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Getting Lost In the Supermarket

Everybody’s gotta shop. Even celebrities (gasp) who, as s US magazine reminds us, are  “just like us”.

Supermarkets are so astonishing now; like toy stores where you must choose between the new line of Star Wars action figures.  Will it be talking Yoda or the Baba Fett?  A stunning array of fruits and vegetables, five new cereals, and OMG! peanut butter mixed with Nutella in the same jar?!

I’ve audibly gasp.

But how does one navigate this astounding array of edibles?  It’s your lucky day, shoppers; I’m sharing my plan with you.

Your first assignment, should you choose to accept it, it to wrestle a cart free from the stack of carts that some super human, bored, and slightly resentful cart guy has jammed together using all his man force.  Try to do this without cursing and pulling at the handle violently.

Once you’ve freed the vessel into which you will contain your treasures, the next challenge is to remain focused at all times.

There are a mountain of choices.  We’re fortunate to live in the land of plenty.  

The challenge is to remain calm. Don’t  crack under the pressure of dealing with the self absorption of your fellow shoppers.  This is what went on at he deli counter – which was teaming with people vigorously waving their numbers in the air as if they were on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange:

Woman on her cell:  “Ham.  You want ham?  What kind of ham?  They have Virginia, deluxe, smoked, maple…you want it sliced thick, medium, thin?…Boars Head, store brand?…okay… cheese….asiago, american, swiss, provolone…?”

Lady – could you not have discussed this vital information in the privacy and comfort of your own home?  No, that’s okay.  We’ll wait.  We’ll check our Facebook pages.  No.  Go ahead.  Really.  We don’t mind.  This is riveting.  Will he choose the provolone?  Is he a pepper jack kinda guy?

Next, find your way around a store you’ve been shopping in for years.  Because now, every store has a rearranged layout.  Just to mess with us .  Let’s see if they can find the onions.  They’ve left us to stumble around using GPS to find the toilet paper.

Make sure you drown out the “experience enhancing” soundtrack.  Despite all the effort they’ve invested into dragging out your stay, the music they’re pumping out of their speakers is a deterrent. I’m sprinting through a store that plies my eardrums with Huey Lewis followed by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. The secret weapon?   Earbuds and iPods.

The Clash distracted me as I defiantly slammed food into my cart, trying to make it home in time for the school bus.

Not in the clear yet, you still have to deal with the dreaded check out line.  Will you be doomed to the one where the person ahead of you is buying gum with their Mastercard, the one with the extreme couponer,  or the person who pays in several transactions?  With pennies.

And isn’t it the best when they carry on a conversation with the cashier?  Maybe they’ve been on house arrest for a year and they’re on their first food run.  No, it’s fine.  Talk about your kids.  Talk about the weather.  Oh look! Orbit has 6 gum flavors! Heidi Klum and Seal are getting back together.  I can get a 20 pack of batteries.

Finally it’s my turn.

18 year old cashier: What’s this – a cucumber?

Me:  It’s a zucchini.

Cashier:  What’s a zucchini?

Me: Squash.

Cashier:  No, your eggs are fine Ma’am.

Me:  No, the zucchini is a squash.

Cashier:  That’s fine too Ma’am.  I didn’t put it in with any cans.  What’s this?

Me:  Cauliflower.

Cashier:  Dude, it’s it looks like a brain!

Heavy…heavy…deep…yoga sigh….This kid must be living on a steady diet of Taco Bell.
Either that, or the only vegetable he knows is corn.

Cashier: That will be $211.  Your shopper’s card won’t scan.

Me:  Can you put my phone number in the computer instead?

Cashier:  Wow Ma’am…I dunno….Rita? Can I like, use her phone number instead of her card?

Rita:  I dunno…lemme call Wayne. WAAAYYYNNEE??

Wayne comes over.  He makes this valuable and informed executive decision and we move on.

Then he bags the deli meat with the raw chicken.

I am about to LOSE IT!  And then I remember that this is New Jersey.  I am a tough Jersey girl now.  I can take it.  I can perservere under the pressure.  And then the face of New Jersey bad ass perserverance bursts into my head like a veritable fist pump in the thick air of adversity:

He’s sayin’ to me: “Listen baby, I know it ain’t been easy.  It’s like workin’ in a factory…somethin’ I’ve actually never done…but baby, strap yer fists cross that cart.  Baby you were born to run.”

Yeah Bruce! You’re right!  This is bullsh*t man!  I grab my two foot long register tape, I don’t even pay attention to the kid when he offers me his pedantic “Have a nice day”.

I get out into the open air of freedom.  I am liberated on my way toward the rest of my life, I’m armed with a cart full of food and a world of possibilities.

Where’d I park the car?

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Deciphering a Small Fortune


I say: He who order Chinese food…still have to order dessert. Because the fortune cookies suck.

Everybody knows the fun is in the fortune. But what the heck do they mean?

I got one that said “If you’re still hungry…order more food.” How prophetic. It’s Chinese food, people. Of course I’m still hungry.

I save my fortunes. My kids love ’em, I love ’em. I put them on the fridge door and I save the rest in a box. I’ve got hundreds and I like to think I’ve picked up a little insight from them over the years.


So as a public service, I’ve decided to take some of the mystery out of it so you can look like a regular Confucius at your next shitty take-out dinner party.

You’re welcome.

You enjoy giving gifts of yourself to others. You will be rewarded.

Beware of STD’s.

Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

When you set up your best friends and they get divorced, that shit stays with you.

Think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.

How to feel like a woman on steroids.

Patience is one of the hardest virtues to master.

Yeah…get to the point, asshole.

Your infinite capacity for patience will be rewarded sooner or later.

Be patient because the rewards usually come later.

Well done is better than well said.

Unless you’re a writer.  Then you’re screwed.

Getting together with old friends brings new adventures.

Unless your ex shows up. Then be prepared for a fist fight.

A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one.

Invest in storage space. Because you still need someplace to dump all your shit.

Your home will be visited by good health and wealth.

Put on a pot of coffee. Richard Simmons and Ed McMahon are coming over.

A good friendship is often more important than a passionate romance. 

You’re gonna need your friends when your main squeeze stops squeezin’.

Made in the USA.

That explains the Kung Pao Chicken.

Good clothes open many doorsGo shopping.

Fortune cookies can also be tiny infomercials.

Inch by inch life’s a cinch. Yard by yard life is hard.

Size does matter girls.

A mile walked with a friend contains only a hundred steps.

Your friends don’t exercise? The walk will be from the fridge to the couch.

You cannot run away from yourself; you’re always right behind you. 

You’re paranoid and your shadow is out to get you.

Word To My Peeps!

Hello Bakery Buddies!  I’m back!  Please forgive me, for it has been a couple of weeks since my last blog entry.  I was out of town (in Ohio) at a writers conference and then visiting with family.  Any Ohio peeps in the house? Shout out!

Speaking of peeps…

Odd Peep Out


I know that I’m several days late and a peep short, Easterly speaking, but I couldn’t let the season pass me by without discussing this phenomenon.

Are we pro peep? Con peep? Meh peep?

See, here’s my thing:  I find the little guys ridiculously cute and fascinating, but I could never quite get in the peep boat and row with it.  The only marshmallow I’ve really ever done in my life has had Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers wrapped around it or been bobbing for dear life inside a mug of cocoa.

I like it that way.

But peeps?  And wait…as I’m writing this, I can’t help but wonder if I should be capitalizing the “P” in peeps. Because it’s not just a thing anymore…not just a mere noun. Oh no.  Now it is an Enterprise.  A proper noun. A way of life.  Okay, so maybe it’s not a way of life, but I do think I just answered my own question.

Henceforth, we shall capitalize the “P” in Peep!

Sounds okay with you peeps?


As I was saying, Peeps have never figured prominently in my Easter equation in the past.  I always traded them to my brother and sister for Reese’s peanut butter cups.  It was an all out bidding war. Whoever gave up the most peanut butter cups won the coveted four pack.  Later, as I began buying them for my kids (or the Easter Bunny started bringing them *wink* *wink*), they’d be left open in the pack to harden like so much concrete.

But in the last few years, have you noticed that Peeps have become Big Business?  They are a cottage industry – no, so much more than that.  It started with colors that veered from the traditional pink, blue, yellow and purple. Target began doing them in signature red.  That was just to get their little webbed feet wet.  Now, there are a variety of flavors, like creamsicle, strawberry cream, chocolate dipped, lemonade and vanilla.  There are Peep lollipops and Peep gingerbread men.  There are stars, hearts, and shouldn’t there be green clover?

Dunkin’ Donuts has Peep donuts!

What I’m trying to say is, just like everything else in life, these kids have it SO much better than we do. They have NO idea how good.  I keep telling my boys that in MY DAY we had four colors. That was it.  And we made do.

Peeps have gotten so much Peepier.

And now…I’m suffering from FOMOOP, or Fear Of Missing Out On Peeps.

So I tried one.  One of the chocolate dipped ones.  Because I can get onboard with anything dipped in chocolate.

Now don’t go there. 

You know what happened?  I ate the chocolate part and tossed the rest of the little cuties.  Poor neglected things.

Have you seen the Peeps website?  It’s pretty Peepalicious.

445stripper pole peeps
Pole dancing Peeps? Look out, Elizabeth Berkley.


And if you want to be entertained, Peep-wise, I have an excellent blogger friend named Vikki Reich who does an annual feature on her blog called Peep Week.  You need to check this out, because it’s fantastic.  The link will take you to Day 7, but the links to all previous days are listed there.  Day 7 is the big video Kahuna as they say.  You don’t want to miss it.  There’s also a Peep Gallery!  And did you know that The Mall Of America has a Peep Store?  I found that out from Vikki too.

So what it all comes down to is this: Maybe I’ve just been wrapped too tightly and been hard on the little guys?

And maybe if I’d wrapped them more tightly, they wouldn’t have gone hard on me.

What say you?  Are you a Peep peep?  Or are you not yet with the Peep flow?  And if you are, what flavors have you tried, embraced and called your favorites?

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Linda Roy is a humorist/writer/musician living in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. Her blog elleroy was here is a mix of humor and music. She’s Managing Partner and Editor-In-Chief at Lefty Pop, writes and records a musical humor column at Funny Not Slutty, and has also contributed at Aiming LowSprocket InkIn the Powder RoomMamapediaBonbon Break and Earth Hertz Records.  When she’s not writing, she fronts the Indie/Americana band Jehova Waitresses.  Connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+ and Bloglovin’.  She loves cake. And brownies. And cookies. And…

Mac n’ Cheese Please – 5 Gloriously Different Ways

Excuse me, what? Did I hear that right? Did you say macaroni and cheese waffles??!!

GET OUT!! No! Wait – come back! I want the recipe!

There are foods we love, and then there are other foods we love. And then if you put them together? Like omigawd!

It’s decadent to be sure, but who doesn’t want or even need a little decadence in their lives? And when dealing with kids’ finicky palettes, coming up with new and interesting ways to approach even the tried and true standbys can be a challenge.  But we’re not just talking about making food more palatable for kids. We want to switch things up for ourselves now and then. And when it comes to comfort food, what better food is there than mac n’ cheese? The classic is amazing! But what if we turned mac n’ cheese on its head and created something doubly delicious?  There’s nothing cheesy about this, my friends.

Here are some recipes that will have you oohing and aahing all together at the dinner table!


photo courtesy of serious eats 

1. Macaroni and cheese waffles. Yes sir/ma’am! And why the heck not? The recipe is courtesy of Serious Eats  and it’ll make you the star of your next brunch party.


photo courtesy of woman’s day 

2. Mac n’ Cheese Nuggets. Kids love mac n’ cheese. That’s a given. They also love nuggets. So why not put them together? Forget that Einstein dude, this is genius. Relativitively speaking? (see what I did there?) this is the e to your mc2. Whatever that means…. Let’s just say it’s that certain something added to the something that makes it really something! You following me? Here, have a bite. Oh! And can you imagine the dipping possibilities here? Discuss. Nuggets, balls, bites – however you’d like to refer to them, here’s how to make them, courtesy of


photo courtesy of steamy kitchen

3. Lobster Mac n Cheese. Oh yes I did. I went there. Because I’ve had it and I am a believer. Does the lobster get swallowed up in all the cheesy goodness? No. It comes to the party to play and it does its thing to perfection.  It may not be kosher, but if you’re going to sin, this is the way to go.

jalapeno popper


4. Macaroni and Cheese Jalepeño Poppers Wrapped In Bacon. Um. I’m kind of speechless. This is like the Big Kahuna of decadency. Where is the line and can I get in it? Like NOW. The recipe comes to us from a website who’s name also wins the prize for creativity in my pun loving book – Mental Floss.



5. Bacon Blue Burger Mac n’ Cheese. This recipe comes from a website called The Food In My Beard.  And if you can get past the title and the cartoon graphic of the guy with several different food groups hanging out in his hipster facial hair, then he’s got some pretty interesting ways to approach the mac. This one’s my favorite.

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Blasted All To Hell: And That’s Just the Goldfish

The Huffington Post recently did a piece on the 21 Most Disgusting Foods You Used To Be Able To Get Away With Eating – and while I’m too old to have indulged in some of them, there are those on the list that my kids definitely dig into.

Oh, I try to be the voice of reason. When I shop, I do my best to only bring home some of the contraband and I tell myself repeatedly that it’s not for me – it’s for the children.  Then with one trip to Target, my husband goes and spoils it all by buying something stupid like the junk food. It’s like Christmas when he gets home. He’s the rehabilitated Scrooge and the kids are little Bob Cratchets – “Oh bless you! Bless you ever so!” 

What does he bring home? Many of the things on the HuffPo list. Stuff I never ate as a kid because even I think they’re disgusting. Like the pizza rolls.  Here’s a list – not that he shops with a list, mind you. It’s more like he traverses the snack aisle and just brushes it off the shelf and into the cart like CC Rider on a bender.


Remember the scene from that movie? I don’t know why, but I’ll never forget it. Okay, yes, I do know why – because the dude just goes in and puts together an entire lunch while breezing down the aisles; makes himself a sandwich, washes it down with a soda, and busts open a package of Bounty’s to wipe his face. What a gentleman, right? That clearly made an impression on me.

Anyway, the list…

* Pop Tarts – the family size, because my husband is economically inclined that way.

* The aforementioned pizza rolls

* Cheetos. Oh, but not just one kind! One kid likes ’em spicy and crunchy, while the other one prefers old school puffy and cheesy. He likes our children to be    happy. How altruistic.

* No fewer than 3 liter bottles of soda: A&W root beer, Sprite and Coke – everybody’s happy – except for Mom.

* Cereals. Yes plural. And because they all have a shelf life of forever and my children’s palates have the attention span of yesterday’s Trix commercial, we still have petrified red dye #4 riddled puffed rice from 2005 hanging out in the pantry. Listen, do me a favor, will you? If you see the little green guy with the top hat and he happens to ask “Where’s me Lucky Charms?”, tell him they’ve been in my kitchen since 2001 and can he please come get them the hell out of my damn house.

* The “Party Size” pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Oh, we’re not having a party. Unless you consider me sneaking a few and then stepping on the scale the next morning to experience a massive shame spiral a party.

* Klondikes bars. Turns out my kids never have to wonder what they’d do for a Klondike while they’re under our roof. Klondike acquisitions are absolutely guaranteed for the duration.

* Every configuration of Goldfish crackers currently known to man.


If you ever wondered if Goldfish crackers were being marketed mostly to males, wonder no further. There is one “flavor” that presents itself in the festive pink and purple pastels we gals have come to know and expect and after that, we are BLASTED! Everything is FLAVOR BLASTED, as if Chuck Norris broke down the door of the factory and personally blasted the poor little fishies in every configuration of bastardized flavor that might be pleasing to your local frat house. Turns out, my 14 and 8 year olds love ’em too.

Oh, I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s a snack free-for-all around this place and really, who am I kidding? I’m guilty of having a certain fondness for Wendy’s.


When Sweet & Savory Collide

Sometimes it’s classic: ham and pineapple, bacon and maple sugar…and sometimes probably not: saltine cracker ice cream sandwiches?

We’ve all heard of eating chips with a PB&J, but I remember my sister used to crave sweet and salty to the point where she’d have to have a piece of baloney with her PB&J. Kind of cringeworthy in my foodie opinion.

At a time where salt and caramel have become a classic combo – and for very good reason – it begs the question: Do we crave sweet and salty together, and if so, where do we draw the line before it just gets gross?

Of course, like just about everything else, it probably comes down to personal taste. But some things can be an instant thumbs down. How do you feel about a blueberry bagel? I’m not all in on that. I like a savory bagel, though I don’t know why.

Here are a some examples of some odd sweet n’ salty combinations:  

Pumpkin cream cheese on an everything bagel 

Pickle juice and whiskey

French fries and ice cream

There’s actually a science to why some of these foods work well together.  In the case of a fatty meat like ham or bacon, you’re left with that greasy taste in your mouth that something sweet like pineapple or maple sugar neutralizes and gives a nice finish to.  In so many cases, the sweet balances the salty and if you’ve ever wondered why bacon is often considered the best accompaniment to everything, a reason for that is The Maillard Reaction, which is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned foods their desirable flavor.

How about strawberries and pepper? Sure, we’ve heard of adding sugar to draw the sweetness and juices out of the fruit, but it is said that a light sprinkle of finely ground pepper increases the fruit’s flavor exponentially. Who knew?

And we’ve all added salt to our bakery recipes. Why? Salt helps with browning and cuts the oily mouthfeel of buttery doughs. It also enhances flavor.

Now I think I’ll head out and find some chocolate covered pretzels. What are some of your favorite sweet & salty treats? And what have you tried that made you cringe?

Ever thought about experimenting? The results could be bittersweet!

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