The Adventures of Jae & Trae: Drumsticks

As we were discussing what to smoke next Trae made a great point. Sunday was going to be Super Bowl Sunday. I had to be reminded of this since I do not follow football, like at all. What the Super Bowl means to me is I am one step closer to baseball season. Wanting to take the next step up from doing chicken wings I decided to throw some drumsticks on and get one step closer to a whole chicken and eventually a turkey. Trae was on board so I jumped in.

First up I prepped my wings in the rub the night before. all I do is put them in ziplock bags with the rub and mix the chicken and the rub together. About 30 mins before I want to smoke them I took them out and arranged them on some baking trays and put some more rub on them.


Next up I set Trae to smoke and let them smoke for 1 hour.


After an hour I turned up the heat to 350 and let them go for another hour or an internal them of 165 degrees. Once you hit that they are ready to eat.


I could not wait to bring them in the house so I had to sample one to make sure they came out right. They did so I had another. Then I decided to share these bad boys with other people. I recommend drumstick for and party or event. Pair them with chickens wings and you will have a chicken feast.

Here is the break down:


  • Place drumsticks in a ziplock bag with the rub over night
  • Remove and place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with more rub


  • Smoke for 1 hour
  • Turn up heat to 350 and grill for another hour or when chicken reach 165 degrees


  • Apple wood
  • Rubs, monster rub and Kirkland sweet mesquite rub

The Adventures of Jae & Trae: Salmon

Normally me and Trae love beef or pork but every now and the we venture out and try something new. After a lot of arguing about price point and what was available we landed on salmon. We decided to try a recipe found over at Traeger.

To start brine your salmon in a mixture of brown sugar, salt, pepper, and vodka. Yes vodka.

I let it sit for about 4 hours. Once done in the brine remove it and pat dry with paper towels and try to get any excess salt off. You can even rinse it if you want, just make sure it is dry before putting in the smoker.

Place it on the grill and let is smoke for about 45mins to an hour then crank up the heat to 225 for 1 additional hour.

Once off it not only looks amazing it smells amazing. Try to

Here is the breakdown:


  • Mix together brine
  • Salt1/2cup
  • Brown sugar – 1 cup
  • Pepper 1tsb
  • Vodka 1cup
  • Place brine and salmon in a large ziplock bag
  • Brine for 4 hrs
  • Remove salmon and rinse and pat dry


  • Set to smoke and let traeger start up (5mins)
  • Once smoking place on grill for 45mins to and hour
  • After and hour turn heat to to 225 and let cook for another hour


  • I used apple wood pellets
  • Salmon was from Costco


The Adventures of Jae & Trae: 3.2.1 Ribs

Well we are back from another fun outing. We were hanging out and I was like, “Hey Trae! What do you want to do today?” Well He reminded me that my dad had bought me two full racks of St Louis style ribs, so looks like ribs were on the menu. After a few web searches I landed on the 3,2,1 method. That is 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours of steaming, and 1 hour of roasting. Here we go.

First up I had to defrost and peel off the membrane.

Once the membrane was off it was time for the mustard glaze and the rub.

Once seasoned I let the ribs sit in the fridge for a few hours. When ready I fired up Trae place the ribs in for the 3 hours of smoking.

After the 3 hours, I removed the ribs and placed them in foil boats. Once in the boats I poured in apple juice (next time I am going to add in a little bourbon) and on top of the ribs I sprinkled brown sugar and honey, then wrapped them up and place them back on the grill for the 2 hours at 225 of steaming in Apple juice.


After the 2 hours I carefully removed the ribs from the foil and placed them back on the grill for 1 more hour at 225. Once on the grill I brushed them with my bbq sauce mixture. By this time it is dark and the ribs smell and look amazing.

The hour is up and it’s time to pull the ribs off. They look great. The meat has pulled away from the bone. By this point I am ready to eat.

Now let them rest for about 20 minutes. Cut and arrange them on a fancy plate and serve to your self or share with your guests. It’s up to you really. Here is a look at the smoke ring and how juice they are.

The breakdown for my ribs:


  • Peel membrane off
  • Spread Glaze thinly on both sides of the ribs
  • season with Favorite rub


  • 1 Cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 2 tbs spoons Worcestershire sauce

*if too thin or you want it sweeter add brown sugar


  • Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Leave on smoke and close the lid.
  • Place ribs on grill bone side down and Smoke the ribs for 3 hours. 
  • After 3hrs Set the temperature to 225F.
  • Tear off four long sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Pull up the sides to keep the liquid enclosed.
  • Sprinkle top half ( meat side) with brown sugar, then top with honey and add some apple juice ons the side not the top. (Use a bit more apple juice if you want more tender ribs).
  • Lay another piece of foil on top and tightly crimp the edges so there is no leakage. Repeat with the remaining rack of ribs. Return the foiled ribs to the grill and cook for 2hrs.
  • Then Carefully remove the foil from the ribs – watch out for hot steam – and brush the ribs on both sides with your favorite Sauce.
  • Arrange the ribs directly on the grill grate and continue to grill until the sauce “tightens” for 1h.
  • Let the ribs rest for a 10-20 minutes before serving.


  • For mustard Glazed I used beavers hot and spicy mustard instead of just yellow mustard
  • Used McCormiks Pork Rub
  • BBQ Sauce I Used a mixture of sweet baby rays, TJs bold and smokey, TJs Sriracha BBQ, TJs apple bourbon BBQ, Honey and Worcestershire.
  • Note for next time, use bourbon in the foil with the apple juice

The Adventures of Jae & Trae: Chicken Wings

I recently had the opportunity to get a Traeger Grill for $30. I could not pass it up. Trae came with a hopper full of wood pellets so I figured I should test this new relationship out with my favorite go to: CHICKEN WINGS.


I decided to try out 3 different rubs.

  1. Trader Joes Poultry Rub
  2. “Monster Rub” – it is just a mix of the leftover rubs all mixed together
  3. Kirkland Smokey Sweet Mesquite Rub



I was all set to embark on the delicious adventure but our relationship got off to a rocky start. Trae would not get up to temp or start to smoke. Come to find out, after scooping all the pellets out and into a bowl, that Trae was a little backed up. After clearing it out, Trae was running like a champ.


After about an hour we had created something great.


Here is the verdict:

  • Monster Rub. It was sweet and savory.
  • Kirkland Rub. It was sweet with some heat.
  • TJs Rub. Just ok. Probably a good rub to do sauced wings.

Here was my method:

  • The Night Before: Coat wings with a little bit of oil and evenly coat with the rub of your choice.
  • To Start: When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
  • Chicken Wings: Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the wings on the grill grate. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink at the bone, turning once halfway through.

Spirit Animals

Well I don’t post a lot of my work online. Realizing I need to get better at that I would like to start out with a series I did for my daughter’s bedroom called: Spirit Animals. It is a group of animals consisting of a fox, badger, Boston terrier, owl, raccoon, and a skunk. They watch over my daughter’s room during the day and protect her while she sleeps in her crib at night. The inspiration came from a set of four animals in the same style that my wife found on pinterest I added 2 and will most likely create some more. I will eventually add an elephant and an octopus since she is stoked on her dumbo and octopus toys.

Print Print Print Print Print Print

Parenting 101

I have been a Dad for 5 months now so I am a bit of an expert on this whole parenting gig… HA JK. I have been thinking lately about others who write “advice” blogs or freely (and aggressively) give new parents advice about how to handle, or what is going on with, their kid. I don’t want this post to be that. Instead I am just going to share a couple of things that I have observed so far as I am learning to be a parent. ***Cracks Fingers*** SO HERE WE GO!

Listen to advice. Just listen. There is no harm in listening to someone give advice. But here’s the thing, if you’re going to give me advice when I didn’t ask for it, there is a good chance my brain will start thinking about a good strategy for the level of Two Dots I am stuck on. I will always listen to advice, good or bad – but it doesn’t mean I’ll heed it. Ultimately we are the parents, we know our child better than anyone, so we will just go with our gut.

Get the child use to your life style. No one should become a hermit; we all need to see the light of day. We were holed up in the hospital for the first three days of Harper’s life. That was awful. So when we got home, we made sure to get outside and introduce Harper to our life. Yes, parts of our life changed (for the better), but we wanted to introduce our daughter to restaurants and noises and fresh air from the beginning, so we did it. And guess what? Not only is Harper fine, we’re happy we started early because now she loves walks downtown and trips to Target.


Noise is A-OK. When our kid is sleeping we try to make normal noise. Don’t get me wrong, just because she is sleeping does not mean it is time to shred on the acoustic guitar or make drums out of the pots and pans. Getting our kid used to normal house noises during nap times like dishes, doors shutting, the tv, talking at a normal volume was a little work in the beginning, but it’s worth it in the long run. We should not have to shut down just because she is – unless we want to sleep (NAPS and early bedtimes ARE THE BEST).


Cold coffee. Cold Dinner. I don’t care how hard I try, my coffee will get cold. My artisanal meal, that I spent time creating and crafting from the nether regions of my brain, will be cold most of the time when I finally get to eat it. I got over it eventually. The microwave exists for a reason and now I truly understand its purpose.

Becoming A Morning Person. I was never really a morning person, but I sure am now. It’s no secret why I get more stuff done before my daughter wakes up. Really, I can get dishes, laundry, house clutter and the dog all done before the sun even rises. It’s a gift, really.

Let’s get the eff outta here.  Sometimes our kid can’t hang. Babies are people too and sometimes they have days. We may be having a nice time at our sushi lunch when suddenly we have to ask for a t0-go box and throw money at the waiter as we head out the door to go home. Honestly, sometimes we have not even left the house yet and we have to ro-sham-bo to see who stays home and who gets the joyful bliss of a silent car ride to the store. (most of the time it is Rachel, cause I am hella cool like that.)

Baby farts. Holy crap. I had no idea something so small could make a man-sized noise like that. INCREDIBLE. Just wow.

The freakin sleep question. Did you know that you all ask the same question? I am having a hard time getting used to answering this one question EVERY TIME I see someone, “Oh, hey are you sleeping at all?!?? Hahahaha!!!” There are only three possible answers to this question. Let me list them for you here:

  1. If your child is a “horrible sleeper,” you are exhausted and you will rage on anyone who asks this.
  2. If your child is a “normal sleeper,” you are still probably tired. You will just get annoyed answering this question cause like “duh, we have a baby.”
  3. If your child is an “amazing sleeper,” you are still allowed to be tired and lets face it, you are. In your head you will say “why do people ask this question?”

Giants Fan: Opening Day

I am a Giants fan, but I don’t remember stats, follow players in the off season, or remember random baseball history facts. I live each season and then thats it. I would love to be better fan but my brain just does not hold and retain that kind of information I wish it was built that way and I am always impressed by people who can.

To balance that, I watch as many games in the season as I can, wear Giants gear, attempt to keep up with their twitter feed, and I treat opening day as a holiday. I do have one tradition. Every new season I buy one piece of Giants gear to start the season. This year the season started for me when I found this hat.

Prior to getting this hat I had a plan to kick of opening day because it landed on my day off AND was an afternoon game. My plan was to wake up at 5am and smoke pork for lunch and have pulled pork sliders. Here are some photos from that day.

Who has two thumbs and is now quite handy? This Guy.

Well if there’s something that will make you feel like a dad (besides having a kid), it’s moving things around, painting, fixing, and getting your child’s room ready for their arrival. As we started getting our daughter’s room ready, I quickly learned that I needed to keep my tools accessible and ready to go. So, I got a tool bag together full of anything and everything I’d possibly need so I wouldn’t have to make a million trips downstairs to the garage for forgotten items. I call this tool bag my ‘dad bag’.

dad bag

The bag holds lots of great things like, a drill, drill bits, hammer, level (very important), tape measure, a pencil, some screw drivers and other odds and ends. There’s even more in it now since this picture was taken.

After clearing out the room, hanging guitars in our hallway (we have way too many) and throwing a ton of stuff away (I’m still amazed at how much stuff we had in there), it was time to paint. A few weeks ago we visited Home Depot to pick out the colors we wanted. We chose grey and white, neutral colors that would lend themselves well to Rachel’s favorite accent colors. Then, the real work began. I taped everything off and started painting like a mad man. No really, see…

mad man

It only took a day or two to paint my daughter’s room and I’m pretty happy with the results, if I do say so myself. After brand new paint, we bought curtains and a new curtain rod and now we don’t even recognize the room anymore. Once we have a crib in place along with a couple of art pieces I am working, on I will post a little gallery of her room. Here’s a quick shot to tide you over until then.


Sweetie. I hope you love your room as much as we do.

– Love Dad

Baby Status: Chicken Wing

A letter to my little chicken wing,

We had another appointment a few weeks ago and we got to hear your heartbeat, for like a second. Thanks for cooperating. Then we saw you on a screen practicing for what I am assuming will be your olympic gymnastic career. Our next appointment will be a little different. We’ll get to find out your gender… but until that day comes we’ll just refer to you as “Chicken Wing.”


Why chicken wing? Well… thinking through the different names we’ve heard, like “bean,” “peanut,” or “egg,” etc., we knew we had to give you a nickname after food. Not only do your mom and dad love eating chicken wings, it just sounds like a nickname we’d give to someone. So, boom – “Chicken Wing” you became. One thing you should be used to eating by the time you get here will be chicken wings – and other BBQed or smoked foods (if I have anything to do about it!). Smoking and BBQing meats is a skill I hope to master, and I plan to pass the knowledge on to you one day – regardless if you’re a girl or boy. Love you Chicken Wing.


Well. I’m going to be a dad.

As you may have seen via Instagram or Facebook we are expecting our first child in July. We are beyond excited.



As we continue on our adventure to becoming parents I have decided to write on this blog a bit more. My hope is that it does not stop after this post. My wife is a way better writer/story teller than I am so I would check out her blog as well (

Other than announcing that we are going to have a kid in July, I decided that in this post I would also like to write about the mental notes I am taking as I journey closer to being a father. These are things I plan to teach our child as they grow up.

I would like to call this session:

Lesson 1: Don’t go to the store hungry. If you choose to ignore this lesson (lets face it, you are your mother’s child you won’t take this to heart) you will walk into the store to buy a three dollar bottle of BBQ sauce and walk out with $50 worth of ‘car snacks’ which you will devour on your way home. It’s just science.

Lesson 2: Please please please, I repeat PLEASE let me show you how to use the self-checkout (CAUTION: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ON YOUR OWN). The other day I witnessed a young girl, I will say high school age, attempt to pay in cash at one of these self-checkouts. I say attempt because she was trying to put the total amount of money in to the machine, as in two 5 dollar bills and two 1 dollar bills. She was getting quite frustrated when it kept spitting the money out at her and the light was flashing red. ONE BILL AT A TIME, I don’t want you to be that person.

Lesson 3: Coupons. READ THE FINE PRINT. Just because you have five 20% off coupons does not mean you will get that item for 100% off. If that was true I would be on one of those extreme couponing shows on TLC.

Lesson 4: You and your cart do not need to block half an aisle while you decide if you want Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms (just get Honey Nut Cherrios). Be aware of the other people in the aisle with you, because you and your cart are not see-through; just step out of the way.

Lets start with this for now and once you have mastered these lessons I can teach you how to move around in Costco on a Sunday and/or buy only what you want to when you go to Target.

My Wife = Running Rockstar

Well, months ago when my wife asked if she could run the first annual Livermore Half Marathon I did not have to think twice before I responded yes in my awesome husband way, “Yes. AHHHH DOOY.”

I know some people will sign up with good intentions but never make it to race day. Not my wife. No way. Even if she did not train (she did) she would have shown up and gave it her all. That is why I will always support one of her favorite things to do. Running. She set a goal to beat her last half marathon time and committed and trained for it.

(spoiler: she did it.)

The day before was fun. We went downtown and picked up her bib and got her sweet shirt(not pictured).

photo 1

So we hung out downtown and carbo loaded. It involved a trip to Tap 25 and the Alehouse for some delicious drinks and eats. The next morning my wife and sister got ready and waited to run.

photo 2

As they took off I posted up at Peets with the family and waited to try to get a good shot of the 2 at the start of the race before the finished. I kind of got one (JENN LOOK OVER HERE!)…

photo 3

Rach shaved 9mins for her time and set her PR (personal record).

photo 5 photo 4

Very proud of these 2 ladies and what they accomplished. I have a hard enough time running one mile. I can’t imagine running 13.1!!! Way to go ladies. Way. To. Go. Clap. Clap.


Lent: Stop and Start

This year for Lent I wanted to really commit to do something for 40 days. Normally I end up giving up coffee, soda or junk food and I always give in after a week. I think I always gave in because I hadn’t really put any meaning behind what I was doing. I guess I would do Lent more for the ritual, rather than a real purpose. This year, as Ash Wednesday approached, I kept thinking about getting in better shape. I was pretty tired of getting winded after walking up one flight of stairs. So, becoming more active and going to the gym was on my mind quite a bit. I guess I mentioned it out loud a few times because my lovely wife said, Continue reading “Lent: Stop and Start”