Wednesday November 14, 2012

Feeling Foxy

I never thought getting my mise en place would involve packing my grandmother’s cast iron skillet, three cake pans, a cast iron Ateco turntable, a ziplock bag of spices and a pair of black stilettos into a suitcase.

But today, it did.

And then I’ll get myself en place by flying to New York. Through a rather convoluted series of events, it turns out that I’ll be on national television this Saturday morning, decorating a cake on the set of Fox & Friends at 7:30 am.

stack of tart shells

If you’re one of those crazy people who gets up early on the weekend, I hope you’ll silently cheer me on in your PJs. You’ll still be in your pajamas, right? Please don’t tell me you’re up and dressed at 7:30 on a Saturday. Whatever you do, don’t tell me you’ve already gone for a jog. Sane people of the world: DVR it for after breakfast.

I always thought people wound up on tv because of managers or agents or my people calling your people then doing lunch. But for me, it started with a tweet about pickled watermelon rinds. Tweeting about stuff like that will inevitably lead you to Cathy Barrow, aka Mrs. Wheelbarrow, Mistress of Preserving. We wound up becoming twitter buddies, then meeting up in New York for tequila one night (as you do) and otherwise getting along all too well.

So when Cathy wrote a piece for the latest issue of Garden & Gun, a round-up of Thanksgiving desserts from Southern pastry chefs, she thought of this Kentucky gal. And thus, despite owning neither a garden nor a gun, I wound up in the magazine via my brown sugar, pear and pistachio layer cake (an upgraded version of the caramel pear cake I did a few years back).

Apparently, someone at Fox liked the looks of the cake and thought it would make a fun addition to their pre-Thanksgiving holiday coverage. So they called Garden & Gun, who called Cathy, who called me. Then we all called each other, left voicemails, and then called everyone back. It was complicated.

But we worked it all out and now I’m gearing up for my little segment. I don’t want to spend my time being that chef who just dumps a million different pre-measured ingredients into a bowl. That doesn’t really demonstrate anything other than getting ramekins dirty. So instead, I’ll show off my favorite tricks for decorating a layer cake, with or without a turntable.

I’ll only be on the air for a few minutes, so stay tuned for a follow up post with more cake decorating details to guide you through the process at home.


123 Tart Shells

Pear and Pistachio Layer Cake

posted byStellaand filed under:  Sarah Jane

36 comments and counting

Nov 15, 2012 · 12:51 AM

Whoo hoo! Thank you in advance for considering the overuse of ramekins. I’ll tune in.

 · fatpiginthemarket ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  8:13 AM

Awesome. Break a leg! I hope to catch it..

 · Silver Magpies ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  8:33 AM

Congrats and good luck!!

 · Rachel ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  8:39 AM

two things.

1. the fact that you have a post called total eclipse of the heart makes you my kinda gal. [p.s. if you haven’t seen this video, take 3 minutes and give it a look-see]

2. i will be dressed and on a train at 7am, but i’ll have my sister dvr that so i can watch it when i get in. it’ll be a reward for facing humanity at such an early hour and living to tell the tale.


 · kelly I kellybakes ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  8:51 AM

Congratulations, Stella! I’m going to call my grandparents and have them DVR it for me

Have fun!

 · Kaitlin ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  8:53 AM

Hi – First of all, I am one of those sick people who has already gone jogging by 0730. But, since I’m off to a football game this weekend and tailgating starts early I’ll have to TiVO. I’m looking forward to watching your segment when I get back. Thanks so much for letting us know! And break a leg…or good luck…or whatever I’m supposed to say!

 · dana · 

Nov 15, 2012 ·  9:02 AM

@fatpiginthemarket, I mean seriously we get it. You put all the stuff into the bowl. Geeze.

@Silver Magpie, @Rachel thank you! Hopefully there will be a clip I can post online later.

@kelly, omg, yes!! I’ve seen it, but I won’t tell you how many times, that’s personal. Dressed and out of the house? Eeeps!!

@Kaitlin, lol, John is having his parents DVR it too. Our clocks don’t go off that early.

@dana, have you considered therapy?? Restaurant life has corrupted me, we stay up late, sleep late and work like crazy in the middle.


Nov 15, 2012 ·  9:40 AM

Whoo! Congrats! You deserve it, your recipes and posts are always something that make my day better =)

 · Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  9:48 AM

Wonderful! Have fun doing the show!

 · Radhika ·

Nov 15, 2012 · 10:27 AM

Congrats! It would be worth getting up that early to watch. Unfortunately I don’t think it will be on in California.

 · Luv2cook · 

Nov 15, 2012 · 10:31 AM

Stella, Congratulations!!! Very exciting!! I’m going to set my dvr, as I will definitely still be sleeping after spending two days at Disneyland! kick some major booty!!! <3

 · Iris ·

Nov 15, 2012 · 12:05 PM

I think going on a Fox News program gives them credence. I won’t be watching.

 · akmuffin · 

Nov 15, 2012 · 12:12 PM

@Lisa, @Radhika, thanks so much!

@Luv2cook, oh no? Hopefully I’ll have a clip I can post online at a later date.

@Iris, haha, lucky girl! Enjoy that sleep.

@akmuffin, I’d like to think there are no politics in dessert; a platform of cake and ice cream doesn’t give credence to anything but a birthday party.


Nov 15, 2012 ·  3:33 PM

I never though I could ever utter the phrase, “I am SO watching Fox News!” But you have done it, can’ wait to see you in action And I guess this is a lesson to me in: Never say Never.

 · TheBeeroness ·

Nov 15, 2012 ·  6:21 PM

Awesome news Stella – I’ll be watching! Best of luck and gambatte kudasai!

 · Uchujin · 

Nov 15, 2012 ·  7:29 PM

Great work! Hopefully it will make it’s way to You Tube for us non USAers to view at some stage!!

 · Kim · 

Nov 15, 2012 ·  9:32 PM

@TheBeeroness, aw, thanks. I really appreciate that.

@Uchujin, hai! Gambarimasu!

@Kim, I’m hoping to do just that. Will post as soon as I can.


Nov 16, 2012 ·  5:29 AM

Enjoyed your post. Sounds like a lot of work for a few minutes of fame. BUT so much fun and so worth it. I’m sure my son the chef would do it if he had a chance. I too will be out of the house but maybe someone will DVR it for me. Best wishes.

 · Reapwhatshesews · 

Nov 16, 2012 ·  5:57 AM

Well I couldn’t be more thrilled for you, I will be tuning in for sure, as you see I get up very early (I’m typing this a t 5:52am, which mean I will have a 2 1/2 hour wait to see you on Fox& Friends tomorrow morning! Gosh I wish I didn’t have to work the weekends, I would have jolted over to The City and maybe we could have indulged one of those tequilas that you were talking about…anywho I am so excited for you and I will be tuning in to watch for sure!! Congrats Stella, good things are happening for you, Brava!!!

 · Maria in NJ · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  2:07 AM

Congratulations, Stella!
Promise you will link your segment (no Fox here, across the pond)…
Looking forward to following your decorating tips. Thank you for sharing them, and enjoy the show!

 · mics · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:46 AM

Just saw you on Fox&Friends. Bookmarked this site. Love that cake recipe. You have a new fan.

 · KathyP · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:52 AM

Yummy. Great to see you on tv. From a male perspective, your deserts are as good looking and as sexy as their maker!

 · iMac · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:54 AM

I not only was up at 7:30, I was watching the news while exercising! And I was SO excited when I saw you on TV. Wow – the cake is too die for… Good thing I was already exercising, because I must make it. Great job this morning!

 · PrayerPoseMom · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:55 AM

Watched your segment on fox. You were brilliant. I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes!

 · LowellC · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:57 AM

Just saw your desserts on Fox & Friends and had to look up your blog. Awesome stuff and congrats to you. Yummy looking stuff! Those brownies look great…and that cake, oh my!

 · Allgems · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  8:39 AM

Saw you on Fox and Friends and, yes, my husband and I were up that early, although still in our pj’s sipping on coffee . As a fellow Kentuckian (Frankfort) and as someone who enjoys cooking, I just wanted to congratulate you and tell you great job! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m looking forward to trying your recipes!

 · Shellie ·

Nov 17, 2012 ·  9:03 AM

Saw u this morning……making the cake for thanksgiving

 · Norah · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  4:48 PM

Great job on the Fox & Friend segment show today! When Allison said this pear cake was the best cake she ever put in her mouth, I knew I had found my Thanksgiving cake. Sounds amazing!

But I do have a question. The recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter for the cake and another 8 sticks in the frosting. I don’t think I have ever used that much butter for an entire holiday!

I’m game to try this for a special occasion, but I would feel much better if you reassured me this is correct.

 · Debbie  · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  4:58 PM

Saw you on Fox this morning – great job Stella! Have a safe journey home and Happy Thanksgiving!

 · Uchujin · 

Nov 17, 2012 ·  7:48 PM

For @Reapwhatshesews and all who missed it, you can watch the clip online!

@Maria, tequilas next time for sure! And oy! I was up at 4:30 today and I don’t know how people do it. You’re a trooper.

@mics, link as promised! And will post a follow up soon with even more details.

@KathyP, thank you so much for taking the time to look me up! Hurray!

@iMac, haha, awesome!!

@PrayerPoseMom, oh just stop it. Already up AND exercising? You’re putting me to shame.

@LowellC, thank you thank you! If you don’t already have one, run out and grab a scale so you can play in my kitchen!

@Shellie, as long as you were still in pjs, I can handle it. I’ve got family in Frankfort, love it!!

@Norah, yay! That’s awesome. Happy baking.

@Debbie, yes it is correct. It makes more buttercream than you really need, because nothing is worse than decorating a cake and running out of frosting!! So you’ll definitely not need to eat it all, but having that extra buttercream gives you a lot of wiggle room in decorating the cake. And, truthfully, after a big Thanksgiving meal, the cake will serve a lot more than 12 people, so that butter gets spread a little farther than it looks on paper.

@Uchujin, thank you so much for watching! I’m actually in the air right now, using the plane’s wifi, haha.


Nov 18, 2012 · 11:35 AM

Congratulations Stella—I am thrilled for you!

 · Susan · 

Nov 20, 2012 · 10:25 AM

Thank you for posting the link. Just watched it. You were fabulous!

 · Radhika ·

Mar 11, 2013 ·  6:05 AM

Yummy. Great to see you on tv. From a male perspective, your deserts are as good looking and as sexy as their maker!

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 · Augusto de Arruda Botelho ·


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