May 19, 2013

Homemade BBQ Sauce & Other Summer Party Foods

This weekend I threw a graduation party -complete with real food- for a friend.  Late the night before the party I realized I needed barbecue sauce for the baked beans.  Not wanting to rush to the store, I searched ye-ole-internet and found this recipe.

This was my first time making BBQ sauce and I definitely will make it again.  I hate that most store bought sauces are too sweet and usually sweetened with corn syrup.  I tweaked the recipe I found so that it went a little something like this:

1 cup vinegar*
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup molasses (a bit of maple syrup or honey would be good, too)
2 teaspoons each cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
sprinkle of paprika or cayenne for a kick
salt to taste

Mix together, taste, adjust seasonings then let sit at room temperature at least one hour before refrigerating.

*I used 1/2 c white, 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar (ACV).  The next time I make this I will use all ACV.  White vinegar is cheap and I wasn't sure how this BBQ sauce would taste.  I didn't want to use all ACV for the first trial.

What else did I serve at the party?

Chicken Salad Wraps (lettuce wraps)
Brown Rice Salad
Zippy Potato Salad
Pioneer Woman's Sheet Cake

To drink, I served two kinds of tea and strawberry mint water.  The strawberry mint water was a crowd favorite.  (I wish I'd taken a picture of the pitcher - it is also very pretty.)  To make it, fill a pitcher 3/4 with water, then add frozen strawberries - either whole or halved, then add a generous handful of fresh mint from your yard.  Add ice to top off the pitcher.  The strawberries and mint add a hint of flavor but not over whelming.  When the pitcher gets low, just add more water and ice - no need to add more berries or mint.  I've also done this with slices of cucumber and mint.


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