Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

 

 

Pink Lemonade Cupcake

 

It has been a while since I last posted. To be honest we have just been running crazy. Miles has a rare weekend off and boy are we taking advantage of it. We spent the morning at the farmers market in downtown Bentonville. I purchase the most beautiful cherry tomatoes and some fresh green beans. Really there is nothing better than a home grown tomato in the summertime. After that we went down to the splash park. Living in Bentonville never leaves you without something active to do with the family. If you are ever downtown you really should try Yeyo’s Mexican Grill. I have been wanting to try it out for months now and finally had it for lunch. Well worth the wait. I am not one for food trucks but Yeyo’s and Crepes Paulette are two worth trying out!

 

The weather has been unusually comfortable for it being July so we are headed over to our best friends house tonight to meet up with some couples and to let the kiddos run wild. I hate showing up empty handed so of course I immediately went to pinterest for a fun summer dessert. I will admit that I am not one for making up recipes. If it is already pretty and perfect why change it? I do sometimes adapt the decorations to fit the limited time I have to spend though.

 

A summer cookout deserves a pretty Pink Lemonade Cupcake. I did taste test these beauties and the cupcake itself was soft and spongy. The icing had a hint of that refreshing summertime pink lemonade which compliments the cake perfectly. I am extremely satisfied with how they turned out.

 

Cupcakes
PINKCUPCAKES-3 PINKCUPCAKES-4 PINKCUPCAKES-5 PINKCUPCAKES-6

 

I will list the recipe below with the few tweaks I made but you can see the original  recipe and post HERE.

What you need:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Buttercream:
1 ½ sticks, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate, from frozen concentrate – The powered sugar made my icing a little thick so I used  8 TBSP.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
milk or half and half, as needed

How it comes to life:

For Cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin/cupcake tins with paper or foil liners. Mine actually made 15 cupcakes so I had to use two pans.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. I usually use an ice cream scoop for ease. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

For buttercream:
Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and add the pink lemonade concentrate, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat on lowest speed until all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 more minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. If the icing is too thick add a bit of milk or half and half, if too thin add a bit more powdered sugar. I added a few drops of pink food coloring to make the pink a little brighter.

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Pulled Chicken Sliders

Summer is that time of the year for families to get together,  play poolside, and time to put away your soup recipes.

I don’t know about you all but it seems like our friends and family use any excuse to get together during the summer months. We also start using those two lovely words POT LUCK. When it is your turn to host, I found a recipe that will feed the masses and pretty much takes the hassle away from you enjoying the fun along with your guests. One small note before you go out and buy your ingredients. The prep for this meal MUST be done 24 hours ahead of time. 

What you need: 

Brine: 

  • 1  1/2 qt. water (6 cups of water)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Chicken:

How it comes to life: 

You start with the brine ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the water, brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, garlic, and dried thyme until the sugar is dissolved. Reserve 1 cup of the brine and place it in the refrigerator.

Place the chicken into a large ziploc bag. Add the remaining brine to coat the chicken. Seal the bag and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. I took the bag out a few times within the course of the 24 hours and shook it up a bit so that all of the chicken was nicely marinated.

Once the 24 hours has passed take the chicken out of the bag and place it in a crock pot. Discard the remaining brine still left in the ziploc. Add the reserved cup of brine and 1/3 cup liquid smoke. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is tender.

Crock Pot Chicken

Remove the chicken and on a place shred with two forks. Discard the remaining juice from the pot. Return the chicken to the pot and add in the BBQ sauce. Feel free to add more if it is too dry.

BBQ Chicken

Serve on a kaiser bun.

In the magazine it suggests topping the meat with what they call “Freezer Slaw”. I tried it and it was delicious but probably not for everyone. If you want to try the slaw here is the recipe they gave. I made this the night before as well.

Slaw

What you need:

  • 1 head of cabbage shredded OR a bag of shredded cabbage mix
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot shredded (if you are not using the mixed cabbage)

How it comes to life:

Place cabbage in a bowl and toss with salt. Let stand for an hour. Drain remaining liquid.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed. Bring to a boil dissolving the sugar. Cook 1 minute. Remove from hear and cool.

Add peppers and carrots if necessary. Add dressing and toss. Place in a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator.

Adapted from Taste of Home magazine – April 2013 issue

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