Tim’s 4th of July Ribs

We found a pork rib recipe in Bon Appétit magazine years ago and this became our standard. It required overnight marinade in a mixture of dry rub and wet ingredients including a bottle of BBQ sauce and most of a bottle of red wine. A recent move displaced the recipe so I made the following up after a fair amount of Googling. We just ate it and will make this a regular part of our July 4th celebration from now on. Enjoy.


  • 2 racks of pork spareribs or baby back ribs (we made the former the first time and they were delicious; YMMV)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce or homemade equivalent
  • Apple cider vinegar

Dry Rub:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground ancho chile powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


The night before you will be making the ribs mix the dry rub and prepare the ribs. I trim any large bits of fat and remove the membrane from the back but you can leave them as they are after removing the packaging and rinsing them in water. Pat dry with paper towel, sprinkle a bit of cider vinegar on both sides and then apply the dry rub to both sides. I cut the racks into 4 pieces to make them easier to deal with but that’s your choice, too. Put the ribs into a baking bag and seal with the included tie (I use Reynolds Turkey size baking bags). Place in the refrigerator on a cookie sheet for the night.

The next day a few hours before you will serve the ribs pull them out of the refrigerator and allow to come close to room temperature; about 45 minutes or so. Preheat oven to 350′ F. Add 2 cups of water to the baking bag full of ribs and fold the top of the bag under the ribs (I don’t use the tie here so steam can escape during baking). Place the bag of ribs on a cooke sheet with edges in case some water comes out during baking. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest until the ribs can be handled; about 30 minutes. Remove from the baking bag and discard the bag while placing the ribs on the cookie sheet. Cover with foil and put in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. This can be done up to 48 hours beforehand.

When you are ready to eat heat your grill and cook the ribs on the back for a few minutes to warm them up and then turn to cook the front. Brush BBQ sauce on the back before you turn and then brush the front. Cook until the ribs are hot and then cut them to serving size. Serve with additional BBQ sauce.

Apple Owns The Niche Moble App Market

As a longtime Android user I can’t deny Apple’s dominance in apps. But as other mobile platforms have caught up on all the major categories, Apple still totally owns niche mobile apps and probably always will. The benefit of innovation and first mover advantage.

My Top 10 Third Party Android Apps of 2012

My top 10 list of third party Android apps for 2012.

Android logoThis year marks my third with Android so I thought I might start a new year’s tradition of listing my top 10 third party Android apps from the previous year. Most of these were available earlier than 2012 but they are the ones that I depend on daily on my phone and tablet. The core of the Android experience are the great first party apps Google provides but I find the usability of the platform much enhanced by the work of third party developers.

So in no particular order, here are my picks for the year (with links to the Play store in each title):

  • Flipboard – A lot of my time with my Nexus 7 is spent reading and Flipboard is my top pick for catching up on what is going on. I have connected all the social networks I use to curate links but also use some of the topic-based channels. I also have this installed on my phone for those times in line at the store.
  • Pocket – One of the great features of Android is the application sharing API which connects apps together. I use Flipboard, Google Reader, Zite and other apps to find articles and then share them to Pocket for reading later. I have used this app since it was called Read It Later Pro and still see no reason to switch to anything else for reading web content on a phone or tablet.
  • Evernote – The only single app pinned to my dock on my Nexus 7 (the rest are folders of apps), I use Evernote frequently to save ideas, photos and code snippets across all my devices. I use it so much I’ve paid for the Premium version which unlocks a number of useful features such as OCR.
  • Any.DO – Another very useful app I use across all my devices to keep track of tasks. I especially like it on my phone where I can schedule missed calls and other tasks and then take action on my computer or tablet later.
  • Plume – I’ve used the official Twitter app and Hootsuite but find Plume the best app for getting the most out of Twitter on the go. I especially like the universal inbox for managing multiple accounts and ability to adjust the look and feel.
  • Netflix – The Nexus 7 is the first Android device I have used that supports Netflix and it is fantastic for watching TV shows and movies when traveling or when something else is on your Netflix-connected TV.
  • Kindle – As I mentioned earlier I spend a lot of time reading on my tablet and Amazon’s Kindle app is as good as it gets for ebook reading. Syncing across devices works much better than anything else I have tried and the selection of content and pricing is second to none.
  • Pocket Casts – If you like to listen to podcasts Pocket Casts is the only app you need. I use it on my phone for audio podcasts and on my tablet for video podcasts. While the user interface could use some improvement the rest of the app works well for downloading and listening (or watching) podcasts. Well worth the $3 charged.
  • 3M Cloud Library – A new entry released only last month, this app gives you access to the ebook selection from your public library. The interface is intuitive and the reading  view is comparable to the Kindle app. The integrated user experience beats the heck out of dealing with Adobe Digital Editions and manually loading ebooks to your tablet.
  • Amazon Appstore – I have almost 100 apps “purchased” from Amazon’s app store. Most of them are the free app of the day variety which is a great way to find new paid apps with no risk.

My WordUp Minneapolis 2012 Slides…

I had the opportunity to speak at WordUp Minneapolis today so wanted to post my slides for whoever might be interested. I have also created a hidden WordPress Resources page with all the links discussed in my talk. I expect to add to this page over time.