Archives for category: junkfood


East Bay is Pig Latin for BEAST. I really wanted to find The Beast’s best burger, without having to follow any hipster foodie-type counseling.

I thought about taking on this very important task… but, I’m large. I can’t go around researching the quality of hamburgers while I still intend to fit my fat ass into an affordable compact vehicle.

That said, I believe I found the best hamburger in The Beast by accident.

My son and I met a group of persons that I enjoy on the patio at El Charro in Lafayette. I ordered a kids’ burger for my Prince who is all of three years old. The dish I ordered for myself was a complete abortion. I couldn’t even look down. While he was busy emptying the salt and pepper shakers, I counted 10 Mississippi.

Baby Boy just wasn’t hungry.

I dove in.

I had my very first Hamburgasm. It was the best burger I’ve ever had… (and I don’t care who you are. I’ve eaten more hamburgers than you.)

But, I mean, People… I was really very hungry… and we all know that Hunger is the bestest Chef of all the chefs.

So I went again last night. I watched in sick satisfaction as my little Prince completely ignored his meal. After the check was paid, I put that culinary work of art into my purse and hurriedly hauled my ass home. I waited an eternity for Baby Boy to fall asleep, so that El Charro Kid Burger and I could be alone. By the time that happened the bun was but a sponge, but it didn’t matter… because of that beloved beef patty.

That beef patty was everything.

…I believe the Holy Grail of Hamburgers is right here, in the belly of The Beast.

bitten funfetti twinkie funfetti twinkie

makes 18-22 oblong cakes
base cake recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Note: This recipe uses a cream canoe pan but can easily be turned into cupcakes. You just need to increase the baking time. For regular Twinkies, eliminate the sprinkles from the cake and the filling.

240g (2 cups) cake flour
300g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. butter flavoring
7 eggs, separated
1/2 cup rainbow jimmies
Marshmallow Cream Filling (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a cream canoe pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low (2 on a KitchenAid) speed until combined. In a medium bowl, lightly mix oil, water, vanilla, butter flavoring, and egg yolks (the mixture will not completely come together, that’s ok). With the mixer on low, add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter in thirds until no streaks remain. Add the jimmies to the batter along with the last third of whites, folding in the same manner.  Do not over-mix.

Using a pyrex glass measuring cup or bowl with a lip, slowly pour the batter into each well of the prepared pan until 2/3 full. (Unless you have multiple cream canoe pans, you will be baking these in batches. Be sure to give the batter a light mix in between batches to redistribute sprinkles that have sunk to the bottom.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tester comes out clean and cakes spring back when touched.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then quickly invert the pan over a cooling rack. The cakes should easily come out of the pan. If they don’t, tap the edge of the pan lightly on the cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely before filling.

Once cakes have cooled, use a skewer to make three evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the cakes, gently swirling the skewer around inside the cake to make a little room for the filling. (I have made these without making the holes, and it works fine. You just won’t get quite as much filling in the cake.) Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Squeeze filling into each hole in the cake until you feel the cake expand just slightly.

Cakes will keep in an airtight container for a few days. I individually wrapped mine in plastic wrap.


makes about 3 cups

150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
pinch salt
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

Place sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F.

While the sugar syrup is heating, place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the syrup is getting close to 240, turn the mixer to medium-high speed (6 on a KitchenAid) and whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Turn mixer off until syrup is ready.

As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 240, remove from the heat. With the mixer on low (2 on a KitchenAid), slowly pour the syrup down the inside of the mixing bowl. Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks and the outside of the mixing bowl feels neutral in temperature, 5-8 minutes. Mix in the vanilla bean paste or seeds until incorporated. Marshmallow fluff will keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a little over a week.

Yellow Period Food

Yellow Cake Fudge Squares


  • 1 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter or margarine, cut into small squares
  • 1/4 cup milk or 1/8 cup soy milk
  • sprinkles (optional)


Mix cake mix and icing sugar in microwave-safe bowl. Add butter and milk. Don’t stir.

Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir immediately until completely combined. Add sprinkles. Do not overmix as sprinkle colour may bleed.

Spread into greased pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

* Makes one 6 x 6” container, or double for an 8 x 8” pan.
** Notes: If the batter comes out too runny, stir in about 1 tsp or sugar or cake mix at a time until stiff. If too thick to stir in all components, slowly add 1/2 tsp of milk at a time, but batter should be thick!

Spooky FactoryHistory Quickie: The Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg was built in 1856 and by the time 1870 rolled around more than half the country’s sugar was produced here. It was rebuilt in 1882 with brick and stone after a fire crowning it The Largest Sugar Factory on Earth. Basically your diabetes was born here. The refinery survived a massive explosion in 1917 and a year and a half long labor strike from 1999 – 2001. The refinery closed in 2004.

This is what eight odd years of industrial decay looks like:

Portions of the structure were deemed landmarks in 2007. Two Trees Management purchased the site and with consent and support from the New York City Council plan on peppering post modern skyscrapers the perimeter. The buildings will be different shapes and sizes, two of which will be very tall and narrow, connected by a bridge to permit sunlight through to neighborhoods due east. The Brooklyn skyline is in for a change for sure.

I can already see the Apple logo from The Water Club.


the recipe for this deliciousness follows

the recipe for this deliciousness follows

Jiffy Corn Dogs:

I used 1 box Jiffy Corn Bread mix, 3 hot dogs (Cut in 1/6ths), and a mini cupcake pan. Prepare corn bread as box directs, fill muffin cups 2/3, press hot dog section in center, bake @ 400 for 15-20 min.

Shelley Miller is a super skilled artist based in Montreal, but has done some very cool street art in Toronto and parts of Brazil. At first glance, the works appear to be whole or bit parts of tiles or in some cases, part of various graffiti tags. I love these temporary works. They are mysterious and inspire wonderment. How, when, why, how much media ended up in her mouth, etc.


Here is a great story that promises to reveal my extreme elegance.

I used to live in Queens without a car and the Key Food was just too far for my fat ass. I mean, if I was going to walk all the way to Queens Boulevard for food I would just hit White Castle. So on the way home from the train I’d stop at the bodega and buy the kind of food that your parents had in the basement for emergency scenarios. The kind of food you left in the poor people crate at school during Thanksgiving. The kind of food that never, ever, ever goes bad.

My mom used to serve up Spaghettio’s. I have never not loved Chef Boyardee‘s classic collection of foodstuffs. It was, and has always been my favorite sort of lunch.

I went out one night and drank a huge mess of alcohol, took a taxi home and was fucking thrilled to find a couple of cans of Spaghettio’s with hot dog bits in my otherwise thirsty kitchen cabinet.

I piled both 14 ounce cans into a 24 ounce bowl. I waited anxiously by the microwave. I watched the bowl rotate and the orange sauce splatter about as the reflection of my lazy eye tried to focus on its next meal. I nearly fell asleep waiting.

I took the bowl to bed because that’s what single girls do. They eat buckets of orange food in bed. (Someone let the execs at  Victoria’s Secret in on the real deal.)

Believe it or not, I was too drunk to eat, so I passed out with a steaming, teeming bowl of Boyardee parked next to my pillow. When the sun came up I opened my eyes, and that bowl of beautiful O’s was still there. Like a polite one night stand.

Lucky for me I was so dehydrated that I didn’t have to get up and pee. I just leaned over that lovely lukewarm meal and began shoveling in the morning light. When I was through, I rolled back over for a few more Z’s.

Life’s defining moments can be very delicious, indeed.


I found a recipe on the internet to make Spaghettio’s at home. It’s more work than stumbling into a bodega, but you won’t have to worry about the preservatives ravaging your children’s innards.

Here is the recipe for DIY Spaghettio’s:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 adult servings, 6-8 child servings

  • 8 oz ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, to al dente (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saute’ pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar and butter. Heat, while stirring, until the butter is melted. Slowly stir in the milk, then turn the heat to low. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir the shredded cheese into the soup until melted. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour as much of the tomato sauce into the pasta as desired; stir to combine. (I don’t like mine extremely soupy, so usually have about 1/3 cup of the sauce leftover.)

Notes: Looking for the convenience factor? Double the batch and freeze the rest for later. Heat on the stove top or in the microwave when you’re ready for that quick lunch or dinner!

UPDATE: my friend Renee sent me the below genius-ness. I’m still not sure if I want to eat this or sleep in it.



One afternoon in April of 2004, a totally awesome gay couple got nearly naked and climbed 35 feet up a pine tree in Central Park, entertained hundreds of passersby and put a bunch of government bitches to WORK. Just north of Wollman Rink next to the Chess and Checkers House, one wore a black thong and the other, boxer shorts. It was in this tree they remained until sundown… professing their love by giving each other oral sex and enjoying soft drinks.

The New York Times reported that the older one, aged 32, had “feminine breasts” and shouted threats at rescue workers demanding a can of Vanilla Diet Pepsi. The other was but 17, quiet and despondent that his family had not accepted his relationship.

At one point a police officer made a motion toward the elder soda connoisseur and he reacted, screaming, “I want to talk to my mother!” and shimmying even higher up the tree. He threatened to jump, and even took his underwear off and threw it at an officer who caught it. He ripped tree branches off and whipped them around before dropping them. After about three hours of this, an officer came back from a bodega with a can of soda for him. He threw that shit on ground and shouted: ”That is a Coke. I wanted Vanilla Diet Pepsi!!”

This deeply romantic story ends with the two finally surrendering well into the evening, at which time they were tossed into the Cornell Center for psychiatric evaluation.


The title of this post looks like a list of your latest Scrabble triumphs. But it is a very really thing. We are living in a world of sprouting Doughnut Plants. Roll up at closing time and you might get some freebs. Get coffee somewhere else, though. The owner considers coffee more of an accompaniment than mandatory morning fuel.

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