Why smash a cake to commemorate turning 1 when you can stuff your face full of barbecue ribs?
San Antonio tot Calista Morales must have been asking this exact question, because for her first birthday, her parents rolled out two gooey racks of ribs to celebrate the grand occasion with a "rib smash."
Calista's dad, Paul Morales, is also the pitmaster and owner of Made in Texas BBQ catering company, so it makes sense that his daughter would follow in his savory footsteps.
“A pitmaster's daughter does not simply do a cake smash for her first birthday. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the ‘Rib Smash,’” Paul Morales wrote of the occasion on Facebook.
“Happy birthday to my princess Calista!” he wrote.
In the adorable photos, which were posted on Made in Texas BBQ’s official social media page, Calista is seen happily sitting on a tablecloth noshing on the thick-cut ribs. At one point, she’s holding one rib in each hand as she chows down. And in another shot, she gets her foot in the mix by placing it on the large plate with the ribs.
Calista's mom Denise set up the backdrop, which includes bottles of her dad’s special rib rub, as well as a large BBQ sign and a bucket that reads “The butcher. The baker. The BBQ maker.”
Those on Facebook were smitten with the unique photos, calling the shoot "too stinking cute" and "absolutely adorable."
Paul and Denise planned the special barbecue-themed birthday photo shoot, feeling it was more representative of their family than a traditional smash cake, which, as the name suggests, involves giving a small cake to the toddler to smash.
"In our house, we have a saying: 'Keep everything as Texas as possible,'" Paul said to Fox News. "So we were thinking about how can we come up with something that's Texas."
Then one day, Denise came up to Paul and asked for "two racks of ribs for Calista."
"I didn't even have to ask, I knew what she was thinking," Paul said of his wife's idea for the photo shoot.
"We were looking for something to showcase her personality," Paul said, noting Calista has been eating ribs since she was 8 months old after stealing a piece from her mom’s plate.
Calista also frequently makes appearances in the kitchen while Paul is cooking, waiting to taste test.
Going forward, Denise and Paul plan to carry on the sweet – and tangy – tradition of the barbecue birthdays.