DIY Summer Party Pintrest Ideas

DIY Summer Party Ideas.png00e77a754c1c750d0e51bd09d471c80e0c21fe93042878122718538b26e691540ecaccffa5f1f30d6f8e36f1e5770d211adc8473373628a551323dd26b659f522ced266f55d7ab3eea39bf32bcfb7bff2f2a4c9fc0fd986a4e69ac96cba33d002fd4931ae81835c30e12981b60a269ec4e67e4b9b6a147ea4c3ebb4462d343e95a87c7635d6e3749f8eece45252042ae5e862dbcb20bfa8221b5f5340c3f186a5ea044fb535a2bd33c890af5d87a1d465eeff8f064ff3536d835fc346b1006396d5acf14cbce5ad347dcc56c263bf56e7d7b12e945c3bec02248ce994e4b31957f058f228b501c06c3643c50a8998b2d8af920ec8d92b518ef46118f371a64b218c13c6fc303a31651fc51a75f2ed44123e4c5cd8fc2f1a91c65c512d0034c4030d453143e8a897eb0a3da73f6e3824e40b0522f864886e2b3c44ecaf9a1ed0456b684c657b691228a0a0000eb470f1866ab4be9a40a9788f48e20ea4719fdb380d67233ed8b36cbb4c9b4fa0ee1608582efdc5701699dab4ab2c79a1ce578c4 (1)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 (1)a68534db06b08d34faecb66c0ccd0adeaa982c744c0dd3a560cebee9a0be2ce8ab8b6a7339e0ccd8208212ffba2a56d7ac4f069beaaa9e8ad16c3e4650934f91bebfd2b260c181ed168c58140df8e079c0ba1d33669b8ceb82e1410f5344febec318788585c395ade95199df69252206cb9afa6018ae9b477c492c79da6ecd2bcb52b32abdc8e35b782bd67fca755e8ed9aa48811ef7a877770276d1a91f4164d9da827a184737450abac32796688c5dd9f486bfc09cc39bff58c2b329100e8bd322a0d862bc18f6aa2141f63b787113e9c0f0f6d4fa0d2de706033d00ede227eb19474fcc7062ca2a44b64ce9dbf609

Advertisements

Getting Smart with Meal Planning-A Crash Course

Source: Getting Smart with Meal Planning-A Crash Course

Getting Smart with Meal Planning-A Crash Course

Is it time to get smart with meal planning for your home?  I have provided my system in hopes that it will get you that much closer to where you want to be in your journey to better home management.

Let us rewind a bit first.  Three years ago my diet consisted of bagels, donuts, and sandwiches. Okay maybe an extreme example but not far off I promise.  I had eaten this way my entire life.   Don’t blame my mother.  There was always a balanced meal on the table.  I just made sure I only took the vegetables if I was told to and I would sneak Oreos every day after school.  On top of that, I was an athlete in high school and was encouraged by coaches to “carb load.” My monthly visitor “Aunt Flow” was more like a distant relative  you only see at funerals. I use the term funeral because when she did visit I literally wanted to die…Anyway,   I had been married a year and we were ready to start a family.  After four unsuccessful months I had the thought, “Maybe I’ll just go in and get checked out to make sure everything is alright.”5-18-14-102

Everything was not alright.  I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  Long definition short, my hormones are out of whack and there is no cure.  It wreaks all kinds of havoc to your body, especially your reproductive system.   This is a much longer story but in the interest of staying on topic I will just say my doctor’s advice for my first step was a zero gluten, sugar free, high protein diet.  My first reaction was “ew to all of those things.”  Have I mentioned that I love donuts?  I knew nothing about healthier cooking alternatives or gluten free substituting.  I will be honest.  It was awful.  I really wanted donuts, but I wanted a baby more so I hit the books.  And by books I mean every blog and internet article I could find.  One by one I made the changes that I needed to.  With the help of very supportive family members I found stevia, I learned to make the dishes I loved gluten free, I cried a lot,  and I eventually transitioned to a healthier lifestyle. It was the hardest.  The withdrawals from gluten and sugar are no joke folks.    If I hadn’t wanted to be a mother so badly I would have never had the will power.

Close to a year later, and with the help of ovulation drugs, I was pregnant.  It was all completely worth it and I now had the knowledge and the ability to be a healthier me.  Now I could create an entire post (maybe I will someday) on the benefits of healthy eating, but one of the most beneficial tools I found to aid in these efforts was a meal plan.  It was ten times easier to stick to my diet if I had a plan to stick to.  It was my shoulder to lean on when I wanted to give up.  Fast forward to now.  I confess to be a bit obsessed with meal planning, but this obsession blesses my family and it can bless yours too.

I know what you are thinking.  I’m too busy!  Why should I spend my free time meal planning when I could turn my brain off and binge watch  Fixer Upper? (You’re not alone).  Well I am so glad you asked because I cannot wait to tell you.

You will save money

There are a few ways this will happen. Example one, as you are making your shopping list  you see that a recipe calls for sesame oil.  Well good sesame oil can be a bit pricey.  But guess what, you already bought sesame oil for your Asian dish LAST meal period so you can quickly scribble that off on your list.  You just saved yourself a couple bucks.

Another way your wallet will thank you is that stuff just comes up.   You don’t feel like cooking tonight so you bag it and go out.  Maybe your husband surprises you and brings home a pizza.  Or, fingers crossed, you get invited over somewhere for dinner.  This means that the chicken pot pie soup you had scheduled does not get made. I cannot tell you how often this happens.   I  usually have at least one meal that I had planned/shopped for and didn’t end up making.   Now you just transfer this over the NEXT time you meal plan, and you already have all the ingredients to boot!  Winning.

This brings me to the third way you will save money by meal planning.  It goes along with the “stuff comes up mentality.”  Because you will sit down and look ahead in your calendar at what you have going on before you schedule meals you won’t over plan.  Our church sometimes has potlucks.  Sweet, that means I don’t have to plan anything but a side dish that night.  Maybe your mother-in-law invited you over for Sunday dinner.  Because this is in your calendar, you don’t waste time planning a meal or spending money on food you won’t use.  However, this method DOES require that you keep an updated calendar.  So hopefully you do already, or are planning to start.

It is easier to eat healthy

Okay go with me on this, you just got home from work and you are too hungry to figure out what to make for dinner.  Your husband called to say he would be home late, your daughter ripped a hole in her new pants today that you waited in line for an hour to buy, and with the baby on your hip you dropped your keys twice  before you even got to the front door.  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for everyone!  Wrong. You meal planned!  You have all the stuff for zucchini boats.  You just have to throw it together.  Pat yourself on the back.  You just saved yourself more empty carbs than you want to know.

You make better choices when you already have a plan.  Empty carbs are SO easy to throw together, not to mention delicious.  It is hard work to shift to healthy meals when you first start out.   Also once you make the decision to change it gets tempting to go back to old habits because if you are like me, you had to replace a LOT of family favorites.  I have been there and I’m never going back. Once you make the shift your body will thank you I promise.

Side note: You don’t have to substitute delicious for healthy.  They can be one and the same.

It is one less thing to worry about

Picture the previous scene that I laid out for you.  In addition to all that you only have an hour before you have to get to your workout class, the one thing you do for yourself that you look forward to all week.  Once again that Mac n Cheese is looking pretty good right now because you do not have the time to figure something out and then run to the store to pick up the items you don’t have. But no need.  You have already done the thinking AND the shopping!  All you have to do is look at your menu board and get started.

I have already done the work for you

Guys, I do not feel that I need to do a lot of explaining here.  I’m passionate about meal planning so I am willingly sharing mine with you!

Now that I’ve convinced you that you cannot possibly go another minute without a meal plan, let’s get started!

Step 1.  Organize It

Best advice alert:  Get Free Printables.  So many women much more skilled than I have already spent the time to provide us with tools to enhance our productivity.  Not to mention, they do it beautifully!

mealplanningchartmint

These are some of my favorites:

May Richer Fuller Be

The Road to Loving My Thermo Mixer

Cupcake Diaries

Organizing Home Life

I use two different printables for my system.  One is a meal planning printable with a list option on the side.  The other, I display on my kitchen counter in a cute frame.

I use the printable with the lists on the side to write down all the meals I plan on making as well as any additional info I need to keep in mind.  When I have the number of meals I counted for then I date the days and assign the meals.  Stay with me, I’ll explain this below.    I suppose this would be considered my rough draft. I have two copies of this printable so I can assign two weeks worth of meals.  These are placed inside plastic sleeves and written on with dry erase marker.    Those reside in my home management binder.

Once I assign my meals to a day I also provide a visual copy that is framed on the kitchen counter (see photo above).  For my convenience, I just write on the glass with a dry erase marker.  Are you getting the hint that I try not to create more work for myself?  This method also allows for less paper to keep track of.

fullsizerender6

Step 2.  Pull Out Your Calendar

Now you have your beautifully designed printables and are ready for the next step.  For this step to be useful it requires that you actually keep your calendar up to date…I know that I might be asking a lot here but we need calendars to keep our heads on straight.    Pull up the family calendar and look for anything scheduled in the next two weeks that impacts  dinner in any way.  Examples: eating out with friends, parties to go to, having guests over, etc. This way you know what is best for that night or if you even need to cook anything at all! Score!

Next, count how many dinners you need to plan for and write that down on the top of the printable with the notes section (your rough draft version).  If two weeks at a time is too often I have friends that meal plan for a month at a time.  Do what works for you.

Step 3.  Make Notes, You Will Thank Yourself Later

I make these notes right on my rough draft version.  Going to be at soccer games all day?  You are  going to want something for the slow cooker-write crockpot above that day.   Having friends over for dinner next weekend?  Probably should plan a few extra sides. These events are on the page so you can keep them in mind when choosing and assigning meals.

I like knowing what to prepare for early in the day so I can thaw meat or chop veggies a head of time, but am flexible if it doesn’t work out how I had planned.  I typically assign my meals to a day but the recipes I share are in no particular order, so feel free to add them to your calendars as you please.

Step 4.  Look Up the Recipes and Create a Grocery List

Once I have my meals chosen and assigned I make the grocery list.   I do this by reading EVERY single recipe I have chosen and writing down what I do not have.  I stress the word every because I cannot tell you how many times I have thought I knew what was  in a dish and didn’t bother to make sure only to attempt to make it the next week and realize it calls for some spice that I do not have.  Been there?

Lastly, I will just put this out there because we have all done it.  Do. Not. Forget. The. List.  Unless you enjoy loading up three kids and three kids worth of snacks only to get to the store with no clue what you needed.

Step 5.  The Lingo-How to effectively utilize my meal plans

Now because I am happy to help you skip the process of finding 10+ meals, the time it takes you to meal plan should be shortened quite a bit.  I will post my meal plans every other week in time for weekend grocery shopping.  Listed below are some short cut terms I use for convenience.

YoYo- it means you’re on your own, or leftover night, or make yourself a dang quesadilla night because I don’t believe that a person should have to cook every single day of the week.

GF- Gluten Free ( if a recipe is not wheat free you can bet that I substituted flour with a GF blend or cornstarch)

CP- Crockpot/Slow Cooker

*- Tried and true family favorite

Additional Tips & Tricks

  • There is only three of us right now (the baby doesn’t eat enough to make a difference) but I always cook for four so that husband and I both have lunches the next day. Sometimes that means half-ing the recipe.  So pay attention to ingredient amounts.
  • Meat is expensive, and should be eaten sparingly anyway, so I try really hard to do Meatless Monday
  •  When I am doing a cleanse I plan out breakfast, snacks, lunches, AND dinner.  I am less likely to cheat.
  • I try about five new recipes every meal period.  After the two week period is over, I always go back and add the meals we liked to our family favorites list and delete the ones on Pinterest or throw away the copies of the recipes that we did not love.  If we don’t love it, I don’t bother making it again.

2 Minute Sugar Free Apple Pie Oatmeal [RECIPE] — The Noob Chef

 

via 2 Minute Sugar Free Apple Pie Oatmeal [RECIPE] — The Noob Chef

If I learned anything about oatmeal, it’s that it is much more cost effective to purchase a large container of quick oats and make your own variation. A large container that lasts me easily 1 month (eating it daily) costs $3.99. Now I’ll admit… for a while there I caved and tossed 2 tbsp. of sugar into my oats to sweeten things up. Over time I made a promise to myself to try and cut back on sugar where I could. That’s not to say I’m completely sugar free. (Hence my recent Buckeye recipe). But, I’m trying.

So I got to work playing around with other kinds of sweeteners: honey, sugar-free maple syrup, sugar-free applesauce, sugar-free apple butter, Splenda, etc. I’m a sucker for apples so I was aiming to make an oatmeal that tasted like an apple pie without the super jolt of sugar. The result was this recipe. It isn’t overly sweet, but the ingredients give it just enough sweetness for enjoyment while still being a stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast. How do you like your oatmeal? Comment below and let me know! I hope you all enjoy this recipe and as always… keep on cooking! ❤

img_3380

2 Minute Sugar Free Apple Pie Oatmeal

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar free apple butter
  • 2 tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. milk or half and half

Instructions: 

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in the quick oats and water. Heat for 2 minutes. (Note: watch your oatmeal on the last 30 seconds so it doesn’t overflow).
  2. Add in the apple butter and maple syrup and mix well.
  3. Add in the cinnamon and chopped apple and fold through. Then drizzle 2 tbsp. of milk or cream on top. Mix well and enjoy!

Use Social Media to Strengthen Family

Use Social Media to Strengthen Family – http://wp.me/p4mh8f-qlT

Use Social Media to Strengthen Family

Aug 24th 2016

No Comments

Marriage and Family Improvement through Social Media

 Social media is all around us: our phones, watches, computers, etc. We are constantly connecting to people around the world, but are you using social media to connect to the people closest to you?! We want to help you find ways to use your technology to bring your family closer together and avoid simply using it as a distraction from the ones you love {intentionally or not}. Lets all grow together instead of apart by using our favorite social media!

Get ready to get the BEST ideas you’ve ever heard about how to use social media to make your family and marriage stronger!Pinterest may not be your first go to for social media that can bring your family closer together, but it totally can! We have some of the best tips from the Divas to help you figure out how!

  • “Pinning date night ideas! I have a bucket list board of all the date ideas that I want to do and then I even transfer them over to a “dates we have done” board.” – Diva Sarina
  • “I have gift boards for everyone and my hubby just logs into my account to get ideas. We also use it to talk about our dream house ideas and date night ideas. ” – Diva Ferren
  • “Pinterest is like a visual google. Need a last minute family night? Done! You’ll have zillions to choose from at the click of a button. Kids bored this summer and you need a quick and easy craft or free coloring pages??!! DONE! You’ll have loads in a couple of seconds. Need parenting advice? There’s loads of inspiring and encouraging articles.” – Diva Becca {She’s our Pinterest Director! So she has GREAT ideas on how to use this outlet to strengthen family}
  • “I use it a lot for recipes, which can arguably strengthen the family… dinners together bring you closer together!” – Diva Gabby
  • “We use Pinterest to look for ideas for new furniture projects or home projects.” – Diva Kari
  • “He absolutely LOVES this because of my wish list boards! My hubby doesn’t use Pinterest for himself, but I have come home to him accomplishing something that he built (like a dresser) that I had previously pinned. He’s constantly serving me by doing things like that, and I absolutely love it!” – Diva Mandi

Aren’t those the BEST ideas?! Pinterest can make your life easier and lessen stress on both husband and wife! One last thought from our Pinterest Director, Becca, “DON’T use Pinterest to compare yourself to other (more creative and talented) moms. Ha- oh no! That’s NOT what it is for. Use it to save you time and give you brilliant ideas! Why re-invent the wheel when someone has already done it for you?”Instagram is another fabulous social media outlet that allows you to share pictures with your followers.

  • “We post a lot of MEMES on there and my husband isn’t on Instagram, so my trick is to take a screenshot of them and I TEXT them to him. He loves it and it’s an easy way to show my love.” – Diva Tara
  • “We both do have an account on here, but I definitely use it more than him. However, he will say things like, “did you see what so and so posted from their wedding?” And that helps open up the conversation in marriage.” – Diva Heather
  • “I make Chat Books from my Instagram account- super easy/cheap way to print photo books with your insta pics! We also have a hashtag for our baby” – Diva Gabby
  • “I LOVE following accounts that share inspiring and fun quotes. I follow several religious accounts because I love those little inspirational thoughts and scriptures. I follow several health and exercise accounts, too, to keep me motivated to workout and to get new, healthy recipe ideas.” – Diva Becca

Of course, all of the Divas also LOVE the 30 Days of Love Challenge! We use that program to support and share more love! Facebook. This is the most established {that’s a nice way to say oldest, right?} social media outlet that we are focusing on today. There are a lot of opinions on FB, but we have some ways to use it to HELP not HURT the family.

  • “We enjoy watching hilarious viral posts together and will often share them with just each other!” – Diva Mandi
  • “We love this for the “time hop” and seeing our journey over the years.” – Diva Melissa
  • “My family and I have a separate group on FB where we post silly things and inside jokes, let each other know family updates, etc. It definitely brings us closer together since we have fun ways to connect.” – Diva Jessie
  • “Only follow people who inspire you. Facebook will show you MORE of what you like… so if I am cracking up over a video, I like it or comment. That way, FB tracks my interaction and tries to produce more of what I love.” – Diva Tara
  • “You can also find out a lot about local events, like food trucks, festivals etc. from Facebook, which are PERFECT date ideas! We found out about a fun bbq festival and a hot air balloon fair from Facebook.” – Diva Gabby

Make social media work for you! If you need more ideas about how to be uplifted and strengthened you need to visit some of our favorite pinterest boards:Strengthening Your MarriageFamily Fun IdeasDate Night IdeasMake sure to also follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Another way to make social media work for you is to be prepared! Check out The Social Media Marriage Mess for tips on how to protect your family and marriage. And of course, there are hundreds of great apps that people love. Check out the 10 Apps to Strengthen Your Marriage!

http://ift.tt/2bOEACi

Loves as of Late- January Edition

Loves as of Late- January Edition – http://wp.me/p862je-8Y

Did you just find your kid playing in the toilet for the third time today (yes, I did) and could use some uplift?  Are you looking for some ways to change it up with your daily schedule or system? Welcome to the first edition of my Loves as of Late series.

These specific posts are a random collaboration of items, ideas, activities, or foods (like I would ever leave that out) that add value to my marriage, family, home, or me personally. In other words I am sharing some of the things we can’t get through this life without.  I am always so interested to know what works in other homes and love getting new ideas from the wives and mothers I associate with.  We are all bettered when we have an opportunity to learn and grow from each other right? Maybe you and your family will be inspired and uplifted by what we love around here lately.

Recipe Organizer

This was the best birthday present I got this year.  My husband knows me all to well and my gifts all had a home organization type theme.  I am also obsessed with my new paper cutter and label maker…it’s the little things am I right?  I have seen a huge amount of pins dedicated to making your own recipe organizer, which is what I was planning on doing before my heart fell in love with this one at Hobby Lobby.  This was exactly what I had imagined when deciding I would be making my own. It has a conversion chart and basic tabs (breads, desserts, entrees) and I might add a few extra.  It comes with full recipe pages as well as the smaller index size.  The larger pages are convenient for the essay long recipes that I personally tend to avoid since that is too much effort.  I’m sure I will find a use for them.

It was a few weeks before my birthday so I took a picture of the one in the store and constructed, via text to my husband, a rock solid argument of how this would benefit our household.  Just kidding, I just begged and pleaded and he loves me.   The one pictured above is what I have.  I couldn’t find it online but there are a few other irresistible themes and styles in the store.

photo credit – ebay.com

This mug cake makes my life

Are you looking for a dessert that is fast, easy, healthy, and a quick clean up?  Enter, coconut flour chocolate mug cake.  This is one of the only GF mug cakes I have found that DOESN’T turn out to be a texture I could scrub my dishes with. It is so satisfying yet, I do not have to feel guilty because I haven’t ruined the work out I did that morning.   It is made with coconut flour and coconut oil but the recipe is very flexible.  I typically add more chocolate than it suggests because I like mine darker and often use butter instead of coconut oil. You can throw in a couple of chocolate chips, or not.   It just depends on how healthy I feel like being.  Also I  substitute agave or stevia for the honey.

BONUS, this link also has two other mug cakes that I have not tried but my friend said the peanut butter cake was delicious.  This mug cake is ideal for curling up on the couch after the kids go to bed to reward yourself for not losing it when you couldn’t keep one out of the toilet.  Yes, I am still bitter.  You can even share a couple bites with your honey if you feel like being nice.

photo credit – nortorious.blogspot.com

Life Saving Tips for the Mother of a Big Family

GUYS,  If you do nothing else for yourself this entire week READ THIS ARTICLE.  I do not mean to be bossy but, just do it.  I cannot express how much this will bless your life.  One of my very best friends sent this to me months ago and I refer to it quite often.  My “Self congratulation is key to mental health” new year’s resolution is a direct product of how greatly these words impacted me. It changed the way I approach running a home and raising a family.

It’s a  beautiful numbered list (love my lists) and she covers everything from, “I am not a buffet” to “I don’t minister to laundry.” You like it already don’t you;) Disregard the big family part, this is vital for any size family in any phase of life.  Take some time tonight and read this while you gobble down your mug cake.

photo credit – The Dating Divas

Set all the goals with these printables

I prefer goals rather than resolutions.  Have you put thought into what you’d like to improve this coming year?  It isn’t too late!  Multiple studies have shown that if you write down your goals, you are more likely to achieve them.  I can get on board with that.  There is something so motivating about putting your ambitions onto paper.  I believe it also creates another method of accountability because it will be staring me down from its place on the wall as I walk to my closet.

Not only is this printable free, but it is b-e-a-utiful.  I couldn’t wait to get my goals down on there.  I am motivated just looking at it.  There are two designs to choose from as well as  mini sized pages to keep in your purse or planner.  We chose the larger page to put down our 2017 family goals and framed it, it’s that gorgeous you guys.  You can grab this freebie here on The Dating Divas blog.  I can promise you this will not be the last time I will mention these ladies.  I am obsessed with their site and the resources they have for creating a happy and healthy marriage.  You can also find this printable saved on my Printable Freebies Pinterest board.

Tiger Tail

Me and this guy have a love hate relationship.  The stick, not the man. That man and I have a very happy and healthy marriage.  The stick is called a tiger tail and it is the best Christmas present I didn’t even know I wanted.  My husband and I began an Insanity work out class a few months ago and you guessed it, it’s insane.  We spend a lot of time being sore these days.  It has done wonders for our endurance but my poor muscles.

Trevor found an online article written by Kyle Collinsworth, an NBA player, discussing some of his favorite recovery tools and methods.  At the time I thought he was showing me the products as a Christmas gift hint.  So I went ahead and ordered the muscle stimulator.  Well the real story was that he planned to buy ME some of the products and was getting a feel for my reaction.  Naturally, since I thought he wanted these items, my responses were enthusiastic and positive.  Fast forward to Christmas morning.  Trevor opens his muscle simulator and smiles.  He then hands me a present to open and says, “This might be where we needed to communicate.”  Would you look at that I got a muscle stimulator too.  What can I say, we’re in love.  Fast forward to now.  We use this all the time.  heck, you don’t even have to have sore muscles.  It makes a terrific back massager and no one’s hands have to get tired.  You can buy one here.  And if you are wondering, we love the muscle stimulator as well.

What are you loving right now?  Comment and share below!

Oven temperature: why is important 

Oven temperature: why is important – http://wp.me/p6GteP-3hz

Hey pixels!! Today I’m talking about oven temperature, and why is important. We’ve been baking lots of recipes here, and I always recommend you the appropiate temperature for each one. But, why this temperature and not another?

When Jane Darling, from Which.co.uk asked me if I could write a post about this subject, I was pleased to say yes. And here it is, my happy pixels!!

Each recipe has a perfect baking temperature and time, in order to ensure that baked goods don’t get overcooked or not completely baked. This time and temperature changes when we talk about meat, fish, veggies or cakes. It even changes for every recipe. The best way to bake properly is to follow the recipe directions. At least the first time you’re baking that recipe, because every oven is different, so the second time you’ll be able to adjust time and temperature acording to your oven.

Here is a picture showing how the same cake recipe can change if it’s baked at four different temperatures. Picture is from Which.co.uk. Thank you, Jane, for allow me to use it!!

As you may see, baking at the proper temperature is basic. No one enjoys a burnt or a not completely baked cake.

I’ve collected some tips about how to bake your cakes properly. I hope you’ll find them useful, my happy pixels!!

Tips to bake cakes

  1. Preheat oven. If you put a cake into an oven that’s not hot enough, it will affect the way it rises. Fan ovens can dry a cake slightly so for a longer shelf-life use the conventional setting.
  2. Make sure ingredients are a right temperature. Most recipes require the fat and eggs to be at room temperature. If you take the butter straight from the fridge it doesn’t cream well and cold eggs are liable to curdle the cake mixture.
  3. Once the cake mixture is made put it straight into the oven. The raising agent will start working as soon as it comes into contact with any of the wet ingredients so to ensure a good rise your cake mixture should go into the oven straightaway.
  4. Put the cake on the correct shelf and keep the oven door closed. Cakes are generally best placed on the middle shelf to ensure even cooking.
  5. Don’t open the door until cake is almost done. Every time you open the door, oven temperaure gets a bit colder, and trust me, that’s not good for your cake.
  6. Stick to cooking times. If you’ve used the right tin and you’ve got a good oven, the timings stated in the recipe should be accurate. As ovens do vary, check the cake just before the end of the cooking time. A skewer or fork inserted in the center should come out dry. But, as I said before, every oven is different, so it’s important to know how your oven works to control better time and temperature.

I hope this tips will work for you, my happy pixels. Personally, I use them all!!

To finish this post, I have a bonus for you. I’ve made a nice conversion chart!

I hope that you’ve found this information useful. Now, my happy pixels, it’s time to bake some cakes!!

Love,

Sílvia.

Apple Roses 

Apple Roses – http://wp.me/p8bEfg-jv

Happy LOVE day! I hope you are taking the time to celebrate everything and everyone you get to love in your life today – including yourself. 🙂

There are a number of different ways to celebrate love. Thankfully, most of them are edible. Here’s a quick video tutorial showing you how to make a beautiful and delicious bouquet of roses out of one of the world’s absolute best foods: the apple.

Check it out and give it a try. Let us know your favorite way to serve it (with banana ice cream, baked into a pie, or with just a sprinkle of brown sugar on top…) in the comments below.

For more videos like this (including a tutorial on how to make healthy raw cherry chocolate truffles) hit the subscribe button on our YouTube channel or follow along on our Facebook page.

Lots of love! xox