Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Welcome friends and bloggers! It's the 4th of July, and that means celebration and delicious food. It also means picnics, parties, and fire works. For today's entry, I didn't want to do an ordinary recipe. I wanted to do a couple of treats, so today, we will be making 4th of July Cupcakes. We will also be making a Red, White, and Blue Watermelon Almond Tart.

I actually really like the idea of the watermelon tart! It is Summer after all, so we need something cool to eat that doesn't require a ton of cooking. This tart is just the thing for that. So, I'm going to keep our conversation small so we can prep for what's sure to be an amazing day. I'll meet you in the kitchen!

4th of July Cupcakes
Makes 12

You will need:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1+1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry or strawberry jam 
  • 1 tablespoon blueberry preserves
  • red food coloring
  • blue food coloring

For the Cream Cheese Frosting, you will need:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk just until batter is smooth. 
  5. Take out two small bowls and place 3/4 cup batter into each one. Add 1 tablespoon jam and red food coloring to first bowl and whisk to incorporate. 
  6. Add 1 tablespoon blueberry preserves and blue food coloring to second bowl and whisk to combine. 
  7. Add additional food coloring (batter should be very brightly colored.  Use at least 15 drops of each color minimum) as needed until desired color is reached.
  8. Divide red batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. 
  9. Divide blue batter evenly into muffin cups, centering it on top of the red batter (do not attempt to smooth it out). 
  10. Divide remaining white batter evenly (again, do not attempt to smooth it out).
  11. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  12. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until well-combined.  
  13. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar until the mixture reaches a thick easy-to-spread consistency. 
  14. If you prefer stiffer icing, add a little extra confectioners’ sugar.
  15. Spread on cooled cupcakes.


Red, White, and Blue Watermelon Almond Tart

You will need:

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 seedless watermelon, cut 3 to 5 inch thick, rind removed
  • 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup 

  1. In a skillet set over medium heat, toast the almonds while constantly stirring to prevent burning. 
  2. When they are golden, remove them to a heatproof tray or foil to cool. Cut the watermelon slice into 6 to 8 pie-shaped wedges. 
  3. Dip the curved side of each slice in the yogurt and then the almonds, re-assembling the pieces on a serving platter as you complete each piece. 
  4. When finished, it will look like a pie crust of almonds around the watermelon slices. 
  5. Frost the top of the reassembled watermelon with the remaining yogurt and decorate the top with the berries. 
  6. Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the top. 
  7. Serve cold.

I hope you have a wonderful day with your friends and family! I'll be back tomorrow, but until then: Happy 4th of July, and happy blogging to all!