by Amy Reiter in News, October 22nd, 2014
by Amy Reiter in News, October 21st, 2014
You’re sitting in your office, your car, a hotel room or the middle of nowhere, or you’re on a biking or camping trip — or heck, you’re just lounging around at home — and you crave an espresso, bigtime, but you’re too far from a fancy machine to make you one. What do you do?
A startup industrial design firm in Hong Kong, Wacaco, is now offering a new way to answer that question: a small, hand-powered portable espresso machine that allows people to “pull their own drink on the go,” the Minipresso.
According to the Minipresso website, the cleverly designed DIY machine extracts at 116 psi, which, the site says, “is exactly the pressure produced by traditional piston-driven espresso machines.” Temperature has also been carefully considered. “Minipresso produces at ambient condition (75 degrees F), an espresso at perfect temperature (152 degrees F in cup) with a nice compact and persistent crema on top,” the machine’s makers maintain.
by Amy Reiter in News, October 18th, 2014
On the flour-tortilla-wrapped face of it, finding America’s best burrito sounds like an impossible quest. For starters, how, given all the burrito-serving restaurants across the United States, do you taste all possible winners? And how, given the myriad permutations of burritos — the sheer volume and variety of techniques and fillings and flavors — do you compare different prospects? And then, how exactly can you quantify which is the best?
You’d have to be full of beans and un poco loco to even try such a thing, right?
Well, we don’t want to pass any judgments, but the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight.com recently flung itself full-force at the challenge, biting into burritos and crunching numbers — as only the site founded by statistician Nate Silver can — to arrive at a quantifiable winner.
by Amy Reiter in News, October 17th, 2014
Who knew brunch — that seemingly innocuous meal that ambivalently straddles the line between breakfast and lunch, that daytime gathering opportunity for those who stay out late and sleep in on weekends, that blood-sugar boon for those enamored of eggs Benedict and fancy frittatas, Bloody Marys and mimosas — could spark such controversy?
“Brunch Is for Jerks,” The New York Times declared on Friday (just before the weekend’s brunch-eating commenced), in a headline atop an opinion piece in which writer David Shaftel declares that he’s “through with brunch” and gripes that the hybrid meal has “spread like a virus from Sunday to Saturday” and “jumped the midafternoon boundary.”
The simmering “brunch backlash,” Shaftel observes, broke through to the mainstream after Strokes front man Julian Casablancas blamed brunch (and those who eat it on Saturdays) for his departure from New York City for parts less urban.
Oh, ho, ho, Shaftel, a former brunch admirer who traces his conversion to hitting 40 and having a kid, has some choice words for brunch. He calls it “a twice-weekly symbol of our culture’s increasing desire to reject adulthood” by throwing three-meal-a-day convention to the wind and “reveling in the naughtiness of waking up late, having cocktails at breakfast and eggs all day.” It is, he says, “the mealtime equivalent of a Jeff Koons sculpture.”
by Maria Russo in News, October 16th, 2014
We have no myth-busting news to impart about Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, but we do have one bubble to burst: That little ball of green stuff you’ve been mixing into your soy sauce and calling wasabi all your life is, in fact, not wasabi at all, reports Washington Post Wonkblogger Roberto A. Ferdman. So, um, what is it?
Ferdman quotes sushi expert Trevor Corson: “ … it’s just plain old horseradish, plus some mix of mustard extract, citric acid, yellow dye no. 5 and blue dye no. 1. It comes in big industrial bags as a powder, and the chefs mix it with water before dinner to make that caustic paste.”
by Rupa Bhattacharya in News, October 15th, 2014
Although a morning cup of joe is surely a way to guarantee a jolt of energy when you need it the most, for many, making and drinking coffee goes beyond the daily caffeine fix. From sipping espresso and people watching at an alfresco cafe to sharing a just-brewed batch with friends at the local diner, coming together over coffee is a tried-and-true tradition, and Keurig is out to make it easier to do that with their new Say Hello with Keurig 2.0 campaign, featuring actor and musician Donnie Wahlberg and focused on encouraging meaningful face time.
FN Dish recently caught up with Donnie, who plays a high-ranking detective on CBS’ Blue Bloods, to find out more about his morning coffee routine and to see if he’s able to resist the police-station temptation of coffee and doughnuts
If you could enjoy a cup of coffee with anyone in the world, whom would you choose?
Donnie Wahlberg: I’d probably choose the president, and I would have a real conversation with him. … Even if I don’t agree with every policy he has, I think he’d be a fascinating person to sit down with.
How do you take your cup of coffee in the morning?
DB: Decaf [with] half-and-half and two Splendas — which is awful. You shouldn’t use sweeteners, but I can’t help it.
by Amy Reiter in Holidays, News, October 13th, 2014
A restaurant in D.C. is making waves for levying an surcharge on patrons who want to savor their cocktails with perfectly crystal-clear ice cubes. To be fair, the equipment needed to make crystal clear ice cubes can be expensive for restaurants, reaching the mid four figures — and if you want to do it yourself, it’s a whole process, involving coolers and chisels.
The advantage to clear ice isn’t just aesthetic — a byproduct of the clear-ice-cube-making process is denser, more slowly melting ice, which will dilute rocks drinks more slowly. That said, a large cube of not-clear ice will do almost as good a job. Use a large silicone ice cube tray to make 2-by-2-inch cubes or spheres that are perfect for sipping drinks.
by Amy Reiter in News, October 11th, 2014
You love food, and you love Halloween. How can you satisfy both of your passions at once? No, not with fists full of bite-size candy bars you will sneak from that big bowl you’ve set by the door for trick-or-treaters. Or at least, that’s not the only way. You can also let your food-nerd flag fly proudly by dressing up — or dressing your kid up — in a food-themed Halloween costume (pictured above).
While you can certainly buy food-related costumes (cute ones, funny ones), any cook worth his or her salt knows that homemade is best. And if you’re hungry for ideas (no, really, stop with the chocolate bars), the Internet is filled with ideas — floating around like apples in a bowl, ripe for bobbing.
These egg and bacon costumes will let your kids show off their sunny-side-up attitudes, not to mention their love of cured meats. Food Network Magazine offers step-by-step instructions on these and other appetite-stirring creations.
by Amy Reiter in News, October 9th, 2014
How do you like your whisky? Neat? On the rocks? Do you prefer to bend it like Beckham?
Wait … what?
Yes, soccer star and global symbol of hotness David Beckham is now trying to do for premium liquor what he has done for men’s underwear: make it sexy for a desirable demographic (or perhaps make it desirable for a sexy demographic).
Beckham (hardly the first celebrity to link his name to a liquor brand) joined forces with British liquor giant Diageo and American Idol creator Simon Fuller (the man also responsible for bringing Beckham’s wife, Victoria, to fame via the Spice Girls) last week to launch Haig Club whisky at an event in Edinburgh, Scotland. The single-grain spirit is produced by Diageo-owned Scotch distillers House of Haig, Scotland’s oldest grain distillery, which traces its roots back to the 17th century.
by Amy Reiter in News, October 7th, 2014
When you look at a leaf of lettuce, perhaps slightly wilted, what do you see? Uh, a leaf of lettuce, right? Maybe the makings of a salad or something to add a bit of crunch to your sandwich?
Artist Victor Nunes sees a warrior’s robe, a woman’s elegant frock or the twirling skirt of a dancer. He sees a variety of arresting hairdos, the leaves and branches of a tree reaching gracefully up to the sky.
For his “Faces” series, which he shares on Facebook, Nunes combines everyday objects — and often foods — with his whimsical line drawings to create wonderfully amusing images that encourage viewers to take a closer look at household items they may not generally glance at a second time.
It’s not uncommon for parents, when they’re concerned about their kids missing them at school, to sneak a little note into the kids’ backpacks or special treat in their lunchboxes to cheer them up. But Li Ming, a stay-at-home mom in Singapore, has taken that concept to a whole new level with the elaborate bento boxes she makes for her two sons.
Ming says she “started bento-ing” in 2008, when her older son was in nursery school, and graduated to making the more involved, ultra-adorable charabens, or character bentos, when he began primary school in 2011. “He missed me terribly then and had problems adjusting to the longer hours at primary school. I started packing him charabens, along with lunch notes, hoping to cheer him up and let him feel my presence and love through them,” she explains on Bento, Monsters, the blog where she documents her bentos and offers recipes, tips and tutorials.