Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

Pastry artist hosts delectable showing at Sweet Mue Sunday

San Francisco’s food artistry will be on display this Sunday, March 8, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. during a pop-up at Sweet Mue on 22nd and Guerrero in the Mission District. Pastry chef Steven Cheung’s French pastries, desserts, and handcrafted confections with a modern twist — as featured on his Instagram account _sp00ns_– will be for sale until they are sold out.

These types of events are all the rage in this culinary gem of a city. Since we love food, especially the artistically delightful type Cheung creates, we decided to ask him more about this event. Read on.

EffinArtist: Forgive me but I missed when pop up stores and flash mobs became a real thing. Thank goodness flash mobs are gone, but pop ups stayed, because they seem pretty cool. Tell me your event?  

Steven Cheung: Of course I can Scot! So this Sunday on March 8th, I am hoping to showcase some of my favorite creations all while getting a feel for running my own business. The pop-up model that I chose to use is allowing me to experiment with my business structure and allow a lot more fun to take place for me and those who stop by to indulge in my sweets. I really hope to provide people with one last weekend thrill before having to go back to business as usual on Monday.

EA: So is Sweet Mue you or the store that exists that you are borrowing? Forgive my confusion. I’m brain challenged.

SC: Sweet Mue is the store front I’m using. I am not really borrowing the store front, but instead I had the owner, who is a long time friend of mine, sell my pastries instead of her own. In addition to that, I am also going to be there to help run the store front alongside my supporting friends.

sweet mue

EA: From a business standpoint I assume this is a way to launch yourself and build the brand. Is your own shop the goal? 

SC: I do hope to own my very own bakery here in San Francisco one day, but that may be a bit far off into the future. As of right now, I work as a pastry chef at Stanford for the Schwab executive service. At Stanford I am often creating intricate pastries for clients like Netflix along with the deans of both the school and the business school. Between the planning of the desert menu, training the new staff I am hiring and baking full time, there really is no time to invest in a full-time bakery. Instead, I thought that I would revitalize my baking passion by offering my pastries to the public through my pop-up and hey, if they remember me or my confections it wouldn’t hurt to gain more fans and followers.

EA. Where did you learn your craft? 

SC: I partook in the culinary arts and hospitality program at the Community College of San Francisco attaining my associate’s degree there, and afterward I had gone on to attain a certificate in professional patisserie and bakery management from the Hong Kong Culinary Academy. Since then and in between the schools, I have learned many different skills by working and apprenticing under other pastry chefs around the bay area.

EA. What’s your “thing.” I know you say “French pastries, desserts, and handcrafted confections with a modern twist” but what is the one thing I have to try when I come?

SC: I strive to be well-rounded in all pastry arts from breads to chocolate to classic French pasteries but if I really have to pick just one thing, I would say you have to try my Kouignettes. The Kouignettes are my absolute favorite, although not the easiest to make.  Each batch is hand rolled meaning I do not use machinery for the shaping of each layer. The outer layer is a made with a special blend of sugar which gives it an amazing crunchy and carmalized texture. When you bite into it you can taste and see each layer. This week, I am actually featuring an apple with cream cheese kouignette. You should definitely pick one of those up while you are here.

EA: Consider it done. Sounds Effin amazing. Where can people learn more about you, the event, etc.? 

SC:  Anyone can feel free to contact me at spoons@chef.net or follow me on instagram @_spOOns_

EA: What’s the one thing about you that I didn’t ask but I should have? 

SC:  I think the one question you should have asked is “Why come to your pop-up and not some other bakery?” (EA: Yeah, you’re right. Good question.) Being in the mission, there are so many options for a sweet bite or a quaint coffee shop to satisfy your occasional need to spoil yourself with treats or diet cop-outs. I encourage everyone to stop by my pop-up if you want to experience a memorable moment with food. I try to help people understand the roles of texture, the balance of sweet and savory, along with the ideas of light flavors that can work together to achieve delightful bites.There are two ways to eat my pastries, eating them for the sake of eating or spoiling yourself by savoring each bite and allowing the sensations to take over.

Yes, my weight watching effort continues as I beat back the infernal not-so-lovely love handles (Thank God the Bride is the only one I have to impress and she has permanent beer goggles when it comes to me despite our sobriety) BUT, yes, indeed… you can count on me being at Sweet Mue Sunday, trying that Kouignette as recommended (can’t say it but you can bet I can smash it!) and likely another item or two. Join us and celebrate this budding San Francisco original pastry artist. If you go, come back and post your comments here!

Dinner for Mom turns into impromptu test kitchen

I invited my mom for dinner the other day. A simple dinner. Pasta, bread. Italian food. No biggie.

Until I started cooking.

I decided to make the pasta.


Soon I was kneading a silky yellow 00 flour with Seminola pasta, flecked with fresh basil into beautiful dough balls. I felt inspired and turned to making bread. I went to my go-to bread, a multi-grain Sicilian bread that is hearty and full flavored.

Then I decided I wanted some dessert so made a Ghiradelli double chocolate chip concoction that demanded ice-cream. Out came the ice-cream maker.

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The whole plan started with a single eggplant, because I thought fried eggplant with my sauce would be a good mix.


So the process of frying the slices joined the baking bread the churning ice-cream maker and the rising pasta in a flour-dusted cacophony that filled my kitchen with life even though I was home alone awaiting my mother and step-father’s arrival.

I hadn’t intended to cook all afternoon. I hadn’t intended a lot of things. But I loved the result, which filled our table with incredible homemade delights. Everything could have been bought at a store and made in about 30 minutes.

No thanks. The four hours were well spent and the food was much, much better.

Besides, isn’t Mom worth it?


Crumbs, mice close Cronut bakery – Independent.ie

So this is how prophet’s feel? It feels kinda bad actually. Nevertheless, I did call it when I wrote that “Cronuts are so yesterday.” Of course, I didn’t think someone who went to such artistry to launch the cronut (and then to trademark it to keep others from profiting on something he didn’t really invent, but perfected) would be so careless as to let his SoHo New York restaurant be overun by rats.


Far be it from me to say it, but read on:

Health officials have closed a New York City bakery famous for serving up croissant-doughnut hybrid treats called Cronuts because of a “severe mouse infestation.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman says the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Manhattan’s SoHo neighbourhood was shut down yesterday.

She says the rodent problem requires professional pest control but the bakery can reopen after inspectors determine the problem is fixed.

Bakery spokeswoman Amy Ma says a customer posted a video of a mouse online instead of telling bakery staff.

She says workers are now re-cementing the basement and will exterminate. She says they hope to open on Monday.

Cronuts have become a food craze in New York. Queues at Ansel’s tiny eatery often start forming at dawn, hours before it opens.

via Crumbs, mice close Cronut bakery – Independent.ie.

It suddenly makes my little Teddy Bear Claw Croissonuts and Italian No-nuts look pretty damn good huh?


But maybe I’ll not go the trademark route. It seems elitism can lead to a far fall from grace.

So here’s the proverbial $64,000 question: Will the lines around the building return when the mice are gone?

Geranium sugar cookies make for flavor and conversation

The vegetable focus we’ve had in our home has been invigorating to me. It’s become a vital focus of our meal planning and overall health routine. But… let’s face it. The cravings still kick in time and again for something far less good for me.

That’s where baking comes in. The hubby has commented often here — and rightly so — that I’m not much for cooking. He’s the chef in our family. But, I love baking. Be it cookies, cakes, pies, whatever I feel like making, I’m usually in the kitchen mixing it up. Baking has turned into such a therapeutic experience for me. I really enjoy it. As much as I get pleasure out of the process of baking, I enjoy even more the ability to pass along my baked goods. Recently my brother and his wife, had a baby. What better occasion to present an exotic new sugar cookies I needed to try for a homework assignment! (Can you believe it… school homework is making cookies? I love school).

The assignment called to replace vanilla with geranium essential oil. I didn’t know what to expect. My first reaction was to ensure that I had the proper Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil in my kit. Next, I wanted to take the time to perform a thorough test of it using my sense of smell as the guide.

Upon first smell I was hit with huge floral notes. A symphony of flowers. As I sat in my quiet room, at my couch, which sits under my big window, I paid attention to the experience of how I felt with each scent. At first, a sense of calm came over me, followed by a general happy or satisfied feeling. The scent was just colorful to me. Based on the sensory experiment I was excited about replacing the vanilla in the cookie recipe.

Since it is just me and my husband at home, the two of us would have to suffice as the test cases. After I baked the cookies and let them cool for a couple of minutes, I asked my husband to try an unfrosted cookie first.

“Wow,” he said, which I took as a very good sign.

I tried it next (I’m always afraid to try my baking first, who knows why…). Wow, I thought. Really wow.

He said this would be a recipe you could bring to an upscale party, where gourmet food was being served, because the unique flavor would be interesting conversation.

I had decided that I would frost these cookies, and chose a very generic cream cheese frosting. The frosting called for vanilla, and I contemplated substituting the vanilla with the Geranium Pelargonium graveolens but I’m glad that I didn’t. I think that it would have been overboard if I would have used the geranium in the cookie as well as the frosting.

I handed him a frosted one and he grew more expansive.

“The cookie is light and flaky, which is perfect for the unusual, subtle flavor. These are elegant. Really elegant.”

I tried one with frosting. “Wow,” I thought. I wasn’t as expansive, but I admit, I felt really, really happy with my effort.

I was amazed at the subtle floral flavor that it added to the cookie. So different from the vanilla, and a bit unusual, but something that you could serve to people to give them a different take on your standard sugar cookie.

When my husband made me leave him a dozen of the cookies, I knew I had succeeded, even though my brother and his wife’s present will be a bit smaller now.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself and share your experiences in the comments below. Thanks!

Geranium Sugar Cookies 2

Old Fashioned Geranium Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 drops of Organic Geranium Essential Oil Pelargonium graveolens
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream together thoroughly butter, oil, powdered sugar and granulated sugar
  2. Add eggs and 2 drops of Organic Geranium Essential Oil Pelargonium graveolens and beat until smooth
  3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Blend well.
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes
  5. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls
  6. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes
  8. Leave cookies on cookie sheet for 2 minutes after taking out of oven, them move to wire racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar


Mix all of your ingredients until you reach your desired consistency.


Jumped off the band wagon for cake pops

Here’s two truths I felt strongly about: 1) I don’t do trendy, which is why I haven’t had the least bit of interest in cake pops. 2) By popular demand of my relatively cranky family email chain, I’ve been making healthier stuff in the test kitchen to help battle the post-holiday bulge.

Having finished Bran Muffins (which went for about three weeks instead of one) I was moving on to Energy Bars.

But then my truths collided. In an impulsive desire to make a birthday present (and probably because my food drug was Jonesing for a rush) I went out and impulsively decided to make cake pops. That’s the drug talking, I’m sure.

Turns out, forget trendy, I love these little suckers and they reinforced a core principle I have about life in general. Philosophy on a stick, that’s what these are.

I made two types (of course… I have to experiment… clearly you get that by now, right?) with a couple of different ways to top them. The chocolate topping I used a tradition melted, pre-tempered product that only further convinced me that I need to get over my fears of tempering chocolate and figure it out. Soon… soon… (I hope?)… For the peanut butter ones I used Reese’s Peanut Butter morsels, melted down. They were heavier and had to be painted on, which made them look like hippie cake pops with shaggy hair. I sort of liked it, but we’ll work on the presentation (and apparently the photo… I wasn’t high, I promise!).


Here’s the one key, above all keys… whatever you use for the glue, be it frosting or like I did, a caramel filling, don’t use VERY much. I used less than a 1/3 of a cup for 3/4 of an entire cake (ON impulse I dug out some frozen white chocolate frosting I had from the holidays, because you know I never waste anything!) and cut a couple of pieces for The Bride and I. Nothing like chocolate cake and a big glass of milk!

I let the cake chill overnight in the fridge, which wasn’t necessary but really helped when it came time to make the pops. You need them to form and stick and hold together while you make them or they will fall off the stick. (By the way, I nabbed the foam to hold them from a florist for a couple of bucks.)

This is the whole thing when it comes to cake pops, that delicate balance between wanting the center to taste like cake, not gooey dough, but still hold together on the pop.


Balance. That’s the key. I held all these things in tension and with a little practice discovered a delightful treat, which is really the perfect size for those cravings or treats or whatever you call it when you need something delightfully sinful.

And that’s why I now love cake pops. They are balanced, which is really the secret to most everything in life.

As I ate my delightfully fluffy, moist, but not gooey cake pops, I reflected on how they emulate life, precariously perched on the point of a stick, doing our level best to hang on and still turn out delightful, balanced and sweet. That’s life. Cake pops as life! Seinfeld looked to the cookie! I look to the cake pop!


News from the Test Kitchen- Bran Madness

The Bride and I have been watching food documentaries of late. Any residual resistance I had for my sugary concoctions went largely out the window after viewing these. Sugar is the devil.

Of course, I’ve long danced with the devil, so no wonder it feels so familiar.

Bad food is also a drug. No wonder I’m so obsessed. I’m scanning about for new addictions apparently.

With that in mind the Bran Muffin test kitchen kicked into high gear in search of our three aforementioned goals: 1) Moistness 2) Health 3) Artistry.

After my first batch, where I stuck to the basics, I decided I had to branch out. Search “moist” bran muffins and the recipes are all very similar to bran muffins, in general, which by definition means dry as toast.

In the true spirit of testing, I’ve now made three batches of muffins each differently, slowly evolving the process to narrow in on what will earn the EFFin Artist label. I’m so far off the grid they don’t even have power here. I’m going where no recipe seems to have gone before.

For example. One batch I envisioned tasting like a healthy Snickers bar, full of chocolate, peanut butter and caramel and still having only a 1/4 cup of brown sugar total. Impossible? I think not.

Overall the muffin proved delicious, especially compared to bran muffins, but nothing like a Snickers bar. It was loaded energy bomb. For the chocolate I used protein powder. The peanut butter was Effin A brand, all natural. The caramel topping came from sweet potatoes, a smidge of butter and a teaspoon of brown sugar, greatly reduced. On a couple of muffins I mixed this caramel-like mixture with a touch of cream cheese to make it more frosting-like. It’s amazing how tasty this all was and with virtually no sugar.

2014-02-07 13.58.17

Sounds delicious right? Well it was. EXCEPT: I was listening to AC/DC and Ozzy at the time and got a little jacked up and forgot to turn the oven down (speaking of dance with the devil… our oven is Satan’s spawn. But that’s another story). So they cooked a bit hot and burned ever so slightly the muffin cup. They were still really moist thanks to the plain Greek yogurt I mixed into the batter. But they just didn’t have the perfect finished artistry to succeed on all three levels. Very close. For the next round I’ll mix some dark cocoa powder with the protein powder because the chocolate was all but lost. (Another little secret: I used half a banana mashed into the eggs to give added moisture. The flavor is lost, which I wanted because it didn’t go with a Snickers Bar, but the moisture remained… very cool, I think).

My next creation was a blueberry coconut bran muffin. Here I got absolutely a bit whacky. I decided to use coconut oil, but rather than heat it into a liquid I used it solid and crunched it up into the batter. My thinking was it would heat and pour moisture into the dough while they baked. I also used a 1/4 cup of raw coconut sugar, 1/2 cup of coconut water, dried coconut flakes and a sprinkling of coconut dust on top for that all-too-important artistry. I folded the blueberries in at the last so they didn’t smash up too much. Again I went for yogurt in the batter as moisture. It almost worked until… the oil ended up basically frying the muffins as they cooked. I opened the oven and it looked like I was frying dough again!

As it turned out, the edges are a delightful crispy texture like fried dough, but of course they aren’t really fried. But the oil kept them so moist and dense, they didn’t rise at all. So these are too tiny to call finished.

2014-02-07 16.35.44

I’m going to try it again with two corrections: The oil will be mixed in so it won’t “fry” but just have that moisture. I’ll also use baking powder next time to get the lift I need. I like BIG muffins that bowl over the edges, so that’s a must for the finished product.

So who wins the sweepstakes?

Just like my brother’s favorite TV show The Sopranos… nobody knows!


I can’t send the sweepstakes package yet… because I haven’t discovered the perfect muffin yet. Some good things have emerged, but other things haven’t quite come together. The freezer is full of these little dudes, but none are Effin Art. None are worthy to wear the “I’m an EFFin Artist, Man!” label. The quest continues. Stay tuned… the winner’s spot is still very much up for grabs. All I can say is when I’m done, these will be very, very worth the effort to win them.

By the way, the Snickers bar muffin had 1 gram of sugar! Only 1 per muffin. Amazing right?!

Stay tuned.

Effin A has left the building…. so don’t bother trying to unsubscribe. He can’t hear you…

Love affair with dough pays off in the end

I know that you all have been reading lately of my husband’s love affair. While some women have to deal with the advances of other women, I have to compete with dough these days. No, not the green kind, but the white, puffy texture. You know the kind that feels really soft sometimes, and the kind where it’s okay to poke, and pinch (an inch or more). This lady won’t talk back to my husband, or yell at him for calling it fat. She’s a considerable foe.

His latest Effin Artist creation: croissants with all their flaky, perfectly buttery tasting goodness. It took awhile, the process that is. Maybe even days from the first utter of the word from his mouth. Daily, I asked, when will the croissants be done? Just finished the dough…the dough needs to rise…the dough needs to be spanked, and worked up in my hands real good…(are you sure you are talking about dough here?!) The dough needs to rest.

The “dough” seems like an awful lot of work. The “dough” seems high maintenance and downright bitchy if you ask me.

“You seem to be giving so much of your efforts and time to the ‘dough,’ what does it do for you lately?” I asked with no small amount of snark in my voice as he sauntered off to the kitchen yet again. “I don’t see the ‘dough’ appreciating you the way that I do. Every time I’m around the ‘dough’ all it seems to do is complain and belittle you. I’m not sure who would put up with that. I would have been gone a long time ago!”

He just gave me that smile he does in my Crazy Train moments and went back to his floury concoction. 

My husband is no quitter. His patience goes beyond normal mortals. I recalled his Cronut Test Kitchen when one flavor wasn’t enough… he had to make four! And then I recalled how amazing those were and I started to chill a bit.

In spite of the lack of the dough’s lack of respect, he held out. Never lost hope. In the end, I think he wore the dough down. It was his love and respect, and his never-give-up philosophy that won out.

In the end, my patience with his affair, his need — or should I say knead — for freedom, was worth it. These buttery pillows of perfectly golden goddesses were to die for. I started seeing his love affair with dough in a new light.


IF my husband shares his recipe, I encourage you to try them yourself. (He says all the websites that share recipes are as over-killed as Quinoa. I’m not sure I know what that means. “Is that a yes or a no honey,” I asked him. He just smiled at me. I heard him doing a Rainman muttering thing about italian-herb croissants sandwiches, so maybe … maybe… he’ll make those. God I hope so.) Anyway, if he does give you the recipe, you won’t be disappointed. If not, find a good recipe  and do it anyway. Do as I say, not as I do, because there is no way I have the patience to do it!

Still… so delicious.

Cronuts are yesterday: Today is Italian Nonuts

We put in long hours in the test kitchen in search of Doussaint artistry this week. Yes, yes, in case you noticed, we are no longer trademark infringing on the C-word trademarked by the genius from New York. We’ve seen the light. His mastery is to be commended and we’d dare not infringe (nod to lawyers… ok? great. Whew…) Besides, now we are a big BELIEVER in trademarks, as you will soon see.

Our goal was not to re-invent or improve the doussant/C-word thing. Just by reading up on it and watching the video of preparation, we set out with two goals. First to emulate its quality and artistry, and second to twist it some way in flavor or presentation to make it our own, which is why the Test Kitchen exists frankly. It’s the journey, man. It’s the journey.

This journey started off pretty decent after our dough went off to “have a sleep.”


The dough woke up rested and ready.

Next we plotted our plan. First we’d emulate the actual doussant/ C-word as best we could. Then not liking the idea of wasting the doughnut hole, we went with the traditional jelly doughnut shape. Next, getting a bit more expansive in our confidence and creativity we busted out the old ravioli cutter. Excitement filled the air, and our phone lines filled with energy to our lawyers.

“What’s involved with a trademark?” we asked.

In typical hoof to head fashion we used every last bit of the dough including the final scraps which we tossed into the oil to make sure the temp was right and enjoyed a tasty friend dough treat when finished.

Finally, we came up with what a truly American version of this french-inspired idea. We cut the shapes into teddy bears for….


Cronuts 4

Now pumped about this whole trademark thing, we doubled-back, thought of our dear Nonie Mary who inspires our kitchen to this day and named our ravioli version….

Italians Nonuts (TM)!*

This made great sense because at the core of this whole endeavor is fried bread. That’s really what all this fuss is about. This is wonderfully layered bread, delicately fried and topped and filled and brushed with all kinds of sweetness and light. But its’s still fried bread and we’ve been doing this for decades. Nonie taught me how to make fried bread when I was little. Now, she’s trademarked forever and ever Amen!

Who would have thought this trademark thing would be such a blast?!

For the Nonuts(TM), the only filling that made any sense was a decadent custard filling.


This custard just danced to life.

We finished frying the bread, and the real work set in: trying to pump these things full of creams and top them with icing.

Each needed its own flavor and twist. Here’s the final product:


Clockwise starting with the classic C-word/Doussant topped in pink icing is a Meyer Lemon Cronu..err. Doussant. Next is a custard Croissonut topped with dark chocolate. Then a Teddy Bear Claw Croissonut(TM) with cinnamon cream filling. Bottom center is an Italian Custard Nonut(TM) and, finally, another Teddy Bear Claw Croissonut (TM) with happy-face frosting.

And on the seventh day, Effin Artist rested.

Effin Artist’s bride, however did not:


Can’t say I clean as well I create. Oh well, I can’t be everything. Remember, I told my bride, “it’s the journey, man.. it’s the journey.”

*Trademarked name, patent pending… do not use without permission — we prefer small bills — or we will sue you for everything you got!

WeBromance- Breaking my own rules for Sorted

I’ve written before how I try to avoid the really successful foodie websites and shows. I’m not a fan of the whole cult of personality of cooking. I mean it’s food, right? It should be inclusive, not just another area where the stars burn brightest and the rest of us bow to their greatness.

BUT… there’s always a but… I found a hugely successful foodie website that is successful because its awesome. If you want to see how to make a thing good, watch this. The food is great. The videos are excellently produced and well, they crack me up. Seriously, food is fun and this site makes it fun.

What is it about an English accent that’s so funny? God I wish I knew. I wish I could get away with faking one so people would think I’m funny. A swarthy Italian with a British accent? Crikey that’s funny!

Anyway, I stumbled on to these when I steered the Test Kitchen toward Cronuts. When they talk about the “pansy” rabbit about to get skinned, I nearly wet myself.

They just seem like guys who back in my drinking days would be fun to hang out with. I realize that’s idealistic. They will probably sue me once this posts because of some copyright law and I’ll think they’re a bunch of A-holes. But for now, the WeBromance continues.


Also, the Test Kitchen finished phase one of Cronuts. The dough looks like its supposed to as its “gone off to have a sleep.” We’ll see what the next step brings.

News From The Test Kitchen: Cronuts

The other day I was minding my own business, considering my Test Kitchen ideas. I wondered if those on my Hotel California Email about the Test Kitchen were now getting politely annoyed and were about to have one of those things when I show up and everyone is sitting around staring at me awkwardly when someone says “we need to talk.” You know, one of those kind of things. Ugh.

But to my surprise, an unlikely participant on the Email chain– my son’s wife-to-be who is just too nice to tell me to bang off, but doesn’t respond much to the banter — chimed in with an idea for the next Test Kitchen.

“Cronuts. Google it. Embrace it,” she wrote.

I had no friggin idea what it was. I figured it was like the Acai berry or some such thing that mucky mucks were now making. I wasn’t that interested. But I love soon-to-be-daughter-in-law so I did as she asked and Googled it, while the email chain went its merry way without me.

Shocker alert: The Cronut is without a doubt the very best idea that has surfaced in the test kitchen since Italian Wool Shearing, and that doesn’t really count because it was not.. I swear it… NOT conducted in the kitchen.

At first I hated the idea because of this guy:


What a freakin snob this guy is. $5 bucks and a waiting list. Trademarked the name, gets all in a hubabaloo over others making it and rumor has it is vying for a new show called “Cronut Nazi” starring Jerry Seinfeld (ok, I’ll confess, I made that last one up).

I thought no way. EFFin Artist don’t do elitist bullslather. (Note to self, add that to the list: Effin Artist don’t do list: Selfies, ESP, and Elitist Bullslather… to be cont., because Effin Artist does do LISTS… We love love lists– read about them in fact in about oh…22 hours at effinartists.com. Commercial now over!).

ANYWAY, I was about to reject the idea out of hand UNTIL… I thought about the neanderthal ideas from the male readership of this email chain to the idea of Cronuts.

For those not on the email chain, let me derisively fill you in on this memorable input:

“I’m thinking that it is New Years and time for thinking healthy. Instead of the Cronut, how about quinoa!”

“Oohh the cronut sounds amazing but so does quinoa and since I gained 900lbs over the 2 holidays maybe you should stuff the cronut with quinoa so I dont feel guilty for eating it.”

“Now that is the originality worthy of an EFFin artist. Bravo.”

Quinoa and a Cronut? Bravo??? Seriously?!?! Guys… go back to the link above, read it, consider the absurdity of that idea and go lie down. For shame! It’s safe to say I know two people who WON’T be winning this week’s sweepstakes package. I mean, quinoa has all the artistry of a Beanie Baby. Just because people get all trendy with it doesn’t make it neato. It’s rice man. Really, that’s about it. Rice. Or Risotto for bad cooks. Sigh.. I can’t believe I’m explaining this. I must move on. It’s as arty as selfies when you get right down to it. (Add to the list: Quinoa)

AND that’s when I opened to the idea because once I delved a bit further, I realized EVERYONE is going to want to win this week’s sweepstakes because these things are — holy CRONUTS batman — incredible looking. I haven’t tasted them, but what’s not to love… a doughnut, a croissant, sugar, cream, frosting all gently elevating with yeast-like perfection together. Amazeballs!


SO I’m in. Let the research begin. The Test Kitchen is going to make Cronuts.

This led me to my new favorite WEBromance, a perfect cooking show type website minus all the snooty tooty rich and phooey. It’s called Sorted. And if you still don’t know what a Cronut is you have to watch this video right here:

Folks, lets face it… you already know the answer to that question you are thinking… yes… this will be on the test. And if you have ANY hope of winning the sweepstakes package of the week, you will, YOU WILL have to pass the test. Should I pause here whilst you all double back and watch my new favorite webromance video???

I thought so. go ahead. I’ll wait…………..

Send me your favorite line from the video for extra credit. Mine was… no cheating, you tell me first…. Done yet?…. (fingers drumming…)

DIGRESSION: EFFin Artist isn’t surprised much. The time my nephew jumped in with the Jailhouse Ramen Sandwich in his dorm room maybe. My sister-in-law the Long Island Medium… that was cool. But as I waited for you all to go back and watch that truly wonderful video, I was SHOCKED when a new email arrived from said sister-in-law. And guess what she said:

“However, I … have gained the requisite 900 lbs. over the holidays, so, since I still consider this time zone to be the holidays, I say Cronut first then quinoa. Or, how about a quinoa Cronut!  Now, that would’ve something!!!!!”

(Effin Artist shakes his head… )

No dear… it wouldn’t be something. Stop with all the exclamation points. This dumb idea would be Lobster Tail drenched in Hotdog Chili Mac. You need to go sit over there with the boys this time dear and next time, THINK… think before you email. Once its out there, you can’t take it back. The gun can’t be unfired, the bell can’t be unrung, the lipstick can’t be wiped off the pig.

Sigh. She was my star student, or at least I thought. She’s an artist no less…a  REAL one, not an imposter like me. I .,.. i… I just sometimes wonder why I bother…

My dear daughter-in-law-to-be who came up with this idea, you can come right up here and sit at the front of class where the sister-in-law formerly known as Artist just vacated. CONCLUDE DIGRESSION:

SO now my brain is in overload. The snooty french guy with the Cronut trademark (CRONUT. CRONUT. CRONUT. CRONUT. CRONUT.  there I said, I’m posting it, and I’m making it, so take that frenchy. Sue me!? Yeah right, get in line. Good luck with that!)… Ooops… sorry… Deep breath… As I was saying, the snooty guy (Note to self: I had a lovely French blogger drop by the other day, and she was not at all snooty. So please be nice to the French. I’d hate to piss of one of my five readers) listed all the flavors he’s made.

“There is only one flavor of Cronut every month. Here are the flavors we’ve had: May – Rose Vanilla; June – Lemon Maple; July –  Blackberry Lime; August – Coconut; September –  Fig Mascarpone; October- Apple Creme Fraiche; November – Salted Dulce de Leche; December -Valrhona Chocolate Champagne. January 2014 will feature Peanut Butter Rum Caramel.”

Salted Dulce de Leche? My god! I owe him a slow clap because I can see why folks are lined up for these. Some great creations on that list. But, me being me, I have to create my OWN version that he hasn’t done yet. That will be aces! This is no small test kitchen here. This is GIANT TEST KITCHEN! Game on! This is SURVIVOR Test Kitchen!

Step up your game folks. The Cronut Test Kitchen Starts Sunday right after the 49ers make the Packers into a snowball and splat ’em.

I will test you on everything… so if you are not still reading… right down to HERE… you can go sit with the neanderthals and the artist this week. Believe it. Don’t be voted out of the kitchen. Just… don’t.

To unsubscribe… I got nothing for you. you can deal with it. I’m just not in the mood! And remember Jimmy Dugan… there’s no crying in baseball (or Effin Artistry either).