What’s the obsession with pumpkin flavored everything?

pumpkin_flavored_everything

Pumpkin. It’s as bad as the national obsession with bacon and cupcakes, only worse. I can tolerate bacon and I’ll always eat a cupcake (unless it’s a bacon flavored cupcake), but I never liked pumpkin anything. In fact, as a flavor, it sucks. I hate it.

Most Americans can’t live without their pumpkin pie every fall. I sure can. I’ll gladly substitute an Apple Crumb or even a Shoo-fly pie in place of a nasty, mushy, flavorless, gag-inducing pumpkin pie.

But lately things have gotten really weird. It’s not enough to have your pie taste like an overgrown squash, now it’s de rigeur for cappuccino, ice cream, cookies, potato chips, breakfast cereal, and fudge to taste like it too.

Yes, I said fudge. I just received my Vermont Country Store catalog, and Pumpkin flavored fudge is featured this month. Here’s what the nasty stuff looks like:

pumpkin_fudge

Blech. Why anyone would eat fudge that tastes like a vegetable is beyond my comprehension–or my taste buds. In my opinion, pumpkin is a terrible flavor–it doesn’t really taste like anything, but I guess it has a slight squash-like flavor, and to be honest, I was never a fan of squash. It certainly doesn’t belong in any dessert, but Americans can’t seem to get enough of the nastiest-tasting squash of them all.

I like pumpkins just fine, but as seasonal decor, not as food. They look nice on a doorstep or as a centerpiece, not as a baby-poop colored main ingredient of the food sitting on my plate.

So that’s one more reason I’ll be glad when we’re past the annual string of fall holidays (including Christmas, which I always thought of as part of that even though technically it’s a few days after the winter solstice).

For even more pumpkin-flavored insanity, read this article from Salon.com. Yes, we’re talking Pumpkin Spice Lay’s, Pumpkin Spice Hummus, and Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts.

I have to stop writing about this now. I’m feeling a little sick.

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The most disgusting dinner I ever ate

ewww

Last night my roommate decided to make dinner. She made tuna salad. I like tuna salad when made correctly, but I noticed it tasted sweet and had a strange lard-like texture. I asked her what she put in it. She said she made it with margarine (because she hates mayo, same as me, but I like it in tuna salad) and SUGAR. Sugar, WTF, really? I almost spit it out right then and there. My appetite was completely lost and I couldn’t eat another bite so I when she wasn’t looking I gave the rest of it to my dog, Dexter.

broccoli
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but this cartoon cracks me up.

I hate cream cheese icing!

The holidays are coming and the cold weather is here, and baking is on my mind. I adore red velvet cake, especially around the holidays, but every recipe I’ve seen for it says you must use cream cheese icing. But I can’t stand it–even though sweetened, it still tastes like cheese. It doesn’t go with cake.

Now I love me some cheese, but not with dessert. Fine, I’ll make an exception for cheesecake, even though I don’t love cheesecake as much as most people do. Cheese is tart and salty and belongs with meat, potatoes and pasta, not with cake! Yeah, I know cream cheese is mild and spreads easily, but it’s for toasted rye and bagels, not cake.

I can’t even purchase a red velvet cake because I know it will probably be covered with cream cheese icing. It looks just like buttercream and that’s such a mindfuck. The only way to tell the difference is after the cake is a few days old, the cream cheese forms little cracks where the icing hardens, like the crust that forms inside the foil wrapper of a block of Philadelphia brand cream cheese. Ewwww!

creamcheesebuttercream
Cream cheese or buttercream? You can’t tell by looking at it.

Everyone seems to love cream cheese icing, and there aren’t even too many complaints about it on the web. I don’t get it. What’s so great about it? It’s disgusting. It’s not healthier than buttercream. It’s still loaded with fat and cholesterol.

Give me good old buttercream any day, which tastes awesome on red velvet cake and any other kind of frosted cake. But not just any old buttercream will do. I can’t stand storebought buttercreams (the kind in the can) which are way too sweet, and even worse is the fake “buttercream” used in supermarket bakeries and on Wal-Mart’s cakes and cupcakes. That stuff tastes just like Crisco and leaves a greasy, unpleasant feel in your mouth.

No, a good buttercream must be made from scratch. When made properly, it’s sweet without being too sweet, and has a fabulous buttery taste that doesn’t coat your mouth with grease the way commercial buttercreams do. It spreads easily on the cake, and it looks fantastic. Here’s the buttercream I’ll be using on the red velvet cake I plan to bake tomorrow:

Lucky Otter’s Perfect Buttercream Frosting

3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter (softened for 1 minute in microwave–do not melt!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract *
Milk to achieve desired consistency (usually 2-3 tablespoons)

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl until a stiff paste forms. Add tablespoons of milk while stirring until frosting is of a spreadable consistency.
Do not ice the cake until it is completely cooled.

* You can substitute vanilla extract with lemon extract, almond extract, or any other type of extract depending on what type of cake you are making.

Chicken wings: blech

chickenwings

I was going to write a short piece about why I hate chicken wings and why I think they’re incredibly overrated, but someone else beat me to it, so I’ll just repost their rant here. There’s nothing I can say about them this blogger hasn’t already said.
http://www.the-peak.ca/2013/02/point-chicken-wings-suck/