Cupcake Wars: Hanson

535a6c6b2f220790c96812e05ff7d331I know, I know I said I didn’t have time to post. But when you hear that Hanson is scheduling a 25th anniversary tour (coming soon to a city near you!) and you may finally have the opportunity to hear your favorite song of all time played live, you have to RE-PRIORITIZE. Plus, I’ve seen this episode before so it shouldn’t take long. Back in 2013, Hanson stopped by Cupcake Wars to promote their album “Anthem.”

Round 1:
The Challenge – Oklahoma (BBQ Pork, Fried Squash, Sausage Gravy, etc. The teams have to use three ingredients to make a cupcake reminiscent of Hanson’s home state. It sounds pretty disgusting).
Cupcake 1 – Brown Sugar Corn Cake, Graham Cracker Crust Strawberry Filled, Black-Eyed Pea Cream Cheese Icing, and Fresh Strawberry Garnish.
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Taylor said, “I think you took the challenge and actually wove it into a whole flavorful cupcake that I would actually want to serve to someone. I can see this at the after party to launch the tour.”
Cupcake 2 – Sweet Corn and BBQ Pulled Pork Cupcake, With Brown Butter Strawberry Cooley, honey butter cream, and fondant corn on the cob.
Isaac said “the flavors were impressive and the frosting was really good.”
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Cupcake 3 – Sweet Corn Cupcake filled with Strawberry Braised BBQ Pulled Pork, topped with Strawberry Italian Butter Cream, and garnished with fresh strawberries.
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Zac said, “This cornbread felt like an Oklahoma meal to me. Oklahoma’s kind of Southern food, barbecue, cornbread, and so the butter cream to me tasted like the way people put butter on their cornbread.
Cupcake 4 – Cornmeal & Grit Cupcake, Filled with Strawberry Glazed BBQ Pork, Strawberry Frosting, and Garnished with Strawberry on top.
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Taylor said, “It was great to have the barbecue in there. I thought that was really creative.”
(Sadly, this was the losing cupcake. Sorry, cupcake.)

Just in case any of this sounded at all appetizing to you, here are some recipes from the episode!

Round 2:
The Challenge – Make 3 cupcakes of your own choosing and make them look pretty (50% taste, 50% presentation).
Cupcake Set 1 – Boston Cream Pie, Apple Pie Cheesecake, Citrus Beer
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Taylor said, “I think there’s a lot of creativity, but it doesn’t particularly represent this album. It looks a little bit more like a country band. I’m not sure you nailed it.”
Cupcake Set 2 
PB&J, Coffee Liquor and White Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Stout Beer
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Isaac said, “I didn’t love them.” (Spoiler alert, this team lost.)
Cupcake Set 3 
Sweet Potato Pie with Blueberry filling, Raspberry Cake, Creme Brulee
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Zac said, “This is like the worldwide smash hit. The flavors are great. And I think you did a great job.”

Round 3:
The Challenge – The 1000 Cupcake Display!
Display 1 – A guitar on a stand with a spinning record that shows the name of their record in lights.
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Display 2 – A Hanson stage with a drum kit, piano, and electric guitar sitting on the stage. The name of the album will be above the stage, big, and in red. (THIS ONE WON!)

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Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Chopped: Sitcom Moms

600x600bb-85I’m going into uncharted territory here, Very Special Readers! This post covers food-blogging. Is that what you call it? Or cooking blogging? Cooking is not something I know much about, but if anyone can pull me out of my blogging comfort-zone then it’s Jackée Harry and Betsy Randle.

I’m more of a Cupcake Wars fan myself, but Chopped drew me in with this “sitcom mom” episode. Shout out to my boyfriend for interrupting my Disney Vacation to tell me this was on TV, but I had to track down the youtube link on my own when he falsely told me it was “live TV.”

The Contestants:
Tichina Arnold from Everybody Hates Chris
Betsy Randle from Boy Meets World
Jo Marie Payton from Family Matters
Jackée Harry from Sister, Sister

The Appetizer Round:
The Ingredients:
TV Dinners, Portobello Mushrooms, Fresh Spinach, Sour Cream

cqf-o6bu8aalqwwWhat I would have made: TV Dinner with diced mushrooms mixed in. Spinach and Sour Cream pudding. (Maybe saying cooking was “not something I know much about” is vast underestimation.)

What they made:
Tichina- Spinach salad (mushrooms, olive oil, fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar)
Jackée- Sautéed TV Dinner with Spinach
Jo Marie- Sautéed Mushrooms with Cajun Stuffing
Betsy- Mushroom and turkey casserole with garlic mashed potatoes on bed of spinach drizzled with champagne vinaigrette.

mv5bmjexodkzmti3nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnda0njq5nje-_v1_uy1200_cr48506301200_al_Backstage: All of the moms are pretty disgusted that they had to use TV Dinners. Tichina hates this especially because she is competing for her Lupus charity and learned how to cook with fresh foods when her sister was diagnosed.

Who Got Chopped: The judges chopped Jo Marie because her mushrooms were under-cooked and she dumped too many spices into the stuffing. But Jackée mentioned earlier that she loves Jo Marie’s cooking, so I feel like this just wasn’t her night.

The Entree Round:
The Ingredients: Minute Steak, Rainbow Carrots, Cream of Celery Soup, French Toast


What I would have made
:
Carrot and celery soup with a french toast steak sandwich.

What they made:
Betsy- Seared minute steak with french toast stuffing and deep-fried carrots
Jackée- Celery Steak avec Carrots
Tichina- Tichina’s Pepper Steak Carnivale

The screw-ups: I’m pretty sure that Tichina is drunk on wine at this point and she’s also trying to throw Jackée off by gas-lighting her into thinking she messed up her carrots. Betsy forgets to use the cream of celery soup. Jackée mistakes cilantro for parsley and uses it as garnish. So really, I’m feeling like maybe the sitcom moms don’t know much more about cooking than I do.

Who Got Chopped: Tichina got chopped for basically not altering 75% of the ingredients from the basket.

The Dessert Round:
The Ingredients: Tiramisu, bananas, strawberry sauce, and almonds.

What I would have Made: Yuck, banana! I would have pureed the heck out of that banana with the strawberry sauce to off-set some of the banana yuck. Then I’d deconstruct that tiramisu and food-process some almonds to mix into it. And then I guess I’d make some kind of tiramisu almond strawberry parfait thing. 

screen-shot-2015-10-07-at-2-24-03-amWhat they made:
Betsy- Vanilla ice cream sundae topped with a dollop of tiramisu and almond goop
Jackée- Off-beat banana flambé au strawberry

Who Got Chopped: Betsy. Turns out only one of the judges liked her goop, but ultimately they didn’t like that she left the bananas as “just bananas.”

The Winner: Jackée! And she’s giving $10,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.