Margarita Cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (w sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir with a fork to blend.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full.
  8. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Dip the tops of the cupcakes in tequila, then let dry before frosting.

  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-6 Tbsp. Tequila
  • 4-6 tsp lime juice (fresh is best!)
  • green food coloring (just enough to make a hint of light green)
  1. Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together.
  2. Beat in the tequila and lime juice.
  3. Add the rest of the sugar, a little at a time, until you reach the consistency you need to pipe the frosting.
  4. Add the food coloring (just a little!) and mix thoroughly.
Frost the cupcakes, topping with a little margarita salt. The salt really makes the cupcake flavor stand out.

(Recipe was adapted from Annie's Eats and Love Big, Bake Often.)

Pastry Cream Filling

  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup half & half (or 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream plus 1/2 c. whole milk)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  1. In saucepan, blend all ingredients except vanilla. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the consistency of medium cream sauce. (Seriously, stir constantly. It lumps quickly if you don't keep stirring.)
  2. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cool quickly. To prevent a skin from forming, brush with melted butter.
  3. Stir before using.

Makes: About 1 1/3 cups of filling.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. milk

Stiff Consistency (for decorating/piping):

  1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.
  2. Add cocoa and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  4. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

Chocolate Mocha Icing: Substitute cold brewed strong coffee for milk in Chocolate Buttercream recipe.

Darker Chocolate Icing: Add an additional 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 additional tablespoon milk to Chocolate Buttercream Icing.

For Thin (Spreading) Consistency Icing: Add 3-4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

(This recipe was originally from the Wilton Co.)

BBQ Sausage and Rice

  • 1 package sausage breakfast links (I prefer 2 pkgs)
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 1 can string beans, with 1 cup of the liquid
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (we usually use Worcestershire sauce)
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  1. In a large pan, brown sausage links. Cut into bite-sized pieces and put aside.
  2. Saute chopped onion until tender.
  3. Mix all ingredients except rice, and let simmer about 10-15 minutes to blend the flavors.
  4. Add 3 cups cooked rice and heat through, stirring occasionally. (I think the original recipe was to heat it for 20 minutes, but we could never wait that long. Plus I would get distracted and let the rice burn on the bottom of the pan.)
This is a family favorite. I think the original recipe was on a box of Minute Rice. I've been making this recipe for years, so I've gotten into the habit of just doing it with "a little of that, a bit more of this" and I'm not sure on the exact measurements. If I find the original recipe, I'll fix this. Until then, just remember that these are approximations -- make it to taste.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsps of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut (or to taste)
  1. Beat the butter.
  2. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time
  3. Add the milk and the coconut extract. (Add a little more or less depending on your taste and piping consistency.
  4. Add coconut. Be careful not to add too much, and that you incorporate it evenly into the frosting. Otherwise it will clump and clog up your piping tip!

(I used this frosting with a basic chocolate cupcake that I had filled with a cream cheese filling. Yummy! Recipe was adapted from Galexi Cupcakes and Sweets.)