6 Clever Food Scrap Hacks You Need To Start Using Now!

With the price of fresh fruit and veggies on the rise, we can’t afford to be wasteful with our food! Instead of tossing kitchen scraps in the trash or the compost, there are better ways to get full use out of your fruit!

Before you toss your fruit and vegetable scraps, try some of these genius ways to get the most bang for your buck.

It doesn’t take much extra time to transform scraps and they are delicious and practical alternatives to the dump.

Vegetable tops and peels

Flickr

Even if they’re not the most edible parts of the veggie, the peels and tops still pack a lot of flavor and nutrients, so don’t let all that good stuff go to waste!

Chop up the ends and the skins to freeze. Once you have enough, you can boil them down with spices into a delicious broth.

Corn cobs ad a rich flavor to any stock and tomato ends punch up a sauce with extra tartness and juice.

Got oranges? Check out what to do with ’em on the next page!

Citrus Peels

There’s nothing like cutting into a juicy orange, grapefruit or tangerine. That fresh burst of citrus smell fills your nostrils and kitchen with the delicious aroma of summer.

Seriously, cut up a tray of mixed citrus and you’re transported to a tropical island. Instead of throwing out that scented goodness, grind up some peels into the garbage disposal to mask unpleasant odors.

Pixabay

Apple Peels

Got dirty aluminum pots and pans? Easily remove stains by tossing some apple peels into simmering water in a dirty pot and let it boil on the stove for 20-30 minutes.

Let cool, then wipe the stains away!

Wikimedia Commons

Got itchy skin? The scraps of this vegetable can help with that!

Cucumber Peels

Do you peel your cucumbers? Don’t toss ’em out – toss them in the bath!

Cucumber skins in the bathwater can help to soothe dry, itchy skin.

Combine them with Aloe Vera for an extra soothing soak!

Pixabay

Lemon

If you’ve got a half-dry lemon wedge, use it to clean and shine your stove top!

Either squeeze the juice mixed with warm water onto a cloth, or just run the fruit directly over the stove top to clean.

Pixabay

Shine your shoes with the fruit on the next page!

Banana Peels

Get an easy shoe shine with banana peels!

Just rub the inside of a peel over your shoes than buff away the residue with a soft, clean cloth.

Easy as that! It works well on anything made of leather, so bring out those purses, sandals and even belts!

Wikimedia Commons

Can you think of any others? Share them in the comments below!

Use this technique to guarantee moist chicken, even in casseroles

Chicken is an easy, tasty protein that is extremely versatile. You can flavor it with pretty much anything and it can be added to soups, salads, stir-fry and casseroles.

When you add to it casseroles, though, that same yummy chicken can dry out pretty fast. Even just cooking it in the oven can cause chicken to go rubbery and tough, which isn’t exactly an appetizing meal.

However, there is a way to cook chicken in the oven without drying it out!

Rusty Fox Farm

Tenting your chicken with foil allows it to steam, which keeps all the moisture in with the chicken. It also stops the skin or outer layer of your chicken from going rubbery.

If you don’t believe us, just try this delicious breaded chicken recipe that is guaranteed to keep your chicken moist and tender, even if you throw it in a casserole!

  • 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cooktop Cove
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Brush a casserole dish with melted butter, then place the chicken breasts in it, and brush with the remaining melted butter.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
  4. Cover with foil then bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild with these Rice Cake Animal Snacks

Print Recipe

Aren’t these adorable? Rice Cake Animals are a healthy, delicious and easy-to-make snack that your kids will love.

The great thing about these is that they’re easily customizable to suit your child’s tastes and the ingredients you have access to. Also, if your child is unable to have peanut butter you can easily swap it out for jam or cream cheese.

Bear

  • Rice cake
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 slices banana
  • 3 blueberries

Cat

  • Rice cake
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 sliced strawberry
  • 2 blueberries
  • 1 raisin
  • shredded coconut

Owl

  • Rice cake
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 slices banana
  • 2 blueberries
  • 1 slice strawberry
  • 2 slices of apple
  • 1 tsp cheerios

Lion

  • Rice Cake
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 slices banana
  • 2 blueberries
  • 1 raisin
  • shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup mandarin slices

Bear

Spread the peanut butter on the rice cake.

Grab your two slices of banana and cut one of the slices in half.

The large slice will be used for the bear’s nose and the half slices will go on the top to form the ears.

Use two blueberries for eyes and one for the middle of the bear’s nose.

Cat

Spread peanut butter on the rice cake.

Slice a strawberry in half and place the halves on the rice cake to use as the cat’s ears.

Create the cat’s eyes using two blueberries.

Use two slices of banana, one raisin and coconut shaving to make the cat’s nose, mouth and whiskers.

Owl

Spread the peanut butter on the rice cake.

Place two slices of apples on either side of the rice cake. They’ll be the owl’s wings.

Use two banana slices for the eyes.

Add two blueberries (for eyes), a strawberry slice (for the beak), and cheerios (for feathers).

Lion

Spread peanut butter on the rice cake.

Add two pieces of banana for ears, two blueberries for eyes, two bananas for the muzzle and shredded coconut for whiskers.

Place the mandarin slices around the rice cake to create the lion’s mane.

Your rice cake animals are now ready to eat!

Impress Your Guests With This Summer Salad Cube

Have you ever seen anything like this? This Summer Salad Cube looks just like a Rubik’s Cube (remember those?!), but that doesn’t mean that it’s hours of frustration to make.

This creative salad is sure to impress your dinner guests this summer. We used feta, watermelon and kiwi cut into cubes – but you could try avocados, beets, honeydew, cucumber, or cantaloupe…feel free to experiment!

Using a knife or a square cookie cutter, cut your feta, watermelon and kiwi into cubes of the same size.

Now it’s time to stack your cubes. Each layer should have 9 cubes (and we did 3 layers).

Your salad is now ready to eat! Serve it as is, or drizzle some balsamic or honey dressing over the top. Enjoy!

Your Kids Will Love These Candy Rolls

How cool are these candy rolls? They may look like sushi, but they’re actually deliciously sweet little bites of dessert heaven. So cool!

Your kids are going to love these…but how could they NOT love them? These sweet treats are a delicious combo of ooey gooey Rice Krispies and all your favorite candies. They’re almost too good to share!

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 – 10.5 oz. bag of mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups rice krispies cereal
  • Fruit leather, Fruit Roll-Ups, gummy worms, gummy fish, sour fish, etc.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.

Add the cereal and stir until completely coated in marshmallow.

Spread the mixture onto a buttered baking sheet and let cool slightly.

Cut into thirds, making 3 rectangles.

Cut the marshmallow and cereal mixture into small rectangles (about the size of your gummy fish). Wrap a small piece of fruit leather around the fish and marshmallow treat.

Lay a gummy worm along the short side of one of the large rectangles you cut earlier. Roll the marshmallow and cereal mixture around the gummy worm.

Once rolled, use fingers to seal the edges of the roll. Wrap a fruit roll up around the sushi and slice into 1 inch pieces.

Now your candy rolls are ready to eat!

Anthony Bourdain Reveals His Secret To Making Perfect Scrambled Eggs Every Time

For most people, learning the perfect “recipe” for making scrambled eggs sounds silly, like learning how to “make” cheese and crackers. You just crack a few eggs, scramble them, and maybe add a little milk or cream. Voila, scrambled eggs!

But according to celebrity chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain, you’re making a big mistake. He’s toured the world as the host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, so he’s sampled lots of eggs, and he’s identified the one mistake that even experienced chefs make.

He says most people “overcomplicate” the dish. His recipe doesn’t include milk or cream, because he believes “a scrambled egg is principally about the egg.”

Try his recipe and decide if he’s right:

  1. Make sure your eggs are fresh, you can use this vintage trick if you can’t tell.
  2. Crack your eggs on a flat surface, then pour them into a bowl (this way you can be 100 sure there are no bits of shell).
  3. Preheat a frying pan -it should be very hot – and add a generous piece of butter to coat the pan.
  4. Beat your eggs gently with a fork so the mixture doesn’t turn completely yellow.
  5. Immediately pour your eggs into the pan.
  6. Let the eggs solidify, then stir with a fork in a figure-8 pattern to fold them into large, fluffy mounds.

Watch this video if you’re still not sure how it’s done, or try our 1-minute microwave eggs if you’re in a hurry!

Share this post if you love scrambled eggs!

Iron Chef Mario Batali Shares His Hack For Cooking Pasta Perfectly – Every time

No one is more defensive about their food than Italians, but they have good reason to be. While everyone loves pasta and pizza, we’ve seen takes on these classics that range from good to bad and even just plain ugly. Italian cooking is a long tradition, and you get the best results by staying as close to the authentic version of these dishes as possible. And nobody know more about making authentic Italian food than Mario Batali.

The TV host, chef and restaurant owner has forgotten more about cooking pasta perfectly than we’ll ever know, so when he offers some advice we listen closely.

Recently, he shared his technique to make the perfect dish of pasta every time.

The chef explains that most people simply follow the directions on their box of pasta, but claims this is a mistake. Instead, he likes to cook the pasta “exactly one minute short of what they tell you to cook it for the package,” but Batali’s next step is just as important.

Instead of spooning sauce onto the pasta, Batali recommends dropping the pasta into the sauce and cooking it for about 40 seconds. He says this leaves your pasta “nicely al dente” without overcooking it.

The best part about this easy tip? Batalis says that if you can cook your pasta perfectly, you can serve it with anything. He even suggests “Campbell’s cream of mushrooms.”

So to summarize, cook your pasta for just a minute less than it says on the package before draining it and dropping that pasta into your saucepan to cook for less than a minute. It may sound different from what you’re used to, but Batali owns Italian restaurants from New York to Hong Kong, so we trust his judgement.

Try this trick and let us know how it tastes!

Share this tip with someone you know!

People Are Falling In Love With “Glonuts,” And You Can Make Them At Home

Social media has totally changed the game for food fans, especially bakers. Not only does it let you share unusual recipes (pioneer cake, anyone?) with people around the world, but it also helps create some pretty wacky recipes.

The never-ending competition to make the wackiest, most eye-catching recipe has helped create the cronut and even the spaghetti donut, but none of these food trends hold a candle to the glonut.

The neon-colored dessert has taken over Instagram since it was unveiled by Christopher Thé of Sydney, Australia’s Black Star Pastry.  

Despite what you might think, the unnaturally bright color doesn’t take food coloring or any toxic ingredients to make. Instead a special ingredient makes these pastries glow for real! (Keep reading to find out what it is).

Thé was inspired to make his iconic dessert after visiting a glow-in-the-dark festival, and it has quickly taken over food festivals around the world.

But these awesome treats are actually pretty easy to make at home.

Click the next page to learn the secret ingredient!

If you want to blow your guests’ minds at your next dinner party, stop by the pharmacy section of your local grocery store. It turns out B12 vitamin pills are what make these treats shine when the lights go out. I bet you didn’t guess that!

To make your own batch of glonuts, you can either buy some plain donuts from the store, or make your own. You’ll also need a bottle of the B12 vitamins and some cake frosting.

Crush the vitamins into powder (it should be very fine) and mix them in with the cake frosting. Then, smear the mixture over your donuts. Voila! You’ve made glowing donuts that look like they belong in a sci-fi movie.

Bear in mind, you’ll have to plan accordingly to make your donuts taste good. The vitamins are actually pretty bitter, so you might want to mix in some sweet ingredients to balance them out.

Look for icing recipes that use lemon, because the acidity of the B12 is pretty comparable. Remember: these will “glow” best under a blacklight, so make sure you have one handy.

Share this story if you want to make your own glonuts!

This Is Why You Should Never Throw Away Your Strawberry Tops

Believe it or not, you’ve been eating strawberries wrong THIS WHOLE TIME!

Like most people who eat strawberries, I was taught to pluck off the leafy top and discard it. Not unlike banana skins and orange peels, many of us assumed that the leafy bits at the top of a strawberry were inedible.

However, besides taboo and their tough texture, there’s actually nothing stopping us from eating the skins of most fruits. For the most part, they’re all safe.

Strawberry tops fall into the same category, in fact, they’re actually quite healthy and flavorful! If something about directly eating the leaves goes against everything you’ve ever known, start with baby steps.

These ideas will get you started down the path to waste-free eating!

It’s not too complicated, once you think about it. We blend all kinds of good things into our smoothies, infuse teas and water with scraps – why not just toss in the stems too?

We know they’re good for us, but if the thought of eating the leaves makes you cringe, there are other ways to incorporate them into your diet:

This simple tea is refreshing and sweet. Boil some water and steep (fresh or dried) organic strawberry leaves, mint leaves and white for a few minutes. Strain and serve warm or over ice.

Much like your tea, you can infuse sparkling water with the strawberry tops for a refreshing, softly infused drink. If you want to get really creative, toss in some cucumber skins!

Pump up the volume on your summer salads with a strawberry-infused vinegar. Simply simmer crushed strawberries with a high-quality white-wine vinegar. It tastes amazing drizzled over a goat cheese salad.

[ h/t The Kitchn / Food52 / Pure Wow ]

DIY Cupcake Icing Tutorial Makes You the Next Cake Boss

Print Recipe

So many of us have gone into a bakery or your local grocery store to pick up the cute little bakers cupcakes and thought “I wish I could do that!”. UPDATE: You can! And here are some simple tips and tricks any new baker needs to know to get that professional bakers look right at home!

These tips and tricks are so easy and are especially forgiving, which trust me, is key to any new Cake Boss in the making. Here I am going to walk you through the perfect cupcake from start to finish. With an easy vanilla batter recipe, to the perfect buttercream icing, this tutorial will give you everything you need to be successful!

Want to try some muli-colored icing? CLICK HERE for a link to my favorite 3 color piping nozzle.

Want some kid friendly inspiration? Check out POOP EMOJI cupcakes HERE!  

This tip is amazing for American Style Cupcakes. A very classic look and comes in an array of sizes depending on the look you are going for. This tip is also used for those cute little Macarons. Can be used as a single pressure burst or to create a round tower like topping of icing.

This tip comes in an array of sizes as well. Can be used to create little star ‘bursts’ on the top of a cake or cupcake or used in an inward, circular motion, to create decorative height a top of your cupcake.

Ahh the infamous closed star tip. This lovely piping tip, again comes in an array of sizes. This tip is also responsible for the beautiful buttercream roses we often see on many fabulous cakes and cupcakes. It can also be used to create a tower of icing with gently defined edges when working from the outside upward.

To make the beautiful buttercream roses, in contrast to the icing tower, start in the center of the cupcake and work your way outward until the entire top of the cupcake is covered. If icing a cake, simply work your way outward until your desired size rose is achieved. The creates a flat layer of icing as oppose to a tower.

The French star tip is extremely versatile. You can create up to 4 looks with this single tip and AGAIN comes in a variety of sizes. From the traditional tower to tiny spiked petal flowers, this tip give you a ton of options to create so many looks! Use single small bursts to create those little spiked petal flowers or a large tower called the Fat Frilly. This technique is a little variation from the standard, circular tower build, and is SUPER easy! Start by applying pressure in the center of the cupcake raising the tip just slightly, repeating this pressure up and down allowing the icing to pour outward until the desired height is achieved.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and gently mix together.
  3. Add in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs and combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly add in water and slowly combine until fully blended.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner approximately about half way, as this will allow the cupcakes to rise to the perfect level.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes, checking with a toothpick, ensuring it comes out clean.
  7. Allow to fully cool prior to icing.

* NOTE: Cooking time for a 9 inch cake mold, allow an extra 10 minutes for baking. Total of 25 minute cook time.

  • 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring if desired

Directions:

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the butter for approximately 5 minutes until butter becomes fluffy and almost white in color. This step is very important as creates the base for your icing. NOTE: butter must be room temperature to ensure the perfect consistency. Too cold will not whip correctly and too warm it will not hold its shape.
  2. Slowly add in your icing sugar continually mixing until fully combined. Once fully combined, keep mixing to whip for another 5 minutes. The consistency will be very thick and heavy at this point.
  3. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Your icing should now be a stiff but creamy texture that will hold shape. If using gel color, add in at this point and blend thoroughly.

DIY Cupcake Icing Tutorial Makes You the Next Cake Boss

Print Recipe

So many of us have gone into a bakery or your local grocery store to pick up the cute little bakers cupcakes and thought “I wish I could do that!”. UPDATE: You can! And here are some simple tips and tricks any new baker needs to know to get that professional bakers look right at home!

These tips and tricks are so easy and are especially forgiving, which trust me, is key to any new Cake Boss in the making. Here I am going to walk you through the perfect cupcake from start to finish. With an easy vanilla batter recipe, to the perfect buttercream icing, this tutorial will give you everything you need to be successful!

Want to try some muli-colored icing? CLICK HERE for a link to my favorite 3 color piping nozzle.

Want some kid friendly inspiration? Check out POOP EMOJI cupcakes HERE!  

This tip is amazing for American Style Cupcakes. A very classic look and comes in an array of sizes depending on the look you are going for. This tip is also used for those cute little Macarons. Can be used as a single pressure burst or to create a round tower like topping of icing.

This tip comes in an array of sizes as well. Can be used to create little star ‘bursts’ on the top of a cake or cupcake or used in an inward, circular motion, to create decorative height a top of your cupcake.

Ahh the infamous closed star tip. This lovely piping tip, again comes in an array of sizes. This tip is also responsible for the beautiful buttercream roses we often see on many fabulous cakes and cupcakes. It can also be used to create a tower of icing with gently defined edges when working from the outside upward.

To make the beautiful buttercream roses, in contrast to the icing tower, start in the center of the cupcake and work your way outward until the entire top of the cupcake is covered. If icing a cake, simply work your way outward until your desired size rose is achieved. The creates a flat layer of icing as oppose to a tower.

The French star tip is extremely versatile. You can create up to 4 looks with this single tip and AGAIN comes in a variety of sizes. From the traditional tower to tiny spiked petal flowers, this tip give you a ton of options to create so many looks! Use single small bursts to create those little spiked petal flowers or a large tower called the Fat Frilly. This technique is a little variation from the standard, circular tower build, and is SUPER easy! Start by applying pressure in the center of the cupcake raising the tip just slightly, repeating this pressure up and down allowing the icing to pour outward until the desired height is achieved.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and gently mix together.
  3. Add in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs and combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly add in water and slowly combine until fully blended.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner approximately about half way, as this will allow the cupcakes to rise to the perfect level.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes, checking with a toothpick, ensuring it comes out clean.
  7. Allow to fully cool prior to icing.

* NOTE: Cooking time for a 9 inch cake mold, allow an extra 10 minutes for baking. Total of 25 minute cook time.

  • 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring if desired

Directions:

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the butter for approximately 5 minutes until butter becomes fluffy and almost white in color. This step is very important as creates the base for your icing. NOTE: butter must be room temperature to ensure the perfect consistency. Too cold will not whip correctly and too warm it will not hold its shape.
  2. Slowly add in your icing sugar continually mixing until fully combined. Once fully combined, keep mixing to whip for another 5 minutes. The consistency will be very thick and heavy at this point.
  3. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Your icing should now be a stiff but creamy texture that will hold shape. If using gel color, add in at this point and blend thoroughly.

DIY Cupcake Icing Tutorial Makes You the Next Cake Boss

Print Recipe

So many of us have gone into a bakery or your local grocery store to pick up the cute little bakers cupcakes and thought “I wish I could do that!”. UPDATE: You can! And here are some simple tips and tricks any new baker needs to know to get that professional bakers look right at home!

These tips and tricks are so easy and are especially forgiving, which trust me, is key to any new Cake Boss in the making. Here I am going to walk you through the perfect cupcake from start to finish. With an easy vanilla batter recipe, to the perfect buttercream icing, this tutorial will give you everything you need to be successful!

Want to try some muli-colored icing? CLICK HERE for a link to my favorite 3 color piping nozzle.

Want some kid friendly inspiration? Check out POOP EMOJI cupcakes HERE!  

This tip is amazing for American Style Cupcakes. A very classic look and comes in an array of sizes depending on the look you are going for. This tip is also used for those cute little Macarons. Can be used as a single pressure burst or to create a round tower like topping of icing.

This tip comes in an array of sizes as well. Can be used to create little star ‘bursts’ on the top of a cake or cupcake or used in an inward, circular motion, to create decorative height a top of your cupcake.

Ahh the infamous closed star tip. This lovely piping tip, again comes in an array of sizes. This tip is also responsible for the beautiful buttercream roses we often see on many fabulous cakes and cupcakes. It can also be used to create a tower of icing with gently defined edges when working from the outside upward.

To make the beautiful buttercream roses, in contrast to the icing tower, start in the center of the cupcake and work your way outward until the entire top of the cupcake is covered. If icing a cake, simply work your way outward until your desired size rose is achieved. The creates a flat layer of icing as oppose to a tower.

The French star tip is extremely versatile. You can create up to 4 looks with this single tip and AGAIN comes in a variety of sizes. From the traditional tower to tiny spiked petal flowers, this tip give you a ton of options to create so many looks! Use single small bursts to create those little spiked petal flowers or a large tower called the Fat Frilly. This technique is a little variation from the standard, circular tower build, and is SUPER easy! Start by applying pressure in the center of the cupcake raising the tip just slightly, repeating this pressure up and down allowing the icing to pour outward until the desired height is achieved.

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and gently mix together.
  3. Add in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs and combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly add in water and slowly combine until fully blended.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner approximately about half way, as this will allow the cupcakes to rise to the perfect level.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes, checking with a toothpick, ensuring it comes out clean.
  7. Allow to fully cool prior to icing.

* NOTE: Cooking time for a 9 inch cake mold, allow an extra 10 minutes for baking. Total of 25 minute cook time.

  • 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring if desired

Directions:

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the butter for approximately 5 minutes until butter becomes fluffy and almost white in color. This step is very important as creates the base for your icing. NOTE: butter must be room temperature to ensure the perfect consistency. Too cold will not whip correctly and too warm it will not hold its shape.
  2. Slowly add in your icing sugar continually mixing until fully combined. Once fully combined, keep mixing to whip for another 5 minutes. The consistency will be very thick and heavy at this point.
  3. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Your icing should now be a stiff but creamy texture that will hold shape. If using gel color, add in at this point and blend thoroughly.

The 15 Foods You Should Never, Ever Microwave

I’m not ashamed to admit that my favorite appliance is my microwave.

Let’s face it, we lead very busy lives these days, and most of the time I can’t even be bothered to preheat my oven.

So over the years I’ve learned the ins and outs of what I can and really can’t microwave.

These machines have a bad reputation, but they’re actually very safe and reliable these days.

Still, there are some foods you should never, ever microwave.

Shared

I like spice in my food, not in my eyes.

See, chili peppers are loaded with a chemical called capsaicin, which gives them their spicy flavor.

Capsaicin is also used to make pepper spray, and the chemical can seep out in a dangerous mist when you heat peppers in the microwave.

You can seriously harm your eyes or throat by getting too close to the mist. Always cook peppers in the oven to be safe.

Shared

Now, reheating cooked eggs is perfectly safe.

The problem is that there are plenty of recipes online for cooking hard boiled eggs in the microwave.

You should never nuke an egg.

With nowhere for the steam to go, pressure builds up inside the egg’s shell until it explodes.

This can happen even after the egg is removed from the appliance, which makes them very dangerous.

Try our guaranteed method for cooking perfect hard boiled eggs instead.

Shared

We’ve all tried to cut prep time by heating up frozen meat in the microwave, but this appliance is just not cut out for the job.

A microwave heats food unevenly, especially when parts are more thick or thin, like on a cut of meat.

This can ruin your meat, but also allows harmful bacteria to spread on your meat.

Overnight thawing in a safe part of your fridge is still the best way to defrost meat.

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The European Food Information Council has released a special warning about reheated mushrooms.

These fungi are actually only safe to eat withing 24 hours of their preparation. Leftovers must also be reheated thoroughly to 158 degrees – which you can’t reliably do with a microwave.

That’s because the proteins in mushrooms break down quickly, which can cause indigestion.

Keep in mind: processed or canned mushrooms are an exception.

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Leftover chicken has a very high risk of salmonella contamination, and reheating it in the microwave can let this dangerous bacteria fester.

There’s also evidence that, like mushrooms, the proteins in chicken break down as they’re reheated, which can leave you feeling queasy.

If you plan to eat leftover chicken, give it a thorough reheating in the over or on the stove.

Shared

People are finally beginning to learn the health hazards of microwaving food in plastic containers.

The chemicals in the container can leech out into your meal, causing a number of unwelcome health effects.

Experts say that even “microwave safe” containers can be dangerous, if they’re old and scratched.

You should always transfer your food to a ceramic or glass bowl to be sage.

Shared

You couldn’t tell just by looking at them, but these small fruits are extremely dangerous in the microwave.

They’re loaded with sugar, which can smoke and catch fire as the grapes are heated up.

In certain cases, grapes have even been known to create super heated plasma in the microwave.

For the record, raisins are dangerous for all the same reasons.

Shared

Carrots are full of everything a growing body needs, including vitamins and minerals.

In fact, a carrot’s mineral content is so high that these veggies have been known to spark and catch fire in the microwave.

It’s best to always reheat carrots with your oven or stove instead.

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Using the microwave is more convenient than turning on a stove when your baby is hungry in the middle of the night.

But there are plenty of good reasons to never put breast milk in the microwave.

Microwaving often leaves “hot spots” on your food as it cooks unevenly.

When it comes to baby bottles, these pockets of hot milk can scald your little one’s mouth.

A study also found that microwaving breast milk can promote the growth of e-coli bacteria.

The safest method for heating breast milk with a microwave is to heat up a mug of water instead.

Drop the breast milk in the warm water and it will heat up evenly.

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It’s not dangerous to reheat broccoli, but it can be unhealthy.

Steaming broccoli in a microwave can drain out all of the healthy nutrients – which are the only reason anyone actually eats broccoli.

There are ways to avoid this, but it’s just best to steam broccoli using any other method.

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No, you’re not the only one to notice that pasta seems to explode in the microwave.

Tomato-based sauces are just too thick to heat evenly in the microwave. As pockets of hot sauce develop, it pops and splatters over the inside of your machine.

Here’s the trick to making leftover pasta taste scrumptious: heat it in a pan with a little bit of oil. Best of all, there’s no messy cleanup.

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Plenty of people insist that you can boil water “faster” in the microwave, but don’t even try it.

Steam from water boiling on the stove escapes into the air. In the microwave, it builds up pressure until the water leaps out of its container.

You could spoil your meal, or scald yourself, so don’t try it.

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The U.K.’s Food Standards Agency singles out leftover rice as a major cause of food poisoning.

It often hosts a bacteria called bacillus cereus, which can release heat resistant toxic spores.

The biggest risk seems to come from reheating rice in the microwave after leaving it to sit at room temperature.

So only heat up your rice once, and eat it while it’s warm.

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Spuds are another common hiding place for bacteria, specifically at type that causes botulism.

You can avoid this by immediately refrigerating your leftover potatoes, but it’s best to heat them thoroughly on a reliable appliance like your stove.

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This trio of veggies are all rich in the same thing: nitrates.

As the EFIC warns, microwaving food with plenty of nitrates can create a nasty byproduct.

Nitrates can change through a chemical reaction to create nitrosamines, which are known to cause cancer.

This is the same coumpound that also causes “blue baby syndrome” in infants.

Experts say cooking, boiling, and other ways to prepare these vegetables don’t create the same risk.

Have you made the mistake of microwaving any of these?

Only 1 Of These Watermelons Are Actually Ripe, Here’s How To Spot Them

Summer temperatures are soaring into the hundreds and the last thing we need is to crack open a watermelon and find it pink, cracked, and dry.

This summer fruit is extremely refreshing, but only if it’s sweet and juicy.

Before I learned how to pick the perfect watermelon, I just went with my gut.

I had this idea that smaller would be better, but then I got a few small watermelons and the insides were like mush.

I’ve also gotten big watermelons that were extremely dry and looked like the image you see below.

But every now and then I’ll come across a perfectly ripe watermelon and try to savor it down to the very last bite.

Instead of praying that your hands will rest on the perfect one, try this hack.

I learned this from a farmer who claims he has never had an unripe or overripe watermelon in his life.

Ever since he taught me this trick, I haven’t wasted a cent!

Next time you’re standing in front of a box full of watermelons, don’t panic. Follow these simple steps and get the bang for your buck.

1) Knock, knock

Who says grocery shopping is no fun? The art of picking the perfect watermelon has to do with sound.

So don’t be afraid to pick up a watermelon one by one and knock on it. You’ll want to listen closely to hear a sharp ring, but not too high-pitched.

If the sound is too low, it’s likely that the watermelon is overripe, and if the sound is high-pitched, it’s not ready yet.

2) Notice the size

The rule of thumb here is to not choose the biggest nor smallest watermelon. Just make sure the watermelon feels heavy.

Also, elongated watermelons are more watery and rounded-shaped watermelons are sweeter.

3) Look for a yellow spot

Many people think a good watermelon is more green than white.

In fact, if your watermelon has a yellow or orange-yellow spot, it means that it’s ready to be eaten.

The part of the watermelon that rests on the ground doesn’t get sun exposure, which is a big clue to identify the ripeness of the watermelon.

White patches mean that the watermelon is not ripe yet.

4) Check for “webbing”

Before I knew how to pick out ripe watermelons, I never touched fruit with blemishes on it.

They looked like they’ve been through a lot and I didn’t want to waste my money on something that looked damaged.

Turns out, watermelons that have brown spots that look like spider webs are sweeter.

According to farmers, these are “pollination” spots.

5) Find the tail

The tail of a watermelon will almost always indicate its ripeness.

If it’s shriveled and dried out, it means that it’s ripe.

If it’s still green, it means that the watermelon was picked too soon. Keep in mind, sometimes these watermelons will not reach ripeness.

Share this information with your friends!

[H/T: Bright Side / My Recipes]

Don’t throw out your watermelon rind! Click here to read what you should be doing with it.