Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • The Best Chocolate Layer Cake You'll Ever Make

    Chocolate Layer CakeNothing says "celebration" like frosted chocolate layers-which may be the reason this cake has reappeared in Good Housekeeping countless times since 1927 (including a 1984 version made with mayo!). To contemporize this classic, we ramped up the richness: The frosting's flavor is more intensely chocolatey, thanks to a one-two combo of cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate.

    Serves: 16
    Total Time: 1 hr 15 min

    Related: 20 Irresistible Chocolate Desserts

    Ingredients:
    Cake Layers
    - 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
    - 1 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
    - 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
    - 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
    - 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
    - 1 cup(s) packed brown sugar
    - 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
    - 3 large eggs
    - 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
    - 1 1/2 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk

    Frosting
    - 1/3 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
    - 1/3 cup(s) boiling water
    - 1 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
    - 2 tablespoon(s) confectioners' sugar
    - 12

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  • 12 Things You Didn't Know About Bug Bites

    Bug BitesProtect yourself from critters like bees, wasps, ticks, spiders, and bedbugs. And learn what to do when a skin-piercing bug attacks.

    1. Clothes and perfume matter
    "If you make yourself smell like a flower, the bees will come to you," says Grayson Brown, PhD, director of the public health entomology laboratory at the University of Kentucky and past president of the Entomological Society of America. He also recommends wearing white when spending time outdoors because insects have a hard time seeing that color, he says. (Think of beekeeper suits.) Another reason to go light: You can spot what lands on you, adds Rosmarie Kelly, PhD, a public health entomologist at the Georgia Department of Public Health.

    2. All spiders are venomous...
    But they're unlikely to severely harm humans unless you're allergic. "Most of them can't produce enough venom, or their jaws are not strong enough to pierce human skin," says Brown. As long as a spider doesn't feel vulnerable, it won't want to

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  • The Ultimate Zucchini Recipe (And No It's Not Zucchini Bread)

    Greek-Style Stuffed Zucchini with TomatoesThis easy and healthy dinner for two is ready fast, in just over 30 minutes. Season lean ground beef with Greek spices, and use it to stuff zucchini halves. Zucchini is best and most abundant in late spring and summer.

    Serves: 2
    Yields: 2 main-dish servings
    Total Time: 33 min
    Prep Time: 22 min

    Related: 14 Delicious Zucchini Recipes

    Ingredients:
    - 1 cup(s) water
    - 1/2 cup(s) bulgur
    - 2 large (8 to 10 ounces each) zucchini
    - 3 teaspoon(s) olive oil
    - 1 medium (6 to 8 ounces) oinion, finely chopped
    - 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
    - 1/8 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
    - 1/2 pound(s) 90% lean ground beef
    - 1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
    - 1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    - Salt
    - Pepper
    - 1/4 cup(s) fresh mint leaves, chopped
    - 1 pint(s) grape tomatoes

    Related: Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes for Summer

    Directions:
    1. Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler. Line 18 inch

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  • Alcohol-Infused Fruit, 3 Ways

    Boozy FruitDig into happy hour tonight! Booze-soaked fruit is the perfect after-hours treat for unwinding with friends or (grownup) family and it couldn't be easier to pull together. Our 3 favorite boozy fruit recipes can be made 1 hour ahead for an instant party...or up to 1 day ahead if you'd like to pack 'em up for a hot day at the beach or park. Grab a pack of party toothpicks if you have time, like the Jewel Tone Puff Picks from Party City, or make your own like we did for the Spiced Rum-Soaked Pineapple recipe below. Either way, these adults-only snacks are dripping with retro charm.

    1. Tequila-soaked watermelon with basil and salt

    Serves: 10 to 12

    Ingredients:

    - 1 watermelon, sliced into wedges

    - 4 to 5 cups good-quality tequila

    - 1/4 cup salt

    - 1/4 cup packed basil leaves

    Directions:
    1. Arrange the watermelon in shallow baking dishes. Pour tequila over watermelon, cover and chill, turning once, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

    2. Meanwhile, pulse the salt and basil

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  • Love Creamsicles? Try This Frozen Fruit Tart

    With melt-in-your mouth filling that blends low-fat vanilla ice cream and mango sorbet, this tempting tart recalls the straight-from-childhood taste of a Creamsicle. The fast, fuss-free topping: a no-cook combo of nutritious nectarines, plums, and raspberries.

    Serves:
    8
    Total Time: 50 min
    Prep Time: 30 min
    Cook Time: 20 min
    Oven Temp: 350 degrees

    Related: 10 Summertime Strawberry Recipes

    Ingredients:
    - 8 (5" by 2 1/2" each) graham crackers
    - 2 tablespoon(s) whole natural almonds
    - 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
    - 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
    - 1 tablespoon(s) honey
    - 2 teaspoon(s) water
    - 1 1/2 cup(s) light vanilla ice cream, such as slow or double-churned
    - 1 1/2 cup(s) mango or passion fruit sorbet
    - 3 ripe nectarines, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
    - 2 ripe plums, each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
    - 1 cup(s) raspberries

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare crust: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add whole

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  • This Body Lotion is Best $10 You'll Spend

    AveenoHope in a jar? Not our Anti-Aging Award winners! They're proven workhorses - the creams of the crop from our nearly yearlong study involving almost 1,000 volunteers, 2,000 questionnaires, and 25,000-plus lab measurements. Here, 3 winners that won't break the bank.

    1. A real deal, Aveeno Positively Ageless Skin Strengthening Body Cream ($10 for 7.3 oz.) gave our first-place finisher a run for its money, tying with it in lab tests. At home, women raved about its soft scent and nongreasy feel. "I liked the smell, the way it absorbed, and how soft it kept my skin," shared a panelist. While testers rated its anti-aging effect as only fair, one noted, "The skin on the upper part of my torso has become firmer and younger-looking."

    To cut costs, use an anti-aging lotion on your biggest area of concern (arms, legs, or chest) and a plain moisturizer for areas that are simply dry.

    Related: Stamp Out Shine - For Good

    2. Trumping the competition for facial moisturizer with SPF 30,

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  • 6 Mistakes You Make Using Your Blender

    Take your finger off the controls! You may not be getting the best performance out of your blender, if you're not following these insider tips. Whether you're whipping up a healthy smoothie or an indulgent summer cocktail, our top advice will help you get better results, save on cleanup time, and prolong the life of your appliance.

    Related: 7 New Ways to Use Your Blender

    Mistake #1: Pouring liquids in last
    Place liquid ingredients in the jar first, followed by the rest of the ingredients. The vortex created by blending the liquids will pull the solids down, making sure you get even blending.

    Mistake #2: Leaving the lid on when blending hot liquids
    When blending a hot mixture, remove the filler cap from the cover to reduce steam buildup and avoid spurting.

    Mistake #3: Over-chopping
    For best results when chopping, use the Pulse feature to prevent over processing.

    Related: The Best Blenders of 2013

    Mistake #4: Neglecting to stir
    For better results, or if blender has

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  • Why You Hiccup (and 6 Other Things Your Body is Telling You)

    Why You HiccupBurps, hiccups and gas - sometimes your body seems bent on embarrassing you! Here, a guide to understanding what is causing these little annoyances and what you can do about it.

    In most cases, you may want to leave Mother Nature alone. "There are things your body automatically does that are very cool and helpful," says Michelle S. Barratt, MD, MPH professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. But pay attention to unusual frequency, says Gary Rogg, MD, assistant director of internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and assistant professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The time to really look into it is if it's something that's persistent day after day or week after week."

    Farting
    "Some of the foods that are poorly digested by us, but are loved by our colonic bacteria, form a lot of gas," says Adam Cifu, MD, professor of general medicine at the University of Chicago and co-author of the textbook

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  • Cut the Calories in Brownies in Half!

    BrowniesThe rich texture and chocolatey goodness of these bake sale favorites speak of decadence, but compare each square's 95 calories, 3 grams of fat, and zero cholesterol to a regular brownie's doubly high calories, nearly quadrupled fat, and 60 milligrams of cholesterol, and you'll feel virtuous (and satisfied). Our cheats? Swapping nonfat cocoa for chocolate, and cholesterol-free spread for not-so-heart-healthy butter.

    Yields: 16 Brownies
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Oven Temp: 350 degrees


    Related:
    8 Shocking Ways Sugar Sneaks Into Your Diet

    Ingredients:
    - 1 teaspoon(s) instant coffee powder or granules
    - 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
    - 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
    - 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    - 1 cup(s) sugar
    - 1/4 cup(s) trans-fat free vegetable oil spread (60% to 70% oil)
    - 3 large egg whites

    Related: 15 Slimming Superfoods That Will Help You Lose Weight

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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  • Cheesecake + Peanut Butter Cups = the Most Decadent Dessert EVER

    Peanut Butter Cup CheesecakeThis recipe is a creamy, rich, and decadent peanut butter lovers dream. Garnish the cheesecake with halved peanut butter cups for an extra wow-factor.

    Total Time: 1 hr 55 min
    Prep Time: 35 min
    Oven Temp: 350 degrees
    Yields: 16

    Ingredients:
    Crust
    - 6 tablespoons(s) butter, melted, plus more for pan
    - 1 1/2 cup(s) graham cracker crumbs
    - 1/4 cup(s) finely crushed chocolate sandwich-cookie crumbs
    - 1/4 cup(s) sugar
    - 3/4 cup(s) creamy peanut butter

    Related: 12 Delicious Peanut Butter Desserts

    Cheesecake
    - 3 package(s) (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
    - 1 cup(s) sugar
    - 1 cup(s) sour cream
    - 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
    - 3 (large) eggs, lightly beaten
    - 1 cup(s) hot fudge ice cream topping
    - Peanut butter cups, cut into halves

    Directions:
    1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush 9-inch springform pan with melted butter. In large bowl, mix all crumbs, sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 10 minutes or

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