Southern Inspriration


Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It’s more than where you’re born, it’s an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. Its more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, beer, bourbon and country music. It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies and coca-cola, and each other. We don’t become Southern, we’re born that way.” -Anonymous

Well, I wasn’t raised in the true South, but in the Southwest ~ we hold a lot of these values, too.  Maybe my quote can be:  “Growing up Southwestern is a privilege.  It’s more than where you’re born, it’s an idea and state of mind that seems to be imparted by the spirit of the earth; embraced in the sweep of the Navajo willow.  Its more than loving tamales, enchiladas, green chile stew, beer, tequila, Friday night football, country music and ranch dances.  It’s being hospitable, loyal to your neighbor and devoted to your family.  We have a sweet responsibility to embrace the land and each other.” v

My son, Toren and I were watching Food Network last night… Paula Deen was making sweets, with butter (surprise!).  The following is an excerpt of our conversation:

Toren:  Mmmmm!

Me:  I love cupcakes!

Toren:  Let’s make those!!

Me:  OK!

Didn’t take a lot of convincing, arm twisting or threatening; and with a few adjustments, we were in cupcake heaven! ~ this is what we made:

Arnold Palmer Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Arnold Palmer Frosting


  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk tea
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (altered from 3/4 tsp)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Simmer 1 3/4 cups milk; just as bubbles start forming, remove from heat and place 5 regular or 2 family sized tea bags in to steep (I used decaf).  In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter; add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth; add zest and lemon juice; continue to mix; add in 1 cup of cooled milk tea (reserve remaining tea for frosting).  In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Carefully combine with wet ingredients. Fill cupcake papers (I sprayed mine with non-stick spray) 3/4 full. Bake in 350 degree pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack.  Frost ~ enjoy!


  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature (altered from 2 sticks, 1 cup)
  • 1- 8 oz block cream cheese, softened (this is my addition; I used 1/3 less fat variety)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk tea
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar (altered from 2 cups)
  • 1 T lemon zest (my addition)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients using 1/2 cup milk tea, adding more as needed for consistency of your choice.

You’ll be my sugar baby
I’ll be your sweet iced tea
You’ll be my honeysuckle 
I’ll be your honey bee

-Blake Shelton “Honey Bee”

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