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As the season starts to change, my preference for booze changes, too.

This summer has seen its fair share of fruity, chilled cocktails.  Leinenkugel’s lemon-berry shandy pumped through my veins almost daily.  I can’t count the homemade beer-garitas we enjoyed, and our foray into cocktails made with jam instead of simple syrup was quite delicious.

The nights have turned a bit cooler, so it’s time to reach for rum.  Rum is going to get me through this year’s harvest.  I dread this time of year.  My husband works long hours to harvest, and because I can’t stand the thought of him getting tired on a combine and accidentally hurting himself, I often work with him.

However, this year might be our last year harvesting together.  We found out we’re moving again.  Yup.

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We are 80% ridiculously excited, because, you see, the plan was always to move back home to the South. We settled in the Kansas City area a little over one year ago for two ridiculous job offers (one for me, one for him).  We’ve been just fine, but let’s face it:  we are still an 8-hour drive from family.

The other 20%?  We’re a teensy bit sad.  We love our brand new house.  We love our neighbors.  We love our friends here.  We’ve made more friends in 1 year than I made in my 7  years in California.  This is a testament to the warm friendliness of Midwesterners.  I was watering my hydrangeas in the front yard last week, and a woman from down the street walked right in my yard and introduced herself.  True story.

We don’t know where or when we’re going.  Thankfully, this lay-off came with 5 (and counting!) new job offers.  We are surely blessed.  Soon, we will be traveling around and entertaining the idea of living in each of the cities.  As we’re touring houses, I’ll be squinting my eyes in each kitchen and trying to imagine myself baking biscuits in it.

I admit my priorities are out-of-whack, but the two things I’m looking for in a new place to live are:
1. a high-end grocery store that stocks local produce
2. a state with loose liquor laws.
Hey, I’m still in my 20s and I don’t have kids—these are my priorities at the moment!

If I told you all the things I had to do to find a small bottle of dark rum in Kansas for these skinny buttered rum cakes, your priorities would be much like mine.  I frequently have to leave groceries in the car (hello, raw chicken) while popping into a liquor store.  Why does Kansas hate rum?

Rum should be shared pirate-style—generous and free-flowing!  Get it together, Kansas!

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If you’re wondering what makes a recipe with ‘butter’ in the title a skinny recipe, it’s butter-flavored olive oil.  I’ve been baking with this baby lately:

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I’ve also been drizzling this on toast at breakfast.  When you open the bottle, it smells like rich, buttery goodness.  I can’t get enough.

So, if you could, sweet friends, keep us in your thoughts as we try to make the best decision for us.  We’re overwhelmed at the moment (being an adult is hard!).  Thanks in advance, y’all. XO

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Skinny Buttered Rum Cakes

Skinny Buttered Rum Cakes

Yields: 4 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For the rum icing:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon milk (or more rum)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with 4 liners on the outside edge.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the oil and sugar with a whisk. Add the egg and whisk until incorporated. Add the rum and whisk to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt on top. Stir the dry ingredients in to combine. Don't over-mix.
  4. Divide the batter between 4 cupcake liners and bake for 14-15 minutes. Test for doneness and be careful not to over-cook because they will continue cooking as they cool.
  5. Let stand in the pan for 1 minute.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and rum for the icing. If it doesn't flow freely, add an extra tablespoon of rum or milk. The glaze should drip off the edge of a spoon.
  7. Move the cupcakes to a serving dish. Poke holes all over each cupcake with a toothpick, and then drizzle the rum icing all over the top. Serve warm.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with product from Star Fine Foods for recipe development, but the opinions expressed here are my own.