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The Kooky Kupcake
Cupcake cake adds flare to Memorial Day


Memorial Day is fast approaching, so it’s time to think about what to make for the weekend’s barbecue. Dessert needs to be perfect—representing Memorial Day while delivering a springtime flavor. This recipe for a strawberry cupcake flag cake is perfect for any Memorial day barbecue. 

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Cardoons make comeback in local, famous kitchens alike




The latest vegetable to make a kitchen comeback is the cardoon. Originating from the Mediterranean region, cardoons are a perennial weed, a not-too-distant relative of the artichoke. These leafy greens can be used in almost any dish, and it should be noted that it’s not actually the leaves you eat, it’s only the stem.

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The Kooky Kupcake

Flavorful, maple carrot cupcakes add spice to dessert tables



This recipe is something a little different, Carrot Cake Cupcakes which are to die for. Each bite is filled with sweet raisins, crunchy walnuts, and complimentary spices.
           
To make these cupcakes taste even better, try them with maple cream cheese frosting. With these two combinations crowned with a little M&M carrot on top, your Easter table will look decorative and fun.

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The Kooky Kupcake
Beer, chocolate a magically delicious
St. Patrick's Day treat


March is upon us, which means it’s time to dust off those leprechaun decorations and start picking out your favorite green clothing. St. Patrick’s day is yet another fun-filled holiday that gives revelers a reason to host parties.
           
It’s the day for green table cloths sprinkled with gold glitter, green milkshakes topped with whipped cream, guacamole with green chips, and anything else green imagined. But what’s the perfect dessert? I personally like to stay away from the typical grocery store desserts. You know, the shamrock sprinkled sugar cookies, green iced cakes, green dyed Rice Krispie treats and green jello. One of my favorite St. Patty’s Day treats is this recipe for Chocolate Stout Cupcakes.
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Tipsy-free party drinks:
Mocktail flavors jolt holiday experience


The holidays are coming quick and the cheery season is a favorite time of year for many people. The holidays can seem like a hassle for some with many parties, events and family get-togethers involving some unique drinks. You don’t need alcohol to make the holidays great, though, and some great drinking alternatives can be found. Non-alcoholic beverages mimicking cocktails, otherwise known as “mocktails,” can provide just the right type of casual gathering needed for the holidays.
    
“I actually get asked multiple times per day about mimicking drinks with no alcohol,” says Andrew Cruz, a bartender at the New York Native in Phoenix. “People are more interested in the taste than the feeling.” Cruz shares some of his most well received recipes below.
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Hatch green chili helps
break down walls for holidays



As I get out of the car, I am instantly greeted with the bite of crisp winter air. I know this house only as the one I go to once a year to spend a night with the side of the family I usually don’t see. This house belongs to my dad’s stepbrother and his family. I don’t talk to them much other than on Christmas Eve.
           
I walk in to a room lined with tables full of family photos that are draped with fake snow fluff, a Christmas tree twice my size on my left covered with lights and ornaments, and a fireplace inviting me to come sit and relax. In the kitchen I see faces of people I vaguely remember.
          
As I place myself down on the couch, I look around and see blonde heads, redheads and even one purple. I think, these people are my family, so we must have something in common. We’ve come together to share a family tradition.
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DIY with Mir
Homemade creamer flavorful, low-cost


Being a college student with a coffee habit has started causing problems with my bank account and my weight. My problem isn’t the coffee but what I put into it. I love using creamers to cut down on the bitterness of the coffee I have available to me.

Going to the store to buy creamer can cost anywhere between $2 and $25. I would try to make my creamer last as long as I could depending on how much I spent, but usually after two weeks I would be needing some more.

As my bank account was shrinking, my waist was growing. With coffee being a daily part of my life I had gotten out of the habit of checking the serving size of my creamers. What I didn’t realize was, depending on the creamer, there can be nine calories to 30 calories per tablespoon. I was definitely adding more than a tablespoon to my drink.

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Shrimp salad lightens up holidays


Ahhh...Thanksgiving is here. I get to see my entire family crammed into my Uncle Joe’s house like a clown car, pretend I understand exactly what is going on when I’m watching football with my older cousins and hear my Grandma B. call my cousin Shay everyone else’s name but her own. Grandma is 90 years old, so we cut her some slack.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I picture my family, the smell of pumpkins and, of course, the food. However, as soon as I imagine all of those hefty starches, I think about my pant size going from a 3 to a 10 in a matter of spoonfulls. Why does holiday cuisine always have to make us feel so guilty the next day? Well, I may have a solution that doesn’t involve starving yourself.
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BBQ dishes perfect for picnics

With temperatures rising, now is the perfect time to bring out those checkered blankets and have a picnic. This barbecued pork and potato salad recipe are sure to make any picnic memorable.

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Extreme flavorist grows special herbs


There’s a new farmer in town who is a self-confessed “extreme flavorist.” He is bringing hard-to-come-by specialty herbs and spices to the Valley in order to challenge the way “brainwashed” consumers think.

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Six tips for healthy eating


Certain foods that are put in our body are good and others bad. Dr. Ken Mitchell is a naturopathic medical physician at Livestream Wellness in Phoenix, Ariz. Lifestream Wellness. Mitchel helps clients with healthy eating for a better and healthier lifestyle.

Following are six things, Mitchel says you should know about your diet.

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BBQ lamb adds flavor to Easter



Holidays are always a happy time for family, especially Easter and Thanksgiving. On these two holidays I get together with the side of my family I don’t often see. However, the main attraction belongs to Uncle Ken and his famous leg of lamb.

Uncle Kens lamb is one of the best parts of the holidays.

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Shepherd's Pie
Mini pies a tasty choice
for any St. Patty's Day party



As I watch my father in the kitchen, spatula in hand, stirring in delicious carrots and celery, the smells of ground beef, sweet biscuits, and potatoes fill the house. Steam from the sizzling skillet creeps into the air and collects on his wire-rimmed glasses as he reads the recipe. It is then that I simply ask him where his learned, unbeatable culinary skills come from and he replies, “Family.”
           
The main person who taught my dad how to cook was my Grandma Mary Jo.  Grandma Jo loved the kitchen. Her recipe for hamburger steak and noodles is still a meal that my family enjoys monthly. I remember going over to her house when I was little and the first thing I would smell when I walked in would be freshly baked peanut butter cookies. To this day the smell of peanut butter reminds me of her.
 
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The Kooky Kupcake Frosting
Peppermint frosting highlights
flavor of season



Christmas is one of those holidays that is not only known for having delicious sweets, but it has very distinct smells. The kind of smells that once you take a big whiff you go, “Oh yeah, that’s Christmas in a jar.”
           
The enchanting smell of sugar cookies that instantly make you hungry even if you just ate, sweet gingerbread, candy canes, hot chocolate, candles; the list goes on and on.
           
My personal favorite is peppermint and with my recipe for peppermint frosting, you will be sure to get your full peppermint kick. But what goes with peppermint frosting? My recipe for Christmas colored cupcakes should do the trick. These cupcakes are not your ordinary treat.
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The Kooky Kupcake

Decorative treats inspire guests to 'gobble up' holiday season



One thing that I love about cupcakes is how they can be decorated in the most intriguing ways. Cupcakes can be decorated differently, or they can be combined together to form a cake. Cupcakes are perfect for any occasion. With two major holidays right around the corner, I have the perfect reason to fire up those ovens and create something magical.

The turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition. Even though my neighborhood is full of pet turkeys, I still enjoy one for Thanksgiving, sorry guys. I can picture it now: a table lined with mashed potatoes, sweet cranberry sauce, green bean casseroles, and a big plump turkey in the middle with apple stuffing all around.

This year I want to contribute. Since I am not a chef, I told my family I would bring turkeys for dessert. Turkey for dessert? Yes. With my version of turkeys, you will not be able to save these little birds from getting gobbled up.
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The Kooky Kupcake:

Pumpkin Spice highlights autumn flavors


Unique. Fun. Showered with glitz and color. Cupcakes have rapidly become my obsession. A smooth inviting shell makes you wonder what wondrous surprises await inside.

Innocent at first sight, they quickly become even the strongest woman’s weakness as they have become mine. Instead of spending my time on studying like a good college student should, I am busy experimenting with new cupcake recipes trying to find the best one.
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Mexican Meatloaf:
New twist adds flare to comfort dish



My family is a bunch of ranchers and cowgirls that love nothing more then horses, beer and Mexican food. Instead of homestyle mashed potatoes and ham at holidays, we indulge ourselves with the fiery hot flavorful bowls of green chili and salsa.

My dad’s favorite thing to do is take classic American recipes and add his own twist of olé. One of my family’s favorite collaborations is his Mexican meatloaf.
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