Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love Funfetti cupcakes? They’ve long been one of my favorites, and my boneheaded self bought the boxed version for far too long – unable to unlock the mystery of the Funfettiness. Turns out it’s just sprinkles. Or Jimmies. Or whatever you call them in your neck of the woods.

So I used my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, mixed in a handful of multi-colored sprinkles, and baked. Voila! I had homemade Funfetti cupcakes. I’ve made them as the base for several batches of birthday cupcakes now – and everyone always loves them.

They are colorful and delicious, and it’s always a comfort to know exactly what’s going into them -versus the boxed stuff, with an ingredient list a mile long and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Make these for your next celebration (or just because!), you’re guaranteed to have smiles all around.

Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

New England Style Hot Dog Buns

There’s nothing quite like a homemade roll to put a hamburger or a hot dog on. I’d been making my own for quite some time now, and haven’t looked back since. A basic dough, rise, then shape and re-rise before baking. But, after receiving this New England Style Hot Dog Pan for Christmas from my mom, I have to admit I have a new favorite way of preparing my hot dog buns.

You make the dough, let it rise, then press it into the bun mold and let it rise. It’s then baked in the oven with a sheet pan on top, once browned is allowed to cool, then the individual buns are sliced – leaving you with an awesome bread-to-toasting ratio on  the sides of the bun.

Not only are they great with hot dogs, but also lobster rolls.  Or a fun Maryland twist, crab rolls – which are next on my hit-list to try once I get my hands on some good crab meat (as in, I pick it myself). These buns would definitely add a really nice touch to any 4th of July celebrations you may have going on.

To celebrate the 4th, and festive get togethers – my favorite linen company, Hen House, has graciously sponsoring a giveaway for a set of napkins perfect for you summer celebrations! 2 Bargello Navy (pictured above), 2 Devine Scarlet, and 2 Gracious Persimmon. I can’t say rave enough about their linens – I use them everyday, they wash beautifully, and the colors hold up so well. To enter, just leave a comment letting us know how your favorite ways to spend your time outside in the summer.

Hen House Linens

Want a couple of extra entries?:

Like Tide & Thyme on Facebook – leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.
Like Hen House Linens of Facebook – leave a separate comment letting us know you did so.

Contest will end Wednesday, June 26th @ 11:59 PM ET. Winner will be selected using a random number generator and contacted via email.

In addition, they’ve been kind enough to offer our readers a 10% discount now through July 19th. It’s a great opportunity to treat yourself to some new kitchen linens that will really brighten up your house for summer. Just use the code “TIDEANDTHYME” when checking out. Thanks so much Hen House!

henhousegiveaway

Congrats to Sarah, who had comment #21 – I love going out on the boat with the family. I think that’s one of my favorite things to do in the summer too. Take a picnic dinner and enjoy these linens!

Source: slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

Homemade Pretzel Buns

Pretzel buns are all the rage right now. Folks just love to make their burgers “twisted” but using a pretzel bun instead of a traditional sesame seed bun. I had yet to experience one, so a few weeks ago I set to making my own at home.

I’ve never made pretzels at home either, and I must admit I was worried about the whole boiling the dough in water process. But, it was actually really easy and my concerns were totally unfounded. After the initial quick-cook in the water bath, the buns are then finished off and baked in the oven to achieve a deep golden-brown color.

They have great pretzel flavor – chewy on on the outside, yet tender on the inside. We used half of them for our burgers that night, then I tucked the other half in the freezer to have on hand the next time we are throwing some burgers on the grill. It’s comforting to have something like this on hand in the freezer to make a quick-dinner extra special!

Source: adapted from King Arthur Flour

Homemade Potato Chips

We don’t eat that much junk food in our house, but one thing I do enjoy once in a while is a good kettle-cooked potato chip. There’s just something about that salty crunch that I love with a good hot dog or cheeseburger! I’m surprised it took me this long to make them at home – as they were so easy and so much better than the stuff from the bag.

I used my mandoline to slice the potatoes, but you could certainly thinly slice them using a knife. The slicing attachment on your food processor would also be another great option. I used the technique that I do with my oven fries, and soaked the sliced potatoes in a bit of salted water first – to remove some of the starch, as well as add a bit of flavor. Then made sure to dry them really well before adding them to the hot oil – you don’t want a splatter scenario!

After a quick fry and then drain on paper towels to remove the excess grease, I season them with some sea salt and a bit of cajun seasoning for a little kick. I also frequently do Old Bay to make a homemade version of a Maryland favorite – crab chips! Salt and vinegar is another one of my favorites, so a version of those is definitely next on my hit list.

If you’ve never made your own potato chips at home, these warm weather months are the perfect time to do it. It makes that outdoor lunch or dinner a little bit more special – and the flavor and crunch is unparalleled. Give it a try!