Wedding Cake Chronicles #1: The Very First Cake

I’ve always LOVED to eat cake. I will eat any kind of cake, and the more frosting the better! But I’ve never actually made a cake. So I’m starting out with zero experience, and my end goal is this: next summer, I want to make my own wedding cake. I haven’t told my boyfriend (fiance, I should say!) this yet, and I think I’m going to wait until I get better at this before I deliver that news. (Especially after the results of this Very First Cake…)

to-do That said, My Goal with The Very First Cake: Make a cake! Any kind of cake! Just make one.

Easy enough, right? Saturday morning I sat down with my coffee and watched a quick 10 minute video of Martha Stewart showing me how to frost a cake. Wow, this was going to be breezy! All I needed was a few new tools, like actual cake pans for starters, so I got ready & headed out. Here’s what I bought:

  1. A cake dome (because at this point, I was thinking I would definitely need to display this wonderous cake in the making)
  2. An icing spatula
  3. 2 – 9inch circular cake pans
  4. A pink cupcake apron, just because

I already had appropriate frosting tips and freezer ziplock bags to act as pastry tubes. Good to go! Here I am, pre-cake making, and a sidenote, my very first official selfie too: 

selfie!Flavor Choices: I can’t tell you exactly how I got to make the cake I did. I started out thinking I was going to make a Boston Cream Pie cake because my fiance loves those, and it basically devolved from there. While walking to the grocery store, I made the mistake of Googling “fancy boston creme pie” and what I learned was that I couldn’t possibly make this cake with vanilla Jello-brand pudding. This was some type of travesty against the true Boston Cream Pie, so I was going to need to make real official pastry cream, for the recipe I used, click here. This was the first of many questionable choices I made as a novice, that ultimately led me to the following cake:

Triple layer yellow cake with pastry cream custard filling, rich cocoa chocolate butter cream frosting topped with random fall colored sprinkles. 

say-what

Things I learned: 

  1. Frosting a cake to look PRETTY is extremely hard! It is going to require lots of practice. 
  2. Be careful with sprinkles on cake: if your frosting is too thick, they will roll to the edges of the cake, especially if you are guilty of #6, below. I definitely was. :)
  3. Read the pastry cream recipe all the way to the END, as it could say it needs 24 hours to chill, and if it does say this, you make have to go to pastry-chilling-extremes if you do not have 24 hours to wait or if you just have a case of impatience like me.
  4. Making a multi-layer cake, even an ugly one, takes a long time. I am talking 5 hours or more.
  5. It’s very easy to skim the top of the layers of cake off with a serrated knife to make them level. I thought this would be hard, but it wasn’t. 
  6. If the cake is even slightly tilted, frosting will exaggerate this, especially if you then frost unevenly. Lol. 
  7. If you want to make cake-life easier, we both need to invest in one of these right now: frosting scraper.
  8. It is nerve-wracking & absolutely wonderful to slice into your freshly made cake masterpiece!!

So by this time you are probably dying to see what it looked like. Well okay already…

the-very-first-cake

 

I will admit, it was not very pretty. But it did taste good! The greatest strength of this cake was the pastry cream by far. It was worth it to go through the troubles of making that. The weaknesses, hands down, my frosting ability. 

Stay tuned for the Cake Chronicles #2. I promise more pictures next time, and once I find a recipe that blows my mind, I’ll post that too. If you have any tips from your own experience on making cakes, post in the comments!

One week closer to making my own wedding cake…off to Google fondant recipes…

Happy baking & cake-making!

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Yellow Cake Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Frosting

oreo cupcake with oreo buttercream frosting The only thing better than an Oreo is a double stuff Oreo. And the only thing better than a double stuff Oreo, is a double stuff Oreo & a moist, fresh yellow cake. oreo cupcake with oreo buttercream frostingFor a moment, put aside the day. The stresses, the realities, the worries: they can wait. Breathe, & bite into a cupcake. In my opinion, there are certainly worse indulgences. …and not all taste this good. :)oreo cupcake with oreo buttercream frosting

By: Kara Zarate Kneen

Yellow Cake Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Frosting
Yields 12
For the love of Oreos. These are rich, lush, & the perfect indulgence. Pair with a giant glass of milk.
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For the Cupcake
  1. 24 Oreos (2 for each cupcake, if you plan to decorate it with one on top)
  2. 1 Box of Yellow Cake (and all the ingredients it requires to bake)
For the Frosting
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  3. 3 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  4. 4 cups powdered sugar
  5. 16 Oreos, finely crushed (Use a food processor or something like the Magic Bullet)
To Make the Cupcakes
  1. Mix the cake mix in a large bowl according to package instructions.
  2. Prepare your cupcake tin by lining it with cupcake liners or spraying it with non-stick spray.
  3. Place 1 Oreo in each cupcake spot.
  4. Then, fill each with about 1/3 cup of cake mix.
  5. Bake according to box directions, however set the timer on the lower end. These will bake faster since there isn't as much batter.
  6. Once baked to perfection (golden & a toothpick removed cleaning), remove from the oven and let cool.
To Make the Frosting
  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, vanilla, and milk together. Slowly add in powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy. Mix in crushed Oreos until well combined.
To Assemble
  1. Frost cupcakes! (Pipe 'em!) Garnish with an Oreo on top, if you desire.
Tip
  1. If you are going to pipe the frosting, you will want to ensure you mix the Oreos until truly, finely crushed. Otherwise they will get stuck in the pipe and prevent you from frosting properly.
Tip
  1. If you find that after adding the crushed Oreos, the frosting is too thick, add 1 tsp of milk at a time until it is the proper consistency to pipe.
Tip
  1. I only used half of my cupcake batter because I wanted to save the rest for something else. You can double the frosting if you want to use all of the batter.
Adapted from Frosting Adapted By: Life in the Lofthouse
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
yellow cake oreo cupcake with oreo buttercream frostingTake a moment to breathe today. Take a moment to feel okay about yourself. Take a moment to eat something absolutely satisfyingly sweet. It’s okay to reward yourself for everything you do. 

Love!

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Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Mini vanilla cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting

Mini vanilla cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting

Mini vanilla cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting

Mini vanilla cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frostingThis frosting is as sweetly strong as its color. It’s simple, yet bold. The cupcake is so elegant, that I decided it deserved to be dressed up in an antique vintage scarf & pearls.  Mini vanilla cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 36
These cupcakes are simple, fresh, and striking. There are no artificial colors in the frosting: it is the beautiful natural color of the blueberries.
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
For the Cupcakes
  1. 3 cups sifted cake flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoons salt
  4. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  5. 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  8. 1 1/4 cups milk
For the Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 cup of butter, softened
  2. 8 oz of cream cheese, softened
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, pulverized in a food processor
  4. 3-5 cups of confectioners sugar
To Make the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your mini cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream sugar and butter together until light & fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for a minute or so.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp of the cake batter into each cupcake liner.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until you can put a toothpick in and remove it cleanly.
To Make the Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the pulverized blueberries, and mix.
  3. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix.
  4. Add more sugar if necessary. Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more blueberries for a darker color. Add more sugar for thicker consistency. Continue mixing until you find your desired balance of color and consistency.
Finishing Touches
  1. Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes. Decorate with whatever you desire. I decorated with sugar pearls and topped with a white chocolate chip.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes a lot of frosting, depending on if you really like to put a lot on or not. If you are a 'light froster,' consider reducing the frosting quantities all by one half.
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
Hope you enjoy!

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Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

vanilla-cupcake-1vanilla-cupcake-2

 My grandmother moved recently, and gave me some vintage books from her bookshelf. They are worn & beautiful. I love how age can add mystery to something so common as a book.  For some reason these cupcakes remind me of the circus. I imagine trapeze acts, tightrope walkers, jugglers, oddities, & something peculiar waiting to be unlocked inside the circus tent. 

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These circus cupcakes make the perfect late night snack! 

Rich Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Yields 48
These are easy to make, & incredibly versatile to decorate however you need. If you love sweets, this buttercream recipe is for you!
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Yellow Cupcakes
  1. 3 cups sifted cake flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoons salt
  4. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  5. 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  8. 1 1/4 cups milk
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon milk+
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your mini cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream sugar and butter together until light & fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for a minute or so.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp of the cake batter into each cupcake liner.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until you can put a toothpick in and remove it cleanly.
For the Buttercream Frosting
  1. In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat until blended.
  2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  3. Continue adding milk as needed, 1/4 tsp at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
To assemble
  1. Let the cupcakes completely cool.
  2. Once cool, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
  3. Decorate as you desire, with sugar pearls, fruit, mini chocolate chips, or sprinkles.
Notes
  1. If you don't have cake flour, you can make it out of all-purpose flour & cornstarch. Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tbsp (put back in the container). Add 2 tbsp cornstarch. Sift the all-purpose flour & cornstarch together, 5 times. You have made 1 cup of cake flour! Repeat as many times as needed.
Adapted from Wilton
Adapted from Wilton
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
What type of vintage, old, and beautiful things did your grandmother give to you? Snap a photo, and send it to me at tasteslikeasecret@gmail.com. I would like to create a collection of photos to add to this post.

ta ta! (as my grandma says),

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Mini Red Velvet Bites with a Hint of White Chocolate

pickerimage3Add a sweet dazzle (like white chocolate chips) between the frosting & cake bite to prompt an in-bite smile.

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Red Velvet Mini Bites with a Hint of White Chocolate
Yields 24
Just like brownie bites, but they're red velvet. And of course, I had to frost & sprinkle them because I can't eat anything without frosting. :)
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For The Red Velvet Bites
  1. 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 2 squares of baking chocolate (semi-sweet or unsweetened)
  5. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  7. 1/3 cup white sugar
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1 tbsp red food coloring
  10. 3/4 cup low fat sour cream
  11. 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  2. 4 oz cream cheese at room temp
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Sift together the 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. Microwave the 2 chocolate squares until melted, about 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat the 1/2 cup butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup white sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in the egg and beat again until smooth. Mix in the red food coloring, melted chocolate, and blend until evenly mixed. 1 minute or so.
  4. Add one half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix. Beat in the 3/4 cup sour cream, and then the remaining one half of the dry ingredients.
  5. The batter will be thicker than cupcake batter. However, we are making bites! Like brownie bites. Spoon the batter into a well-greased mini cupcake pan. Push 3 white chocolate chips into the top of each bite.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes and remove from pan.
  7. For the cream cheese frosting, use a hand mixer to whip the 1/4 cup of butter, 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
  8. Once cool, frost the bites and garnish with sprinkles if you want. I garnished with chocolate sprinkles.
Notes
  1. Frosting Tip: Are you in the same situation as me? I did not have the right piping tip to frost these cupcakes right now. That said, I did it the old fashioned way. Use a zip lock bag, cut the corner off, and pipe the frosting out. It's not as clean and pretty looking as if you had the desired tip, but it's a step up from a butter knife!
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
Enjoy!

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Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

pizza made with super easy homemade pizza dough

Ingredients: 

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (approximately 110F)
1 1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 and 1/2 cups of bread floud
Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Dissolve the 1 package of active dry yeast into the 1 cup of warm water, in a small bowl.  Let stand for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the 1 and 1/4 cup of cold water, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Stir with a spatular or whisk.

2. Measure out 5 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture, and the cold water mixture. Use a spatular to fold the dough over itself repeatedly, until it gets shaggy and starts to slightly hold itself together. It doesn’t have to be much; usually 10-20 flips of the spatula.

3. Measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of flour into a measuring cup. Pour half of it onto a clean surface or very large & clean cutting board. Using your hand, spread it out into a large circular shape. Flop the shaggy dough mixture out onto the floured surface. The dough will be very broken apart at this point. Using your hands, knead it together for 8-10 minutes. Wondering how to hand knead? Instructions here. Once it starts taking shape (or if it starts to get too sticky), pour in the remaining  flour. At the end of your knead, it should have an elastic feeling and be easily shaped into a round ball.

4. Spray a medium size bowl with cooking spray. Drop the dough ball into the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Put it in a warm place in your kitchen. Let it sit for 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

pre-rise dough ball

pickerimage44Example of dough rising & doubling. Photos from my homemade honeywheat buns.  The pizza dough will rise very similarly, but will look slightly more textured on top.

5. Once doubled, punch the dough down with your fist. Pull it out of the bowl. It will feel greasy and airy/light. Divide the dough in half with your hands. Shape each half into a ball. Put one of the balls of dough into a large ziplock bag, and put in the fridge, to use later that week. It will stay good for up to 2 days in the fridge. (Let it stand at room temp for an hour before using. You can also freeze it in a freezer bag for up to 2 months and just thaw it out overnight in the fridge the night before you want to use it.)

6. Shake cornmeal onto your pizza pan so the crust won’t stick when its cooked. Using your hands, shape it into a pizza. You will need to pull it gently, let it hang, flip it—carefully shaping it into the round pizza. To prevent bubbles, poke it with a fork several times all across the pizza. Or use a pizza roller, if you are lucky enough to have one.

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7. Here’s the fun part: you can now make whatever type of pizza you want. Use a homemade arriabata sauce (I will post later), a jar from the grocery store, or left over BBQ sauce. Thrown on some meat of your choice, or keep it all veggie. And top with left over cheese, or a fancy italian blend.  Whatever your heart desires! Bake the pizza at 500F for 8-12 minutes. Watch carefully; look for golden cheese, or lightly golden crusts. If your oven can go hotter, go for it! Then shake on any blend of spice and garnish you desire: ideas are basil, oregano, italian seasoning, or red pepper flakes.

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Pizza Ideas:

Spicy Italian Sausage Pizza
Sauce – Spicy Arriabata Sauce (recipe coming soon!)
Toppings – Italian sausage & onions
Cheese – Shredded mozarella

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Sauce – BBQ
Toppings – Shredded Chicken & Red Onions
Cheese – Gouda

Eclectic Recipes’ White Pizza with Spinach & Tomatoes
Sauce – Ricotta
Toppings – Spinach, Roasted Garlic, Roma Tomatoes
Cheese – Mozarella

The Fastest Pizza Possible
Sauce – A jar you buy at the store
Toppings – a meat and pre-chopped veggie you find @ the store
Cheese – a bag of pre-shredded mozarella

…this last option is super easy to throw together. Your husband will love it, it will still feel amazingly homemade because of the dough, and imagine if you were using the second, already made dough ball sitting in the fridge…dinner would seriously take you 5 minutes to put together, 8-12 minutes to bake.

Happy pizza-making!

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OMG Yum! Cookies & Cream Cookies

Every cookie has its intrigue.  A good book, a glass of milk, and a fresh cookie make for a storybook afternoon.

Delicious Cookies & Cream Cookies

 Delicious Cookies & Cream Cookies

Delicious Cookies & Cream Cookies
These are for the cookie fanatic. You use one cookie to create an even better one. Pairs well with a giant glass of milk! These cookies will for sure win you points with your boyfriend. :)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 6 tbsp white sugar
  3. 6 tbsp brown sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 12 Oreo's, crushed until very crumbly
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter, and the 6 tbsp of white and 6 tbsp brown sugar. Cream with a hand mixer for 4 minutes until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
  3. Add the 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients about a fourth at ime, and mix on low until just combined.
  6. Place the 12 Oreos in a large ziplock freezer bag. Crush them with your hands until they are small crumbs. Gently pour the pieces in to the cookie dough.
  7. Roll the cookies into small and even balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes. These cookies will be done before they look done. Once you see even the slightest hint of gold on the edges of the cookie, remove them.
  8. Let cool, and enjoy!
Adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
Cheers!

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Super Soft Birthday Cake Cookies (Choose Your Hues!)

 

birthday-cake-hue-cookies

 

Birthday Cake Hue Cookies
Yields 12
Rich birthday cake flavor wrapped into a cookie & frosted to perfect in any color you desire. If you love birthday cake flavor, you will love these cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Box Birthday Cake Mix
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  4. 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
  5. 1/4 cup Milk
  6. 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 4+ Cups Powdered Sugar
  8. Food Coloring (whatever colors you decide you want to make)
For the Birthday Cake Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the box of cake mix, 2 eggs, and the 1/3 cup of oil until combined. It will feel very thick and sticky to mix.
  2. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls using your hands, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a glass, press the balls down to gently flatten. You may need to flour the bottom of the glass. These cookies do not change shape very much, so if they look nice at this point, they will look nice when they are baked.
  3. Bake 9-11 minutes until slightly golden. Let them cook completely.
For the Frosting
  1. Combine the 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 4 cups powdered sugar. I typically split the frosting into 3 different bowls, to create three separate hues of frosting.
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
How can you turn these into stylized & customized cookies just for your occasion?

You can create virtually any color of frosting using this wonderful chart from Food Network: Frost By the Number. Requires only the standard red, green, blue, & yellow food coloring you can find at any grocery store. Keep in mind that the darker the color you choose, you will need to add more powdered sugar, as the food coloring will amount to enough liquid to change the consistency. You can create a hue palate for whatever type of party or occasion you are having!

cookie-hues

Stay sweet,

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Perfectly Seared Scallops in Under 25 minutes

perfectly seared scallopsThis meal is really, really easy. It’s also really, really delicious.

Servings: 2 – 4, depending how many scallops each person will be served.

Ingredients: 

An 8 oz package of cellophane noodles
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
10-12 scallops
Fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup scallions chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook the cellophane noodles according to the package. Strain, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup soy sauce, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp white sugar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
  3. Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the scallops and season the tops with fresh cracked black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes,  until golden brown (seared!). Flip over using tongs or a spatula and cook the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, until that side is golden brown as well. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan, bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Assemble a few scallops on top of a serving of cellophane noodles. Sprinkle with scallions.

When are scallops are done? Scallops cook super fast. They are done when they have turned from translucent to opaque. Another way to describe it is that uncooked they have a bit of a wet, jiggly look. Once cooked, they firm a bit and have a slight “bounce.”

 Talk soon,

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Seared Scallops 
by: tastes like a secret
 
its the ease of the slice
the aha of the twist
the anticipation of the heat
pulling forth out the pan and
into the rhythmic stir
 
the clarity of salt
the decisiveness of pepper
and the intrinsic resolve of a scallop
as it sears in smoked butter &
becomes itself in high heat oil
 
its the split second
you trust the scallop
to become the scallop
as natural as the shake of a spice
as genius as the fork
 
its beautiful things, always
out of beautiful things
 

 

Ah-mazing Oreo Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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Oreos have been the best selling cookie since 1912 for a reason! 

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Ah-mazing Oreo Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Yields 24
If you are wondering if it's possible to make Oreos any richer, the answer is, yes! You will need cream cheese & powdered sugar to accomplish this feat! Your tastebuds will be well rewarded by these moist and sweet Oreo Cream Cheese Cupcakes.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Box yellow cake & the ingredients it requires to bake
  2. 1 package Oreos (double stuff!)
For the Cream Cheese Filling
  1. 1 – 8 oz boxes of cream cheese, room temp
  2. 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Oreo Frosting
  1. 2 3/4 cup powdered
  2. 1 tsp vanilla
  3. 2 tsp milk
  4. 6 tbsp butter, very soft but not melted
  5. 3 tsp meringue powder* (Optional)
  6. 6 Oreos, crushed (just put in a zip lock bag & use your hands)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (or whatever the box requires).
  2. Mix the yellow cake per the box ingredients. Set the bowl aside.
  3. Crush 9-12 Oreos in a large ziplock freezer bag with your hands. They should be very crumbly; the finer the crumbs the prettier the outcome. Use a (clean) meat mincer to really crush 'em.
  4. In a lined mini muffin tin, press the Oreo crumbs into the bottoms of the tin, creating a layer of Oreo bottom for each cupcake.
  5. Pour yellow cake to the top of the mini muffin holders. (The more you fill the messier it can be, but the easier the cream cheese piping is.) Freeze the remainder of your yellow cake batter for another dessert!
  6. Bake for 12 minutes. It will be less than the box suggestion, so keep watch.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  8. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, meringue powder, and oreo crumbs. Time for a taste test! Dab a bit with your finger. Add more oreos if you desire; if it is too runny add more powdered sugar.
  9. To Assemble: Let the cupcakes cool completely by putting them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Pipe the cream cheese filling into each one. Click for: how to pipe filling into a cupcake. Frost, and garnish with a broken piece of oreo. A MUST: Serve with a huge glass of milk, because of course!
Notes
  1. *If you don't have meringue powder, no big deal. Just reduce to 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp milk. Then add as much as you need of the remainder 4 tbsp butter and 1 tsp milk until you achieve the consistency you desire.
Tastes Like a Secret http://www.tasteslikeasecret.com/
Happy Oreo-eating,

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