Archive for October, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie – Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted in food on October 27, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020


So I don’t know. Once again, I’m left with something that isn’t all that special. Pretty dry and not great. I actually baked them for less time than recommended, and until the very moment a knife came out cleanly. I don’t know what else to do, and I’m ready for a non-cake-item next week. It’s almost embarrassing to take these into work tomorrow, knowing that they aren’t all that tremendously good. I’ll have to deal with all those patronizing looks: “Oh, look, the man tried to bake something;” “Oh, I swear, it’s really, really, really good;” etc. Still, what else am I going to do with the remaining 21 cupcakes (I doubled the recipe in anticipation of tremendous success)?

Halloween’s a-comin’, and here’s my first of two costumes.  This was for my friend Belinda’s “rock n’ roll” themed party.  I was the master of vocal and drum-related Rock Band gamin’.

Lookin slick

Lookin slick with my bulgin pockets.

Tuesdays With Dorie – Pumpkin Muffins (and a drawing)

Posted in food on October 20, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020


I made two batches of this week’s Pumpkin Muffins (one with the sunflower seed topping and one without). I have to say, they may be my least favorite of the Dorie recipes I’ve tried thus far. They taste good. However, there’s nothing outstanding there that urges me to make them again. Definitely taste muffiny. Kind of taste pumpkiny. Not as moist as some of my favorite muffins. I don’t know.

Anything else interesting to note? Well, I didn’t have to take either batch to the full 25 minutes. They were done around 20 and probably could have stood to come out a little earlier. My sunflower-seedless muffins (not pictured) were a lot fuller and prettier, as I didn’t sample nearly as much batter in the second go-round.

What else is new?

I’ve becoming more and more open with people lately.  I think my new job is a main contributor, and more to the point my good friend/new coworker Derek Orion Shugar and the cavalcade of debauchery known as his family.  I’ve been getting social every day now for a while, and it’s opening me up to become an actual person instead of some mopey ideal or lacking wisp of humanity.

I guess this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much you liked me back in high school and early college.  I was a bit of an ass.  I tended (and now, tend) to get a bit talkative, and probably annoying.  In the end, I’ll take it.  It’s better than starving myself.

I’m really beginning to feel feelings again, too.  Over the past five years or so, they’ve been few and far-between.  I mean, they’ve always been there.  I KNEW what made me happy and made me sad, but I never really felt the little endorphin push behind it.  I was pretty blase about everything.  Now I’m happy when I’m happy (which is pleasantly often), sad when I’m sad, and angry when I’m etc.  By introducing a little bit of chaos to my life, I feel like I’m conquering mental illness.

What an embarrassing post.  I’m sincerely glad that I’m not shaming myself in front of people who actually know me.

Here’s a little drawing I made called “M.D. Hammer.” Relive the early 1990’s!

Stop!  Hammertime!

Stop! Hammertime!

Comic Sans: Churros

Posted in food on October 15, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020
I dont get it.

Comic Sans is the name of things I draw when I am bored. I hope you are as indifferent to reading them as I am indifferent to drawing them!

Tuesdays With Dorie – Lenox Almond Biscotti

Posted in food on October 13, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020
This is as pretty as I could make it.

This is as pretty as I could make it.

There’s not a whole lot of story to how these things came together.  It was a fairly painless process, and the end product was just the right mix of crunchy and soft.  I’m proud of how they turned out.  This will be the first dessert that I bring in to share with my new coworkers.

Today is Columbus Day.  It is the day that we celebrate our European forefathers’ early voyages to the great, uninhabited wilderness that is The United States of America Go Go USA!!!!  All history-shmutzing jingoism aside, it is my great pleasure as a government employee to have a day off of work to really reflect on what Christopher Columbus and his murderous conquests mean to me.  Turns out, they don’t mean much.  However, it was a perfect excuse to have two lunches (Wendy’s and Olive Garden, FYI).

Here’s a little tip about eating at the Olive Garden.  Don’t eat too much.  Otherwise, you’ll be compelled to go to the gym.  In and of itself, this is not a bad idea.  And anyway, we all could stand to be a little more active, right?


If you’re like me, and you regularly cycle or run at high intensity for a good hour and a half, you’re going to work up a stink.  And today (Olive Garden day) your bouquet is going to be reminiscent of garlic-flavored ass.  The gym’s resident jazzercising vampire will be reduced to a pile of dust.  Half of the beautiful women around you will be repulsed, and the other half will unwittingly crave breadstix and ruin their diet later that night.

Welp, see ya.

Tuesdays With Dorie – Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

Posted in food on October 6, 2008 by hoagiefest 2020

Now this is more like it!  I’m tired of all these successful baked goods!  Give me something that I can mangle!  Give me caramel peanut-topped brownie cake!

It’s a bit strange that in all my months of baking, I’ve never actually had to make a cake.  I’ve made pies and cobblers, cookies and tortes, puddings and ice creams.  So many absolutely intimidating recipes, all from scratch.  Yet, I haven’t had to tackle the fairly simple tasks of cakes or cupcakes.  Tonight I made my first cake and it’s turd-city.

At least visually.

A flopt cake most foul

A flop't cake most foul

The cake is flat and sunken.  It may have been my impatience.  I removed the cake from the springform pan almost immediately after it came out of the oven, and I “topped” it shortly thereafter.

I’m not sure if my topping is “correct” or not.  It tastes absolutely like caramel, but it’s not very sauce-like (saucy?) at all.  It quickly solidified into a thick layer of insane, rock-hard caramel goodness.  Here is the finished product, artlessly placed with the clutter.

I am Brownie Cake, destructor of fillings and miscellaneous dental work.

I am Brownie Cake, destructor of fillings and miscellaneous dental work.

Lately I’ve been reviewing my baked goods like I review my ladiezz:  it’s all about looks and not about substance.  Not today.  Today is the day we fight back.  How did this taste?  It tasted damn good.  Moist where it needed to be and chewy.  I was hesitant to add the nuts to the caramel (see:  picky family), but the cake would have been almost sickening (both in sweetness and consistency) without the peanuts firmly nestled in my cake’s concave bosom.

So what’s new with ol’ Mike Spoodles, you’re asking?

I just started a new job which begins with three months of classroom training.   There are fifteen tests, and if I receive less than 80% on a test, I’m fired.  Joy!  I guess it speaks to the importance of the job that I have to go through such fastidious screening, and I’d imagine once I get through it I’ll be on the fast track to any number of high-ranking government positions.  Imagine:  me as Pimpmaster General of the United States of America.  It’s a dream!

My sweet tooth rules the day, and it seems like this is the general list of rules for my cubicle.

  1. When studying for a test, it is imperative that you eat a lot of candy.  This will aid in information retention.
  2. After taking a test, you are bound to be nervous.  Eat a lot of candy.  This will make you feel better.
  3. After receiving positive test grade, celebrate by eating a lot of candy.  The day is yours!

I may have eaten an entire bag of Hershey’s “Candy Corn-flavored” Kisses over the past week.  You may think it’s impossible to make white chocolate taste MORE like sugar, but you’re wrong.  Dead wrong.  Diabetes wrong!

I’d type more, but I have to go watch Heroes with my liberal allies.  Meanwhile, my brother and his congressional allies will be watching Prison Break.