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With summer comes the sweet scents of grilling season. I swear, every weekend the neighbors are out having adorable cookouts and BBQ's with their family and friends. Christian has been going on and on about how he wants to learn to grill. Well, this weekend, we finally hosted our first backyard bash…of sorts. I had everything planned out. Christian would learn to grill from his friend Sam. We would all enjoy the beautiful sunshine and food and then cook s'mores over a bonfire in the evening. Unfortunately, we didn't account for absurd amount of rain.
While my first motto may be "high heels, high standards, pearls everyday" I would consider my second motto to be "the show must go on!" And so it did inside the comforts of our dining room and garage. The
cold rain never bothered me anyway. Even though there was only four of us, we went way overboard on the food. Sam and Christian grilled turkey dogs, burgers, and shrimp scampi all of which turned out to be delicious! We also drank about as much Dr Pepper Cherry soda as there was rain! Yes, I am from Ohio and I call carbonated beverages "soda."
Since we were rained out, we just parked the grill out in the garage and left the garage door open so we wouldn't be suffocated by the smoke. In addition to all the grilled foods, we also ate our fair share in Cheez-It Duos, Dr Pepper Cherry Floats and Dr Pepper cupcakes. I'm not usually a big fan of Cheez-Its like Christian and the rest of the gang (I don't like cheese, call me crazy) but I definitely ate plenty of the parmesan flavored Cheez-Its! The floats and cupcakes were hits, of course! Who doesn't like soda floats?!
To decorate I wrapped the plastic silverware in napkins (one of the best skills I learned from waitressing years ago), hung festive pennants, and how adorable is the string of mini Coleman lanterns?! I originally bought them to decorate the bonfire area, but since there was no bonfire, they looked cute hanging above the food table! When Emily found a box of drink umbrellas in the kitchen junk drawer, we had to add them, even though they didn't really work with the "theme." What's a party without mini umbrellas?
As I said earlier, the Dr Pepper Cherry Cupcakes were a hit and for good reason! There are the most moist and perfect cupcakes I've ever had. I overheard Christian and Sam discussing the perfection that they are, too. The Dr Pepper brings out the flavor of the chocolate and gives the cupcakes an almost fudge-y texture. You don't taste the Dr Pepper flavor too much and using soda instead of the eggs and oil that the box calls for cuts the calories almost in half!
To make the cupcakes all you need is 1 Box of Devil's Chocolate Cake and 1 Can (12 oz) of Dr Pepper Cherry soda. Mix these ingredients together and fill cupcake tins 3/4 full. Place in oven on 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
To make the icing I just mixed 1 can of vanilla frosting with 4 tablespoons of Dr Pepper Cherry soda and then piped onto the cooled cupcakes. I was experimenting with the frosting and I think less soda would be a better consistency. The 4 tablespoons was a little runny but definitely gave the cupcakes a "soda float" look.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend with great company and fabulous American BBQ cuisine. Now that Christian and I have our first grilling experience under our belt, you can be sure this won't be the lat cookout we host this summer!
What are your favorite cookout recipes?
P.S. You can pick up all of these items at Walmart! Having a Walmart right down the road is definitely convenient for all of our cookout needs!