Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recipe 2 - Running Rum Runner Cupcakes

Some people think I have an obsession with cupcakes and I probably do. I think they are truly the perfect dessert because they are easily served, require no utensils or plates and provide endless decoration possibilities or can be personalized to suit individual party guests. You will see a lot of cupcake recipes show up in this blog but I am starting out with a tropical summer time flavored cupcake that was developed base on a drink that I was introduced to by my sister-in-law April. White cake mix isn’t my favorite cake flavor…but it is a great base to create unique flavors. I’ve never had a preference in cake mixes, but Christy swears by Duncan Heinz. RunNinG rUm RuNnEr cuPcaKes 1 White Cake Mix (add eggs as directed, water less 3 TBS and ½ the amount of oil) Coconut Milk (the other ½ of the full amount of oil) ¼ cup crushed pineapple drained 1 TBS dark rum or rum extract 1 TBS orange juice Mix all ingredients together well with a mixer and bake as directed. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Frosting: 1 can white frosting (I think whipped goes on easiest) 1 TBS Marciano cherry juice Mix the frosting and juice and then frost cupcakes.
Decorating: The best thing about cupcakes is that you can decorate them in so many different ways. Here are a few suggestions on decorating these Running Rum Runner Cupcakes. Dip cupcakes in coconut flakes Top with a Marciano cherry Top with a candied orange slice Dip cupcakes in sand colored sprinkles or sugar and put a cocktail umbrella in the top to resemble the beach Traveling Cowgirl Cooking Tip: People eat with their eyes first, purchase colorful or theme appropriate cupcake tin paper liners to entice your guests with their eyes before you knock their spurs off with flavor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recipe 1 - Not Your Grandmamma's Caprese

So the recipes that will appear in this blog may not be revolutionary, may not be the most rugged or the most classic, but they are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers and for the most part fun. I come from a line of great cooks (my mom still makes her wonderful pie crusts from scratch using lard, an art I have a hard time mastering, but have fun trying) and I don't claim to follow closely in their footsteps, but I do like to take twists on 'traditional' foods and make them my own. I'll also be featuring many of my friend's and family's highly requested dishes so you all can try them on your friends and family.
*Note: Much to my mother's dismay I rarely have exact measurements for some items, but I will do my best to put approximates for those who prefer an exact road map vs. turn left by the old white school across from the oak tree.*
Today's recipe hopefully will come in handy especially with the summer backyard parties. Caprese Skewer Appetizers 1 container of grape tomatoes, cut into half 1 package mozzarella (from the deli section), cut into cubes smaller than the grape tomato halves 10-15 fresh basil leaves, roll basil together and cut into small strips that look like ribbons 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar* 2 TBS olive oil* Place tomatoes, mozzarella and basil in a gallon size zip lock bag. Whisk together the vinegar and oil and add a pinch of salt (I use kosher because that is what all the people on food network do and it makes me feel cool) and pepper to taste. Pour the vinegar and oil mixture into the zip lock bag, seal and work around to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight...the longer it marinates the better the flavors. Skewer the tomatoes and mozzarella on small tooth picks (I like bartending picks with decorative tops) in any arrangement you choose and arrange on a pretty plate before serving to your guests. Traveling Cowgirl Cooking Tip: Try out new recipes on your coworkers...they are always excited for free food and you will know if the recipes were a failure because there will be food left in the breakroom at the end of the day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where did my ticket go?

So as I mentioned in the description of this blog there are things that happen to me that even the most creative novelists couldn't make up and an event that happened yesterday is a perfect example.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in May I headed out to Kauffman to watch the Royals (lose, I wonder if I'm a bad luck charm) with Jason and David and in true fashion we tailgated in preparation for the night. But to truly set the stage I would need to explain that it was replica stadium giveaway night, so since you can't go in and come back out...but they only give out replica stadiums to the first 20,000 people the boys had a plan to purchase cheap tickets use those to go in and grab our replicas and then go out and tailgate and use our original tickets to get back in for the actual game. A new concept to me, but it made sense so I went along with the plan.
So we have our tickets, we have our replicas and we are back at the truck tailgating. Jason's newest addition to our tailgating supplies is a Potty Tent. ( We made fun initially, but then realized that the Potty Tent is a pretty great idea. I had my 'good' ticket, a.k.a. ticket I didn't use to get my replica so ticket I needed to use to get into the game, in the back pocket of my jeans and after going into the Potty Tent I realized that I didn't have my good ticket anymore so we begin searching around the tailgate area for my ticket when David realizes that my ticket is in the Potty Tent Pee Bucket. Yes I lost the ticket I needed to get into the game out of the back pocket of my jeans in a bucket filled with urine. Now what does one do when their ticket is floating in a bucket of (with the help of Jason and David) dump out the bucket and pick up the ticket with already used cooking utensils, proceed to rinse off the ticket with a can of Miller Lite (that was part of a case that was left in a Wataburger parking lot in Dallas, TX that Jason and David picked up two weekends ago on a road trip) and leave the on the parking lot in the sun to dry out.
How does one get that ticket to the stadium without being completely grossed out about what you are carrying...put it in a zip lock baggie and have the nice ticket man scan you ticket through the baggie and then proceed to throw the baggie away immediately inside the gate.
This brings me to a good topic, I'm a planner and I have a Tailgate Supply Kit that is always ready to go when duty calls. I highly recommend this for anyone who goes on a lot of picnics, tailgates or weekends at the lake. I use a shallow Rubbermaid type container and always have the following items to be left in the kit at all times:
Aluminum Foil
Zip Lock Baggies
Paper Plates
Cooking and eating utensils
Clorox Wipes
Plastic Table cloth
Hand sanitizer
Long-handled lighter
Salt, pepper and/or seasoning salts
I am sure that you will have many other items that you will include in yours that you find important like my giant serving bowl or my collapsible plastic wine glass, but having a kit ready to go when your friends call with an extra ticket to the game will allow you to worry more about finding your lucky jersey and less about where that lighter is to start the grill.
Traveling Cowgirl Code:
Be prepared, you never know when you will need a zip lock baggie to hold a ticket that has been peed on and rinsed off with a beer picked up in a fast food restaurant parking lot.
HaPpY tRailS!