Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just a little grace.

I apologize for leaving you all hanging yesterday. I know I promised to fill you in on my fun filled Tuesday night, but yesterday was a busy day. A really busy day. A day full of errands and business meetings and dance classes. And by "business meetings" I mean "baking brownies." Keep that in mind for the future.

The Tuesday night stories are still on hold for now though. For one, I'm not on my personal computer so I have no pictures to share with you. And secondly, although the night was a blast, I really don't have much to report. But I do have alot to say about brownies and coffee cake, so I promise that later today (when I'm not at work) I will tell you all about those two very delicious things. And maybe I'll even throw in some chocolate buttercream icing just for shits and giggles. But for now, here's some........GRACE!
1. Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils. (And yes, I'm thankful for pencils.)
2. Lochers. #9 in the collection is hilarious!
3. Butterscotch and chocolate.
4. Williams-Sonoma catalog.
5. Test #2 of the CPA exam. Boyfriend, I'm sending "good luck" thoughts your way all day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Take me to the river, drop me in the water.

Everyone should be glad to know that I made it back from Fort Worth in one piece. The drive down might have been my favorite part of the trip. That may sound weird, but when you rarely spend more than an hour or two alone every week, it's a nice treat to have a three hour car ride to spend some time with yourself. And hey, I've always been a fan of a good road trip. I loaded up my iPod with some new tunes and rocked out the whole drive down. I got a lot done on the drive too. I thought up about 17 new recipes to try, decided that the green Life Savers are not in fact better than the blue ones like I previously thought, and I think I may have found my calling as a one-woman Talking Heads cover band. Take Me to the River is going to be my first single. I also realized that I'm insanely jealous that I will never be as cool as Jenny Lewis. From Troop Beverly Hills to ridiculously talented red-haired rocker chick? It doesn't get much cooler than that.

While Fort Worth was great, I was still semi-heart broken all weekend that not only was I missing out on the NMF2, but my brother was in town from L.A. and I wasn't there to see him. Lucky for me he stayed until Monday afternoon, which meant we got to have two deliciously delicious meals together. Sunday night we went to Rococo with the family, and it was everything a Sunday night dinner should be. The steaks were cooked to perfection, the mashed potatoes were fluffy and creamy, and my shrimp scampi was extra buttery, which means it was extra delicious. Add in plenty of wine and conversation, and you get a wonderful evening. Oh. And my grandma told us all about her wild newlywed days when she and my grandad frequented strip clubs on a semi-regular basis. Just another typical night out with my family!

Monday was The Wedge. Yum yum yummy. Margherita Pizza, Spinach salad, flatbread, and mom's build your own with marinara, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella and mortadella. Hmmm...I'm hungry again.

While we're on the subject of food, I ate sushi last night and might have overdosed on seaweed salad and ginger, but it was totally worth it. I also made some yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing, which only confirmed the fact that I can't do anything in the kitchen (even the tiniest of tasks) without making a huge mess. But despite my frustrations, and the mess, the cupcakes turned out to be pretty good and looked snazzy too, thanks to my new blue sugar sprinkles courtesy of my mom. The recipe I used for the icing was easy, chocolaty and delicious, but it needs some tweaking so I'll wait and post it later. I'll also wait to tell you about what I'm up to tonight. I have a feeling you will be jealous, and I'd rather wait until I have all the pictures and stories so you can get the full experience. Stay tuned!

Grace!
1. Boyfriend for loving to dance at wedding receptions. He looked very daper in his tux and tails.
2. Room service at 2am.
3. David Byrne, Jenny Lewis, Peter Bjorn and John, Brandon Flowers, Ray LaMontagne, and various other artists. You all rocked my road trip!
4. All the people who worked so hard (that means you Jon and Nat!) at the NMF2. I heard it was amazing!!!!
5. Sushi dates with Biz.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Food, Martha, and fun things to do.

If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. Or sushi. With pasta and mashed potatoes on the side. And lemon ricotta cookies for dessert. Okay, never mind. I could never pick only one food for the rest of my life. I always hate those hypothetical questions like "If you could take only 3 items with you on a deserted island, what would you take?" If I were to randomly find myself on a deserted island, I doubt I would have had time to think about the three things I would take with me. And even if I did, one of them would have to be sunscreen because I'm the whitest girl in America and am as red as a lobster in about 2.5 minutes, so that right there takes away one item. This is why I hate that game. But the food questions are always the worst because they are the hardest. I don't even know what my favorite food is. It changes everyday. Some days I'm feeling more fancy and gourmet and might say that escargot and pate would be my ideal last meal. While other days I'm feeling a little more casual and a cheeseburger and fries would do the trick. How am I supposed to know what I would actually choose for my last meal? I don't know what mood I'll be in that day. Geeze.

Anyway, I was reading the May issue of Martha Stewart Living, and saw a menu so beautiful and delicious, that it just might be what I ask for as my last meal should I ever find myself in that position. I haven't even eaten any of the food featured in the article, but it looks so good that I'm actually upset about going out of town this weekend because I'd much rather stay at home and make everything on the menu. Which would be three pizzas and 4 or 5 appetizers.
Oh. My. God. That pizza on the right actually has lemon slices on it. Lemon on pizza. Why didn't I think of that? And don't even get my started on those tomatoes.

I can't wait to dive into all this yumminess next week. I'm going to be dreaming of it all weekend. I'm definitely going to need someone to help me eat all of it too, because boyfriend won't have anything to do with those tomatoes, so if you're interested, let me know! But if you are wanting to sample the menu for yourselves before I get back, check it out on Martha's website. The whole menu is listed on there.

On a side note, I'm not really the biggest Martha Stewart fan. Sure she's crafty and all, but something about her just rubs me the wrong way. But dang, the woman can cook!

I hope everyone has a good weekend! I'll be celebrating a happy wedding in Fort Worth!

Also, if you're in the OKC/Norman area on Saturday, don't forget to go to the Norman Music Festival! It's free and open to the public. Starts at 11:00am and goes through midnight! I'm dyyyying to be there, but alas, I'll be missing it again. Good thing for me they are also airing it live on Wimgo.com so I'll have something to keep me entertained during the ceremony. Which also means that none of you will be missing out on it either. Here's a little preview of what you'll get to hear at the festival. So unless you're studying for finals or entertaining in-laws, you really have no excuse not to be there!! Keep OK cool and support local entertainment!

One more thing, then I'm done. I promise.
Sunday is the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, and even though I couldn't run a marathon to save my life, my brother, his wife and kids are all participating. Bro is running the half, the kids are finishing up a kids run, and my sis in law (the real stud of the family) is going all out and running the full marathon. Since I can't be there to support them, or any of the other runners, I hope all of you can make it out in my place. And if not for me, do it for all the people who were personally affected by the OKC bombing 14 years ago.

Grrrrrace!
1. Money in my pocket.
2. Iced skinny vanilla lattes.
3. The Arts Festival
4. Gelato
5. Martha Stewart. But just this once.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A cure for the Tuesday blues.

There was really only one word for my mood yesterday, and that was GRUMPY. Tuesday was just not my day. Did you know that realizing you've lost your car keys exactly 3 minutes before you leave for work is not the ideal way to start the day? Nor is having to force your sick boyfriend out of bed to take you to work. He was less than thrilled about the situation, especially since my car was parked behind his in the driveway. Oops. But I made it. And keys were later found. But still, my mood had not picked up at all. But when I was suddenly blessed with a two hour lunch break, things started to look up. The sun shone a little brighter, and I suddenly had hopes that maybe this Tuesday wasn't so bad after all. And really, how can you be in a bad mood when you go home for lunch and see this smiling face??



I was feeling better already. Then I walked into the laundry room to find mom giving Billy a bath, which in my opinion is one of the sillier looking things in life.


Have you ever seen what a Cavalier does after a bath? I don't know if all dogs do this, but both of the Cavs in my life have always totally spazed out after a bath. They roll around on the floor, fling their little bodies onto every piece of furniture, and basically have what my family likes to call a "one dog party."

Here's Billy having a party on the couch. He fell off about 7 times. And I was laughing so hard I could barely speak. What a weird little dog.

Anyway, I left my mom's house feeling very optimistic. It's amazing what a few hours at home with mom and a few crazy dogs will do for your mood. Not that I was thrilled with going back to work, but what else would I be doing on a Tuesday afternoon?


When I got back to work, this is what I found.

These are our geese. They live around the building during the spring, and I haven't seen them in a few weeks and was getting worried that they'd left us for a cushier building. Maybe a building who's parking lot had more potholes full of water for them to play in. Or less children running in and out to chase them around. Even though they return to our building year after year, I was just sure they had tired of us and moved on. But really, they were off making babies. And yesterday, I found them and their babies waddling across the parking lot. Aren't they the cutest things?? How could I not feel good after seeing that?

After spotting the geese, my bad mood had totally lifted. The afternoon flew by, I got off work early, and I went to Zumba class with Biz. It turned out to be a pretty perfect Tuesday afternoon. And have you ever done Zumba?? There is absolutely no way to be even the slightest bit grumpy after a class like that. I salsa-ed, ramba-ed, and shook my booty like nobody's business. And then I came home and made a surprisingly delicious dinner with boyfriend.

I say "surprisingly delicious" because we had little on hand, and basically just threw a bunch of stuff in a bowl, with no idea how any of it would taste. Not only did it look pretty great, it actually tasted pretty great too.

I would give you a recipe for this, but there's really not much to say. I threw some chicken breasts in a bowl, poked a bunch of holes in them, dumped some Italian dressing in there and let them sit a few minutes. After cooking those until they were nice and brown (and not completely overdone as per usual, shocker!), we put them on top of some generously buttered pasta, added some carrots, snow peas, cubed cheese and parsley and tossed it all together. I added a little more Italian dressing and parm cheese and it was pretty dang delish. Sort of like a warm pasta salad. And it finally proved to boyfriend that you really can make something yummy out of all the random scraps you find in your fridge.

Anyway, I hope all of you had a happy Tuesday. And if it wasn't happy, I hope today is better. And remember, today is Earth Day, and if you're in OK, it's going to be summer like weather, so get outside and plant something. Or take out all your recycling. Or call a friend and carpool to work. Whatever you do, keep it Earth friendly. =)


Graces.
1. Paul Frank pajama pants.
2. Blueberry yogurt.
3. DayQuil and Robitussin for sick boyfriends.
4. Zumba class...and my free month of Jazzercise
5. Having a friend back from the island!


I apologize for the randomness of this post. I realize none of it makes sense or really has anything to do with anything. But all of these things made me happy yesterday, and I thought that if they had that effect on me, they might have the same on you. Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I made a mistake...

Yesterday was a very important day. And no, I'm not talking about Tax Day, although that is important, but I'm talking about Ty's birthday!! And I totally forgot about it. Shame on me.

So in a vain attempt to make up for my inexcusable behavior, I'm wishing Ty a late, but very happy, birthday here in Wallycado land! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TY!!!!

In case you all don't know who Ty is, he's boyfriend's cousin, best friend, and partner in crime. Make that crimes with an s. He's also one of my favorite peeps in the world, a frequent travelling companion, and someone who can always always bring a smile to my face. But only when he's "this tall." Inside joke, anyone?? Anyway, Ty, I apologize whole-heartedly for not acknowledging your birthday yesterday. But just think of it this way, now that I've waited until today to celebrate you, it's like you have two birthdays in a row! And you know that birthdays technically last at least a week, or maybe even a month if you think you deserve it. So pretend like it's your 21st birthday and have a few shots for me!

In totally unrelated news, I bought some chocolate milk today for the first time in about four years. I don't know what came over me, but I really needed that chocolate milk. So that means that today I've eaten: 3 lemon ricotta cookies, an embarrassing amount of cheese, a handful of peanuts, a mini bag of chex mix, half a bag of skittles, 4 starburst, and a tall glass of chocolate milk. Superb.


Grace.....
1. Apple movie trailers.
2. The ridiculously friendly Asian lady at the wine store. Every time I walk in she says "Hey, lady!"
3. Endodontic Associates for bringing us a huge basket of snacks today.
4. I love Gilmore Girl reruns and I'm not afraid to admit it!
5. Rilo Kiley

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I make a lot of cookies. It's no secret to anyone that I love the sweet stuff. But I really like making cookies more than I like eating them, which has become a slight problem for my family because I make cookies about three times a week and I just leave them in mom's kitchen to be eaten by everyone else but me. Sure, I'll have a taste of each one I make, but half the time I don't even know if they really taste that good until someone tells me. But then there are these lemon ricotta cookies. I love them. I love them so much, I might even say that they're my favorite cookie, and that's saying alot. I had almost forgotten about them completely until I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for them. And when I get a hankering for something, I have to have it, and I have to have it soon. So I ran up to the store for some ricotta and lemons, and now, three cookies later, I'm completely satisfied. Yum yum yummy. There's really no other way to describe these cookies.

Have you ever had ricotta cheese? It looks sort of like smooth cottage cheese, but the comparisons stop there. It doesn't taste like much on it's own, in fact it's downright bland is what it is. But it does something to these cookies that make them so crazy delicious, they're like a drug. They are really soft and chewy and have an almost cake like texture. So if you've never used ricotta, or just don't like it, try this recipe anyway. I promise you won't be sorry. These things are seriously delicious.

I really wish I could claim this recipe as my own, but since I wouldn't have any clue on how to make a cookie without a recipe, I can't. I got this from the always wonderful Giada. Look it up on the Food Network website for a printable recipe.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Ingredients
Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (please don't even think about using "light" or "fat free" ricotta...these are cookies, not diet food)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cookies:
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

I had some seriously humongous lemons, so I only used about 3/4 of the lemon zest from one lemon, and my cookies turned out to have the perfect amount of lemony flavor. But if you're really into lemon, go ahead and add as much zest as you want. I also ate two cookies before I got around to topping them with the glaze, and they were pretty dang delicious. But the glaze really makes them stand out, so don't skimp.

Now hurry off to the store for ricotta and lemons and get to baking. You need these cookies in your life. Seriously.

Enjoy!!
Grace.
1. A fully charged camera/phone/ipod/what-have-you
2. ABC.com for having all seasons of "Lost" available to watch for free.
3. Dry roasted peanuts.
4. "Never Ending Song of Love" by Delaney and Bonnie
5. Clean, dry, and folded laundry.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Books, books, books

One of my favorite gifts to receive is a book. Especially a book that feels like it was handpicked just for me. Books are also my favorite gifts to give, which is why everyone in my family got books from me last year for Christmas. It definitely made Christmas shopping much easier since I got it all done in one place. I love finding just the perfect book for everyone in my family, which is somewhat of a task considering that they each have wildly different tastes in reading. But their differences in taste only makes the search that much more fun because I find myself among books I may never have stumbled upon on my own. My big brother prefers ancient Rome, U.S. History, and true crime stories, while my other big brother prefers biographies of business moguls, do-it-yourself millionaires, and anyone with advice on getting ahead. My little bro will read pretty much anything that comes his way and will read it with vigor. He loves biographies and autobiographies of spiritual leaders, passionate musicians, and anyone who has made an effort to better the world through art, prayer, peace, or love. But like I said, he'll read it all. Mom likes cookbooks and best sellers; dad likes "the great ones" of literature. I have no idea where I fit in in all of this, because I like a little bit of everything. I do know that when my sis-in-law tells me about a books she loves, I immediately go out and buy it.

I only have one problem with my love of books: I always want to read 17 books at once, often put one down before I start the next, and can't help but to buy at least three new ones before I've gotten to the next three on my list. Okay, so that's more than one problem, but you know what I mean.

I also have a problem when trying to get to my point: I talk incessantly about nothing before I ever get there. But don't worry...I'm there!

I was lucky enough to get a bunch of books for my birthday. And even though well over a month has passed, I'm just now getting around to telling you all about the ones that I'm most excited about. If I could just finish up the book I'm reading now, I could get to these little gems....

My best friend Meesh gave me this book,
and the personal inscription she wrote inside the cover makes me giggle with delight over the likeness of our souls. And it guarantees to be on my bookshelves forever, even though I haven't even cracked it open yet. This is what I was talking about with that whole "handpicked just for me" sentiment from earlier.


My other best friend, Lize (like Size, but with an L), gave me this little book:
Another "handpicked just for me" book written by the wife of the old minister at the church we've both gone to our whole lives. LBC knows me better than almost anyone else does, and any book she suggests I read, I read because, like many other things, our taste in books is almost identical. She's also an amazing writer with a vivid imagination and is really pretty. And yes, her prettiness adds to her awesomeness...but only in her case. =)

One of my aunts gave me this book,
which I've been absolutely dying to dig my nose into ever since I read about it on the author's blog, Orangette. Please, please read her blog. This book is part memoir, part cookbook and, if it's anything like her blog, is beautifully written. And if all of her recipes are as delicious as her chocolate cake, this definitely won't be the last I have to say about her. She's also from OKC and a former Cyclone, so what's not to love?
Anyway, these are the books I've got stacked up on my "to read" pile. Also in that pile, is For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago by Simon Batz, Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien, and the remaining four books in the Outlander series. What's in your pile??
Grace:
1. Google maps.
2. Barnes and Noble lunch breaks.
3. Friends who really "get" me.
4. Happy hour.
5. Phase 10

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Little Beauties...

So I've been sick for the past few days, and am just now feeling like I'm on my way back to my normal self. I may even bake some banana bread later today, that's how good I'm feeling. And I've got some brown bananas that need to be used. But that's not really what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about children's beauty pageants. I just saw something on TV about a documentary that VH1 will be showing called Little Beauties:Ultimate Kiddie Queen Showdown. So now I have one more reason to stop watching VH1. I started giving up on them a few years ago when they introduced us to Flava Flav and Rock of Love and other truly awful television shows such as that. But this little beauty queen thing really takes the cake. This is actually what it says about the show on their website, "This documentary reveals the humor and love behind an American tradition; the always colorful characters on the pageant circuit; and the "sparkle" it takes to win a crown." Seriously? The "humor and love" behind the pageant? Last time I checked, humor and love had nothing to do with it. What's humorous about a mother making her 6 year old daughter get a spray tan and fake teeth? What's so loving about her yelling at her daughter because she's forgotten to put on an extra layer of mascara? Or because she is 6 and has to stuff her bra? These women truly disgust me. Watching a little girl stand on stage and start crying because her mother is yelling at her for facing the wrong direction is not exactly my idea of entertainment. And having a little girl be described as "The Flirt" isn't entertainment to me either. When did little girls become unattractive for having sweet, pale skin and a few gaps in their smile where they'd lost a few teeth? When did we decide that they're innocent voices weren't sweet enough so we have to hire voice coaches to teach them to do things their voices aren't capable of yet? And when did all of this become okay to the general public? I've never been a fan of children's beauty pageants. I don't think one child should be deemed better than the rest based solely on looks. But it seems to me that these beauty pageants went from something somewhat light-hearted and good natured, to something truly disturbing. The amount of makeup these children wear is disturbing enough. Just look at their faces on the VH1 website. You can't even tell that they are children! Now, I know I'm not a mother, and I've never been in a beauty pageant, so maybe there's something here that I'm missing. But I do know that every time I see something on TV about pageant moms, or the pageants in general, I get so deeply upset about it that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Sort of like the feeling I get when I catch sight of "Wife Swap." I just can't stand it. Anyway, I just had to get that out. I'm sorry if any of you are pageant enthusiasts, but they just aren't for me.

Grace:
1. Having a mom who has always taught me that beauty isn't something to be judged by.
2. Photoshop....even though I don't know how to use it yet.
3. Brothers, especially mine.
4. Robert Downy, Jr.
5. Yoga pants

Friday, April 3, 2009

Attack of the Neon Food Coloring

Remember when I told you all about the purple butter? Well, the neon food coloring has struck again. This time, the victim was a big, giant bowl of pasta. Have you ever seen neon pink pasta? It's a very interesting sight. A sight that I don't think you all should be deprived of. So here it is!

Ahhhhhh!!!!

This was supposed to be my April Fool's Day joke on boyfriend, but he decided to play video games with his buddies instead, so the prank had to wait til Thursday. Is it weird that he was barely phased at all when I served him pink pasta? It was like he expected it, which I guess isn't that strange. I tend to offer up unusual things in the kitchen from time to time, but never anything like this. I had to "practice" on a mini bowl of pasta first. It was bright blue. I mean, bright blue. It was also hilarious, and sort of unappetizing. But pink pasta? Delicious!



As funky as it looks, this really did turn out to be a wonderfully delicious bowl of pasta. It was basically Pasta Aglio e Olio, which is just an olive oil, garlic and red pepper flake sauce, but I modified it a bit. I had some anchovy paste that I was anxious to use, so I added a tiny bit of that in there, and it really added a subtle nutty taste. I loved it. And boyfriend did too, which is always nice. And P.S., don't tell him about the anchovy paste. =)

Annie's Neon Pink Pasta Aglio e Olio:
Boil enough water for 1 lb of spaghetti. Add LOTS of food coloring to the water, right before you dump in the pasta. While the pasta cooks (and soaks up the color), heat 1/2 c. of olive oil (or a tiny bit more if you spill like I did) and add a squirt of anchovy paste, about 1/2 tsp., 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Or more if you're feeling feisty. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, but be careful not to burn! I cooked it on low heat, and still had to take it off the heat a few times so it wouldn't burn. When the pasta is done, reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water, then drain. Add a bunch of chopped parsley to the sauce, then toss with the pasta. Add more parsley on top and lots and lots of parmesan cheese. Bon appetit!!

Graces:
1. Boyfriend, for eating my pink spaghetti. Sevol x Pink Pasta!!
2. Splenda
3. Jamie Fraser...Swoon!
4. Hazelnut coffee
5. Warheads...the super sour kind.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Up To No Good

Happy April Fool's Day!! Did you pull and pranks on anyone? Or were you played the fool? I decided to treat today just like any other holiday, which means I baked cupcakes. Aren't they pretty?

This was my first time to make buttercream icing and I don't know why I haven't done it before. It was so simple and delicious. Now I know why my dad loves it so much. I guess I've never really wanted to make it because I've never really liked it. I'm more of a cream cheese icing girl. And I've never really liked "store bought" icing, no matter where it's from. When I was little, I wouldn't even touch a cake if it was store bought. I was a cake snob. Little did I know that my grandma was actually making me yellow cake from a box with chocolate icing from a can. I thought it was made from scratch! That sneaky grandma, I'm gonna have to have a few words with her.

And back to my point....what's a holiday without some treats? I decided to whip up some cupcakes. I knew I'd be seeing my niece and nephew today, so I thought I'd have a little fun with it, especially since it's April Fool's Day!

So look what I did...

I swirled some food coloring into the unbaked white cake so there would be a little surprise in each one. I didn't really know what would happen, but when I took them out of the oven they were tie dyed and bright and colorful and psychedelic. Sweet!

Aren't they fun?! I love the one on the left. It reminded me of a peppermint and Christmas.
The only thing I'll do differently next time is fill the cupcake liners halfway, then drop in some food coloring, and add more batter. That way the colorful swirls will go all through the cupcake, instead of just the tops, like these turned out. And I'll definitely have to try out my neon food coloring next time as well.
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Anyway, next time you're baking up a batch of white or vanilla cake or cupcakes, add a little fun to it and swirl in some food coloring. And make sure to top them off with white icing. No one will even suspect you were up to something.

For the cupcakes:
1 box of Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix
(Very creative, I know. But dang, it was good!)
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Icing:
1 cup softened butter. (two sticks)
3 cups powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. milk
Place butter in bowl, and beat on low speed until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and milk and blend until smooth. Icing will be thick. If you want it to be thinner, add more milk by the tsp. until desired consistency. I personally like it thick becasue it's easier to use. I think the amount of powdered sugar can be adjusted to your taste too. I may use a little less next time, but I'll let you know after my dad has one tomorrow. He's the official judge of all things buttercream, so I'll let you know what he says. Enjoy!
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Grace:
1. My new computer!! It's about time I have one of my own.
2. Cupcake liners in primary colors.
3. Earbuds to drown out the music and noise at K's dance studio.
4. ANTM. It's a guilty pleasure.
5. Twizzlers. Yum.