Renuzit Captures ‘Home’ with Fresh Baked Aromas, PLUS my Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries

On July 26, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Have you ever eaten Red Velvet Cake?  Or baked one?  As a Midwestern girl, who has been baking for more than 40 years, you would think that I would have run across one.  But yesterday, I baked,  and tasted, my very first.  I read websites and recipes that claimed Red Velvet Cake for “the south”, [...]

Have you ever eaten Red Velvet Cake?  Or baked one?  As a Midwestern girl, who has been baking for more than 40 years, you would think that I would have run across one.  But yesterday, I baked,  and tasted, my very first.  I read websites and recipes that claimed Red Velvet Cake for “the south”, but then there were some northern-folk who felt that their formula was probably the original.  I never did discover where the idea actually started, but after a little research, their was no question people felt very personally attached to the memories Red Velvet Cake evoked and the recipes are handed down in families like a precious heirloom.  Interestingly, they all come with their variations and quirks, making each unique and a custom creation.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, I took bits and pieces from the different recipes I found and baked one for myself, which I think probably turned out to be pretty traditional, other than the fruity twist.

Renuzit recipe challenge cake

Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries

 

cake slice

Isn't it gorgeous! This would be so pretty at Christmas time or add some blueberries to the raspberries and it would be perfect for the Fourth of July!

My interest was first piqued with the idea of baking a Red Velvet Cake, because of the new air freshener scents I received from Renuzit, this week — Chocolate Covered Cherries and Red Velvet Cake.  I have shared with with you, before, how strongly I feel about certain scents and fragrances, (whether it be in laundry detergent, dish soap or air fresheners), to create a mood or set the tone in a home. Memories and experiences just seem to be so vivid and fresh when they are evoked by a smell that takes you back to the moment you experienced it.  In my childhood, Chocolate Covered Cherries were the ultimate delicacy and the gift my dad received for every birthday, Father’s Day and Christmas.  They were one of his favorites and if we were allowed to sample one — well that was just next to heaven.  :)  Cakes and cookies baking were common scents in our home, growing up, and a memory that I have spent years recreating for our own kids.  I so enjoy being in the kitchen and expressing my love for my family through the foods I create for them there.  Nothing is so welcoming, comforting and homey as a house filled with the smells of baking.  These new Renuzit fragrances capture those warm, welcoming memories in deliciously extravagant scents.  Check out Renuzit’s Facebook page to hear even more about their Tempting Indulgences air fresheners. You’re going to love them!    And, when you smell them, and see these pictures, you’re going to want to eat Red Velvet Cake, too!  But, I want to tweak this recipe some more.  You can read about it in my notes, below.  I just want it to be PERFECT for you and I don’t think it’s there, yet!  Not a baking-fail, per se, but not yet, special.  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, check out what I did and these gorgeous pictures!

Red Velvet Renuzit

It's amazing! The air freshener smells exactly like the cake I baked. It's uncanny how they can create those fragrances!

 

Since baking happens at our house on a very regular basis, I had nearly everything, on hand, that I needed to whip up a Red Velvet Cake; but, I was out of buttermilk.  I decided to make a quick run to Walmart to get some and to grab a couple ingredients for some other recipes that were swirling and gelling in my brain over the last couple of days.  It was going to be a quick “in and out”, so I did a very dangerous thing.  (Insert crazy, sinister, oh no, not that, music here.)  dun–dun–dun–  I went in without a list!  Please, do not try this at home!  A trained professional navigated the store, without a list, and still came home with items not needed and neglected to purchase things they were planning to get.  Actual dings were put in the budget in the making of this list-free shopping trip, both at the store and in the needed gas to repeat the trip for the unpurchased items.  This is never a good idea for the family budget.  So, don’t follow my bad example.  Always shop with a list.  :)  If you want to see my entire shopping trip, check out my Google+ album.

buttermilk powder

Buttermilk. The original reason for entering the store and necessary for my cake. I bake with it often enough to need to keep it on hand, but not often enough to go through fresh buttermilk, every week. This powdered buttermilk is a fantastic option for me and always handy in the baking aisle.

 

air fresheners

I buzzed the air fresheners and end caps at our local Walmart to see if they were stocking the "yummy" new Renuzit scents. Not yet. :(

Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries

Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries

If making this recipe, again, I would eliminate the vinegar and baking powder, (even though every Red Velvet recipe I found did use them.), increasing the baking soda to 2 teaspoons. Activating the baking soda with the vinegar, rendered it useless as a leavening agent, and seemed to contribute to the dryness of the cake. I prefer baking soda to baking powder in cakes, as I prefer very moist, dense cake. Baking powder creates more of a dry, airy, "box-cake crumb", in my opinion. I would also add an extra 1/2 cup butter, another 1/4 cup of cocoa and 3/4 cup of boiling water, as well as using all-purpose, instead of cake flour. . -- lol -- So basically, I would rewrite the recipe, again, and it would be nothing like a traditional Red Velvet Cake, but it WOULD be gorgeously red PLUS stupendously delicious. Once I have a chance to test those changes, and be better satisfied with the result, I will update this post with the new measurements.

Ingredients

    for the Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 oz. red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • for the Frosting
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • for decorating and garnish
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour 3 eight-inch pans or 2 nine-inch pans.
  2. Sift cake flour into a bowl. Add cocoa, baking powder and salt to flour.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar.
  5. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then add the vanilla and food coloring.
  6. Add 1/3 of dry ingredient mixture.
  7. Mix in 1/2 of buttermilk.
  8. Add 1/3 dry ingredients.
  9. Last half of buttermilk.
  10. Last 1/3 of dry ingredients.
  11. Mix baking soda and vinegar together in a small bowl and quickly stir the mixture into your cake batter.
  12. Divide batter, evenly, between prepared pans.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (May need up to 30 for 9 inch pans)
  14. Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean.
  15. Cool, in the pans, on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to finish cooling completely.
  16. Use your favorite cream cheese icing to assemble the layers and frost the cake.
  17. Decorate with raspberries and mint leaves.
  18. Enjoy!
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I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Renuzit.  As with  all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.  #TemptYourSenses #CBias #SocialFabric  

Spice Up Your Home at the Holidays with Gain’s Apple Mango Tango! : Review & Giveaway

On November 15, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

This Giveaway is now Closed. Congratulations, Trisha, #320! Fragrance is powerful when it comes to creating a mood in our homes.  This is never more important than when our home will be filled with family and friends.  Adding to your home’s decor, the perfect fragrance can create a sense of welcome, homeyness and festivity.  Gain’s [...]

This Giveaway is now Closed.

Congratulations, Trisha, #320!

Fragrance is powerful when it comes to creating a mood in our homes.  This is never more important than when our home will be filled with family and friends.  Adding to your home’s decor, the perfect fragrance can create a sense of welcome, homeyness and festivity.  Gain’s Apple Mango Tango fragranced products for your home can be an inviting part of your home’s “aroma profile” over the holidays.  The  sweet, fruity, musky fragrance blends so well with all the other smells that waft through our homes at the holidays.

Four fabulous Apple Mango Tango products from Gain.

I reviewed Gain’s Fresh & Clean line back in October, when I told you about my experiences with the Original Fresh Scent.  I have had the good fortune, in preparing for our A Homemade Holiday series, to review another fragrance from this quality line of products, Apple Mango Tango.  Not only did I enjoy the same quality cleaning power; I had truly enjoyed the distinctive fragrance and the ability to experience it throughout our home.

I received Gain’s Apple Mango Tango High Efficiency liquid laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and Febreze Fabric Refresher, to test and try so that I could complete this review.  Now that I am using a high efficiency washing machine, I appreciated the opportunity to get such deep, inviting fragrance using only a small measure of detergent.  The aroma of both the detergent and fabric softener fill the laundry room and hallway with each load I wash and a happy surprise, unlike the Original Fresh scent, I find that Apple Mango Tango fabric softener leaves my laundry lightly scented, even after drying.  The clothes smell wonderful and the house smells great!  It takes a lot of the drudgery out of chores when the smells that come from doing them leave your home fresh and inviting and your spirit uplifted.

The results were no different in the kitchen.  Gain’s Apple Mango Tango dishwashing liquid, not only cleaned my dishes, it sent a pleasing scent throughout the kitchen, family room and dining room.  It didn’t hurt that I had also freshened the upholstery of the sofa and chairs with Febreze Fabric refresher in the Apple Mango Tango Scent, too.  I love that the fragrance is consistent through the entire house as daily chores are completed.  Apple Mango Tango puts me in the mind of fall and festivities, the smells of holiday baking and the comfort of family gatherings.  Those are good feelings to have as we work to be stewards of our homes and serve the ones we are blessed to love and to have love us back.

If you haven’t experienced  the profound effects of fragrance on your mood and motivation, I suggest you start with Gain’s Apple Mango Tango products.  I have truly enjoyed them as a part of my daily responsibilities and you can find them right now, in all your favorite grocery and discount stores!

I have some great news for all of you trying to create an awesome homemade holiday season with me!  Gain is going to provide the same Apple Mango Tango product pack to a Busy-at-Home reader!  The winner will receive liquid laundry detergent, liquid fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and Febreze Fabric Refresher.

Giveaway Rules:

You must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S. to enter.  Deadline to register is midnight (CST) Sunday, December 5, 2010.  Mandatory entry must be completed for any optional entries to be counted.

Mandatory Entry:

In a comment below, tell me what fragrance profile is your favorite for the holidays?  What aromas and smells do you use to make your home feel festive and inviting?  That’s it!  Once this is complete, you are welcome to submit any optional entries that you choose, as well.

Additional Optional Entries:

  1. Like Gain on Facebook.  Leave a comment below with your Facebook name to let me know you’ve done it.
  2. Follow Gain on Twitter.  Leave a comment below with your Twitter handle to let me know you’ve done it.
  3. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment with your Twitter handle letting me know you’ve done it.
  4. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment with your Facebook name letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect.  You can use this link or click the join button in our right-hand sidebar.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  6. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  7. Post this giveaway on your Facebook pageI’m entered to win an Apple Mango Tango gift set from Gain and Busy-at-Home http://busy-at-home.com/blog/spice-up-your-home-at-the-holidays-with-gains-apple-mango-tango-review-giveaway/ Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
  8. Tweet this giveaway. (one x daily). I’m entered to win an Apple Mango Tango gift set from @Gain and @busyathome
    http://ow.ly/3aegx  #giveaway #review #win
    Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.

Budget-Conscious Pampering: Suave Naturals Body Care

On October 19, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

This giveaway is closed.  And the winner is #171 – Kim! Who wouldn’t love the total spa experience, with its body- and soul-pampering treatments, aroma therapy fragrances and relaxing atmosphere?  It sounds like a dream escape from those difficult days that wear us down.  In my case, with the commitment we’ve made to single-income living [...]

This giveaway is closed.  And the winner is #171 – Kim!

Who wouldn’t love the total spa experience, with its body- and soul-pampering treatments, aroma therapy fragrances and relaxing atmosphere?  It sounds like a dream escape from those difficult days that wear us down.  In my case, with the commitment we’ve made to single-income living and a frugal budget, a dream is ALL it is.  In today’s economy, I’m guessing that fits most of you, as well.  Well, a day at the spa may not fit our lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean we have to forgo some of the wonderfully pampering and luxurious relaxing moments that can be experienced there.

Suave has added three new fragrances to their Naturals line, which, until now, had included seven varieties of body wash  and 12 shampoo and conditioners.  The new fragrances are showcased in three lovely body washes and body lotions.  I recently had the great good fortune to try both the Suave Naturals Body Wash and the Suave Naturals Body Lotion in the Lavender Vanilla fragrance.  It is heavenly!

I love lavender essential oil for promoting relaxation and reducing nervous tension.  For me, the fragrance stimulates the feeling of crisp, clean freshness while soothing away aches and tiredness.  It doesn’t really matter how the fragrance is delivered, just smelling it, begins the therapeutic effects for me.

Suave Naturals Lavender Vanilla Body Wash instantly floods the entire bathroom with the sweet fragrances of lavender and vanilla.  Coupled with the warm, waterfall of the shower, this luxurious body wash created  rich, Vitamin E infused lather and helped to leave my skin soft and clean while rinsing away the stresses of the day.  I also liked that, unlike other brands of body wash, a slight fragrance remained on my skin, even after the shower was over.

Suave Naturals Lavender Vanilla Body Lotion has climbed to the top of my list of absolute favorites.  I am VERY picky when it comes to lotion.  I don’t like sticky.  I don’t like a heavy, greasy film left on my skin; and I definitely want my skin to feel smooth and moisture-infused.  This beautifully fragranced lotion delivers on all counts!  The lotion is thick and creamy, and yet, as I smoothed it into my skin, it felt as though cool water was being absorbed into my cells.  I could literally FEEL the hydration!  Fabulous!

I’m absolutely sold on these new Suave Naturals Body Care products.  They clean, moisturize and pamper body and soul; and they’re gentle on my budget!  Depending on where you shop, you should be able to find both products for around $4 each or even less!  And to help you save even more on those already affordable prices, you can visit the Suave website to register for their coupons and specials newsletter and receive a $1 coupon off a Suave Naturals Body Lotion!

Whether you are shopping for yourself or planning gifts for the upcoming holidays, Suave Naturals Body Care products are fragrant, frugal and fabulously luxurious!  Create a pampering spa experience at home with these inviting products.

The Giveaway!!

Suave, through Mom Spark Media, will be providing a Suave Naturals Body Wash and Body Lotion for a lucky Busy-at-Home reader!  The winner will select their choice from these three fragrances: Lavender Vanilla, Wild Cherry Blossom or Mango Mandarin!  What a great opportunity!

The Rules:

You must be 18 or older and a U.S. resident to register.  You must complete the mandatory entry for any optional entries to be counted.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org, at midnight on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

Mandatory Entry:

Which of the three new fragrances would you love to try?  Leave a comment below to tell me and to be entered in the drawing.

(Some of you may note a change in the required entry.  This was required by the sponsor and will not affect entries made prior to the change.  All entries will be counted.  Thanks!)

Optional Additional Entries:

  1. Follow Suave on Twitter Leave a comment below with your Twitter ID and letting me know you are following them.
  2. Visit the Suave website and register to receive the $1 coupon for Suave Naturals Body Lotion.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  3. Follow Suave on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  4. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  6. Tweet this giveaway (can be done 1x per day)  I’m entered to win Suave Naturals Body Wash and Body Lotion @suavebeauty @busyathome  http://busy-at-home.com/blog/flames-and-wicks-candles-review-and-giveaway/ #giveaway #review
  7. Subscribe to Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.

I received a Suave Naturals Lavender Vanilla Body Wash and Body Lotion from Suave, through Mom Spark Media, in order to conduct this review.  A positive review was not required and no monetary compensation was received.  As always, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.

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