Surprising Ideas

How To Make Dried Pineapple Flowers — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Does the toughest part of making a cake come at the end, just when you think you're done? That cake is out of the oven, cooled, and frosted — but how to finish it off in a pretty way? For those of us with all thumbs and no pastry school degree, this is the last hill to climb. If you don't care to decorate with artificially colored icing or candy, then it's all the more challenging.

Southern bakers have a little trick that I'd love to teach you — a lovely, all-natural garnish for the classic hummingbird cake, but one that can also pretty up so many other things from cupcakes to cocktails. Here's how to make dried pineapple flowers — the sweetest way to decorate a cake.

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5 Ways to Use Bitters Beyond Your Cocktails — Tips from The Kitchn

Even if you don't shake or stir up many cocktails at home, you may have a bottle of aromatic bitters tucked away in the back of your liquor cabinet for that occasional Old Fashioned or Manhattan you or a dinner party guest craves. While bitters are most at home in cocktails, their complex flavor makes them ideal contenders for not only other drinks, but also foods.

Here are five smart ways to take bitters beyond the bar cart.

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7 Things to Do with Leftover Biscuits — Tips from The Kitchn

If there's one time I always wish for leftovers, it's when I make biscuits. In fact, a good strategy is to always make extra so you never have to worry about that problem. Once you've had you fill of reheated biscuits coated with a spread of butter or jam, try one of these clever ways to use them up instead. Here are seven amazing ways to give those tender, buttery biscuits a second go.

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Look at This Coat Closet Turned into a Pantry! — Pantries to Pin

Would you rather have a closet full of very organized baking supplies and snacks than one packed with coats and winter gear? We would! That's why we love this smart project from Diane Henkler, the blogger behind In My Own Style. She moved her family's coat collection into the garage to make room for something much better: a fully organized and labeled pantry. Take a look at what she did —this is so inspiring.

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5 Reasons You Should Build a Fort in Your Living Room — Snowed in with You

When I was a kid, I used to build a fort any chance I got: A rainy day was always a good excuse, but growing up in temperate Northern California, it really was a year-round activity despite the constant 74-degree weather.

It wasn't the same fort over and over again, either. Every indoor structure had a very specific purpose and story. Sometimes I built a sheet-covered restaurant, or a faux log cabin, or a fort inside a fort in a chaotic town where post-apocalyptic chaos was erupting outside.

Fast forward a few years (okay, decades), and I grew up to be an interior designer. I assemble real rooms now, but I do wish a client would pay me to build a giant blanket hideout in the middle of an apartment.

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A Cheap, Colorful Alternative to Cloth Napkins — Party Tricks

The party problem: You're throwing a Southern-themed brunch or dinner and aren't quite sure how to set the table.

The party trick: Use bandanas as napkins.

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