Hi everyone! How was your weekend? The majority of mine was spent working, but I did manage to have a fun little meal with the family as well in celebration of the NCAA® March Madness! We love watching Basketball so I thought it would be fun to have a little evening full of snacks for everyone.
I ran by the store on my way home from work and grabbed some things for us to eat. I stocked up on Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack available at Walmart as well – you can get 4 4-packs (16 cans) for $5 or 2 packs for $3 (available in select areas) – they had Coke Zero, Vanilla Coke and Cherry Coke cans and I like to always have some on hand for impromptu parties or celebrations. I also purchased ingredients so I could make chocolate cherry cupcakes, beef sliders, and snacks like chocolate cherry cookies, popcorn, oranges, and of course vanilla ice cream so we could have floats too!
I’m sure my kids are always going to remember me as the crazy mom who celebrating everything and made wild table displays for them to eat their treats from, but I’m okay with that. I think it is fun to create excuses to take an ordinary day and make a fun memory from it (as you’ve seen me do many times on here before!)
That doesn’t mean that I go all crazy purchasing decorations all of the time though – often times I’ll just take things that I already had and create a theme with them – and I did that this past weekend too. I took out a red tablecloth that I use frequently for parties and set it on our folding table. I then found some orange paper plates that I had from one of our past parties and created basketballs out of them and attached them to the tablecloth with double-stick tape. I created a simple backdrop from the Coca-Cola cans as well as a cupcake stand. Anika blew up a few orange and black balloons too since she loves helping me set up for our fun evenings.
The sliders were amazingly easy and the kids devoured them so quickly! I used pre-made hamburger patties and used a cookie cutter to cut the desired size that I needed prior to cooking them. I kept them pretty simple and just used ketchup, cheddar cheese, and lettuce on them. For the buns I found some dinner rolls in the bakery section and then decided to use my wood burner tool that my mom gave me a few years ago and toasted lines on them to resemble basketballs! I used a knife to cut around the edges to give them more of a circular shape and them served them!
I really lucked out at the store and found a chocolate cookie mix with cherry chips in it, so I bought it and made some buttercream frosting and added some orange food coloring gel to it and frosted them.
In the meantime, I also melted some white baker’s chocolate in the microwave and added some orange food coloring gel to it as well, and then poured the melted chocolate into a bag and piped circles on to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
After I was finished with that I went ahead and melted some chocolate chips in the microwave and then piped basketball lines on the cookies as well as the chocolate circles.
Then while I let that cool I got a little creative making a Chocolate Cherry Cupcake recipe.
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
To make the cupcakes, first mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in one bowl and set aside. Next, pour Cherry Coke into a saucepan and added the butter, cocoa powder, and milk and bring it to a boil.
Remove the mixture from heat and slowly pour into the dry mixture, and stir until completely combined. Lastly, add eggs and molasses and then pour them into a cupcake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
After they are cooled, top with chocolate frosting and add a chocolate basketball if desired!
Everything turned out delicious and we had a fun evening for everyone, without much effort! The Coke Zero cans also turned out to be a fun photo backdrop stacking together and the girls brought out their box of props and we did a silly photoshoot together (I’ll have to go through those photos and share a few soon!)
So, have you done any NCAA® March Madness celebrating lately? There is also a fun Coke Zero Four Selfie contest going on right now, where you can upload a selfie with a Coca-Cola product and be entered to win the 2016 NCAA® Final Four tickets!