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