Tag Archives: BYU

“I Bleed Blue” Cupcakes.

I’m pretty confident that every major university has a blood drive leading up to their big rivalry game with the tag line “Bleed {fill in team color here}.” How do I know this? I’ve attended or worked for — & bled for — three different universities in three different conferences.

As a freshman at Vanderbilt, I “bled gold.” As a first-time blood donor, I didn’t know you were supposed to eat a big breakfast beforehand. I walked outside to continue working on our float for the Homecoming Parade… & woke up in my dorm room bed at 6pm.

When I saw the light & transferred to BYU (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!), I “bled blue.” I was smarter by now & ate a big meal beforehand… but still bled so slowly that each of the other 3 beds went through 3 other donors before being done with me.

Then I worked for the Indiana University Alumni Association, where I “bled crimson.” Well, I think I did… I don’t have any recollection of anything weird happening, so I’m assuming it went well.

This year, I decided to let baked goods do the bleeding for me. Blue, of course. (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!)

These cupcakes are a cinch to pull together to show your friends & fellow fans your true colors. (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!) & they don’t involve needles, blood, or passing out! Juice & cookies afterwards would be a nice touch though.

  • White or yellow cupcake recipe or mix (I used my all-time favorite easy yellow cake recipe, which is quite pale & works very well for this)
  • 1 box (4 oz.) Jello in team color of choice (just use one or they’ll mix & not look too appetizing)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • frosting
  1. Prepare your cupcakes as directed. Tip: don’t use foil cupcake liners. My only other option at Publix was pink, which I knew wouldn’t go over well. So plan ahead & visit Michael’s or something for some cuter paper cupcake liners that don’t stick to the cake & wind up getting swallowed by party guests. Oops.
  2. When they’ve cooled a little, poke each with a fork.
  3. Mix the Jello & boiling water; stir 2 minutes or until completely dissolved.
  4. Use a small spoon to carefully spoon the Jello into the fork holes in each cupcake.
  5. Chill 3 hours or until Jello is set.
  6. Frost as desired. I used this fabulous color swirl tutorial from Our Best Bites. Once I got the icing in the bags, it was seriously faster than my standard sloppy knife-frosting way, & so much prettier!

P.S. If you’re wondering where to get the awesome football platter, it was a fabulous $1 party-store find several years ago that has stuck with us every season since.

P.P.S. Go Cougars! Beat Texas!

Tidy Mom

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J-Dawgs.

Happy Independence Day! Hopefully you’re enjoying your long weekend celebrating the birth of our amazing nation! We could see two fireworks shows from our balcony Friday night; it made me feel so patriotic! I love the upswelling of pride & emotion I feel when singing “The Star Spangled Banner” (especially the third verse!). America’s awesome!

This year the term “Independence Day” has taken on new meaning for us Cougar fans as well; as of July 1st, BYU Football has gone Independent! That means that we East-Coasters will actually get to watch a few games for once. That’s definitely something to celebrate too!

So in honor of the grilling holiday that is the 4th of July, & in honor of BYU’s declaration of independence, here is one hot dog that will change your life. Well, two. (We’re in start-cleaning-out-the-pantry-not-buying-more-jars-of-things mode now, so you need to use your imagination when it comes to the delicious condiments.)

Back in Provo there is a legendary little establishment known as J-Dawgs. They make the best hot dogs. Best. & this is coming from someone who appreciates a good New York cart dog, so you know it must be true. Because we live so far away, the last time we were there was when The Munchkin was only 6 months old & barely eating rice cereal & sweet potatoes, so until now she had not experienced the rite of passage for every BYU fan that is…

The Special Sauce.

My friend Barbara somehow got the recipe — lives may or may not have been lost in the procurement of this secret — & gave it to me. It changed my life. It’ll change yours too.

(Half of this recipe is plenty for 4-6 dogs)

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan & heat just to boiling on medium heat.
  2. Drizzle over your favorite grilled (George Foreman works just fine) Polish or beef hot dog (we went with the NYC cart-style Kosher dogs, to add a little East Coast twist to this Mountain West institution) in the best hot dog roll you can find. If your grocery store under-prioritizes hot dog rolls as much as ours does, you may end up with the lame white Wonder buns. That’s okay too. Just this once.
  3. Top with your favorite hot dog condiments (I like banana peppers alone; My Husband The More Adventurous & Less Prone To Caring What His Breath Smells Like Because I’ll Still Kiss Him Afterwards Anyway likes banana peppers, diced onions, & a dill pickle spear). Just please, go without the ketchup this one time.
  4. Savor.

Now, this will not replace the experience of biting into a foil-wrapped, crisscross-scored, nestled-in-a-fresh-baked-bakery-bun J-Dawg right there, but for those of us a couple thousand miles away, it definitely helps hold us over until next time.

Are hot dogs on the grill at your 4th of July party? How do you like to top them?


Get Your Craft On Tuesdays

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The Secret Weapon: Fudgy Wudgies.

While I’m off getting my husband graduated & gallivanting all over Manhattan like a tourist (a rain-soaked, caught-in-a-downpour-in-Times-Square-in-Chucks-that-have-yet-to-dry tourist), Momo has agreed to post my MOST FAVORITE recipe of hers. I never bought evaporated milk before she introduced me to these. They will change your life. I promise. (& maybe your pants size too.) (In a good way.)

Alicia was one of my roommates my freshman year of college. She came to school armed with good looks, a fun personality and a Secret Weapon for catching boys: Fudgy Wudgies.  A delicious, buttery, oatmeal ‘n’ fudge bar cookie that almost no one can resist.

Luckily, Alicia and I became best friends and she shared the recipe with me. Then taught me how to cook. Now that we are both happily married she has agreed that the recipe for this Secret Weapon can now be shared for the greater good. Consider yourselves very lucky. I know I am to have such a wonderful friend and a bootleg copy of her family’s cookbook. Buddy, where would I be without you?

Alicia’s Fudgy Wudgies

(Fudgy refers to the gooey chocolatey filling and Wudgy refers to the oatmeal cookie component)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.

The Fudgy

Combine and melt in the microwave for 1 minute on high:

  • 1 package of semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk (in a pinch you can use reg milk)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Stir until smooth, then add 1 tsp vanilla.  Set aside.

Next step: the Wudgy

Cream until fluffy:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar

Beat in until well mixed:

  • 2 eggs

Add:

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Then gradually mix in:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Stir in:

  • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats (depends on your texture preference)

Spread 2/3 of the Wudgy mixture in the bottom of the pan. Spread Fudgy over the top (do not scrape the bowl completely clean, you will regret it).

Drop small chunks of Wudgy over the top, leaving some of the chocolate layer exposed.

You will probably have a little bit of Wudgy left over. Save it. Put Fudgy Wudgies in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Now for the best part: dip some of the leftover Wudgy into the Fudgy and eat. Repeat until you have cleaned both bowls.

Fudgy Wudgies take a while to cool and set up so that they can be cut without a fudgy landslide. Plan on at least an hour before cutting into bars, or longer if you are plating them to take to friends. Also plan on being the recipient of many compliments and/or offers of marriage.

Tidy Mom

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The Rice Krispies Incident.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Today I learned that when you’re a parent, memories are often made when you’re trying to make something else. In this case, Rice Krispies Treats. To be specific, Jimmer-Fredette-jersey-frosted Rice Krispies Treats for last night’s win over Wofford. (What? You didn’t have that in your bracket? For shame, for shame.) Only they never got frosted. Or eaten, for that matter. We were too busy cleaning up & laughing hysterically.

The scene: One sunny afternoon, The Munchkin & I set out to recreate one of those nostalgic black-&-white Rice Krispies commercials. Minus two marshmallows, of course…

Wonder where those went…

As we measure the Rice Krispies into a bowl, The Munchkin discovers how fun they are to play with. (Sorry, Kellogg — we had to go with the generic brand this time. Get my husband a job for after graduation & I’ll gladly buy your name brand until I die.)

I realized this wasn’t going to work as swimmingly as those commercials had led me to believe, so while I stirred the melting marshmallows, My Husband The Resourceful* got her drumming on an overturned cookie sheet with some chopsticks. But apparently that wasn’t as fun as the Rice Krispies in the bowl were. So she emptied about a third of the box of cereal onto the cookie sheet. Now this was a good time!

My Husband The Hilarious* & I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell her this was a bad idea. I’m sure that taking pictures of all this wasn’t helping to reinforce tidy behavior either.

So then My Husband The Brilliant* decided to sweep the cereal onto the cookie sheet & let her play with it on the floor. I figured there’d be a bit of sloshing over the sides, but nothing we couldn’t handle. What we didn’t expect was for her to do the exact same thing that she did with the cereal box & wind up sitting in the middle of the pile of Rice Krispies, happily spreading them all over the floor.

After much Munchkin wrangling on my part & sweeping & vacuuming on My Husband The Tidy’s*, & after much laughing all around, we concluded that the memories made in the kitchen are ultimately more important than whatever recipe we’re making. Sure, I could have distracted The Munchkin with something else & had those Rice Krispies Treats beautifully made, frosted, & blog-phot0-ready in no time. But then we would have all missed out on this great experience. Although we hope this never happens again (we’re still finding errant Rice Krispies here & there) this little adventure was far more fun (& lower-calorie!) than Rice Krispies Treats could ever be. Even Jimmer ones. Which I’m going to frost today anyway, I’ve decided. The end.

*I’ve been contemplating blog nicknames for my husband for weeks now, & after many hilarious but unproductive brainstorming sessions I’ve concluded that he wears too many hats for just one, so I’m testing out these Norse-esque titles… What do you think? Too much?

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Token “Mommy Blog” post.

Every mom thinks they have the cutest kids in the world. But I will tell you, in all honesty, that I have that one wrapped up.

Just listen to how she says the word “monkey,” or watch how she scrunches up her eyes & nose to say “cheese” for the camera, or chuckle at how she runs everywhere are on her tiptoes, or let her hold so tight to your index finger as you walk through the subway together.

Yep, my Munchkin is the cutest in the land.

Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you & your Munchkins have great plans for today! Ours involve a “choo-choo,” cupcakes (Magnolia!!!), a visit from old friends, & Grimaldi’s pizza. It’s going to be a great afternoon! Oh, & watching some Cougar basketball tonight! Go Cougs!

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Dr. Seuss breakfast.

This Wednesday is Dr. Seuss’ birthday! Did you know that? It’s also Read Across America Day. “On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult” (their website). This week I hope to bring you a few ways to get your kids excited about reading.

How about we start with the most important meal of the day?

Let’s have some Green Eggs & Ham (& cheese & sauteed onions) omelettes with some Cat in the Hat Pancakes!

We just made our usual weekend breakfast (or “brinner,” or in this case, “brunch”) the same way as always, except I added 4 drops of green food coloring to our 2-egg omelettes (The Munchkin’s 1-egg omelette got 3 drops), & my husband, the Pancake Master, made the white pancakes (including a slightly larger “brim”) & then added “lots” of red food coloring to the pancake batter for the last couple batches. Easy & fun!

The Munchkin was so excited to pull the books out for me to photograph. I didn’t take as much time as usual to set up the shot because we were hungry & the BYU-SDSU game was starting. Priorities, people!

BYU games aside, though, we do make time for reading every day. The Munchkin loves her books, & we love reliving some of the stories we grew up with (like those Dr. Seuss books — I had forgotten exactly how little of One Fish Two Fish really was about fish), as well as enjoying new ones (my parents brought Who’s in the Loo? back from London a couple years ago — it’s a riot!). It’s a great learning, cuddling, & bonding experience for all of us.

What’s your favorite thing about reading with your kids?

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