Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite Cakes

Expert Author Janet A Lawrence
I'm not one for too much sweet, so my favorite cakes are usually the moderate ones, nothing very sinful as a devil's food cake, but still, each one is an indulgence that is always welcome.
1. Pound cake.
I have to admit, I am a fan of simplicity, and for all the fancy cakes in the world layered with toppings, a simple slice of pound cake and cup of coffee is my chosen delight. It's so rich and satisfying in and of itself that it needs no frosting, owing to its 1:1 ratio of all ingredients, including butter and eggs. This also makes it a simple cake to whip up at home!
2. Black forest cake.
I often had this on my birthday as a child, so it's linked to many fond memories. Originating in Germany, according to Wikipedia, "Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake." This cake sounds complicated enough that I think I will stick to cake delivery for this one, lest I make a mess of the kitchen.
3. Carrot cake.
Another birthday favorite of mine, this cake owes its wonderful moisture and texture to the carrots in the batter, which release water while it's cooked. It turns out that this practice originated in the middle ages, when sweet flavorings were difficult to come by, due to the sweetness of the carrots... But it was only really revived during the 1960s, at which point the classic cream cheese icing was added.
4. Coffee cake.
What I love most about these is not that they taste like coffee (they're not actually required to contain any coffee flavoring), but that they are rich in spices and not overly sweet, making them a good breakfast cake, or lunch cake (I don't know about you, but I can't handle anything too sweet in the morning.)
5. Cheesecake.
Though commonly associated with New York city, the love of cheesecake actually goes back as far as ancient Greece, and was adopted by the Romans. Modern American cheesecake has several varieties, and the New York kind relies heavily on sour cream or heavy creams, as well as eggs and cream cheese. When served with some fruit, to add crisp lightness to this heavy dish, you're getting a little slice of heaven. Is it little wonder that in the United States, there is actually an unofficial National Cheesecake Day? (July 30th)
Although cakes have been associated with parties and celebrations, we can enjoy it as an everyday dessert, each day having a different variety. There is no limit to the possibilities of enjoying a cake, be it a single slice, or a mini version. So what are you waiting for? As they say, go and have your cake and eat it, too.
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How to Make Upside Down Cakes to Give As Gifts

Expert Author Debra J. Mosely
Upside down cakes make incredible gifts for any celebration. Whether you make this recipe as a stacked pineapple upside cake or in the loaf pan to give as individual gifts, your recipients will be very happy you decided to make a special treat just for them.
Here are some pointers for success. Using good quality butter, the brand noted below for the mixes, fresh large eggs, cultured buttermilk and pure vanilla extract will actually make it taste homemade and make it sturdy enough to stand up to the weight of being stacked. You will be able to notice the difference in taste if you use lower quality ingredients.
Suggestions for gift ideas:
Stacked Pineapple Upside Down - Place all three layers on a decorative plate and completely wrap in plastic wrap (from the bottom up so you can add a bow to the top) or place layers onto a decorative cake stand.
Individual Pineapple Upside Down - Take a 6-inch round board and place the mini loaf cake onto the board. Trim the edges off the board and then slide the miniature loaf cakes into cellophane bags and add a decorative bow.
Stacked Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
Brown sugar mixture:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups brown sugar
Maraschino cherries without stems
3 (20 oz. cans) sliced pineapple in 100% juice
2 packages Pillsbury® Golden Butter mix
1 package Pillsbury® Yellow Cake mix
1-1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 T pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, blend the melted butter and brown
sugar. Evenly spread this mixture into three 10" pans (use spray flour/shortening to coat the sides of the pans). Spread the pineapple slices around the edge of the pans and then slice in half to fill in the center. Add cherries and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the three cake mixes, melted butter, large eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until completely blended and light, about 3-5 minutes. Evenly divide between the cake pans and use a spatula to smooth completely out the top.
Bake until golden brown -- about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans until you can lift the cake pan up without getting burned. Use a spatula to go around the sides of the cake to make sure it is not sticking to the sides. Using your serving plate, invert one layer over onto the plate. Fix the pineapple or cherries if needed and spoon the remaining brown sugar left in the pan back onto the cake. Take the second and third pans and lift them up onto the layer and use the pan to shift the cake into the correct spot to make sure it's even with the previous layer. Once you are satisfied with the location, lift the pan off the top. Repeat this process with the third layer. Use your spatula to smooth down the sides and let completely cool.
If traveling with this cake, wrap the sides with two layers of plastic wrap and then waxed paper to keep the layers from shifting. This cake can be refrigerated or frozen.
This recipe makes three (3) 10-inch round cakes or (4) 8-inch round cakes or (6-8) 6-inch round cakes.
Mini loaf pan individual upside down cakes: Use a mini loaf pan and spoon some of the butter sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan. Use spray flour/shortening to coat the sides of the loaf pans. Cut two pineapple slices in half. Use three half slices in the bottom of the pan. Put three cherries in the middle and then add batter to fill half the cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
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Cocktails For Beginners

Not everybody knows what to order when they are hanging out at wine house or bars. Especially for those people who are not really into alcoholic drinks. You may be ended up flipping through the beverage menu from front to back and still puzzling what kind of cocktail should order. Most of the names seems so strange to you. You started wondering what kind of liquid is that with the name "Sex and the Beach".
I normally recommend my friend to order Screwdriver. This cocktail is a mix of vodka and orange juice. Sometimes the bartender will add a few drop of lemon or lime juice to make this drink tastier. This cocktail is very beginner friendly and I am sure orange juice is most people favorite.
Another popular drink is Gin Tonic. This cocktail is a mix of very simple recipe - Gin and tonic water. What a bartender will do is pour one pack of Gin into a glass. Follow by putting some ice cubes into it. And fill up the glass with tonic water. A slice of lemon or lime will be added or use as garnish. This cocktail is very popular among the ladies.
One of my favorite cocktail is Tequila Sunrise. This drink is a mix of Tequila, orange juice and grenadine syrup. It tastes sweet and smooth. I always names this cocktail my happy drink because it seems like a perfect drink for leisure and happy hours. You should try it out if you have chance.
Enjoy a cocktail is fun and relaxing especially when you are with a group of friends or your love one. However, while we are having a fun night out we should know where our limit is. Remember to enjoy your drink with responsibility. Cheers!
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The Advantages of Non Alcoholic Cocktails

Expert Author Elton Brack
Discover the wonderful benefits of non alcoholic cocktails.
The cocktail is something which makes everyone think of alcohol. This is unfortunate because many people will avoid cocktails simply because they either do not want to or cannot drink alcohol. This can be because of a medical condition or simply because they do not enjoy alcohol. Strictly by the definition, cocktails are a mixture of different liquids to create a new flavor. You do not have to mix up a dirty martini to have a cocktail. You can instead make non alcoholic cocktails which are sure to please everyone in the crowd. This can be for a church function or just for a night of fun with your friends and family.
Beverages Which Are Nutritious
One instance in which people have taken to making different varieties of virgin cocktails is when using fruit juices. These are good for in the morning or any other time you are looking for something which will be delicious and nutritious at the same time. Certain juices like pomegranate will not only taste good, but they are good for your heart. The anti-carcinogen properties of the juice will help to make you feel better while you enjoy the flavor. If you are at a party, you can throw the juice over ice with a garnish to make it look like an alcoholic drink.
The juice cocktail is perfect for any environment. This is true whether you are at a function with a lot of children or simply do not have the ability to allow anyone at the party to get drunk. This is also great for throwing a party at a health club because everyone will be able to enjoy their drink without having any feeling they are doing something they should be ashamed of later.
Fun for the Whole Family
When you make non alcoholic cocktails you are making something everyone can enjoy. Most children enjoy the flavor of chocolate, so you can make a cocktail which includes either flakes or syrup which can be mixed in with milk or cream. Add in some vanilla or spices and you will have something everyone can enjoy. Simply by adding in some cool espresso you will also have a cocktail which adults can enjoy as an after dinner drink. Sprinkling some dry cocoa powder on top of the beverage will really make the drink something you can enjoy.
Another flavor children enjoy is coconut. You can make non alcoholic drinks which will taste sweet enough to be dessert, but without adding in a lot of unnecessary sugar. Using Splenda with coconut milk along with pineapple and orange juice will create a cocktail which will have the children coming back for seconds and thirds. You will be happy because you will know the children will not be bouncing off of the walls later in the evening. Experimentation is the key to finding the combinations which will taste the best. Your guests will be happy you did and you will be able to enjoy all of the wonderful creations as you experiment.
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How to Make Non Alcoholic Cocktails For Holiday Time

Expert Author Elton Brack
The holidays are a time for tradition you can share with the whole family. Families are always looking for ways to involve the children in family activities. What better way to involve the children during the holidays than with mixed drinks cocktails. These do not have to be an alcoholic beverage despite the use of the word cocktail. This is because the definition of the word cocktail literally means to mix different drinks together to create a new flavor. This means the sky is the limit in terms of flavor combinations you can create with your children. Explore this wonderful world and create something to share for generations to come.
Summer Cocktails
Nothing says summer like sitting on lawn furniture with a frozen daiquiri or margarita. This is of course something you will not be able to share with the children unless you make some alterations. The classic summer cocktails for adults will include some kind of vodka like Smirnoff. The idea when making cocktails to share with the children is to make them fun, yet to still make them appear like the classic drink. You can create a frozen drink out of just about any juice and ice simply by tossing them in a blender and mixing it until it is smooth.
Another way you can create great summer mixed drinks cocktails is to create anything with a Hawaiian twist to it. Something which is fun for children is when there is pineapple juice and some kind of bright color. You can buy flavored syrups which will either be red for a cherry flavor or blue for a raspberry flavor. Mix together with pineapple juice along with orange and lemonade. Pour the cocktail over ice in a tall glass with an umbrella and a slice of pineapple, lemon, lime and cherry.
Winter Cocktails
You may be looking for something which will be perfect for Christmas. This is traditionally eggnog or some kind of spiced drink. Rather than serving your children the drink loaded with calories, consider making a hot spiced drink. One fun suggestion is to take apple cider and prepare it on the stove with cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean and black peppercorns. You can even top off the whole thing with whipped cream. Even the adults will enjoy the beverage without the addition of gin or anything else that will carry along a buzz.
One of the best winter mixed drinks cocktails you can create for New Year's Eve is a popular sparkling beverage the whole family can enjoy. The idea is to create something which will look like you are drinking champagne, yet without the alcohol. Some will buy a sparkling cider, but there is no fun in making that. A better idea is to buy some white grape juice concentrate and mix it with your favorite sparkling water. The result will be a juice which is sparkling with the full flavor as if you had created it with regular water.
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San Juan Puerto Rico: Cocktails, Dinner and Dessert

A vacation is not a vacation unless you have treated your taste buds to some delectable cuisine and refreshing drinks. Welcome to San Juan Puerto Rico where cocktails dinner and dessert are taken seriously. Where you could be in for an experience that is intensely gratifying and mouth-watering what with the range of cuisine on offer being as authentic an assortment of food as you would have ever come across. There more than enough reasons why you would want to be out there in San Juan Puerto Rico experiencing cocktails dinner and dessert that are as good as they get.
The culinary experiences that are the most gratifying in terms of their authenticity and their traditional flavours being active combinations of recipes and ingredients derived from Taíno Spanish and African cultures. Mofongo is made of fried green plantain and a range of stuffing and filling ranging from chicken to seafood mixes is as traditional as cuisine in Puerto Rico can get. A vacation is not a vacation unless you have treated your taste buds to some delectable cuisine and refreshing drinks.
You could find the South Fortaleza street in San Juan that proves to be a culmination of all things edible reflecting the best of world cuisine ranging from Asian to Latin American including the Parrot Club an authentic seafood galleria the genuinely Spanish Toro Salao' and Dragonfly a fusion of Asian and Puerto Rican cuisine. The culinary experiences that are the most gratifying in terms of their authenticity and their traditional flavours being active combinations of recipes and ingredients derived from Taíno Spanish and African cultures.
No culinary journey would be complete without a rich cup of freshly ground coffee. San Juan Puerto Rico has cocktails dinner and dessert that gets steamy with real good coffee with the century old coffee producing family of Hacienda San Pedro excelling in coffee production and with the Ruta del Café tour that takes you through the coffee destinations of Maricao Yauco Lares and Jayuya among others. You could find the South Fortaleza street in San Juan that proves to be a culmination of all things edible reflecting the best of world cuisine ranging from Asian to Latin American including the Parrot Club an authentic seafood galleria the genuinely Spanish Toro Salao' and Dragonfly a fusion of Asian and Puerto Rican cuisine.
You could sum up the entire experience of San Juan Puerto Rico with a stint at the four top-selling rum distilleries that reaffirm the tradition of rum production that has been in the making for over four centuries. You would not cherish much else after you have got a taste of Puerto Rico registered in your cells. No culinary journey would be complete without a rich cup of freshly ground coffee.
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Gift of the Month Clubs for Adults Include Cocktails and Spirits

Gift clubs that include alcoholic beverages are one of the best gifts that you can give to your friends, colleagues and bosses. You can instantly quench their thirst for great-tasting wine simply by offering them memberships to the finest wine clubs. Once they have subscribed to a monthly alcohol club, they can experience the luxury of having the best bottles of wine being shipped to their house at an affordable price tag.
If you want to get the best memberships from top alcohol gift clubs, you must read this article first. It explains everything you need to look for in a wine, beer or cocktail club that your recipients will love and appreciate.
The Wine of the Month Club
A membership in the Wine of the Month Club is probably the most sophisticated gift you can give to your friend or your boss. As the oldest club for mail-order wine, their team was able to specialize in delivering high-quality bottles of wine. They guarantee the quick delivery of great-tasting wines every month of the year.
The Wine of the Month Club is one of the most famous alcohol gift clubs as of today. The gift memberships they offer provide monthly shipments of wine to your recipient's address. All the wines they deliver were carefully handpicked to keep their clients and members satisfied with their services. Your recipient will be reminded of how important he is to you every time he receives the best bottles of wine and informative wine newsletters.
The Beer of the Month Club
Beer lovers have finally found a way to make all their secret wishes come true. By joining alcohol gift clubs such as the Beer of the Month Club, they can receive a special selection of full-sized beer bottles that can satisfy their craving for excellent beer. They provide carefully hand-crafted specialty beers from internationally-acclaimed breweries across the nation. With a Beer of the Month Club membership, beer lovers can experience the delight from receiving the best beer selections on a monthly basis.
The Cocktail of the Month Club
The Cocktail of the Month Club is also one of the most popular alcohol gift clubs today. It includes a monthly shipment of packs of excellent cocktail sodas and other complementary gift items such as cocktail mixers, garnishing products and top-of-the-line bar ingredients. They also deliver the best cocktail recipes for those who want to explore their unending passion for exceptional cocktail mixes and drinks.
Now that you are already familiar about three of the most popular alcohol gift clubs, you can easily acquire memberships and give them as thoughtful gifts to your friends and colleagues. Be prepared to see the genuine look of pleasure from their faces as you give them the chance to join prestigious alcohol gift clubs.
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