Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Two-Ingredient Dessert Ideas to get you through the Holiday Season

10 cakes
It’s time to jump on the holiday wagon, ready or not!  Soon we will all be up to our necks in holiday get-togethers, parties, and company stopping by.  Often we will bring a dish to share, and sometimes getting to the store to get the ingredients is the hardest part of getting something together.  I’ve come up with a list of delicious 2 ingredient cakes (Ok one might have 3) that can be mixed together and ready in no time.  If you’ve never made a 2 ingredient cake, you are missing out!  I personally have been making the pumpkin and spice cake one for years.  But the best part about these cakes, is you can mix up the ingredients to match what you have on hand.  For example, although I love to make the pumpkin cake with spice cake mix, you could also use yellow or white or even carrot cake mix in place of the spice.  All of them give the cake a different flavor, but all are good. 

Last week my Mom’s group held our annual cooking demonstration.  I decided to give the pineapple and angel food cake a whirl.   I’d never had it before but love pineapples and angel food cake, so I figured it would be good.  I wasn’t disappointed!  I could have eaten that whole cake!  Good thing I had 30 friends to share with!  I do have to admit I added whipped white frosting (from a can) and then added toasted coconut to the top.  I suppose this technically makes it a 4 ingredient cake, but for the extra three minutes it took, I don’t think you will regret it!  I wasn’t able to get a picture of the cake cut, but here it is at home before I left.


Below are 10 ideas for other 2 ingredient cakes.  You can click on the picture to be taken to the recipes.  Some of the pictures take you to Pinterest, just look below the picture for the recipe.  Stocking up on a few of your favorite flavors will give you a quick, easy and delicious dessert to share with your family and friends.  And if you don’t tell them, they’ll never know how easy it was.  Of course, if you do tell them they will all think you are incredibly smart and wonderful for thinking of such a neat treat.  Either way, it’s win-win for you!  So go ahead and bake someone happy ~enjoy!

Pineapple Angel  Food
recipe by justapinch

Blueberry and angel food
recipe by  The Frugal Girls

recipe by Better Recipes

Lemon cake
recipe by Budget 101

Strawberry Cake
Pumpkin Spice Cake
recipe by Mommy Savers

Almost Fat-free Chocolate
recipe by Food 2 Please

Cinnamon Apple cake

banana cream
Banana Cream cake

key lime
Key Lime cake

Peach Angel Food
recipe by Lizzie Jane Baby

Don’t they all look yummy?  Hope this gives you some inspiration and gives you a quick and easy dish to bring without the stress.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cleaning the gunk under the stovetop burners with ease

Over the last year I’ve been making a conscious effort to reduce the number of products in my house.  It started when I realized that I had cleaning products in several different cabinets around the house.  Some I liked, some I didn’t.  The ones I didn’t were just sitting there, as I reached around them and moved them from place to place.  Once day I thought, why?  So I committed to using up the products one by one and decided on my favorites to keep around for good.  I also added a couple homemade multi-taskers like a granite cleaner and laundry soap (which isn’t just good for laundry).  My cupboards were cleaner and things were good.  But then, something came up and I was in the need of a good degreaser.  Actually, it was my husband that wanted it for a tough job.  I tried giving him some Dawn dish detergent (which is on my love list), but he needed more.  So while at Meijer I spotted some Zep Fast 505.  Could 505 be better than 409?  Who knows, but I thought maybe this would help my husband, so I picked it up.  I think it was about $4.
I left it on the kitchen counter for when he came home, and while I was cleaning up the kitchen I looked from the bottle (degreaser) to the stove (greasy).  As a matter of fact, more greasy than normal from a few good cooking sessions followed by some less than enthusiast clean-ups plus under the gas burners there was a build-up of burned gunk that has been building up over time (hey it’s under the burner, who looks there?).  I have a stainless steel stove that I usually only use Weiman’s Stainless cleaner on, one of the winner’s that made it through.  I decided to give it a try and see how it worked.  Below are some pictures of before I cleaned.  
All I did was lightly spray the cleaner on and waited for a few minutes (2-3) and wiped off with a dry paper towel. I sprayed it on the stove top as well as the cast iron burner covers.  I was amazed and delighted with the results!  Some of the spots required a second spray, but there really was no scrubbing, which is a no-no on stainless steel.  Everything came off so easily.  Here are the after pictures.  I did have to use my Weiman cleaner after I wiped off the stove since it was a bit cloudy and streaky. 



Looks almost brand new doesn’t it?  I think I have a new product to add in to the “it" list.  I do prefer to use natural products when I can, but there are times when you need that extra strength.  I am very pleased with the ease of removing the gunk with any scrubbing or scratching of my stovetop! 

This is NOT a paid advertisement.  I have NOT been compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Skull wreath tutorial

When I shared my Halloween Mantel the other day, I showed you the wreath I made out of 8 Dollar Tree skulls.  The wreath was very easy to make.  I started with a grapevine wreath, also available at the Dollar Tree.  I painted it black and wrapped one gauze cloth from the Halloween section around it and fastened with hot glue.  So far, it has cost me $10 in products from the Dollar Tree.  Fair warning these in progress photos have no editing, and no prepping.  This is the easiest way for me to do pictures while I craft, because if you’ve ever crafted with me you know I am a very fast crafter and can’t really be bothered to stop and make the background look pretty.  It just isn’t important or realistic to me. 

My next item came from Micheals.  It was a Halloween Garland and it cost $5.  I simply flipped the wreath over and hot glued the garland to the wreath, making sure to glue it to the outside so that it can be seen from the front. 
The last thing to do is glue the heads around the wreath.  Take care you make sure they are positioned in a way that they will hang nicely.  Eight fit perfectly.  I was going to add some black flowers, but decided it just didn’t need it.  That was it.  I think it makes a nice ghoulish looking decoration, and it really was very easy to make! 

halloween mantel4
Total cost for project was $15.

See my entire Halloween Mantel HERE

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween Mantel reveal

halloween mantel

With less than 2 weeks to the bewitching hour, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and take down my beautiful Fall Mantel and make way for the Halloween mantel.  Not the easiest choice, but with my kids growing up, I might only have a few more years to do this.  My inspiration came from 8 skull heads I found at the Dollar Tree.  I will be sharing a tutorial in the next day or two on how I made this skull wreath. 
halloween mantel4

My next addition was to use some washi tape as decoration right on the mantel.  Just wasn’t in the mood for another banner this year.  I real like the simple and clean additon of color to the mantel.  I then use a Command strip to hang a sign right in the middle.  It’s an unexpected addition in a unique place.

halloween mantel 2 
halloween mantel 7

Spiders, spiders everywhere add a nice creep factor to an antique black box covered in Dollar Tree netting and flanked with a couple of rats.  Why not?

halloween mantel3
A favorite edition is my real antique picture in frame.  Nabbed from my Aunt’s house when she passed away, it screamed Halloween to me!  I’ve enjoyed it every year since then at this time of year.  Thanks Aunt Lena! (I added the bat)
halloween mentel 6
I’ve had a spooktacular time sharing my Halloween Mantel with you! 
halloween mantel

See the wreath tutorial HERE.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

The Fall Collection



the fall collection

Click here

I’m celebrating today because after a lot of long hours, I finally finished creating tabs on the top of my blog.  You can now quickly find all of my old posts with a simple click of a picture!  If you are new to the blog, or even if your not, click on the tabs and see what you may have missed in the past.  I’ve assembled my Fall Collection above, click on the picture or the word “here” to be taken to the page.  Then feel free to click around! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!  Diane  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Farmer’s Market


Lately I’ve been feeling like Autumn needs it’s own ‘tis the season.  I wanted to share some pictures from my trip to the farm market this morning.   What a gorgeous display of nature going on here.  The vegetables are expected, and really are beautiful on display as well.  But what catch my eye today was the show  that can only be described as “Harvest”.  God bless the men and women who take their time and effort to not only grow these beautiful creatures, but also cart them up to the farm market to sell.  The passion of it is evident in just talking to them!  


The first thing that caught my eye was a table of the most enormous cabbage heads and parsley bunches I’ve ever seen, and at $2 for a head, it was certainly a bargain!



Who says Farmer’s don’t have fun? 

























Purple, orange and white cauliflower.  Imagine what a pretty salad that would make!



Osage oranges?  I’d never heard of them, but they are supposed to be a natural spider repellant that people swear by.  I am going to throw a couple in the camper this fall and see if it works.  They are supposed to have a pleasant lemony smell once they begin to dry.  And they are pretty enough to put in a bowl and display too! 




Zinnias, Sunflowers, and Asters oh My!  Such pretty bouquets for only $5!




Fancy corn stalks?  Even the corn has taken it up a notch! 




You say bokay, I say bouquet.  Doesn’t matter, either way you say it, they are stunning!




I want my Mummy!  In every color and every size.  Such a treat for the eyes!


Wait a second, I forgot to even get a picture of the pumpkins, and the gourds, and the straw bales, and the tomatoes, oh my!  And the guy smoking up all that bbq meat.  Man, that smelled good!  I suppose I will need to go back next week and do that!  I am so happy farm markets are so cool right now.  What a great way to spend a morning, walking talking, and enjoying the splendor of market.  If you haven’t been in a while, you should go!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mason Jar Witch

Turns out Humpty Dumpty isn’t the only one that sat on a wall.  Here’s a cute witch who does it quite well.  She didn’t even fall.  Made from a mason Ball jar I painted green, an old Halloween sock for the hat, a black flower from clearance last year, and some pipe cleaners, along with a few other embellishments I found around the house.  Her cat is a wood cut-out from Micheals (.29) painted with puffy paint and a gem for the eye.
Even this little guy came out to see her. 
It’s my first Halloween craft of the season!  Thanks for stopping by to check it out!


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