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Spring Birthday Bash

March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring! My kids have been counting down the days until spring, and were a little disappointed when I dashed their hopes of the entire yard turning green and sunny as soon as March 20th arrived. It looks like they will have a semi-warm day today, and then no more spring for a week. However, we can look forward to sunnier days, and here are a few recipes I know will show up again and again at our house over the next few months.


Celebrating spring with burrito bunnies!

On Monday (so not technically spring yet) we had a little birthday party for a friend. The menu was simple, but it included my all-time-favorite barbecue sauce, which we served with (what else?) chicken. I could eat this sauce plain. I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who got the recipe from Ina Garten: both are great sources for delicious recipes. I have changed the recipe considerably to suit our gluten-free, sugar-free needs, and I don’t think we are missing out a bit. However, I’ve included the link to the Smitten Kitchen version, should you like to try it out.


Original post from Smitten Kitchen found here.

Ina Garten’s Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from her Food Network show (several times now)

Makes 6 cups

  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or use dried minced garlic in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey OR 1 cup water and stevia to taste…I think I used about 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)

In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge.


Open faced barbecue chicken sandwich on a gluten free bun. We have to be creative around here, folks.

For the birthday cake, I made Elana’s Orange Cake, from Elana’s Pantry. I will just link to the recipe, but it is one of the easiest cakes to make. Apparently they used to make an almost exact version at Starbucks. I added a dairy free chocolate glaze out of two squares of unsweetened chocolate, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, a splash of vanilla, a sprinkle of stevia, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. I don’t like to brag, but my kids asked if I would make it again the next day. I couldn’t fulfill that wish, but I did promise them another shot at it this Sunday. IMG_4972-001


So nice to celebrate special days with friends!

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