Top drawer Joyce Clark Hicks finds the best for your home and garden

Top Drawer

CorrespondentMay 3, 2013 

Food Angel Food Cake

Use an angel food cake mix to create simple lemon bars.


Best for organizing bathroom clutter

We recently spent some time hanging out on the Practically Living blog and fell in love with blogger Jessica Zillgitt’s practical bathroom organizing ideas.

Zillgitt found that a picnic supply organizer makes the perfect countertop cache for your most-used supplies, including hairspray, combs, lotions, brushes and contact lens solution. It’s also attractive enough to leave on display.

She also noted that a cleaned-out and repurposed candle jar provides an attractive way to store and keep makeup brushes at the ready.

Check out these and other bathroom organizing tips at And check out her other tabs for tips and recipes, including a yummy-looking recipe for Margarita cupcakes.

Best two-ingredient dessert

A post making the rounds on Facebook and Pinterest recently piqued our springtime tastebuds with its divine simplicity. It calls for two ingredients. That’s right, TWO. (Three if you sprinkle the finished lemon bars with powdered sugar.) We’ve yet to make it to the grocery store and make it, but we can assure you that it’s on our to-do list. If you try it, let us know how it turns out.

You’ll need:

• 1 box angel food cake mix

• 2 cans lemon pie filling (suggested: Two 21-ounce cans of Comstock pie filling)


Mix dry cake mix and pie filling together by hand in large bowl.

Pour into greased 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is starting to brown.

Cool on wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Seeking your best four-ingredient (or less) recipes

Do you have any simple, tried and tested, two-, three-, or four-ingredient recipe that you regularly turn to in a pinch? If so, we’d love to share it with our readers. Send your recipe along with a note about where you got it in an email to If we use your recipe, we’ll enter you in the quarterly drawing for a Target gift card.

Best DIY floral arrangements

The B Movie Star site contains a pictorial of a half-dozen creative floral arrangements to give your home seasonal flair. You’ll see how to line the exterior of a lemonade pitcher or vase with lemons for a lovely spring bouquet, how to turn an orange into a mini-vase, how to make an arrangement using a colander and artichokes and more. Check it out at

Best Mother’s Day drink

Make mom Sparkling Orangeade for Mother’s Day, courtesy of Sunset magazine. Here’s the recipe, which can be found at

You’ll need:

• 2 cups orange juice

• 1/4 cup lime juice

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1 liter sparkling water

• Orange slices (optional)

Step by step:

• In a large pitcher (at least 2 quart), stir orange juice, lime juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

• Add 2 cups ice cubes and sparkling water and stir to blend.

• Pour into tall glasses, adding orange slices if desired.

Readers’ best

Raleigh reader Joyce Bryant saw our post about keeping apples just-cut fresh with a sprinkling of bottled lemon juice and decided to share her own secret for keeping browning at bay. “Pour lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite) over it. You don’t get that ‘tart’ taste of plain lemon juice.”

Best of the tube


Newlywed home: Newlyweds Jarrett and Becky Walters work with realtor Caron Ling to find new digs in downtown Honolulu. Jarrett is looking for a high-rise condo near his office that offers the kind of amenities they would expect from living in Hawaii. Caron must find them a first home that fits all of their criteria while not exceeding their modest price range. “Hawaii Life” airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.


Three-sided fireplace: Dean and Derek show off another side of masonry by setting thin veneer stone around a three-sided gas insert fireplace. The trick is to make two opposite sides (each facing a different room) different, and the third side transitional. In other words, Dean and Derek want each side to have its own character. Are they up to the challenge? Set your DVR for 8 a.m. Monday to find out on “Rock Solid.”

Send news and photos to The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; email

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service