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.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Entertaining with kids and food can be a challenge. You spend hours and hours fixing a meal to impress. Then the kids refuse eating what you make. After thirty minutes of telling them they will eat it or they will be hungry later you finally give in and throw some chicken nuggets on so that you can enjoy your now cold meal.

Instead of the above happening I gave in and decided on a pizza night with friends. I am not against frozen pizza or take out but there is something about homemade pizza that is just irresistible no matter your audience. Having never made dough from scratch I had to do some research online. I adapted this recipe from none other than Emeril Lagasse. Although it is probably safe to say that he does it much better!

What you need:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees – warm to touch on the wrist – if the water is too hot it can kill the yeast)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2  3/4 cups flour for the dough + approximately 1/4 cup for the surface to knead the dough
  • Toppings

How it comes to life:

  • Combine yeast, water, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl. Stir approximately five minutes. Using a Kitchenaid mixer with a hook slowly add in the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Increase to medium speed until a ball starts to form. The dough should not be sticky or crumble. If it is sticky add a dash of flour. If it crumbles add a touch of water.
  • Place the dough ball on a lightly floured and begin to knead until the dough is smooth.

Pizza dough

  • Place the dough into a large bowl and lightly coat with oil. turn the dough over to ensure you coat the entire thing. Cover it with a damp towel and set it in a warm place to rise. I let mine rise a little over an hour.
  • While this dough was rising I did the above steps again and made a second batch.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. My pizza stone is Pampered Chef and I love it!

Pizza Dough

  • Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into two. Roll each into a ball and place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and cover one more time with a damp towel. Let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  • You have the option of making two small pizzas or combining the dough and making one large. I chose to make the large.
  • Shape the dough on a lightly floured surface and then transfer to the hot pizza stone.
Now make it fun!
Basil
Pizza Toppings
Pizza Topping
Pizza One – our guests are a little more traditional with their ingredients
  • Pepperoni
  • Ground sausage – cooked and crumbled
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Tomato pizza sauce

dashoflovely.blog.pizza.©2013MWBphoto-8

Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza

Pizza Two – for Miles & I

  • Fresh mozzarella balls
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Bell peppers
  • Alfredo & pesto sauce

Chicken Pizza

It ended up being a great night. Parents happy. Kids happy. SUCCESS!!

Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette

From the wonderfully organized recipe index to the beautifully shot meals I have a great sense of joy when I open up my mailbox and there is a new issue of Food Network Magazine. I am bad about looking at all of the recipes with good intention of one day serving them to my family but in reality I just ended up with stacks of magazines. As of recent I have decided that when I get inspired by something I see I rip it out and add it to the ever-growing pile of recipes. With that said, I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay’s Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe inside the April 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine.

I paired this side with the Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers for two reasons. One, you need fries with burgers. Two, I could prepare them the night before. Since they are baked they don’t have that greasy fried food taste but are full of flavor.

dashoflovely.blog.blackbeanburger.©2013MWBphoto-15

What you need:

6 medium Yukon Golden Potatoes (you could do more or less to fit your needs)

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5  tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lemon concentrate if you don’t have fresh lemons

1/2 shallot

2 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup fresh parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

How it comes to life:

Cut the potatoes up into wedge-shaped pieces. Don’t make them too thick so they cook through. After rinsing the potatoes I put them in a large pot of water and set them in the refrigerator over night so that when I got home from work they were ready to go. Putting them in the refrigerator is not necessary if you are going to cook them the same night. NOTE: Putting potatoes covered in water in the refrigerator keeps the potatoes from turning brown.

Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the potatoes from the refrigerator, drain the water, and dry the potatoes off. Place them in a large bowl.

Place the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, oregano and parsley into a food processor. Pulse until you have a delicious smooth sauce.

Pour half of the sauce mixture onto the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are lightly coated. Evenly spread the potatoes onto a greased cookie sheet. Roast the potatoes for approximately an hour turning a few times to get both sides golden brown. If you like crispier fries cook them longer. If you like them soft it may take less than an hour. Salt and pepper as desired. NOTE: Make sure you carefully flip the potatoes so that they do not fall apart.

Divide potatoes onto serving plates and then drizzle with the leftover sauce.

Pairing suggestion: 

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger

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