My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


« ut-oh… | Main | birthday eats »

food, friends, happy day

I haven’t been this relaxed in quite some time.  I feel like my birthday lasted for 3 full days.  Pretty dang fantastical.

The party on Saturday started mid-day, with our local friends dropping in first. 

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The lovely Michelle, brought me some adorable gifts, from our favorite downtown store White Balcony.

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She also brought tomatoes from her garden.  This girl knows me too well!  Definitely appreciate fresh, garden goodies! 

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And then an amazing delivery, from the lovely Kelsey!! 

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2 cupcake flavors

2 frosting flavors

all gluten-free


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Kelsey used Pamela’s GF Baking Mixes, and had fabulous success!  These tasted great and there was no way anyone could have guessed they were gluten free.  Extremely moist and fluffy, with a lot of flavor.  She added extra vanilla extract for the vanilla cakes + extra cocoa powder for the chocolate cake.  She also said, she used an extra egg for fluffiness. 

Not only were the cupcakes delicious, but the frosting was as well.  The raspberry lemon was outstanding.  I think it was a pretty standard butter cream recipe, infused with lemon extract and fresh raspberries.  No pink food dye here!  The cupcake key was the cutest.  “The little black balls are chia seeds added for texture + nutrition!”  Love it!

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A few weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted a garden for my birthday.  Things have been extremely busy, so we didn’t have time to plant a garden, but Kelsey + Eric brought me the next best thing!

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Potted herbs!!  thyme + basil + rosemary

I have no idea what I’m doing with them and really hope to keep them alive!!  I don’t know when or how often to pick them, or how much to water.  Time to get researching!

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The drink of choice that night, was Odell’s 90 Shilling.  One of my favorites, from a great local brewery!!  We got a 1/4 keg for the occasion, which ended up being perfect + saved us money!

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For dinner, we supplied the veggie burgers, buns + fries and all of our friends brought side dishes.  I didn’t create any new recipes for these burgs, but here are the details on where you can find them.  Everyone loved them and most people split them in halves to try all three!

Mama Pea’s - white bean potato basil burgers

Emily’s – Black Bean Burgers

Angela’s – In a Jiffy Spelt Burgers –> I’ve made her original version multiple times, but have also made some fun variations.  The last time I made them, I used millet flour to make them GF and it worked really well.  Here was my ingredient list this time:

  • 1c cooked chickpeas
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4c canned diced tomatoes, liquid drained
  • 1/2c spinach, lightly packed
  • 1/2T dried basil
  • 1T oregano
  • 1/2T parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4t fine grain sea salt
  • black pepper
  • pinch or 2 of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1T pepitas
  • 1T ground flax meal
  • 1/2-3/4c oat flour [ground in the blender, from raw oat groats]

For all of the burgers, I cooked them about 3/4 of the way in the oven.  I cooled them, then put them on a plate in the fridge [covered], and before eating grilled them for about 5min per side over medium heat.

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Ann + Jenna

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All of the ladies!

Michelle, Ann, Jenna, Me, Sarah, Emily, Kelsey, Lauren

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A bit blurry, but here are the boys!

Kyle, Dave, Kurtz, Nick, me, Chris, Scott, Eric

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Really wish this one wasn’t blurry!!  Not sure what the heck I’m doing. :)

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Everyone brought amazing sides, and there were no duplicates at all!  We had grilled mixed veggies, sweet taters, french fries, burgers, mixed fruit, quinoa salad, greens + chickpea Greek tasting salad + burger toppings. 

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For the fries, I used Mama Pea’s dill pickle fry recipe.  I bought 4 bags of Alexia french fries and followed her recipe exactly.  There were literally no fries left. 

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Birthday plate!  A little bit of everything, including 1/2 of a black bean burger + 1/2 of the bean potato basil burger.  I’ve made Emily’s black bean burgers numerous times, and they’re never a disappointment.  This was my first time making the bean + tater burgs, and it definitely won’t be my last.  I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have potatoes in a bean burger, but man were they delicious!! I think it would be fun to do a rosemary version as well, since taters + rosemary are an awesome combo.

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Fresh summer food.

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Mmm. Good.

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After dinner, Kelsey flew out of nowhere with the amazing tray of cupcakes!

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“That’s a lot of candles, lady!!”

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Making a wish…

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After dessert #1, it was time for dessert #2.  Kelsey snapped this photo and we both snagged a bit of this ooey, gooey, fudge-like, flourless chocolate cake.  Ann was so sweet, and picked up this gluten free chocolate cake from a bakery in Denver.  It was dusted with orange zest, which is always the perfect dark chocolate compliment.

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Then Kelsey snapped this.  Birthday face?  I’m surprised there wasn’t chocolate smeared on it.

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Then I ate more of this.  And then I had a sugar rush!! 

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The rest of the party was relaxing + fun.  The girls chatted away inside on the couch, while the boys had fun in the backyard with our make-shift fire pit.  Literally a hole in the ground. 

Fabulous friends.  Fabulous food.  Happy day.

More please!!

<3 Ashley

Reader Comments (56)

What an amazing weekend you've had!

And if you need any help with that chocolate cake or those adorable!! cupcakes, I'd be more than happy to oblige :)

Happy Bday (again) !

happy birthday! :) sounds like you're one lucky birthday girl.

by the way, you look beautiful in that picture kelsey got of you! (second to last one posted)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Sounds like a great b-day weekend!!
Would love to dive head first into that buffet! :)
And the chocolate cake of course! :D

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternic

That cupcake key is adorable! haha nothing like a sugar high for an amazing bday weekend :)

Your birthday weekend looks like a blast my friend!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Oh my Ashely! This is quite the BBQ and all so wonderful!!! I love the menu and how sweet of Kelsey to make such delicious looking cupcakes. She knows you so well. :) Glad you had a fantastic birthday and 4th weekend. :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Sounds like a wonderful birthday! Glad you enjoyed yourself.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee

Aren't Juy birthdays the best? (yours is in July, right!)
Mine was yesterday and my mom managed to get a picture of me blowing out my candles. I wasn't lucky enough for a profile though. Double chipmunk cheeks alert! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeni @ stepping out

What a perfect day. :) You have some amazing friends! That buffet looks amazing much good food. Buffets are seriously the way to go when having a party...everyone always brings something fun.

There are always half-birthdays, right? If I just had a birthday as fun as yours I'd want another one too! :)

Sounds like a Great looks incredible too!!

Looks like such a fun time:):) And i keep meaning to try those fries!! I love pickles so im pretty excited lol:)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterallison

FUN!! Loved these pictures...cupcakes look perfect!

glad you had a wonderful birthday ;)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPure2raw twins

Looks like a fun filled birthday! What great friends bringing all those goodies :)

Aw yay!! Happy birthday!! It looks like it was such a fun day :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

What a fun birthday weekend and you look absolutely adorable! :) I love love those pink shorts!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Your friends and party look like so much fun!! What an awesome way to celebrate. Good luck with the herbs! I planted some from seed awhile back and they all died, but I think it had something to do with the store bought dehydrated dirt discs I used to plant them. Have fun!

I'm glad you had such a fun bday party! All of the food looks incredible and those cupcakes are adorable!

Happy Birthday! That looks so fun! The cupcakes she made for you are adorable. I love the chia seeds actually, and that it is RASPBERRIES making the icing so beautiful. All of the food you guys made looks delicious.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Sorry to be so late to join the party but Happy birthday! It looks like you had a great time! I want a BBQ for my birthday too. I still have time to practice my burger making skills though since it's in late october... ;)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralexe

What a wonderful celebration! :) I am so jealous of all of those cupcakes and that amazing cake! mmm mmm mmm! :)

All of that food looks fabulous!!!! I need to come to CO to celebrate your birthday with you next year! I feel bad I kind of missed it. I went camping and came back and you're a year older!

Oh, and when I was camping, my food was not as good as yours. I definitely complained about that. Dave calls yours "gourmet camping food." Next time I'm going gourmet!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

I used Pamela's classic yellow cake mix in a pinch and I loved it. Perfect flavor! Couldn't even tell they were gluten-free.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Thomas

Looks like such a good time! Can't go wrong with 90 shilling, and holy food spread - yummmm :)

Still bummed we missed this! I'm thinking a trip to Ft C for some bike riding + local brews & eats needs to happen sooon.

So glad you had such a great birthday weekend! xo

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather C

There is nothing like the presence of true friends. Great post! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGena

So very true! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You guys were missed!!!! Hope you had a great weekend though!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

hahahaa to this whole it ;)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Alexe!!! No worries at all :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Sam!!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Your birthday was so much fun! You did such a great job with the burgers + you were a very fun birthday girl!! ox.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterkL---CEE

Oooh, gosh, now I'm scared! Kelsey planted them in organic soil and used manure my fingers are crossed! hehe

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

thanks girlie, hehe

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Heck yeah they are and it also leads to me not stressing out! hehe

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes, mine was the 3rd! Happy birthday to you!!! The profile shot is pretty horrific, but hilarious...hehe

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Just missing a few important people....[you!]

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, thank you!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ahhhh that looks like so much fun!!! You actually have the best friends. They bring you cupcakes. Love.

Everything looks AMAZING! Next time I would LOVE to be invited over and I promise i'll bring a gluten- free dessert :-) What sweet friends you have!
Looks similar to my 4th array of foods, except we had BBQ avocado jack portobello burgers. Super yummy along with smokey kale chips, green salad, corn, berries and cream! I heart summer!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

Happy Birthday! Looks like you had a fantastic time! I fully agree with you that rosemary + potatoes= awesomeness!!! I grow basil and we water it every night, and so far it has only produced fabulous results!!! Hope all of the herbs turn out wonderful!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Happy Birthday!!

I noticed you eat a lot of gluten free--- do you have celiac/gluten intolerance or is it a dietary choice? Are there benefits to GF if you do not have an intolerance or celiac?

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonika

i am copying down the recipes for all those vegan burgers! this is my latest obsession....very timely : )
and happy b-day!

Looks like a fabulous party!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbirdie to be

Happy belated! I find myself coming back to this blog time and time again. This is the way I want my family's plates to look. Yummy and nutritious! Definitely going to try those bean patty recipes.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a great one! I'll be celebrating mine in 2 weeks! A fellow Cancerian! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Looks like some amazing food, and the cupcakes are beautiful! I love that you put chia seeds on them :)

Wow! That looks like an amazing feast! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ Abz 'n' Oats

what a fun party you had!! Happy birthday! Love the chia seeds on cupcakes. FABULOUS! :)

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlindsay

Happy early birthday to you!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, you are so sweet! Glad you're enjoying my blog! :)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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