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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

Sandra’s First Ring of Hell: Bright Breakfasts


Today, I will begin with Chapter One, entitled “Bright Breakfasts.”

Obviously, Sandy knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and assumes eating her crap will help make children “bright.” We shall soon see if her hypothesis pans out or, more than likely, crashes as quickly as her fluffy soufflés.

This chapter features 10, count ‘em 10, fabulous recipes for the children to help make and eat. Anyone who has watched Sandy’s show (whether for entertainment purposes or not) realizes Sandy deeply cares about the health of kids.

Well…not her kids, as she doesn’t have any, but other kids, like her nieces and nephews, she definitely cares about. Except when it’s Cocktail Time!

Whether condemning the abundance of ketchup use or telling her audience that it is soooo hard to get food into kids these days, Sandy is constantly letting us know that she worries about children’s health. As such, she devotes this chapter to giving the kids in her life (as pictured by freaky anime-like cartoon characters in the cookbook) the bountiful breakfast goodies she has accumulated through her many, many years “cooking and entertaining” the way her grandma taught her.

Only now, Sandy notes in the introduction to this chapter, “when mornings are warp speed, Grammy’s Granola keeps it caz.” I assume “caz” here signifies casual, but I really cannot say for sure, except it must be what those cool kids say nowadays. I guess I’m too old at 24 for these young hipsters and their crazy slang! [Ed. note: I'm now 40...time flies!]

Sandra’s recipes in this first “eggscellent” chapter (her words, not mine) are “Egg Nests,” “Scrambled Egg Burritos,” “Mini Breakfast Pizzas,” “BTC Quiche” (the C is for Cheddar, not crap…though you yourself will have to be the judge of that), “Apple Spice Pancake Roll-Ups,” “Fruity French Toast,” “Nutty Banana Cakes,” “Waffle Wheels,” “Good Morning Parfait,” and finally the previously mentioned “Grammy’s Granola.”

Aside from the fact that half of Sandra’s culinary treats sound like the creations of stoned college students (dude…we could totally make a pizza with eggs on top, man!), one will also immediately note the silliness of Sandy’s recipe names. Sandy never saw an alliterative title she didn’t like, and her cookbooks are stuffed to the gills with cutesy girly names for EVERYTHING, especially those ubiquitous cocktails she loves so much.

One example that I will focus on for the rest of this review is the frightening “Waffle Wheels” recipe that is both alliterative and incredibly stupid at the same time. Way to go, Snads!

"Waffle Wheels” begins with, you guessed it, FROZEN WAFFLES. Now, I am a lazy, lazy person. I think the fact I got this book over a month ago and am just writing a review now demonstrates my love of procrastination.

However, if I am taking the time to make a nice, healthful breakfast, I sure as hell don’t toast up some Eggo waffles. I mean, I eat those at night when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth by consuming bread covered in syrup. It’s a serious condition I have; don’t make fun.

Anyway, Eggo waffles would never, ever be designated as “healthy” eating by any sane person, yet Sandra goes out of her way to profess the benefits of waffle “sandwiches” for those darn kids that won’t eat anything!

She notes under “food you’ll need” that the ingredients are bananas, Eggo waffles (always making sure to let even her youngest readers know the importance of brand loyalty in the world of Semi-Homemade), crunchy peanut butter (Laura Scudder’s, wtf is that?) and Sun-Maid raisins.

And here’s the entirety of this great kiddy recipe:

“Using a table knife, cut each banana into 10 slices of equal size (for a total of 20 slices); set aside. Toast waffles in toaster. Carefully remove waffles from toaster.

Using a table knife, spread 2 tablespoons peanut butter on 1 waffle. Top peanut butter with 5 banana slices and 1 tablespoon raisins. Place second waffle on top and sandwich together. Repeat to make a total of 4 sandwiches. Serve on dinner plates.”

Okay. To start with, I find it a tad ridiculous that this incredibly simplistic recipe is in her cookbook. I feel like when I was a child I could have come up with the same thing. Does that make me a fabulous chef like Sandra Lee? Hell no…I don’t drink enough to match her awe-inspiring greatness.

Next, why does she have to give exact measurements for peanut butter and raisins? Wouldn’t children be able to put whatever amount they like on their crappy waffles without following her exact dictations of “2 tablespoons”? I know that when I put peanut butter on anything, I just glop it on without thinking of how many tablespoons I am spreading on my food. I think, in this case, she should have just said “spread as much peanut butter as desired.” Same with the raisins. These directions do not need to be so specific for the little kids supposedly using the cookbook.

Finally, why does she recommend that this culinary delight be served “on dinner plates”? Are paper plates too low-class for Sandy, or is she actually being cautious about the environment? My guess is she wanted to put in a specific brand for the plate, but the deal fell through so they left it in the cookbook sans recommendation. Darn…what a missed opportunity to brainwash the young’uns into buying her crap.

I find these early recipes within this first chapter bode much trouble for the rest of the Sandra’s culinary masterpiece. It’s like this cookbook is a weird amalgam of simplistic recipes by stoners with directions written by ruler-bearing schoolmarms who flinch at imprecise measurements. Plus, it’s supposed to be for KIDS.

However, Sandra’s overtly condescending tone gives one the impression that this is marketed toward young adults, hip lingo and all, but that no kid would actually want to read it (the language is so uncool it’s painful to look at) and use it the way Sandra intended. Seriously, unless your child gets that this is a joke, do not give them this cookbook.

It's a disaster in the making that will leave your appliances, and your souls, deeply scarred.

Next week, the second chapter will be “Lazy Day Lunches” as we head into the second ring of the Inferno. As Sandra writes as her salutation in the introduction, Dish Delish!

For all of Sandra's Rings of Hell, please click here.


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