RSS Feed

Tag Archives: hack

Aunt Christine’s Household Hints! – VINEGAR!

If anyone knows me personally, (and I know those who don’t, I do believe you’re missing out..), they would most likely know who my Aunt Christine is as well. I grew up in the country, a half mile away from her, and spent hours upon hours at her house  playing with my cousins when we were kids. Now, as an adult I still adore her (possibly more than when I was a child), and as anyone who knows her can attest, she’s one of the most generous people I know.

Now keep in mind, generous comes in many different ways with her.  For instance, every time I go south to the States she comes over and gives me some “funny money” (US Dollars) that she had just “hanging around”. When she comes across a great deal somewhere, instead of buying one, she’ll buy a few and end up giving me one of whatever it is. For my last birthday, she bought me a purple wig. Yep… I don’t know why either, but she’s great that way! I mean come on, who gets a purple wig AND a helium “Happy Birthday” balloon that sings the birthday song to you whenever you punch it???? I loved it!!

Ok, so moving on. At some point a year or so ago, she came over and gave me a super cool series of small books that she bought God knows where. They are basically 3 separate books on different uses for household vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Alright, obviously these hints aren’t exactly MY AUNTIE’S HINTS as the title of this blog post suggests, because the vinegar book is actually written by Christine Halvorson (NOT my Aunt Christine) but I kinda like the idea that she gave me the books, so it seems like they came from her…. like my logic?

Here’s the vinegar book:

IMAG1310

The books have a bit of a retro/vintage type of look to them, and are full of super cool little “hacks” or hints, to make life easier, and cost effective.The book suggests using Heinz’s brand name vinegar, however, I’m SURE any brand name of vinegar would work if not your not feeling fancy. Just be sure it’s the 5% acidity kind.

So, I thought when times are a bit slow around here (aka, I have nothing new to post), you, my dear readers, will get a handy dandy hint or two on how to use one of these household staples in ways that you may not have ever dreamed of! Well perhaps you may have heard of a few of these, but you can always pass the info (as well as this blog post..ahem) onto someone who might not be in the know. That way, you could be the hero for the day and be a smartypants ALL AT ONCE!

Win win!

So, we shall commence the schooling with the household vinegar tips. For the most part, these tips are referencing your run of the mill, white, grocery store bought, 5% acidity vinegar. A few tips will use apple cider, but that will of course, be prefaced.

Ok. Here’s two handy hints to get us started:

For cleaning your microwave:  If you microwave is dirty and greasy with old food particles and other grossness, microwave a glass container with one cup of water, and a 1/4 cup of vinegar for about 3 to 4 minutes. After the microwave is finished, leave it there for about 10 minutes without the opening the door. Then, open the door and simply wipe clean!

Laundry: If you add 2 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle while washing cotton or wool blankets, it will remove any soapy residue and leave the blankets smelling clean (not of vinegar), soft and fluffy!

If you have any uses for vinegar, let me know and I’ll post them here!

If you’re interested in buying these books, here’s a place you can:
http://www.amazon.com/Heinz-Distilled-Vinegar-Helpful-Household/dp/141271365X

Easy! Moist! Cherry! Chocolate!……..Yes!

Slice2

Wait… what???

I’m talking CAKE people. CAAAKE!!
I can see most male readers exiting right at the word cake. It’s all good.
We women understand the power that those words hold in that title.
Sounds sexy though, doesn’t it?

That’s because it is.

What more can you want? Luscious chocolatey Devils Food cake, dotted throughout with juicy cherries, all topped with a rich, chocolatey glaze that adds a moist denseness to the cake that you would make you run, arms flailing and screaming gibberish, naked in the streets for.

Well, maybe the naked part’s just me.

Moving on, this is an impressive cake that’s one of the most simplest “hacks” I’ve made yet. I actually laugh out loud, all jolly-like, at how easy this recipe is.

Three super simple ingredients: Devil’s Food Cake mix – now, this could be any chocolate cake mix you wanted to use folks, but I like to get all “gourmet” on things, so I sprung for the fancy box. I know, you’re impressed, no need to be coy. Three (3) eggs, and a can of cherry pie filling finishes the list.

I know, crazy simple right?

*laugh out loud all jolly-like with me now*

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan . I used my fancy Pampered Chef Stoneware Bunt Pan. Oh btw… Pampered Chef didn’t pay me to say that…. or use even use it. I came up with the idea ALL on my own….. Ok, not really, I actually read it somewhere but it rolls with the whole gourmet theme I had going on.

Now comes the hardest part of the whole recipe.
Ready???

cakehack2

Open that crazy cake mix box. Open the bag inside. Pour the contents in a bowl. (Put the empty box in your recycle bin. Think of the kids.) Crack in your eggs over the cake mix. Open the can of pie filling. Scoop it in the cake mixture. Miiiiiiiiiiiiix it all around. Don’t do a cyclone type mix… just gently incorporate it all together really well. Sing a song, maybe.

Really hard to do, isn’t it?

Pour the contents into the pan and throw it in the oven.

DONE.

cakehack3

Bake it for 35 – 40 minutes or until a tester of some sort comes out clean. I used a wooden skewer. If you’re using a bundt pan, it may take a few minutes longer but just babysit the bundt for a bit near the end of the cooking time.

While it’s baking, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a sauce pan. Add 5 tablespoons of cocoa, 6 tablespoons of milk, and a dash of vanilla, and bring to a boil. Combine that mixture into 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar and mix together. You want the consistency of thick syrup. Add a bit more milk by the tablespoon if you need to loosen the glaze.

This is the lusciousness that will top your sexy cake.

cakehack4

I turned out the cake onto a stand and poked holes all over that beauty with that same wooden skewer used earlier for testing. Slowly drip the glaze over the cake’s chocolatey goodness, letting it ooze into the inner depths of it to keep it even moister. Put some love into the whole process.

If you’re a foodie like me, you may need moment at this point. Its sheer beauty may make you shed a tear. It’s OK honey, revel in all its super sexy splendor.

CAKEHACK5

After the glaze sets, you can slice it. (That is, if you can wait that long.). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely sure there are other cake recipes out there that will rival this one. HOWEVER. This recipe has the EASY factor pulling it ahead of all others. You can whip up this gorgeousness in less than five minutes for the oven, and have an impressive dessert finished in about an hour.

G’head. Make it. You’ll see.

This cake will impress all your friends, you’ll be the talk of the town at the church picnic, local PTA meeting, or potluck. (Also, keep in mind, that always special PMS mood would partner fantastically with this cake as well….. Just sayin’).

Lastly, you can always enjoy that moment alone with just you and the cake piece of cake, feeling that special “feel good” power of  The Cherry Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake…….. just for the hell of it.

Speaking of just for the hell of it, why not click to follow/subscribe link to my blog? You’ll get a notification every time (no spam) there’s a new cool recipe or review that I’d love to share with you!!