Monday, April 22, 2013

What is the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats?

steel cut oats on the left, rolled oats on the right

This year for Christmas, my husband tucked some steel cut oats into my stocking.  I had never seen steel cut oats before and was surprised by what they look like. I had heard great things about steel cut oats but had never seen them.  Would they taste good?  They looked an awful lot like horse food.   But sure enough, these golden little nubby bits cooked up into a delightfully creamy bowl of oatmeal.

So what is the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats?

Steel cut oats are cut up pieces of the inner oat kernel (groat).  Unlike rolled oats, they have not been cooked prior to processing so cooking time is longer for steel cut oats.  Sometimes, in the store, you will find steel cut oats labeled as Irish oats or pin head oats.

Rolled oats are oat groats that have been rolled and steamed.  They take less time to cook and are what we traditionally think of as oatmeal.  Instant oats are rolled oats that have been processed further and are in smaller pieces, making the cooking time faster.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carrot Muffin Fail

I was so pumped about my adaptation of The Dahlia Bakery's carrot muffins.  As I was stirring the batter, I was composing a post in my head waxing poetic about how delicious and somewhat healthy these muffins (carrots plus whole wheat flour, hello?) were going to be.  Even though these muffins required me to use three bowls and took thirty minutes to mix up they were sooo going to be worth it.  And then I peeked in the oven and saw this: 


Sad.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Interesting Things



Some interesting things I have found this week:

A high school classmate of mine had his hard work finally pay off.

I love love love eating Cutie's.  This Clementine Cake looks so wonderfully citrusy.

I Heart Faces has a lovely tutorial about how to achieve the correct white balance in Lightroom.

Mint and Cumin Salted Lassi-sound crazy but I bet it tastes awesome!

Chocolate Orange Cardamom Pull-Apart Bread

When I was in high school, I used to eat Oatmeal Cream Pies like they were going out of style.  Annie's Eats homemade version look ten times better!

As usual, Sprinkle Bakes impresses with her chocolate seals on top of cupcakes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fish Cake



To go along with Foster's fishing cupcakes, I got to make a fish cake too.  This was the first cake I have ever carved.  It was white cake with this buttercream.  I used this cake from Martha Stewart as inspiration and her template to carve the body, fins, and eyes.

I changed a few things from Martha's original tutorial:

  1.  I removed the top an bottom fin at the request of Foster's mom
  2. I used mini chocolate chips instead of chocolate covered sunflower seeds for the pupils (where can you even find chocolate covered sunflower seeds anyway?)
  3. I used a #12 round tip to pipe the scales instead of the ribbon tip that Martha suggests (I didn't have it)
  4. I didn't carve the lips out of the cake, I found it easer to carve the cake in a smooth arch and just use the gummy life saver as the lips.
  5. I split and filled the cake with frosting.  This was dumb, it made the cake harder to move around and frost.  If I were to make it again, I would leave the cake 1 layer.  The top of the cake is frosted with quite enough frosting, a filling is not necessary.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fishing Cupcakes


I recently got to make these super cute, super easy cupcakes for my little cousin Foster's third birthday party.  The party was fishing themed and his mom saw these cupcakes on Pinterest and asked me to make them but with gummy fish instead.

I made chocolate cake, this frosting colored blue for the water (saving some uncolored frosting for the fishing line), pretzel rods, and multi-colored Swedish Fish.   The blue frosting was piped with a big open #12 tip, but could have easily been spread on with a spatula.  I just thought piping the frosting made it a bit tidier.  The fishing line was piped with a plain round #2 Wilton tip.


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