Friday, July 5, 2013

Cherry Chipotle Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

 I love going to a BBQ!  Who doesn't really!?!  Great food, fun friends and did I mention, great food!  We were invited  to a friends house on the 4th so I decided to make some BBQ ribs that I had in the freezer from a recent sale!

I personally like a sweet barbecue sauce.  I remembered a sauce that I had made a year ago but I couldn't find the recipe anywhere....on-line or in my recipe files.  Of course, that never stops me.  I decided to whip up my own recipe.  And I must say, it turned out spectacular. 

I am really in to creating sauces, salsas and dips lately.  They are so versatile and can totally change a meal from boring to spectacular.  While this sauce was spectacular on our ribs, I can't wait to try it with chicken, pulled pork or even steak.  I have an idea to turn it in to a dip or spread too (consider that recipe coming soon).

I knew that the recipe I had used in the past used canned cherries and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, so that is where I started.  

As a general rule, barbecue sauces consist of an acid, spice and sugar.  With that I in mind I developed a sweet, fruity and tart sauce with a subtle, smoky heat on the back side.  I love giving sauces a unique depth of flavor that progresses as you eat it.  Here is the recipe I came up with...

4    cans Sweet or Tart Pitted Cherries with liquid
1   7oz can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
2    cups Ketchup
2    cups Dr. Pepper
1   cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½  cup Lemon Juice
1   cup Brown Sugar
3   Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2   Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1   Tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
1   Tbsp Nutmeg
1   tsp Cloves
1   tsp Cumin

Bring to a boil.  Turn down to a medium simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally.  Liquid should have a thick syrup quality that richly coats the back of a spoon.  Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until all cherries and peppers have been combined into the sauce. 

If you do not have an immersion blender, get one!  They rock!  Otherwise, you can use a regular blender.  Since you are blending a HOT liquid, only fill the blender half full (or less) and hold the lid on with a dish towel. The hot sauce can burn you if it splatters so proceed with caution.

This sauce can be canned by placing in jars with ¼” head room.  Using a water bath, process for 20 minutes. The recipe made 12 half pint jars.  {Friends - you know who you are - these jars have your names on them!}

For the BBQ today, I made some ribs in the slow cooker - low and slow all day - and then through them on the grill with some of the BBQ sauce.

The ribs were amazing.  They melted off the bones and the sauce was a huge hit.  Just the right amount of sweet and heat.  I should have brought more jars with me to the party!!

Mmmmm, mmmmm good!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Back Yard Upgrade: New Chairs

Have I said how much I LOVE THRIFTING!?!  I do.  There is nothing better than the surprises that comes when you enter a thrift store.  Last week I shared the amazing catering cart we found at the local salvage shop.  Well, a few days later I totally scored at Goodwill.

After taking the kids to the library we ran in to Goodwill which shares the parking lot! {heart} This particular day I was greeted by a variety of amazing outdoor furniture.  In the mix were 6 matching large metal chairs.  They needed pads and a little love but the price was right and they were totally meant for our pool area.

With our hot sun and dry air, well-made metal outdoor furniture is a must.  Wood dries out and plastic becomes brittle.  These metal chairs were perfect so I immediately scooped them up and brought them home.

If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen this sneak peek photo.  Hubby and I decided that freshening them up with a coat of oil rubbed bronze would give them the like-new look.  The finish was just a little weathered and faded but not bad at all.

Next step was finding the right cushions for the chairs.  I will admit, this part sort of broke the budget, coming in at twice as much as the cost of the chairs themselves.  We chose a great, super plush cushion-back combo from Home Depot.  They fit perfectly and look amazing.

 I took this photo after sitting there this afternoon watching the kids swim.  So comfortable.

They work well with the little side tables we picked up last year on clearance at Target.

I love that we were able to add 6 new, comfortable chairs to our backyard pool area.

The thrift store has totally brought new life to our back yard!  The additional storage is amazing and the new seating is so inviting.  Come back next week for a full tour of the back yard upgrade 2013!