Give a mouse a cookie, and he’ll want a glass of milk. Give Graham Blackall chicken and waffles, and the 20-year-old might want to bake you a cake.
The Loyola student and New Orleans native is a baking aficionado at a young age and is the lively intellect behind the nationally popular blog Glazed and Confused, providing fever dream recipes to the food-obsessed.
His work has been featured on numerous websites, including Food & Wine, the Huffington Post and Thrillist, and on Feb. 17, he was crowned Yahoo’s Blogger of the Week.
“I definitely didn’t expect all this when I started,” Blackall said. “I’ve always taken myself very seriously, so I wanted a well-curated blog with good quality content. That’s what I was striving for. I wasn’t striving for press or anything. That coming with it is a great thing.”
Blackall has a frenetic and infectious energy to accompany his decadent, nontraditional recipes and mouth-watering photography.
Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Cookies, Lemon Poppy Seed Icebox Pie and Half-Baked Cookie Dough Cake are only a few of the recipes the blogger shares on his website, which he started in September 2013 at the urging of his communications professor at Loyola.
“She was talking to us about blogging,” Blackall said, “and I’d always been interested in social media. … I said, ‘Yeah, why not? We’ll see if it sticks.’ And I guess it did.”
Blackall started baking in his early teens, using boxed mixes to create the desserts he loved, he said. Later, he began producing his own recipes and sharing them with friends at his high school theater rehearsals.
Some of his unorthodox desserts are inspired by his hometown, New Orleans. Take, for example, his colorful, over-the-top king cake fries.
As the blog directs: “Imagine a steaming hot pile of cinnamon sugar-dusted sweet potato fries, covered in a brown butter cream cheese glaze, praline sauce, toasted pecans, and hella sparkly sanding sugar.
“If that isn’t heaven to you, that’s okay. More fries for me!”
The New Orleans flavors grabbed attention. “I did a beignet and café au lait ice cream sandwich, and that was the first recipe that got press,” he said. “That got posted on Thrillist, then something else, and it grew.”
Last spring, after a year writing “Glazed and Confused” and a couple of difficult semesters, Blackall decided to take a break from blogging. He’d grown a small following, but he figured he deserved some time off. The hiatus lasted a summer.
“I felt this need to have an outlet, just to talk to anyone if they’re listening,” he said. “I started blogging more personally after that, and that’s the style I’ve been sticking with because it’s accurate to my life.”
Taking risks and offering new recipes paid off. “I can make money through my blog now, and I do, which is nice because I can put that back into it.”
With plans to graduate in December, Blackall hopes to get into food writing at a national magazine, preferably New York-based.
For now, he encourages the curious to keep their fingers close to the pulse of Glazed and Confused.
“Stay tuned,” Blackall said. “I have a lot of crazy stuff planned.”
Oh, and that chicken and waffles cake? It’s a vanilla buttermilk cake, with maple syrup buttercream icing, topped with a Belgian waffle and garnished with, yes, chicken nuggets.