Sunday, May 20, 2012

Memorial Day Layered Drinks

Can you believe Memorial Day is THIS WEEKEND?! 
Seriously, I thought April went fast, but May is flying by.

We're so excited for this weekend! 
Adam G. graduates from Dental school on Friday, 
(you might remember when he took his last round of boards?)
and then Friday night is the graduation party of the century! 
AND Kedron and her family are coming in to help celebrate 
(you remember her right? From some Barista Banter posts?).

So yes, big stuff coming up over here. And to make things even more festive, we are making these layered drinks to show our patriotic colors!

To make some too here's what you need:

The key is to get drinks that are like 30g of sugar for the bottom layer, 15g (ish) for the middle layer, and sugar free for the top layer.

We used:
Sobe Pina Colada drink (white)
Gatorade (Red)
G2 or another no sugar drink (blue)

***TIP: Go for the darker blue Gatorade, not the lighter. Learned that the hard way. The lighter one just ends up too light! So instead, we just used food coloring and water and it worked just fine. I guess that's more of the appropriate USA blue anyway***

Here's how to do it:

Start first, by putting a couple ice cubes at the bottom of your glass.

Then pour in your pina colada drink, just about 1/3 of the way, maybe less, since you'll be adding more ice.

Add the rest of the ice to the glass to fill it up completely.
Next SLOWLY pour in your red drink. It'll mix a little but it separates out again almost entirely.

Finally, SLOWLY pour in your blue drink.

Careful not to move it around too much before serving it to your guests, otherwise it'll mix.
This one took us a couple practices to get the proportions down so don't be discouraged if your first one goes awry.

Kids will love them, and adults will too! The best part is that you can tailor the colors to whatever you're doing: Christmas, a birthday party, the possibilities are endless really...

Happy Memorial Day weekend (coming up)! And thanks to any of you who have served or are currently serving. We're thankful for you!

How are you guys planning to celebrate Memorial Day this year?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dyed Coconut "Feather" Cups

A couple of weekends ago, Kirstin threw the world's best Angry Birds Birthday Party.
Seriously, everything was made into an angry bird (though, I've come to realize that most anything, given eyes, furrowed brows, and a beak can become and angry bird), but she did such a great job with it!

Here's the birthday boy making his angriest bird face...

When I asked to help, she gave me the drink table. I guess I should say this lightly, since she already had several ideas she wanted to do, so I just added to it, and helped execute.

My biggest contribution: "Feathered" cups for the Orange Juice  "Bird Nectar.

They were really fun to make, and added just a bit of excitement to an otherwise ordinary breakfast drink. 
Want to see how we made them?

Here's what you need:

shredded coconut
food coloring
a plastic bag that seals (one for each color you make)
plastic cups
white icing
plates for rimming

Here's how to do it:
First, we wanted the feathers to be different colors, since actual Angry Birds aren't just white. So pour some shredded coconut into a baggie.

Next add a couple drops of food coloring (you really don't need much, I just did two or three drops)

Shake. Shake. Shake.

Do this for all the different colors you need.

Next, pour each color coconut onto a plate, one for each color. 

Then scoop out a bit of icing. Try to put in about the diameter of your cups.

Dab the rim of your plastic cup into the icing, coating the whole thing.

Next, dab the now iced rim of the cup into the color coconut you wish. Coat completely.

Repeat this enough times so each guest has a rimmed cup and set them up on display before everyone arrives!

Cute, right? Who knew you could dye coconut? It's perfect for a bird themed party, or a bachelorette party, or any party where you want to add some coconut. 

Seriously, the combo of orange juice with vanilla and coconut was just delicious. I might start rimming my juice glass every morning... would that be ridiculous? 

Can you think of another use for coconut rimmed glasses? 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Diet Coke Days: Diet Coke Cupcakes

The only thing surprising about this recipe for diet coke cupcakes is that we haven't tried it sooner- diet coke cupcakes? Are you kidding me?

Even better, you can use any kind of diet soda and any kind of boxed cake mix, so the possibilities are endless.

Here's all you need to make these guys:

And then just make them according to the box:

We made Red Velvet ones with Cream Cheese Frosting....

And because it's a Weight Watchers recipe, they're practically guilt-free!

(we took them to Adam L's birthday party, because we thought they'd be the perfect counter-part to the Pabst Blue Ribbon cupcakes)

Have you tried these before? What kind of soda cupcakes sound good to you??


Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother’s day (and the inside track on kirstin, according to burke)

I thought it might be fun to interview Burke for Mother's Day- I spend more hours with Burke and Piper Jane than anyone else, so I thought he'd have some good "Kirstin inside track" for you. Here are his (funny!) answers-

Q- Burke, who is mama's best friend?

A- (points to himself) ME!

Q- What does daddy do for his job?

A- Works on people's teeth.

Q- What does mama do for her job?

A- Goes to the zoo. And makes lots of PB&Js for us. And goes to the museum.

Q- What do you want to be when you grow up?

A- A conductor. (Me- of music? Or of trains? Burke- Trains of course.)

Q- What should I be when I grow up?

A- A secret service agent. Or a ballerina.

Me- I think I've already missed the boat on both of those, buddy.

Burke- That's ok. Maybe Piper Jane can try one of them.

Q- What's your favorite thing about daddy?

A- Sometimes he lets me play on his iPhone. Or iPod. Or iPad.

Q- What's your favorite things about mama?

A- When you give me tickle kisses- they really tickle, you know.

Q- What does your best day look like?

A- Hmmm.... like a day when I can choose whatever I want? Well, we'd wake up and eat Cheerios. Then we'd go to the zoo. For lunch we'd have PB&J. And then we'd play in the backyard- no naps! And for dinner we'd have Chicken Fil A (aka Chick Fil A).

Q- What does mama's best day look like?

A- I already told you- Cheerios, zoo, PB&J. Weren't you listening?

Have I mentioned lately that Burke sure does make me laugh? I DO have some big non-PB&J-related dreams for today- a nap and the Med Salad from Noodles & Co. We'll see if either of those comes true.

If you have a chance to ask your Smoochies a couple of these questions today, I'd love to hear their responses! Happy Mother's Day friends (whether you're a mama or not)!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Cupcake

Remember that Adam L's birthday was just a few days ago? And we promised to share our beer cupcake receipe with you? Well today's the day!

We thought the perfect way to celebrate Aj's birthday was by making him Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Cupcakes with Beer Frosting.

Are you needing to make beer cupcakes to celebrate someone or something? Here's what you what to do:

I used this beer cake recipe-
1 yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla pudding
1 cup beer (I used Pabst Blue Ribbon)

1/4 vegetable oil
4 eggs
Mix all ingredients. Pour into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (check with a toothpick for done-ness)

Before frosting, I poked each cupcake several times with a fork and basted a little more beer on the top of the cupcake with a basting brush (saw that tip here).

And then for the frosting, I used this beer frosting recipe at Yummly.

1/2 cup softened butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (divided)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup beer (divided, again I used PBR) 
Mix butter, half of the sugar, cocoa, salt and half of the beer. After mixing well, add in the rest of the sugar and the rest of the beer. Pipe onto PBR cupcakes with a frosting bag.

Top with blue ribbon toppers and you have yourself the perfect birthday treat for any beer lover out there.

What do you think? Do foresee making these in the future? Any variations on it you can think of?