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Last weekend (in between vacations) we threw a classic summer backyard bash! What were we celebrating (other than America)? Our house turning 100 years old!! I realize that we look for any excuse to throw a party (though do you really need a reason), but a house standing (in great condition) for 100 years seems like something that should be commemorated.


I kept it simple with the menu: burgers, brats, coleslaw, and the best bourbon baked beans. Dessert was ice cream sundaes! Our really cool neighbors brought over a leg of prosciutto (can you say that about your neighbors?)…awesome!

My parents came down for the celebration and my mom (I get this from her) brought her own party decorations. We went with a red, white, and blue centennial theme and created a festive ambiance that went great with wonderful weather (seriously, I don’t know how to deal with 70 degrees in late June).

We scattered yard games throughout our backyard. We had Texas golf, washers, and a homemade Jenga set (an excuse to buy a new saw).

All in all, it was a special evening celebrating our special home!

Here’s the recipe for the amazing bourbon baked beans (adapted from Southern living):

  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can baked beans with bacon and brown sugar
  • 1 (16-oz.) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16-oz.) can dark or light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16-oz.) can pork and beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until crisp; remove, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes; add garlic, and cook 1 minute.

  2. Stir together bacon, onion mixture, baked beans, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

  3. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, 30 minutes; uncover and bake 30 more minutes.


Now we are off to Italy for leg 2 of the 2017 World Road Tour! I’ve prepared a jammed-pack 3 weeks of sightseeing, wine drinking, and eating that I look forward to sharing with you all!



P.S. can we just take a moment and appreciate how happy my porch containers are doing? I’m a little proud that I’ve kept them alive and thriving!!