If you want an ultimate icing recipe then here it is. Alas I can can not take credit for this recipe, I believe the original author is JBS Box. This icing recipe is famous because it works.
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A picnic is the perfect way to dine or entertain for those of us who love style but have tight budgets.
Picnics tend to invoke romance, leisure and elegance, whiling away the hours as you and your hearts desire sip champagne and nibble on caviar. Picnics can be that romantic and they can also be an incredibly practical and inexpensive ways to have a lovely meal.
A picnic can save you a lot of money if you are planning a evening out at a show that will be out of town. Many theater towns have amazing but pricey restaurants and while you would enjoy eating there, sometimes it just is not in the budget.
Many people shy away at the thought of having a picnic because they believe it is too much bother and they don't want to be lugging around a bunch of heavy stuff but that doesn't have to be the case.
Picnics can be fast or leisurely, depending on your situation. They can be a great way to take a break in a busy day or can stretch out for hours on a beautiful summer's afternoon.
You have become pretty savvy on saving your pennies but you can't hid yourself away because you don't want to spend money on entertainment.
While it looks like everything interesting you want to do or try is very pricey there are great things to do out there that won't cost you that much money or are free.
There is great entertainment available through out the year, but you might have to do some searching to find out what is going on near you. Here is our list of ideas to keep you entertained through out the year with out busting the bank.
There are a few things that I would never skimp on in our home and our kitchen knives are one of those things.
Both my husband and I did courses at a renowned cooking school where the quality of kitchen knives was deeply stressed. We bought our knives individually over a course of several years with the expectation that they would last a life time and we have never been disappointed with them.
While I was willing to spend the money for the knives I have never been willing to spend money on gadgets - even though I think some gadgets are really, really, neat. There are bits and bobs that I really would like to own but can't justify because I know that I don't need them or can figure out another way of doing it without buying the gadget. So I don't buy gadgets.....unless I can buy them super cheap.
There was time that every good cook would know how to cook every part of the pig except the squeal.
When the majority of households had to grow and butcher their own food a frugal homemaker was not about to waste any of it. There would be an endless soup pot boiling on the back of the stove where every food scrap would end up and cook books had recipes that would explain how to use every bit of meat and dairy.
But times and tastes have changed, most women are not home all day to keep an eye on that soup pot. It has become common for people to throw food out. We are not talking about food that is spoiled or past its due date, we are talking about good quality food. The ends of bread because we don't like the texture, mashed potatoes from the night before or the bit of hard-to-reach jam that's left in the jar all gets tossed.
Food is expensive and it makes sense to use every bit of what you paid for. Here are some ideas of how you can do that.
A table cloth can be the fastest, cheapest way to evoke a mood, style or an atmosphere.
It can give your kitchen or dining room a mini make over in a matter of seconds.
It doesn't matter if your table top is made of barn board or 18th century solid cherry, a thick rich white damask cloth will give a classic look to both while a cheery red check table cloth will make it feel happy and casual.
It doesn't take a lot of money to get a good quality table clothes that will last you years and with a selection of table clothes you can brighten up your every day meals and have a different look for every holiday and celebration.
But what do you need to look for in a table cloth and where can you find the best deals?
Years ago I found it very frustrating that I could not find very plain trivets (hot plates) to put on our table.
The modern ones made of flexible plastic I did not find attractive, I did not want cloth ones as I found they would stain too easily, wood ones really didn't match our decor and metal ones were very expensive and bulky.
I ended up making these very plain white ones from tile that I bought.
While it would be great to have serving dishes for all the different holidays most of us just don't have the space to store dishes that we would only be using once a year and cost could get out of hand.
How do you spruce up your everyday serving dishes so that they seem more special during the holidays?
Do as the large hotels and fine restaurants do and use garnishes on your serving ware. We've come a long way since the days were a few sprigs of parsley were suppose to add some style to a dish. While there are food experts out there that specialize in plate displays there are many simple and easy garnishes that you can do that will add impact to your table.
With a simple knife and a bit of time you can create some wonderful garnishes for your holiday table.
You told every one you would do it and now your facing hosting a huge dinner party and not quite sure where you should start.
Part 1 of Host a Large Dinner Party Cheaply dealt with the logistics of how to organize tables, chairs, linens, invitations, etc while Part 2 deals with the food.
While most entertaining guides suggest you start with a budget and stick to it, your thought is "my budget is as little as I can possibly spend." How can I afford everything, when will I have time to do everything, and how much should I buy?
Don't panic, it will take some organization, careful planning and budgeting but you can pull it off.
You might never know exactly how it happened but suddenly you are going to be hosting a dinner party for 24 people and you've never even had anyone over for toast and tea! It might be a milestone event like a anniversary or birthday or a family holiday and you realized that you're the only one with enough room to have everyone over.
Or maybe it's going to be your turn to host everyone for Thanksgiving this year or you want to have the whole family come by to celebrate your daughter's graduation.
What ever the occasion is you want it to come off with out a hitch, for everyone to enjoy them selves and for it not to break the bank.There is a lot to think about even before you decided what everyone is going to eat.
Invitations, tables, chairs, linens, cutlery, serving dishes are explained in Part 1 and food in Part 2. It does take some organizing but with these hints, tips and suggestions you'll look like you've been doing this your whole life.
Carrots have to be one of the most diverse vegetables there are, not only can they be severed as a savory dish but also popped into a sweet desert.
During the fall harvest carrots are plentiful and cheap. Easy to find, easy to store and easy to cook, carrots can be in your diet 4 times a day.
For breakfast think carrot muffins, lunch carrot soup, dinner carrots as your vegetable side dish, sliced or grated in salads or raw, roasted or steamed on their own and finally for desert in carrot cake. Snack on them for a quick pick me up during the day instead of reaching for something sugary.
Low in calories, high in Vitamin A and fiber these colourful and tasty vegetables are the ideal fall food.
Antique and vintage silver plate tableware has to be one of the most amazing bargains you can buy.
There was a time when all elegant homes would have had silver to put on the table and most of it was silver plate (sterling silver coating a base metal like copper).
It fell out of favour in the 1960's when modern metals and plastics became popular. All those silver plated wedding gifts and heirloom silver plate were shoved to the back of cupboards and forgotten about. Improperly stored they tarnished and on the rare occasions they were used had to be cleaned and shined. Silver plate got an undeserved reputation of being difficult and fussy to take care of.
Silver has a richness to it that no other metal can equal, if you want a entertain with a show stopping table there is nothing so stunning as one filled with gleaming silver. So is buying vintage and antique silver plate expensive? Actually no. If you know what to look for you can find beautiful pieces of silver plate for only a few dollars.
Environmentally paper napkins really are not a good thing. They might be pretty and they might be convenient but cloth napkins are in the long run much less expensive and less harmful to the environment.
While napkins are easy to find they can be pricey especially if you want nicer ones for more formal dinners.
There are also sometimes that you want something a bit more special to commemorate an occasion or just to dress things up a bit. It might be blush pink napkins to complete the decor of a bridal luncheon or it might be patterned card fabric for a bon voyage dinner for your parents before they head off on a cruise.
What ever the reason or the occasion it is very easy to make table napkins with just a few sewing skills. If you have a stash of cotton fabric then the cost of these is only the thread and the time that they take to make.
There has been so much written and discussed about pie crust you would think that they must be the hardest thing in the world to perfect! But far from it.
Pioneer women were making mouth watering pie crusts well before the invention of the refrigerator, food processor or electric stove.
Some people are so nervous about trying to make their own pie crusts they even resort to buying pre made crusts which have the taste of cardboard.
Too hard to make from scratch?....stuff and nonsense. Too much time to take?.... absolute rubbish. Pie crusts are easy and inexpensive to make. Learn how to do this from scratch and you will be able to make amazing sweet and savory pies for a fraction of the cost you would get them in stores.
Follow these simple hints and tricks and you will be ready to open your own pie store in no time.
After a great evening out there is a bit of a let down going home to a cold empty house so keep the evening light and finish it off with a deserts at home.
Whether you've been to a movie, concert, or even out to dinner, it's a great way to end the evening without a lot of added expense.
Whether it is just you and your heart's desire or a group of friends it is much less costly way to end the evening instead of going on to a bar or restaurant or even ordering a desert and liquor after your dinner. It also winds down the evening nicely while you chat about your night out.
With a little bit of pre-planning you can have everything set up for when you return home.