Sweet and Saucy

Can you believe the kids are on their 5th week of school already! Mr. N is now in 5th grade – his last year before middle school – and Miss A is now in 1st grade. It’s their last time at the same school for the rest of their schooling years. So bittersweet. Time is certainly flying.

Miss A's first day of 1st grade.

Miss A’s first day of 1st grade.

Fortunately for us, we have a bit of a slow down (relatively speaking) coming our way. Mr. N’s plays are wrapped up, summer activities have come to an end and for the first time since early May, we have nothing scheduled on our weekends from now until Thanksgiving. That’s not to say we won’t keep busy, but it certainly gives us more flexibility. I hardly know what to do with myself! For starters…I’m getting a post up here!

Mr. N's first day of 5th grade.

Mr. N’s first day of 5th grade.

Last weekend was our annual neighborhood block party. Mike has been smoking something or other for the last few years, and this year was no exception. This time around he chose a pork shoulder – actually two pork shoulders. We made a large batch of sliders and nachos. Both were equally delicious and not a single bite was leftover. While I didn’t have time to blog either dish in their entirety, I did grab a few pictures of the homemade BBQ sauce we made for the sliders. jalapeno and shallot

I wanted to use a recipe that didn’t involve ketchup as a base. I also wanted to make use of some flavors from our home state of Illinois this time of year. I had some beautiful red jalapenos from one of my favorite places in Illinois and wanted to pair them with some fruit. We chose raspberries as they are plentiful this time of year and one of our favorite things to pick in August and September. raspberries

The recipe was simple. We sautΓ©ed the jalapeno with some shallots (also locally grown). Next we added a little garlic and some adobo sauce and brought it up to a simmer. The raspberries were then added and cooked for just a few minutes before adding some apple cider vinegar, honey, sugar and salt. apple cider vinegar

After a good mixing of the ingredients we let the sauce simmer until it reduced by about half. I wasn’t happy with the thickness of the sauce at this point, so I added a little cornstarch. Much better.raspberry sauce

I let the sauce cool for a bit and then tossed it in the blender. In the meantime, Mike wrapped up the pork and we started to assemble the sliders. pork shoulder

I was really satisfied with the sauce. It was sweet, tangy and brought just the slightest amount of heat. pork sliders

The sliders were a hit, as was the sauce. For Mike and I the sauce was 3-1/2 and 4 spoons, respectively. Mr. N gave it 3 spoons; although he preferred his slider without any sauce (the flavor from the smoker was incredible on its own!). Miss A, unfortunately, wouldn’t even try the sauce. Once she saw the jalapenos, she was out. Unlike her brother, Miss A is becoming a bit more discerning in her tastes and a bit more stubborn with what she’s willing to try. Still, I suspect she tries more different foods than most. raspberry jalapeno bbq sauce

Fortunately for the rest of us, we made a large batch of sauce and were able to freeze a few portions for later this year. I’d like to try it salmon and grilled chicken. We also had a half of pork shoulder leftover that will be a nice treat this winter. I love the taste of summer in the depths of the cold, gray days, but we won’t talk about those just yet. The next time I get around to blogging, I have a great end of summer harvest pizza to share. We’ll keep the summer theme going for just a bit longer here anyway.

Print this recipe: Raspberry Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

Until then, we’ll be running the kids around – gymnastics, swimming and acting. I’ll be turning another year older (eek!) and we’ll be keeping busy in our newly found free time with another thing we brought home from the farmy…Hobbs

Hobbs is the newest addition to the family and a very welcome one. Chipper (our almost two-year old kitty) was very ready to have a friend again, and he’s welcomed the little one right into the fold. And Miss A is quite the little animal charmer. She spends much of her day playing with him and carrying him around. Never a dull moment – and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Enjoy your day everyone! animal charmer

51 thoughts on “Sweet and Saucy

  1. Three Well Beings says:

    I loved seeing the children as they start school! It sounds like you still have some activities planned for the school year that will keep you plenty busy! I am glad to hear that Mr. N is going to continue with his acting. And 5th grade already? Too fast, too fast! πŸ™‚ I love the bbq sauce recipe, Kristy, and the sliders look delicious. I hope the year just continues to give you all exactly what you need in plenty of family time and enjoying the children as they continue to give you so much love. It was good to read a post! You are a busy mom!

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Debra. So far we’ve had a great start to the school year. I’m hoping with things settling back into more of a routine, we’ll be able to cook some more around the world recipes again. πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      I hope they’ll love to look back on these years as much as I do. I can’t believe how little they looked in some of our early posts. πŸ™‚ They are precious years for sure!

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    • Kristy says:

      It wasn’t terribly sweet. You could always adjust the sugar/honey amounts to make the sweetness to your liking. I think the slightly sourness of the raspberries and tang from the vinegar help to balance it though. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. πŸ™‚

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  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I truly missed your blog and so happy to read about how your family has been doing! Time flies with the kids around. Happy to hear your weekend is (for now) clear for a while. As we decided on video making on weekends, we don’t have any more free weekends anymore, so I really feel the same way about busy schedule. So enjoy your time while it lasts! Love the sliders with smoked meats (I’d love to try that sauce, very creative!) and omg Hobbs! SOOO cute. My kids want a puppy too but I don’t know what we would do with it when we’re in Japan during summer…so we can’t have one. Anyway I’m happy to see you are all doing well!

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  3. thecompletebook says:

    My brothers and I also only had a one year cycle in the same school, something I wish I could change, although I am sure they were too happy not to have their baby sister hanging around. πŸ™‚
    Your block parties sound great as does your sauce! Scrumptious!
    Hobbs has found himself the most wonderful happy and loving home!
    Have a super day Kristy.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xo

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  4. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Hobbs looks super cute. My kids have been begging for a cat forever! If they see your pictures their heart will melt!
    As for school, I know the bittersweet feeling you are talking about. They are growing up so fast. Jana is in the 5th grade too and Ibrahim is in KG2.. I thought we agreed not to blink, didn’t we?

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  5. Bam's Kitchen says:

    Happy Birthday a little early! Your kiddos are getting so big enjoy it to the fullest. I quite like this ingenious sauce and it sounds like the perfect compliment to our salmon we are having tonight. Congrats on the new family member! Take care

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  6. Norma Chang says:

    My, how the kids have grown. That tray of raspberries have me drooling, could eat the whole tray. I will have to purchase twice the amount of raspberries called for in the recipe so there will be enough left to make the sauce.

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  7. Karen says:

    It sounds like you are going to have some great weeks ahead…it is good to slow down just a little bit. It is nice to have a little of that summery sauce to enjoy when it is cold. I bet it would be good on a turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving.

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  8. Dawn says:

    So nice to see a post from you!! We love making pulled pork, especially when there is a crowd – yours looks amazing! So lucky to have free time now! I am super jealous – and that kitty of yours is something else. I just love kittens, enjoy!

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  9. Courtney says:

    Hobbs! I love the name and that kitty is so darn cute!! Glad to see you back, though I can totally relate to the crazy busy kid activity time. And it’s pure genius to use raspberries in your sauce – sounds fantastic.

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  10. hotlyspiced says:

    Five weeks into the school year! It’s amazing how time is flying. My little guy has just broken up for a two-week break so I have him going to sailing school and then we’re going to do a few things together like visit the zoo. Then it’s just eight more weeks of school before the Christmas holidays so I can see the end of the year looming. It seems very strange to see your kids going off to school without wearing a uniform! The sauce sounds terrific and your cat is gorgeous and must give you hours of amusement xx

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    • Kristy says:

      I wish they wore uniforms! It would definitely safe me on laundry and shopping for new clothes all the time. Miss A has at least 3 outfit changes per day! Enjoy your time with Alfie on his break – sounds like you have a lot of great things planned. πŸ™‚

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  11. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    “Miss A, unfortunately, wouldn’t even try the sauce. Once she saw the jalapenos, she was out.” Stitches I tell you!! Ah, time sure gets away from us doesn’t it Kristy? When I saw the ‘first day of school’ pictures of Mr N and Miss A on FB, I quite literally had to catch my breath… they have both grown and matured so much… in front of our very eyes, yet! Well, I’m all for keeping the summer theme going πŸ™‚ and I agree, I think this sauce would be delicious on fish and poultry too – it sounds like an amazing combination of ingredients. Welcome to the charming Mr. Hobbs – he seems to be fitting in beautifully β™‘ Great to see you back online! xx

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    • Kristy says:

      Oh time completely gets away from me. It’s crazy. Was looking at toddler pictures of Mr. N the other day and can’t believe he’s 10 now. Sigh. I know you can totally relate!

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  12. spicegirlfla says:

    That Kitty is so precious! What a sweet pic with Ms. A and Hobbs πŸ™‚ Again, your children are just growing up so beautifully! I was thinking as I read about the sauce with the raspberries that it sounded good with salmon; and then you mentioned it. I agree being able to freeze extra for the winter months is like pulling out a bit of summer memories.

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  13. Eva Taylor says:

    What a creative BBQ sauce Kristy, I love the unique use of raspberries in it. And that you’re using Farmie-fresh ingredients. We just stopped at a farmers market for garlic and eggs! We’re having my niece and her BF for dinner on Friday to celebrate passing the bar (I usually stop in and have a glass of vino…oops, wrong bar!) and we’re smoking a wild pacific salmon! I’m definitely trying this.
    Love the pics of the kiddies, they are definitely growing up quickly.

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  14. sallybr says:

    Ok, now I am officially done…. the first photo with that gorgeous hairdo made me melt inside, she is adorable as ever! and then you bring a close up shot of Hobbs… oh, my oh my… I cannot STAND IT!

    I want a kitten. What? I cannot JUST because I have three fierce dogs who would gladly have a kitten for breakfast? (sigh)

    great to see you in the blogosphere – do not ever worry about getting a year older… did you know there is “someone” who has a ton of gray hair, is a follower of your blog, was born in Brazil…. is going to be a Grandma in March? YEAH!!! too cool… even if it makes me feel old as dirt.

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