Cheers…to homemade BBQ sauce

20140407-222821.jpg

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Barbecue Sauce! Maybe it comes from my roots in Arkansas, or my upbringing in North Carolina, where the Southern folks love them some BBQ. But, I have always loved the sauce. There are so many different kinds too. Even different regions of the state have different flavor profiles. Some are sweeter, some more tangy , but all just a little bit different. Have you ever noticed, there is basically just one ketchup, but there are a wide variety of sauces with the title BBQ attached to them. Over the years, I would always order a side of it whenever I was at a new restaurant. As a result, I have tried hundreds over the years and my love of cooking inspired me to make my own. I have modified this recipe over the years, so sometimes it is sweeter and sometimes more tangy, but I love it and rarely do I find one out on the town or even in stores that I like better.

20140407-224149.jpg
The great thing is, it’s easy to make and can be made from organic ingredients , which is important to me. I look at the ingredients of many of the popular versions in stores and they have high fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients. None of that here, so you can slather it on whatever you want. One time Chelsea came home to her roommate eating it with rice. She said “I just wanted to eat this sauce”!

So, at the request of my friend Val, I’m sharing this recipe on here for anyone to try. Have fun with it and feel free to make modifications depending on your own preferences. This one is a little sweet, a little tangy, a little spicy and full of umami. (Which is that pleasant savory taste that helps make ketchup so satisfying) http://www.umamiinfo.com/2011/02/What-exactly-is-umami.php

For Matt’s homemade BBQ sauce 2014 edition, mix together
1 cup organic ketchup
1 cup organic brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

>

20140407-230641.jpg
The key is then to cook it down, meaning adding mixed ingredients to a skillet and cooking it on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring it occasionally, especially as it begins to bubble. This will give it that stickiness that takes it to the next level for my taste buds, it’s where the umami comes out. Then after it cools a little, I put it in a glass jar and either give it away to someone I love (I’m bringing some to yoga tomorrow for you Val) or enjoy it on everything from salmon to grilled eggplant. I even use it on our home made pizzas.
>

20140407-231534.jpg
Oh yeah, the beverage… It’s a mock tail. Non alcoholic cocktail. Fun to drink and easy to make. Chelsea and our friend Laurel made some ginger syrup. I used a little of that, along with soda water. I then muddled up fresh basil from a basil plant we have next to the sink along with lemon from a tree outside, mixed it all together while the sauce cooked down. Delish!
>

20140407-232709.jpg
This is the yoga pose for today’s post. It’s called Malasana, basically a squat. Great to do when your muddling. This pose helps my low back feel better the way it stretches and builds strength. I have had two yoga teachers say that “Cultures that spend time in this position have fewer back issues” I can believe that. Since I’ve been doing it, my back feels great. Try to do it for one minute per day, followed by a forward fold, muddler not needed to perform this pose;)
>

Boulder – ing

20140401-204255.jpg

Anne and I went “Bouldering” tonight. I thought that was only a hip town in Colorado that many of my closest friends have spent time in. Turns out that when you add an ing at the end, it becomes a new activity for my ADHD self.

In my efforts to find new exciting ways to exercise (see previous blog) I did this a couple of weeks ago with Anne and our friend Berit. It was so much fun, I went again and bought a package, ensuring that I would make this a weekly activity. It has all the things a good activity should have. It builds strength, it’s a challenge, it’s fun, and it gives you a chance to root on your friends and watch each other grow and progress, and sometimes fall. I was surprised by how much it increased my heart rate and even made me sweat a little. My forearms are going to be sore tomorrow.

I believe that there are yoga poses that will compliment everything we do, especially when it comes to sports. So I always like to think of which poses will best compliment each activity. So here my friend Anne is demonstrating three poses that will help with ‘bouldering’
The first one is finger stretches. Definitely needed for all the use of the fingers to hold on with.

Finger Stretches

Finger Stretches


The next one is crescent pose to stretch out the hips and strengthen the legs with the palms touching and hands behind the neck to stretch the shoulders and triceps.
20140401-224935.jpg

Finally, we have chaturanga dandasana, which is very similar to a traditional push up. This helps build strength in the arms.

Yoga push up

Yoga push up


The other climbers all seem to be really nice and helpful. On my last attempt tonight, before my body said enough, I was almost to the top, my fingers slipped and I fell all the way to the ground. Fortunately, I safely landed with bent knees on the cushy pad at the bottom, about a 20 foot fall. A guy next to where I landed said, sorry I wasn’t paying better attention, I would have helped you out. Then he proceeded to give me a bunch of climbing tips.
We went to this place called Hangar 18 South Bay, just a few minutes from the beach in one of those places with a bunch of office buildings, you’d never know what was inside from the looks of it, but inside here is a lot of fun!

>
Then, the best part is when we came home, Anne came in to say hi to Chelsea and she had cooked us a delicious organic whole food vegetarian dinner.
Roasted carrots, fingerling potatoes, steamed broccoli, red lentils and quinoa

Roasted carrots, fingerling potatoes, steamed broccoli, red lentils and quinoa

Oh yeah, I was talking about Boulder…I’m going there in June for the Hanuman Festival with YogaGlo. We are one of the main sponsors and 10 of our teachers are going to be there. I’m going with an amazing company of friends. I’m excited to experience this wonderful town. It’s my kind of place. It’s “Green” for the lack of a better term, I like to call it “Conscious”, you know what I mean. It’s set up to bike and people compost and everything is local, you know, cool. I’ll have a word for it when I get back I’m sure. I’m going to a yoga festival, so “Amazing” might be the word. I’m excited to learn and be inspired by like minded individuals. Happy Now and looking forward to June. I Love it when I have something cool to look forward to. Like Bouldering next week.