office birthdays cake

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milk chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and vanilla-peanut butter buttercream frosting

milk chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and vanilla-peanut butter buttercream frosting

Although they can be time-consuming, an assembled layer cake is one of the most satisfying baking triumphs for me.  After getting by with make-shift cake turntables, I finally invested in a very simple turntable that made frosting this cake a lot easier and produced much smoother results.

This cake celebrated three office birthdays and seemed to be well-received by all.  One person said it good because it was not too sweet (despite the toothache description of the cake), and I agree.

This was only my second go at making buttercream frosting, and I am getting closer to the ideal supersmooth texture, but I’m not quite there yet.  For a more polished example, take a look at Christie’s post at Ipso Fatto.

Recipe: Oopsy Daisy Cake

get out the vote

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pan-fried pork dumplings | toki underground | h st ne

pan-fried pork dumplings | toki underground | h st ne

Last year, I started a new job, and along with the new job came a new schedule that limits my previously unfettered exploration of the city’s culinary delights. Unfortunately, that has meant fewer opportunities to frequent my favorite places, including Toki Underground, which has garnered accolades far and wide since my initial post, including a mention in The New York Times‘ “46 Places to Go in 2013.”  

Not surprisingly, Chef Erik Bruner-Yang is in the running to be Food & Wine‘s “The People’s Best New Chef.” As one of ten chefs in the Mid-Atlantic region, Erik is only one of two D.C. chefs in the field, which is largely dominated by Philly chefs.  So, show your D.C. pride, ramen love, and dumpling devotion, and VOTE for Erik: http://www.foodandwine.com/peoples-best-new-chef/mid-atlantic

Voting continues until March 18; one vote per IP address (so vote from your laptop, your desktop, your iPhone, your iPad…).

After having some good-but-average ramen at a new place in my neighborhood last week, I was craving Toki’s curry chicken ramen more than ever. Luckily, the stars aligned this week, and I happily gobbled up one of my favorite meals of all-time — pan-friend pork dumplings and Taipei curry chicken ramen (this time, kae-dama – extra noodles!).  Definitely a satisfying return and Best-New-Chef-worthy meal!

taipei curry chicken ramen | toki underground | h st ne

taipei curry chicken ramen | toki underground | h st ne

 

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