Monday, July 2, 2012

Panicked? Don't!

  Happy Independence "WEEK"

Okay, Krista is having some internet problems, so this is a repost, but what a fabulous one!

Let freedom ring!

From Krista:

If you're like me and you had a very busy week, you're drinking your morning coffee or tea and wishing you had planned better.  Where did the weekend go?  And now you're supposed to bring a dish to a cookout or at least do something more than order in pizza.  

So today I'm offering some links to great barbecue recipes, sides, a luscious ice cream dessert, and a cupcake recipe that you can make with items you probably have in your fridge and pantry.  

Kale Salad
from Wendy Watson


Southern-Style Potato Salad
from Riley Adams

Barley, Red Pepper, & Corn Salad, from Krista Davis

Barbecue and Blue, an entire barbecue dinner menu from Avery Aames


Coffee-Marinated Steak and menu suggestions from
Cleo Coyle

Spatchcocked Chicken from Sheila Connolly

Luscious Mocha Ice Cream Torte from Mary Jane Maffini

Woohoo!  What a selection!  But let's say you're missing ingredients for most of those recipes.  Your family will go for hot dogs and burgers, but a quick dessert would be helpful.

You know those interviews where they say "name three things that are in your refrigerator right now?"  I love those!  Chances are that not everyone has cream cheese, or heavy cream, or lemons.  Maybe you do!  But I went with basics, hoping to offer a recipe that wouldn't force you to take a trip to the grocery store.  These are easy cupcakes to make and they are as vanilla as they come -- in the hope you'll have the ingredients on hand.  You can use any kind of milk.  I used nonfat because that's what I had.  Sugar, butter, flour, vanilla -- is it beginning to sound do-able?  This makes 12 yellow cupcakes with a cake type crumb. 
Vanilla Cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional: blueberries and/or strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  If you don't have liners, butter and flour the cupcake pan.

Cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the salt and baking powder and mix well.  Add the flour and milk, alternating them.  Add the vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

IF you have blueberries, poke one blueberry in the middle of each cupcake for fun.

Bake 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together the butter, sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla.  Add remaining milk one teaspoon at a time until you have reached a nice spreading consistency.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.

IF you have blueberries and/or strawberries and/or raspberries, use them to achieve a July 4th red, white, and blue look.  If you don't have berries, that's okay, too.  Place them on a blue and white plate, or line a plate or a basket with a red or blue napkin.  If you only have a couple of berries, that's okay, too.  Mix them up, some with berries, some without.  They'll look festive no matter what you do!

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