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Baking With Donna: 6 Tips For Making the Best Cupcakes

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Christmas Cupcakes

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

You may be asking yourself, “What is the secret to delicious cupcakes?” The simple answer to this question is, moistness, of course! I have come up with 6 tips that I think will help you with your cupcakes and hopefully, you will enjoy this simple recipe. Read on and enjoy!

1. Start with a moist delicious cake recipe!

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I used my favorite Yellow Butter Cake Recipe for this particular batch of cupcakes. And since they were butter flavored, I decided to use some chocolate buttercream icing. It was awesome and my sister and our guest loved it! You can find that recipe here My Favorite Yellow Butter Cake


2. Follow the recipe!

Follow the Recipe

I know you have probably read this in some of my other posts before and I know what you are thinking, “Well duh.” But I promise you out of all the tips I can give you, this is the most important one of all! Always, always follow your recipe step by step. Don’t try and cut corners or you will end up with a not-so-great experience with whatever dessert or dish you are making. So, remember this if you remember nothing else, ok?

3. Get your ingredients ready!

Gather the Ingredients

To save yourself a lot of time, after reading the recipe and knowing what you need, go ahead and get your ingredients together. Then you can begin the measuring out and mix of your ingredients. Oh, and if your recipe calls for butter at room temperature, go ahead and lay it out for about 30 minutes or so. It is also a good idea to lay your eggs when you do the butter for the same amount of time. This will help the eggs and butter mix up nicely with your other ingredients. You can do this while you are gathering your other ingredients, measuring, and so forth.

4. Don’t overmix or undermix!

Don’t Do It!

This is a mistake that a lot of bakers make. If you overmix your cupcake batter it will make them tough and crumbly. Undermixing will make them sink in the middle. Mix just until all of the ingredients are incorporated and your batter is not lumpy.


5. Choose the right pan!

Choose the Right Pan

Always use the right baking pan size. If you use a pan that is too big, the batter will spread out too far, creating a dense cupcake with little or no filling. If you use a pan that is too small, your cupcake batter will overflow while baking, and it will be flat on top. When using cupcakes pans, always fill each cavity no more than 2/3 full, otherwise, your baked batter will spill over the edges.


6. Don’t overbake!

Overbaked Cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. or whatever the recipe calls for. If the recipe states to cook 15-20 minutes, start off with the lower time and increase it in 5-minute intervals. Overcooking will dry your cupcakes out and make them crumbly. Undercooking them will cause them to sink in the middle.



I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did sharing “Baking With Donna: 6 Tips For Making the Best Cupcakes.” If you follow my tips, you will be baking delicious moist cupcakes in no time.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

Related Posts:

10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays

10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays

My Top 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes

My Top 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes

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My Top 5 Christmas Cookies

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Baking With Donna is a unique blog here for you to explore. Baking With Donna has added such value to my life, and I love having the opportunity to share my passions and thoughts with my loyal readers. Read on, and enjoy!

Everybody loves cookies, so this week I am going to share with you my Top 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes to help you get in the Christmas spirit!

1. Donna’s Best Holiday Butter Cookies Recipe

If you are looking for a holiday cookie that rolls out nicely and is tender and crisp then you have landed on the right page. They’re perfect for any kind of cookie-cutter you want to use. It holds its shape beautifully and you don’t have to worry
about them running together when baking. Don’t restrict this cookie to Christmas! This cookie is good any time of the year for any occasion.


2. Donna’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

These oatmeal cookies are so easy to make and oh so delicious. Only 5 ingredients to make these delicious cookies. Serve these at your next family gathering and watch how fast they will disappear.


3. No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Quick and easy to make. 5 minutes to Wow! These delicious cookies are a big hit at parties or just whenever you are craving something sweet and chocolaty. Have plenty on hand because they will go fast!


4. Donna’s Best Ever Sugar Cookies Recipe

This classic cookie is so easy to make and it has a soft plump center with lightly crisped edges. Your family will come back for more. This cookie is not one that you can use a cookie cutter on. They will not turn out well at all!


5. Donnas’ Cutout Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Now, who can celebrate Christmas without Gingerbread men cookies? There is nothing like smelling the warm aromas of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger wafting through your kitchen. Smelling this lets you know the holidays are here. Nothing says it like gingerbread cookies!


Donnas’ Best Holiday Butter Cookies has become a staple at our Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. This recipe is easy and fun to make with the kids and you can make the dough up ahead of time and leave it in your fridge overnight to help save time. You will need to let it set out about 15 minutes so that it is firm yet easy to roll out. Cut out your desired shapes with cookie cutters bake and decorate. Check out my Soft Cookie Frosting to decorate these cookies for a festive look.

There you have it “My Top 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes”. I know that you are going to enjoy making these delicious cookies with your children or grandchildren. These cookies will make you a hit at your next family gathering and trust me they will disappear quickly! So, what are you waiting for, get baking and enjoy!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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How to Decorate an Elegant Thanksgiving Table on a Budget

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Elegant Thanksgiving Table

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

So you planned and prepared and shopped and cooked and cut and arranged and prepped and roasted and carved and garnished and…now it is here. The day we have all been waiting for, Thanksgiving marks the end of one holiday and the beginning of another, Christmas.

I love this holiday set in early fall because it has such a positive effect on my mood. When the days grow shorter, the leaves start to change color, and my family gathers together once again, I am happy. And when they gather around my table, it makes me even happier. So let’s not miss out on the opportunity to show our guests how thankful we truly are!

When it comes to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends, it can be easy to stress about decor. Will the dishes clash with my table linens? What about my serving platters? How do I create an elegant table with such a limited budget? It is possible to create an elegant tablescape for your Thanksgiving dinner without spending a fortune. Sometimes, simply changing up your serving dishes and adding a few simple decorations can create an elegant tablescape that will impress everyone at your table.

Below you will find the 6 steps you need on “How to Decorate an Elegant Thanksgiving Table on a Budget”. This will save you money!


3D Pumpkin Wreath Form Centerpiece

Step 1: The Centerpiece– It’s all about the details, the centerpiece is your focal point. Here’s a cute 3D Pumpkin Wreath Form Centerpiece. It’s a DIU project that you can do with your family. Click the button below for instructions.


Where Simple Meet Elegant

Step 2: The Place Settings Where Simple Meets Elegant-Mix in solid placemats in fall felt cutouts such as owls, pumpkins, or a leaf and build your fall theme from there. You can then add a gold or burgundy charger to your felt cutouts. Next, place a dinner plate on each charger. You get the idea, right? For instructions click the button below.


Elegant Glassware

Step 3: Silverware and Glassware- You can get Silver Plastic Flatware and Napkin Sets, 4-ct. Packs or by the case. I have used these several times and they look realistic and very elegant. These glasses are so pretty and make any table look beautiful.


Harvest Leaf Glass

Step 4: Complete Your Table Setting– With an array of colorful pumpkins or gourds that you can purchase from your local grocery store. To save more money, you can get Colorful Pumpkin Slotted Tealight Candle Holders, Harvest Leaf Glass Tealight Candle Holders, and more ideas by clicking the button below.


The Possibilities Are Endless

Step 5: Other Alternatives- You can always hit the thrift stores as well too. There are great bargains to be found. If you are short on time as well as cash, ask your family to bring some dishes. There is no shame in doing this. Make sure you are staying on your color scheme. White dishes are an excellent choice and it’s safe.


Pinecones and Candles

6. Some Other Inexpensive Ideas- You can use candles to help decorate your table along with the centerpiece. You can also use pinecones and spray paint them gold, white, or just leave them natural. How about some colored glass vases and put little fall flowers in them? Whatever you decide it will be elegant and beautiful.


Follow these 6 steps above and you are sure to have a beautiful elegant table that you created all on a budget.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays

Top 10 Turkey Roasters for This Holiday Season

8 Types of Gifts Bakers Will Actually Use

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They Will Actually Use!

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you’re in need of some holiday gift ideas for the baker in your life, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. I’m a baker myself, and I know a thing or two about what makes a good gift for a baker. They will really like these items I have picked out just for you and the baker.

Here are eight types of gifts bakers will actually use!​

1. Cake Mixer – This might be my #1 most used item in the kitchen. It’s so easy to make my cakes and cupcakes with the Beater Blade attachment. I also use it when I make cornbread and biscuits, cookies, and more. Click here for a list of mixers I recommend!


2. Cookie Cutters – I love cookie cutters. I use them for Thanksgiving and Christmas to make my delicious cookies. I have my eye on these! Click here for my favorite cookie cutters. You get 101 cookie cutters for all occasions!


3. Cake Stand – Another item on my Christmas list is a cake stand! This one is so pretty, and I love the black and elegant details this one is my favorite but click here for more options. You can display so many things on this cake stand and look how pretty it is.


4. Sifter – The kitchen gadget I love and use more than any other…hands down! Plus, it has gotten rave reviews. Every baker needs one of these to sift their flour before using it. Doing this step makes it easier to mix the ingredients together. Click here for my first choice.


5. Sugar Sheets – These sugar sheets are seriously life-changing when you decorate cookies or cakes. You just cut them into the shape you need and place them on your cake. Simple to use and makes a beautiful dessert. They come in different colors for your decorating needs. Click here to get yours.


Wilton Cake Strips Really Work!

6. Cake Strips- These cake strips are a lifesaver for your cakes and you. They are seriously awesome! I bought myself some a month or so back and I could not believe how well they really worked. If you know a baker, then please get these for them. I promise you they will love them and thank you. Click here for my choice. Check out the video to see the cake strips I purchased. Notice how flat the tops of my cakes are…


7. Angled and Straight Spatulas- Every baker needs one of these gadgets in their baking arsenal. Great for frosting a cake and decorating cakes. I have angled and straight spatulas and I use them all the time when decorating my cakes. Click here for my choice.



8. Icing Smoother- This is an awesome tool that any baker would love to have. I know because I have one and use it a lot when I bake cakes. The icing smoother helps to take off excess icing that you don’t need for a smooth finish. And it’s easier to decorate your cake. Click here to see my choice of the icing smoother


Any of these gifts you choose for the baker in your will help them and they will use them. If you are a baker, why not put the bug in someone’s ear that you need these. Then you will be a happy baker, right?

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy 

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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Top 10 Turkey Roasters for This Holiday Season

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Turkey Roaster

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Dear readers, can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I’m sure you might be looking for one of the best turkey roasters. If you haven’t ever had the privilege of using one, then honey you are in for an awesome treat. A turkey roaster will change the way you cook your turkeys forever! You will not believe how moist, juicy, and delicious your turkey will be.

So, here’s my list of the top 10 best turkey roasters for this holiday season. I am going to give you the top 5 electric turkey roasters and the top 5 turkey roasting pans. Enjoy!

Top 10 Best Turkey Roasters for the Holidays


Top 5 Electric Turkey Roasters

24 Quart Electric Roaster

1. Electric Turkey Roaster Oven- is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon and you are about to find out why. It is multi-functional, you can cook slow, bake, and roast. Which will add more spice to your food and life. Now let’s explore these turkey roasters’ features.

Features:

  • Ideal for office parties, family get-togethers
  • Comes with 1 steel removable steel rack
  • Self-basting lid that continually circulates the moisture making your meals delicious
  • Warming setting to keep your food at the perfect temp. until time to serve it
  • Easy to clean with cool-touch handle with removable insert pot making it easier and safer to clean

Oster Roaster Oven

2. Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid- is simple to use allowing you to create foolproof meals that are moist, juicy, and delicious. Use this roaster oven for holidays and special occasions throughout the year. You will save time, energy and leave your oven free to do other baking. Check out the features below.

Features:

  • Make gravy right in the roaster
  • Self-basting lid continually recirculates moisture
  • Accommodates up to a 26-pound turkey
  • Multifaceted electric roaster bakes, slow cooks, roasts, and serves
  • Clean-up is very quick and easy with a removable rack and pan

Hamilton Beach Roaster

3. Hamilton Beach Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid– will let you roast, bake, cook, and serve. You can do this and more with this easy-to-use roaster oven. Make delicious holiday meals with ease for your family during the holidays and beyond. This will free up your oven to bake all of the other holiday goodies you need to make. Roast a large turkey with ease or keep a side dish warm. Find the features of this product below.

Features:

  • Temperature ranges from 150 degrees to 450 degrees F.
  • Removable lid, pan, and rack for easy clean-up
  • Roast, bake, cook, and serve
  • Fits up to a 28-pound turkey
  • Keep a side dish warm
  • 22-quart capacity
  • Self-basting lid

Sunvivi Electric Roaster

4. Sunvivi Electric Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid- is a versatile electric roaster that bakes, slow cooks, and roasts helping you create deliciously moist and tender holiday meals that your family and friends will enjoy. This will free up your oven so you can bake cakes, cookies, pies, etc. for your holiday feast. Take a look at the features of the product below.

Features:

  • Self-basting lid that leaves you free to do other things
  • Warming set to keep your favorite side dishes warm
  • Cool-touch handles on lid and body to protect your hands
  • Removable pot making clean-up fast and easy

Rival Roaster Oven

5. Rival Roaster Oven, 18-Quart- lets you create a delicious feast that your family and friends are sure to enjoy this holiday season. They will be singing your praises as they enjoy the tender, moist, and juicy turkey or ham that you roast. Your oven will also be freed up so you can bake other family favorites. Easily make gravy from the drippings in the roaster pan by simmering it without messing up more dishes. See below for product features.

Features:

  • Easily roast, bake, and slow cook
  • Removable pan and rack for quick clean-up
  • Adjustable temps. 150 degrees to 450 degrees F.
  • Even heat distribution for moist delicious meals every time
  • Roast up to a 22-pound turkey
  • Cook and serve

Top 5 Turkey Roasting Pans


Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan

6. Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack – is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon, let’s find out why. With its extra-large capacity, this roaster can easily handle up to a 24-pound turkey or ham. It has a U-shaped rack that keeps meats off the bottom of the pan and out of the grease. Heavy-duty non-stick steel for fast even heat distribution. Check out these awesome features.

Features:

  • Superior non-stick surface for excellent food release and quick clean-up
  • High Performance that can withstand oven temps. up to 450 degrees F.
  • Wide handles for confidence easy grip
  • Hassle-free lifetime guarantee

FYI: It is recommended to hand wash the product to maintain its non-stick quality.


Uniware Healthy Enamel Roaster

7. Uniware Healthy Enamel Coating Turkey Roaster- is made with oven-safe material ideal for cooking turkey and chicken. Made with a thick heavy-duty material. Amazon’s Choice. Look below for product features.

Features:

  • Enamel coating safe to use
  • Thick heavy-duty material
  • Beautiful oval shape
  • Oven safe

Granite Ware Enamel on Steel

8. Granite Ware Enamel on Steel- is a rectangle pan that can hold up to 25 pounds of turkey or ham. Safer to use than the foil ones, browns better, and cooks more evenly. Because of the dark porcelain surface, it absorbs the energy of the oven and evenly distributes it so the contents are evenly cooked. Check out the product features below.

Features:

  • The porcelain surface is naturally a non-stick surface
  • Safer than foil roasters, browns better and evenly
  • The porcelain plus the steel retains the juices
  • Cooks evenly and faster
  • Self-basting lid

Mr. Rudolf’s Roasting Pan

9. Mr. Rudolf’s Roasting Pan with Lid and Rack- is made of 18/10 mirror finish stainless steel that does not change color or react with food or alter food flavors. The handles are made of solid stainless steel and are welded to make placing the roasters in the oven and removing them from the oven safe. The rack is made of solid stainless steel rack allows the heat to circulate and keeps the meat out of the drippings. Below you will find this product’s awesome features.

Feature:

  • Triple-ply aluminum encapsulated base heats quickly and spreads heat evenly
  • The rim smoothly tapered to eliminate drips and spills when pouring
  • Dishwasher safe for quick clean-up and it keeps its shiny color
  • The lid can double as a second roaster for your cooking needs
  • Can be used in ALL conventional ovens

Gibson Home 2-Piece Non-Stick Roaster

10. Gibson Home Broxton 2 Piece Non-Stick Turkey Roaster- is great for not only roasting turkeys, but other meats as well. You can cook your poultry, ham, roast to perfection in this non-stick turkey roaster. The V-rack cooks food fast and even for delicious results every time. French handles make it easy safe and easy for you to put your food in the oven and lift it out of the oven safely. See the product features below.

Features:

  • 2-piece roaster includes pan and rack
  • French handles for easy lifting
  • Non-stick service for quick and easy clean-up
  • Strong and durable carbon steel construction
  • Cooks food fast and even with its V-shaped rack

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. These are really some awesome turkey roasters. Any of them would be a good choice, however, I like the electric roasters much better.

As a matter of fact, I have the #5 Rival Roaster Oven, and my husband and I love it! We have had this turkey roaster for years and it still works just as good as it did the day we bought it. Below you will find pictures of my Rival Roaster Oven below.

My Rival Turkey Roaster
My Rival Turkey Roaster

As you can tell it has been used, but it still looks pretty good, and as I said it still works great.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays

10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays

How to Increase Your Productivity in the Kitchen


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10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays

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Thanksgiving Food

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

One of the most important parts of any holiday gathering is the food. You want to serve food that is delicious and impressive, yet not complicated. Here are 10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays to get you started. Enjoy!


I want to share with you 5 family favorite recipes followed by 5 family favorite desserts.


Roasted Garlic and Herb
  1. Joe’s Famous Turkey– My husband makes the most delicious Turkey for Thanksgiving I have ever tasted. It feels like it melts in your mouth. Our family loves it! Now, I am going to share his little secret to getting a moist delicious turkey everytime. Are you ready? He washes the turkey with cold water and gets the giblets out of the cavity. He pats it dry and then injects the turkey with Tony Chachere’s, Roasted Garlic and Herb Marinade Injectables. Then he cooks it in a Turkey Roaster for 4-6 hours (over night) on 300 degrees. I promise it want dissapoint you or your guest.


Chicken and Dressing

2. Donna’s Famous Chicken and Dressing- This dressing is so easy to make and your family and friends will thank you. It only requires 6 ingredients. Chicken, onion, cornbread (crumbled up), eggs, cream of chicken soup, and sage. To get this recipe go to Donna’s Famous Chicken and Dressing.


Corn Casserole

3. Family Favorite-Corn Casserole- This corn casserole is so easy to make and is delicious. It has become a family favorite of ours. We make it throughout the year because it is not just for the holidays! You and your family will love it too. So, go ahead give your taste buds a thrill. Enjoy! Get your recipe at Family Favorite-Corn Casserole


Best Ever Homemade Cranberry Sauce

4. Best Every Homemade Cranberry Sauce- If you have never made this, honey you have got to! It is way better than the stuff that comes in a can. Once you and your family try it you ditch the can forever. This is a very easy recipe to make and you will love it and so will your family. You will wonder why you hadn’t tried the homemade cranberry sauce before now. Get your recipe at Best Every Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Easy Homemade Rolls

5. Easy Homemade Rolls- You won’t believe just how easy it is to make soft fluffy rolls. They will become one of your family’s favorites to eat any day or time of the year. With only 4 ingredients you will be shocked at easy and delicious these rolls are. You can get this recipe at Easy Homemade Rolls


My Carrott Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

6. Baking with Donna’s 14 Carat Cake- I don’t know about you, but I love a good carrot cake. I’m telling you this one is amazing. It is so moist and delicious. Your family will love it and so will you. This
has become a family favorite at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. It takes a little bit to make this cake, but the results are well worth the effort. To get the recipe go to Baking with Donna’s 14 Carat Cake


7. Cream Cheese Pecan Pie- This is an amazing combination. When I first heard about this recipe I thought that does not sound good, but I love cream cheese, so I tried it. Boy, this pie is so delicious. I am telling you your mouth will have a party and your family will love it too. This pie has become a staple at my house. I love to make this delicious pie for Thanksgiving. It is so rich and creamy and makes an interesting flavor for an Old Southern Classic. Makes this for your next family gathering and I promise you your family and friends will love it. Get the recipe at Cream Cheese Pecan Pie


Donna’s Best Holiday Butter Cookies

8. Donna’s Best Holiday Butter Cookies- If you are looking for a holiday cookie that rolls out nicely, and is tender and crisp then you have landed on the right page. They’re perfect for any kind of cookie-cutter you want to use. It holds its shape beautifully and you don’t have to worry about them running together when baking. Don’t restrict this cookie to Christmas! This cookie is good any time of the year for any occasion. Get the recipe at Donna’s Best Holiday Butter Cookies


Delicious Pound Cake

9. Donna’s Homemade Pound Cake- This was handed down to me by my mom. It was my grandmother’s recipe. This is the best pound cake I have ever put in my mouth and the only pound cake recipe I have ever used. It is special to me, but I wanted to share it with you so this would be the only pound cake recipe you will ever need. Moist and delicious and has an amazing taste. Get the recipe at Donna’s Pound Cake


Oatmeal Cookies

10. Donna’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies- These oatmeal cookies are so easy to make and oh so delicious. Only 5 ingredients will have your taste buds having a party. Serve these at your next family gathering and watch how fast they will disappear! I usually make a double batch of these cookies during the holidays. They go fast! Go to Donna’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies to get the recipe.


With this guide, 10 Delicious Recipes for the Holidays will alleviate any anxiety you may have for what you are going to cook for your guest during the upcoming festivities. Enjoy!

From my family to your family Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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Baking With Donna: 10 Ways to Save Money and Time


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Baking With Donna: 10 Ways to Save Money and Time

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Save Time and Money

These days we “All” need to find ways to save money and time. With the prices of groceries, gas, and everything else skyrocketing, we need ways to save our money and get more bang for our buck. And ways to save our time.

So, I have put together a list of 10 things that I do to save money and time. Maybe, some of these will inspire you to save money too and your time.


Are you ready to get started? Let’s get to it…

Grocery Sale

1. Shop sales always–  You never know when there are going to be mega sales at your favorite store until you check out their site on a regular basis.


Shop Big Sale

2. Do not buy things at full price-  If there is something you are thinking of purchasing, wait for it to go on sale before you buy it. This includes clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, appliances, or even food.  I always wait for sale times before I make my purchases-I save tons of money this way.



Clip Coupons to Save

3. Always look for coupons online– If you are looking for coupons online, do not limit yourself to the sites that offer the coupons that you want. There are many other sites that can provide you with great coupons that can save you money on things that you were planning to buy anyway.


Weekly Meal Planner

4. Create a meal plan for the week– Do this before you do your shopping. My goodness, you have no idea how much time this will save you! You can print a meal planner off the internet for free.


Grocery List

5. Make a detailed grocery list from your meal plan– This way when you get to the grocery store you want be trying to figure out what you need for the week. Such a big time saver and this will help you to save money because you want be buying unnecessary items you really didn’t need. You can print these off the internet for free.


Freezer Meals

6. Another time saver- Make freezer meals ahead of time . This is a big time saver especially if you are a busy mom taking kids to and from school, taking them to play in sports, to practice, etc. You just set the frozen meal out for 20-30 minutes and pop it in the oven to cook for the time your recipe specifys.


Shop Fruits and Veggies First

7. Shop the perimeter of the store first-  Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Frozen Foods, and Meat sections, as these sections have fewer processed foods, preservatives, and more natural ingredients.


Shop Once a Week

8. Shop only once a week-  On the same day each week. By shopping regularly you will have a feel for how much you need to buy that week and you will also see how prices change on a weekly basis which is helpful when you are watching your spending.


Buying in Bulk

9. Buy in bulk- When it makes sense or buy generic when possible. My husband and I share vegetables, soups, bread, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. when we buy in bulk with family members which helps us all save money. And they do the same for us.


Onions and Garlic

10. Use a mix for part of the recipe-Oftentimes a mix will be cheaper than buying all of the ingredients separately. While you can use a mix for half of a recipe, adjust the other ingredients accordingly. You can also substitute alternative ingredients for featured ones. If a recipe calls for onions or garlic that are out of season, or if you just don’t have any on hand, try using shallots or garlic powder instead.


There you have it. I hope you enjoyed Baking With Donna: 10 Ways to Save Money and Time as much as I enjoyed sharing this with you. Maybe this will help you as much it has me.

I would love to know if you tried this and how much it helped you. Do you have anything to contribute to my 10 ways to save money and time? If you do please share below.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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7 Delicious Tips for Baking with Your Kids

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10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays

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Family Gathering for the Holidays

Wow! Can you believe it’s that time of the year again, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve? Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed during the holidays? No, worries, I got you covered!

Below I want to talk to you about how you can survive the holiday season with my 10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays. It can seem like a harrowing time of year that is even more so for those who find themselves alone, and for the ones of us doing the entertaining. It’s important not to let overwhelm seep in and keep you from enjoying the many gifts and blessings we receive during this time of year.

I love this time of the year even though it can get Harry Caray, so grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and let me help you ease through the holidays.


Here are some tips I have for you:

Woman Making Grocery Lists

1. Make a list and check it twice. If you do not have a list already made up, it is time to get started! This is crucial during the holidays. The last thing you need to be thinking about is if you have everything you need for your big night.


Family Time

2. Prioritize. Spend time with those who matter most to you. Family and friends. Make sure you do not overwhelm yourself trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectations of you.


Store-Bought Cookies

3. Simplify. There is no need to arrive at every party or gathering with a plate of cookies to eat, or a dish to pass around. Arrive with a smile and be present with those who cross your path. If you don’t like to cook, go with a store-bought dish instead of making something from scratch.


Holiday Meal Planning

4. Plan. Planning your menu ahead of time can save you a lot of time and heartache. Don’t wait until the day before or the day of to try and figure out what you want to cook and serve. Do this at least a week in advance, I promise you will be glad that you did! A big-time saver!


Preparing Veggies

5. Prepare ahead of time. If you are like me and love to bake from scratch, make foods ahead of time that you can freeze or just pop in the oven the next day. Doing simple things like chopping vegetables up, chopping up nuts, etc. the day before will save you valuable time.


Family Cooking Together

6. Ask for help. This is one of the hardest things for me to do! I know, right? There is no shame in asking for help! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so I can’t do the things I use to do and that has been hard for me. Thankfully my youngest daughter has taken over a lot of the cooking I use to do for the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still bake my cakes and cookies, cause I am not willing to give that up yet! Lol! Oh, and my hubby cleans up what I mess up. Bless his heart!


7. Breathe. Yes, breathe and try to get in a little exercise. I know, I know. Who has the time you are probably saying to me as you are reading this? It doesn’t have to be a long process, just do some stretching, breathing exercises, etc. The reason for this is when we get stressed out or anxious, we tend to hold our breath or breathe very shallowly.


Laughing with Family

8. Laughing is the best medicine. Yep, you read this one right. Laughing reduces your stress levels, soothes tension, helps you breath deeper, improves your immune system, improves your mood, relieves pain, plus more! Who would ever think laughing could do so much good?


9. Be grateful. Stop and think about all of the things you should be grateful for. Be thankful to God for your good health, your family, and your friends. Not to mention all of the things that you should be grateful for throughout the year. Try writing down 6-8 things you are grateful for in your life. Try it, you will be surprised how much better you will feel.


Relaxing Back Massage

10. Spend some time relaxing. Yeessss, honey, be good to yourself. All the cooking and cleaning, hosting, etc. It’s time to do something good and kind just for YOU! Put on your list to get a gift card for a massage if someone asks what you would like for Christmas. You can always put that little bug in your hubby’s ear.


We all know it! Christmas time is a stressful time for a lot of us. It’s a time of the year that seems to drain us of our energy and motivation. It’s a time when we feel the need to prove ourselves as great wives, moms, daughters, or whatnot.

So, it is very important that you be good to yourself and others during this time of stress. Make sure to take time for yourself to decompress to keep from getting too stressed out. Please don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help if things are getting to be too much for you. It’s ok to ask for help and your family will be glad to pitch in, I promise!

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

Related Posts:

7 Delicious Tips for Baking with Your Kids

How to Increase Your Productivity in the Kitchen

5 Tips to Baking with Your Grandkids

Donna’s 8 Best Cake Lifters

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Cake Lifter

I get asked this question all of the time, “Which cake lifter do I need and what size?” Today’s review is going to answer these questions for you and name Donna’s 8 Best Cake Lifters.

There are two different sizes of cake lifters to choose from. The 6-inch lifter is the most commonly used size. The 6-inch lifter is generally found in most households due to its versatility in lifting cakes, cookies, and pastries. These lifters usually come in sets of 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12. This particular size is great for lifting most cakes and pastries. It’s also great for lifting dough for pizza bagels, cinnamon rolls, and much more.

The 4-inch lifter is the perfect size for when you don’t need to lift a large cake or pastry. Since they are smaller in size covering them with frosting is not an issue when the cake is placed back down on the plate. This size is great for when you are having cupcakes only at your event or you are working with small pastries like mini donuts or bite-size cookies.

These lifters are generally made out of either metal or sturdy plastic.

Now that I have given you information on the sizes and their respective uses, let’s find out which ones are the best.


1. Tophome 8-Inch Safe Cake Lifter

Cake Lifter from Tophome

Is great for transferring pizzas, delicate bread, cakes, pies, and pastries into an oven, wood-fired oven, or grill to keep from burning your hand from the oven or from the hot baked goods. Perfect as a cake lifter. (Amazon’s Choice) 4.8/5 Stars

Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Multi-purpose use
  • Available in 6 colors

2. Mrs. Anderson Giant 9.5-Inch Cake Lifter:

Mrs. Andersons Giant Cake Lifter

Is also known as a cake spatula, easily lifts, transports, and stacks cake layers for building effortless precision layer cakes with a professional presentation at home. Makes your cake decorating easier no matter if you are professional or just starting out. It’s great for moving larger foods from baking sheets to cooling racks, like tarts, pastries, Jumbo cookies, pizzas, and more. 4.2/5 Stars

Features:

  • Easily lift and transport cake layers for precison cake layering
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Silicone grip
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup

3. Nordic Ware Cake Lifter, 10-Inches

Nordic Ware Large Cake Lifter

You can transfer your largest cakes with ease using the Nordic Ware wide 10-inch cake lifter like a pro. This product is made in the USA by a skilled team of craftspeople with the same goal in mind, creating the finest quality of kitchenware items in the industry. 4.8/5 Stars

Features:

  • Large cake lifter
  • Non-stick surface
  • Clean up is easy with hot soapy water
  • 10-inch diameter head to lift most cakes
  • Proudly made in the USA

4. RSVP International 12-Inch Oven Spatula

RSVP International 12″ Oven Spatula

Is a unique 12-inch oven spatula that is made out of durable stainless steel that will help you transfer your largest cakes with ease. Not only can you transfer large cakes, but it is perfect for whole pizzas as well. 4.7/5 Stars

Features:

  • Durable stainless steel
  • Dishwasher safe for easy clean up
  • 8-inch silicone handle
  • Transfer large cakes and whole pizzas with ease

5. Norpro Stainless Steel 6-Inch Scraper/Chopper

Nordicpro Cake Lifter and Scraper

The 6-inch cake lifter is the most commonly used size and can be found in most households. This is true because of its versatility in lifting cakes, cookies, and pastries. This is a must-have tool for all baker’s kitchens because of its many uses. (Amazon’s Choice) 4.8/5 Stars

Features:

  • Can be used to scrap, split dough, crushing chopping, and measuring
  • Rounded handle and rectangular strait-sided blade is ideal for chopping and splitting cookie dough and more
  • Measuring guide on the side ideal for measuring and cutting pasta and pastry dough
  • Easily scrap flour, sugar, etc. off your workspace and tranferring to mixing bowl
  • Made of durable stainless steel with comfortable handle

6. Fat Daddio’s Cake Lifter Stainless Steel, 8.75 Inch

Fat Daddio’s Cake Lifter

Here’s one heafty cake lifter. No matter if you have a cake, cookies situation, this cake lifter can get the job done. Fat Daddio’s cake lifter will have you lifting even your decorated cakes like a pro and easily transfer tiered cakes with ease. 4.7/5 Stars

Features:

  • The design allows for lifting cakes, cookies, etc.
  • Durable comfort grip handle
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • Dishwasher safe making clean up a breeze

Fox Run Cookie/Brownie Spatula

This little cake lifter/spatula is a must have in your arsenal of tools for baking. It is great not only for lifting brownies, but cookies, casseroles, and quiches! Help keep your baked goods intact for a beautiful presentation for your guest. (Amazon’s Choice) 4.4/5 Stars

Features:

  • Easy grip wooden handle
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • Great for pancakes, cookies, casseroles and more
  • Easy clean up and storage
  • Beveled edge to easily lift your pressious desserts and casseroles

8. 4 Pieces Pie/Cake Server Set Stainless Steel

4 Pieces Pie/Cake Server Set

This is a very nice serving set for pros and begginers alike. These cake lifters/spatulas can do more than just lift cake and cut dough. The set comes with 2 serrated cake servers and 2 serrated spatulas that can easily meet your demands. Consider this set your practical helper in the kitchen. (Amazon’s Choice) 4.3/5 Stars

Features:

  • Triangled shape servers used to serve cakes and pies
  • Rectangled shape servers used to serve brownies, lasagna, etc.
  • Made with quality durable steel
  • Comfortable handle for easy grip
  • Dishwasher safe for easy clean up

Wow! These were really hard to decide on. You can’t go wrong with any of these you decide to buy. They are all great products you just have to pick the ones that meet your baking needs. No someone besides you that likes to bake? Any of these would make an awesome gift for the bakers in your life. So, treat them and yourself.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

Related Posts:

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