Today is a very special, very LARGE Friday Roundup. If a little is good, a lot is better… right? I heard that on a reality show somewhere. I’m assuming it was RHOC in regards to plastic surgery or something but whatever.
So, as you know (and should!), Cinco de Mayo is like, a week away. I’m STOKED. I seriously love any holiday where stuffing my face isn’t expected, it’s required. Hello, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day (where expensive eating and copious amounts of chocolate are consumed), birthday(s), Easter, St. Patty’s Day, Halloween, and any other holiday worth EATING.
You know the saying “eat to live or live to eat”? Yeah, let’s just say I’m tipping the “live to eat” scales like A LOT.
But seeing as next Saturday you’re basically required to eat Mexican food (like that’d be a problem), I decided to round up some yummy dessert-related recipes in regards to Mexican traditions. Or no Mexican traditions at all, just my biased opinion that these treats are good and somewhat Mexican-inspired, if nothing else, and you should make them anyway.
First up: Classic Margarita Cupcakes. But for these lime-y cakes, I added some candy tacos on top. They’re SO cute. You have to make them. Let me reiterate: CANDY. TACOS.
Or if margs aren’t your cup of tea (who are you and why are we friends?) try these crowd-pleasing Churro Cupcakes. Sweet and cinnamon-y, they’re reminiscent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (hence the topping) but taste like a churro. Mmmm
If you’re a sane human being, you’ll make these bars because you know what’s right for you. And also, don’t be shocked if my boyfriend shows up on your doorstep; he NEVER shuts up about these. EVER.
These are still one of the BEST cookies I think I’ve made. Seriously. You really need to experience the best chocolate/cinnamon combo ever.
The jury’s still out if pina coladas are truly “Mexican”, but anyway, if you haven’t made these sweet pineapple & coconut cupcakes… I don’t want to know you.
Since I go psycho for the cookie-version (above), I thought making a cupcake version would be the healthy, logical thing to do. So I did. And I was right. That’s a given, though.
Last but not least, if you like fruit, booze and cupcakes, I’d like to introduce you to your new BFF. While these are totally sober cupcakes (only inspired by margs themselves), feel free to get a little wild and throw some tequila in the batter or frosting. I won’t tell.
Oh, and I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t share my favorite-ever homemade pico de gallo recipe with you, now would I?
Quick & Easy Pico de Gallo
2 medium or 3 smaller tomatoes, chopped in a large dice
1/2 white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Sprinkling of black pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, diced onion, diced jalapeno and chopped cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice over the veggies and sprinkle in the sugar, salt and pepper.
2. Stir the mixture to combine, cover and allow to sit for about an hour to meld the flavors. Store airtight in the fridge up to 2 days. Tastes amazing with chips, stirred into guac, on top of fish tacos or enchiladas… it’s seriously so good.
Alright, amigos… time to set down the sombreros for a second and talk about my favorite thing in the world:
Mannie’s birthday was Wednesday! My sweet babe turned six years old and I got a little emotional. I mean, who wants their sweet child growing up so fast? Especially when, in dog years, your child is older than you by like twenty years. WTF.
Anyway, I wanted to make his birthday special, so he got eggs and cottage cheese in the morning for breakfast (his favorite), an extra-long walk, cookies, and a doggy massage/long belly rub while watching Cats 101, his favorite show.
But Mannie’s a smart boy–he knows what’s up. He knows his mom works in the kitchen a lot, producing sweet-smelling treats only the humans can enjoy. And I didn’t want my Jenkins feeling left out, so I whipped up some SUPER easy pupcakes for him and our Lab, Oreo.
Here’s my picture of me tormenting my dogs with a blurry cupcake. And as you can see, Mannie’s usual, intense stare.
Of course, that didn’t last too long. He kept jumping up and jumping + holding food + taking pictures resulted in this:
Him literally jumping up, snatching the pupcake from my hand while I took the blurry evidence.
He’s too smart, I tell you. But he knew what he wanted and took it. Just like his mother.
These dog pupcakes are super simple to make. I made Mannie a cake last year, so this year, I wanted to do cupcakes. The flavors are pretty versatile in this cake, so use what you have on hand (just make sure you avoid raisins, chocolate, onions & garlic, and the like, as they’re lethal) and make your poochie proud!
Carrot & Pumpkin Pupcakes *inspired by this recipe
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup pumpkin baby food or peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded or chopped carrots (I chopped mine for more texture, but shredded them would make it kinda like carrot cake)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with about 8 liners and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, baby food, egg, and honey until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until combined. Stir in the carrots.
3. Portion evenly among the muffin tins, about 2/3 full, and bake for approx. 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
**Note: I didn’t frost mine, but you could use remaining baby food to frost, or consider using a low-fat cream cheese that’s been softened. Just do not add any sugar, salt, extracts or anything to it–just plain cream cheese. Garnish with beef jerky or dog kibble as sprinkles if desired!**
Obviously Mannie loved his pupcakes, and Oreo did, too!
Since this recipe makes 8, I saved four for our two dogs and passed the other four around to the neighborhood dogs, including Dorothy’s fluffball, Ginger, who excitedly lunged at me when I delivered her cupcake. See? I’m convinced baking blog dogs KNOW what we do and are excited when they get something from the food room, too!
Anywho, this concludes my outrageously long Friday Roundup. I am exhausted from a long week and stoked to have a weekend of sunshine and no homework! Or, at least, the first part.
Have a great Friday!