Melissa's Cuisine

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Funfetti Cupcakes

Add a few extra ingredients to a boxed cake mix for a delicious cupcake!  These cupcakes are bakery quality!
Melissa's Cuisine: Funfetti Cupcakes
My baby girl turned one yesterday.  How is that even possible?  It's incredible to think about how far we've come in the past year...

My little 8 pound 2 ounce baby is now a happy and healthy 20 pound girl.  She loves food and she loves to play.  I think she takes after her mommy :)  She is the happiest baby I've ever seen and so much fun to be around.

We celebrated her birthday a couple weeks ago with a big party full of family and friends.  We had a duck theme for her party because she loves her duckies!  You can read about her party here.  You're probably wondering why I would do a blue cupcake for a girl's birthday party, right?  Well, the intention was for the frosting to look like water and then I used white Sugar Pearls to look like bubbles to go along with the rubber duck theme.

However, things don't always go as planned.  The cupcakes themselves turned out amazing!  They were some of the best cupcakes I've ever had.  The frosting however, was a completely different story.  I decided to try a new recipe that looked amazing, but when I made it, it was anything but.  The frosting didn't set and I ended up with a bowl full of runny frosting.  I thought maybe I could salvage it, but after tasting it, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  I opted to go the foolproof route, and ran to the store for a can of frosting :)

Even with the frosting debacle, the cupcakes were a hit.  Everyone loved them, especially Summer, and that's what was important!

Melissa's Cuisine: Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

Makes 24

1 box (15.25 ounce) Funfetti cake mix
1 box (3.4 ounce) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs

1.  Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, vegetable oil, milk, sour cream, and eggs together in a large bowl until smooth.

2.  Line 2 12 count cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

3.  Pour the batter into each liner, filling about 3/4 of the way full.

4.  Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

Source: Deliciously Sprinkled

Monday, July 21, 2014

S'mores Candy

All the components of s'mores, graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows are combined in this sinfully delicious candy!
Melissa's Cuisine: S'mores Candy
I have to admit, this month's Secret Recipe Club reveal really snuck up on me!  I was excited when I got my assignment and almost immediately headed over to check out Desi's site, Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl.  I've been reading Desi's blog for a long time, and a couple months ago she made one of my recipes for reveal day.  I love to read about the restaurants she goes to and her recipes are delicious!

I picked out a few recipes that caught my eye...and then forgot about it.  Oops!  Then I got an email on Friday reminding me that my reveal day was on Monday!  I knew it was the 21st, I just hadn't realized that it was so close.

Anyway, I looked back over my list of recipes I'd chosen from Desi's blog, and was drawn back to these Graham Cracker S'mores Candies.  We are camping this week, and so my mind is on packing and camp food.  You have to have s'mores when you're camping, so this snack was absolutely perfect.

These candies are so easy to make.  They were done in about 15 minutes.  I could hardly wait for them to cool down enough so I could try one!  The caramel mixture seeps into the graham cracker transforming it into a delicious toffee.  Then the marshmallows and chocolate melt and get all gooey.  The only change I made was to use chocolate chips instead of pieces of a chocolate bar, because my chocolate bars were packed for camping. This candy is perfection!
Melissa's Cuisine: S'mores Candy
S'mores Candy

12 graham crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips

1.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the brown sugar and stir until the mixture comes to a boil, about 4-6 minutes.

2.  While the caramel is heating, line a baking sheet with foil.  Place graham crackers evenly on the foil, covering the bottom of the pan.

3.  Pour the caramel evenly over the crackers.

4.  Bake at 350 for 5-6 minutes, until bubbly.

5.  Remove from oven and top with marshmallows and then chocolate chips.

6.  Return to oven for 2-3 minutes, until marshmallows soften and puff up.

Cool completely and cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers of candy.

Source: Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Funfetti Crinkle Cookies-Juggling Act Mama

I'm a new contributor over at Juggling Act Mama and my first recipe post is up today!  Please jump over and take a look!
Melissa's Cuisine: Funfetti Crinkle Cookies
These Funfetti Crinkle Cookies are a fun twist on my favorite kind of cake.  Mike and I are kind of addicted to crinkle cookies right now because there are so many different options for flavors; if it's a cake mix, it's a cookie flavor option!  Since we loved the Lemon Crinkle Cookies I posted a couple months ago, I knew we'd love these funfetti ones too.

You don't want to miss this recipe, so click on over to view it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party

Time flies when you're having fun!  And this year certainly has flown by.  It's hard to believe that we are celebrating Summer's first birthday already!  It seems like just yesterday that I was announcing her arrival...

Mike came up with the theme for Summer's birthday party.  I was brainstorming out loud and asked him if he had any ideas.  Immediately he said that we should do a rubber ducky theme because Summer loves ducks.  It didn't take any convincing for me to agree!

I designed the invitations myself and had them printed out as 5x7" cards.

Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
We chose to keep the food fairly simple because we were serving 25-30 guests.  I decided to do a hot dog bar with simple toppings like chili, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and relish.
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
Fresh fruit and chips are always good sides for grilled food!  
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
The rubber duck Jello was my favorite part and it was a hit with the kids, and the adults!  I just used blue raspberry jello and poured it into individual clear cups.  Then when the jello was set, I topped each cup with a little Rubber Ducky !  Everyone got to keep their ducks, so the kids loved that part.
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
I opted for yellow and pink accents for the party.  Yellow for the ducks and pink because it's a girl's party and you have to have pink, right?  I served the drinks in Pint Jars along with Pink Polka Dots Paper Straws.  I floated a few rubber ducks in the punch bowl also.  The punch was pink lemonade and Sierra Mist, simple and delicious!
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
I purchased a copy of "Happy Birthday to You! " by Dr. Seuss for the guests to sign.  This will be a fun keepsake for Summer when she is older as she can read the messages from her friends and family.
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
I kept the decorations pretty simple and this was my favorite part!  I made copies of the monthly growth pictures I took of Summer from 1 month to 11 months old.  Then I used Mini Clothespins to pin them onto a string and hung them in front of the window.  The guests loved to see her growth!
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
Outside I set up a kiddie pool with ducks in it for the kids to play with.  We also had bubbles out as party favors for each of the kids.  They loved the pool and a few of them got a little wet!  This picture is of Summer with her best friend who is just 6 days younger than her.
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
What party is complete without cake?  Not ours!  I opted to make cupcakes instead of one large cake because I knew we would be eating outside and I thought they would be easier.
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
Summer absolutely loved her cupcake, especially the frosting.  She ate the entire thing!  (Cupcake recipe coming soon...)
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
After lunch we headed inside for the birthday girl to open her gifts.  She was so excited and had so much fun!
Melissa's Cuisine: Rubber Ducky First Birthday Party
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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy, sweet, decadent, divine...all perfect adjectives to describe these delicious cinnamon rolls!
Melissa's Cuisine: Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Is there every a wrong time for a cinnamon roll?  They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack!  Or ever a wrong occasion?  I used to think that homemade cinnamon rolls were only for special occasions--Christmas morning, Mother's Day, my birthday...but now I've decided that any day is good for cinnamon rolls!
Melissa's Cuisine: Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
I've made these cinnamon rolls dozens of times.  They're my go-to recipe and they always turn out delicious!  The cinnamon rolls are light and fluffy, but it's really the icing that puts them over the top.  I drizzle it on while the rolls are still warm and the bread soaks up the icing like a sponge.  The cinnamon rolls become gooey and absolutely divine!  They're best warm from the oven, but you could always re-heat in the microwave for a special snack.

Don't let the thought of baking with yeast scare you away from these rolls!  As long as you are using warm milk, you shouldn't have any problems.  This recipe makes a very large batch of cinnamon rolls, so prepare to stock your freezer or give some away.  Trust me, your friends will love you!
Melissa's Cuisine: Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Makes approximately 5 dozen rolls

1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages yeast (4.5 teaspoons)
9 cups flour, separated
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping Tablespoon salt
2 cups melted butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (or more) cinnamon

1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup (or more) milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a large saucepan.  Heat until almost boiling (scald), stirring occasionally.  Then turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.

2.  When the mixture is lukewarm (not hot!), add the yeast and stir.  Let this sit for 5 minutes.

3.  If your pan is large enough, add 8 cups of flour to the milk mixture and stir.  If not, transfer the milk mixture to a large bowl first and then add the flour.

4.  Cover the dough and let it rise for an hour.

5.  After an hour, add the last cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the dough and stir until combined.

6.  Sprinkle your rolling surface (counter) generously with flour.  Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle.  Roll the dough thinly into a large rectangle.

7.  Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup of melted butter over the dough.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

8.  Starting with the longest side, begin rolling the dough up toward you, jellyroll-style.  Pinch the seams to seal it.

9.  Drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of melted butter into each pan that you're using.  I used a 9x13" pan and then 4-5 7" round disposable cake pans (these are great for freezing and gifting to friends).

10.  Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the dough into 1" slices.  Place cut rolls into greased pans, leaving some space for the rolls to rise.

11.  Repeat these steps with the remaining half of the dough.

12.  Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350.

13.  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

14.  While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by beating together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Add more powdered sugar or milk to reach your desired consistency, it should be thick but pourable.

15.  After the rolls have been out of the oven for about 5 minutes, drizzle the icing over them.

Store rolls covered, at room temperature.  If you're freezing them, cover them tightly with foil first and then a layer of plastic wrap.  Thaw at room temperature before serving; you could also warm them in the oven for a few minutes after they're thawed.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman via Melissa's Cuisine (yes, this recipe was previously posted here!)

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