Happy (Belated) Birthday America!


I’m glad there’s plenty to tell y’all about from yesterday because today is shapin’ up to be a pretty blah blah day.  Do you ever wake up and have those?  I just couldn’t get goin’, and I don’t think it’s because I partied too hard…..I’m thinking it’s more of dehydration and lack of rest days SO today is a rest day!  They’re underrated and so important, I don’t know how I forget them sometimes.

Yesterday I was on time to the group run, and managed 9 miles in anticipation of the upcoming holiday festivities.  Kim, Becca, Tish and Jen showed up for the holiday run and the Greenline was completely ours until about 7 am.  I’ve never seen it that empty, it was a little eerie but I suppose normal people were just enjoying their day off.  I did a casual run with a few speed pushes when I felt like it – it’s still bloody hot and the air is thicker than fog.

To cool off I hit the pool with Rooms, a friend and Lance Armstrong (not the real Lance, but his book) and managed to get a dip and a few chapters in before a torrential downpour came out of nowhere.  Typical Memphis weather.  So instead of catching some rays, I spent the afternoon in the kitchen!

I debated and debated what to make for the holiday – something with ice cream to celebrate National Ice Cream MONTH? – that’s right, the entire month of July!  Sorry I’m 5 days late letting you know…. Something completely healthy?  My traditional fruit flag cake?  Cupcakes?
The Verdict: NOT GUILTY!?  (oh wait, that’s the other trial)…….CUPCAKES!
  • Healthy-er Strawberry Poke Cupcakes with Greek Yogurt Icing
This recipe is simple, otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it – here’s what you need for the cupcakes:
  • Box of white or vanilla cake mix
  • Ingredients to make cake from mix (eggs, water and oil usually)
  • Packet of strawberry Jello
  • 1 c. Boiling water

All ya need!

The first step is to just prepare the cupcakes as the box tells you to (I’ve been known to mess this part up, so read the box carefully).  In my case, it involved the following steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cake mix, 3 eggs, a third cup of oil and one and a quarter cups of water until relatively smooth.
  3. Taste test the batter with a couple  a spoon.
  4. Fill lined muffin pans three-quarters of the way full (might be less if you’ve tasted a lot of batter)
  5. Pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

You can't tell, but it smells delicious in my kitchen!

Coolin' off before the pokin' begins!

The next section of work involves the pokin’!  I’d never made poke cupcakes before but it seemed simple enough….

  1. Poke the cooled cupcakes with a fork.
  2. Add 1 cup of boiling water to the jell-o powder until it’s dissolved.
  3. Spoon jell-o liquid over cupcakes.

Jell-o drizzle!

I only did two spoonfuls per cupcake but in the future I would do more if you want a fruitier tasting cake!

And now for the icing.  I wanted some part of this to be a little healthy (besides the mention of fruit in the drizzle…) and I can’t remember which run it was on but this idea came to me on my feet (most of my best ideas do!).  I have an intense love for Greek yogurt (it’s got gobs of protein and very little sugar and no fat – if you get the skim milk kind, and it’s thick and tart!) and wondered if I could make a frosting from that.  Google said I could so I mixed 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar for a delicious and tangy and healthy-er frosting!

The dynamic duo

Sifting the sugar. PS powder sugar is messy....


I was very pleased with the combination of sweet and tart taste and the thickness of the frosting.  We’re getting close to the final product now!  All that’s left is to frost the cupcakes!  Be as liberal as you want here, or not, depending on how much finger lickin’ you did while you were making the frosting.  And then, because it was America’s birthday, I put blueberries and strawberries on top to make it into a flag cake.  AND AS PROMISED….I WORE MY CUPCAKE APRON (it felt good to be back in that…)

TA-DA! You only turn 235 once!

These cupcakes got thumbs-up approval from the hungry men next door (they didn’t even notice the healthy frosting, and I didn’t tell them!) and from myself – but like I said, more Jell-o drizzle next time!
Hope y’all had a wonderful 4th!  I must get back to my rest day now (I’m starting to think maybe the eating and Yo Lo trips have something to do with my blahness too…..I’m always eager to celebrate and eager to get back to healthy!)

One response »

  1. Pretty..and yummy, too, I bet! (wish I could taste ’em…) Always love it when you break out the cupcake apron! Hope you enjoyed your rest day — everyone needs one now and then.

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