12 Things to Do with Fruitcake (Besides Eat It)

Ahhh fruitcake. No one seems to want it, yet thousands find themselves with the questionable substance in their possession every year around the holidays. If you’re unable to muster up enough courage to force the cake down, we have a few ideas regarding alternative methods to put the undesirable baked good to use.

  1. Pass it off

    12 Things to Do with Fruitcake (Besides Eat It)

    Hello regifting. Such a classic and easy way to get rid of anything that you don’t want. Why trash the fruit-studded, alcohol infused stuff when you can force it upon some unsuspecting, innocent soul?

  2. Sit pretty

    Is your face a little too close to the tabletop? Place a loaf of fruitcake on your chair before taking a seat. Problem solved. If you’re feeling extra bold take your fruitcake along with you to the theater. You never know when a NBA retiree is going to plop down right in front of you. (We recommend hiding the cake in your purse or satchel upon entrance.)

  3. Build those muscles

    12 Things to Do with Fruitcake (Besides Eat It)

    So maybe you ate 94 too many cookies. Turn that arm flab into fab by doing a handful of fruitcake lifting reps each day. Bonus points if your fruitcake contains nuts. They add some weight!

  4. Fuel the fire

    You don’t need to be a boyscout to get a cozy fire going. Simply chuck your alcohol soaked fruitcake in the fireplace, strike a match, and you’re set. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.

  5. Step up

    Are you a little too short? In addition to using your fruitcake as a booster seat, fruitcake can be utilized as a step stool in order to reach the highest shelf and finally see for yourself just how much dust has collected on top of your refrigerator. The abominable snowman won’t be needed to top your tree either.

  6. Play fetch

    12 Things to Do with Fruitcake (Besides Eat It)

    Fido managed to lose his tennis ball. Again. Not to worry, toss your fruitcake in the backyard and he’ll surely retrieve it… maybe. Or better yet, he’ll bury it in the neighbor’s yard.

  7. Defense

    Often times burglars take advantage of the holiday season when tempting gifts are lying around everywhere. If you happen to catch an intruder sneaking around, bop him atop the head with that dense fruitcake then call the cops. You should have a bit of time before he comes to… fruitcake can be pretty hefty.

  8. Drop anchor

    Find yourself drifting off at sea? Whip out your fruitcake and use that (somewhat) edible brick as an anchor. The fish probably won’t even touch it. Otherwise we would recommend using it as bait.

  9. For the birds

    12 Things to Do with Fruitcake (Besides Eat It)

    Why waste perfectly good plain bread crumbs on the birds when you can toss them fruitcake that you’ve been trying to get rid of for years? Birds probably get tired of regular ole bread anyway. It’s a win win situation so go ahead and pat yourself on the back and make some new feathered friends… or foe.

  10. Book it

    Perhaps your bookshelf has a little extra room and your scandelous murder mysteries won’t stay standing. Simply shove that fruitcake in there and you’ve got a DIY bookend. How resourceful.

  11. Let’s talk about it

    If anything fruitcake is an excellent converstaion starter. Perhaps you’re stuck next to Great Aunt Sally at some holiday party and have literally nothing to say. But wait! You can certainly bond over how vile fruitcake is. There is only a .0037% chance Great Aunt Sally actually enjoys the stuff, so you should be safe.

  12. Take a load off

    You’ve had a long day, so naturally the couch is where you end up. Prop your feet up on a loaf of fruitcake for ultimate relaxation.

 

Are you somewhat intrigued? Bake up a fruitcake for yourself and give it a try. Who knows, you might end up taking a fancy to the holiday cake… it is soaked in alcohol, so how bad can it really be?

 

See more holiday recipes over here.

Recipe collectors, save recipes from your favorite websites!

BigOven’s Recipe Clipper is the simplest way to save the recipes you want from all over the web and then use them to make grocery lists, menu plans and more.  Today, we’re pleased to release a handy way to search clipper-compatible sites from our website and within the free BigOven apps.

Easily build your recipe collection by clipping!

Clipping recipes is one of four easy ways to get your recipes into BigOven. Here’s how:

From the BigOven iOS or Android apps

  1. Click your My Recipes area (the cookbook icon)
  2. Click the + in the upper right corner
  3. Choose “Recipe Clipper”
  4. Under “Find a recipe”, type your search term
  5. Tap on the recipe you’d like to save (this will navigate to it in the app’s browser)
  6. Click “Save Recipe” in the lower right

From the BigOven.com website

  1. From the "Add Recipe" page
    From the “Add Recipe” page

    Choose “Add Recipe” from the navigation bar (“…” when signed in)

  2. Choose “Clip it from any recipe site”
  3. Drag the “Save to BigOven” button to your browser’s “favorites” bar if you haven’t done so
  4. Scroll down on the page (www.bigoven.com/clipper) to see the search box
  5. Enter your search term, and visit the page
  6. Click the “Save to BigOven” button on your favorites bar

Recipes you add to BigOven are automatically synchronized for you and available in the iPhone, iPad and Android apps, as well as on the web.

While there are a myriad of other ways to organize your recipes online such as Pinterest and Evernote, only BigOven gives you:

  • a synchronized recipe box that works across iPhone, Android, the web and more,
  • an easy way to add recipes by snapping a photo,
  • an easy way to make recipes into grocery lists,
  • menu plans,
  • recipe resizing
  • nutrition tools
  • …and much more.

Grab BigOven’s Recipe Clipper today, drag and drop it onto your favorites bar, and start clipping!

Comparing Recipe Organization Options

Are you a recipe collector? There are plenty of options for storing recipes you find on the Internet; a frequent question we get here at BigOven is how we compare to all the other ways of storing and finding recipes.

The short answer is that BigOven is a complete recipe, grocery list and menu planning system for home cooks. It doesn’t treat your recipes as a general “document”, it treats it as a structured recipe, with an ingredients section, an instructions section, nutrition information, images and more. BigOven brings your recipes to you — whether it be at the grocery store, kitchen counter, on vacation, or your living room sofa. Companion apps for iPhone, Android device, iPad provide full functionality, as does your web browser. Items added or changed on one device show up on the other devices, reflecting the changes you’ve made. You can easily add or remove recipes from your grocery list. You can resize recipes up or down. You can even invite members of your household to share and edit your grocery list and menu plan.

Alernative Ways to Organize Recipes

The three basic options we’ve seen people use are:

  • Pinning sites (e.g., Pinterest)
  • Document organizers (e.g., Google Docs, OneNote or Evernote)
  • Dedicated recipe apps (e.g., BigOven)

While pinning sites and document managers are usually simple and free, the disadvantage of these approaches is that they don’t really know it’s a recipe. As a result, they don’t let you easily resize it up or down, don’t let you add it to a grocery list (and have items automatically sorted by aisle for you), they don’t let you see nutritional information, they don’t let you convert it to or from metric, don’t consolidate ratings very easily, and many other features.

Option Notes Pros/Cons
Pinning sites: (e.g., Pinterest) See a recipe on the Internet? Pin it for a handy reference. You can search your recipes later. Easy to use Can't create a grocery list Can't create a menu plan Can't resize recipes Can't convert to metric Can't search excluding ingredients Can't calculate nutrition
Notes apps: (e.g., Evernote, OneNote or Google Docs) Easily paste in recipe documents. They're optimized for general document search. They don't know it's a recipe and it isn't structured as such. Easy to paste in images and complete copies of the original recipe. While they have good simple search, you can't do a structured search like "all my recipes that have chicken but don't have mustard in the ingredients list" Generally sync documents across devices Can't create a grocery list Can't create a menu plan Can't resize recipes Can't convert to metric Can't search excluding ingredients Can't calculate nutrition
Dedicated Recipe Organizers (e.g., BigOven) Built for recipes, grocery shopping and menu planning. Sync your grocery list within a household; add recipes to the grocery list or menu plan. It's a free service for up to 50 recipes, but more recipes than that requires BigOven Pro.

What sets BigOven apart is that we make the entire process of searching, making a grocery list, resizing recipes, and planning a menu simple, from start to finish. BigOven is a home cooking app designed by home cooks. We wanted it to be simple to use, and synchronize your recipe box, recipe folders, menu plan, grocery list and more available to you wherever you need it.

 

Bring On the Sugar

Hot Chocolate Pudding
Hot Chocolate Pudding

 

Why hold back?

Starting January 1st, you can drink all the green juice you want until Valentine’s Day hits.

Meanwhile, have some sugar.

All the sugar.

 

Holiday Sweets:

Treat yourself. And everyone else around you. It’s the holidays after all.

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Why wouldn’t you want to smoosh your thumb into cookie dough over and over again?

Sugar Cookie Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

These impressive treats will disappear fast. Serve with tall glasses of milk.

Apple Crumb Cake

For when you need a break from cookies.

 

More Holiday Sweets:

Can’t stop won’t stop.

Slice ‘n’ Bake Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

These cute cookies are especially festive.

Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

A sophisticated dessert that you’ll want to eat for breakfast.

Butter Pecan Frosted Fudge Brownies

Sometimes regular brownies just won’t do. Add even more sugar, and your problem is solved.

 

Alcohol Infused Desserts:

You’re already noshing on sugar, so you might as well add a few splashes of booze.

Vanilla Cognac Crepes

Stuff these delicate crepes with your favorite filling. Fresh whipped cream is always a good choice, but you can’t go wrong with ice cream.

Boozy Coconut Cream Pie

Light like a cloud, with an extra something something.

Red Wine Poached Pears

A sophisticated (and somewhat healthy) way to get a little tipsy. Count us in!

 

Craving even more sugar? We’ve got you covered.

 

Yummy Homemade Holiday Gifts

Coconut Macadamia Nut Granola
Coconut Macadamia Nut Granola

 

Wrap these gifts quick!

Before you accidentally eat them.

No matter how carefully you unwrap then rewrap, someone’s going to find out.

 

Cookies:

It’s hard to beat homemade cookies! As we all know, something special happens when sugar and butter join forces.

Icebox Shortbread

These sturdy beauties ship well, so go ahead and send your second grade pen pal a big box of holiday joy. Fold in your favorite dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate for some extra pizzaz.

Chocolate Crinkles

Perfect for all of those chocolate lovers out there. Recommended serving size = at least 5.

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Healthy enough for breakfast. Kind of. Serve with tea or coffee… or hot chocolate because why the heck not.

 

Candy:

Cookies are nice, but candy is slightly more impressive. If you’re the indecisive sort, no one’s stopping you from making both…

Peppermint Marshmallows

Float a couple of these bad boys in a rich cup of hot chocolate. Or whip up a festive wintertime s’more! The opportunities are nearly endless.

Soft Caramels

Impressive and delicious. Politely encourage chatty Aunt Phyllis to chew on a couple of these when you need a few moments of silence. You’ll both appreciate it.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Take out all of your holiday related stress on those candy canes when you smash them up real good before gently folding them into the melted white chocolate. Bonus: this recipe only requires three ingredients!

 

Mixes:

Stir a few ingredients together in a cute jar with some instructions and you’re good to go. If your giftee appreciates a good challenge, feel free to leave out the instructions.

Chai Tea Mix

Not everyone loves dessert, so save the cookies for yourself and wrap up some chai tea mix instead.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

So much better than the stuff from the store. Include some marshmallows and candy canes if you’re feeling extra generous.

Molasses Cookie Mix

Some people need a little prodding. This cookie mix should do the trick.

 

Looking for more tasty gift ideas? We have plenty.

Holiday Appetizers & Drinks

Red Beet & White Bean Hummus
Red Beet & White Bean Hummus

 

‘Tis the season for snacking and drinking.

Thanksgiving was just the warm-up, so you should know the drill by now.

Make room in your belly and grab a glass of cheer!

 

Holiday Appetizers:

Bring on the small bites! These appetizers are perfect party material.

Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry

Crispy bacon, gooey cheese, and warm carbs all in one. In other words, a good way to get on that naughty list.

Sweet Potato Hummus

Serve with pita chips, carrots, bell peppers, or just spoon the stuff straight into your mouth when no one is looking.

Coconut Shrimp

It’s hard to stop after inhaling just one of these crispy, tropical bites. Yep, whip up a double batch.

 

Holiday Cocktails:

You’re going to need something to wash down all that yummy food.

Smoky Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas

Not your typical margarita, but we’re definitely okay with it.

Hot Buttered Rum

What exactly is buttered rum anyway? All you need to know is that it’s dangerously good.

Christmas Sangria

This festive cocktail counts as a serving of fruit, so drink up!

 

Holiday Beverages:

These tasty drinks are alcohol-free. But you can always add a hefty splash of rum.

Hot Apple Cider

Serve this classic beverage in an extra large mug with a couple cinnamon sticks. The smell alone is enough to elicit drool.

Holiday Eggnog

Dunk your cookies right in there… and leave a glass out for Santa if you’re feeling especially generous.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Just another excuse to consume Nutella. Don’t forget the fresh whipped cream! And chocolate shavings if you’re trying to go all out, which you should.

 

Keep the party going with more holiday eats and sips.

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

Leftover Thanksgiving Panini
Leftover Thanksgiving Panini

 

Get creative in the kitchen and put those leftovers to work.

Because boring is never okay.

Don’t have any leftovers?

Impressive.

Or sad, take your pick.

 

Breakfast:

Food, food, and more food! You’re on a roll, so why stop now?

House of Blues Sweet Potato Hash

Add some perfectly scrambled eggs plus toast to this equation and you’ve got yourself a complete breakfast. Enjoy a slice of pie for breakfast dessert. Yeah that’s a thing.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Croque Madame

Not your average Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. You know what they say… when in doubt, put an egg on it. And cheese, lots of cheese.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Would you believe us if we said these zesty muffins are better than cupcakes? Well they are. (It’s that magical glaze!)

 

Lunch & Dinner:

Perhaps breakfast doesn’t sound too appealing. Just work up an appetite and go straight for lunch (or dinner if you really overdid it the night before).

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Creamy, flavorful filling. Buttery, flaky crust. Are you convinced yet?

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie

Cheese makes life better. This creative (and utterly delicious) dish takes advantage of leftover turkey and gravy… plus creamy avocado and polenta, gooey cheese, lots of spices, and black beans for an extra protein kick.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup

A classic strategy to use up all that turkey. You can’t go wrong with comforting noodle soup! Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers to enjoy later on. If you’re going the freezing route, leave out the noodles to avoid the whole mush factor. Simply add fresh noodles after you thaw and reheat the soup.

 

Treats:

In our minds, dessert is hardly optional. Your dessert (and drink) stomach will appreciate these sweet recipes.

Cranberry Orange Margaritas

This fall rita is the perfect combo of sweet and tart. Not a fan of tequila? Use vodka instead.

Leftover Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

That’s right. Throw a fat slice of pie in the blender with a generous scoop of ice cream and get ready to experience an epic brain freeze… it’s near impossible to stop drinking this shake. Don’t forget to top the whole thing off with whipped cream!

Clean Eating Sweet Potato Brownies

Hide some mashed sweet potato in chocolatey brownies for a healthy(ish) treat. We promise you won’t even know the difference.

 

Hardly make a dent in those leftovers? See more Thanksgiving leftover ideas.

Are you an avid BigOven iPad user? We want your input!

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Come join BigOven’s Early Access Program

BigOven is looking for cooks who like to use BigOven on their iPad. Come join our Early Access Program and provide us with feedback on the upcoming iPad redesign.

With an inside-track to development, you’ll have a chance to voice your opinion directly into the product development process. To get started, please send an email: Request early access to BigOven apps.

Thanks and Happy Cooking!

 

Easy Peasy Thanksgiving Recipes

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie
Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

 

If “cooking” is a foreign term to you, and you rarely set foot in the kitchen, contributing a dish or two for Thanksgiving is probably the last thing you want to do.

Before you resort to canned crans and store-bought pie, let us share a handful of super simple recipes and tips to make your life much easier and cooking very possible.

At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts.

“A” for effort, you know?

Then you can always whip out that can… and bring some booze.

 

Main Dishes:

Cooking up a big hunk of meat may seem a little intimidating at first, but we believe in you! As long as you remember to thaw the turkey (if frozen) and don’t completely forget about your meat in the oven, there’s not much else that can go wrong. (Just keep telling yourself that.)

Basic Roast Turkey

Embrace everything basic! Including your turkey. Remember to test the turkey temp (165 F) in the innermost part of the thigh, then let the thing rest (tented in foil) for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. (The temp will continue to rise a bit after you pull it out of the oven.) Need some help choosing which size turkey to purchase, figuring out how long it needs to thaw (if frozen), or how long to cook the thing? Hop on over to our handy turkey calculator.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Not feeding a crowd? A simple turkey breast will do. Unless you want turkey leftovers for a month… all to yourself. Hey that’s not a bad idea.

Perfect Prime Rib

Turkey isn’t everything. If you’re not feeling the bird, try your hand at prime rib instead. All you really need is patience.

 

Sides:

Although this lighter baked sweet potato casserole with maple toasted marshmallow sounds pretty amazing, some of us don’t have the time (or experience) to make that edible masterpiece reality. These simple sides are still tasty and a bit more manageable. (If you love a challenge, go ahead and make the casserole… you won’t be disappointed.)

Basic Boiled and Mashed Potatoes

Butter makes everything better. True fact.

Fresh Green Beans

Don’t bother with traditional green bean casserole. Cook green beans until crisp-tender then season, season, season and serve.

Mom’s Stuffing

Make mama proud! Not quite as simple as mashed potatoes, but you got this. You can always dump on the gravy…

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. What more do you want?

Cranberry Sauce

Sugar, water, cranberries, done! Almost as easy as cracking open that can.

Easy Turkey Gravy

What’s Thanksgiving without gravy? If you can follow instructions, you can whip up a smooth, rich gravy in no time. Just try not to get too creative.

 

Desserts:

There’s always room for dessert!

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

If you buy the crust, pumpkin pie is actually quite doable. Just mix up the filling, pour it in the crust, then bake! Cool your pie on a wire rack so it doesn’t get soggy.

Apple Crisp

No one has to know that this dessert requires minimal effort. Bake until golden and bubbly, then serve warm. You can make the crisp ahead of time and simply reheat it in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes right before serving… with vanilla ice cream.

Baked Apples

A homemade dessert with only 3-ingredients?! Dreams do come true. Serve warm with whipped cream for a real treat.

 

Looking for more easy Thanksgiving recipes? Here you go.

Want to actually plan ahead? Schedule your recipes in Menu Planner.

Time to shop? Add ingredients to your Grocery List.

Thanksgiving Dishes with Throwing Potential

Thanksgiving Dishes with Throwing Potential

 

Expecting a heated discussion at the dinner table this year?

We’ve chosen a handful of popular Thanksgiving recipes that are ideal for chucking across the room… or smooshing directly into Uncle Alan’s face.

So warm up that arm of yours and strategically survey your options before the food fight begins.

 

Deviled Eggs

Dinner won’t be for another hour. You’re already starting to sweat. Cousin Ruby won’t stop babbling nonsense, and unfortunately the wine isn’t enough to drown out her incessant chatter. Oh but that platter of shiny, goopy deviled eggs is thankfully within arm’s reach. Simply grab an egg, casually wind up, then send that thing flying across the room towards your target. Success! At this point if you’re feeling confident, make eye contact and own up to your stunt or blame it on someone else. Just remember to stash a second egg in your front pocket. Ammunition you know. (You’ll probably need it later.)

 

Mashed Potatoes

Snowball forming and throwing techniques can be applied here. Your mountain man brother definitely has an advantage, so you’re going to want to coerce him into taking your side before complete mayhem breaks out.

 

Sweet Potato Casserole (with marshmallows, of course)

One word… marshmallows. Those gooey buggers are guaranteed to stick to your target. Send a wad of mallow covered sweet taters into the culprit’s hair (beards are best) then proceed to offer up a jar of peanut butter to help get the stickiness out because you’re so dang thoughtful. (Yes, peanut butter is sometimes used to get gum out of hair so why not marshmallows?)

 

Canned Cranberries (in can form, duh)

Thanksgiving Dishes with Throwing Potential

Clearly we don’t have a recipe for this one. But all you have to do is slink into the kitchen when the dining area begins to feel even tenser than normal, crack open a can or two of crans, then carefully squeeze the contents out into your ready hands. Reenter the danger zone, aim, and fire. Did we mention that cranberries stain? Well they do. Wear all black to dinner like a boss. At least you will be covered in case others follow your canned cran lead.

 

Brussels Sprouts

Stinky Brussels sprouts are hardly worth eating anyway. As soon as the squabbles commence, grab a handful of those suckers and make quick work of the room. Then quietly go back to enjoying your meal like nothing happened because you’re the only sane person around.

 

Dinner Rolls

Do we really need to spell it out for you. Dinner rolls are the perfect size and shape for chucking, and they’re the best option for long distance lobs. Seeking a freshman P.E. dodge ball redemption? This might be your best opportunity to do so.

 

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Dishes with Throwing Potential

Forget throwing when you can smoosh food right into someone’s face. Pie is a traditional option, so why not keep it simple? Extra credit if you manage to pile on the whipped cream before taking action. We’re all about maximum impact, but we do recommend reserving pecan pie for actual consumption… can’t let those expensive pecans go to waste.

 

Cold Gravy

You thought you’d make it through the feast without any bumps, but then your sister-in-law Carole had to start something after everyone finished up their last bites of pie. Of all the leftovers lying about, cold, gelatinous gravy is your best bet. Simply dip your cupped hand in there and expertly sling that stuff into Carole’s curls. Gravy is a fantastic conditioner, so she shouldn’t be too upset.

 

All jokes aside, we do hope everyone remains civil… unless someone nabs the last slice of Grandma Ethel’s famous all-butter crust deep dish heirloom apple pie before you manage to get a taste. (But that’s a whole other matter.)

 

Thanksgiving Dishes with Throwing Potential

And if you really cannot resist the urge to throw something, toss Fido a stray piece of turkey (or five) under the table. He’ll appreciate your generosity.

 

Looking for more Thanksgiving inspo? We have loads of delicious recipes to share with family and friends.

Need some help choosing which size turkey to purchase, figuring out how long it needs to thaw (if frozen), or how long to cook the thing? Hop on over to our handy turkey calculator.

Want to actually plan ahead? Schedule your recipes in Menu Planner.

Time to shop? Add ingredients to your Grocery List.