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.
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.
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!!!