By the Numbers

Well after kicking off birthday week with a strawberry rhubarb pie, we’re going to head back to the main course now. As you know we celebrated Mr. N’s 8th birthday last month and Miss A celebrated her 4th birthday this month. Would you believe the kids were actually due on the same day…in August? Both were born a little bit early – Mr. N a full two months early. The funny thing is that they both ended up being born on the same date – the 12th. One in June, one in July. Another fun fact, add those two numbers up and you get the date of our wedding anniversary.

Yep! That present was a hit!

So this month we celebrated both of the kids’ birthdays at one big party with our families. Mike had been dying to put the smoker to good use again and since Miss A was such a big fan of Mike’s ribs last year, we knew they had to be on this year’s birthday menu. Mike worked up his dry rub and fired up the smoker.

We smoked nine full racks of ribs…more than enough for the party and leftovers. We also decided to whip up several homemade BBQ sauces for everyone to pick from…or they could stick with the dry rub as well. Now most of you know about Miss A’s balsamic obsession, so it will come as no surprise that one option was a Balsamic BBQ Sauce. We slightly adapted Giada’s recipe by simply combining and simmering aged balsamic, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic Worcestershire and stone ground mustard.

This one was definitely 4 spoons for Miss A and I. It tasted fabulous on chicken later in the week as well. Mike and Mr. N gave this one a strong 3 spoons. Next we made one of Mr. N’s favorites, a Cherry BBQ Sauce. This recipe is equally as easy. It combines onion, cherries, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire, cider vinegar and a few red pepper flakes. We’ve made this sauce before and served it with salmon, pork and chicken. It also went well with the ribs.

The cherry BBQ was another big hit. Mr. N gave it 4 spoons, Mike and I gave it 3 spoons and Miss A gave it 2 spoons.

Finally we thought a regional BBQ sauce would be fun given our cooking around the world adventures. So we went for an Appalachian style Bourbon BBQ Sauce. After reducing a cup of Bourbon down to about 2 tablespoons, we tossed in more Bourbon, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire, malt vinegar, molasses and brown sugar and simmered that down for a while. Given the amount of Bourbon in this recipe, we steered the kids away from this one.

The Bourbon BBQ sauce was another one of my favorites. It got a full 4 spoons from both Mike and I. As for the rest of the guests, there was only one general consensus. Everyone loved the dry rubbed ribs. As for the sauces, each person had a different favorite making the meal a definite winner.

We spent the rest of the week eating amazing leftovers and two weeks using up our sauces in new and fun ways. I imagine my cousins ended up eating baked beans for weeks too! You would have though my Aunt was planning to feed an entire ranch by the amount of baked beans she brought. (Had to get that in their Babs. Love you!) And speaking of the cowboys…we took a little weekend getaway for Miss A’s birthday celebration. She is now of course an expert cowgirl.

Birthday celebrations last weeks around our house, so you know there’s more to come. While Miss A enjoyed a Barbie birthday cake at the party, she also put in a special request on her actual birthday for a homemade dessert too. We’ll be back later in the week with that tasty treat!

Until then, a birthday shout-out to the many other birthday’s we’ve learned about as we’ve been celebrating our little sous chef’s big days…of course we know about Raymund, but also his wife and daughter! And happy birthdays to JT and Eva who both celebrated this summer! And to both of Barb’s ponytails as well. And a happy birthday to anyone else celebrating birthdays this past month!!!

Print this recipe: Balsamic BBQ Sauce
Print this recipe: Cherry BBQ Sauce
Print this recipe: Bourbon BBQ Sauce

53 comments on “By the Numbers

  1. How serendipitous of your numbers to coincide and add up to.. a lovely family:) Happy Birthdays!! I love your idea of trying different barbecue sauces. I would love to learn how to “smoke” my ribs.. but until then I’ll be happy burying them in one of those sauces:D xx Smidge

  2. Thanks so much for the birthday shout out to the girls!!! They were quite excited to read your post (while we were in the rockies on vacation). My eldest ponytail kept asking me what Miss A’s name is….she doesn’t get the whole nickname thing on blogs. Love the three versions of the sauce — I can’t decide which I’d like to make first…but I’m thinking cherry, especially given Mr N’s rating of it

  3. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Kristy, this is such a happy post. Your ribs look positively succulent but it’s the smile on your daughter’s face that tells the tale. The joy, love and spirit in your photos are unmatched. Happy, Happy Birthday to the lovely Miss A. I can see that it was a pretty great day! :). Love the numbers story… how cosmic is that?!

  4. Wow..loved all the numbers :) in our house my brother and I were born in Oct, Mum in Nov and dad in Dec. My husband is born in Jan and my wedding anniversary is in Feb lol
    I just love the first picture of Miss A, it is great when a gift gets that amazing reaction

  5. Wow, what a big birthday month(s)! I love the coincidences of your birthday and anniversary numbers. Those barbecue sauces sound and look incredible Kristy. Wish I could have gone to the party but then you may not have had enough beans. ;) I remember those Barbie cake days. We’ve made a share of those awhile back. Those days are long gone and Barbie is so yesterday around here. Glad your little Miss A. was happy and so was Mr. N. Happy Birthday to all!

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! You should have heard how much we were teasing my aunt. So many beans! Fortunately she’s a good sport. :) I know these Barbie days are going to be gone all too quick. Making sure I’m enjoying every second of them now! :)

  6. Caroline says:

    I’ve been so behind on reading blogs, I’m just catching up now! Looks like Miss A really did have a wonderful birthday, she’s beaming in all of the photos. But, how could she not be? Family, presents AND delicious food…can’t go wrong. :) That sauce for the ribs sounds incredible!!

    • Kristy says:

      I know how you feel Caroline! It’s been something trying to keep up this summer…and not because I don’t want to! And you’re right, Miss A was in heaven for her birthday. :)

  7. Karen says:

    You definitely know how to celebrate a birthday. I know Miss A enjoyed it by her big smiles.

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    Those barbecue sauces each sound delicious, Kristy. I would have had a hard time choosing one for my ribs. That picture of your SousChef-turned-Cowgirl is too cute. Her feet don’t reach the stirrups yet!

    • Kristy says:

      Well, I ate enough ribs to make sure I could try them all. I was sooooo full! It was worth it though. And it’s so funny…I hadn’t noticed how her feet didn’t reach the stirrups. I was just caught up in how big she looked compared tot he last time she rode a pony. It’s all relative! She’s my little “bee.” :)

  9. spicegirlfla says:

    Happy month long bday to Miss A! I thought our week long celebrations were a big deal but this tops them! The sauces are all fabulous, I’m going to try the bourbon one – sometimes the liquor taste isnt very prominent, but I do believe it will be so in yours. I’m not surprised with the Barbie cake, I hope you wore your Barbie shoes :)

    • Kristy says:

      Mike and I get a week long celebration. The kids…well since one is June 12 and the other July 12, we just make a month of it. :) You know the Bourbon flavor does come through. That said, I’m not a fan of Bourbon and I loved this sauce, so go figure. No Barbie shoes that day…but I have gotten a lot more wear out of them than I expected. :)

  10. Deborah says:

    Now that’s a bbq that I would love to be invited to!! Happy birthday to Miss A!

  11. I want a pony ride for my birthday! Kidding, but hook us up. OK, anyway great looking food. I remember those ribs and happy birthday to Miss A!

  12. all three sauces sound amazing! I could use each on just about anything- fish, beef, chicken! Mr. N sounds alot like my man with the grill:)

  13. Charles says:

    Hi Kristy – first and foremost – happy belated birthday to Miss A – so much joy in those pictures, so much joy… and that last one… haha, you can bring that one out and show to her boyfriends when she’s 18 or so :D

    Oh to be that young and care-free again… makes me wish I had summer holidays filled with fun!

    Your dishes sound absolutely amazing… my wife adores ribs so she’d be there in a flash! :D

    By the way, my sister and I have “crossovers” too… my birthday is 12/3, and her’s is 3/12, equally, I write with my left hand but use scissors with my right; she writes with her right hand but uses scissors with her left :D

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! I have a feeling Miss A would kill me if I popped these pics out for a boyfriend someday….you know when she’s 30. 18?! You’re freaking Mike out now. ;) Of course I’ll just have to remind Mike that I met him when I was 19.

      And I’m with you…to be that young and carefree again. That’s why we live up the birthdays around here. :) And cool crossover with you and your sister! Love that kind of stuff!

  14. Happy Birthday Miss A! I LOOOVE her first photo of excitement! Such a great birthday shot. :-) Looks like you all had a great celebration for her with the delicious food! I’m so jealous you have a smoker. My Thursday post is about my friend’s ribs he smoked. Your ribs make me drool… I really love ribs!!!

    • Kristy says:

      Mike insisted on a smoker when we moved into our new house. He’s wanted one forever. :) I highly recommend one. It is a lot of fun – especially since I don’t have to do any of it! ;)

  15. Belated happy Birthday to your lovely kids.
    I love these ribs. Look mouthwatering!

  16. ceciliag says:

    I love that balsamic sauce .. I am going to try and make that.. and your numbers are indeed very interesting.. like very interesting.. love your birthday shots! c

  17. Rock Salt says:

    It surely is the month for birthdays! You made some super inventive barbecue sauces, I’d love to try all of them! Think I’ll start with the cherry one, sounds absolutely wonderful.

  18. Norma Chang says:

    Like Eva, I am amazed at the amount of ribs, bet they freeze well too. Great idea to make a variety of sauces. Your aunt’s baked beans looks delicious, think she will share her recipe? Great photos as usual.

  19. Eva Taylor says:

    Thanks for the awesome shoutout, Kristy. The BBQ you had sounds fantastic! 9 racks? That’s a mess of ribs. And the variety of sauces sound amazing. Cherry season is in full swing in Ontario, so that Cherry BBQ sauce is beckoning me.

    • Kristy says:

      It was a serious mess of ribs! Filled up the smoker! The sauces were phenomenal. I could have eaten the balsamic one by the spoonful (okay, maybe I did sneak a spoonful or two).

  20. I love how all your dates tie up – fabulous!
    Happy Birthday Miss A – you sure did have a good time.
    The ribs and all the sauces looks scrumptious. :-) Mandy

  21. rsmacaalay says:

    Wow indeed a lot of birthdays this month, happy belated birthday to your loved ones.
    That ribs looks so yummy! I would love to have them as leftovers but I guess that would not become a leftover when its served at our place.

  22. Dawn says:

    Happy birthday to Miss A!!! What a little cutie :). Did you end up getting Mike an Egg?? I have been wondering for weeks!

  23. hotlyspiced says:

    I love the look of those ribs. And those pieces of birthday cake look really gorgeous. My first two are both born on the 20th of the month (but different months) and my third child was due on the 14th. As the other two were overdue I was secretly hoping he would be overdue too and born on the 20th so all three could have the same date. My obstetrician wanted to induce me on the 18th which was a Friday because he was going away for the weekend. I told him I didn’t want the induction because I was hoping he’d be born on the 20th. Well, the 20th came and went and I couldn’t be induced because my doctor was away. Alfie came naturally on the 22nd. Missed it by two days! xx

    • Kristy says:

      How cool was that that you almost had three kids on the 20th?! I think there’s something kind of cool about Alfie missing it by a few days though. ;) He’s a free spirit. Love it!

  24. Courtney says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of BBQ you had going – but I am always a go big or go home kinda girl, so it sounds perfect to me. Looks like Miss A had a blast with all her birthday fun – that smile says it all! Can’t wait to hear about her treat.

  25. Happy belated birthday to both your gorgeous children my friend!
    I love the family coincidences in your house!
    The birthday party looks like so so so much fun!!! I love the delicious looking ribs and Miss A just can’t stop smiling :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  26. A_Boleyn says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to Mr. N . Somehow I missed actually expressing that sentiment in my comment to the bday cake post and I apologize for my negligence. Perhaps it was the shared excitement of seeing your first ever cake from scratch. :)

    And Happy Birthday to the birthday cowgirl … Miss A.

    As I won’t be entering the world of smoking, I wonder if it would be possible to use the rub on the ribs, put them on a rack over a roaster with some water underneath, tightly seal the whole thing with foil and slow cook it in the oven and then finish it on the bbq. It wouldn’t have that smoky ‘bark’ but I hope it might work.

    I’d love to make that yummy sounding balsamic bbq sauce as well.

    All the best again to both your b’day babies … I mean boy and girl. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Maria! While they don’t much like to be called my babies anymore…they always will be. ;) You’ll have to let me know if the rub works in the oven too. Mike packs away the smoker in the winter. It would be nice to know if the recipe still holds up. Perhaps we’ll even give it a shot! :)

  27. sallybr says:

    WONDERFUL! I am curious about the homemade dessert picked by Miss A…. I am partial to creme brulle, maybe I should request that for my own Bday next year… ;-)

    as to the last photo, it takes a special kind of beauty to carry over-indulgence in chocolate icing with such style and grace! She takes the cake (literally!)
    ;-)

    • Kristy says:

      I saw a fabulous looking creme brulle yesterday with a drizzle of raspberry sauce…looked amazing! And Miss A certainly has that special kind of beauty. ;)

  28. Food looks delish! Im a bbq fan and your little girl is a cutie!
    http://www.glitzgirlzglamourguide.com

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