I got this recipe from my good friend Suzi who is an expert at cakes. Now this is the only frosting recipe I will ever use.
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (I ONLY use Crisco) 1/2 cup butter (If you want snow white icing, then you'll have to buy Clear Butter Extract and use more shortening and omit butter) 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract (If you are going to tint icing a color, you can use regular vanilla extract) 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar 2 tbs milk or heavy cream
Some people like the almond extract flavor better than the vanilla...sometimes I even use both. OR if you want, you can buy a flavor of the powder Coffee Mate coffee flavorings and replace 1/4 -1/3 cup of the conf. sugar with the coffee mate.
Cream butter and shortening. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat on low. (I add milk as I'm adding sugar, little by little). Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. (I put in a ziplock container (not the bag) and store in fridge until I'm ready to use it.
CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM - make your regular buttercream icing. Add 3/4 cup Cocoa and a little bit more milk/heavy cream/half and half, whichever you're using. (I use 1/2 cup regular cocoa and 1/4 cup dark cocoa) I also find myself using heavy cream more often than not as my liquid. Beat on low with mixture until creamy.
Why do we add salt to help boil water? At constant pressure under normal conditions, once water reaches boiling point, the water will not get any hotter.
In addition to adding some flavor, adding salt RAISES the boiling temperature so that the water can actually get hotter than 100 degrees C (212F) - and will cook your spaghetti faster.
When slicing a hard boiled egg, try wetting the knife just beforecutting. If that doesn't do the trick, try applying a bit ofcooking spray to the edge. Buy mushrooms before they "open." When stems and caps are attachedsnugly, mushrooms are truly fresh.
Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and double the juice you getbefore squeezing.
The best way to store fresh celery is to wrap it in aluminumfoil and put it in the refrigerator--it will keep for weeks.
A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob ofcorn will remove every strand of corn silk.
Noodles, spaghetti and other starches won't boil over if you rubthe inside of the pot with vegetable oil.
Ground spices really should be replaced every 6 months or so!Unless you know you will use them up fairly quickly, buy a bottlein partnership with a friend and split the contents.You'll each benefit from fresh spices.