Celebrate Summer with a Flag-Waving Fourth
(Family Features) – Celebrate the Fourth with a fabulous finale …. serve dessert while you enjoy the fireworks.
These all-American cupcakes are festively adorned in red, white and blue from top to bottom, beginning with star-studded Old Glory baking cups all the way up to the waving flag. They promise to be patriotically pleasing for all – kids and adults alike.
The cupcakes can be any flavor, made from a mix or from scratch. Ice with white buttercream to create a canvas for star-spangled decorating fun. For a surprise in every bite (if you’re making yellow or white cupcakes), the Wilton Test Kitchen recommends folding red, white and blue nonpareils, sprinkle mixes or jimmies into the cupcake batter just before filling the baking cups. Use up to one-fourth cup for a two-layer cake mix. Now they’re patriotic inside and out!
To make a flagpole for the candy flag topper, simply insert a lollipop stick into the cupcake and attach the flag icing decoration with stiff buttercream. Or use stars and stripes party picks or patriotic foil pix to top the cupcake instead of the candy flag. Either way, they will be a perfect tribute to the occasion.
Cupcakes can be baked, sprinkled and iced up to one day in advance; store covered at room temperature. Top with the flag just before serving.
To order star-spangled decorations, or for additional holiday, special occasion and everyday celebration ideas, visit www.wilton.com.
Flag Festivities Cupcakes
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow or white cake mix
- Egg, oil and water to prepare mix
- 1/2 cup red, white and blue nonpareils, sprinkle mixes or jimmies, divided
- 3 cups ready-to-use white decorator icing or buttercream icing
- 24 4-inch lollipop sticks
- 24 Patriotic Flags icing decorations
- Preheat oven to 350¬∞F. Place baking cups in standard muffin pan.
- In large bowl, prepare cake mix following package instructions. Stir in up to 1/4 cup of the sprinkles; spoon into baking cups. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center or cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Ice cupcakes smooth; add remaining sprinkles. Insert lollipop sticks into cupcakes; attach icing decorations with stiff icing.
Makes 24 cupcakes
Blue Cheese Sliders
(Family Features) – Warm weather, long days and baseball games are all tell tale signs that summer is here, but nothing evokes the season quite like the savory scent of a sizzling barbeque.
Friends and family across the country gather for backyard bonanzas to celebrate summer and traditional American holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. While hamburgers and hot dogs have been staples of barbeque menus for years, modern party throwers are always looking for new tips and recipes to satisfy guests at celebratory cookouts.
Here are a few ideas to help you throw a sensational summer soiree:
- Guard Your Guests: Shield your guests from the summer heat by setting up a large umbrella over the patio table, place chairs under trees for shade or have an outdoor fan running. When the sun sets, make sure the party is well lit by hanging festive lanterns and deter pesky insects with citronella candles.
- Keep Cool Knowing You’re Prepared: To fully enjoy the day, plan in advance as much as possible. Be sure to stock up on supplies like plates, napkins, utensils and ice. Get charcoal or refill the propane tank beforehand, and clean and season the grill rack the morning of your barbeque.
- Create Hot Spots: Make different areas of interest around your yard to prevent everyone from congregating in one place. Put your bar opposite of where you’re serving the food. Set up games for both children and adults to encourage movement around the party and interaction with each other.
- Super Size Fun with Petite Portions: Dishes with smaller serving sizes are currently the rage and offer guests more tastes to choose from. Give guests petite portions of classic barbeque favorites like sliders, mini chicken sandwiches or hotdog bites. A number of perfect party recipes are available at King’s Hawaiian Bakery’s website, www.kingshawaiian.com.
Here is a delicious recipe that will be sure to keep your friends and family talking about your summer barbeque all year long.
Blue Cheese Sliders
- 1 pound of your favorite ground beef
- Steak seasoning (2-ounce container)
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- 1 12 pack King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Hand press ground beef on a cutting board until flattened to approximately 2 inches.
- Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut-out the slider patties and lightly season each. Set aside.
- Heat barbeque to medium heat and coat the grill rack with vegetable oil.
- Brown the patties by cooking for 4-5 minutes, allowing each side to cook for about two minutes.
- When the patties are almost done, top each with blue cheese.
- Remove the patties from the grill once the cheese is melted.
- Split rolls and lightly brush the insides with olive oil before toasting on the grill surface (brushed-side down).
- Place patties in the toasted rolls and serve.
Makes 6 servings