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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

A Quick and Easy Royal Frosting Recipe - No Mixer Needed

Just go ahead and bookmark this right now. If you follow along on here for my recipes, you know that I am a stubborn old-school baker who still does not have a stand mixer, and I own very few kitchen gadgets. I do have a hand mixer for making homemade whipped cream, because there is no way around that one. Though for everything else, I use a whisk, a spoon, or a fork. Yes, a fork! It mixes better than a spoon but doesn't get batter stuck inside it like a whisk does. I wouldn't consider myself a convenience snob when it comes to cooking. If using a mixer is more convenient for you, by all means, go for it! It's rather out of convenience that I don't use one, nor do I use fancy peelers or choppers. When you've been in the kitchen as long as I have, it's so much faster to just whisk something up or grab my knife and give something a quick chop than it is to lug out equipment. Cleanup is also much easier.

Though one recipe has gotten the best of me and nearly made me cave in and get a stand mixer. Let's face it, some things you just can't pull off without one. I used to think homemade royal frosting was one of those things, but for the first time this holiday season, I made royal frosting from scratch using only a mixing bowl and my trusty dinner fork. It turned out so smooth, creamy, and so delicious. As you can see in the picture above, it piped out perfectly (regardless of my lack of decorating skills). It was smooth enough to come right out of the decorating tip, though it was sturdy enough to hold up. I truly think this recipe has the perfect consistency for decorating cakes and cupcakes, while the flavor wasn't too sweet compared to store-bought cakes. I usually don't like royal frosting from a bakery, though I can't get butter cream as my little munchkins can't have dairy. I tend to go with an artificial "creamy" or "home-style" prepackaged frosting as a compromise, but now I'll just whip up my own with this recipe! I also prefer it, because it's less than half the cost of store-bought frosting.

You could also use this recipe with a mixer if you like. You can also switch up the flavors. I made mine for a cranberry spice cake, so I added ground cinnamon and maple flavoring. If you want to make it chocolate, swap out at least a cup of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder. You could even fold in some citrus zest. How yummy would a lemon ginger or dark chocolate frosting be? It's so easy to make amazing desserts if you simply start with these basic recipes then get a little creative.

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups shortening melted
  • 1/4 cup milk (or dairy-free option)
  • about 6 tbs cold water
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring

  1. Pop the shortening into the microwave for about a minute to get it melting.It doesn't have to be melted to 100% liquid, but it should be nearly to the point of completely melted.
  2. Measure the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to quickly sift the sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla and shortening to the sugar and stir until thoroughly combined then start adding the water by the tablespoon to thin it out and to help cool it down before you add the milk.
  4. Whisk in the milk and store in the fridge.

I should warn you this recipe makes a lot, so if you just need to frost a batch of cupcakes, you may want to cut the recipe in half. *Note: It is for frosting cakes and cupcakes, not for piping designs onto sugar cookies. Enjoy!

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