The Giant Cupcake

31 05 2009

7:30 p.m.: As we speak, a giant cupcake in a coffee can is baking in my oven.



Essentially, I doubled this batter recipe found on the Joy Of Baking Web site. To give you a few highlights without doing the math — six eggs, two sticks of butter, three cups of flour, two-ish cups of sugar, etc. etc. (that’s if I did the math right. We’ll see).


I have no idea how long to bake it for. But, it’s on 350, as per the recipe’s instructions. Though I bet it will take a little longer than 12-18 minutes.

8:21 p.m. UPDATE: After checking the can, it seemed the top was firm and cupcake-like. So it was removed and let cool. After pulling it out to flip, it was discovered the bottom half was unfortunately not cooked, BUT IT WAS STILL IN TACT with just a smell hemorrhage of batter. The cupcake was able to be put back into the can, this time, upside down, to finish baking. It’s touch and go. More to follow.


9:33 p.m. UPDATE: After baking for a total of about an hour and a half, with about 20 minutes for cooling, it appears that the giant cup cake is finished baking. There is a small fisher in the top of it due to the previous accident, but for all intents and purposes, it appears cooked through. While there is no toothpick long enough to insert in the center as the classic test (if it comes out clean, finito, if not, bake it some more.) but a knife came out clean. I say, good enough. Now, it must just cool completely and then we will go on to ice it with about a pound of icing.  Shown below, with a beer bottle for scale. MORE TO FOLLOW.


10:35 P.M. UPDATE — THE GIANT CUPCAKE IS FINISHED. Born at approximately 10:30 p.m., EST, it weighs at least three pounds of cupcake and 1.5 pounds of vanilla icing. Also, adorned with sprinkles. I am a proud parent. I just hope it tastes ok!


Darn you Ace of Cakes for the episode that aired today of you making the world’s largest cupcake! Darn you!


Burger impostor

31 05 2009

Arby’s Restaurant claims that their Roast Burger is the “burger done better.”

Ok. Well for the record and as a veteran burger eater, adding lettuce and tomato under a few slices of roast beef, cheese and bacon does not a burger make.BURGERFRAUD

Therefore, I have declared hte Roast Burger as a dubious fraud.

How it all ve-gan

31 05 2009

A Catholic carnivore and a Vegan Jew were standing in a pizza joint one day, debating about where to eat.  After some debate, the vegan says, “I don’t eat anything with a hear-t.” The carnivore replies, ‘Well how about artichokes?”.artichoke

What should have been a knee-slapper of a moment turned into awkward-city which then led to the carnivore being taken to an organic coffee to shop to pay for overpriced cheesecake where an ex’s vehicle was later spotted. Or, a date from hell.

And thus was my first introduction to someone who would become legendary for the rest of my friends’ and mine life. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call this person the Epileptic Vegan Jew.

I met EVJ in a “social” club in college that I attended with a devout friend in order to score a date. EVJ liked Fahrenheit 451, I just so happened to fake an interest. Lo and behold, dinner plans were made.

All seemed well, and normal enough, until EVJ dropped the five letter word whilst standing in a perfectly delicious pizza shop.

“I’m vegan,” EVJ said.

“What is a vegan?” I said.

“I don’t eat anything with a face. Or a heart.”

“Well how about artichokes.”


Oh shit.

Not even yogurt. WTF.govegan After a ridiculously shitty evening that culminated with me trying to throw myself in a fireplace while EVJ ate some kind of gluten-free cheesecake, I vowed, no more vegans.

Until the bike messenger came along. Not again.

Again, they didn’t drop the V-word until we were contemplating a meal choice. Why wait until that moment, when you’re hungry and undoubtedly have to compromise. I say, say it up front. Some people won’t date republicans. Yankees fans won’t date Bo-Sox fans. Carnivores, as a rule, should not date Vegans. This is nature.

I should have been tipped off about this veganism by a few things. Bike Messenger was really thin, and perpetually smelled like garlic. And knitted. A lot. Thick-rimmed glasses too. A tell-tale sign. Ah, I was so blind.

Then the moment of truth. Debating about dinner until we picked an Indian restaurant in Squirrel Hill. I assumed as an Indian restaurant, there would be delicious meats. But nay. NAY. it was a three-dish kind of place, each with a certain amount of curry….and nothing but chickpeas. Fine, I assumed. It’s an Indian thing. We took the muck, I mean  curried chickpeas to the park where I heard the infamous words, “I’m a vegan.” My heart/stomach sank. Oh shit.

It only got worse after that. As if I hadn’t suffered enough, I was forced to eat at a vegan-only restaurant where the only thing I understood on the menu was this devilish item called soysage. It is as gross as it sounds. It’s even grosser when you are forced to wash it down with WARM GINGER “SODA.”

tall-hamburger The only saving grace to the Bike Messenger Garlic-Smelling Vegan was that they lived within a five-minute radius of a McDonalds. But eventually, the veganism became too much. Have you ever smelled “natural deodorant?” Don’t. It smells like armpits.

After three months of off and on suffering with the vegan, it was decision time.  The night   came. The vegan didn’t drink but tonight, tonight my friends, the booze was OK. So Bike Messenger gets sloppy drunk and cannot bicycle home (wtf) and I am forced to be the designated driver. Bike in the trunk, vegan in the van, I head home thinking, maybe tonight, tonight will be different. After an incredibly disappointing three hours that ended with me hauling the vegan’s bicycle in the shitty, artistic house, I left in the midle of the night under the rouse of “I’m going running.”

Bike Messenger never asked why I would do such a crazy thing at 3 a.m., especially without     pants. But thank god the McDonalds nearby was open 24-hours. It was a sweet victory going through the drivethrough, pantsless.

Grill on grill action

31 05 2009

There is no finer time then right now to be grilling something. Anything. I’ll even concede that it does not have to be meat. (Though, any good griller should make that a staple.)0527091632

In the past, not everything that I have thrown on the grill has turned out. Namely bananas, eggs, anything frozen, vegetable packets WITHOUT butter, and, a pan of rice.

Among the things that have been delicious suprises have been bacon, a GIANT zucchini stuffed with sausage, and a turkey drumstick.

In honor of the grilling season, I am preparing to name my grill, pictured to the right. It was purchased for a mere $20 at Wal-Mart prior to a Pirates tailgate last year, and so far has been the best investment that an American make.

0517091146While my dad’s gas grill with side burner can accomodate up to 50 burger patties at once (dreamlike, isn’t it?), my charcoal grill, when you tighten the bolts enough, can accomodate three patties, three links of some kind of cured meats and maybe a bun or two on the higher rack. Jealous? You should be. And if you’re worried about heat distribution, one leg is longer than another. So the gentle tilt of the charcoal grill lends itself to flavoring the meat better. There is scientific research to back this up. I just ate it.


29 05 2009

As if the textile world couldn’t get any weirder, now the Slanket has competition from the Wearable Towel. Please help us.

But if we’re going to be good consumers, we need the facts.

So here’s the matchup.

On the defender’s side, the Slanket. A giant, fleece blanket available in a variety of colors that its producers say “Simplistic and practical, its innovativeness opens up possibilities, but still can replace any normal blanket.”

The Web site encourages you to go ahead, and call in sick. On the color below, called “Ruby” by Slanketheads, the company says “This color is so hard to describe with words. It’s a feeling, a vibration, a longing. It’s rich and vibrant. It draws you in and drapes you with comfort and color. If passion was a Slanket, it would be this color…maybe passion IS a Slanket. Slide into one and find out.”

The Slanket (Photo owned by SlanketLoungin LLC, copyright 2007 a
On the contender’s side, the Wearable Towel, aka “The Towel with Arm Openings.” It has three arm openings, no fasteners, and can be worn in either tunic or toga style. As the company’s CEO says, “We simply made the towel better.”

Just in time for July 4, the Wearable Towel is available in Red, White, and, yes, Blue. The W.T’s motto is Confidently, Completely, Comfortably Covered. It also comes with a free backpack. Yessss. As the company says, “This may seem quite familiar as you might recall ‘the blanket with sleeves’ that took Americans by storm this winter, but with the summer head headed our way, these blankets are all being put away. This, however, is not the end of the wearable craze; in fact, IT HAS JUST BEGUN….”


Which will dominate the wearable world? Comment with your vote!

Under construction

27 05 2009

The Bramance crew is working to bring you a new, hilarious header.  While unable to write at the moment, I was a little concerned while out at an electrical company whose workers are picketing, then realizing that I in fact, have a huge, outstanding electric bill.

More later.

You’re welcome.


24 05 2009

French toast seems to play second fiddle to the pancake in most breakfast restaurants. Really, you just see the options (chocolate chip, blueberry, banana, buttermilk, etc.)

Until now.

Vitor’s Bistro in Cincinatti has blessed all breakfast-purveyors with a little ditty called “Unforgettable French Toast.” Here’s the skinny on it this desert breakfast:

  • 2 Pieces of Texas Toast
  • Dipped in Vanilla/Cocoa Bean Batter
  • Dredged in Crushed Frosted Flakes™
  • Pan Seared with Crème Brulee
  • Banana & Whipped Cream Topping

It sounds a bit much but I assure, it is not. This, for me, was the highlight of this year’s Taste of Cincinnati and has spurned a renewed interest in French Toast. It opened my eyes that it really can be more than just the toast.

So in Baltimore, the Blue Moon Cafe has a special Captain Crunch french toast. Um. Genius?

But back to Taste, for the three people who read this, here is a rundown of Taste’s menu with the most common words in large print:tastewordle

Just get the Unforgettable French Toast.