50th Birthday Cake Ideas

With a cake-decorating project for a 50th birthday party you could have all kinds of fun with unique ideas.

For the very talented cake decorator, and with the help of a couple special cake pans, a cake in the shape of two feet with a toe tag attached would be a complete riot at any birthday party.


No 50th birthday party would be complete without the old cliché about being over the hill. So, why not a hill shaped cake? With a little imagination and quite a bit of brown and green icing it should be too difficult to create. It would be fun to find cake toppers in different age stages to place along a path going up one side of the hill and down the other.

For the tamer at heart, a lovely double cake in the shapes of a five and a zero would make a stunning showstopper. Specialty restaurant stores, and maybe even your local party store will have the right cake pans to pull off this cake.

How about a cake in the shape of an open book? The dates of certain life stages could be inscribed in icing across the "pages" of the top of this interesting 50th birthday cake. Special things to note would be birth, marriages, children's births and special vacations or memories.

Did you know that computers can now take the image of an old photograph and apply it in icing to the top of a cake? Wouldn't that make an interesting 50th Birthday cake with an old baby photo, or other cute or funny image from the person of honor's past.

For a touch of the maudlin, the supply store can even outfit you with a cake pan in the shape of a coffin! Red velvet cake would be a hilarious addition when the coffin was cut into. Outfit it with black icing and gold trim and one could have themselves a ghoulish 50th Birthday cake.

50th Birthday Cake Ideas

Leefe Poche is the founder of http://www.cakes-you-can-bake.com

60th Birthday Cake Ideas That You Will Love

So someone's turning 60! Wouldn't that be reason enough to celebrate? You think of a theme, plan the menu, and try to find the best birthday cake for him or her. More often than not, the problem lies in finding cake designs, since there are fewer cake ideas as a person gets older. Here are some 60th birthday cake ideas that you can choose from.

Instead of the usual 1 big cake, why not make two or three smaller ones of different sizes, and then stack them up according to size. You can make a two-tiered round cake and decorate it with icing figures of her favorite flowers. Or you can use white fondant icing and place small colored icing fruits around it. You can also use fresh flowers or glazed fruits to decorate the cake. Just be sure to advise guests if the decorations are inedible.


You can also bake two rectangular or square cakes of different sizes. Cover them with fondant icing so they would look like wrapped gifts, complete with ribbons and wrapping paper. With white icing, you can make a small name card at a corner and write "Happy Birthday" on it to make it look like a real present. Place the smaller cake on top of the other, at any angle, for a more interesting effect.

For him, you can create a cake with champagne bottle design. Some white icing can be placed on the bottle opening to simulate foam. You can also find designs from his interests. A golf lover would like a birthday cake with golf clubs as design. If he is fond of collecting vintage cars, a cake in the shape of a vintage car would be interesting.

Remember that the birthday cake design must also depend on the personality of the celebrant. For a person who commands respect and authority, his birthday cake must also reflect the same. Instead of the usual colorful icing, create a simple yet elegant birthday cake by decorating it with gold or silver icing in classic designs.

There are many 60th birthday cake ideas that you can think of. All you need is a little patience, and lots of imagination. What matters is that you are able to make someone's birthday really special and memorable. As he approaches the golden years of his life, be thankful of every year that he gets to spend with you. So by the time that someone in your family turns 60, finding the design and throwing in a party would be a piece of cake.

60th Birthday Cake Ideas That You Will Love

To learn more birthday cake ideas, visit http://www.birthdaycakeideas101.com

How to Make a Personalized Birthday Cake

When a birthday comes by, one of the most exciting parts of the celebration is the birthday cake, especially for children's birthday parties. They are a great way to make your child feel special and make their birthday memorable. Nowadays, there are many different cakes for you to choose from so that you can make a cake for your child.

If you want to make your own cake from scratch, then plan it out a few weeks before you need it. Look for different recipes and find the best one. If there is time, make a test of a recipe or two. Search for tips and techniques to make a great cake. Organize all of your ingredients when you are going to cook the cake for the birthday party. Bake early so that you have enough time to bake, cool, decorate, and rest. Chilling the cake can make it easier to slice.


When decorating a birthday cake, whether you made it yourself or not, there are several things that you have to remember. Firstly, find a color scheme or theme for your cake. This will make decorating more organized and a lot easier. Make sure that the icing and the writing on the cake do not clash with each other in terms of color, and that you have a writing tube for decorations. Be sure to leave space in your decorating for any writing you want. You can get decorative icing tubes that create designs like leaves and lines with ease. Flowers are a bit more complicated, but follow the instructions and pictures you can find on creating icing flowers and you may just surprise yourself at what you can do. It is okay if your flowers do not look like a professional bakery's: you don't want everyone to think you purchased your cake. You want everyone to know that you went to the trouble to make it homemade. You can practice using decorative icing on a plate and then when you are certain of your skill, apply the decorative icing to your cake.

Find decorations that match with the color and theme of your cake. Try to make the theme something that your child will enjoy. You can also put non-edible decorations on the cake, as long as they aren't unsafe for the children or small enough to be choked on, or are all carefully removed before serving the cake. Bakery decorations that go on a bakery-made cake can be a little pricey but are well themed and can be purchased from bakeries without buying the cake. Also, why not check out your local discount store for small toys or party favors that can double as cake decorations?

Aside from the decorations, the taste of the birthday cake is very important. The birthday celebrant's favorite flavor should be used for the cake. Don't forget that the filling can be a different flavor than the frosting if you desire, and jams or sliced fruit like strawberries in the filling may be a treat. A good cake is moist and light and flavorful. Getting a flavor that the birthday boy or girl likes and that everyone can enjoy is a way to make the cake perfect. You can also change the color of the cake itself with food coloring in the batter. This will make the cake more interesting to look at. You can decorate with small candies or chocolate chips to add to the flavor as well.

There are many different shapes and sizes that birthday cakes come in. You can make a round birthday cake, or a square birthday cake, or a birthday cake in the shape of a heart. There are so many ways to customize a birthday cake, so don't be limited to what you see in stores. Make something totally unique and special. Follow these tips and you'll be able to create a great birthday cake. Also, don't forget to buy the candles!

How to Make a Personalized Birthday Cake

Gabriella Gometra, stay-at-home mother and writer, builds sites on a diverse number of family topics, such as http://childrenslearningtoys.org which is a great resource for interactive learning toys.

Tips For the Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres leches cake is a famous Mexican dessert recipes. "Tres leches" is Spanish for three milks because this cake contains whole milk or cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. You might imagine that such a combination would produce a heavy, dense cake but actually, tres leches cake is light and moist. It has a lot of air bubbles in it.

This cake is soaked in milk and often flavored with vanilla. This cake is famous in Mexico and it is not difficult to make yourself. This cake can either be a sponge cake or a butter cake and, as you would expect, a sponge cake gives lighter results.

\"Cake Recipes\"

Soaking cakes in liquid is not a new concept and there are various traditional cake recipes, which call for this step. Rum cake is a Christmas favorite and you might have tried a Savarin or Baba. Italian tiramisu is soaked in coffee to flavor it and Puerto Rican rum cake is also famous. These cakes are doused in alcohol to flavor them.

A lot of other cake recipes tell you to brush some kind of liquid over the cake to moisten it and add flavor. Good tres leches cake is moist instead of mushy and aromatic instead of overly strong flavored.

Early Recipes for Three Milk Cake

It is not certain how tres leches cake was invented, although this cake is more popular in Mexico and Nicaragua than anywhere else. The Nestle company claims it helped this cake to evolve during the second world war but that is not proven. Sweetened condensed milk has been around since the early nineteenth century, although many people do not realize this.

Due to the lack of refrigeration available at the time, sweetened condensed milk was invented because fresh milk did not keep for long and this ingredient was used to make various Mexican desserts, including cakes.

Tasty Toppings and Flavorings

Tres leches cake can be served as it is or topped with cajeta, which is a goat's milk and sugar based caramel sauce. Some restaurants in Florida and Texas add cajeta to the tres leches cake, technically making it a cuatro leches (four milks) cake, but this is a Tex Mex serving idea, rather than an authentic Mexican one.

A tot of rum or brandy can be added to the soaking liquid or you could try Irish Cream or Kahlua. Some toasted coconut would be good too and you might like to flavor the milk mixture with a nut or fruit extract.

For a southern style tres leches cake you can add drained peaches to the batter and peach schnapps to the soaking liquid. For a Caribbean spin, what about adding some coconut milk to the milk mixture and perhaps some light rum too? These steps are optional and you might just prefer to make a traditional recipe for tres leches cake.

Tips For the Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe

A lot of traditional Mexican recipes can be adapted and you can add your own flavorings to tres leches cake, for example. Sometimes however it is nice to make Mexican desserts following the traditional recipe, so you can serve something truly authentic.

MexicanDessertRecipes.net The Sweet Side of Mexican Food.

Funnel Cake Recipe - How To Make Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes always make me think of Knott's Berry Farm, which is the first place I ever had one when I was a kid. Funnel cakes, a long time staple at carnivals, fairs and ballparks, get their name from how they are made. A runny batter is poured through a funnel into hot oil in a circular pattern and then is cooked on both sides until it is crispy and golden-brown. Traditionally funnel cakes are either coated with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar to make a sweet treat, or are topped with jam.

Here's a recipe I have for making your own funnel cakes to enjoy at home:

\"cake Recipe\"

Funnel Cakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • cinnamon sugar

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the eggs and milk in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture. Beat with a mixer until smooth; the consistency should be thin enough to run through a small kitchen funnel. Test it and if it is too thick beat in a little more milk; if too thin, beat in a bit more flour.

Heat the vegetable oil in an 8" skillet until it is about 360 degrees. Plug the bottom opening of the funnel by putting your finger over it, and fill the funnel with a generous 1/2 cup of the batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil, and release the batter into the oil while making a circular motion. Fry until golden brown, use tongs and wide spatula to turn the cake over carefully. Fry the second side 1 minute. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, or add your favorite fruit topping.

These funnel cakes are really easy to make, low cost and are great for breakfast or just for snacking.

Funnel Cake Recipe - How To Make Funnel Cakes

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Color Appeal in Advertising

The colors you use for an advertisement are more important than the actual wording of the ad. The reason for this is the colors (and graphics) capture the consumers attention then causes them to read your ad. According to psychology.about.com, "Psychologists have suggested that color impression can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of that product or service."

Each color has different meanings to different cultures. For advertising purposes, it is extremely important to design your ads in a way that appeals to your target market. Try to choose colors that will compliment the message you are sending to your consumers.


Red is a color that symbolizes action, warmth, power, aggression, excitement, drama, fire, blood, passion, love, danger, anger, and heat. It is a highly visible color that will always attract attention. Red will also stimulate several emotions.

Stop signs have trained us to stop and look when we see red. So it is only natural to want to stop and look at a red billboard.

Studies show that people in casinos gamble more in red rooms than room with any other colors. Red is also a good color for automobiles sales, pet shops, pasta shops, pizzerias, and restaurants.

However, the color red is not recommended for medical companies because it signals bad health, blood, and emergencies. Red is also the color accountants use to show that they have a negative cash flow.

Orange is a vibrant and fun color. It improves mental clarity, promotes warmth and happiness. Orange also increases the oxygen's flow to the brain. Contentment, fruitfulness, and wholesomeness are qualities that are also associated with orange.

The color orange can help an expensive product seem more reasonably priced. It is the perfect color for products that appeal to a wide variety of people.

Orange is an appetite stimulant. It is a good color choice for vitamin shops, Mexican restaurants, dance clubs, and products that target Latin and French people.

Yellow is a perfect color for sunny, happy, bright, cheerful, playful, easygoing, and optimistic advertisements. Ideal for florists, candy shops, toy stores, amusement parks, and discount stores.

Yellow is the first color the eye processes. It is also the most visible color to the human eye. This is why it grabs attention faster than any other color.

Yellow is also a color of caution. Most yellow road signs are warning drivers of a problem in the road or with the on-coming traffic. This is just another reason why yellow grabs our attention quickly.

Green symbolizes life, nature, environment, youth, money, renewal, hope, and power. It is a color that soothes people, reduces pain, and makes us feel safe.

Since green traffic lights have conditioned us to go forward or to enter places, it makes us feel welcomed. This is a great quality for any product or service.

Yellow-green is not a wise color for food advertisements because it is an appetite depressant.

Light green calms people. That is why most walls in jails, schools, waiting rooms, and hospitals are light green.

Green is a great color for financial advisors, banks, and accountants because it signals money. It is also good for outdoor products because it gives consumers a natural outdoor feeling. The color green can be used for green houses, vegetable stands, landscaping, and farmers because it signals life.

Blue makes people feel calm, relaxed, tranquil, peaceful, wise, loyal, and trustworthy. It helps people accept themselves and resolve their problems.

The color blue also helps increase productivity.

On the other hand, the color blue can also symbolize sadness, and depression. Since most foods are not blue, the color blue is an appetite suppressant that can help people lose weight!

Blue is definitely the most popular color of both men and women. Several well-known corporations use blue in their logos. It is a great color choice for travel agencies, pool companies, masseurs, doctors offices, pharmacies, medical suppliers, motels, psychologists, and weight loss centers.

Purple is a sophisticated, creative, luxurious, and wealthy color. It is also associated with royalty. A bluish shade of purple tends to create mystery, while a reddish shade of purple is sensual, and creative. Purple with a red tint will get more attention.

Purple is hard for some people (mainly men) to see. However, it is a great color for artists, elaborate restaurants, clothing stores, book stores, art galleries, night clubs, magicians, photographers, country clubs, golf courses, jewelry stores, beauticians, and fortune tellers.

Brown symbolizes coffee, lumber, and earth-tone products. It is a reliable, solid, strong, mature, and comfortable color. Brown is now considered a rich and robust color.

The color brown is an excellent color for hardware stores, coffee houses, craft shops, herbal shops, health food stores, male haberdasheries, cabinet shops, western stores, contractors, clock shops, and carpenters.

Black symbolizes power, prestige, elegance, style, reliability, simplicity, and sophistication. The color black is more about attitude than anything else. It is a trendy color that keeps consumers up to date with technology. It is also a very informative color.

Black used to be viewed as the color of death, witches, demons, and evil. However, this perception is declining.

Black is a great color choice for music shops, accountants, lawyers, electronic stores, and tire stores.

White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, virtue, innocence, and freshness.

The color white is a great choice for bridal shops, weddings, religious groups, daycare centers, medical facilities, wineries, dentists, catering companies, bakeries, museums, historical sites, bed and bath shops, dry cleaners, and cleaning services.

Please be careful, because white is a color of death and mourning is China, Japan, and other Middle East countries.

Once you have selected the right color(s) for your business, be sure to find out what colors effectively compliment your color choice.

Color Appeal in Advertising

Selena McIntyre has been a Creative Designer for BPS Outdoor Media since 1999. She has a Marketing Degree and several years of customer service experience. She designs most of BPS's billboards and has written several articles about the outdoor advertising industry. Learn more design tips, about billboards and more marketing advice at http://www.bpsoutdoor.com.

Legend of the Hummingbird Cake

A Victorian cake recipe that is truly exceptional. The perfect cake to take to gatherings...it's easy, freezes well, serves many.

"Impress your friends with this Hummingbird Cake - a recipe that has been passed down through many generations. If desired, crush additional nuts and press them into the sides of the frosting, and put sliced maraschino cherries on top of the cake to "guild the lily.""


There are many versions of this cake.

Hummingbird cake history

Southern Living magazine generally is credited with the first reference to Hummingbird Cake. It published the recipe in its February 1978 issue, submitted by a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, N.C. But Mrs. Wiggins did not include an explanation of the cake's unusual name, which remains a mystery however folklore has it that the hummingbird is a symbol of sweetness.

The hummingbird is known to drawn to intensely sweet sources, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat; they reject flower types that produce nectar which is less than 12% sugar and prefer those whose sugar content is around 25%.

the most searched for recipe, the perfect cake to take to gatherings, it's easy, freezes well, serves many. There have been other versions of the recipe since the 1978 version, such as a lighter version, a organic version, but not a low carb version to date that I am aware of. Of course any recipe can substitute some of the ingredients. If you really want to impress your friends and family imagine a Hummingbird cake for your wedding.

It's a southern delight that gives you the essence of the tropics with it's bananas and crushed pineapple. Restaurants from the east coast to the west coast have made this delightful cake for it's southern transplant customers. The cake has won many awards, The Kentucky Derby Cook Book[Kentucky Derby Museum:Louisville KY, 1986] contains a recipe for Hummingbird Cake on p. 204.A note printed in this book states "Hummingbird Cake. Helen Wiser's recipe won Favorite Cake Award in the 1978 Kentucky State Fair."

Cooks in 1978 baked the cake when they had overipened bananasit was the perfect way to use the bananas.The recipe and the cake has many names.Never Ending Cake is the name turned in by Pauline Isley. A Benton respondent supplied Jamaican Cake,a title that might not be far afield considering the ingredients.Ella Sheets knows it as Granney's Best Cake.Nothing Left Cake is the name supplied by Patricia H. Downes of Jacksonville, who, with her 8-and 11-year-old sons, prefers it sans icing.

More than 75 copies of the recipe have been received, most of them identical. The variations _ notably in mixing directions,oil measurement and additional fruits _ are incorporated in the recipe that follows. Cake That Won't Last." ---Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR), April 3, 1985

Mrs. Wiggins' recipe [1978]

"Hummingbird cake

3 cups all-pupose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups salad oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided

2 cups chopped bananas

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and salad oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. For 25 to 30 minutes; remove from pans, and cool immediately. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Yield: one 9-inch layer cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Yield: enough for a 3 layer cake.--Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, Greesnboro, North Carolina"

---"Making the most of bananas," Southern Living, February 1978 (p. 206)

The Kentucky Derby Cook Book [Kentucky Derby Museum:Louisville KY, 1986] contains a recipe for Hummingbird Cake on p. 204. A note printed in this book states "Hummingbird Cake. Helen Wiser's recipe won Favorite Cake Award in the 1978 Kentucky State Fair."

Legend of the Hummingbird Cake

Ms Weston has been marketing on the internet for over 12 years. She enjoys writing about recipe legends and about the reasons for passing down of recipes thru generations.


Traditional Jamaican Christmas Cake

Christmas fruitcakes have been baked for centuries with the oldest known recipe dating back to Ancient Rome. Fruitcakes were a way to preserve fruits and nuts as well as a way to celebrate the harvest and seek good luck in the coming year. Jamaicans favorite Christmas cake is dark, spongy and heavy, with rum soaked fruit and rich flavor. Eaten only at Christmas the cake is a favored gift and family tradition.



* 1 lb. Raisins

* 4 oz. Cherries

* ½ lb. Chopped prunes

* 2 oz. Cranberries

* 32 oz. Dark Jamaican rum

* 4 oz. Citrus peels

* grated rind of 1 lime

* 6 oz. or 1.5 cup flour

* 8 oz. butter

* 8 oz. sugar

* 4 eggs

* 1 tsp. cinnamon

* ½ tsp. allspice

* ½ tsp. Ground cloves

* ½ tsp. salt

* 1 cup wine/brandy

* 1 tsp. baking powder

* 1 tsp. vanilla

* 2 tbsp. browning


Soak fruits, peels and rind in rum for two weeks before baking. In a separate bowl whip butter, sugar and browning until creamy. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and mix well. In a third bowl beat eggs and brandy together until well blended.

Add egg mixture to creamed butter mixture and blend well. Strain and add fruits, keeping rum for fruity drinks. Gradually mix dry ingredients to batter and fold together.

Pour batter into a lightly buttered 9" cake pan and bake at 350F for 1-½ hours checking after 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Traditional Jamaican Christmas Cake

For further tips and ideas for cooking great and traditional food from around the world, visit Jamaican Recipes [http://www.worldwide-recipes.com/jamaican-recipes.html]. Article submitted by Jen Carter, owner of the World Recipes [http://www.worldwide-recipes.com] website.

Find more recipes & cookbooks at the One Dollar bookstore.

How to Bake Muffins

Muffins, you see most of them greeting you as you step into coffee houses, cafes or bakeries. There are many flavours of muffins to choose from; chocolate, blueberry, banana-walnut, pumpkin, cranberry, orange peel raisins and many more. You know how fragrant they are when they are in the process of baking. You know how crisp their crusts are when they are piping hot and most of all, you know how moist they can be when they are or I should say in the case of most muffins, when they are freshly baked or heated. Well, if you love to eat muffins, you can either simply grab them off these bakery shelves or buy them from coffee houses and cafes.

But do you know that it is not difficult at all to bake muffins right in the comfort of your own home? Whether you are using premixes or creating the dough from scratch, there are still some things to look out for when you are baking muffins for yourself at home. The baking process is also a crucial factor in deciding the quality of how your muffins are going to be. For this article, we assume that you already have the knowledge of the correct amount of ingredients to be used.


Firstly, never use electric beaters. Using electric beaters will tend to over mix the muffin batters. It is preferred to do this by hand. Over mixing of batters are not desired outcomes when it comes to baking muffins. It leads to the batter being too dense and crumbly (think of it like when you grab a handful of dry earth in the garden) and not light and airy (think like baking sponge cakes). As a gauge, muffin batters that are properly mixed (which means that the mixing is minimum and non-electric) are little lumpy (yes, it may look like you have screwed your mixing up but hey, this is the "correct answer"!!).

Secondly, be creative. Rather than following strictly to the recipe you have, why not try something new by introducing some forms of creativity into them? Be bold and let you imagination and creative juice flow. Who knows you may create something out from it.

Thirdly, the muffin tins. Always remember to grease your muffin tins thoroughly and this means the sides and bottom of the tins. If this step is forgotten, well, after your muffins are baked, you will have a hard time getting perfectly shaped muffins as their "skin" sticks to the sides and bottoms of the tins when you take them out. Paper liners help to retain the freshness of your muffins longer. Filling the muffin tins requires being two-third full as the batter will overflow when it expands during the baking process and equally to ensure all muffins are equally baked finish.

Fourthly, the oven needs to be preheated. This is so because preheating the oven makes the muffin batter less dense and allows the batter to puff up easier than when it has been sitting for long time before baking. Think of it probably as like "too much water building up within the muffin and thus it becomes to heavy for the oven to make it puffed up". The preheating temperature has to be correctly set, being not too high or too low temperature, so as to ensure that the muffins are baked evenly from top to bottom to centre.

Fifthly, watch how you bake your muffins in terms of timings. Do a rough estimate of how long your muffin, depending on the size big or small, needs to be baked. Of course, smaller muffins takes shorter time and larger ones take longer time. Never use the trial-and-error method, opening the oven door now and then to see the progress of your muffins baking, when you bake them. The muffins will lose heat and hence they will sink. The analogy is just like making ice from water; if you keep opening the fridge to see the progress of freezing, the time taken for the water to become ice will become not just longer but it wouldn't become exactly the ice you want. Look through the oven door if you must observe and right appearances of done muffins are golden brown or looks hardened-crisp for double chocolate muffins at the edges. Use the toothpick method to tell whether or not the centre is cooked; poked it in and it will come out clean with not much "mess" from the batter sticking on it.

Lastly, let your muffins cool in the muffin tins for about 5-6 minutes. This time is just nice for removal as it will not be difficult to remove nor will it affect the muffins' texture. It's a just-nice scenario here. Oh, different sizes of muffins that you baked will also have different cooling times. It is the law of heat radiation; the smaller the faster it cools and vice versa. After removal, further cooling is then to be done of the cooling rack before finally storing or serving them for consumption.

Okay, that is all the points need to know in order to bake good muffins. It all boils down to good preparation, observation as well as proper handling of equipments used for the baking process...and yes, as the old saying goes: "Practice makes perfect."

How to Bake Muffins

Cake Pans - How to Keep Cakes From Sticking to Them

For many novice bakers, baking cakes may not be the problem. Finding recipes or decorating may not be the problem either. Their biggest problem may be keeping cakes from sticking to cake pans. In this article, I'm going to give you 5 useful tips to ensure your cakes never stick to your cake pans.

1. Make sure to let the cake cool the proper amount of time.

\"Cake Recipes\"

If the cake is sticking to the cake pan, the first thing to look at is whether or not you're letting it cool sufficiently. Most recipes suggest cooling the cake on a rack about 5 to 15 minutes, then running a knife around the edge before turning it out of the pan. Just by taking these steps, you can prevent your cakes from ever sticking.

2. Use a mixture of equal parts flour, vegetable or canola oil, and shortening.

If you're unsure what to grease your cake pans with, try the above mixture. Blend the ingredients thoroughly and use a pastry brush to apply to your cake pans. Once the cake is done baking, you can then place the cake pan on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool as recommended in tip number 1 before removing it.

3. Cut a piece of parchment paper and line your cake pan with it, and dab some butter under and on top of the paper.

This is a neat trick I learned from a good friend, and seems to work flawlessly every time. It's like "insurance" that the cake will come out. When you remove the cake it should come out of the cake pan quite easily paper and all. Then, all you have to do is peel the paper from the cake.

4. Don't let the cake cool too long.

Some bakers may be letting their cakes cool too much. Most cakes should be removed from their cake pans after 5 to 15 minutes, but definitely within 30 minutes of cooling on a rack. Anything after that may be detrimental. However, some recipes call for letting your cakes cool a bit longer. If that's the case, then just follow the recipe instructions. Unless the recipe calls for it, stick to tip number 1.

5. Use aluminum foil to line your cake pans.

This is similar to using parchment paper, but is a more cost effective alternative for those frugal bakers out there. Aside from being cheaper, you can also mold foil a little tighter to the pan than with parchment paper. Foil works best for round and square cake pans. You can line your pans with foil enough to reach up and over the sides. You may even use the extra foil as a type of "handle" to help lift the cake out of the pan.

I know how frustrating it can be to have your cakes stick to your cake pans. You can now use my 5 tips in any combination that makes sense to ensure that your cakes never stick to your cake pans again. Instead of tearing up that cake as you try to remove it from its pan, you can ensure an easy and simple release, ensuring your cakes always come out looking as good as they taste.

Cake Pans - How to Keep Cakes From Sticking to Them

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Different Types of Cheesecakes

If you think that cheesecake is cheesecake, then you're either not a baker or have been living under a rock for your whole life. There are more kinds of cheesecake than Carter has liver pills, and he's got plenty of them to go around. We're not going to cover every type and style of cheesecake in this article but just try to give you some idea of why a cheesecake is not just a cheesecake.

Cheesecake is one of the most common and popular desserts in the world today. It is also one of the oldest made from a dairy product other than milk. Cheesecakes can be made of ricotta cheese, havarti, quark, twaróg, or more usually, cream cheese. Other ingredients such as sugar, eggs, cream and fruit are often mixed in, too. This is the reason why there are so many types of cheesecakes because the number of recipes you can come up with are virtually unlimited.


So what styles of cheesecakes are there? Below are just a few with a brief description of each. There is the good old American style cheese cake. These are usually made from cream cheese, which was invented in 1872. After James Kraft invented this type of cheese, it became the top product for making cheesecake in America.

New York style cheese cake is a little different. It also uses cream cheese but relies on heavy cream, eggs, and egg yolks in addition to the cream cheese to add a richness and smooth consistency. New York style cheesecake is also called Jewish style cheesecake. It's baked in a special 5 to 6 inch spring form pan.

Then there is Chicago style cheesecake. This is another cream cheese version that has been made popular by Eli's Cheesecake. This style of cream cheese cake is firm on the outside and creamy inside. People from Chicago claim there is none better. Naturally.

Pennsylvania Dutch style cheesecake gets its taste from a tangy kind of cottage cheese. This cheese has larger curds and less water content. This type of cottage cheese is called pot or farmer's cheese.

Sour cream cheesecake is said to have come from the United States some time in the mid 20th century. It still used cream cheese but no heavy cream in the recipe. It is mostly used for making cheesecakes that are outside of the New York style. It can actually be frozen for short periods of time without ruining the texture.

Roman style cheesecake uses honey and a ricotta-like cheese along with flour and is traditionally shaped into loaves. Some recipes use bay leaves as a preservative. It is still baked in certain areas of Rome that kept cooking traditions after the fall of Rome.

French style cheesecakes are very light. They use gelatin as the main binding ingredient and are usually only about 1 to 2 inches in height. This cheesecake gets its light texture from a cheese found in the outdoor markets in the south of France and in fine pastry shops in Paris.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a good start on your search for the cheesecake that YOU think is the best.

Different Types of Cheesecakes

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, at present I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner.You can visit my site at For Free Recipes.net

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end)

How to Make Icing For Cake Decorating

Cake decorating is an enjoyable hobby. Once you have decorated one, you'll be looking for occasions to do it again. Start out simple and in no time you will advance in your new found talent. First things first; if you don't already have icing decorator bags and tips, go to your local hobby shop and purchase these.

This basic cake decorator icing recipe will yield great results.


1 bag confectioners' sugar
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat this icing mixture on low speed about one minute to combine, then on high speed for an additional 3 minutes. If the icing is too thick, add a couple drops of water; but just a few, as you don't want a thin icing that will be near impossible to decorate with.

Never substitute butter or margarine for the shortening, or your icing will be an off-white color. Also, don't bother with liquid food coloring. Using colored paste will give richer colors and won't cause your icing to thin out.

When you spread the icing on the cake, use a long bladed knife to ensure smoothness. Afterward, there are usually a couple areas that need further smoothing out. Dip a clean knife into very hot water and run the blade over the rough areas of icing with a light hand.

Animal shaped cake pans are popular with children and easy to decorate as well.

Here is an elegant pattern used by beginners as well as experts -- After smoothly icing the sides and top of the cake, let sit for at least 4 hours, allowing the icing to slightly harden. Lay a paper doily onto the cake. Sprinkle colored sugar crystals over the doily; carefully remove the doily. All around the edge of the top and bottom, decorate with small stars using a star tip. Whenever decorating the bottom and top edges with a shell border, stars, etc., the border on the top should be smaller in comparison to the bottom. Now show off your lovely cake!

How to Make Icing For Cake Decorating

If you are eager to know more about cake decorating check out the popular Cake Decorating Course here.

Exploring the Benefits of Sunflower Oil

Oils in our diet have traditionally been linked to poor health. Foods that have been prepared using ample amounts of oil were once thought to be categorically bad for us. This perception is gradually changing. It is becoming clear that certain types of oils can actually improve our health. In fact, similar to vitamins, our bodies require certain fats to function properly. Sunflower oil contains these fats.

There are 3 primary types of sunflower oils. Linoleic oil is the type that is most commonly found in your local grocery store. It has a high content of essential fatty acids and is rich in vitamin E. High oleic oil contains high levels of monounsaturated acids. It is used less frequently at home, but is well-suited for use in bakeries, restaurants, and cosmetics products. Finally, NuSun is the latest addition to line-up. It was originally designed to reduce the amount of saturated fat in sunflower oil. Today, it is quickly becoming the most popular choice due to its pleasant taste, lack of trans fat, and health benefits.


Sunflower Oil In Cosmetic Products

Sunflower oil has been used as an ingredient in cosmetic products for years. One of its main benefits as a skin care solution is its ability to help the skin retain moisture. Millions of people either apply it directly onto their skin, or use cosmetic products that contain sunflower oil, to avoid excess dryness. Of the 3 types, only high oleic oil can be used effectively in cosmetic formulations that sit on store shelves. Linoleic oil and NuSun lack the necessary shelf life to be used in most skin care products.

Improves Cardiovascular System

It has become increasingly clear that sunflower oil is healthy for our cardiovascular system. It contains ample amounts of vitamin E and high levels of the essential fatty acids (or, polyunsaturated fats) which our body needs. These essential fatty acids cannot be produced from within our bodies. They must be derived from our diet. The reason we need these polyunsaturated fats is because they tend to lower our cholesterol levels. By reducing our cholesterol, we lessen the likelihood of developing heart disease.

In terms of saturated fat content, sunflower oil is nearly as lacking as Canola oil. To compare, NuSun oil has approximately 9% saturated fat while butter oil contains 64% saturated fat. In response to growing health concerns about food products, many food manufacturers have begun replacing ingredients that are high in trans fat with sunflower oil.

Sunflower Oil In Restaurants

Restaurants have been using sunflower oil in their food preparation more than ever. The oil can be used in extremely high temperatures, making it well-suited for cooking and frying. Plus, many restaurants have begun using sunflower oil as a selling point. Consumers are becoming more aware of how foods with high levels of saturated fat impact their long-term health. Restaurants have responded by promoting the lower levels of trans fat and high content of essential fatty acids found in sunflower oil. Plus, foods that are prepared with sunflower oil can stay fresher for longer periods.

A Healthy Oil

Sunflower oil offer a variety of benefits. It can be used as an emollient to help the skin retain moisture, preventing excessive dryness. It can replace heavier oils in cooking applications to prepare food that is both tasty and healthy. It can even be consumed as a supplement in order to provide our bodies with essential fatty acids that can lower our cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Though it was once overlooked, sunflower oil has proven to be versatile and beneficial in a number of ways.

Exploring the Benefits of Sunflower Oil

A sunflower bouquet is a unique way to tell someone you care. Get your smile on with the Sunflower Guy's online store.

Magical Cakes For St. Patrick's Day

Lucky Leprechaun's Hat

This design calls for a dome cake and a slightly wider, round cake layer. If you don't have a dome cake mold, use an oven-safe glass bowl.

\"cake Recipe\"

Torte and fill the dome cake. Using green tinted buttercream, ice the round cake. Before the icing crusts, place the dome on top and ice it.

Give the leprechaun's hat a wide band that you create with chocolate buttercream or a ribbon of chocolate fondant. To pipe the hatband, you can use a strip of evenly cut paper to create an imprint, and then, using a star tip, fill in the band.

Next, pipe a gold buckle (with orange-yellow icing) onto the hatband. For a magical touch, apply edible gold glitter to the buckle.

Note: While edible gold glitter isn't cheap, you can find some good deals online. Large craft stores such as Michael's may also carry this.

Then pipe a large shamrock onto the hat. If you'd rather not do this freehand, make an imprint by pressing lightly onto the icing with a shamrock cookie cutter. Then using a start tip and dark green icing, fill in the shamrock. For an extra festive touch, serve with Irish Coffee.

Here's what one reader had to say about our "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" Video Books:

"This is a must have for all your cake decorating needs. They go over the basics in easy 'layman's' terms...very detailed. Great asset to anyone's cake decorating library."

Betsy Jacob, Fulton, MO

And here are more decorating ideas for magical St. Patrick's Day cakes:

  • Create a character cake with an easy-to-use character pan decorating kit, except add a St. Patrick's Day variation: whip up some green buttercream and add some leprechaun mischief like a green bow tie and shamrocks.

  • Decorate a sheet cake with an "end of the rainbow" scene. Ice the cake with pastel blue for the sky and green for the emerald meadow. Pipe tufts of green grass. Then using an icing bag, round tips and buttercream, decorate with a rainbow, white clouds and a pot of gold. Pipe gold nuggets and sprinkle with edible gold glitter. If you enjoy modeling with marzipan or sugarcraft, create a three-dimensional pot of gold filled with little gold wrapped candies. Then pipe a St. Patrick's Day message. Highlight with edible gold glitter. Finally add leprechaun figurines, store bought or sugarcrafted.

  • Create a pot of gold cake. Ice a round cake or an upside down dome cake with yellow buttercream. Craft or purchase a rainbow arch that you can set up on the cake. Model nuggets and coins with marzipan or fondant, and then coat with edible gold glitter. Lavishly decorate the top of the cake with these.

  • Bake an Irish Coffee cake and liberally top with freshly whipped cream. Decorate with shamrock cake confetti and leprechaun party picks. Serve immediately.

  • Create a charming cake, literally. Purchase Irish good luck charms, one for each guest. Thread each charm onto a clean, green ribbon. Bake an angel food or bundt cake and glaze. Drop the charms inside the center of the cake, and drape the ribbons over the cake. Before slicing, each guest draws a charm.

  • Alternatively, charms can be added as they often were to Victorian wedding cakes. To do so, bake round cakes. While filling, place the charms around next to the edge before placing the top layer. Allow the ribbons to emerge over the sides of the cake. After the cake is presented, each person pulls a charm out.

  • Remember the green when selecting a cake recipe. Use white or yellow so that it can be easily tinted green. You might even want a green filling such as pistachio pudding. Not nuts about pistachio? How about key lime?

  • · Bring a wee bit of Irish charm to your cupcakes. Buy a box of Lucky Charms cereal (this magical leprechaun has been entertaining at breakfast tables for over 40 years!), pour into a large bowl, and take out all of the marshmallow charms (you have permission!). After frosting the cupcakes with pretty swirls of green buttercream, decorate with the magical four leaf clovers, blue moons, shooting stars, leprechaun hats, purple horseshoes and pots of gold.

Finally, here's a Cake Decorator's version of the Irish Blessing for you:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May all your cakes bring a smile to your face!

Magical Cakes For St. Patrick's Day

o receive cake recipes along with cake decorating tips and videos (from the "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" Video Books) that will help you create enchanting cakes for any special occasion, sign up for our free newsletter at [http://www.CakeAnswers.com]

Fishing Wedding Cake Topper

It seems so much of a wedding is about the bride, but what would a wedding be without a groom? A nice way to demonstrate your love and devotion for your new husband is to have a cake topper that is themed with his favorite hobby. Fishing, perhaps?

Maybe your new husband has a special fly that he likes to use when he fishes that you can have incorporated into your cake topper. Use may use the actually fly, a new one of course, or have a cake decorator make one for you. For a little fun, you can have the bride and groom sitting barefoot on the top of the cake, reels in hand. For a real laugh, you can have either the groom or the bride fishing for the other. You can find all kinds of customized wedding cake toppers online. Give yourself enough time to have it arrive and to make sure that it is what you thought you were getting. Sometimes what you see online and what you get aren't exactly the same thing.


You could have a crystal or a glass wedding cake topper with two kissing fish in it. Having live fish in a fishbowl on the top of your cake will make quite an impression. If you aren't sure the real thing is for you, blown sugar could create an edible illusion of a fish bowl and sugar fish could be placed inside.

For a truly unique cake, you can have it designed like an aquarium with each tier a layer of the ocean complete with coral reefs, fish, algae, and a topper of a bride and groom in a fishing boat. Just about every icing is easy to tint. Sea blue fondant would make smooth waters or rich, aqua butter cream could give a little texture to your cake.

Fishing Wedding Cake Topper

Want more? Click here for more great tips on Fishing Wedding Cake Toppers

Or check out our Wedding Ideas Blog for even more wedding ideas!

Store Layout - Catering to Customers' Eyes

John Wyckoff, a reputable marketing consultant, sales trainer and author, had some store layout wisdom to impart in a Nov. 2004 column entitled "Retail Trends: The Eyes Have It." In it, he explains layout lessons from big food retailers that can help smaller businesses (like cellphone dealers) move product. Wyckoff says that - because huge food stores have so little interaction between store staff and their customers - location, lighting and packaging become the main product communicators.

Although cellular retail is heavily dependent on customer-salesperson interaction, there's no reason a few big-box layout strategies can't help you make sales while customers browse, before they ask their first question, or before your salesperson inquires, "Can I help you?" Wyckoff says food retailers put the milk in the back to force shoppers to wander through all kinds of tempting foods before they reach the milk, which is what they actually came for in the first place.


Likewise, cellular retailers should put their handsets on the back wall, thereby making customers walk past the snazzy new accessories and the iTunes display before they see what they originally came for: cellphones. Customers look left and turn right.

Big box research has shown that the vast majority of people entering a store look left and turn right, notes Wyckoff. For this reason, grocery stores put the bakery on the right - it smells good. Then the path carries customers past the fresh produce, with its vibrant colours, attractive shapes, mirrors, water and ice. Next in line are the deli and butcher sections.

Each of these appetizing areas is presented to the customer in sequence, immediately after they enter and turn right. After that, they're directed to the aisles, where they can stroll up and down as they please. To keep customers eyes on attractive, featured wireless items, align such products along the right side of your store - drawing customers to the back (where the handsets reside) - and finish off the shopping experience with the cash till on the left side of the store. Women look down; men look up.

Wyckoff says that these visual tendencies are due to anthropological predispositions: "Back in the dawn of human time, men hunted food in the trees while women tended the children and food growing on the ground."

With this in mind, grocery stores place their food products on a shelf three to four feet above the floor to maximize sale potential. Studies have shown that unlike men, few women buy exotic, high-priced foods. Therefore, these things go on the higher shelf and it works, says Wyckoff. Perhaps the same is true for certain male-popular cellphones and add-ons. It can't hurt to try it out.

The Kiosk Advantage Store Design Tips: Brian Christy's Advice to Make Your Store a Dynamic Selling Tool Generate More Sales: 5 Ways to Improve Store Design.

Store Layout - Catering to Customers' Eyes

Allan Pulga is the Staff Writer for iQmetrix Software Development Corp. He edits the company's corporate documents, writes a bi-weekly newsletter sent to company clients (called iQmetrix News & Views), and participates in creating advertising copy and various promotional material.

Allan has a B.J. (Bachelor's of Journalism) and also a B.Sc. in Biology, both from the University of Regina (Canada). He has previously worked in a number of media and communications positions, including stints in newspaper reporting and public relations.

Are Your Habits Changing for the Better?

Turning Messages into Habits

I don't know about you but where ever I go I get the same messages, for me they're coaching messages, and I love them.


The messages I'm referring to today are about habits and looking for tiny incremental changes in our lives and working on those changes to produce long lasting results.

Let me explain.

A few days ago I participated in a self defence workshop with a world renowned expert who taught us how to escape from a position when someone has you on the ground and their full weight is on top of you. If you haven't been in this position believe me, it's not nice. You have the full weight of your opponent on your chest, it's suffocating, it's painful and it's claustrophobic. Normally people submit or panic in this situation, much the same as they do in life situations when emotional trauma hits.

Our instructor told us about the 5% benefit. If you can get a 5% benefit and turn this into an advantage this will give you the upper edge, you turn a near hopeless situation into a perfect outcome. Interestingly, yesterday's 5% advantage was a body movement so small if you blinked you would miss it.

The point I'm making is that in life it's not the big changes that make the difference, it's the ones we hardly see.

How many people 25 kgs overweight try to lose that 25 kgs in one go? How many people with maxed out credit cards try to pay off the whole balance in one go? Just about every one? How long did it take to put on that extra 25 kgs in the first place and how long did it take to max out the credit card? A week? A month? The truth is it took months or even years, it was a slow process. It was a gradual habit. To win at this, we need to reverse or create a new habit.

During my workshop the other day, I couldn't get out of the hold the guy had on me without the 5% advantage. It was small and significant. Two years ago I lost 25 kgs by losing 500 grams first, then another 500 grams and so on. I didn't actually use scales, I used my shirt, trousers and belts sizes and I went from an XXXL to L. It's been a great feeling throwing my old clothes away.

You see, to be successful we need to concentrate on the small goals with the view of the grand goals in the back of our minds. For every cappuccino we forgo, that's .00 we've saved and for every cream bun we leave in the bakery that's a millimetre we've reduced our waistline.

And these can be turned into habits. Small habits! The smaller the better, because small habits are easier to maintain.

So, you're going to ask, how do I give up the big harmful habits like smoking, over-eating, drugs, gambling, etc?

You can change those big, bad habits but it's really hard. If it wasn't hard would anyone smoke, would we have people addicted to alcohol, gambling, food? No we wouldn't. That's why we need all the help we can get.

By doing the small habits first. You need to learn to trust yourself, to believe in yourself, to have faith that you can bring about that change that you long for. You need to find something that you can do easily, that's beneficial and that you can measure.

Examples? You want examples? Start with these. Just try one or maybe two, no more.

  • Put your computer mouse in the other hand;
  • Swap your knife and fork over when you eat;
  • Have a different breakfast, something really nutritious like fruit;
  • Give up swearing;
  • Have a cup of tea instead of a cappuccino;
  • Get out of bed 10 minutes earlier;
  • Leave the TV off for an extra half our;
  • Listen to classical music on the way to work (and on the way home);
  • Go for a walk every morning;
  • Go for a walk every evening;
  • Meditate for 10 minutes every day (maybe use that 10 minutes you got up earlier);
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier;
  • Stop watching the TV news;
  • Or anything that you can think of.

Maybe these are too difficult. Maybe you need something simpler still. That's okay, try these:

  • Drink 5 glasses of water each day (2 in morning, 1 at lunchtime and 2 at night);
  • Use sea salt on your food (toss that other salt away);
  • Drive a different way to work every 2nd day;
  • Each lunch time, walk out of your work and around the block (with no sound machine in your ears);
  • Make sign and place it in your bathroom so you ask yourself "What do I have gratitude for today?" and say out loud 5 things you have gratitude for.

These are pretty simple aren't they! Too simple? Maybe so, and it's where your big changes will come from. Not from trying to change the big things, they will come later.

Of course, people who consistently invest in themselves and work on themselves know that by following these steps and doing the small stuff makes the big stuff happen automatically. They find that they didn't even have to think about those harmful habits because those habits eliminated themselves from their lives, almost by magic.

We're amazing beings and we can do whatever we want. We just have to tell our DNA that we want to make some changes in our lives and we do that by examining our habits and making the decision to change one or two of those habits.

How easy is that!

Have the best outstanding day,


Are Your Habits Changing for the Better?

Andrew is an intuitive and personal development success coach. He has clients all over the world and enjoys seeing his clients grow to having exceptional lives.

He consults privately and is a confident and well known public speaker.

His businesses include:
Intuitive Life Readings,
Intuitive Success Coaching,
Intuitive Relationship Readings.

For more information please go to http://www.andrewwarnes.com

Are Coal Miners Responsible Human Beings?

There's an old adage that says that it's a man's duty to support his family, no matter what. Example: You're a coal miner in West Virginia. As such, you expose yourself to black lung disease and god-knows-what-other-horrors. You get sick periodically during your relatively short life, hospitalized even, not able to work. Still, as soon as you are able again, you pull yourself up by those coal dust-caked bootstraps and shuffle yourself back down into that mine.

You are lauded for your efforts, for your dedication, for the level to which you sacrifice yourself. You are taking care of your family, putting bread on the table. So you stick by your family to the end. YOUR end, that is. You took the only job in town and you kept on working it until the day you died. Now your family is without you, not to mention your livelihood. Congratulations!


Instead of insisting on such a sorry existence, you might have considered taking just one day off, cleaning yourself up, finding a way to locate a different job. You might have found a job that was clean, that would let you live a long and full life. But you never did this. You stuck it out instead.

Does this whole plan of action make any sense at all? Where is it written that taking the easiest job to find, not bothering to search for something better, is the way to go? What would be so wrong for a coal miner to reason, "Well sir, if I go to a job every day that kills me prematurely, how will my family survive after I'm gone? What kind of benefits will those mine companies grant my family? And how do I know how long they'll keep their promise?"

And then there's this thinking: "What about the long, slow, ugly illness I'll contract that'll put undue emotional, not to say financial, strain on everyone I love?"

The late shock comic Sam Kinison used to do a routine about people starving in the desert of Ethiopia and how we were making a big mistake by giving them more food. Instead, he insisted, we should be "giving them luggage!"

"Help them get out of there," he would rant, "don't just keep living and starving in a land where nothing will grow. There's no food here, nothing grows here, nothing's going to EVER grow! If you really want to help these people out, take... them... to... where... the... food... is!"

Recent research by two PhDs suggests why such seemingly sensible reactions are not taken. People by and large are prone to staying put where they have been born or find themselves, they report, even when staying is "antithetical" to their health, well being, and chances of prosperity.

"They fall for the 'Sunk Cost Fallacy,'" explains Hal Arkes, PhD, Ohio State University and Peter Ayton, PhD., City University in London, referring to their published findings. . "This means that any investment justifies further cost." Interestingly, "lesser" organisms such as dogs, mice and ants are more likely to cut their losses when faced with impending failure, Arkes and Ayton observe. Unlike humans, they behave "as rational beings should," trying to maximize future benefits and minimize future costs.

Would a "lesser" being spend a second more than necessary in the dank, choking coal mine air if there were a way of getting out? Would a coal-miner's canary, given the choice, stay down there amid the toxic fumes if it had a choice?

Think about this the next time you're feeling trapped in your job. Are you fretting that you can't leave because of all the years you've been with your employer, or the time and money you invested in getting your degree(s)? Instead, think these thoughts: I've an obligation to give my family (and myself) the very best deal I can find. And time's a wastin'. Better get on with finding it.

Are Coal Miners Responsible Human Beings?

Ken Lizotte CMC is Chief Imaginative Officer (CIO) of emerson consulting group inc. (Concord, MA), which transforms consultants, law firms, executives and companies into “thoughtleaders.” This article is an excerpt from his newest book "Beyond Reason: Questioning Assumptions of Everyday Life".

Visit ==>www.thoughtleading.com for more info.

Blackberry Jam

In late August and early September, if you take a walk in the English countryside, you will often see hedgerows full of plump juicy blackberries. If you have a garden or allotment, you may well have blackberries growing there too, and of course blackberries can also be obtained from "pick your own" farms, and ready packed and prepared in supermarkets. However you obtain them, although sometimes a little sour, blackberries can be quite delicious and can be used in a number of different recipes.

One of the best uses for blackberries is to make your own jam at home. In the past, many people used to make blackberry jam using ordinary sugar, water, and the juice and rind of lemons. While this can work wonderfully, it can also be a bit of a hit and miss affair, and it is not unknown for the jam not to set well and come out rather too runny.

\"cake Recipe\"

An easier way to make blackberry jam is to use "Jam Sugar" - which you can find in most major supermarkets. Jam sugar contains pectin (usually obtained from apples), which is the essential ingredient for make jam gel properly. Basically, making the jam involves mashing the blackberries, gradually adding the jam sugar while heating, and a little knob of unsalted butter, and finally bringing to a boil for about 4 minutes. Then jam then needs to be removed from the heat, and  transferred into jars (it is best to warm the jars up first so that they don't shatter when the hot jam is poured into them).

Using jam sugar, making blackberry jam is really quite easy and fun. Perhaps most importantly of all, homemade blackberry jam really does taste great. You will love it on buttered bread or toast!

Blackberry Jam

By S. Tanna. Find the full instructions for the blackberry jam recipe at http://www.recipesmaniac.com/recipe_blackberry_jam.php