Bye-Bye Stains

Recently, a reader asked what to do if a guest spills something on themselves, your carpet or your furniture. We’ve all seen it happen before, and without fail the spill is always on a guest’s brand new blouse, the host’s sparkling white rug or a new piece of furniture. There are plenty of solutions available on the internet – everything from putting salt over the stain to dousing a stain with white wine. I’ve tried many different options myself (although personally, I could never go the white wine route – why throw away good wine!) – and have found only 1 solution:

Oxi-Clean. We swear by this in my house. It gets out every stain every time. Just spray some on to the stain (immediately after the stain occurs if possible), and watch the stain dissapear. As you gear up for Super Bowl Sunday, keep some oxi-clean on hand for any accidental spills.

What do you use to get out stains?

*This post is not sponsored*

February 4, 2011. Product Reviews. Leave a comment.

Reader Question: Office Valentine’s Day Party

Q.  I was recently nominated to be the Party Planner for my department at work and I could use some help. Im going to have a Valentine’s Day party on the 14th and I was hoping you could suggest a few things for me to bake for the party. I want fun tasty desserts that I could bake that can go along with the theme of the party, aren’t too difficult or costly to make, and work friendly. Can you recommend a few ideas?

Thanks. -M

A. Hi – An office holiday party is the perfect opportunity to combine store bought items with your own creativity. Especially if you are trying to keep the treats easy to make, cost friendly and work appropriate.

Things to keep in mind – the desserts should:

  • Be bite-sized
  • Be able to travel easily to work
  • Not need refrigeration

Here are some creative changes that can be made to store-bought or box based desserts to make them uniquely yours.

Spicing Up Boxed Brownies: Make the brownie batter as is instructed on the box. Add cayenne pepper to the batter for some spice. Bake the brownies as is instructed. Use a small heart cookie cutter to make heart shaped brownies.

Dipping Sugar Cookies: Buy pre-baked sugar cookies or bake your own sugar cookies using any valentines day cookies cutters to shape the cookie dough. Dip sections/half of the cookies in any color melted chocolate. Add sprinkles, crumbled cookies, sugar pearls, colored sugars or edible glitter to the chocolate.

 Sheet-cake mini-cakes: Bake any flavor sheet cake per the instructions on the box. Once cooled completely, use any Valentine’s shaped cookie cutters to cut out the cake. With two identical cut-outs, spread jam, frosting, or any type of filling you can think of, on one side of one of the cut-outs. Place the other cut-out on top creating a sandwich. Dust entirely with powdered sugar. Some great combinations would be:

  • chocolate sheet cake with nutella and sliced bananas filling
  • lemon sheet cake with raspberryor blueberry jam filling
  • vanilla or strawberry sheet cake with chocolate frosting/ganache and sliced strawberries/strawberry jam filling

 Don’t forget about the option to make chocolate covered oreos!

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February 2, 2011. Baking, Celebrations, Dessert, Holiday, Recipes. 3 comments.

Deceivingly Simple: Chocolate Covered Oreos

Chocolate covered oreos are one of my favorite desserts. They are easy to make, can be customized with color to match any event and always present well. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching why not try making your loved ones some chocolate covered oreos?

Helpful Hints

  • When melting chocolate in the microwave, always use 50% power to avoid burning the chocolate. Microwave in 20-30 second increments stirring in between.
  • Use a bowl that is narrow and deep enough to allow you to fully encase the oreo when dipping it in chocolate.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 bag Oreos
1 bag candy melts (any color)
(use multiple colors of candy melts for multi-colored designs. For the chocolate covered oreos I made, I used pink to coat the oreos and midnight black to drizzle on top)

Directions:
1. Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave on 50% power in 20-30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted.
2. Using a fork as a spatula, dip an oreo into the chocolate covering the oreo completely with chocolate.
3. With the oreo on the fork, tap the fork against the side of the bowl so that the excess chocolate falls off.
4. Place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
5. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm (approx. 20 minutes)

Freshly dipped oreos on a wax paper covered cookie sheet

 

To decorate the oreos as I did, melt an additional color in a separate bowl and use a fork to drizzle the additional color over the oreo.

No need to be neat with the drizzling as there is wax paper on the cookie sheet.

Refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened. Voila – chocolate covered oreos. Don’t forget to make some extras to store in the freezer for the next time you have guests!

February 1, 2011. Deceivingly Simple, Dessert, Holiday, Recipes. Leave a comment.

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