COOKIE BUTTER LAMBCAKE WITH WHITE CHOCO CURLS

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Y’all! Hello

And happy Easter.

Listen. Easter is a pretty medium holiday for me. I’m former Catholic but very much have ISSUES UPON ISSUES with Catholics and Christians and the whole business these days. And just earlier this morning I had a new thought. You know how Jesus lived in way-before-modern-science times? Listen. Maybe he wasn’t really dead before he came back to life – just really dehydrated? He just was definitely crucified which sounds awful but then his body shut down and he was almost dead but not 100% dead? (Yeesh. We’re getting into some real real dangerous waters here, team).

Anyway – believe in Jesus and Easter if you’d like. Or don’t. It’s all fine with me! I just like Easter for the annual lamb cakes and I get to see my family and jimmy’s family. We saw a good chunk of jimmy’s family in the Cleve yesterday including COCO the puppy! I got to talk about MURDER with jimmy’s niece Midge, who lives in PITTSBURGH! (Here’s coco)

We’re seeing my team today. Rita and the Skip are hosting this year and this babe just got back from like 10 days in dang Nepal!

Anyway! Lamb cakes! Now this year, my dingus friend Robert Mahar (the STAR of TV’s Making It!) challenged me to an Easter Cake-Off, which is a thing. We never talked about voting or prizes so I’m not sure what the hell is happening other than I’m making an Easter cake and so is he. Hi Robert!

I haven’t gotten to see Roberts cake yet but will share his when I see it! Im just putting my cake here for you to take a look at! OK!!!!????

(Oh hello! It’s a few hours later! Here’s his cake! Pretty cute, but LACKING STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY! I’m calling it – VOLPI VICTORY!!!!)

I was tired of doing the actual lamb tin cakes so I did a little sheet cake lamb this year. And you know. There’s not a lot more to say about it!!!! Happy Dehydrated Jesus Day!

Throwing Brownies!

Y’all – I’m taking a quicko break from the Wes Anderson baking series.  A cute lil biscuit from Little, Brown Publishing reached out last week with an advanced copy of a new cookbook for me to review.  Check me out, y’all!  I’m reviewing cookbooks now!  >>>sizzle!<<<  The book is a collection of recipes from 102 year-old boss b Maida Heatter.

I didn’t know who she was either….

BUT – I did some quick research and fell in frickin love with her immediately.  She’s a Miami Beach socialite who basically taught herself how to bake and then she wrote a bunch of cookbooks and taught classes and inspired the likes of Martha Boom-Boom Stewart, “Short-Stack Jacques” Pepin, Fancy-Nancy Silverton and Dadgum Dorie Greenspan (DDG wrote the foreward of this book BTW.  Toot toot!).  AND! Ol Girl won herself three James Beard Awards (THREE!!!) and she sounds fucking awesome.

Here’s a dang article written by Saveur Magazine (LINK HERE!).  Please note the bit about her trying to serve elephant meat omelettes to a bunch of Republicans during the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami.  And, did you catch the bit about the wrapped-up purse-brownies?  DDG writes about another wrapped-up purse-brownie situation in her foreward – when Maida was on stage to collect one of her James Beard awards, she starts throwing purse-brownies to the crowd…. 

I need to know – what’s the best brownie for throwing???

There are three brownie recipes in this book but none of them say that they’re the best for throwing. The regular brownies recipe (page 186) seems like it might be her favorite because it was her first ever recipe. (She said she started baking these when she was ten.).

Then there’s a cream cheese brownie which is like half brownie/half cheesecake. And then there’s her Palm Beach brownie with chocolate covered mints (page 191). I wasn’t impressed with the cream cheese brownies, but she says that the Palm Beach brownie is one of her most famous recipes in all her cookbooks. She says they’re “the thickest, gooiest, chewiest, darkest, mostest-of-the-most chocolate bars.”

I ended up making the regular brownies and the Palm Beach deals. And it’s pretty clear: If I’m going to get a James Beard prize (or really be in a public situation of any kind moving forward), I’m throwing the Palm Beach brownies. They have a good heft to them and they really are that chewy and gooey and the mostest-of-the-most. And I really think the recipients would get a real surprise/delight out of the peppermint surprise!

Beyond the throwing brownies, this book is chock full of so many other baked things you can wrap up and heave at a crowd. The recipes all look fairly straightforward and the illustrations are real cute. And Maida reminds me of my old toy store boss Viv, who was so funny and warm and like 3% insane that I like her so so so so much. Thanks Little Brown for the chance to review this book – and thanks, Maida, for these lovely recipes! ☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️

 

 

Lobby Boy Mini-Cakes!

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Y’all! It’s been a few weeks, right??? I’ve been real busy with OTHER THINGS!

Y’all! Remember my last blog post when I was all about Wes Anderson movies? This is my number two bake from the Grand Budapest Hotel. They’re Lobby Boy mini-cakes! Can’t you just imagine checking in to the GBH and you get a lobby boy mini-cake to eat on your way up to your room??? Wow wow wow! What a fun idea! I was just at a hotel in Atlanta where they gave all the guests a PBR because the hotel was built on top of a gentleman’s club and one of the dancing ladies crushed PBR between her boobies.

Here’s some other ideas for hotels:

1. Happy hour petting zoo. Pet armadillos and have a Chardonnay.

2. No continental breakfast, but boxes of cereal and milk jugs delivered to every hotel room at 7am.

3. Frickin NETFLIX in every dang room. No Golf Channel.

4. Fake weddings to crash every Saturday night in the hotel ballroom.

5. Free military style head shaves for guests on July 4 and Veterans Day.

6. John Cena stays for free whenever he wants as long as he takes his dang shirt off.

7. Drums in the basement so you can drum for a little bit if you want to.

8. A mini Target on the roof for you to hang out in and do a little shopping while your dang weiner kids are at the pool. Free Chardonnay at the rooftop mini Target also….

Anyway! These are just lil cakes that I made with a cream cheese frosting. And now they’re going into the garbage because what am I gonna do with these? Eat them? I’m so fat as it is. GARBAGE!

Hope y’all have a great week!

Courtesans au Chocolat

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Remember a few weeks ago when I was woo-wooing about being in a creative funk??? Well, those days are real over, man!

I was wide awake at 2am one night last week and really couldn’t let myself fall asleep until I’d ranked all the Wes Anderson movies which is 100% completely normal… Obviously Fantastic Mr Fox is at the top and that’s the end of that conversation.

BUT! A dang lightning bolt struck my brains and I had an idea to do a fuckload of bakes inspired by Wes Anderson movies. Isn’t that dumb!?!? Maybe, but I got real real excited and frankly it’s the best idea I’ve had in a while…. so here we go!

Ok! Grand Budapest Hotel is on my list at #4. Of all the WA movies, this is the one in which a baked good is real front & center. The Mendl’s is the bakery where Zero’s lady love works and it’s also where they make the famous Courtesan au Chocolat – a tower of choux buns filled with chocolate custard and decorated with pastel glaze.

Aside from the Fantastic Mr Fox apple nutmeg ginger apple snaps, which I tried to recreate on my old blog, this is (I think) the only dessert very specific to one of the Wes Anderson movies, so I tried to be as faithful as possible. Remember when Nadiya and Tamal and Flora made Religieuse a l’Ancienne on the Great British Bake Off?

It’s basically the same idea… I’ve never made dang eclairs or cream puffs before in my dang life so I had no idea how to pipe these shits out. That’s why my courtesans just didn’t get the height that they did in the movies…. BUT! For a first-timer, I’m real real proud of my dang self!

Anyway – get ready for weeks and weeks of insane bakes based on Wes Anderson movies. I’m super excited! THAT’S IT!

DRAG QUEEN COOKIES???

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Y’all!

Columbus Ohio’s own Nina West is going to be on the dang Rupaul show this THURSDAY! Wow wow wow wow wow!!! Nina was the very first drag queen I ever saw with my own eyes and therefore a big part of my dumb gay experience!

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I don’t know Nina/Andrew really at all. There was a disastrous conversation over a dating app many years ago and sometimes when I see her at drag shows, I get the feeling she recognizes me and does some very polite acknowledgment. But – that’s about it. It’s still just really fun that she’s getting so much attention and hopefully she’ll elevate Columbus as she goes along. It’s just real real exciting!

Anyway – for posterity’s sake, here’s my Drag Race coven, in case anyone gives two shits:

  • Nina West
  • Nina Bonina Brown
  • Raja
  • Manila Luzon
  • Detox
  • Asia MUTHAFUCKIN O’Hara

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And again just in case you were staying awake at night wondering about my favorite lip sync for your life, here you go, champ!  (ugh – I can’t find a video, but here’s a sequence of gifs that tell you all you need to know – DIDA MUTHAFUCKIN RITZ doing NATALIE MUTHAFUCKIN COLE doing EVER-FUCKIN-LASTIN LOVE)  (If anyone has a great video link of this video please send it to me so I can link it, y’all!)

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And that’s it, y’all!!!! BYE FOREVER!

MEXICO CITY RECAP (and some churros)

Hello! Here’s a list!

1. I made some churros today and they were pretty easy. You just boil 1c water + 2.5 tbsp sugar + 2 tbsp veg oil + 1/2 tsp salt. Take boil mix off the stove and then mix in 1 cup flour and stir into a warm-ass ball. The pipe cat-turd sized logs into 375* oil until golden brown. Then coat in a cinnamon sugar mix.

Listen, honey, my oil was too hot so I burned my first few but then I dropped the heat and the rest were (fat Italian chef kiss) perfect. CHURROS!

Ps. I think what I made here was an egg-less choux pastry and I couldn’t be more over the fucking moon. I’m making a courtesan au chocolat here in a few days so this was good practice. 👞👞 CHOUX!

2. Jimmy and I were just in MEXICO DANG CITY LAST WEEKEND (hence the churros). Wow!!!! What a trip! Honey – listen – it was wild.

3. It was hella inexpensive. Our flights were reasonable and our hotel was great and the peso to dollar conversion was hella in our favor. If you’re a Cash-Strapped Starla, fret not. You can have a great Mexican vacation and still have dollars in el banco when you get back.

4. Climate change is real! It was so much warmer than even the Mexicans were expecting, but here’s the tea: they all wore hoodies and puffy coats even though it was mid-80s. The local blood is just thicker there than Ohio blood. They didn’t give a hoot about them warms temps, honey! Meanwhile, they called me Agua Cabeza because my head was so sweat-wet! Honey!

5. Jimmy wanted to visit the León Trotsky house from his old exile days. Boring! But then the Frida Kahlo museum is like four blocks away. Oh HONEY. If you don’t pre-order your tickets, get ready for a v long v unmoving line. We stood in that line like dummies for about 20 minutes and got nowhere, so we cut bait.

BUT! THEN!!! As we were leaving Jimmy went up to the guard and was like “can’t we just visit the gift store”. They were like “si” and let us in in front of everyone and we didn’t have to pay and we basically could’ve just visited the entire museum and no one would’ve cared. Now that’s what I call music 2000.

6. Ugh. So we went to the main cathedral and the in-town Templo Mayor and the Bellas Artes and the Guadalupe cathedral and they were all dry humps. Not one thing was all that interesting.

7. We also took a crazy tour to the Teotihuacán pyramids and that was nuts. First, you’re on MC highways and there are like people walking on the highways. In fact, driving anywhere was insane. So many cars and people and it was really too much, sweetie. Then we get to the pyramids which are massive and steep and there are NO HANDRAILS and you just climb these shits in the middle of the Mexican February mini-heatwave. HONEY. you almost pass out from insanity. And here’s the real pink lemonade – there’s no one selling any water and there’s no beer garden anywhere as far as the ojos can see. This is Roadside Attraction 101, people. Give the fat Americans a cold drink and a sit down! Jeezy Pete!

8. On the last day, we took this incredible bike trip through the Roma, Polanco and Condesa neighborhoods and it was SO CUTE. We stopped along the way at 4 different taquerias and just had a real time of it getting to know all the other cute little Instagram micro-influencers. If you ever think about an MC vacation, do this first because you’ll get such an appreciation for all the neighborhoods and where to get your lunches and rosés the rest of your trip.

9. Last thing I’ll say is TAKE THE SUBWAY. It’s ridiculously cheap and pretty clean and easy to navigate and takes you basically anywhere you need to go. What a delicious surprise that was, honey.

And that’s really it, y’all! I hope you just loved hearing about my dumb trip! LET ME KNOW IF YOU DECIDE TO GO AND I’LL GIVE YOU MY MEXICO BOOK!!!!

On Valentine’s Day

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Hello!

I did some digging around on the origins of Valentine’s Day and I was NOT DISAPPOINTED!  Y’all – it’s wild!

OK – so back in ancient Roman times, Feb 14 was right in the middle of this festival called Lupercalia – which celebrated the she-wolf who gave her sweet sweet wolf milk to Romulus & Remus.

OH HELLO!

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The wolf priests of Rome would honor Mama Wolf by sacrificing a goat and a dog and having a party.  Oh – and – because they were all about getting the most out of their sacrifices, they made dang whipping lashes out of the goat and dog hides.

Now, here’s where it gets exciting.  The menfolk would get real nude, real crunk and oiled up and take their goat / dog lashes and run around the city whipping their ladies (playfully, obviously), which (also obviously) would inspire fertility.  FACT: these whips were called februa, which is where we get the word February – goat / dog whips, y’all!  NEAT!!!!!

At some point, the ladies put their names in a jar and then naked guys pull the names out and – wow! neat! – that’s your love partner for the day.  Toga Tinder!  (Note – toga tinder is so stupid – come up with better joke later….)

So, here we are – it’s February and the Romans are naked, so much whipping, do the dirty all over town.  THEN – the Christians move into the neighborhood and they’re like “Jesus Christ”.  (literally!)  “We can’t have this nonsense – no way no day! But we do like the idea of light snacks and maybe a fun mixer.  Let’s co-opt this shitshow with a more dressed-up version.  Hey – do we have any saints martyred in February?  Valentine?  Sure – let’s name it after that guy.”

This is 100% absolutely the story of Valentine’s Day and don’t even bother looking it up on the Internet, because I’ve already told you what it is and I’m a man – DON’T QUESTION ME!

BONUS (Bone-us?): here’s St. Valentine’s skull which is in Rome!  Neat Neat Neat!

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Well, I sure do hope y’all enjoy your VD’s.  Jimmy and I are going to MEXICO CITY on Friday!  I’m so excited, I could plotz!

BYE!