Category Archives: yummy goodness

The Easy Bake Trials….The Mix is Poo

In order to get Kid to get rid of a small, plastic kitchen that she no longer uses anymore, I bribed her with an Easy Bake Oven. It should be known, that I have wanted an Easy Bake Oven for MONTHS. At Christmas I checked them out, but it said they were for kids 8 and up. Sometimes, believe it or not, I follow the rules. I figured there must be some reason that even though USE WITH ADULT SUPERVISION ONLY was plastered all over the box, there must be some reason why it would be unsafe for my 5 year old. Then I read Fadra’s blog, and she bought her 4 year old son one. I was all, “Holla! If she’s gonna, I’m gonna!”

At first, when I suggested the Easy Bake Oven, Kid was leery. Then I should her the commercial for it .

Kid: “You mean I can bake my own things by myself?”

Me: “With Adult Supervision!”

Kid”?”

Me: “Mommy and Daddy have to help you.”

Kid: “Will you go get me one right now?”

Me: “YEEEESSSSSS!!!!!”

Yup, the Easy Bake is just as you remembered. A plastic box with a 100W lightbulb  that cooks horrible packaged cake mix in tiny little pans. (Apparently a lot of countries are banning incandescent lightbulbs. Haven’t they even thought about what that’s going to do to the Easy Bake Oven industry? In related news, I have started hoarding 100W bulbs.)

OOOOH! What wonders will emerge from the magic box?

Kid immediately whipped up a cake using the packaged cake mix and frosting that came with the box. She was really,really proud. The cake was really,really horrible – by no fault of my darling daughter! Here’s the ingredient list of Easy Bake Oven Cake Mix: Ok, I couldn’t find it anywhere on-line, let me know if you can find the official list. I will tell you that it contains: Hydrogenated Oil, Artificial Color, and Artificial Flavoring, which is a lot to pack into 1/4 of a cup of cake. I mean I know I’m a food snob, but honestly this shit gave me chemical burns when I tasted it. Also? It costs about $6.00 for a 3 pack of this junk. Keep in mind each pkg contains 1/4 of a cup of mix. So….$6.00 for 3/4 of a cup of dog shit. Sign me up!

I fled to the internet, looked up recipes and found a number of good sites with make your own Easy Bake Oven mix recipes. So, long story way too long – You have got to make your own mix, yo. It’s way better for your family AND it’s going to save you about 9 million dollars. Also, you pretty much will never run out, since you have all the ingredients in your own pantry.

Sugar Flour Etc

Easy Bake would probably charge you $300 for these ingredients.

In about 10 minutes I made 10 servings of biscuit mix and 10 of white cake mix. I can’t tell you how much it cost, but I can tell you it was a hell of a lot less  than $6.00 per 3/4 cup.

White Cake Mix. Modified from Budget 101.(Who has a TON of Easy Bake Recipes)

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon-flavored unsweetened Kool-Aid No! The point is no crap!
1/3 cup vegetable shortening – I use Spectrum Organics Vegetable Shortening, because through some process of dark magics (I assume) they have created a Crisco like substance that is not hydrogenated. I suppose I could look it up and tell you how they do it, but let’s just pretend it’s wizardry. Anyhow, I love it.

I skipped the Kool-Aid, if you want a lemony cake, just substitue a Tsp. of lemon juice for a Tsp. of water when you make your cake. Theoretically. I haven’t tried this. But I’m guessing it would work. I’ll try it and get back to you.

Yeah, so you mix everything up in a bowl. Make sure the shortening is incorporated well. You don’t want clumps. It should look like pancake mix, in that it’s just a little bit crummier than flour. I hope you’ve made pancakes and have a clue what I’m talking about.

See how that's a little bigger crumb than flour? Both the cake and biscuit mix should look like this. Also,I don't remember which one this is.

The instructions say to put the mixes into individual packages but, really? I don’t have time to measure out 20 1/4 bags of mix. I just put them in ziplocs and wrote the instructions on the front:

Bag of Biscuit Mix

Savings? About $1M. If you factor in doctor fees from chemical burns to the tongue.

We used the biscuit mix the other day for a danish (more on that later) and it was gooood! I am all about getting kids in the kitchen, teaching them about food and cooking, it hits on all the major points. An Easy Bake Oven is a fantastic way to do this, IF you also teach them that good food doesn’t come from a mix. Kid was delighted that we can “make our own mix, any way we want.” The sense of pride and accomplishment she had after cooking that tiny cake in a box with a light bulb made me cry a single tear and write a haiku about love. Ok, no. But it was pretty goddamned awesome.

Get an Easy Bake, make some stuff. It’s fun. Oh, and this is going to be a regular feature. Next up: Sort of gross pizza!

Extremely amazing, but maybe not best, sandwich ever.

The other day I went to my local farmers’ market and got all the stuff you see over here——-> Which is, in clockwork order, A loaf of sourdough, a snap dragon, a jar of kim chi, some wild watercress, codfish, radishes, eggs, gluten free coffee cake, blue cheese, a donut, goat cheese, a bag of muffins, and some spring garlic.

Awesome, right? It gets better. So with these super fantastic ingredients I made what is said to be “The world’s greatest sandwich” also known as “The Spanglish Sandwich. Are you unfamiliar? Ok, Spanglish is this fantastic movie starring Adam Sandler – it’s not a comedy – he’s a chef, he’s married to Tea Leone, and his marriage is kind of going kablooey. He strikes up a friendship/sort of romance with his house keeper, played by Paz Vega. That’s kind of a shitty synopsis, but this is about the sandwich, right? Anyhow, in the movie Sandler makes this sandwich and it’s kind of a big deal. This sandwich was actually developed, invented, whatever you called it by Thomas Keller. You know, the famous chef. French Laundry?Author of The French Laundry Cookbook, and Ad Hoc at Home? Anyhow. I digress.

Here’s the deets: (As always my modifications and notes are in parenthesis)
Spanglish’s Sandwich
From
Thomas Keller (and me)

4 thick slices of bacon ( get the good stuff people)
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese (extra sharp cheddar)
2 thick slices of rustic white bread, toasted and hot (sourdough )
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Hellman’s. I’m sure Keller makes his own.)
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce (watercress)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 large egg


  1. In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Set the Monterey Jack slices on 1 piece of toast. ( I toasted my bread in the toaster oven with the cheese on it so it got all melty and awesome.) Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice of toast, then top with the bacon, tomato and lettuce.
  3. In a small, nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add the egg and fry over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp around the edge, about 4 minutes; the yolk should still be runny.
  4. Slide the egg onto the lettuce; close the sandwich and eat right away.

The KEY to this sandwich is making sure you cook the egg perfectly. You want it to be done enough so that it runs a bit, but not so runny it’s gross. The only way you will learn to do this is to make a lot of fried eggs. Luckily, they’re delicious. Oh, the other key – use the freshest tomatoes you can find. Nothing will wreck this sandwich like mealy tomatoes. I could eat one of these every day. But I won’t, because well, it’s probably a bazillion calories, and a girl needs to watch her figure. You know what, I’m going to post this, figure out the calories and then come back and add it here for you guys. See how nice I am?
    So there you have it, a damn fine sandwich. It was amazing. The best I’ve ever had? Probably not. but definitely in the top ten.

UPDATE
: Yeah, this sandwich is 756 calories. Not for every day, that’s for sure.