Meringue Mushroom Recipe
April 24, 2019
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
2 large egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Large cookie sheet
Wilton 2A tip with a piping bag
Prep: Preheat Oven to 200° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper).
- Add 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and beat with whisk attachment on high speed 7 min or until you have glossy ribbons and the peaks stay fairly stiff (cold whites take longer).
- Transfer meringue to pastry bag fitted with a 3/8″ round tip and pipe onto lined cookie sheet (about 1″ apart).
- Mushroom caps should look like large chocolate kisses (1 1/2″ diameter at the base) with the tip swirled into the side so you get an even top. If you’re a perfectionist; you can smooth the mushroom caps with a wet fingertip. Mushroom stems should look like slimmer/taller kisses (3/4″ diameter at the base) and tips pointed up.
- Bake at 200˚F for 1 hour 30 min. They should slide easily off the parchment paper easily when they are done. Remove from oven and pull the parchment paper off the baking sheet . Let cool on the paper completely to room temp. They will harden as they cool.
- Assemble the mushrooms by combining the cap and stem. Rotate the tip of a small paring knife in the center of each mushroom cap to cut a small hole just large enough to fit the tip of the base.
- Melt chocolate and transfer into a ziploc bag. Snip off a tiny hole from the corner of the bag and pipe chocolate into the holes of meringue. Stick the bases into the holes and leave them upside-down until chocolate hardens and sets.
- Dust the tops and stems lightly with cocoa powder. If you like, you can smudge the cocoa powder with your fingers to give them that natural dirty glow. This can be done before or after you assemble the mushrooms, whichever works best for you.
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10 Ways on How to Organize Your Home on a Budget
April 22, 2019
by Laura Sage
Organizing your home can seem like it’s out of your reach budget wise. However, there are tons of things you can use to organize your home that aren’t expensive. You can basically just reuse a ton of items that you already have on hand and make them fit your organizational needs for your home. This will make organizing your home more budget friendly for you and you will not have to worry about spending money on a bunch of new storage items.
Most of the things on the list below are things that you already have in your home or things that you buy on a regular basis. This means you’re not actually spending any money out of pocket, you’re just repurposing items that you already have laying around your house or items that you currently just toss in the trash after you’re done with.
- Boxes: Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. You get them when you order things online, you get them when you buy shoes. Repurposing a box that you bought something else in is a great organization method. Shoe boxes are the best because they have lids on them so it makes it easier to store and not lose things in the process.
- Food Containers: What do you do with your empty food containers such as sour cream or butter bowls? Most people just throw them away, however they are a great tool to use to organize small things in for storage after they are washed out!
- Glass Jars: Glass jars are great for organizing pencils, pens, crayons, markers or any other office supplies. If you buy mayonnaise, jelly, pickles, or peanut butter those containers would work well too.
- Baskets: If you have spare baskets laying around, they are great to repurpose for storage as well. They are great to organize toys, clothes or beauty items if the basket is small enough.
- Hangers: Hangers are great to organize your clothes better. Instead of having to store them all separately you could put the clothes on hangers based on the entire outfit. If you put the entire outfit on one hanger, this makes more room in your closet too! You can also organize your belts or ties on hangers to maximize space and keep them from getting tangled up.
- Mismatched Tupperware: If you have old bowls that do not have lids to fit them any longer you can repurpose them for storage purposes instead of tossing them because you no longer have a lid for it. Smaller bowls are great to put inside your drawers to organize things inside them.
- Binders: You can use an old binder to store all of your important papers in, to store menus in, or even to store recipes in. If you have all of your papers in one space then you will no longer have to search for them when you need them.
- Command Hooks: You can organize your jewelry by hanging command hooks on the inside of your closet door and this will ensure that you no longer have tangled up necklaces or bracelets to dig through. You can also organize your jackets, belts or other items on command hooks as well.
- Shoe Organizer: You can use a shoe organizer for a lot more things than just shoes. You can organize school supplies, office supplies, food items for your pantry, makeup, nail polish, and just about any other thing that you own a large amount of. A shoe organizer is great for storage because most of the time it’s clear and you can see what item you’re reaching for when you’re looking for something.
- Baby Wipe Boxes: If you have old baby wipe boxes laying around they are great for storing lots of things in. If you have tons of grocery bags they are a great dispensary system for them. They also work great for a crayon or pencil box. You can store lots of other things in them as well.
There are tons of way that you can organize your home at little to no money out of your pocket. You just have to know how to repurpose items that you already have. We listed a few ways, but there are tons of other ways that you can organize your home as well.
Be creative with the items you have in your home and make your home comfortable to all of your visitors instead of a cluttered place to walk into. It’s hard to organize clutter, so make sure you get rid of some of those items you don’t need before you begin!
Laura Sage is the manager of Amish Furniture Factory since 2013. She’s a professional when it comes to hardwood furniture and home decor.
5 Quick Tips for Organizing Last-Minute Travel
April 20, 2019
Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective
Are you feeling the spontaneous need to skip town? Or is your boss sending you to close a last-minute deal on the other side of the globe? No matter your plans, organizing everything at the last minute might be easier than you think.
If you’re an impulsive traveler looking to plan the perfect trip while also saving a few bucks, check out the quick tips below.
1. Start with Flights
You don’t want to start making solid arrangements until your flight has been booked and confirmed. For last-minute flights, you’ll need to be flexible to get a good deal. This could even mean being open about your destination. Use flight apps and discount sites to find the cheapest fares. If possible, travel mid-week to save money. Typically, the most affordable days being Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you choose a budget airline, carefully check for hidden fees, like a surcharge for bringing carry-on bags. These extra costs can quickly eliminate any prior savings. And remember to clear your browser cache when browsing flight deals online, as websites will save your information and raise their prices when you revisit.
2. Try New Transportation
Flying isn’t the only way to reach your destination. When you want to travel from place to place, sometimes buses, trains and even ferries can be cheaper than riding a plane. While it might take a little longer and the amenities might not be as nice, you can save a lot of money and even have an adventure.
Trains and buses are a great way to travel while getting to see the scenery. This is especially true in places like Europe and Asia, where you can buy one train pass and easily go from one iconic city to the next.
3. Find Hotel Deals
If you’re prone to last-minute travel, you’re in luck — the best time to find deals on hotel rooms is when you’re cutting it close to the wire. A day or two before your trip is ideal, as others will cancel their bookings and hotels will be eager to fill empty rooms at discount prices.
Use your favorite hotel app to find deals in the location you want. You can even set your preferences for star rating, amenities available and price. If you want steeper discounts, look at secret hotel deals where you don’t know where you’ll be staying until after you’ve booked.
4. Use a Credit Card
Many credit cards come with rewards programs that you can use for travel. If you don’t already have a card, look for one that best fits your needs. You may want to accrue miles for flights, points towards hotel rooms or even a percentage of cash back. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is considered one of the best credit cards for travel, allowing you to earn points towards flights and hotels on every purchase.
When you first sign up for a card, you’ll get an initial bonus offer if you spend over a certain amount. Sometimes this bonus is enough to snag a round-trip flight. Use your credit card to book your last-minute trip and watch the rewards come rolling in.
5. Skip the Hotspots
You might already have a destination in mind for your last-minute travel plans. But if it’s a tourist hotspot, be ready to pay the big bucks. The key to finding last-minute deals is being willing to travel to lesser-known vacation areas. Due to the lack of a crowd, you’ll enjoy savings on everything from accommodations to food.
You can always visit the Louvre in France or hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. But maybe not during the peak season when you have one day left to plan your trip. Let the thrill of adventure take over and find the underrated spots you’ll remember for years to come.
Planning a Last-Minute Trip
Planning a trip on short notice doesn’t have to break the bank. When you follow the tips above, you can find last-minute deals from round-trip flights to luxury hotel accommodations. Just remember to keep your sense of adventure and stay flexible with your plans. The more adaptable you are, the more you’ll enjoy your getaway.
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