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Adventures in Cultural Misappropriation: Montenegro

Posted in adventures in cultural misappropriation, montenegro, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 24, 2019 by hoagiefest 2020

In this post:


Sautéed collard greens


Every time we do one of these days, we pick a country using a random generator, and then we take the time to learn a little something about the country and it’s cuisine. One of my biggest surprises this time around was that a country called Montenegro exists!

Another fun fact: by at least one metric, Montenegro is the second most racist country in the world!

ur doing great sweetie

Many other metrics didn’t bother to include Montenegro in their reporting, so congrats Montenegro – you’re small and you may suck?

It turns out their cuisine is not too different from its surrounding areas, including a country we’ve already done. So we didn’t make those previous recipes, and we cannibalized the options for the other countries in this region.

This is Kacamak! It’s a polenta style grits n feta slop pile! And also a real palindrome!

Ya burl up some taters real nice, mash em up, throw in a handful of cornmeal, add oil and feta, and baby that’s it. They haven’t invented spices in the mountains yet.

Serve with a side of sautéed collard greens, which were fine. Never had them before. It was pretty much a more pleasant sautéed kale.

now! thats what i call ok

The flavors are pretty bland on the kacamak, and this is coming from a guy who is chowing a sleeve of saltines while he writes this.

This pairs really well with a chilled sparkling wine, like a 2019 Diet Mt. Dew.

The real winner was priganice, something borat says. It’s yeast donuts with a bit of apple inside, rolled in sugar.

im pleased to announce that donuts are good

All in all, as a country Montenegro doesn’t hold a candle to Flavor Country, but for a small nation of allegedly racist mountain people, its food is good enough. I give the country of Montenegro a 5/10.

Vegan cupcakes, kind of ok

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2014 by hoagiefest 2020

My spouse is still vegan, and January/February is birthday month. To avoid the discomfort of her staring at us while we eat real cake – or the inconvenience to our hosts of requesting something weird – I baked her freezer cupcakes. Nothing fancy – just vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. All vegan, all from this link (except I substituted some cocoa into the icing, and added about 1/4 tsp of salt to it as well).

The cake tasted pretty much like any other cake – if pressed, I’d say it’s probably not as fluffy (probably due to the lack of eggs) but no distinguishable flavor difference. The icing is basically my standard buttercream recipe but with all shortening instead of half-butter, and that suffers a bit more (but hey, some cows’ boobies didn’t suffer, so I guess something had to). It leaves a film in the mouth and seems a bit…ehhhh.

I was wondering as I tasted the cake, how did we decide on the recipe for cake? The vegan substitute tastes pretty on-point. Over time, who decided that we should use the rocks that come out of chickens’ buttholes to enrich our baked goods, and a little of this chemical powder, and a little of this other chemical powder, and we’ll grind up these plants and put that powder in. It seems like a long journey just to result in diabetes for everyone. Delicious and disappointing.

No pictures, as I didn’t take my time decorating them. These are utility cupcakes, not display cupcakes. You know what brown stuff on top of white stuff looks like.

Vegan cookies are kind of a success?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2014 by hoagiefest 2020

After a four-year break, I have reverted to meatlessness and have stayed true for the last few months. My spouse, in a wonderful display of oneupsmanship, has been full vegan for the last two weeks. We were watching someone on TV talk about brownies and she developed a craving for vegan brownies – problem is, we are in the middle of a snowstorm, so I had to work with items on-hand.

After giving up on brownies for various reasons, I turned to chocolate cookies. I chose this recipe, which I thought would be doable with my current pantry. Turns out however that I did not have cocoa powder, so I subbed an appropriate amount of flour and added extra vanilla.

The batter was way too gloppy, but I tried anyway. First batch came out p. gross.


I added more flour for batch 2, and these cookies looked okay. Bigger and stay-puftier.



I prefer butter and eggs myself

Bake In The Saddle Again

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2013 by hoagiefest 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve baked; not as long as it’s been since I’ve blogged, but a few months. I always get a bit lazy, and then I start eating store-bought treats. I forget how much better real treats are, how much fun it is to make good things out of a bunch of dumb-looking powders, and how much more rewarding it is when your figurative sweat and literal blood (from the sharp lid of the pumpkin can) are in the recipe.

We are now proud homeowners, which, for the purposes of this site, means that there will be no more pictures atop washers, dryers, or stove tops. We have a kitchen with COUNTER SPACE.

On the left: caramel pumpkin pie. It’s the same recipe that I’ve made and probably blogged about several times before. The recipe is really variable, depending on how dark you caramelize the sugar in step one of the recipe. I’ve never been quite as pleased with this recipe as I was the first time I made it; as such, I think I’m retiring this one and finding a new pumpkin pie recipe for 2014.


On the right, a gluten free pumpkin pie that my wife found on Buzzfeed, because Buzzfeed is a thing she likes. My sister-in-law is allergic to gluten and she is awesome so we like to make sure she gets dessert when we can help it. The crust is a paste of dates, pecans, walnuts, and gluten-free oats. The filling is a lightly sweetened pumpkin pudding (the sweetness is all in the dates in the crust)

Tis the season for more baking. I’ll try to post when I’m not too bored or depressed!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2013 by hoagiefest 2020

Hi, as you may have guessed I’m not blogging here anymore?  I caught a lethal buttcrack infection and am probably dying, so TTYL everyone. 

Just kidding, that is false.

I still bake, but weighing the amount of time it takes to do this vs. the amount of fun I have doing it vs. the size of the audience reading it, it was a no-brainer to stop.  I may pop up again, especially as I go on to do more levels of cake decorating classes, etc – but this is pretty much it.   I exist on the Internet in many, many more places if you know where to look.

Another cake – get used to cakes

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2012 by hoagiefest 2020

It’s a cake from over a month ago. This cake was my “final project” for my Wilton level 1 cake decorating class. I had other projects, but I forgot to take pictures. We learned how to do these roses in the last class, so really my final project was just tossing all my practice roses on a cake. The cake was a single 9″ cake (this recipe, without the lemon zest/lemon extract, and with vanilla extract), leveled, and then torted into two layers. The icing is the not-v.-good all-shortening buttercream from a recipe in the training manual. My icing consistency may have been a little too dry, because the roses and shells weren’t very smooth.

We planned on taking this into work, but then a hurricane came through (maybe you remember it? I don’t know, maybe you don’t) and work was canceled for a while. Anyway, my wife and I ate this whole damn cake. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Slacking and cake

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2012 by hoagiefest 2020

I know I’ve been slacking. I’m a total tool. Since July of 2008 I didn’t miss any weeks – not even while I was on my honeymoon. And then I fell out of the habit, and now I’m about three weeks out from my last post. Listen – I’m still baking. I’m taking cake decorating classes. I’m spending some time being a human person. I don’t know why I’m explaining. I’m only accountable to me, and I’m plenty disappointed in myself for abandoning something I enjoy so much for so long.

Here is the first cake I made for coworkers after I started taking the level-one Wilton cake decorating class. It was only after the first session – so I didn’t know much, just a few piping techniques. Most of the stuff I learned was pretty worthless in this case, because decorating with peanut butter icing is a painintheballs. It doesn’t stiffen like buttercream. So it’s uneven and can’t be smoothed. If I remember correctly, the cake was Dorie Greenspan’s devil’s food cake. The frosting was this all-butter peanut butter frosting. I resolved for my next peanut butter frosting to have some shortening in it, in hopes that it would be easier to decorate with. You’ll see the results in a couple weeks.



Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 by hoagiefest 2020

This is a cheesecake I made for a coworker’s farewell party. It’s Dorie’s tall and creamy cheesecake, except I added some melted bittersweet chocolate to the batter. Another coworker bought some strawberries to go on it, and it was a perfect compliment.


I want to eat it now. But I baked it at least two weeks ago. HALP ME!

Toll House Cupcakes

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2012 by hoagiefest 2020

Oops – I forgot to make a post this Tues/Wed.  It’s not for lack of baking.  I’ve been doing more baking than ever before.  The problem is, I have such a backlog of stuff that I didn’t do any blogwork this week – I just figured it would take care of itself.

So here’s the next item in the backlog.  Toll House cupcakes.  Here’s the recipe.  I’m sure I’ve blogged about these before – in fact, probably several times.  There are my favirote things – not a cake, but essentially a cupcake-shaped cookie filled with butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips (the recipe also includes walnuts, but my family has traditionally left these out, and I don’t think it needs them).


Every year for elementary school birthdays, my mom would make these for our classes.  And so nostalgia, butter, and chocolate come together to make the perfect snack treats.  You NEED to MAKE THEM.

I’ve made these for a goodbye party in my wife’s office.  I’ve actually made these again since then, for a Halloween parade bake sale in my town, but I didn’t take a picture and frankly I’ll spare you from reading about these again in a few weeks.  But for an inherently ugly food, I did them up with baggies and bows so they almost looked…presentable?

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins – a Dorie reprise

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2012 by hoagiefest 2020

Continuing the grand tradition of coworkers giving me things and me baking other things that include those things, this week I made Dorie’s savory corn and pepper muffins (using a green bell pepper given to me by a coworker). I’ve made this before and liked it.


The coworkers appreciated these. I served them with vegetable oil spread (I refuse to call it butter) – I had to make a special trip for fakebutter, so I hope it was appreciated.