Hello again! The days are flying by but it a good way! I went to Houston for the weekend to attend the bridal shower for the daughter of one of my very best friends! It was completely worth the trip. I find something so special about a group of women getting together to celebrate an upcoming marriage and bless her with things to make her house a home. Regardless of whether she needs our gifts I think it is a special and meaningful tradition. The home where it was held was absolutely beautiful, the decor pinterest worthy, and the cake was absolute perfection. Here are a few photos.
Here is a photo of the kitchen. I took good notes in case one day I have the occasion to remodel. It is actually a little too big for me to be a good functional kitchen. You would walk yourself to death getting between the stove, fridge, sink, and island. But so pretty huh?
We also took Beau to the park to ride our bikes (Beau runs alongside or through the woods) and then to the dog park. Here are the obligatory cute dog photos!
Sadly I don't have any wildflower pictures. The bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush are spectacular this year. We have had enough rain that they are amazing. All along the drive from Austin the roadsides were just carpets of blue and red. If you live in the area it is well worth heading out to see them!
Okay so finally time for the recipe. I found and modified this recipe when I was planning for the final event party at school. I originally made this elaborate and delicous salad that was made with romaine lettuce, fresh corn, avocado, black beans and jicama, tossed in cilantro lime vinaigrette, topped with pickled red onion, BBQ cauliflower and spiced pumpkin seeds, all drizzled in a vegan BBQ ranch dressing. Yes it had like a hundred steps and took so much time but was fantastic. One day I will share the whole thing. We decided we didn't need a salad, so I just did the BBQ cauliflower with the picked red onions as a side dish. Still delicious. I wanted a BBQ sauce that wasn't based on ketchup which is full of corn syrup or sugar. This sauce has sweetness from agave, maple syrup and molasses but is made with a box of strained tomatoes. It uses ingredients you can easily keep in the pantry and then whip this up any time you need BBQ sauce. If you want it thin, strain it after blending. If you like it thick just skip that step. I dont have a picture of just the sauce, so this is the cauliflower, roasted and the coated in the sauce. Stick back in a hot oven to caramelize the sauce and you have a very tasty side dish! I will definitely keep this sauce recipe in my back pocket to use all summer! I hope you do too!
Back Pocket BBQ Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: condiment Sauce vegetarian vegan American
Ingredients (3 cups)
- 1 26.46 oz box strained tomatoes, Pomi brand recommended
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark agave nectar
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 2 Tbsp mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
Combine all ingredients except liquid smoke in a sauce pan, bring to a simmer over medium low heat.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour.
Remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender. . Stir in liquid smoke. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. It may need more cayenne, salt or chili powder based on how spicy you like it.
Optional: If the sauce seems too thick you can strain through a fine mesh strainer after blending. I like to strain about half of it so it is not too thick and not too thin. The solids you strain out can be used like a seasoned tomato paste!