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Tag: birthday cake

Soda Cake Recipe

soda-cake-recipe-1 Soda cake is all the rage lately, mostly amoung dieters who use diet soda to make a lower calorie cake. But who says you can’t make your soda cake with regular soda? No one! The flavor combinations are endless- yellow cake mix with rootbeer, chocolate cake mix with orange soda, white cake mix with cream soda…I could keep going.  This soda cake also makes a great birthday cake for your soda loving friends.  Have a buddy who loves Sprecher’s rootbeer? Bake them a rootbeer cake for their birthday party. Continue reading to see the ridiculously easy soda cake recipe.

Soda Cake Recipe


1 box of cake mix

1 egg

12oz can/bottle of soda, Recommended: Blumer’s Premium Soda (picture below)

1. Mix these ingredients together to make your cake batter, then bake according to package directions.

2. Top with your favorite store bought icing and sprinkles!



  • Use only these ingredients! No oil- just egg, soda, and cake mix.
  • For the lighter version, use diet soda and 1 egg white in place of the egg and soda.
  • Be aware that white cake mix will be the color of the soda.  So if you use a blue soda and white cake mix, your cake will be blue…I’m not generally a fan of blue food but if you are, go for it!

 Rootbeer, orange, blueberry cream, black cherry, cream soda, diet root beer… so many options!


Personalized Gifts

Personalized gifts – Turning the ordinary into the unique. How to please both parent and pre-teen:

Personalized gifts are the answer for a segment of the adult population with a particular problem, – those of us with pre-teen children. Sure, folks in other demographics prefer personalized gifts to the mass-produced. Personalized gifts communicate special thoughtfulness. And they tend to be of higher quality and value.

But what to do when you want to give a unique gift, and your recipient wants the mass-produced? Sound strange?, not to some of us.

The other day my pre-teen daughter told me that she feels different from everyone else. She doesn’t fit in she told me.

I said, “Get used to it…Just like your body is changing, so is your mind. Do you know how those adolescent puppies don’t fit their paws and they stumble around, bounding into walls? Well, that’s the pre-teen, in body … AND mind. Your idea of who you are doesn’t fit into your idea of your surroundings. And it won’t for about four more years. So get used to it. But don’t believe it. Everyone else thinks you fit in just fine. In fact, you’d be surprised how many of your friends, busy thinking they don’t fit in, think that you do. So it’s a mind-game you can’t win. Try not to play.”

Did she listen? No. For her 11th birthday cake she requested an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. She craves the ordinary, -the cake that in no way will stand out as unique.

“Ugh,” I groaned. I had anticipated her refusal of the plastic zoo animals I always put on the children’s cakes after I frost them. I’d been willing to leave those off my homemade, created with TLC, cake. But Dairy Queen? Keep reading for how we compromised, – the personalized gift trick.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe Redeems Angel Food Cake Bedeviled By Yolks: Cooking Failures And Sweet Successes

Lemon meringue pie is a scrumptiously delicious, light dessert. It’s my father’s favorite pie. I should have made it for his birthday, but instead I made his favorite cake, an angel food cake. Big cooking failure! Why? No. 1: I didn’t pre-read the recipe. This particular angel food cake recipe called for 12 egg yolks. Yes, that’s right, yolks. Angel food cake is supposedly a dieter’s dream cake because it consists almost entirely of low-cal egg whites. But I did as the recipe instructed, separated the yolks from the whites and discarded the whites. Genius move. Had I pre-read the recipe, I would have realized this would not be God’s gift to angel food cakes.

Cooking Failure No. 2: I didn’t cut my losses and switch recipes. No, once again my alleged virtue of perseverance drove me to repeat the Concord fallacy and throw good ingredients after bad. Confused, but loyal to the instructions, I remained on this cardiologist’s hell ride. I baked the cake. The result? It was absolutely the worst cake, no, worst dessert, I had ever made. This angel food cake was the color of Spongebob Squarepants, had a similar number of holes throughout, and was as chewy, yes chewy, as I imagine Squidword to be.

Cooking Failure No. 3. I served it anyway. I had to. The children had already decorated it with birthday pictures. The plastic golfer had been stuck in the center hole. We’d twice already screamed when the plastic golf flags caught on fire from the lit candles. So when my cooking failure finally adorned our plates beside the melted ice cream, we had to eat it. We chewed, and chewed, and chewed. But Dad was characteristically sweet; he said it would make a good breakfast cake. I’m still trying to figure that out.

Determined to redeem myself, and give my father a befitting birthday dessert, this weekend I turned my lemons into lemon meringue pie. And this lemon meringue pie recipe worked! Now I hadn’t baked a lemon meringue pie since I was in high school, and I think for good reason, if my memory serves me right. But this weekend’s lemon meringue pie surprised us all. It was a grand cooking success. It wasn’t runny; it didn’t taste like gloppy corn syrup; the meringue was light, fluffy and tasty. Dad liked it so much he had a piece for breakfast the next day and then took the rest of the pie home. I guess it made a good breakfast pie; maybe flavor standards are lower for breakfast foods. Keep reading for this lemon meringue pie recipe: my cooking success story!

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Birthday Gifts of Food Nourish Women’s Friendships

Selecting birthday gifts can be tricky. If the gift is just commonly nice, it can appear perfunctory, or worse, a symbol of a social obligation. Genuine birthday gifts demand thoughtful consideration of the recipient and creativity of the giver. The gift must match some interest or feature of the birthday person. I know, this is a lot of pressure on the giver. You may dread picking out birthday gifts for people because in the past your gifts have been ill-received and misunderstood. You had meant well. You did try to choose the right gift, but BAM! – Blasted again by wan smiles of thanks as your gift is received and placed off to the side. You may be ready to say, “That’s it! From now on everybody gets socks and underwear.”

But don’t give up yet. I have a fail-safe suggestion. GIVE FOOD.   That’s right. Just like socks and underwear, everyone needs food. Plus, nearly everyone LIKES food. Even those people who in the past liked it too much and are now restricting their food intake, are still happy to receive food gifts. Choices of delicious food festively packaged abound. You can easily show your thoughtfulness by selecting the particular sweets, treats and staples you know your friend enjoys. You can’t go wrong.

If your friend is a middle-aged woman, your gift-selecting gets even easier. Give a birthday cake or pie. Why? Because she will likely not receive one from anyone else. For many of us lucky enough to have had loving mothers, the most prominent birthday memory is of mom carrying in the birthday cake, leading the family in a chorus of “Happy Birthday”, and then clapping and smiling as we blew out the candles. Well, for many middle-aged women, mom is likely either out-of-state, out-of-life, or too weak to carry the cake. That’s when friends become crucial. A true friend steps up to the plate and delivers the cake. The friend’s smile and cheerful wishes bring alive the childhood magic of birthdays. And the middle-age birthday girl becomes less reluctant, perhaps quietly happy, to celebrate one more year. We all need to know that someone is glad we were born. This appreciation is the finest, truest and most thoughtful gift we can ever give, – or receive.

I was lucky last week; women friends gave me a birthday cake, no candles though, and that was fine with me. This week was my best friend’s birthday. Her mother lives out-of-state, and her house is filled with sons and a husband. I was pretty sure that she would not have a birthday cake if I didn’t provide one. Last week my daughter had made a chocolate cake in joint celebration of our birthdays, but I wanted my good friend to have something special on her actual birthday. I chose to give her a cherry pie.

It was an easy choice. Last summer I’d been in a pie-making frenzy and had given her a cherry pie just for the fun of it. She told me that she had loved it! In fact, she had eaten the whole pie, except for a small piece which she had given to her husband. That cherry pie had been the perfect gift for her.

So this week I baked another. Of course, because I’m me, I had to mess with perfection. I had to add the thrill of uncertainty to the baking and use a different cherry pie recipe. When I gave her the pie I asked her to tell me which pie she preferred. Yesterday she called with her answer. She had enjoyed them both. Again, she had given her husband only a small piece. She said she’d have to ask him if one recipe was better than another. She said she’s not picky about home-made cherry pie. She just LIKES THEM! And I know, she likes me.

Click on “continue reading…” for this cherry pie recipe taken from the cookbook, Cherries Galore: A Door County cherry recipe collection.

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Chocolate Volcano Cake with Dinosaurs: How to Make a Fun, Easy, Inexpensive, and Edible Centerpiece for a Kids Birthday Party!

Outsourcing your kid’s birthday party to a party center is fun and easy, until you get the bill. So you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, but your kid keeps talking about gigantic inflatables, build-a-bear extravaganzas, and water parks. “What ever happened to musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey?” you ask. Your child looks up at you blankly. OK! You are determined to take a day-trip to the past. You’ll teach your child about real fun! You’ll throw that birthday party at home! But still, that nagging, “don’t want to disappoint my child” worry repeats in your head.  The solution? – Make the food fun!

Make the birthday cake an edible centerpiece – and even let it be an interactive toy!

“Right,” you smirk. But no, it’s not as hard as it looks – and it’s a whole lot cheaper!

For example, I have a 5-year-old who loves dinosaurs. Last year his birthday party had a dinosaur theme. This year it may again. But unlike last year, this year I’m prepared because yesterday I figured out how to make a chocolate volcano cake with erupting pudding lava into which plastic dinosaurs either fall or flee.

Here’s the picture. Click on ‘Continue reading…’ for the easy instructions.volcano-cake-1

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