Friday, May 30, 2008

cajun style burgers and homemade ice cream

With school almost out and warm weather here, I'm craving all things BBQ! Today's food for thought friday features recipes perfect for your backyard BBQ menu. Fire up that grill!

Cajun Style Burgers
1 lb ground beef
3 T dry bread crumbs
1 egg
3 green onions, chopped
1 T Cajun seasoning
1 T prepared mustard
1/4 c barbecue sauce
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
4 slices Cheddar cheese

Preheat grill for high heat. In a medium bowl mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, green onions, 1 T Cajun seasoning and mustard. Form into 4 patties. In a small bowl blend the barbecue sauce and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning. Cook the patties 5 minutes per side or until well done. Place a slice of cheese on each burger and allow to melt. Serve with seasoned barbecue sauce.

Grilled Corn on the Cob
6 ears corn
6 T butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Place 1 T butter, salt and pepper on each piece of corn. Close husks. Wrap each ear of corn tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the prepared grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender.

Bush's Baked Beans
1 - 2 cans Bush's Baked Beans, your favorite flavor

Open can and pour contents into saucepan. Cook beans over medium heat until warm. Serve. (Okay, this really isn't a recipe but Bush's Baked Beans are one of our favorite BBQ side dishes!)

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
2 c 2% milk
2 c heavy cream
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 c miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl stir together milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container and freeze for 2 hours.
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
--Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

mother earth's gifts for mom and baby

This unique line of all natural, organic products for mom and baby is amazing! They have products to ease moms through each stage of pregnancy right into motherhood. The Earth Mama Body Butter is great for moisturizing skin to prevent stretch marks and helps to make them less noticeable. The fragrance is so delicious you'll want to keep smelling it all day...literally...I can't stop smelling it! Since I'm not nursing a baby, I was happy to share the wealth with a friend of mine who is. She had nothing but rave reviews for the Nipple Butter claiming it works miracles and you don't have to worry about any harsh chemicals that baby might ingest. And if the Nipple Butter isn't enough, you can get even more relief with the Booby Tubes, made from 100% organic cotton and all natural flax seed. They can be heated or you can freeze them depending on what you need, so versatile!

Babies will love the gentle Angel Baby Shampoo and Lotion. The soft scent lingers all day after a bath, making them smell oh so sweet, as though they could be any sweeter! You know you are doing something good for baby, for you, and for the environment when you buy natural and organic products. Earth Mama Angel Baby is truly a product line you will love using for your family. You'll feel good about giving back to the Mother who gives so much, our Mother Earth.--LeShan

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lifehacker--not just for techies!

Being married to a software engineer means I know a thing or two about tech-related stuff but there is so much I still don't know. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to make Slashdot my browser's start page, but I did adopt Mozilla Firefox long before most people. And though I understand the concept behind Linux I haven't yet taken the giant leap (at least for me) to transition my system to open source.

Confused? Don't worry. Today's wonderful web wednesday highlights a site for the tech expert and tech newbie alike. Lifehacker, an award-winning blog that offers "tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done," will teach you everything from how to read full magazines for free (with or without an iPhone) to using free tools to do more with your webcam. It's a blog all about software and personal productivity and get this--it publishes over 20 tips a day!

I'm all for taking advantage of tools (especially free ones) that help make my days more productive. Lifehacker's "tips, shortcuts, and downloads ... get things done smarter and more efficiently," which gives me more time with my family.

Gina Trapani, the site's editor, is a tech writer and web developer, Gina has authored two books based on this popular site. Her writing has appeared in a variety of magazines, from Popular Science to Women's Health, and her work has even been mentioned in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, Wired and PC Magazine. Okay, so I don't love Lifehacker just because of the tech tips; a woman is the driving force behind it--that is SO cool!

If you're looking to control your PC with your voice (okay, that would be probably something my husband would read) or tools to help get your blogging done (now that's what I need), you'll find it at Lifehacker. Who knew technology could be so much fun! --Emily

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fritinancy on fashion

Just got back from St. George (southern Utah) this evening after four hours in the car with four kids, which means it felt like fourteen hours in the car with fourteen kids. My point? This fashion trend tuesday post is short but still very sweet.

Fritinancy is one of my favorite blogs because it is all about "names, brands, writing, and the quirks of the English language." Though I am not an expert when it comes to the English language I
do enjoy learning more about it. The author's "word of the week" feature is always enlightening (and always good to keep in mind for future Scrabble games). Anyway, the blog also covers fashion-related topics. I think you'll find her posts on the bikini and its offspring a rather fun read, especially since many of us have already hit the fitting rooms in search of the perfect swimsuit. Perhaps Sartoria Vico's Trikini is for you! --Emily

Friday, May 23, 2008

barley greek salad and my own super easy salad

So we went from winter-like weather to midsummer-like weather and back to chilly weather in the matter 0f just a few days. That's Utah for you and no surprise to those who've lived here for a good 7+ years! But that small taste of summer got me craving salads, so today's food for thought friday has a yummy Barley Greek Salad (my friend's recipe) and then my own concoction I threw together the other night. Both are pretty dang healthy and pretty darn yummy!

Barley Greek Salad
2 c vegetable broth
1 c uncooked quick barley
3/4 c chopped red pepper
3/4 c chopped cucumber
3/4 c chopped tomato
1/4 c shopped red onion
3 T sliced olives
3 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2/3 c feta cheese
4 Romaine leaves

Cook barley in vegetable broth. Cool. Combine cooled barley with vegetables. Mix remaining ingredients (excluding feta cheese and lettuce) for dressing. Toss dressing with barley and vegetables. Toss feta cheese in just before serving on Romaine leaves. Makes about 4 servings.

Emily's Quick & Easy Italian Salad*
1 cucumber, peeled, sliced and halved or quartered
2-3 tomatoes, sliced and halved or quartered
1 green (or yellow to add color) bell pepper, sliced
1 pkg mini mozzarella balls or 1/2 of one large mozzarella ball diced in large chunks
1 can medium olives
1/2 small red onion, diced (optional)
4-5 fresh basil leaves, chiffinade
Italian salad dressing

Toss cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, mozzarella, olives and onion together in a larger bowl. Add just enough Italian dressing to coat. Add basil and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

* Okay, not sure it's officially Italian but it sure seems like it is!
Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language. --Henry James (1843-1916)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

burn jel plus...a must!

Did you know that every 25 seconds someone in the United States is burned or scalded in their home?! that's hot! thursday's featured product will help all you parents, who take great care in being prepared for anything, feel at ease. Burn Jel Plus is an emergency-care product that every home should have on hand. It contains Tea Tree Oil, an antibacterial agent known to prevent infection, Lidocaine for pain relief, and Water Jel technology which provides "controlled cooling" of the burn site. Normally when you hold a burn under cold water it works only for a bit, but the product in Burn Jel Plus helps keep the cooling action going. Also, because it disperses the heat from the burn site it helps prevent extensive damage to the skin! So pun intended!

Another neat way to use this product is for sun burns. I've heard that it works really well at reducing the pain and helps heal it faster. Too bad I didn't have some on hand about 3 weeks ago when my husband was suffering through a really bad sunburn. I'm just glad to know that I can do something for my family if/when one of us gets a burn. --LeShan

*You can find Burn Jel Plus at most CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Wal-Marts, priced at about $8.99.

Feed Your Soul helps you "celebrate the sweetest moments"

If you love freshly baked cookies, inspirational words and doing good to others then this wonderful web wednesday is for you. Feed Your Soul "bake[s] outrageous cookies and package[s] them with creative sophistication." But I don't think it's just the outrageously delicious cookies that have made this company a favorite on The Big Idea, Rachael Ray, The Today Show, and The New York Times. I believe it's this company's mission statement:

Our mission is to provide a quality product that embraces a concept; one which generates an appreciation for life, for living every day, for doing the simple things that truly feed your soul.
How can you not want to feed your own soul with a Decadent Chocolate Brownie Chunk or Pumpkin Pie cookie full of good ingredients and good karma? And with Feed Your Soul's Cookie of the Month Club you can be inspired--and fed--all year long! Each gift includes a timeless philosophy, proverb or thought "because the right words can change someone's world." Plus one percent of profits from each purchase are donated to the organization of your choice.

Feed Your Soul helps you celebrate the sweet moments in your life and sweeten a moment for someone else, so indulge! --Emily

Sunday, May 18, 2008

strength through the tears

Many of you know Heather Ledeboer, the woman behind Mom 4 Life, a site whose "extensive product line is comprised entirely of the handiwork of moms." Heather has been interviewed numerous times and her story, along with her faith, has served as an inspiration for many mompreneurs, including myself.

Recently Heather and her family have experienced something no family should ever have to go through. Just three weeks before her little boy Sawyer was due his heart stopped beating. Many hearts broke when we heard the news and many tears were shed as we read Heather's account. She has somehow found the strength to share her story with all of us. It has been a very tender glimpse of her family and I have found myself amazed and inspired by her courage, her faith, her love. Heather is a truly amazing woman and my heart, prayers, and love go out to her and her family. I have a strong feeling they are being carefully watched over...

Perhaps you can find a quiet moment in your busy Monday to send your own prayers and thoughts and support to Heather and her family. --Emily

Friday, May 16, 2008

easy fresh salsa

Salsa is food for thought friday's recipe. It goes with pretty much everything and Summer is the perfect time to whip up a batch of fresh salsa. Serve it with eggs, tacos, salads, chips, and anything else you can think of.

Easy Salsa
1 10oz can Rotell (drained)
1 14oz can Stewed Tomatoes (drained) The fire roasted give a great flavor
1/2 chopped Red Onion
1/2 chopped Green Pepper
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 Fresh Lime
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cummin
1/4 tsp minced Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend well. Tastes even better when chilled over night in the fridge.

Fish Tacos
12 Corn Tortillas
1 lb of favorite cooked fish, or fish sticks
Shredded Cabbage
Avocado Slices
Chopped or sliced radish
Sour Cream or Ranch dressing
Lime wedges

Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave, add cooked fish and toppings.--LeShan

2008 MommyFest Blog Party plus a 'fresh' georgie tees giveaway!

The web is truly wonderful, for you will find very few places where you can
party with fellow female bloggers from all over the world. In March we joined the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom and had a great time blog hopping, making new friends, and offering our o
wn "freshly baked" giveaway. With Mother's Day around the corner we felt it a great excuse to join the 2008 MommyFest Blog Party!

MommyFest is an annual interactive online event for moms and this is its fifth year running. The schedule of events includes some wonderful guest speakers covering topics from home organization to home schooling, breastfeeding to parenting.

MommyFest Blog Party is a five-day "celebration of motherhood" and runs from May 12 through May 16. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, socialize online, discover new blogs, and even win some fab prizes. Most blog parties are full of giveaways and this one is no exception. Check out MommyFest for the latest blog party info and list of prizes (current prizes include See's candy, one-of-a-kind blog design, gift certificates, ebooks, and more). And of course MommyFest isn't the only place to win; many blog party-goers are hosting their own giveaways, so check the site for details on those.

Speaking of giveaways, it wouldn't be a blog party without a georgie tees "freshly baked" giveaway! We're giving away a 2-pack of our popular infant tees! The 2-pack includes our "swinger" onesie and "lullabies rock" lap tee (both unisex designs). Simply comment on this post telling us your favorite lullaby. We will draw the winner from the comments posted. Deadline: midnight, May 16th. Good luck! --Emily

* Congratulations to Michelle R., the winner of our "freshly baked" giveaway!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sephora's Sun Safety Kit benefits you and others

The recent issue of Fitness magazine had an article on sun safety, and every year the news seems to more alarming. Here are a couple excerpts from the article "7 New Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun" that shine light on the growing need for good sun protection:

  • A recent survey from the Skin Cancer Foundation showed 34 percent of women never use sunscreen
  • The percentage of women under age 40 with basal cell carcinoma has tripled in the last 30 years
  • Driving may put you at in increased risk for skin cancer (people had more cancers on the left side of their bodies)
  • Lipstick and lip gloss may increase your risk of lip cancer
With all those "sunny" (and definitely not funny) statistics you'll love today's that's hot! thursday. To help you fight those harmful rays check out Sephora's Sun Safety Kit. This fab kit includes travel-size sunscreens from Peter Thomas Roth, MD Skincare, Clarins, Juice Beauty, Cosmedicine, DDF, Shiseido and Korres; SPF primer by Smashbox; protective lip balm from Tarte; and firming bronzer by Murad--all for only $25!

And while protecting yourself with your Sun Safety Kit, you'll be benefiting cancer research because 100% of the net profits ($21.55 per kit) will go to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Note: supplies of the kit are limited and are only available through June, 2008 or while supplies last. Don't underestimate those harmful UVA/UVB rays; they can really ruin your outdoor fun if you're diagnosed with skin cancer. --Emily

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ohdeedoh--therapy for that kid clutter problem

I have four kids ages 10, 8, 2 and 9 months. That means I have piles, and more than four of them. From schoolwork (at least that pile will be gone soon) to mismatched socks to toys, my house isn't the everything-in-its-place place I'd like it to be. If you're in a similar situation then you've got to add ohdeedoh to your must-read blog list.

ohdeedoh is "a site for people who care about good design, but happen to have children." Yep, that would be me. Actually I used to care about good design and then had children, but I think I could care again with the helpful--and affordable--tips and tricks I've read on this site. And I especially love the photos, community feel and participation ohdeedoh offers.

ohdeedoh is one of Apartment Therapy's family of sites where the prevalent belief is "a calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world. Creating this home doesn’t require large amounts of money or space. ... Simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive." I especially love that last line!

One of my favorite parts of ohdeedoh is the home tour feature where you catch a sneak peak into a variety of different nursery and toy rooms and hopefully get inspired to be just as organized. (I'm inspired but have yet to do anything about it--LOL!) Take a look around ohdeedoh. I guarantee you'll find something to remind you good design really can happen to good people even if those good people have kids. --Emily

Monday, May 12, 2008

fitness wear that will get you in the move!

Working out is great for getting all those endorphins going. Even so it's still a chore and it's difficult finding the motivation to squeeze a workout in your day. fashion trend tuesday brings you some fun, fashionable active wear that should help get you in the groove and on the move!

On the Run!

Strike a pose!

Take a hike!

You'll love Athleta's site for all active wear. Some other great sites to check out are Lucy and Anatomie. Now there's no excuse to skip your workout, well sleep deprivation is still a good one! --LeShan

Sunday, May 11, 2008

managing expectations as a mompreneur...and a mom

I wasn't going to do a post for Monday--I had planned on taking Sunday off to enjoy Mother's Day, but it is this year's Mother's Day that serves as the inspiration for today's post. I was reminded today that being content in business, motherhood, and life often has a lot to do with managing our expectations.

LeShan and I have learned a lot about managing expectations in business. We have managed our expectation as to when inventory will be ready from the screen printer and designs will be ready from our designers. We've learned to be realistic about how much work we will accomplish each day and to not get too frustrated when all we manage to do is reply to email. Though we really wanted to do MAGIC Kids this August, it just wasn't the right time and so we're content to wait until February, again managing our expectations as to what we'll accomplish for our business this year.

And today I was reminded once again to manage my expectations about motherhood (aka "life"). I had imagined a day of rest and relaxation, cards and candy, and angelic children. Well, I received some great homemade cards and yummy candy, but as for the rest? Yeah, let's just say my day consisted of trying to nap while kids ran the crushed ice maker on the fridge (on the other side of our bedroom wall), played loudly outside, and had a couple tantrums. Then it was a trip to the doctor's office with our toddler because of a persistent cough, the same cough that had made him spew fruit punch all over the couch earlier that morning and fruit snacks all over the kitchen floor just before that call to the doctor's office. Funny thing, the doctor had roses for all the moms who came in that day. Yep, he knew it would be Mom who would be bringing those sick kids in...Then it was a trip to the store for some Benadryl and back to a messy house, grumpy family, and really grumpy mom. At least dinner was yummy, probably because I had spent the morning putting it together.

So it was a less-than-stellar day, and my toddler is still hacking is lungs out (supposedly it's just allergies) so that means another sleepless night. (I was up from 1am to 3am last night with him so Mother's Day had an awesome start.) Don't get me wrong; I absolutely love my family and I love being a mom, but when it comes to Mother's Day 2009 I will manage my expectations a little better and go with the flow (kind of like birthdays after the age of 25). I'm not saying that you shouldn't have any expectations in business and in life, just be more realistic about what to expect. You'll be a lot happier if you do. (A tall, cold glass of Diet Pepsi at dinner and a large helping of chocolate cake for dessert helps too.) --Emily

Friday, May 9, 2008


Mother's Day is this Sunday and so we thought it fitting to focus on some yummy Mother's Day recipes. And what a better fit for food for thought friday then FruitAndVeggieGuru's easy-to-prepare "fruitful" Mother’s Day breakfast recipes?

These recipes are not only tasty but also take advantage of the fresh fruit currently available in your local grocery store. They also help Mom and the entire family start the day right by consuming at least one of the nine half-cup daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the USDA. You can find links to FruitAndVeggieGuru's Mother's Day recipes here. For me it's a toss-up between the Strawberry Breakfast Pizza and Blueberry Stuffed French Toast! Yum!

As for the site, it is chock full of information. Use the pull-down menu or search box to search for any fruit or vegetable. will then provide you with background and variety information, nutrition specifics, serving sizes, preparation ideas and care and handling tips. You can even search by nutrient. Now that's pretty cool!

The site has great info on nutrition for kids including recipes and tips for how to get your kids to
eat more fruits and veggies. You'll also find in-depth information on organic produce (the what, when, where, and why...well, at least the what and why) and the latest food and veggie news. Who knew such a site existed? I may not eat 5 servings a day of fruit and veggies (or is it 7?) but that doesn't mean I won't be getting a "taste" of whenever I get a craving for the juicy details about blueberries or tomatoes!

Note: I found the search box to be less than helpful. Perhaps it's a bit on the fritz. The easiest way to navigate the site is to browse the fruits and veggies by clicking on "find a fruit" or "find a vegetable" at the top left (not sure what those arrows are for either...they seem to be having technical difficulties as well). --Emily

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

no toothbrush? no problem!

that's hot thursday is featuring an inspired product for all you parents who take their children's dental hygiene seriously. Making sure your baby and/or toddler is getting proper care between all the bottles and's difficult trying to keep up! A quick solution is Tooth Tissues, dental wipes for babies and toddlers. Tooth Tissues were invented by two dentists for their kids. Because of their profession, they have seen many cases of tooth decay and wanted something that would make it easier to care for babies' and toddlers' mouths.

The wipes are uniquely textured to remove plaque and are saturated in a solution of cleaning and soothing ingredients that are 99% natural. It also includes xylitol which has been proven to fight cavities and is fluoride-free, sugar-free, and paraben-free.

Since these wipes can be used from ages 16 months and up, I have enjoyed using them with my kids ages 2-4 years old. What I personally love about this product is the convenience of it. I keep mine in the car so that when I am on an outing with my kids I can use them for the ride home. That way, if they fall asleep and I don't want to wake them, I don't have to feel so guilty about not being able to brush their teeth. Like the inventors of tooth tissues say, "Healthy oral hygiene habits that start early will last a lifetime." --LeShan

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tall Moms is "long" on style

I'm somewhere between 5'9" and 5'10" depending on when I last did yoga and/or how long I've sat at the computer. Though that's not considered tall for a model it does cause a bit of trouble when shopping for clothes (yes, the grass is always greener...). I don't struggle so much with a long torso--I'll leave that for LeShan--but I do fight for length when it comes to jeans, skirts and dresses. That's why I love Tall Moms, a shopping blog for the "vertically blessed."

Rachel, the women behind Tall Moms is just under 6'1" and on a mission to help women of taller-than-average height find great clothes, from capris and dresses to pajamas and pants. Every post highlights a different product, and I've loved discovering new places to shop online that specifically cater to tall women like Tall Girl Shop and Long Elegant Legs. (Though I'm not challenged by a long torso, DownEast Basics, Shade, and Layers are all great sites for longer length tops.)

By the way, I didn't love my height until college when I finally learned to appreciate the couple extra inches I had over my "competitors." (I had to bend my knees under my dress at my junior prom so I was shorter than my date!) But loving the height has not meant loving the shopping. Of course my roommates never felt sorry for me when I couldn't find jeans long enough to cover my ankles, but I always reminded them it was easier to hem a pair of pants then add length!

But I digress. If you're "vertically blessed" and have fought the good fight when it comes to shopping, then you'll want to become a daily Tall Moms reader. (I think I'm going to head over to Tall Girl Shop after reading Rachel's post about their extra long pajamas!) And if you're expecting, visit Rachel's maternity clothing site RG Maternity, which has designs perfect for the preggo and tall! --Emily

Monday, May 5, 2008

The 10 Biggest Entrepreneurial Mistakes

For mompreneur monday I bring you a quick and very to-the-point slide show on the ten biggest (and probably most common) mistakes an entrepreneur can make in business. (I found this on The Big Idea website--one of my fave business sites.) Though I'm sure many of us women business owners make far less mistakes than our male counterparts (wink, wink) it is still worth a read: "The 10 Biggest Entrepreneurial Mistakes" by Mike Michalowicz from Obsidian Launch.

And then, just for fun--because all work and no play make Mom totally nuts!--check out "The Most Beautiful Money in the World." David Standish, author of The Art of Money, shows you his top picks for "some spectacular sights that fit in a wallet." My favorite is a tie between the New Zealand Dollar and Comorian Franc...what's yours?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cupcakes Take the Cake

The other night my mom and I watched an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I hardly ever watch TV but since Mom was in town it was a good excuse to see what the Food Network had to offer. The episode featured Auntie Em's Kitchen, a bakery famous for their red velvet cupcakes (and a variety of other cupcakes for that matter!). Our mouths watered just watching customers dive into Auntie Em's delectable cupcakes, top heavy with frosting and oh so moist. Yes, even though we weren't watching in HD we could tell those cupcakes were to die for!

Watching this episode of Throwdown reminded me of a blog I came across a while ago called Cupcakes Take the Cake. If you're a cupcake lover (and what I-refuse-to-grow-up grown up isn't?) you'll want to sink your teeth into the posts on this site. The site, which has received a plethora of press, features all things cupcake from recipes to Flickr photos of fab cupcakes to cupcakes in the news. You gotta love the YouTube video of the Zappos staff's cupcake eating contest! Cupcakes Take the Cake also has an extensive list of U.S. and international bakeries. Who knew South Africa and Malaysia had cupcake aficionados?

With thoughts of cupcakes dancing in your head I leave you with the red velvet cupcake recipe from the other night. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

15 1/2 oz all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
13 oz granulated sugar
1 1/4 c buttermilk
3 eggs

2 T plus 2 tsp red food coloring
1 1/4 tsp vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 c water

Cream cheese frosting

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature

1 lb butter, room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
1 T vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Whip the butter and cream cheese together until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Use right away or refrigerate up to a week. Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

To kick off what will hopefully be a cupcake-filled weekend, I leave you with this haiku from Cupcakes Take the Cake:
sunny day cupcake
is it moist or just humid
spring into summer