The other day I was helping my youngest son climb up the jungle gym in our backyard and make it down the slide. After each time he accomplished something like making it to the top, or sliding down and landing on his feet, his face lit up and he enthusiastically clapped for himself. It’s not uncommon to see babies and toddlers clapping when they are excited, but for some reason that day it really struck me how powerful that simple act is…clapping for oneself. Why and when do we stop celebrating our little accomplishments? Are we taught this in an effort to ensure we stay “humble,” or is it just something we absorb through observing the way others react to their own accomplishments? In any case, it really made me stop and think about how I (and many people I know) definitely don’t do this little thing nearly enough.
I have struggled for years with “imposter syndrome.” A nasty little thing that plagues my mind with thoughts like “everyone already knows this” or “someone is going to find you out and reveal that you don’t know what you’re talking about” or “everyone out there is doing it better.” I think I’ve struggled with this feeling as a parent and as a creative. I think this year I’ve definitely done a better job at managing this syndrome, but occasionally it will creep back. It’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole of Instagram and find yourself comparing your work to those of others….those that are much further along in their journey than I am, or who have much more time to devote to their craft, or have all-white, modern kitchens, or who don’t have little ones who need constant attention…..or….or….or….the list can go on and on. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all that and start second guessing yourself, but then I think back to my son clapping for himself. I look back at all those old pictures I took on the auto setting several years ago and see how much my photography has improved. Or the memories of my first job in a professional kitchen plating desserts and being terrified of basically everything and everyone in that kitchen. I’ve come SO far from where I started, and sometimes it’s so easy to forget that.
There are always going to be people out there that know more and have more experience than you, but there will also be the newbies out there too, looking up to you and asking for advice. I’ve met some really talented and genuinely amazing people on Instagram recently who are just starting their cooking/blogging journey, and it’s so wonderful to follow along with them and see the evolution happen.
As for me, I’m having a ton of fun with this lately, and it’s been an amazing creative outlet for me. I get to combine so many of my own interests into one central purpose, and that really makes me happy. If you’re reading this, please know I’m so grateful to YOU and all my friends and family who spend part of their day reading or watching what I have to say…I can’t thank you enough for supporting and encouraging me on my journey. Truly grateful.
Now on to the star of this post….these ribs. I’ve made this recipe a few times now in the Instant Pot, and I have to say it is a total game changer from the traditional ways you usually cook ribs. It can take hours in the oven or boiling them to get them tender. You could also smoke them (which I LOVE), but that takes hours and tons of babysitting as well. Perhaps one day I will have that time again, but right now I need FAST. These take around half an hour in the Instant Pot, and then a few minutes under the broiler (or the grill if you prefer). All in all, if you have about an hour, you can have these ribs ready, and that is nothing short of amazing to me. Seriously, though, if you haven’t purchased an Instant Pot yet, DO IT. It literally changed the way I cook, and that is saying something. They are also more affordable than ever now. If you ever have any questions about it (the IP or the recipe), feel free to leave them below.
I’d love to know something you’ve accomplished lately (big or small) that you could “clap for yourself” about. Tell me in the comments below!
Instant Pot Pork Ribs
Yields: about 3-4 servings
1 full rack baby back pork ribs
1 cup water
1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
For the dry rub:
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground dry mustard
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Turn the rack rib side up on a cutting hoard and use a pairing knife to peel up a little section of the membrane that covers the whole rib area. Use a paper towel or clean tea towel to grab the membrane and peel the whole thing off. If you’re lucky it will come off in one piece...if not, just do your best working in sections. Cut the ribs between the bones into smaller sections of 2-3 ribs each. Mix together all the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and thoroughly rub into meaty side of the ribs. Put the metal rack in the Instant Pot, and pour in one cup of water. Place the ribs in the Instant Pot, secure the lid, and turn the vent to “sealing.” Press manual, high pressure, then adjust the time to 25 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep and start cooking after a few seconds. When the ribs are done cooking, the Instant Pot will beep several times. I usually let it sit on warm until we are ready to eat. Use a long utensil to turn the vent to “venting” when you are ready (I find that natural release is better and gives the meat a little more time to break down and tenderize). Turn your oven broiler on. Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet and brush the meaty sides with your favorite barbeque sauce. Place the baking sheet 4-5 inches under the broiler flame and broil a few minutes or until the ribs have developed a bit of char. (Alternatively, you could finish these on a grill set to about 400 F.) Pair these with some homemade mac and cheese, fresh garden salad, corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, etc. Enjoy!