Pin Up Girls: A fudge recipe flops, low-budget laundry success

Pin Up Girls

Tessa:

You know that saying, “leave well enough alone”?

I should try that some time.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a pin that seemed too good to be true: make cake batter fudge in only 10 minutes and with four ingredients.

I’m in.

All you need is a cup of yellow cake mix, a cup of confectioners’ sugar, half a stick of butter and a quarter cup of milk.

And the best part? You microwave it. No actual effort required!

Mix the cake mix and sugar together in a microwave safe bowl, then add the butter and milk. Don’t mix it, just stick it in the microwave for two minutes.

After microwaving, you stir it all together. It looks like a bowl of yellow goo, but it’s delicious yellow goo.

I threw in a few sprinkles and poured it into a long, flat plastic container. After setting over night, it was good to go.

The fudge only lasted about an hour at the Herald office. So, it must have been really good, or everyone was just eating the free food because it was there. But they definitely didn’t eat it to flatter me.

One note after my first go around: remember to coat your container with something non-stick. I only made that mistake once.

Since it was such a big hit the first time I gave it a second whirl about a week ago. That was a mistake.

This time I had just enough cake mix for double the fudge. I just assumed that if I doubled everything else, I’d have another perfect batch on my hands.

Whoops.

I microwaved for two minutes and mixed the batter all up. It looked and smelled the same. It wasn’t until two days later when it was still only a semi-firm goop did I realize that I’d messed up.

I’m trying to look at the bright side, though. No, I can’t cut the fudge and share it. But you know what I can do? Eat it with a spoon during my rare free time. After all, it tastes the same.

Caitlin:

I’m on a budget, as are most college students. I sometimes joke that the only reason I’m graduating early is because I’m out of money.

Thanks to Pinterest, we all have access to how to make homemade, well, everything.

And I’m sure there are people that would never dream of purchasing anything but the most expensive laundry detergent on the shelf — because it’s obviously the best.

Wrong.

I searched “homemade laundry detergent” for a few weeks before I landed on the perfect recipe. It was called “No-Grate Homemade Laundry Detergent,” and it had my name written all over it.

Many other recipes call for buying soap, grating it into tiny pieces then cooking it on the stove. They also require huge pots, 5-gallon buckets and way too much effort.

This one requires only:

3 Tablespoons of Borax

3 Tablespoons of Washing Soda

2 Tablespoons of Dawn

All three ingredients are in the same aisle, making shopping super easy. For me, the hardest part was choosing a scent of Dawn. (Dawn is known for cutting through grease and oil, so I’d go with name brand on this.)

I rinsed out my old laundry jug, put in the ingredients and added four cups of boiling water (use a funnel!). Swish them around to mix them together — it’s a very technical process — and let the whole thing cool.

After it’s room temperature, add water to it straight from the faucet. Bubbles will run over, but try not to let too much of the actual detergent flow over.

That’s it! You’re done. It does require you to use a little more, I use two capfuls, but you’ll have the ingredients left for months.

My clothes are still wonderfully clean, I hand-picked the way they smell, and it will probably be 2013 before I need to buy more Borax.