolder, and birthday party treat bags grew more familiar, 😉 my fierceness waned. Needless to say, now, I fear my three and a half year old most-likely survives on cheese, sugar, and soy milk. No joke.

Well, as that happened, little Isla came along, and all of these little naughty things in my refrigerator and pantry have become commonplace to her. I missed the boat and the chance to start her out right. Sweet Eden will be lucky if she knows what a bean even looks like at this rate. Bad mommy!

Do you feel like you’re slipping a little as you go too?

I’ve done the same, it seems, in the potty-training department.

Ava was trained by 18 months. She was in underwear all day long, and life was good, not having to deal with diapers on my “big girl” when Baby Isla came along.

{Ava Lee learning to use the potty}

Now sweet Isla is 23 months old, and the dear child is pretty much training herself! I really need to get on my game here. Slacker mom needs to hit the road. I’m so busy with Eden, the house, everything else that i’m like, “You have to poop? Ok.  Just go in your diaper.” Seriously?! Bad mommy!

Well, I read Becky’s (of Your Modern Family) e-book on potty training in a weekend, and I am sooo motivated now to get back on track with my little Isla!

I’ve realized that we are (and have) done some really great things that Becky mentioned, and they worked extremely well when we trained Ava, so I’m encouraged knowing that I somewhat already knew what i what doing. However, I’m also walking away from it with new ideas and a fresh perspective in a lot of ways as well.

Funny thing…I have been complaining about Isla going sans diaper/pull-up for weeks (little stinker keeps taking them off!)…little did i know, she must have been told about the “naked method” before mommy! She’s a pro! Ha!

{Isla at five months old – should’ve known then she was forging a habit (or talent)!}

Seriously though, she goes without a diaper or pull-up most of the day, and I think it has been her way of trying to tell me that she’s ready for the next step. I’ve just been postponing it and prolonging her diaper use myself. We even spent an entire morning at a mall and park this week with her being *naked* under her shorts! I never even realized that she had removed her pull-up until we came home for lunch close to three hours later!!!

Today, I was so proud of her. She (having been naked for at least an hour) kept telling me she had to use the potty. Yes, it can be inconvenient when you’re a busy lady, but I took her to sit on the potty several times just between breakfast and lunch. Finally, as I was sitting there, using encouraging words that I gleaned from Becky’s book, she peed in the potty…on purpose! It was a wonderful moment and we celebrated afterwards (also using techniques from the book)!

I highly recommend that you checkout the book, and give it a go. Even if you divert a little from Becky’s method, for whatever reason, there are still so many great suggestions and ideas that will help you to create a way to train your child that best suits your family’s needs. It’s a great, quick read, complete with additional resources, other parents’ advice/testimonies, and a checklist to help you prepare yourself, your little one, and your home for a successful experience.

Plus, if you purchase now, you will also receive over $180 in product freebies, such as codes for $10 off at Fit2B, a free nursing cover, free infant/toddler sling, free nursing/sitting pillow, and a free carseat canopy. (You would just cover shipping/handling.)

I personally just received my carseat canopy in the “Belle” style, and I love it! My sister-in-law (and Becky too) have the canopy in the “sprinkled” design, and it is adorable in person! Such a great deal, especially considering that these covers retail at $50.  I have even used mine as a stroller blanket once the kiddos get older!  (Just attach the straps to the front bar and drape it over the child’s chest/lap/legs.)

Simply follow the link below to check out this great book! Come back and share your success stories once you put the method(s) into practice! We’d love to hear how your little one is doing!

affiliate link:
Click here to visit Your Modern Family.

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deals today!

hello, friends!

just thought i’d fill you in on some sweet deals that i came across…

shutterfly is offering a free 8×8 hard cover photo book! use the code MYBOOK at the checkout until tuesday, march 26th. you will only have to pay for shipping! (less than $10!)
i made a book for my hubby as his valentine’s gift and held off on ordering, b/c i knew a sweet deal would eventually come along…
(btw…i use shop at home when ordering from shutterfly. it earns you a little cash back, so why not?!)

wishing tree designs (first i’ve heard of and used them!) is offering 25% off your entire purchase plus FREE SHIPPING! just enter the code WTD25 in the code box before you shop. i ordered a set of 200 address labels with our new home’s address for about $6. not too shabby! this offer does not expire until april 30th, so keep going back for more if you’d like.

well, there you go, peeps! if i catch anything else, i’ll be sure to let you know!