Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hummingbird Cake Recipe

This is Southern Living's most requested recipe.
Southern Living (1-year)

We will discuss it's origin,how it was named, the original recipe and also a more light version of the recipe.
The Hummingbird is a symbol of sweetness,it's believed that's how the cake got it's name.

The Hummingbird Cake Legend
A Victorian cake recipe that is truly exceptional. The perfect cake to take to's easy, freezes well, serves many, and it doesn't actually contain any hummingbirds!

"Impress your friends with this Hummingbird Cake - a recipe that has been passed down through many generations. If desired, crush additional nuts and press them into the sides of the frosting, and put sliced maraschino cherries on top of the cake to "guild the lily.""

Mrs. Wiggins' recipe [1978]
"Hummingbird cake
3 cups all-pupose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups salad oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
2 cups chopped bananas
Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and salad oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. For 25 to 30 minutes; remove from pans, and cool immediately. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Yield: one 9-inch layer cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Yield: enough for a 3 layer cake.--Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, Greesnboro, North Carolina"
---"Making the most of bananas," Southern Living, February 1978 (p. 206)

The Kentucky Derby Cook Book [Kentucky Derby Museum:Louisville KY, 1986] contains a recipe for Hummingbird Cake on p. 204. A note printed in this book states "Hummingbird Cake. Helen Wiser's recipe won Favorite Cake Award in the 1978 Kentucky State Fair."

My Squidoo Lens got the most views and was favorited for this recipe and legend HERE

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marketing secret I almost did'nt want to share

I was reading a marketing article that really caught my attenton because it was different from all the other marketing techniques I used. Was it a new secret online technique that even the guru's didn't know about yet?

As a Mom who works from home for the past 12 years in a successful medical billing and collections business I understand and I speak to the millions of Mom's who work from home and need to generate a generous income. I can relate to their need for using amazing techniques that work!

I am a social marketing aficiando and have totally forgotten another advertising avenue I haven't used in a long time. Thanks to Mogul Mom
for posting this article by ~Lisa Otto of Boutiqueup. Thanks ladies you're great!

Sales Letters: Why & How To Use Them
by Lisa Otto · 0 comments

Remember when you were a kid and your parents would hand you a pile of junk mail to play with? I bet most of that junk mail was comprised of sales letters (though we really didn’t care, we were just excited to have our own mail!). You know-those one or two page letters trying to sell us something by using bold text, all caps, and most of the time, black, white and red color schemes. For everything from car repairs to hair restoration, those sales letters would come by the droves.

It wasn’t until I began creating sales letters for my own business, and then creating them for clients, that I realized how important those letters were for the business who sent them. As a direct way to present and sell something to potential customers all over the country, sales letters have played an important role in business marketing for years. The good news is that sales letters have evolved. No longer resembling ‘paper telemarketing’, a properly written and designed sales letter can do wonders for driving sales for your small business.

Small product businesses in particular can greatly benefit from a well-written sales letter. Why? Because small businesses usually don’t use sales letters and this in itself presents an untapped market. How many sales letters have you received from jewelry companies, bath & body companies, baby product sellers, etc? Likely, not many if any at all. Most small businesses focus on online and email marketing to drive sales and build brand awareness. While effective and smart, online marketing is only one piece of the marketing puzzle. Sales letters open up an entirely new avenue for driving new and existing companies to make a purchase. And, it adds to your brand awareness, too.

If sales letters are so great, why don’t more small businesses use them? Cost plays an important factor, as having a professional letter written isn’t cheap. And, many small product businesses might not know the value this type of marketing tool can bring. Additionally, trying to create your own sales letter can be daunting if you’re not a writer at heart, and can be just ‘one more thing’ to do.

Let’s take a look at the value a sales letter can bring. A past client utilized a sales letter to promote a new line of children’s apparel to an audience of 2,500 households which contained a child under the age of 5 (she obtained a mailing list from a reputable broker). This client had yet to claim a profit on her business, had one employee and was in her third year of business (not your typical business to utilize sales letters). She had a targeted sales letter created that fit her product, short-term sales and brand-awareness goals. After mailing, this client had grossed approximately $5,000 in sales from new and returning customers who received the letter- which more than recovered her initial cost of having the letter created and the price of the mailing list. She will send the same letter to a different group of potential clients, and hopes to see profits again.

Creating a sales letter for your small business should be a well-thought out process. Consider why you should consider using one:

Your past customers present an excellent starting point for repeat sales from your sales letter.
A well-written sales letter can be used more than once, hence paying for itself over and over.
Recipients of your sales letter are likely to be more open to something new and fresh, and not the same old sales letters that come from car companies, home repair venues and weight-loss products. Give them something fun and fresh!
Mothers are a powerful demographic. Small product-based companies NEED to tap into the ‘mommy market’ to drive sales. A sales letter is a potent way to do this.
Beauty products, health & beauty services, female-targeted products and family oriented products & services tend to market well through sales letters.
There are not many small businesses (or home based businesses) using sales letters as a marketing tool. This opens up the very wide avenue for smart small businesses to grab onto.
Sales letters are a prime way to present new goods and services, provide a small product sample or promotion and best of all, JUMP start holiday sales (now is the time, people!)
Even if you currently use email and online marketing, print sales letters should not be overlooked. A visually appealing piece of mail is a powerful sales tool and only helps reinforce your brand.
Ok, so let’s say your interest is peaked and you want to learn more about creating a sales letter for your product or service. First, take a peek at this sales letter example to see how it is written to target a certain audience, and how it can persuade a reader to take more interest in the product-and hopefully make a sale. Then, consider these things when creating a letter for your business:

Who your intended audience is and how you will get their contact information.
Your goals, or the end-result, you are after with the sales letter. What do you hope to achieve?
The cost effectiveness of creating and sending a sales letter. Even if your budget is tiny, you can still tap into this marketing effort.
How you will monitor results of sending your sales letter. Will you offer a promotion or coupon code to be traced from sales against the letter?
Your sales letter should have a clear purpose and enough information to drive your reader to take action, hence, make a purchase. Keep it simple, make it visual and use your business identity to build brand awareness and trust. Best of all, offer an incentive like a coupon or discount code, business magnet or small product sample. The client mentioned above who sent out a sales letter for her clothing line included two small fabric swatches with each letter, so readers could see the amazing beauty of the fabrics she used in her line. Most of all, recognize your sales letter as the long-term investment in your business that it is, use it wisely, and enjoy to the return!

~Lisa Otto is a professional freelance copywriter who has created marketing materials for several up-and-coming businesses, with impressive results. She specializes in writing for ‘mom-markets’, health & wellness, business-to-business marketing and consumer-direct copywriting. She is also the owner of the product marketing company, Boutique Up! Daily. Lisa can be contacted at: