You can always shellac frosting over your cupcakes, but learning a few simple but sophisticated techniques can give your pretty pastries a professional touch, not to mention impress your friends and family. Here are five simple but dazzling ways to decorate your cupcakes.
When I was at Martha Stewart's Milk and Cookies party at the Food Network's New York City Wine and Food Festival, I picked up a great tip from the cookie decorating experts. To keep frosting clean and organized, the staff at Martha Stewart Living fill disposable clear frosting bags with different colors of icing. Then they place each one in a glass tumbler. That way your kitchen table won't get covered in oozing frosting. To ensure that the frosting doesn't plop out the back of the bag, they seal each one closed with a rubber band. The next time I'm decorating cookies, I'm definitely doing this!
Do you have a tip for making the perfect cookie? Share with us below!
The following post was written by Olympic athlete and mom Kerri Walsh, two-time gold medalist in pairs beach volleyball.
I've been an athlete my whole life. I've been so lucky and blessed to have enjoyed a healthy and strong body for most of my days. Aside from a few shoulder surgeries, some busted ankles, a bad back here and there, and two pregnancies, I've managed to maintain a high fitness level and a healthy weight throughout my athletic career. I am truly grateful for this!
Now that I'm 32 and still fighting my way back into fighting shape (and into my favorite jeans!), I no longer take my health and fitness level for granted — to put it simply, I can't! The comeback trail, thus far, has been riddled with good times and positive strides, but also with newfound aches and pains and knick-knacky injuries. I'm still carrying some extra weight, which is humbling and has taken some of the figurative and literal pep out of my step.
To see how Kerri's taking care of herself, keep on reading.
After presenting the high school basketball star Chiney Ogwumike with the Gatorade Athlete of the Year award, WNBA legend Lisa Leslie was able to sit down with me for a short chat. Thank goodness we were sitting, since the four-time gold medal Olympian is a whole foot taller than I am. Standing at 6' 4", the word statuesque seems apt to describe Leslie, but this belies her femininity and beauty. Since her husband is 6' 7", the first woman to dunk in the WNBA loves to wear heels.
Here's what the elegant mother of two had to say about life after retiring from professional hoops.
FitSugar: Something that I think is just striking is that you had a baby three months ago and nobody would ever be able to tell. How is that going?
Lisa Leslie: It’s getting better and better. Every day is a wonderful challenge. Having a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old . . . actually, the 3-month-old is a little bit easier because I know where he is. And my 3-year-old . . . thank goodness we don’t give her sugar! I can only imagine what would happen if she had a sip of Coke or something.
FS: Which brings me to my first question: How do you feel life on the court taught you lessons for parenting?
LL: I think the one thing is that you learn more about people during tough times. In basketball we say that, and in life. Doing one month of waking up at 3 a.m. and at 6 a.m., it’s tough but I know that I can push through it. It doesn’t last forever. So, you know, I have to tell myself those things. And then, I’m not the first woman to do this. Other women have done this. Some people have seven, five, 12, 20 kids, so I have no reason to complain and I think that in basketball it’s pretty much the same way. I have a great career. I work hard and I put the effort in and when I lose games, it’s not the end of the world. I’m going to eventually get to where I want to be. So I just often times use a lot of my experience with playing with my life now.
Learn why Leslie loves tennis and her fave P90X workout when you read more
Many of you are excited to kick-start your Spring with some outdoor sports, but if you're a bit overzealous in your return to this active season, you may end up with an injury. The big question is, do you go see a doctor or treat it yourself? Dr. Thomas Best, a doctor and marathon runner told The New York Times, "Know how you typically recover. When you are not recovering as you typically do, that’s the first warning that something more is going on."
Other signs you should seek medical attention include:
- You're constantly in pain, even when walking and resting.
- The pain gets worse.
- Your joints lock.
- Swelling or bruising doesn't go away.
If you aren't experiencing the above signs, there are many ways to treat minor injuries at home. Find out my tips when you read more
After reading the progress reports from the Get Fit For 2010 community group and contest, I noticed one big trend: injuries. They happen to the best of us; if you lead an active life, chances are high you will suffer some bumps, bruises, and strains along the way.
If you happen to sprain your ankle or strain your hamstring, immediate first aid can help you heal faster. No matter if you injured a joint or a muscle you should follow the R.I.C.E. protocol for 48 hours after your injury.
- Rest: Take a break for a day or two to let the injured area rest and recover. Your body needs time to heal the injury. Let pain be your guide as to what daily activities are fine. Once you can go about your usual daily routine without pain, slowly ease yourself back into training. Try the elliptical before going gangbusters on the treadmill.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a towel) to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every few hours. Ice helps reduce swelling and inflammation by slowing blood flow to the injury; it also lessens the pain by numbing it a bit.
- Compression: Between ice treatments, wrap an elastic bandage around the affected part to apply pressure and reduce swelling. Compression can also help provide support to a weak joint. It should be fairly tight, but make sure it doesn't press nerves or cut off blood circulation — if the end of the limb turns blue, that's too tight! It's also too tight if you feel throbbing in the bandaged area. For the same reason, don't wear the bandage at night.
- Elevation: Let gravity do the work — try to keep the injured limb raised above the level of the heart to prevent fluids from pooling in the inflamed tissues. For an injured leg, prop it up above the hips when lying down. Injured arms can be held up in a sling.
If two days post-injury your pain has increased or the swelling has not subsided, it's best to see a doctor or a sports injury specialist. A medical professional can properly diagnose the injury and recommend the correct form of treatment and rehab to get you back in action sooner than later.
Love frosting? Well, I have news for you! For the Summer, everyone's favorite bakery, Sprinkles, has launched a new product: frozen frosting shots. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. For $.75, at all Sprinkles locations, you can actually purchase a shot of frosting that's frozen. Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to receive a large sample of the sugary treats from Sprinkles. To find out how they taste, read more
If you've ever pulled a muscle, you know it can hurt like crazy and interfere with future workouts. One of the best, easiest, and cheapest ways to treat a muscle strain is with ice, which reduces both the pain and the inflammation. Ice is also a great treatment for chronic, nagging pain like runner's knee. But although it's a simple process, it's very important to do it right. Here's how:
- Start icing ASAP. Icing is most effective if you do it immediately after the injury and continue over the next 48 hours.
- Do not apply ice directly to your skin; instead, wrap it in a towel or place it in a cute ice pack.
To see the rest, read more
I love how Halloween has really become a celebrated holiday of its own. There are a ton of festive ways to decorate your house, lots of pumpkins to carve and best of all, treats to make! If you're looking for a simple cookie for your Halloween party, pot luck or office, then look no further. These simple spiderweb cookies are wonderfully tasty and cute too! To get the how-to, read more
A typical cake icing made with sugary, syrup and gelatin. It is cooked to a specific temperature (240F), poured over a marble slab, sprinkled with water (to prevent crystallization) and then kneaded to a smooth soft paste. It is often colored and flavored and used for candies and cakes. It can be rolled out and its soft qualities enable it to be draped like fabric.