cake http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7672/all en-US My 5 Favorite Funny Christmas Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/my-5-favorite-funny-christmas-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-5-favorite-funny-christmas-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004883998XSmall.jpg" alt="Fruitcake" title="Fruitcake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I got a lot of great stuff for Christmas.&nbsp;Some items were standouts. There were beautiful, seriously thought-out items, which I will treasure. And then there were the ones that made me laugh out loud. If you want to start buying for 2011 already, I have saved you some trouble. Get these:</p> <h2>A Fireplace DVD</h2> <p>Go ahead and laugh.&nbsp;Get it out of your system. I love this DVD. Even though we live in temperatures that average in the 80s, I miss having a fireplace during the holidays. There is something really cozy about sitting near the fire with a good book. That, my friends, is why the <em>Cozy, Cracklin&rsquo; Fireplace</em> DVD became one of my favorite gifts this year. You just pop it into your DVD player, and the logs burn down. It has hissing and crackling noises too. Mine has the option of Christmas carols or Mozart in the background, but I am happy with the snappy fire noise. </p> <p>I know what you are thinking: <em>Omigod, she is so tacky</em>. Yes. Agreed. No contest. I read the comments about these DVDs on Amazon, though, and I am not alone in my quest for fire. Lots of people like me find you can &ldquo;feel&rdquo; warmth coming from the screen. If you live somewhere without a fireplace, and you long for the reassuring ambiance of a hearth fire, this is a frugal person&rsquo;s dream. There is also no need to buy (or cut and split) firewood, stack firewood, check the woodpile for spiders, haul wood inside, clean up soot, or wreck your rug with hot embers. I love it. </p> <p>Here is a shopping tip, though. There are an unbelievable number of different fireplace DVDs on the market. Because I had dropped a last-minute hint, my husband shopped everywhere and the only one he was able to find locally was <em>Cozy, Crackln&rsquo; Fireplace.</em> But with all of this warning, you have the luxury of shopping at online retailers like Amazon.com and reading descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best version for your special someone.</p> <h2>Fruitcake</h2> <p>Are you still one of those &ldquo;I hate fruitcake&rdquo; people? Give it UP! I am not talking about the kind of fruitcake that our aged neighbor pulled out of her freezer and gave to us last year (&quot;I&rsquo;m not sure where I got this, or, um, when...&quot;). This was <a href="http://www.harryanddavid.com">Harry &amp; David</a> fruitcake, resplendent with chunks of dried fruit and nuts.&nbsp;Even my husband, who previously suffered from &ldquo;I hate fruitcake&rdquo; syndrome, had to admit it is delicious.</p> <h2>The <em>Hawaii Cook Book</em></h2> <p>Those of you who share my love of thrift stores would enjoy this book from 1965. My friend Betsy knew I would dig it. Anyone for &ldquo;Fish and Yam Fritters&rdquo; or &ldquo;Poi Muffins&rdquo;? This is a treasure, and it reminds me that I should comb more thrift stores for classic cookbooks. They make fun gifts.</p> <h2>Marshmallow Shooters</h2> <p>These are a HOT item here on the Island. Yes, we do have TV...but load up your camo-painted PVC pipe with a mini-marshmallow, pop someone in the eye, and you will soon understand why you cannot find mini-marshmallows for your baked yams around here at Christmas. You can <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Marshmallow-Gun">make your own shooters</a> or buy them online.</p> <h2>Farkle</h2> <p>After buying the neighbor boys a Yahtzee game at our local big-box retailer, my husband found a dice game with the rather bizarre name of &ldquo;Farkle&rdquo; (Patch Products, Inc.). I suppose that is really no odder than &ldquo;Yahtzee.&rdquo; Anyway, he decided we needed to learn how to Farkle. It is really fun, and I am not saying that because I just beat him 10,000 to 4,300. It is just something about the word, as in, &ldquo;Ha ha, you just Farkled.&rdquo; Saying it never gets old (well, yet).</p> <p>There you have it, readers, my five hot tips. Get ready for 2011. Can anybody beat THIS&nbsp;stuff? If you can, I would love to read about it in the comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-5-favorite-funny-christmas-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-dress-like-don-draper-on-the-cheap">This Is How You Dress Like Don Draper on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping cake Christmas gifts funny games gift ideas thrift stores Fri, 31 Dec 2010 13:00:13 +0000 Marla Walters 424508 at http://www.wisebread.com When Good Cakes Go Bad: A Cheat Sheet for the Uninspired http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-cakes-go-bad-a-cheat-sheet-for-the-uninspired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-good-cakes-go-bad-a-cheat-sheet-for-the-uninspired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worst cake ever.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m no cake professional.<span>  </span>I can barely manage a Betty Crocker boxed mix with the fluffy frosting from a can.<span>  </span>I appreciate all the hard work that goes into a professional piece (be it for weddings, birthdays, or that retirement party.)<span>  </span>Check out my tips for faking cake proficiency, and see what happens when it all goes terribly wrong. </p> <h2 class="MsoNormal"><strong>The Good</strong> <br /></h2> <p class="MsoNormal">Cakes are usually delicious, regardless of how dysfunctional they may appear.<span>  </span>While close family may be forgiving of a lop-sided creation badly adorned with those premade candy letters and the 50-cent candles from the Dollar store, there are better, classier ways.<span>  </span>Here’s how I manage: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Your Basic Cake</strong> – White cake is actually pretty boring, and reminds me of my Easy Bake Oven days.<span>  </span>A nice lemon, pineapple, or red velvet cake somehow oozes a little more sophistication.<span>  </span>It’s OK to use a box mix for these more challenging cakes, and if done correctly, you may get a few “oohs” and “awes” with little effort. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Your Mix-Ins</strong> – Nuts, fruits, sprinkles, chips, and other yummy, tiny little things can give your basic cake extra spark and delightful flavor.<span>  </span>Play around with flavor combinations that compliment each other, and give an instant gourmet taste to your cheap knock-off. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Your Presentation</strong> – The most creatively-prepared cake mix will fail to bring fascination if baked in your standby rectangle cake pan.<span>  </span>While I’m not advocating we all go out and purchase $50 Elmo cake shapes, a bit of style and the wonders of silicon can keep your desserts pretty and in one piece.<span>  </span>I love Wilton’s entire line of Bundt pans and those cute little <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014AHRLU?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=B0014AHRLU">tulip and daisy individual cake molds</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Your Frosting</strong> – Huge gobs of premade frosting can be a turn off.<span>  </span>Consider <a href="http://www.easy-kids-recipes.com/homemade-icing.html">making your own frosting</a> or lightly dusting a cake with powdered sugar.<span>  </span>If you insist on decorating with no skill whatsoever, go easy, take your time, and remember that less is more. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Assuming that you can bake, decorate, and transport your cake safely to your destination, you have a shot at impressing with little money and effort.<span>  </span>(Or <a href="/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">consider a dump cake</a> for true simplicity and honest flavor.) </p> <h2 class="MsoNormal"><strong>The Bad</strong> <br /></h2> <p class="MsoNormal">There are always those who don’t heed the warnings of the cake professionals and undertake something way beyond their skill level.<span>  </span>Sadly, many of these errors occur in the bakeries of large grocery stores or big box retailers, where consumers are left overcharged and unimpressed.<span>  </span>My favorite cake goofs of all time are displayed in all their glory at the <a href="http://www.cakewrecks.blogspot.com/">Cake Wrecks blog</a>.<span>  </span>(Thanks to <a href="http://autumnatoakhollow.com/">Autumn Oak Hollow</a> for the tip!)<span>  </span><em>A doggie cake that looks like a pile of crap (literally)?</em><span>  </span>You seriously <a href="http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2008/09/going-to-dogs-continued.html">have to see it to believe it</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-cakes-go-bad-a-cheat-sheet-for-the-uninspired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-hot-water-now-what">No Hot Water: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-complete-idiots-guide-to-speed-reading-a-book-review">The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading: A Book Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips cake DIY hacks recipes Mon, 06 Oct 2008 14:54:13 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2500 at http://www.wisebread.com Dump Cake and Other Sweet, Easy Treats http://www.wisebread.com/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yellow cake.jpg" alt="" title="yellow cake mix" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="261" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Yellow cake mix goes on sale all the time where I live.<span> </span>For under $10, you can usually score 15 or more boxes!<span> </span>This is great if you&rsquo;re making cakes, but what if you just don&rsquo;t have an occasion for frosting a celebration dessert?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Growing up we ate &ldquo;dump cake&rdquo; quite often.<span> </span>Ignoring the name for a moment, dump cake is delicious.<span> </span>The best part is that it takes no baking skill or more than 7 minutes to make.<span> </span>And most people have everything they need to make one hiding in their pantry.<span> </span>The main ingredient:<span> </span>Yellow cake mix.<span> </span>Here&rsquo;s a classic recipe that will aim to please:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <h2><span>INGREDIENTS</span></h2> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained, juice reserved</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 (6 ounce) package peach flavored gelatin mix</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1/2 cup butter</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1/2 cup water</li> </ul> <h2><span>DIRECTIONS</span></h2> <ol> <li class="MsoNormal">Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Place peaches in bottom of 9x13 cake pan. Sprinkle dry peach gelatin over peaches. Sprinkle dry cake mix over gelatin. Cut up butter and distribute over cake mix. Pour 1 cup of reserved peach juice and 1/2 cup of water over the top.</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until the top is browned.</li> </ol> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Can&rsquo;t get much more basic than that, can it?<span> </span>For some variety, try a different canned fruit and pudding combo (apples, pears, mandarin orange, cherries or even pumpkin!)<span> </span>You can top it off with whipped topping or ice cream.<span> </span>No one will ever know you didn&rsquo;t even have to mix it!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are also some very delicious and easy cookie recipes that use yellow cake mix as the main ingredient.<span> </span>Because you don&rsquo;t have to mess with sifting flour or melting butter, this is totally the way to go.<span> </span>Check out my favorite cookies made from yellow cake mix:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <h2><span>INGREDIENTS</span></h2> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">&frac12;<span> </span>cup sugar</li> <li class="MsoNormal">2 cups quick-cooking oats (or instant oatmeal, same thing)</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 cup vegetable oil</li> <li class="MsoNormal">3 eggs</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 tsp vanilla</li> <li class="MsoNormal">1 cup yummy stir-ins of your choice (pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins, etc.)</li> </ul> <h2><span>DIRECTIONS</span></h2> <ol> <li class="MsoNormal">Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Stir together all ingredients.<span> </span>Spoon 1 teaspoon drops of dough onto baking sheet (ungreased).</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Bake in the preheated oven for 13 minutes, or until golden brown and not gooey in the middles.</li> </ol> <p class="MsoNormal">Bake a friend some cookies.<span> </span>Take some to your grandma (after all, how many cookies has she made for YOU in your lifetime.)<span> </span>Eat a few yourself.<span> </span>Share the cheap cookie love!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time">10 Homemade Baking Mixes That Save Money and Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-jobs-for-foodies">12 Cool Jobs for Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking cake cookies Cooking dessert Wed, 22 Aug 2007 21:42:32 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1036 at http://www.wisebread.com