How do you enter? Just answer the below questions to be entered in the running! Responses may be entered in the comments section or emailed to email@example.com.
- Which do you prefer: candy corn or mellowcreme pumpkins?
- Fun-size candy bars: do they make you happy or leave you hungry?
- Trick-or-treaters without costumes: give 'em candy anyway, or turn 'em away?
- Halloween candy-eating method: eat it as fast as you can, or ration it out to last?
- Favorite cold-weather beverage: hot apple cider or hot chocolate?
- Fall pie faceoff: apple or pumpkin?
The fine print: The poll will be closed at 12 p.m PST on Friday, October 17. As usual, the winner will be chosen at random. Entries from the US and beyond are welcome. Your info will never be shared and these questions are solely motivated by our nosy spy tendencies.
....and we have a winner! Our winner was JEAN from New Jersey! Jean entered in our comments section and most definitely prefers Candy Corn! While Mellowcreme Pumpkin may not approve, we were more than happy to see the piece of artwork go to such a sweet home!
You know those little ad words that google oh so sweetly places at the top of your email browser? Well, recently one of those intrigued us, because it was for a type of baked good we'd never heard of before: the navy bean pie. Now, upon first thought the idea of a navy bean pie isn't necessarily attractive, but then again, when you really think about it, does "sweet potato pie" or "zucchini cake" really sound delicious at first? So, we decided to give these bean pies a try.
OK, so what are they? According to Wikipedia, a bean pie is a "sweet custard pie whose filling consists of mashed beans—usually navy beans—sugar, butter, milk, and spices." But beyond that, where do these pies come from? While the bean pies are associated with soul food cuisine, a very interesting wrinkle is that they are also associated with the Nation of Islam movement: its leader, Elijah Muhammad, encouraged their consumption in lieu of richer foods associated with African American cuisine, and the followers of his community commonly sell bean pies as part of their fund-raising efforts. And as trybeanpie.com says,
"The Navy Bean Pie is a nearly century old recipe that originated in the Holy
City of Mecca.
The Bean Pie was introduced in America around 1930 in the community known as Black Bottom Detroit, the Black community. It was originally formulated as a healthy alternative for sweet potato pie."
OK, and so now that you're educated, how did they taste?
First we tried the "Original" bean pie. The texture was on par with that of a pumpkin pie, slightly custardy and not overly sweet; surprisingly, the beans did not lend any grittiness to the chewing process--had we not known that these were bean pies, we might not have known what they were (but of course, that would not have stopped us from continuing to eat it). We ate ours plain, but bet it would attain a few degrees of additional deliciousness if paired with vanilla ice cream or a thick layer of whipped cream.
No doubt about it, it was a dark Monday this week, what with the financial crisis and all-time stock market lows. Needing a bit of reprieve, we took to the road to clear our minds and get some sweet relief by way of sugary carbohydrates. Heading a mere 45 minutes out of Seattle, it was if we'd escaped these urban worries: with a pastoral backdrop including ponies, cows, farms and mountains, we set to tasting some delicious baked goods. Without consciously seeking it out, we ended up gravitating toward doughnuts on most of the trip. But in retrospect, doesn't it make sense? After all, when you split it in half, sharing a doughnut is like sharing a smile. Here's a recap of our adventure:
We walked up to our first stop, Sky River Bakery, only to meet disappointment--apparently, they're closed Sunday and Monday. Now, will you allow us a slight rant? (Thank you). These are awful days for a bakery to be closed--Sunday being the perfect day for a leisurely morning cinnamon roll, and Mondays being a day on which we could all use a sweet lift. That aside, we will grudgingly admit that it looked like a cute place from the outside. Sky River Bakery, 117 1/2 W Main St, Monroe, WA 98272, (360) 794-7434; online at skyriverbakery.com.
Luckily for us, before we pulled away we spied the word "PANADERIA" across the street; while we don't speak Spanish, we know that this vital word means deliciousness awaits. Though it was a dimly lit grocery filled will all sorts of Mexican groceries and sundries, they had a surprisingly full case of Conchas, pan dulce, and other hispanic specialties. The concha, while perhaps not the best we've ever tasted, certainly did soften the blow of our first stop being closed. La Talpita, 118 W. Main St, Monroe, WA.
At this point, if you'll allow, we'd like to give a shout-out to one place for savory fare, just because its very presence astounds us: Old School BBQ, a roadside barbecue joint housed in an old school bus. As if that wasn't cool enough? It's right next to the Reptile Museum (at which, in case you were wondering, you can get espresso too). If that doesn't sound like a recipe for complete awesomeness, we don't know what does. Read about one foodie's experience at Old School BBQ here. We couldn't find the address or phone number, so we'll include the contact info for the Reptile Museum: 22715 State Route 2, Monroe, WA - (360) 805-5300.
Today we received a sweet and completely unexpected gift in the mail from our favorite domestic goddess, Bakerella: mouthwatering red velvet cake truffles...decorated to look like our own Cakespy mascot, L'il Cuppie! Seems that Mlle. Bakerella must have enjoyed her Iron Cupcake prize, a custom piece depicting her exciting segment a few months ago on the Martha Stewart Show:
This little Cuppie made a big mess...
Of course you also might like to see her sweet review of our friendship and the project here!
But what happens when apples are scarce or prohibitively expensive, as during the rations of World War II?
You do another all-American thing: find a quick fix! During those war years, that fix was making a mock "apple" pie filled with a slurry of (inexpensive) Ritz crackers, sugar syrup and lemon rind. Ready to throw up in your mouth a little? Well, hold it in, because while not as good as "real" apple pie, it's strangely passable if you close your eyes and think really hard about apples while chewing.
And when we made this pie recently, we decided to go a little further on the mock concept. In celebration of what seems to be a New England-centered (or does it perhaps root from the Midwest?) preference for eating pie with a wedge of sharp cheddar, we made our mock pie using cheese-sandwich Ritz crackers. Here's a shot of it in progress (before adding the sugar syrup and top crust):
Ritz Mock Apple Pie (from backofthebox.com)
The classic pie, featuring Ritz crackers baked in a golden crust,
is perfect for the holidays.
Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs) --we used the mini cheese-filled sandwich crackers
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of one lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place
cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside.
2. Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan
over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel;
3. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter;
sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie.
Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
4. Bake at 425 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp
and golden. Cool completely.
Makes 10 servings
Preparation Time: 45 mins.
Cook Time: 30 mins.
Cooling Time: 3 hrs.
Total Time: 4 hrs. 15 mins.
It's never too early to get started--get your Christmas greeting cards at cakespyshop.com!
Where in the world is the closest bakery? Contribute by adding your favorites to the Cakespy Bakery Map on Google! We're slowly but surely updating it with places we've visited. If we did this right (fingers crossed) anyone can contribute!
Wanna be the big cheese? Deck yourself out with the cheesecake head.
"Cupcakes" a more popular search term than "financial crisis"...maybe that's what got us into this mess?
A reason to go vegan: PETA urges Ben & Jerry's to use human milk.
Sandwich Cookie Smackdown: Not Martha does a taste test with Oreos, Hydrox and Newman-O's.
Recently, a website called Very Good Taste started something of an internet fire with a list called "The Omnivore's Hundred", which listed 100 foods which "every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life." We liked the idea, and inspired by the vegan variation on Hannah Kaminsky's site, we thought--why not make our own Sweet 100!? Like the original, our list includes "fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food"--but in our universe, it's all sweet! (In case any of them are foreign to you, links to pictures and recipes are included; also, for any vegans, feel free to go through the list assuming it's a vegan counterpart). How many have you tried? If you'd like, feel free to follow the same guidelines:
2) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten--or make them a different type color.
3) Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat.
5) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results--or just post a comment letting us know how many you've tried, or what you're going to try next!
- Red Velvet Cake
- Princess Torte
- Whoopie Pie
- Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
- Black and white cookie
- Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
- Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
- Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
- Scone with clotted cream
- Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
- Banana pudding with nilla wafers
- Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls")
- Dixie Cup
- Rice Krispie treats
- Girl Scout cookies
- Moon cake
- Candy Apple
- Baked Alaska
- Brooklyn Egg Cream
- Nanaimo bar
- Baba au rhum
- King Cake
- Tres Leches Cake
- Shoofly Pie
- Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
- Panna Cotta
- New York Cheesecake
- Napoleon / mille-fueille
- Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
- Anzac biscuits
- Moon Pie
- Dutch baby
- Boston Cream Pie
- Homemade chocolate chip cookies
- Gooey butter cake
- Green tea cake or cookies
- Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
- Crème brûlée
- Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
- Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
- Jelly Roll
- Pop Tarts
- Charlotte Russe
- An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
- Hummingbird Cake
- Jell-O from a mold
- Black forest cake
- Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
- Linzer torte
- Angel Food Cake
- Mincemeat pie
- Opera Cake
- Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
- Pain au chocolat
- A piece of Gingerbread House
- Rainbow cookies
- Petits fours
- Chocolate Souffle
- Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
- Homemade marshmallows
- Rigo Janci
- Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
- Coke or Cola cake
- Gateau Basque
- Figgy Pudding
- Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
- Joe Froggers
- Millionaire's Shortbread
- Animal crackers