summer bucket list + dr. oetker’s organic vanilla cake mix review

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Long time, no see post!

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I can’t believe today is July 6th. The summer is flying by!

I’m finally settling into summer; my job feels like a job, and I’ve started writing my Summer Bucket List.

Abby’s Summer Bucket List

1. Get together with…

  • One of my best friends from high school, Sophie (Sophie lives in a different town than I do, so we don’t see each other as much as we’d like. She is attending a different school than me in the fall, so I want to spend time with her this summer!)

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  • Two of my best friends from elementary school, Keely and Raelyn (Keely is attending a college in Iowa, and Raelyn is attending a university in Arizona! We call ourselves the Three Musketeers, and I want to reunite before we really go our separate ways in the fall!) 
  • The girls on my cross country team from last season
  • My friend Sara of Sara B Consulting
  • My high school biology teacher

2. Finish writing my Graduation Day Mini-Series
3. Write the Senior Year chapter in my autobiography
4. Run the Bix at 6 (twice) + the Bix 7
5. Run the Solon Beef Days 5k
6. Enter the Johnson County Fair Pie Baking Contest
7. Go to The Machine Shed for one of the restaurant’s famous cinnamon rolls
8. Visit Grinnell, Iowa, to spend time with my friend Howard and to explore the town 

To be continued, I’m sure!

*Update 7/13/12: 9. Learn how to French braid my hair

Dr. Oetker’s Organic Vanilla Cake Mix Review

My friend Brittany’s dad’s birthday was last week, and to celebrate his birthday, Britt brought Jell-O Cake to work for all of the workers in our department (Brittany and her dad work together during the summer!). Jell-O Cake is awesome. Sweet boxed white cake, tart strawberry-flavored Jell-O, and creamy, cool whipped topping make for a perfect combination and a I’m-smiling-because-it’s-so-darn-good treat.

I thought Britt’s Jell-O Cake was so awesome that I decided to make my own. For my Jell-O Cake, I didn’t want to use a boxed white cake mix made with “yucky” ingredients, but I still wanted the cake-making process to be easy and quick. So, I used Dr. Oetker’s Organic Vanilla Cake Mix.

I’d read some not-so-good reviews for this mix, so I slightly changed the “add-in” ingredients. My main goal in changing the add-in ingredients was to produce a cake that was similar in texture (light) to a typical boxed cake. I used…

  • 3 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup + 3 Tablespoons milk + 1/3 cup water instead of 2/3 cup milk
  • (I also mixed the batter less than what was recommended and reduced the cooking time from 30-35 minutes to 25 minutes.)
The result? Before making this cake a Jell-O Cake,  I sampled the vanilla cake and decided to leave half of the cake plain and only make half of the cake a Jell-O Cake…because Dr. Oetker’s Organic Vanilla Cake Mix, with my changes, is delicious! I would highly recommend using this mix (and making my changes) for a healthier alternative to a typical boxed cake mix. (When I use this mix again, I will make these same changes. I will also add baking powder or baking soda in an attempt to help the cake rise a little more.)
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