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40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss

40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss

We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of baking a cake and you run out of a key ingredient. You’re mixing ingredients and end up with more on you and on your counter than in the mixing bowl. Baking can be a headache, but it really doesn’t have to be. To ease your baking-induced stress, you can turn to these backing hacks .

1. Want A Flawless Cake? Measure Your Flour Properly.

Measuring Flour

    Spoon your flour into a dry measuring cup, then scrape the excess off with a knife. Scooping from a bag causes the flour to become compressed, often giving you more flour than your recipe calls for.

    2. Prevent The Whisker Splatter Blues With A Paper Plate.

    Paper Plate On Mixer

      Cut holes into a paper plate for the beaters, then place it above them. The paper plate catches the back splash and eases post-baking cleanup.

      3. Struggling To Decorate That Cake? Grab A Cookie Cutter.

      Cookie Cutter Cake Decoration

        Place the decorative cookie cutter gently on top of the frosted cake. Fill the cookie cutter with enough sprinkles to cover the icing on the cake, gently pressing them in to prevent spilling when the cookie cutter is removed. The result? A perfectly shaped sprinkle decoration on your cake. Check it out here.

        4. Print This Common Measurement Cheat Sheet For A Quick Reference.

        Kitchen Measurements Cheat Sheet

          Whether you’re doubling a recipe or simply like conversions, this cheat sheet is handy to have when baking. Find it here.

          5. Broken Whisker? Grab A Mason Jar And Whip That Cream.

          Whipped Cream in a Jar

            Mason jars have been taking over the Pinterest world – and for good reason. If you can’t find your whisk, pour your cream in a mason jar and shake away. Found here.

            6. Tired Of Post-Brownie Pan Clean Up? Reach For The Parchment Paper.

            parchmentpaperbrownie

              Line your baking dish with foil or parchment paper and then lightly butter it. You’re welcome.

              7. So You Dropped An Eggshell Into Your Dish…

              Egg Shells

                Wet your finger and place it near the shell. It will gravitate towards your finger, making it easier to remove it. If you can’t find them, don’t fret. Eggshells sink when baked, so finding them after will be a breeze.

                8. You Can Also Use The Half Empty Shell.

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                eggshellscoop

                  That’s right. Instead of sticking your finger into the eggs, you can use the half empty shell to scoop the eggshell piece up.

                  9. Out Of Brown Sugar? Use White Sugar And Molasses.

                  Make Your Own Brown Sugar

                    Brown sugar is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a pinch.

                    10. Or Refer To This Handy Substitutions List.

                    13-handy-cooking-and-baking-substitutions-for-missing-ingredients.w654

                      Pull up this image whenever you’ve realize too late in the baking game that you’re out of something. Found here.

                      11. Test Your Baking Soda Before Baking.

                      Baking Soda In Water

                        Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a 1/2 cup of hot water. If it doesn’t bubble, it’s time to throw it away.

                        12. Keep Baking, Even When You’ve Run Out Of Muffin Tins.

                        Mason Lids

                          Like a tray with mason jar bands, place the liners inside and fill with batter, then bake. Perfect solution to a bit of leftover batter.

                          13. No Frosting? Use Powdered Sugar And Lace.

                          Lace Cake Decoration

                            Find the full instructions here to have beautiful masterpieces in mere minutes.

                            14. Keep Your Cookies Moist Longer.

                            storecookies

                              Store cookies with an apple slice or an orange peel. The cookie will absorb the moisture, keeping them softer, longer.

                              15. Make Frosting Any Color With This Color Chart.

                              SCAN0001 (3)

                                A basic box of primary colors is all you’ll need to achieve these beautiful results. More colors can be found here.

                                16. Or Use Jell-O!

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                                jello frosting

                                  Add a bit to frosting to your favorite Jell-O color or follow this recipe. Added flavor and fun colors?! A must try.

                                  17. Use A Wine Bottle As A Rolling Pin.

                                  winebottle

                                    Can’t find your rolling pin? Reach for the wine. Sure, a glass will help your baking-induced nerves, but the bottle also doubles as a great rolling pin when you don’t have one of your own.

                                    18. Quickly Bring Your Eggs To Room Temperature.

                                    eggsinwater

                                      Did you forget to leave your eggs sitting for an hour before baking? Of course you did – everyone does. Don’t fret. Simply fill a bowl with luke-warm water and place your eggs in. Let them sit for 10-30 minutes to achieve room-temp eggs.

                                      19. Working With Something Sticky? Wet Your Hands.

                                      hand gingerbread dough

                                        Wetting your hands before working with something sticky, like fudge, will help you handle it without getting it stuck to you.

                                        20. Use Saran Wrap To Make Your Decorating Bags Last Longer.

                                        Frosting4

                                          Wrap your icing like a tootsie roll in the saran wrap and then place it in your decorating bag. Pull one twisted side through the decorating bag and cut off the twisted part. Add the decorating tip to the bag and frost away. Follow the step-by-step instructions here.

                                          21. Make A Box Cake Tastes Homemade.

                                          eggs

                                            Use one more egg than the recipe calls for and replace the vegetable oil with butter. Viola – homemade cake from a box.

                                            22. Rid Yourself Of Pesky Air Pockets In Your Cake.

                                            dropcake

                                              After you’ve filled your cake pan with batter and before you place it in the oven, drop it onto the counter a few times. This will release the bubbles, helping the cake to bake more evenly in the oven. And it’s not a bad stress-reliever, when you’ve got an apron covered in flour and streaks of batter lining your creased forehead.

                                              23. Keep Your Brown Sugar Soft.

                                              brown sugar marshmallow

                                                Store your brown sugar with a slice of bread or a large marshmallow for like-new softness, no matter when you use it.

                                                24. No Butter? Reach For An Avocado.

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                                                avocado-vs-buttercakeletter

                                                  Whether you’re watching your cholesterol or you just want a healthier alternative, replace the butter in your recipes with avocados.

                                                  25. Cool Down Whipping Cream Or Meringues With Freezer Pops.

                                                  mixerfreezerpops

                                                    Place a pack of freezer pops underneath your mixing bowl too keep your whipping cream or meringues cool.

                                                    26. Prevent Sticky Ingredients From Sticking Around The Measuring Cup.

                                                    spraying measuring cup

                                                      Honey, syrup, molasses…whatever sticky substance you measure will slide right out of the measuring cup when you spray the measuring cup with a non-stick spray first. It’s so obvious, it almost hurts.

                                                      27. Want The Perfect Pie Crust?

                                                      pie-50407_1280

                                                        Use both butter and shortening in your crust recipe. The butter adds flavor, while the shortening adds flakiness.

                                                        28. Get Professional Cake Decorations Using Wax Paper.

                                                        cakeletter

                                                          Cut a piece of wax paper the size of your cake. Decorate the wax paper as you would the cake (mistakes are easily wiped away) and then freeze. When it comes time to decorate the cake, all you will have to do is gently peel the frozen letters off of the paper and place them onto the cake.

                                                          29. Tired Of Crumbling Cookies?

                                                          coolingcookies

                                                            Let your cookie rest on the sheet pan for 20 – 30 seconds before moving them to a cooling rack. Leaving them sit for that brief time allows the heat to escape and helps prevent your cookies from crumbling.

                                                            30. No Frosting Pipette? Grab A Syringe.

                                                            syringe

                                                              Fill a syringe with frosting, then use it for precise decorating on cookies, cupcakes or whatever your frosted heart desires.

                                                              31. Or A Sandwich Baggie.

                                                              s3.amazonaws.com_photography.prod.demandstudios.com_58f4c766-9f3f-4230-86ad-b2bb85e2023a

                                                                Simply fill the baggie with icing and cut off a corner. It could be a big piece or a little piece, depending on your desired piping size. Or go wild and create many sizes to fit your baking needs.

                                                                32. Use Tinfoil To Create A Smaller Baking Dish.

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                                                                tartpanhack

                                                                  Follow the instructions here to create a smaller baking pan using tinfoil.

                                                                  33. Get Even Cookies By Wrapping, Rolling, And Slicing.

                                                                  cookieroll

                                                                    Roll your cookie dough onto a sheet of parchment and then carefully roll it into a log. Refrigerate the dough until it’s firm. Once it’s firm, cut the dough crosswise into even sections, place on a tray and bake.

                                                                    34. Turn Gluten-Free Oats Into Flour.

                                                                    oatflour

                                                                      Gluten-free doesn’t have to mean baked treats-free. Simply blend your gluten-free oats until they achieve a powdered consistency and then get to baking.

                                                                      35. Experiment With Cake Textures.

                                                                      caketexture

                                                                        Sour cream and yogurt can be used in place of milk to achieve different densities and textures.

                                                                        36. Soften Brown Sugar In Seconds.

                                                                        brown sugar

                                                                          Place your brown sugar in the microwave, cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for around 20 seconds. Boom. Soft brown sugar.

                                                                          37. Check Your Eggs’ Freshness With Water.

                                                                          eggsfloat

                                                                            Place an egg in a dish of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, it’s not. If it stands on one end, it’s best to use soon.

                                                                            38. Create Cake Layers With Dental Floss… Seriously!

                                                                            670px-Cut-a-Cake-Layer-in-Half-Step-3

                                                                              Need to cut your cake in half to create two cake layers? Wrap dental floss around the middle of the cake, pulling each end out and away from it, then move the floss slightly from side to side. Just, maybe think about skipping the mint-flavored variety. Illustrated instructions can be found here.

                                                                              39. Give Your Frosted Cake A Glossy Finish.

                                                                              blow dry cake

                                                                                Right before serving, use a hair dryer on medium heat on the cake until the frosting starts to melt. The melted frosting solidifies, presenting you with a beautifully glossed cake.

                                                                                40. Cut The Cake Fat… Use Applesauce.

                                                                                applesauce

                                                                                  Replace oil in cake recipes with unsweetened applesauce. The ratio is simple: 1:1.

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: birthday cupcake!/Ginny via flickr.com

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                                                                                  Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                                                                  7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                  7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                  Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                                                                  Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                                                                  This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                                                                  One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                                                                  Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                                                                  Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                                                                  1. Gratitude

                                                                                  Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                                                                  The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                                                                  Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                                                                  So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                                                                  Gratitude-Quotes

                                                                                    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                                                                    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                                                                    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                                                                    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                                                                    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                                                                    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                                                                    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                                                                    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                                                                    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                                                                    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                                                                    write down goals

                                                                                      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                                                                      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                                                                      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                                                                      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                                                                      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                                                                      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                                                                      6. Rise Earlier

                                                                                      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                                                                      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                                                                      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                                                                      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                                                                      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                                                                      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                                                                      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                                                                      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                                                                      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                                                                      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                                                                      Reference

                                                                                      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                                                                      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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