Celebrating our June Bugs

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June is an exciting month in our family: not only was it the month we began our family in 1996, but we had the pleasure of welcoming two children into the group in June, and a mere five days (and four years) apart. Mid-to-late June seems to bring one celebration after another around here! This year, because there was no chance of my parents making their usual birthday trip to our house because of Mom’s injury, we didn’t have to consider their arrival day, which they usually thoughtfully and equitably plan between all birthdays involved. For those who could make it, this Friday was the day.

Brendan is the resident anti-sweets guy in our family, and has a very narrow line of anything sweet that he’ll even eat. (I firmly believe that it will serve him well later in life. Right now, however, it does tend to make my job more of a challenge. Then again, is there any promise in the parenting manual of ‘easy job’? I think not.) Cake most certainly does not fall into his “I like it” category. Knowing that Andrew, on the other hand, will eat just about anything, I quickly settled on cupcakes and ice cream. Brendan is a large fan of ice cream, so even if he refused the cake, he’d have the solace of ice cream to fall into. (I personally can’t fathom a dislike for anything with sugar. As a recovering sugar addict who can stop any time she wants, I don’t understand the words, “no thanks” when someone offers a dessert. Most instances, I greatly admire his steadfastness. Sometimes, though–especially after I’ve concocted something special–there is the temptation to be tweaked by his poo-pooing. Thankfully, today was not one of those days.)

Since I didn’t want to make just regular ole cupcakes, and since I was still dreaming up new and exciting ways to procrastinate that monster room-by-room to do list, I thought that creating a “fancy” colored cake was just the thing.

What I did is not new. If you’ve been on “Satan’s website,” Pinterest, no doubt you’ve seen the idea often. I asked the boys which three colors they wanted in their cupcakes, which set off a rather long discussion all by itself. There was much back and forth about the best colors and it occupied us all for long enough to put off “The List.” Finally, though, the boys settled on blue, red, and yellow. I mixed up two cake mixes (hey, I didn’t pretend to make this from scratch!), and divided the batter into three very uneven batches. With the help of the boys and Chloe, we added approximately 265 drops of blue, 91 drops of red, and 7 drops of yellow (that was my bowl). That was fun and quite easy. The end result looked like this:

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After putting paper liners in my well-used, loved, and appreciated muffin tins, I began by putting some blue batter in the bottoms of each paper.

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This isn’t rocket science we accomplished this morning. After the blue, I drizzled some yellow on top, not concerning myself with how much it covered or what it looked like. I figured that as it baked, it would shift a bit anyway. It would be interesting to discover the end result.

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Finally, I topped them all with red (DON’T SAY IT IS PINK!!!!!) batter.

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They baked for the usual time, plus an extra couple minutes to make up for my lack of self control and inability to keep from opening the oven and peeking at their progress. When they finished, they looked like this:

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And this!

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I had a bit of the three batter colors left, so I made one more dozen cupcakes only reversing the colors this time.

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After they had cooled for a bit, we couldn’t wait any longer. We needed to know what the insides looked like, so I broke one open. Success!! Whatever I’d had in my mind’s eye worked out very well.

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Once that cupcake was broken apart, the only humane choice we had left was to conduct a taste test. The three closest kids each got a bit of cake, and quickly gave their reviews….

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Hannah added her own special touch when she decorated the cupcakes with her swirl of icing. Chloe and Andrew added sprinkles to make the dessert complete.

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Since our yield turned out to be 36 cupcakes, Brendan took some over to our neighbors to practice sharing–and so we wouldn’t be tempted to consume them all prior to the party. Personally, it was tough to wait until dessert time arrived to indulge in the simple treats. Somehow, however, we muscled through (the pizza helped a tad, I must say).

The birthday boys had a good evening and I think we all enjoyed our “tie dyed cupcakes.” (Thanks, Lynsay, for the name!)

Everyone, that is, except Brendan. He thoroughly enjoyed his ice cream instead.

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