Busy kitchen day! Orange Chicken and Strawberry cake

November 22nd, 2009 by leigha

Today was a really busy day in my kitchen, and the pile of dishes is the proof.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of anything tonight.  By the time I FINALLY got dinner finished I was so stressed and irritated and hungry that I didn’t care if I had a picture, I just wanted to eat.

Dinner tonight was Orange Chicken that I got from Annie’s Eats.  It’s not the first time I’ve made the recipe.  In fact, I think the recipe is super easy and absolutely delicious.  But oh not tonight!  Tonight’s Flip Out Factor had to be at least a 3.5 for the Orange Chicken.  There was a lot of praying, guessing and finger crossing.  Everything was great until I got to the very last step where you thicken the orange glaze for the chicken.  That’s when I realized I’d used the last of the cornstarch to coat the chicken for frying.  So a quick google excursion told me how many tablespoons of flour to use and I thought it would be okay.  NO NO NO it was not!  I ended up with something that looked like brown paste, so I had to guess about adding different amounts of orange juice, vinegar, chicken stock and soy sauce to get an acceptable constistency and taste.  Then it was a lumpy mess that I had to run the hand mixer through to “fix.”  The taste was okay when all was said and done, it just wasn’t as pretty as it should have been.  But oh well, I was hungry.

I really need to make sure I have all the ingredients before I start cooking.

For class tomorrow I decided on a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.  After the chocolate birthday cake fiasco I decided I’d just use a boxed cake mix and not worry about trying to be all Betty Crocker and make my own.  I was going for really thick layers so I could torte the cake and have 4 layers instead of just 2, so I used 2 boxes of cake mix in my 2 9-inch cake pans.  M-I-S-T-A-K-E.  I need to just follow the stupid directions and stop thinking I can figure it all out myself when I have no clue what I’m doing.  I don’t know how in the world the professional cake people do the really thick cakes, but apparently I can’t do it, so I’m just going to start making 4 thinner layers that don’t have to be torted instead of just 2 thick layers that I slice in half.

After the Rainbow Cake’s crumb issues I decided I’d try to do a crumb coat on the strawberry cake so it’ll look pretty and crumbless.  Hopefully that works out well.  The strawberry cake’s still in the fridge setting with the crumb coat.  In about thirty minutes or so I’ll be able to pull it out and put on the pretty coat.  Crossing my fingers that works out okay… I’m too tired to deal with the irritation of it not working.  And I still have to make the regular buttercream for class tomorrow.

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