Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer is Here {Weekend Pics & Summer Recipes}

According to the heat index here in Austin and all the time we have been spending in the water lately, I would say that summer is officially here. At the moment Lily is taking one long nap after our play group met for pizza and pool time this afternoon. We are both happier and a little tanner after a few hours of fun in the sun.

Our first time in the pool was Sunday, and here are a couple terrible Iphone pics I snapped of Lily:

She really enjoys getting in and out of the kiddie pool by herself. Such an independent little thing.

Earlier that same day, she rode in our neighborhood Memorial Day parade in a wagon that her cousins had decorated for her.
Lily & her cousin Nathan

Lily in the parade with her cousins and her dad
It was a short parade, around the block actually, but she enjoyed the ride and the attention. Afterward the family came back over to our house for watermelon and pink lemonade. So appropriate for summer!

And speaking of summer treats, I made some tasty zucchini cupcakes earlier this week.

Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe
adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 zucchini coarsely grated (1 cup)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.
In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, egg, milk and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. 

Lily LOVED them! 

I wished I had snapped a pretty picture of them frosted, but I didn't. My frosting consistency was a little off anyway. I used something close to this recipe adding a little more butter and sugar, which led to the consistency issues...

Vanilla Frosting

1 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a bowl, with a mixer on low speed, beat butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and salt until blended. Add milk and vanilla, beat until blended, then add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and beat frosting until fluffy and smooth.

And then, last night I made these...
What says summer more than Big Fat Bacon Sliders? Courtesy of your favorite & mine, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. My husband devoured them and so did I. Do yourself a favor and add them to the menu plan, STAT

Can't wait to announce the giveaway winner tomorrow morning and show you some fun Friday Favorites!
Love, M

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