Baking cookies with spritz cookies press

I bought a spritz cookies press recently. I saw that it had been shipped. Got it real cheap by checking around several online sites.

I remember helping my  mum to make cookies with one of these cookies press or biscuit pump or whatever you call it. It is a cylinder shaped mold with patterns at the bottom. You put your dough into the mold and press out the patterns to form cookies in various shapes.

I’ve been reading some tips on how to make sure your cookies turn out nice looking. One of them is to omit baking powder or baking soda so the cookies  don’t rise and bloat out of shape when baked. Another tip is to use cold baking sheets to retain the cookie shape better.

I’m really excited and can’t wait to try the cookie press.  Hope that it won’t disappoint.

Baking Biscuits And Muffins Without A Mixer

I’ve been in a baking mood, baking biscuits and muffins daily BUT I do not have a mixer. That’s probably why I have been doing it daily. It’s to experiment to find just the right basic mix for biscuits and muffins. Finally after a few rounds of experimenting, I found it. No creaming of butter and sugar required. So simple and fast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar or less
  • 1 teaspoon baking powerd
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 unsalted butter bar cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

That is my basic mix. To that, I added eggs, milk, pandan juice, orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, carrot juice and julienned carrots with walnuts, All liquids about 1/2 cup. More liquid for muffins and less or no liquids for biscuits. Vegetable oil may be added for muffins.

All I had to do is put all of the ingredients above into a bowl and used my fingers to rub them around till they resemble crumbs in the first stage and dough in the second stage. Liquids and oil are added for muffins. They are always added in the middle and the flour stirred slowly with a plastic spoon so that they don’t form clumps.

Biscuits dough should be pliable enough to be cut and muffin mixes should be soft enough to be poured into a muffin tray for 6.

Preheat oven while working on the mix and once done, put in the tray for baking around 10 minutes. Biscuits are arranged on baking paper on oven tray while muffins are poured into muffin paper cups and placed inside muffin tray.

The above basic makes 6 muffins or a small tub of biscuits, just right for a small family of four.

No gadgets required, Just your hands a spoon and a bowl. Time needed: 20-30 minutes (including 10 minutes baking time which really doesn’t count because you’re not doing anything while waiting, well, just washing the bowl and plastic spoon you used maybe).

Now that I’ve completed my basic recipe, I’ve ordered a biscuit pump or biscuit press to make my biscuit a little bit more impressive looking. Can’t wait for it to arrive and try it out.

My Favorite Drawing, Poster And Photo Editing App As An Online Writer

My Favorite Drawing, Poster And Photo Editing App As An Online Writer
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SUMMARY

If you are an online writer, you will need graphics and images to support your writing. I will share with you four of my favorite drawing, poster making and photo editing app on this hub.
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Make Your Own Graphics For Your Blog, Site Or Page

Are you an online writer? Do you have your own blog? Do you write for content sites like HubPages? If you do any writing online, you will need photos, images and graphics to support your writing. Though cliche the saying “A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words” is very true.

A picture also breaks the monotony of your writing and makes your page more exciting and interesting just like the pages of a beautiful magazine.

The good news is, you don’t have to go around searching for images and worrying about copyright issues and attributing photos or giving credits. If you learn how to take your own photos and edit them or if you learn to draw or make posters on your own, you will never lack for having beautiful photos for your online writing again.

I take most of the photos I use on my blogs and other writing sites myself. I make collages from them, I add text to my photos making wonderful greeting cards, sayings with images and poems with graphics on them. I make my own posters. I draw my own graphics. I don’t have to worry about copyright issues. The only thing I worry about is people stealing my stuff.

These days you can take wonderful pictures and make beautiful graphics and images easily. Technology has made it possible. You don’t have to be an artist. You won’t need to know how to do fancy editing using a photo editing software. You don’t need special skills and the best thing of all is that many of them are free.

There is one thing you need though. You will need to either have a tablet computer or a smartphone. Most people already have one of these gadgets theses days. It has become a necessity and it is no longer a luxury to own one of these devices. For drawing apps, a tablet would be better because you will have more space to work on but photo apps are fine on smartphones.

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Drawing Your Own Images Is Fun And You Don’t Have To Be An Artist Or Expert!

Here is a little image I drew for one of my parenting articles using a free drawing app
Here is a little image I drew for one of my parenting articles using a free drawing app
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Quick Tip On How To Make Your Own Graphics And Images For Your Online Writing

  1. View the world from a camera lens and take pictures of anything and everything you like. Take pictures of the sky, the flowers in your garden, your food, textures you like, your footprints on the beach, autumn leaves, the sunset. Anything! Just take them and store them in a folder in your pc for later use.
  2. Download a photo editing app or drawing app, poster making app. There are plenty but in this hub I will tell you about four of my favorite ones. They’re all free to download and you don’t have to pay a cent or pay for extras. The lite versions are good enough to make beautiful graphics and images.
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Take Pictures Of Anything And Everything

I took this picture of the flowers in my garden on one sunny day. It only took a minute and it turned out beautifully.
I took this picture of the flowers in my garden on one sunny day. It only took a minute and it turned out beautifully.
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Take Pictures When You Are On Holiday And Every Other Day

I took this picture of Red Chinese Lanterns during Chinese New Year and use them for writing my Chinese holiday write-ups
I took this picture of Red Chinese Lanterns during Chinese New Year and use them for writing my Chinese holiday write-ups
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Four Apps To Give You The Best Image For Your Writing

The 4 apps that I frequently use for my online writing are..

  1. ColorBlast – This is an app that allows you to add interesting color effects to your photos.
  2. Line Brush Lite – This is a free drawing app
  3. Phoster – This is a poster creation app
  4. MeituPic – This is a photo editing app
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Color Blast Lets You Turn Your Pictures To Black And White And Allows You Make Spot Coloring

This is the image shown on the ColorBlast App
This is the image shown on the ColorBlast App
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1. Use ColorBlast To Add Exciting Color Effects To Your Photos

Many people like to use Color Blast for their Facebook or Instagram photos or other social media photos. I use it to highlight and draw attention to a part of a photo. It is good for a quote or poem because it looks really professional and pretty.

However, this app is very specific in its use and there is not much further you can do apart from highlighting and/or changing the colors on certain parts of your photo. So if you are looking for an overall photo editing app that can do a lot of other stuff, this is not for you.

I included it here because I really like its effects. You can download it to use for this purpose and then remove it once you are done if you don’t have the space for too many apps on your device. That’s what I sometimes do for apps that I only want to use occasionally.

You can download Color Blast from the Apples iTunes store for iPhone And iPad.

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You Can Use Color Blast Lite To Make Posters Of Quotes And Poems As I Did

Here is one quote I did with the Color Blast lite app.
Here is one quote I did with the Color Blast lite app.
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The Line Brush Lite App Has Many Drawing Tools Even For The Novice

As shown on the icon that they use to represent their app, all you need are your fingers to draw
As shown on the icon that they use to represent their app, all you need are your fingers to draw
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2. Use Line Brush Lite To Create Drawings For Your Blog Or Site

You don’t have to be an artist. Even child like kindergarten type of drawings has a special charm of its own.

I use Line Brush Lite to draw pictures for my blog. Sometimes I use it to draw simple illustration. For example, once I wrote an article about the different ways to wear a bib necklace. I couldn’t find pictures to represent what I wanted to put across to the reader. So I ended up using Line Brush Lite to illustrate my point. You can see my illustration below.

Line Brush Lite is available for download for both iPhone and iPad from Apples iTunes store or from the Google Play Store for Android devices both phones and tablets.

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You Can Use The Line Brush App To Illustrate Your Point As I Did

I drew this simple illustration using my fingers to show the different ways to wear a bib necklace because I couldn't find a picture to put my point across
I drew this simple illustration using my fingers to show the different ways to wear a bib necklace because I couldn’t find a picture to put my point across
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MeiTu Photo App Is Very Comprehensive And Include A Lot Of Tools You Can Use To Edit Your Photos

This is the English version of the app. You may see some Chinese words in there but the instructions are largely in English
This is the English version of the app. You may see some Chinese words in there but the instructions are largely in English
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3. Use The MeiTu App To Edit Your Photos

“MeiTu” is the Chinese Pinyin which stands for the phrase “Beautiful Pictures” and it does exactly that. It makes your pictures beautiful! There are plenty of features here. I am going to have to write a full review of it on another hub so I will give just a very short description of it here.

You can either take pictures directly from it or use it to edit existing pictures from your device. There are many different effects you can choose from for taking

  • portraits
  • food
  • scenery
  • objects or
  • general pictures

Here are some other fun stuff you can do with your photos

  • You can add text and other materials to your photos
  • You can make beautiful collages with your pictures
  • You can add frames to your images
  • You can add special effects like sparklers to your photos
  • You can turn your photos into a drawing

You can do all of the above and more. I won’t go into all the details. Just download it and have fun experimenting.

Where To Download. I am including the links for download here because if you search the iTune or App Store or Google Play Store, you will find the Chinese version so use these links to find the English version easily.

MeituPic For iPhone And iPad

MeituPic For Android Phone And Tablet

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Writing Online: Write Your Dreams To Reality

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If You Like To Share Your Recipes Online You Can Use The MeiTu App To Take Pictures And Make Collages

I made this collage with the MeiTu App to share my peanut butter cookies with my Facebook friends but you can use it on your recipe blog or site
I made this collage with the MeiTu App to share my peanut butter cookies with my Facebook friends but you can use it on your recipe blog or site
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The Phoster App Helps You Make Posters In A Few Minutes

You can either use the available templates as it is, modify them or start on a blank page
You can either use the available templates as it is, modify them or start on a blank page
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4. Make Quick Posters Easily Using Phoster To Enhance Your Online Writing

I made the “Don’t Steal” poster at the top of this page using the Phoster app. It only took me a couple of minutes because I used the available template.

When you use phoster, you can choose from landscape, square or portrait. You can use pre designed template or modify those by changing the colors, words and font for your text. Or you can start from a blank page.

A poster is fun to make and can help you make your point very quickly, sometimes much more than a whole block of text. It also enhances your online writing and draws attention to some facts that you want to pinpoint to your readers.

Where To Download:

Phoster For iPhone or iPad

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Do You Use Your Own Graphics?

Do you use any app to help you create images for your online content? If so, what?

  •  Yes, I use a photo editing app
  •  Yes, I use a drawing app
  •  Yes, I use a poster making app
  •  No, but I will use an app after reading this

See results without voting

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Useful Tip When Downloading Apps

  1. Try to find free apps. Sometimes the “lite” or free version is good enough for your needs
  2. If you find that you are running out of space on your device, you can download the app for a specific need, use it, then delete it and download again when you need it again especially if you use it infrequently
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You Can Watermark Your PIcutres To Protect Your Picture From Being Stolen

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Thank You For Reading. Have A Nice Day! Please Leave Me A Comment Below If You Like This Page And Think It Is Helpful

I drew this picture using the Line Brush Lite App
I drew this picture using the Line Brush Lite App

Requirements Of A Good Furnace Repair Contractor

Air temperature in a house is paramount to our comfort at home. We need cold air in the form of a good air conditioner or heating when its cold. When any of this breaks down, we should have the means to get them back in order again as quickly as possible to restore the comfort in our homes.

When our heating/cooling system breaks down, we want them repaired quickly so we can enjoy the comfort of our homes again. Not to be able to get the air back to what it was previously leaves us cold and unhappy. Pun intended.

Below are the requirements we feel a good furnace repair contractor or technician should have.

We want contractors who can respond to us ASAP, on the spot if possible. One of the things we hate most about scheduling repairs is waiting for the repair technician to turn up!

To respond quickly is one thing, we also need technicians who know what they are doing. Someone who knows what they are doing when conducting repairs really makes a difference compared to someone who does not. We need on the spot repairs, not someone who has to run out or go back and forth for parts.

How many times have you experienced this? The technician comes to your home, gives you a quote, then says “I will come back again with the parts”. We don’t want that. Someone who is fully stocked upon arrival would be a plus points for Columbus furnace repairs.

When dealing with contractors, we would like to have someone who will quote reasonable prices. Flat rate is good so we don’t have to bargain. We don’t have to worry about being overcharged when there is a flat rate. Up-front pricing is important too. Do not every get your furnace repaired without getting an up-front quote beforehand so you don’t get a shock from the cost of repairs.

Quite often people forget about their furnaces until the stop working. To avoid that, you should schedule an annual cleaning and inspection as well. If you do forget however, remember these tips to find a good furnace repair person with all of the above requirements.

 

Dress Up Your Home with a Deck

A deck can be the perfect addition to your home. It’s gives you the opportunity to enhance your home and enjoy the outdoors. From backyard barbecues to lounging under the stars, you’ll find that this feature will be put to good use. Not only will a deck give you great pleasure, it will boost the value of your home if you ever decide to put it on the market. Once you’ve decided you want a deck, the main challenge begins. You have to figure out how you will get the job done.

Getting Started
The first step is to figure out exactly what you want. Look online at image galleries. Pick up a magazine on decks at your local home improvement store. Snap pictures of decks you really like in the neighborhood. Consider what you will do if your deck is going to receive a great deal of sunlight. You can always add an awning or take advantage of an umbrella. Once you have a good idea of what you want in a deck, you’ll need to find out if you need a permit before you start building.

Round Up Your Materials
You can choose from composite decking or pressure-treated wood to build your deck. Both have their advantages. Compare prices and consider how long your materials will last, as well as what is necessary with upkeep. If you opt for wood, you will need to include stain in your list of materials in order to add the desired color. Stain will also help you to preserve your deck. If you are not exactly sure of what you need, bring your building plans to the home improvement store and ask for guidance.

Start the Build
You are finally ready to put your deck on your house. Your workload will be easier if you have someone to help you to get the job done. Turn to friends and family who are competent builders to get your project underway. If you have no idea how to build stairs for a deck or any other part of the deck, consider getting a free estimate from a contractor in your area to simplify your life. Renovationexperts.com offers you a broad network of participating contractors and will help you to connect with the right person to make your deck become a reality.

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