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Cooking

Watch Second Graders Eat Caviar, Lobster and Snapper

10/16/2014

One of the world’s finest restaurants was recently challenged with pleasing some of their toughest customers -- second graders. Six students from a Brooklyn grade school were given a peek into the life of fine dining at acclaimed French restaurant, Daniel, located in New York City’s posh Upper East Side. The bunch was treated to a 7-course tasting meal, which normally costs $220 a person. Chef Daniel Boulud exposed the youngsters to “a lot of flavor, a lot of layers [and] a lot of textures,” -- and with that price tag, I’m sure many of those flavors, layers and textures are foreign to adults!

The kids had a decadent dinner with plates ranging from lobster and ravioli to snapper to steak and fried broccoli. It wouldn’t be a meal without dessert, which proved to be a real crowd -- pleaser among the diners. The gang seemed to enjoy all their courses; although when Chef Daniel Boulud mentioned doing “Macaroni and Cheese” next time, they replied and an enthusiastic “Yayyyy!!” (Sometimes it can be as simple as noodles and cheese! Phew!)

They concluded their dinner with a toast, as if there is any other way to end a 7-course dinner. The kids certainly have a jump-start on dinner etiquette and I’d like to make a toast to their lovely manners!

Watch the video created by the New York Times and notice how both the kids and Chef Boulud take the meal very, very seriously. How adorable!

 -By Melanie Owens

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Waffle Stuffing? Yes, Waffle Stuffing!

11/20/2013

20131115-stuffing-waffles-thanksgiving-10
Via: Serious Eats


What would Buddy say? We're not even sure what to think! But we certainly are a bit curious about the idea of making Thanksgiving stuffing with a waffle iron. Yes, that's right -- a waffle iron. You may have one at home, and chances are you don't use it nearly as often as you thought you might. Which is why waffle stuffing creator J. Kenji Lopez-Alt came up with the idea of putting stuffing into a the iron. Lopez-Alt says the waffle iron recipe is especially great for people who love the crunchy edges of stuffing the most, which makes sense. 

To make the waffles, simply prepare the stuffing, and pour it into a waffle iron. It takes about twice as long to cook as a regular waffle, but it'll come out, swears Lopez-Alt, moist and crisp when finished. The recommended sauce for serving? A mixture of gravy and maple syrup, though we suppose anything might work. 

If this sounds just a bit too adventurous for your Thanksgiving dinner, we understand, but it might be worth trying with some of your leftovers as an alternative to typical post-Turkey Day meals. [Serious Eats]

Tell us: What do you typically do with your T-Day leftovers? Share your tips in the comments!

 

 

What To Do With Your Leftover Halloween Candy: The 7-Layer Candy Bar Dip

11/05/2013

Well this is just too much. Too. Much. 

Some evil genius over at the website Serious Eats came up with a seriously mindblowing way to put your leftover Halloween goodies to good use. We present to you the 7-layer Candy Bar Dip. The dip blends chocolate-covered pretzels, peanut M&Ms, Hershey's bars, Snickers bars, Crunch bars, Oh Henry!, Payday, and Skor bars. The aim was maximum texture and flavor, so it's not exactly the prettiest to look at, but it does sound rather delicious. 

 

Candy
Serious Eats


 

After layering the chocolate treats in a greased casserole dish (starting with the Skor on the bottom and working your way on up), you simply bake at 200 degrees for about ten minutes. 

The dip testers put it on a hard pretzel, but we imagine it works pretty well with just about anything solid — graham crackers, fruit, or our personal fave, potato chips. 

 

Pretzel-dipping
Serious Eats

 

What do you think? Would you give it a whirl? And more importantly, would you share some with us? [Serious Eats]

The Depressed Cake Shop Makes Sad Cakes For A Super Good Cause

10/08/2013

Sweets are supposed to be happy things, associated with fun stuff like birthday parties and weddings. The idea behind The Depressed Cake Shop pop up concept is simple: it's a charity event any bakery can throw, simply by creating ghastly grey cakes and pastries that represent the emotional effects of depression. Cakes are colored black and grey, but with hidden colorful surprises inside, a metaphor for the way mental illness often masks the wonderful personalities of the people it takes over.

Depressed Cake Shop is the brainchild of Emma Cakehead, a British baker who wanted to raise awareness about mental health in a fun and unique way. Anyone can start up a Depressed Cake Shop pop up, and people have from Britain to the Bay Area. The only stipulation? Funds raised from the cakes and cookies have to go to mental health awareness.




It's an idea we can get behind, and we bet Buddy and his Cake Boss crew would too.

 

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Wanna Lose Weight? Start Scrolling Through Instagram

 

Instagram-food
Via Instagram

Does it drive you crazy when friends crowd your Instagram or Facebook feed with photo after photo of every meal they've eaten? Us, too. But there may be an unintended benefit to all that food porn. 

A new study from Brigham Young University found that all those Instagram shots may be making us less hungry. All those images of food are making us lose our appetites. 

"In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food," explains Brigham Young marketing professor Ryan Elder, study co-author. "It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

Elder and his colleagues stress that the Instagram effect won't happen overnight. You'll have to give yourself prolonged exposure to food pictures to really feel the effects. "You do have to look at a decent number of pictures to get these effects," he said. "It’s not like if you look at something two or three times you’ll get that satiated effect."

On the flip side, a study from University of Minnesota and Harvard found that taking snaps of your soup or sandwich can fool your brain into believing that it tastes better. Isn't that crazy? It's not the act of taking the photo, per se, that makes the food taste so much better. It's the fact that there's a ritual associated with eating that makes our brains think the food is more delicious. 

So the takeaway? Instagram your food if you want it to taste more delicious. Look at other people's Instagrams if you're trying to lose weight. [Daily Dot]

We Need These Muffin Top Cupcake Molds

08/22/2013

Muffin-top-modl
Talk about meta: You eat cupcakes, and they give you muffin tops. So our friends over at Foodcity decided to create a cupcake tin that accurately displayed the connection. The Muffin Top Cupcake Mold isn't available just yet -- it won't be out until October -- but you can pre-order a set of four for $12.99. And with only a baker's dozen of the set available, we recommend you do that ASAP! (We'd love to see what Buddy might do with these.)

[Foodiggity]

 

Beehives and Camouflage on All-New "DC Cupcakes" Special

06/05/2013

Dc-cupcakes-get-tanked-300Heard of HonFest? It's an annual festival in Baltimore that celebrates over-the-top retro style and encourages attendees to don beehives, boas, bold '50s and '60s patterns and cat eye glasses. You don't have to be an old-fashioned housewife to be a Hon -- you just have to love a good time and the color pink! Katherine and Sophie fit the demographic and received a special invitation to participate in the HonFest pageant.

For the talent portion of the competition, they created a 6' cupcake Hon flamingo.The challenge wasn't easy, though. The sisters struggled to find the perfect shade of pink for their bird, and creating its feathers led to a heated discussion in the Georgetown Cupcake lab. Getting the bird from D.C. to Baltimore was another struggle. As the creation melted in the truck, Sophie, Katherine and Mommy had to get Hon makeovers. (Check out their beehives in this slideshow!) Did they sweep the competition with their new looks and impressive confection?

In typical Katherine/Sophie style, the busy sisters couldn't turn down a request for a big build -- especially when the client was the U.S. Army! The sisters committed to HonFest and a birthday celebration at the Pentagon just days apart. Besides the flamingo build, they dreamed up a giant cupcake tank for the Army's 237th birthday. This wouldn't be any ordinary cupcake tank (if there is such a thing!): It would be built to scale and would shoot cupcakes!

With mad genius Steve working on the tank's structure and firing mechanism, Katherine and Sophie were tasked with preparing camouflage fondant and more than 5,000 cupcakes to cover the tank. When the job seemed impossible, they called in the troops -- literally! But could Georgetown Cupcake and the U.S. Army finish this huge project in time?

Find out when DC Cupcakes: Get Tanked premieres Friday, June 14 at 7|6c!

Watch some of the best DC Cupcakes videos right here!

Photo credit: DCL

The "DC Cupcakes" Family Is Growing!

02/28/2013

Dc-cupcakes-special-blog-400x300There's a new baby in town!

In the upcoming DC Cupcakes special on March 12, the busy sisters are opening a new bakery on the West Coast, building a giant globe for the grand opening of a children's museum on the East Coast, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Katherine's baby. This is Mommy's first grandchild, so while she's incredibly excited, she also wants to make sure Katherine is prepared. You won't believe how she schools Katherine in the art of motherhood! Let's just say this is the first time we've seen a robot in the bakery. (No, the temperamental fondant sheeter doesn't count.)

As Katherine struggles to do her bakery work with a baby bump slowing her down, Sophie is tasked with double-duty! What's more, she's also trying to surprise Katherine with the best baby shower ever. Katherine has a surprise of her own, though. She wants to bake gender-reveal cupcakes to announce the gender to all her friends and family. But how can she pull off a surprise like that without discovering the gender herself?

Warmest congratulations to Katherine! See all the fun when the special airs Tuesday, March 12 10|9c.

Photo courtesy DCL

The Final Three: Who Is The Next Great Baker?

02/12/2013

Last week, The Next Great Baker whittled the contestants down from 13 to a final three -- Gretel-Ann, Jen and Ashley. But you just knew it wasn't going to be that simple. The first challenge brings the women to Las Vegas, and has them tasked with making and selling at least 400 cookies, 100 pastries, 10 cakes, and 10 pies. That's certainly not a one-person job, so Buddy invites each contestant to choose a team to work with -- from Buddy's staff and family.

Oh, but that's not all.

Next_great_bakerThe final three are also given a choice of past Next Great Baker contestants -- including Peter, Paul, Em, Garrett, Letty and Melissa -- but are at the mercy of their fellow competitors to assign team members. Ashley gets first pick and sends her nemesis Paul to Gretel-Ann. Gretel-Ann then puts Garrett on Jen's team.

Each team draws up a planned menu for the challenge. Jen attemps to win Buddy over with an Italian amaretto cream cake, whoopie pies, caramel apple pie and a bunch of cream puffs.

Gretel-Ann chooses a chocolate dulce delight cake, along with a wide variety of cookies, and lemon bars and eclairs. 

Ashley opts for something called a chess pie (we're intrigued!), raspberry tarts and profiteroles and spiced, oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter cookies.

Because she's not above doing something incredibly sneaky to win, Gretel-Ann hides the baking sheets from the other teams and alters the temperatures on Jen and Ashley's ovens. That. Is. Cruel.

The strategy works, sort of. Ashley still manages to completely outsell Gretel-Ann. But Gretel-Ann does manage to beat Jen, who goes home in the Las Vegas version of a box truck, a gondola.

And now it's on to the final challenge. Ashley vs. Gretel-Ann. Buddy wants both contestants to go hard, or go home. He wants them to design a cake worthy of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, but with a piece of themselves in there, too.  Again, they're given a selection of past contestants to choose from. Ashley creates a cake with an Ashley-as-Elvis theme. Gretel-Ann goes for a slot-machine cake. Special guest, *NSYNC member Joey Fatone is tasked with helping judge.

And then, ooooh twist! All of the past contestants are asked to vote for which cake they like better. Paul asks Ashley if he thinks "a 25-year-old kid" is ready to be the next great baker, and that really pisses Ashley off.

“Is that a serious question? You’ve been a condescending person this entire time. So for you to say…I’m a 25-year-old kid is bullshit. Life experiences? You have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. You don’t know me. You think you’re better than everyone here. You’re an arrogant asshole. You have been this entire time. I don’t need to answer your damn question.”

Tell us how you really feel, Ashley.

Despite her outburst, the former contestants vote for Ashley, 7 to 4. But what do the real judges think?

Yup, you guessed it -- Ashley takes home the whole damn thing! What do you think? Who do you think should have won the whole thing? Share with us in the comments!

Bakeries Get Personal With Buddy

02/04/2013

Cake-boss-buddy-200x300Can't get enough Cake Boss? Buddy has a brand-new show coming soon to TLC.

Under the working title Bakery Go Time, the show will follow Buddy as he helps struggling family-run bakeries achieve the kind of success that Carlo's Bakery has found. After all, Buddy isn't just a master baker -- he's also a master businessman with savvy secrets to share. 

At each bakery he visits, Buddy will devote a week to helping the family evaluate their skills, products and company culture. The goal? Make each bakery a sweet success!

Know a bakery that needs Buddy? Find casting information here

About the Blog

This is the place for the scoop on TLC shows and talent, the latest story we're captivated by, the viral video we just had to share. The new things we're talking about now.
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