Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

Remember Bakerella's Snow Cone Cupcakes?  They were beautiful, but let's face it, a bit of work.

I made cupcakes for a work pot luck today, and didn't have the proper cupcake wrappers (nor the proper time!) but I did want to make show-stopper cupcakes.

I made white cupcakes from a mix, and added red sprinkles to the batter, stirring so that they appeared to have red stripes.  Actually, they did have red stripes!

Then I bought some Duncan Hines Frosting Creations with Cotton Candy Flavoring.  The cotton candy flavoring happens to be blue!

I frosted the cupcakes, and then worked on the tops.

For the tops, I took plastic appetizer forks (which I found in the wine aisle at the grocery store), added a couple of raspberries, and then drizzled melted white chocolate over the berries.  When the white chocolate was set, I added the forks to the tops of the cupcakes.

And this is how they came out!

Decorating took less than 30 minutes. And they were a real hit at the pot luck!

Folks called me the Martha Stewart of our department.  I hope they meant because of the cupcakes, not because they think I might be capable of obstructing justice....  :-)

I've linked up with Sweet as Sugar Cookies today - if you are looking for dessert recipe ideas, that's your place!


Pin It

Friday, June 29, 2012

Remembering What is Important

I thought it was pretty ironic.  I happened to see these two stories, one right after the other, in my Facebook feed.


Pin It

Important Question!

I made cupcakes for a pot luck with co-workers.

Honestly, if I had some of those snow cone cups from the Patriotic Snow Cone Cupcakes recipe, I would have made those.

But I didn't, and I needed to be a bit creative.

So I made some red and white striped cupcakes.

My questions is... how to decorate?  Ideas??

I'm half tempted to frost them in white and top them with these:

What do you think?

Pin It

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Patriotic Snow Cone Cupcakes

We had a party for Memorial Day when we were in Minnesota, and my sister decided we needed to make these.  Bakerella's Snow Cone Cupcakes.

I've documented our experience here, with thanks to Bakerella for her recipe.

Snow Cone Cupcakes

Red white and blue cupcakes

  • 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • Three bowls
  • Red and blue liquid food coloring
  • Three piping bags
  • Twist ties
  • Candy cup baking papers (see note below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and then mix together on low.

In another bowl, stir egg whites, milk and vanilla together.  Add butter to the flour mixture and mix together. As it starts to combine, slowly pour the milk mixture in and mix until completely combined.

Divide batter evenly into three bowls. Add about 40 drops of red food color to one bowl and stir together until completely blended. Repeat with the blue food color and a second bowl, leaving the last bowl white.

Stand decorator bags in tall glasses for support and spoon batter into bags. Tie off the ends of the bags with twist ties. (Note: Three bags will hold about half of the batter, so you’ll need to repeat for the full amount.)

Lay the bags side by side and tape around the bottoms of the three bags to make it easier to hold them together in a row.

Cut the end of the bags off and slowly pipe batter into paper candy cups using a back and forth motion. Use your fingers to apply more pressure to the center bag if necessary.

Fill cups a little more than halfway. Bake for about 16 minutes or until done.

Remove and cool. Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Note: You can bake these in candy cups or regular baking cups. If you use candy cups, make sure you find the ones that aren’t wax coated on the inside.

Now it is time to decorate!


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • food coloring
  • Red, white and blue sugar crystals
  • Small plastic spoons
Beat butter and vanilla together.  Add sugar slowly and beat until combined.

Scrape down the sides and add milk. Mix until smooth and creamy. You can also add a couple of drops cherry oil for extra snow cone flavor

Divide the frosting into three bowls and tint two of the bowls with a few drops of red and blue food color so when you cover in sugar crystals, there isn’t any white frosting showing through.

Makes enough to frost about 8 cupcakes with high domes of frosting. Double for this cupcake recipe unless you don’t plan on frosting your cupcakes this high.

To Decorate

Pipe white frosting down the center of the cupcake, lining up somewhat with the white cake section. Then use a knife to pull the frosting down towards the edge of the cup. Make sure to leave the white rim of the cupcake paper showing completely. You can wipe off excess frosting if necessary.

Sprinkle white sugar crystals on the frosting, letting the excess fall into a bowl underneath. You can then gently press the cupcake down into the fallen crystals to fill any uncoated areas.

My goodness, this is hard work!  Good thing we had the cutest helper ever!

OK, back to the cupcakes.

For the red side, just use a knife to apply the frosting. Pull downward with the edge of the knife so the frosting meets at the base of the cup. Again, make sure to keep the rim of the cup free of frosting.

Sprinkle with red sugar crystals over a separate bowl, and press red section into the bowl of crystals to fill any gaps. Repeat with the blue frosting and blue sugar crystals.

When the cupcakes are coated with sprinkles you can easily, reshape the dome if necessary by gently pressing down any areas that look uneven.

Finally, sprinkle more white sugar crystals over the entire cupcake to give it an even icier look and insert a small spoon right in the top.

These were delicious!  I absolutely loved the cake, and they looked fantastic.  Definitely worth the effort if you are having a 4th of July party.  Or even if you just like pretty and great-tasting cake!

I had fun making these with My Sister and My Girly.  They should live closer so we could do it more often.  (Maybe she is reading this and will take note?)  And we all had fun eating them!

What will you be having for your July 4th dessert?


Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boy Scout Food

Last weekend, The Mr and The Boy went to new scout camp, so that The Boy could get some experience camping with the Boy Scouts.

It was not The Boy's first time camping, but it was The Mr's first time.

Things he didn't like:
  • hard, rocky and root-covered ground
  • loud night-time environment
  • no shower facilities
Basically, the same reasons I don't like camping.  We're well matched.  :-)

Things he did like:
  • spending time with The Boy
  • having The Boy do all the work (which is what they are supposed to do for this overnight experience)
  • eating the wonderful Boy Scout Dutch Oven food

Like these Boy Scout Baked Beans....

Which the dads made...

With many hands and many opinions..

Do many hands make quicker work?  Hmm...

The dads also made the desserts.  Apparently, the Russian Cherry Delight was unbelievable.

Butter and marshmallows on top.  Sounds good to me already.


And then they got to enjoy a well-deserved campfire.

Great first camping trip guys!

Do you camp?  Or send your Boy to Scout Camp?


Pin It

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Garden Party - Ghosts!

While we have the usual growth in our tomatoes, corn, sweet peppers and hot peppers, the most exciting thing happening in the garden this week is the emergence of a few of our ghost pepper seedlings!

The package of seeds led us to believe (by having it written on the package itself) that there would be a 90 day germination period.  Which felt like an awfully long time.

But, as you can see, we've got some ambitious little guys only 10 days after planting!

The ghost pepper, until recently, was the hottest pepper ever measured.  Now the hottest pepper is the scorpion pepper (and we've planted those as well)!

You might ask, what will we do with all these ridiculously hot peppers.  Well, we've got a lot of plans for them actually.

First, though, I think we'll be trying a variety of hot salsas and chili sauces.  Like this one:

Pineapple and Ghost Pepper Chile Sauce


  • 16 ounces pineapple, cubed
  • 4 ghost chili
  • 1 small onions, 6 ounces cubed
  • 1 tomato, 3 ounces rough chopped
  • 1 ounce golden raisins, 1/4 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, 1 ounce
  • 1 limes, zest and meat the white pith discarded
  • 1/2 ounce ginger, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 ounce cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar


  1. Place all but the vinegar in a food processor and pulse till pureed. Add to pot with vinegar and cook 15 minutes. If needed blend again for a smooth sauce.
  2. Fill hot sauce into sterilized hot bottles or jars.
  3. Place in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  4. Let age for at least 1 week.

Would you eat a ghost pepper salsa?  Do you have any great recipes for super-hot peppers?

Check back next week to see what else we're up to in the garden - in the meantime, check out An Oregon Cottage for her weekly Garden Party.

Pin It