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Is Macaroni and Cheese the New Cupcake? And Does That Mean The Economy is on the Upswing?

January 24, 2012

Remember when cupcakes appeared on the scene? Suddenly cupcakes were everywhere. Stores opened up on the street selling just cupcakes (wtf?!) and reality shows were produced on a scale second to rednecks blowing up things on the History Channel. Cupcakes were everywhere. Pretty little things, too cute to eat.

Cupcakes a great investment

I attended an event for women entrepreneurs last year filled with nothing but young women (and young businesses) who made little cupcakes. Not even the standard sized cupcake but the mini one. What you missed, calorie wise, with little cake was more than made up for in frosting and fondant.

What a great ROI cupcakes provide. A box of Betty Crocker cake mix goes for about $1.50 with a tub of frosting often on sale for 99 cents. You could make two dozen normal cupcakes or 24 of the mini ones and sell them for a buck a piece.

It kills me that people will get upset when gas goes up a few cents per gallon but will throw down a green back for 1 mini cupcake.

Let them eat cake

Economists suggest that now that cakes, full size cakes or better, are making their way back in bakeries and reality tv, it means the economy has made that crucial turn for the better. If more people buy cake than cupcakes it obviously means the people are feeling more confident about the economy.

There have been rumblings on the web lately about Macaroni and Cheese. Suddenly the comfort food is everywhere; made with exotic cheeses, cream and (gasp) real butter. While Kraft has done everything to reduce the calories (and taste) from it’s iconic blue box of heaven others are making the dish that reminds us all of grandma with expensive and indulgent ingredients.

Boxed or Homemade?

Articles are appearing on the web about the cheesy goodness and in fact there have been a smack down or two started over which is better.

Bloggers Nicky (We Work For Cheese) and Margaret (Nanny Goats In Panties) got into a heated debate recently about the best mac and cheese recipe resulting in a yet to be determined cook off. My money is on the goat. Sure Nicky works for cheese and has a well developed pallet but she’s Canadian and they don’t know anything about comfort food, American comfort food that is.

Margaret isn’t the best of cooks but I bet even she can throw together a box of Mac and Cheese.

I suspect we will be seeing gourmet macaroni and cheese shops popping up along the trendier streets. These may or may not be sit down restaurants, more likely a take out kind of place where you get a fancy pan in addition to your mac and cheese. Of course tied with a ribbon. Trust me, you will be able to shell out $10 for a cooked pan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

This is America, for crying out loud.

*This post was inspired by an article on a national news site about mac and cheese (along with all the bickering between Nicky and Margaret) as well as the fact that we Americans will pay tons of money for anything that is mini, wrapped with a ribbon or just packaged differently. We don’t consider how much the contents of that pretty presentation cost.

That rant was inspired by my trip to CVS yesterday. I had to switch pharmacies and ended up at a CVS with a Starbucks across the hall. Even though I had called in my prescriptions four hours earlier they weren’t ready when my daughter and I arrived. After being told there would be a 15 minute wait (even though they had signage all over the pharmacy proclaiming that prescriptions would be filled within 15 minutes – guaranteed) so we went to the Starbucks across the hall where I paid $1.95 for a cookie (which wasn’t finished) and $1.75 for organic chocolate milk (because that’s all they have though I will say the barista suggested, after the milk had been cracked open, that next time we ask them to mix a chocolate milk and save a whopping .50). I bought those things for my daughter because I refused to buy her the apple sauce in the squeeze container. Organic apple sauce for sure but I’ll be damned if I pay $2.95 for half a cup of applesauce. Apple sauce that is only being purchased for the novelty. 

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  • dcr

    Economists suggest that now that cakes, full size cakes or better, are making their way back in bakeries and reality tv, it means the economy has made that crucial turn for the better.

    Either that, or we’re less certain about our futures than ever before and prefer to eat dessert first.  Thus, we choose splurge on cakes and follow up with ramen noodles for the main meal.

    • dcr

      Well the top part was supposed to be quoted, but I guess Disqus rejects the blockquote tags . . .

    • I heard it on good authority that because we are now buying full size cakes that we can rest easy about the economy. It’s true.

      I don’t know what’s up with Disqus. 

  • Great, now I just wanna eat cupcakes.

  • cmk

    While surfing the obsession known as Pinterest, I DID notice that every other ‘pin’ these days seems to be a mac-and-cheese recipe.  Didn’t even realize it until I read this post.  But then, that’s just how with-it I am most of the time.  And I’m with Meleah:  I now want cupcakes.  😉

  • Remember when miniature museums were big? No pun intended. Elaine was going to visit one on Seinfeld way back in the day. Everyone loves miniatures; they’re just so small and cute.

    But as you know, I’m too cheap to buy small and cute. But i still like looking at them.

  • Cupcake is also fun to decorate with because of its small size. You can even choose cute cupcake wrapper to decorate your cupcake compare to cake. 

  • So… your money’s on Margaret, hunh? I don’t know anything about comfort food, hunh?

    I see how it is. You can’t admit that I’m right, so you start throwing out the anti-Canadian propaganda. That’s okay.

    I’m right and that’s all that really matters. 🙂