Category Archives: Blog

How To Protect Dogs From Summer Heat

For many households, dogs are a very important and much-loved part of their family composition. In the hear of summer, it can be challenging to keep our four-legged friends comfortable since they are covered by fur or hair of some sort. Extreme heat can cause illness, injury, and even death to these special pets that we care so deeply for, so we must do all that we can in order to keep them safe and comfortable.

Just prior those hot summer months, either take them into the groomer or perform a full deshedding yourself to get rid of that undercoat they needed for extra warmth in the winter. There are special tools for this if you are going to do it yourself, such as rakes, which will get deep into the coat and pull those loose hairs out easily.

Keep them clipped and groomed in the summer, even more steadfastly than you do at other times of the year so that their coat isn’t as heavy and hot on them.

Keep them inside where it’s cooler, when possible. If your dogs are not generally indoor pets for whatever reason, they may even be able to just have a limited area where they are allowed to come in in extreme weather, such as a mud or utility room.

Provide a covered area that is made of a material that will not allow the sun’s rays through. This might be a full doghouse, or it may be a lean-to sort of structure, but the dog should have somewhere to go and escape the sun.

Plant trees in your yard so that there are shady areas for the dog to retreat to when the heat comes on.

Bushes that are low to the ground, but high enough for the dog to get underneath, provide excellent places for the dog to go when it’s hot outside. These bushes not only block the sun’s rays, but there is often moist ground underneath that is cooler.

In the heat, your dog will need to drink more than usual in order to stay properly hydrated. Be sure that you check the water bowl often to ensure that there is fresh, cool water. Don’t use metal or glass bowls of any sort, as these will absorb the sun’s heat and can get dangerously hot, also heating the water they are holding.

If the heat becomes simply unbearable, grab a leash and head off to the beach or a river, where your dog can find cooler territory and go for a swim. If your dog will be getting in the water, it is a good idea to have a flotation device for him or her to prevent accidental drowning.

Dogs are beloved members of the families that they belong to. Because of the beautiful coats that they wear, the heat can be especially bothersome to them. As a responsible pet owner, it is up to you to ensure that they are safe and as comfortable as possible when extreme heat is an issue.

Keep Your Dog Safe During Hot Summer Days

Dogs are part of the family and must be well taken care of in order to live a full, happy life. Summertime can be deadly to pets if not educated.

Dogs have become part of an extended family for most pet owners. Some people like them around for companionship; others for health reasons, and still others have dogs just simply because they love dogs. No matter the reason, having a dog or any type of pet requires adult responsibility.

Hot summer months can be deadly for dogs, but with the proper instructions, dog owners can live full lives with their canine companions.

The Summer Heat Index Can Quickly Spell Disaster

Check the weather report before venturing out. If the heat index is extremely high, the best place to leave your dog is at home. Unless you absolutely need to take him somewhere, such as the veterinarian, he will be safest in the house.

If you do need to take him with you, never leave him in an untended car, even for a brief minute or two. One minute in a heated car can mean certain death for the beloved pet.

A study by the Animal Protection Institute showed that moderately warm temperatures outside could quickly lead to deadly temperatures inside. This study showed that when the temperature outside reached 83 degrees, it rose to almost 109 degrees inside a closed up automobile, about 98 degrees inside a car with all four windows open, and 95 degrees with only two windows open.

United Animal Nations provides fliers to download to spread the word about the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car, even for a minute.

Outdoor Time is More Than Just Play Time

If the dog must venture outside in the summer, make sure he has enough fresh, cold water, even if he’s inside the house. The heat can quickly dehydrate the animal.

If the dog gets to visit the beach regularly, never let him drink the water there. It’s full of salt and not freshwater. That could be bad for him.

Make sure your pet has had all of its immunizations and that a flea/tick check is done on a regular basis. Fleas and ticks can cause illnesses in pets at any time of the year.

Watch the animal around barbecues. Dogs can quickly snatch a hot dog or steak from the grill itself and get burned. Make sure all matches, lighters, and lighter fluids are put away to prevent a poisoning or choking incident.

Make sure all animals are properly licensed in case they wander around from home.

With Proper Care, Pets Can Survive Summertime

The best protection for animals is never to leave them unattended for long. They need to be supervised around children’s toys, parties, and even when playing in their own backyard. Treat them like one of the children. No one would let their five-year-old wander off by themselves, so don’t leave the family dog alone unnecessarily.

Simple Summer Drinks

Summer’s here: What better way to spend the afternoon than with a refreshing drink? Here are four simple cocktail recipes to enjoy – with or without alcohol.

Summer parties, evenings with friends, relaxing on a patio or at the cottage – when the weather warms up, it’s nice to have a sip of something cool. Put your inhibitions aside and let loose with these libations. The best part? You don’t have to be a bartender to master these simple sippers:

The Mimosa

This is a classic, refreshing drink that works any time of day: brunch, lunch, afternoon, or evening. It’s tame and great for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol. Bonus: it’s super simple to make.

In a flute, fill half with cold champagne/sparkling wine and, in the other half, add pulp-free orange juice. To kick it up a bit, play with portions – use three parts champagne to 1 part orange juice. For a fancier look, pour in some grenadine or add some berries. Note: this is a great drink for parties; make it ahead of time in a large pitcher for fast, easy pouring Mimosas.

Alcohol-free version: Swap out the champagne for alcohol-free sparkling wine or soda.

The Strawberry Daquiri

A favorite summertime slush. It’s cold, colorful, and fruity. There are many pre-made daiquiri mixes available at the liquor store, and true, they are delicious, but it’s just as easy to make this drink at home.

While many recipes suggest using frozen strawberries, if fresh berries are available, always use them. For each drink, you’ll need:

 4-5 ice cubes
 5-6 strawberries (remove stem)
 2 ounces of golden rum
 1 tbsp of lime juice
 ½ tsp of sugar
 Optional: add 1 ounce of triple sec

Using a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients together and blend until slushy. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Alcohol-free version: Remove all alcohol and replace it with soda or ginger ale.

The Mish Mash

Turn a backyard bash into the Caribbean with this delicious drink. Using a tall glass, fill ¾ with Sprite or 7Up.

Then, add the following ingredients:

 1 ounce of white rum
 1 ounce of coconut rum
 2 ounces of lime juice

A variation of this mish mash includes pineapple juice. Instead of filling the glass up entirely with Sprite/7Up, use two parts Sprite/7Up, 1 part pineapple.

Alcohol-free version: Remove the rum, add pineapple juice. To get the true taste of the Caribbean, you can add a drop of coconut flavoring or syrup.

The Sensational Sangria

This Spanish favorite is a perfect recipe for a party; it’s easy to make in advance, and many people will enjoy it. There are tons of Sangria recipes out there; some use white wine; others use juices. Feel free to substitute ingredients and make your own Sangria signature!

In a large pitcher, pour a whole bottle of red wine. Take ripe berries and toss them into the wine. This is a great time to clear out the fridge. Raspberries and blackberries work really well with this drink as they absorb the alcohol and break up nicely in the pitcher. You can use fresh strawberries as well. Cut two oranges and one lemon into slices, and toss those into the mix. Add 2 ounces of Triple Sec and a splash of lemon juice. Fill the remainder of the pitcher up with Sprite and add about 1 cup of ice.

It’s best to make the Sangria in advance and allow the fruit to sit in the juice. When it’s time to serve, scoop out some fruit for every guest and fill the glass with Sangria.

Alcohol-free version: Replace red wine with cranberry juice. Remove Triple Sec. The drink will have the same look, sans alcohol.


Summer Pet Safety

Pet health should be an owner’s priority in the summer heat. There are practical precautions to be taken that will allow for a fun and safe summer for pets.

The summer offers endless fun for both pets and owners alike. Walks in the park swimming pool adventures, long car rides with the windows rolled down, and hours of fetch are only some of the summer activities that you and your pet have to look forward to. However, as an owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pet cool and in a safe environment throughout the blistering months of summer.

Dogs are not as efficient as cooling down their body temperature like humans. A dog’s average body temperature is between 100-102 degrees, and they do not have sweat glands throughout their body as a human does; instead, sweat glands are only located on their nose and the pads of their paws. A dog cools himself through panting and drinking cool water, so precautions should be taken to keep your pet cool and comfortable.

According to PETA, here are some tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer:

 Dogs need to be kept inside, if possible.
 If a dog must be left outside, make sure there is plenty of shade and freshwater.
 If taking your dog exercising with you, keep a nice steady slow pace. Dogs should not be running extensively or even jogging in the intense heat.
 Do not leave a dog or cat in a parked car for any amount of time. Even though an owner may only be gone a moment, car temperatures can quickly climb to 120 degrees or more.
 Dogs and cats have sensitive pads on the bottom of their paws; these can easily burn on hot pavement or sand. Be aware of where you are taking your pet, and if it is too hot for an owner to walk on, it is probably too hot for a pet.
 Do not transport your animal in the back of a pickup. Though it may seem to keep the animal cooler, the hot sun exposure and the temperature of the truck bed could be harming your pet. Also, it is not a safe form of transportation.

General Summer Safety Tips for Pets

With the summer, heat comes all the outdoor fun as well. Neighbors will be gardening and laying down fresh fertilizer. Kids will be running through the neighborhood anxious for that Independence Day celebration. All the pools will re-open, and owners and pets alike will want to take full advantage of the cool water. Also, along with all the kids and pets, the mosquitoes and ticks will also join in the summer fun. Here are some precautions that pet owners need to heed:

 Keep pets away from fertilizers and deadly plants.
 Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the chance that he/she will bite an individual.
 Keep your pets inside on the 4th of July. Dogs have sensitive hearing and are made nervous and often unruly when loud fireworks are set off.
 Dogs often love playing in the water, but owners should be careful and keep a close eye.
 Always make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag.
 Summer is a breeding ground for heartworm disease, fleas, and ticks. Always consult your veterinarian on the best prevention treatments to keep your dog and cat in optimum health.

Enjoy a safe and adventurous summer with your dog or cat. Keep an eye out for other pet owners and their companions. Pets are a privilege, and owners should remember to take the proper precautions to keep them in good health and comfortable in the summer heat. Summer provides opportunities for fun and danger when it comes to domesticated animals. With preparation, such as plenty of cool water and available shade, humans, dogs, and cats can enjoy the summer.

Summer Salad Recipes

Fennel and Blood Oranges, Green Bean, Tomato, and Potato salads are made with fresh summer ingredients. Perfect as a side dish for a picnic or barbeque.

Summer is the season to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ markets or home vegetable gardens. The recipes for the Fennel and Blood Orange, Green Bean, Tomato, and Potato Salads use fresh vegetables in season. If blood oranges are not available, oranges in season can be substituted.

Summer Salad Recipes

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

 2 medium fennel bulbs
 3 to 4 blood oranges
 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 6 tbsp lemon juice (juice of two lemons)
 Sea salt (to taste)
 Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
 Parmesan cheese shavings

Method:

  1. Cut off the fronds from the fennel bulbs.
  2. Cut each fennel bulb in half and remove the cores with a sharp knife.
  3. With a sharp knife thinly slice the fennel halves.
  4. Peel the blood oranges and remove the pith. Section the blood oranges.
  5. Place the fennel slices and blood orange sections into a large bowl.

Make the dressing:

Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl.

Assemble the salad:

  1. Pour dressing over the fennel slices and blood orange slices and toss well. Sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Add Parmesan cheese savings on top of the salad.
  3. Serve immediately.

Green Bean, Tomato and Potato Salad

Green bean, tomato, and potato salad is a family favorite and is a great salad for a barbeque or picnic. It is the most popular salad at the family reunion.

The combination of steamed green beans, with garden-fresh sliced tomatoes, boiled potatoes, and shallots make a hearty vegetable salad. For a complete healthy meal salad, add a protein such as sliced hard-boiled eggs or crumbled feta cheese.

Green Bean, Tomato and Potato Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

 1 lb fresh beans
 2 lb medium size white potatoes
 4 large tomatoes
 4 scallions
 1 tsp oregano
 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
 freshly ground pepper to taste
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Snip ends of beans and steam until just cooked.
  2. Remove from steamer and let cool in a large salad bowl.
  3. Wash potatoes and place in a saucepan large enough to hold potatoes.
  4. Fill with saucepan with enough water to cover potatoes.
  5. Boil over medium heat until potatoes are cooked.
  6. Strain potatoes and let cool.
  7. Once the potatoes are cooled, peel potatoes and slice in medium size pieces.
  8. Add to the green beans in the salad bowl.
  9. Wash tomatoes and cut in quarter pieces – add to the salad bowl.
  10. Finely chop scallions and add to the salad bowl.
  11. Season with sea salt freshly ground pepper and oregano
  12. Add the 1/2 cup virgin olive oil and toss until the vegetables are well coated.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Summer Salads

Summer is salad time. It’s so easy to put a salad together, as part of the meal or even the meal itself. Remember presentation counts, keep the salad simple, and add a splash of color. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Salad Vegetables

Lettuce

Inspect your lettuce before buying, make sure the leaves look healthy, not limp. Always wash the lettuce before use. Invest in a good lettuce spinner. To keep lettuce longer wash, spin, and store wrapped in a paper towel and packed in a zip-lock plastic bag.

 Lettuce: Romaine - crisp, sturdy lettuce, great for robust salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
 Ice Berg or Head or Crisp head lettuce - The two terms are interchangeable. This is a crisp lettuce, perfect for a sturdy salad, or just right in a sandwich or with salsa or in a taco.
 Boston or Butterhead: delicate leaves that need little or no dressing except maybe a squirt of lemon. Be gentle washing it.
 Leaf lettuce: Anywhere from green to bright red. This is a good basis for a salad. I especially like the red leaf lettuce, good color. I like to use this lettuce as a base for a salad.

Other greens:

They can add great flavor, color, and texture to a salad.

 Parsley- usually put it on last.
 Basil - Use Italian.
 Spinach - baby spinach is best.
 Mint

Other vegetables:

A salad shouldn’t just be lettuce; add a bit of color and texture with other vegetables.

A great investment is a mezzaluna knife. Just perfect for chopping and mincing vegetables, but a simple paring knife is also good.

 Cucumber- Usually two kinds are sold in most grocery stores- field and long English. Long English is best for most salads. You don't need to peel it, but you should wash it before use. Field cucumbers are wonderful in Greek salads or salads that don't have lettuce.
 Tomatoes - Cherry, grape, and Roma are great for most salads. For a Greek salad, try a beefeater if you're going to make the salad ahead of time, add the tomatoes last.
 Onions- I like red, especially for Greek salads. Red onions add color and spice to almost any salad. A simple trick if you don't like the sharp taste is to chop the onion, bath it in fresh lime juice, and put it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours. White Spanish onions are wonderful sliced thin.
 Peppers- My favorite pepper is orange. Red is probably best for Mexican, or peel the pepper first, totally optional. I like the peppers sliced thin.
 Carrots - There's the baby carrots that come in spring and early summer, and the bigger kind that a wonderful all summer long. To fancy it up a bit, try peeling the entire carrot, so you get long orange strips. You can curl up the strips.
 Potato salad recipe.
 Nuts and Sunflower seeds nuts add protein. They're a real boon for any vegetarians in your life or if you just don't feel like meat today. I especially like nuts with spinach. Make sure the nuts are well chopped - here are ones I use: cashews, pistachio, and walnuts. Sprinkle sunflowers on top of a completed salad.
 MeatIf you have leftover chicken or ham (never more than a day old and always from the refrigerator), use them in a salad. Please read Summer food safety Salmon, which is wonderful with a bit of mayo, finely chopped celery, and gherkins.
 Olives and Pickles - Perk up a salad, especially a potato salad with olives green, black or purple. I love black olives, especially in a Greek salad. Dill pickles and gherkins are great in a potato or a pasta salad.
 Cheese
 Feta is a wonderful salad cheese, especially in a Greek salad with cucumbers, red bell pepper, chopped beefsteak or Roma tomatoes, red onions, and black olives. But there's no reason why you can't sprinkle on feta over any salad just to give it a bit of zest.
 Cheddar is especially good on crisp lettuce.
 Parmesan is lovely with any kind of Mediterranean salad.
 Mozzarella cut it up in cubes and sprinkle them over leaf lettuce. Create your own summer salad sensation.
 Go ahead, experiment!

Summer Self Care For Busy Women

No matter how overwhelmed women can get, it is important for them to set time aside for activities that are relaxing and fulfilling.

Many women have obligations that keep them from taking time out for themselves. This is particularly true for those women whose seasonal employment may make summer the only opportunity to earn an income as well as those for whom summer break from school increases the number of parenting-related tasks. No matter what the overwhelming responsibilities may be, busy women can benefit from the following tips.

Find Places to Relax

One of the first things women need to recognize is that it is not only okay to relax; it is vital to their overall well being. Taking time out to decompress — even if it’s only for a few moments — can give women the opportunity to nurture their mind, body, and soul. Here are some suggestions for summer relaxation.

 Spend some time in an outdoor serenity or botanical garden for spiritual reconnection.
 Take an afternoon or evening to drive to a beach, sit on the shore, and listen to the waves.
 Take advantage of lunch or coffee breaks to enjoy a favorite magazine or read a chapter in a good book.
 Bring a touch of nature into the home by planting container gardens or adding live plants to the decor.

Participate in Community Activities

It is important for busy women to make sure they don’t neglect the social aspect of self-care. Getting involved with community events is one great way to get involved with others on a more relaxed social level, whether it be through volunteering or simply attending the event itself. Community papers and websites generally list local celebrations and festivals at least a week in advance.

Learn a New Outdoor Skill

For women who enjoy adventures and being active, taking advantage of the warm weather to learn or develop a new outdoor skill can be fulfilling both mentally and physically. Even women who are less active but feel a desire to do something different can consider some of the following suggestions for a change of pace.

 Learn and practice a new water sport such as aqua aerobics, swimming, water skiing, or surfing.
 Sign up for golfing lessons or community sports leagues such as baseball, soccer, or volleyball.
 Take some basic camping or bush survival instruction on skills such as shelter building, orienteering, woodcutting, or campfire cooking.

Whatever a woman’s personal circumstances or comfort level may be, it is important for women to remember that taking some time out for themselves can help them gain the mental, physical and emotional energy needed to tend to their daily responsibilities. Trying something new is an exciting way to stimulate the mind and celebrate summer all at the same time.

How To Avoid Computer Injuries

Computer injuries are more common now than ever. Here are some simple suggestions to avoid computer injuries in your workplace or home.

Computer injuries occur as a result of using your computer in the wrong way, either for lack of proper knowledge or for lack of the necessary equipment or the right conditions when working with your computer. These injuries can be avoided when one knows how.

Maintain a Good Posture

There are measures that one can take to avoid these injuries. One of these is through maintaining an upward posture. Such a posture means that your back, head, and neck should be upright and not bent backward or forward. If possible, your trunk should be in a position perpendicular to the floor with the upper arms and shoulders aligned and in a relaxed mode. The thighs should be parallel to the floor with the legs placed perpendicular to the floor. The hands and wrists should not be kept in a straight position without any bending.

Make sure your upper arms and elbows are placed near the body with no forward stretching. This ensures that you work comfortably and avoid injuries. Sitting in the correct posture goes a long way in preventing possible ergonomic injuries. Most people are not used to this sitting position, perhaps due to the set-up of their work station, but you can make an effort to train yourself.

Sitting Correctly at Your Work Station

The other way in which you can avoid computer injuries is through the correct sitting arrangement, which has a role in ensuring safety from back and hip injuries. A working space that allows you to stretch your legs is preferable. Your legs should not remain in the same position for too long because this can cause injuries to the joints and muscles. These leg injuries can be avoided if your legs are given ample working space where you can comfortably stretch them.

The chair that you are using should not be too short or too long in the seat. This will help you to avoid back injuries that may happen as a result of stretching your back in an unsuitable, uncomfortable chair.

Computer injuries can also be prevented by making sure that your keyboard is placed in the right position. This means that you should not stretch your hands so much to type using the keyboard. An ergonomic keyboard ensures that you type with comfort, and your typing speed is not affected.

Improve Your Workplace Lighting

One more way of avoiding injuries is by adjusting the lighting of your workplace to the right level. The light should be set in a position that does not dazzle the eyes. If you are working in a room with dim light, brighten it so that you do not strain your eyes when using the computer. Laptops allow you to adjust the screen lighting as you like. A bright screen is not good for your eyes.

No person wants to be injured while at work. Working with computers sometimes requires long hours, and the above measures can help to prevent injuries that may take up much of your time, and your money through medical bills.

How To Prevent Or Cure A Hangover

I’m never drinking again…and this time I mean it! How to ease the hangover blues. The symptoms of a hangover vary from person to person, and the type and amount of alcohol consumed. Avoiding and curing a hangover offer many possibilities depending on the level of planning.

Symptoms

Let’s first explore the realm of hangover symptoms. The most common symptoms of over-consumption are headache and nausea. Diarrhea, lethargy, extreme thirst, and sensitivity to light and noise may also be included in the hangover experience.

Avoidance

Clearly, the most obvious way to avoid a hangover is to simply not drink alcohol. There are many occasions a person may feel compelled to drink due to social or other pressures. The choice to imbibe in the consumption of alcohol should be a personal choice not dictated by any outside influences. Consider yourself a stronger person should you decide to abstain.

What to Drink

Should you choose not to abstain, choose alcoholic beverages that contain less alcohol. Different people react differently to different types of alcohol. Beer and wine contain less alcohol than hard liquor. The downside to wine is the added sulfur in most wines that can create a headache for some people. Draft beer may cause a hangover for some people where bottled beer may not. Even the brand of beer may cause a hangover in some people where other brands may not. Know what your body tolerates best and stick with it.

How to Drink It

If you are consuming hard liquor, add a mixer; water, soda water or tonic is best. Adding sugar-based mixers, such as juice or soda, is a sure-fire way to produce a pounding headache in the morning. Dehydration is the most common symptom of a hangover. A good rule of thumb is to drink one full glass of water with every alcoholic beverage consumed. Do not mix different types of alcohol. If you start the evening with vodka, end the night with vodka.

Last Minute Cure

Taking an over the counter pain medication with a full glass of water before bed can help alleviate the discomfort of a hangover. Be sure to read the warning label to make sure the pain medication is compatible with alcohol.

Do not drink and drive. The worst hangover you can ever have is waking up in the morning with the realization that you have killed another human being.

How to Cure a Hangover

Okay, so you didn’t drink enough water, you accepted the sweet shots, you drank whiskey, vodka, and beer and now you are just trying to figure out how to survive the day.

Hydration

Water is good. Water with electrolytes is better. Choosing a sports drink with as low sugar content as possible is the best alternative. A re-hydrater, like Pedialyte, is another good choice. Pedialyte is found in the baby section in grocery or drug stores.

Food

Foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates are best. I always like to make a breakfast that includes all of the basic food groups for my hung-over guests. Fried potatoes mixed with vegetables and topped with cheese and eggs, bacon on the side. This is not a healthy, everyday meal. This is the occasional hangover recipe.

Move Your Body

It may be very hard to believe that movement will improve matters, but it will. Clean up after last night’s party, do the laundry, take a walk around the block, move your-self around as much as possible while hydrating. Finding the will-power to be productive is much harder than the actual performance.

Do Not Drive

Driving while hung-over can be as bad as driving drunk. If you are feeling the previous evening’s effects, you most likely still have a substantial amount of alcohol in your system. This will affect your judgment and reaction time. Dealing with the” day after” is much easier than dealing with a lifetime of sorrow.

Boxed Cake Remix- Orange Vanilla Cake Header

Orange Vanilla Cake – Boxed Cake Remixed

Add flair to your boxed cakes by adding ingredients into the mix. Check out this boxed cake remixed post for some ideas to uplevel your boxed cake.

Now, if you’ve never thought to do a box cake remixed, you’re not alone. I personally can’t believe of all the things I add extra flair to, I never thought to church up a boxed cake mix.

You see – one thing my husband and I love to do is add different things to pre-packaged items to give it some flair. After hearing Collen Ballinger refer to this practice as “churching it up,” we started doing the same thing.

Remixing or altering recipes adds a little something special to the otherwise status quo.

A common thing we do this with is frozen pizza. We buy the cheapo pizzas and then church them up with extra pepperoni and cheese and whatever else tickles our fancy. Recently though, I learned about churching up boxed cake mix. Say what?!?

Here’s the first boxed cake remix I’m sharing – Orange Vanilla Cake.

I think you will find the additions are damn tasty! I’ll add more ideas to this post as I learn about them

Orange Vanilla Cake – Boxed Cake Remixed

Ingredients

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 boxes vanilla instant pudding (3.5 oz each)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier or orange extract
  • 1 8 oz container of Cool Whip – thawed
  • 1 tbsp orange zest

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray 2 round cake pans with non-sticking spray for baking
  • Mix the cake mix, orange juice, eggs and oil for approx 2 – 3 minutes until thoroughly mixed. You can do this by hand or with a mixer.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly into your cake pans and bake according to box directions.
  • Cool in a wire rack before inverting and removing from pans.

While cakes are baking prepare the frosting.

  • Whisk milk and pudding mix until the pudding begins to get thick. Add the Grand Marnier (or orange extract) and mix.
  • Then fold the Cool Whip and orange orange zest.
  • Place the frosting in the fridge to set for about at least an hour.
  • When the cake has cooled completely, remove the dome of the cakes so they are leveled with a serrated knife, if you would like, this will allow it to sit a bit more level but it is not required.
  • Place one of the cakes on the serving plate or platter. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting on the cake. Make sure it covers all the surface of the cake, add more if needed.
  • Top with the second cake.
  • Use the remaining frosting to coat the top and sides.
  • Decorate with orange slices or strawberries if desired.
  • Keep refrigerated until ready to enjoy.
boxed cake remixed - orange vanilla cake vertical

Additional Ideas for a Boxed Cake Remix

  • Take a plain yellow, chocolate or white cake and add your favorite nuts
  • Add coconut to your frosting
  • Add a splash of your favorite liquor to a yellow, chocolate or white cake mix and then repeat with the frosting.
  • Throw in chocolate chips to your favorite cake mix
  • Get really wild and add nuts and chocolate chips!