‘Pen15’ Season 2 Celebrates the Grosser Features of Middle School Snacks

Anna Konkel and Maya Erskine play two tweens fumbling their way through middle school in Pen15 season two. | Hulu

The delightfully awkward Hulu show by Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine takes us right back to the year 2000 — and all of its glorious snacks

In the first episode of Pen15’s second season, there’s an Oreo cookie severed at the seams and rebonded with about 12 additional slabs of cream filling, creating a huge cookie tower. The super-stuffed snack is constructed and implicitly consumed off screen, but anyone who’s eaten a Oreo can picture a kid meticulously twisting the chocolate cookies apart and messily peeling away the loosened frosting with sticky fingers.

In junior high, I might have taken to stacking and smooshing together custom-stuffed Oreos privately at home, out of sight of judgmental peers. But this particular pile in Pen15 is sitting in front of Brendan, Anna … Read more

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Delicious, perfectly spiced, fluffy pumpkin pancakes are so moist and full of flavor, it’s like having pumpkin pie for breakfast! Top these with a dollop of whip cream and a drizzle of syrup and its pure pumpkin heaven.

If you really want decadence try topping these spiced pancakes with a cream cheese whipped topping found here: Incredible Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Whipping Cream Frosting. Or try one of these delicate but flavorful butters, you won’t go wrong with any of them: Cinnamon Honey Butter and Maple Plant Butter (3 ways)!

Delicious, Fluffy, spiced pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

These are best pancakes to wake up to on a chilly morning. The pumpkin makes the amazingly moist and dense, but the milk and egg and (especially if you use buttermilk) will make them light and fluffy. Everyone will love these along with a nice cup of cocoa or apple cider. It’s sure to … Read more

The Lonesome and Thrilling Snack Diet of a Latchkey Kid

As children left to our own devices while our parents were at work, we came up with the best and worst food combinations that our pantries could provide

I’ve long been fascinated with the term “latchkey kid,” though something about it sounds offensive in an vaguely antiquated way, like describing an unmarried woman as a spinster or referring to siblings born less than a year apart as “Irish twins.” Perhaps that’s because there’s always been some shame for parents who work and leave their kids at home and unattended. Or maybe it’s because, as I learned while writing this, my guilty instincts were exactly right: Early in its etymology, “Latchkey children” appeared in a 1935 newspaper column condemning working Black mothers for leaving their children unaccompanied during the day.

The phrase, which specifically refers to a kid who wears a house key around their neck for easy entry into … Read more

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Two layers of decadent bliss make up this delicious dump cake recipe that is filled with sweet fall pumpkin spice flavor. Pumpkin Dump Cake is super simple to prepare. It has a crushed pecan filled cake-like top layer and a smooth and rich bottom pumpkin layer that tastes similar to pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin is a fall staple and loved for its sweet and savory flavoring. If you love pumpkin cakes try this Pumpkin Pudding Cake, Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting or Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Pumpkin dump cake topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Easy Pumpkin Dump Cake

Though the name “dump cake” isn’t the most appealing, the dessert is extremely decadent with a bold flavor. The name just describes the process of dumping the ingredients into a bowl and mixing before then dumping it into a baking dish, or just dumping all the ingredients together in one dish. For this easy … Read more

The Rise and Fall of the Rice Cake, America’s One-Time Favorite Health Snack

Illustration by Goldsuit

Where did they come from and where did they go?

For many American children of the ’80s and ’90s, rice cakes — stacked in a column and kept in long plastic bags — were an omnipresent feature of home kitchens, preschools, and afterschool programs. I can’t remember the first time I held one, but I also can’t remember a time before I did. Palm-sized disks, they’re the same weight as styrofoam with a scant sprinkle of flavor crystals, salt or maybe cinnamon, dusting the top and coating the crevices between each grain of puffy rice. No matter the flavor, they lack marshmallow stickiness and cloying sweetness of Rice Krispies treats, as well as the bake-sale appeal. There was no right way to bite into a rice cake and definitely no good way to contain the stream of crumbs that rained down from the corners of my mouth. … Read more