I love my backyard. It's one of my consolations of living away from my beloved city for the time being. Whenever I'm down, sitting out back usually does the trick and puts me back in a good mood in no time.
From my immediate backyard where I have countless memories of get togethers and parties and time spent with people I love, to my pool area where I spent many a summer growing up lounging and playing.
To all the way down back where we have a creek and a tree house my dad and his friend built for me and my friends, the baseball diamond we dug into the ground where wiffle ball was more of a religion than just a game, to the hills we would sled down, the hammocks we would relax on, and the swing sets we would try and swing just a little bit higher each time. Cracking open pinatas so competitively and having my nextdoor neighbor take us all on fall hayrides for my birthday parties each year, and running out at midnight to beckon a new year, always hoping this would be the year. For what though, I'm still not quite sure.
And of course the abandoned railroad tracks just beyond, that were always open for exploration, no matter what the time of year.
I could not have chosen a better place to have grown up, watching the seasons change and experiencing what each one had to offer. My mom and her family were the first people to buy this house back in 1969 and I'm pleased to say both through her childhood and my own, it's been given more life than most homes and backyards get in a much longer time. I know when I move on I'll really miss it, so for the time being I try to soak up every minute spent out here.
Some of my favorite memories of my backyard are all the summer get togethers we have had throughout the years. I will admit though, one thing my idyllic backyard is not immune to... is bugs.
And so sprang forth the idea for these adorable and simple cupcakes. I figured, if you can't beat um, join um. And I guarantee these bugs are some you won't mind having around.
The best part is, all you need to create these cute cupcakes is a bag of peanut m&m's, some sliced almonds, and a can of chocolate frosting.
I went for more realistic bug creations (I'm a science girl remember ;D) but really, the sky is the limit where your imagination is involved.
I myself went with...
Some regular black ants.
Some red fire ants, which thankfully I've only run into in Florida, not here.
And some bumble bees.
As well as some plain green cupcakes as grass just to round it out. I went with a standard chocolate cupcake to emulate the look of dirt with basic buttercream tinted green. These could not be easier and were so much fun to put together.
So even though summer may be almost over and the time of summer BBQs outback are drawing to a close for now, at least I have the changing leaves and crisp air and the bonfires to look forward to in the fall. Somehow, I think I'll survive.
Bugs on a Picnic Cupcakes
12 Chocolate Cupcakes baked in paper liners
1 Batch of Basic Buttercream (tinted green)
1 can of chocolate frosting
Bake cupcakes as directed and let cool completely. Frost with green buttercream and roll in green sprinkles if desired. For black ants, place three brown peanut m&ms end to end on a cupcake. Place chocolate frosting in a plastic bag with a corner snipped. Draw legs on each ant and antennae if desired. For fire ants continue same process but with red peanut m&ms instead. For bumble bees, place two yellow peanut m&ms on a cupcake and draw lines across with chocolate frosting. Place two almonds with the smaller side inward on each side of the m&m to look like wings. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe: A Mary Original