High-Tech Coffee Mug, Alcohol-Related Eating and the Best Gas Grills

by in News, April 26th, 2014

High-Tech Coffee MugsThe Humble Mug-Side Message Goes High-Tech: It may be time to retire your old “Hang in There” or “World’s Best Boss” coffee mugs. Finnish coffee company Paulig has come up with a creative way for you to mix things up a little, mugwise. Its new Muki mug features a heat-powered epaper screen connected to a special app that not only indicates when your coffee is the right temperature to drink, but also allows you to upload and display different photos, comic strips, inspirational quotes or messages sent by friends. Watch a video showing the mug in action here. Cool … or, er, hot! [YouTube via Business Insider]

“Bottoms Up!” = Bigger Bottoms? The key to losing weight may be not only eating less, but drinking less too. Drinking more than three large glasses of wine may spur people to consume about 6,300 extra calories over the next 24 hours, according to a new British report. A little more than half of the 2,042 people surveyed said they tended to binge on fast food after drinking — not just while they were feeling the effects of the alcohol, but the next day as well. Dr. Jacquie Lavin, head of nutrition and research at the U.K.-based weight-loss organization Slimming World, which commissioned the survey, blames the loosening effect of alcohol on self-control. Plus, she said, “Alcohol makes the food even more rewarding. It tastes good and feels even better than it would do normally.” [BBC News]

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Fried Catfish and Beer-Batter Hushpuppies — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, April 25th, 2014

Fried Catfish and Beer-Batter HushpuppiesThere seems to be a requirement for comfort food that it is simple, unpretentious and modest. There is a natural humbleness to home-cooked foods from the wild. Sure, chefs all over are foraging and turning bits of moss into foams and gelees, but long before the old became new again, people were gathering food from the wild and harvesting from the seas, lakes and rivers.

Fried fish and hushpuppies are quintessential examples of such simple country cooking. If you had a hook and a line and a little cornmeal, you might have dinner. (Well, then there’s the whole idea of noodling — catching catfish with your bare hands — but that’s just crazy.) A fish fry would not be complete without a hushpuppy. Hushpuppies are traditionally made from the seasoned cornmeal used to coat the fish (often mixed with beer) and fried in the oil used to cook the fish. Nothing is wasted — another hallmark of down-home comfort.

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America’s First Cat Cafe, a Titanic Menu and Chicken Pot Pie in a Cone

by in News, April 25th, 2014

America's First Cat CafeA Purrfect Cup: Considering the fact that it combines two of our nation’s collective obsessions — cats and coffee — under one (temporary) roof, it’s probably no surprise to read reports that a pop-up shop that’s being billed as America’s first cat cafe, which brings to the U.S. a concept that’s already a hit in other countries, has had lines out the door since opening in New York’s East Village on Thursday morning. (Watch a Livestream from inside the cafe here.) Patrons of the Purina-sponsored cafe will not only be able to drink their Cat’achinos — cappuccinos customized with kitty faces — and fraternize with a bunch of felines, they will also be able to adopt cats from a local animal shelter and get expert advice about cat health and behavior. It’s open only until Sunday, April 27, though, so if you want to check it out, don’t pussyfoot around. [Business Insider]

Going Once, Going Twice: An artifact both sad and rare — a second-class menu from the Titanic — will be offered for auction on Saturday by British auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son. Written on a 3-by-5-inch postcard dated April 11, 1812, and featuring a prophetic note (“Good voyage up to now”) written by one of the oldest crew members to have survived when the ship went down, Jacob Gibbons, the menu reveals that passengers traveling aboard the ill-fated ship dined on foods including potato hash, ham, eggs and oatmeal. Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told ABC News that he’s sold several first-class Titanic menus during his 20 years in the business, but second-class menus are far more rare. It is expected to fetch $150,000 on the block. [ABC News]

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Garbage Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette — The Weekender

by in Recipes, April 25th, 2014

Garbage Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette - The WeekenderAt least once a week, I try to make something for dinner that helps me clear all the odd bits out of my produce drawers. During the colder months, I make huge pots of soup that serve as the basis of quick meals all week long. When the weather starts to warm up, however, I turn to salads to use a handful of mushrooms and the last skinny stalks of celery from the very center of the bunch.

No one really needs a recipe for this kind of use-it-up salad, but sometimes it’s nice to see how other people approach their clean-out-the-fridge meal. I can easily fall into a rut, so a little bit of outside inspiration is just plain nice.

This is where Jeff Mauro’s Garbage Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette comes in. It’s not a recipe that’s reinventing the wheel, but it does pull together a nice assortment of complementary flavors that are outside my regular, well-trod paths. The vegetable base is a motley collection of romaine, iceberg, carrots, celery, mushrooms and pepperoncini. The brain wave is that he also includes blue cheese, sliced deli turkey and oil-packed anchovies. That means there’s enough protein in that salad for it to pass for a full-on meal (at least in my house).

It’s good for Sunday afternoons or whenever your Weekender craving may strike.

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1 Can of White Beans, 3 Tasty Recipes

by , April 25th, 2014

white beans

White beans are deliciously creamy, extremely versatile and can be made into tasty protein-rich meals or snacks in minutes. When using white beans or any other canned beans, be sure to drain off the liquid in the can, rinse them a couple of times an...

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What to Watch: Damaris’ Derby Party and Ron Ben-Israel Guest Judges on America’s Best Cook

by in Shows, April 25th, 2014

Ron Ben-IsraelThis weekend, tune in for all-new episodes that run the gamut from cooking and planning for parties to competition shows that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Start Saturday morning with a new episode of Farmhouse Rules. Nancy’s cooking for a game night with her in-laws. Then on The Kitchen, it’s make-ahead freezer-friendly meals, plus how to tackle artichokes. Then on Sunday morning, Rachael has five weeknight meals that use bulk purchases for the biggest bang for your buck. On Southern at Heart, Damaris is planning a Derby party. Then on Guy’s Big Bite, Guy is cooking up appetizers and making a cocktail to match. On Sunday night, tune in for America’s Best Cook, where pastry chef extraordinaire Ron Ben-Israel judges dessert creations, but one competitor may be going home early due to an injury. Then on Cutthroat Kitchen, one chef will have to separate grains of rice for risotto.

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Flavortown Market Is Back and It’s Bigger Than Ever — Guy Dishes on Season 2

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 24th, 2014

Guy Fieri Dishes on Season 2 of Guy's Grocery GamesGuy’s bringing Flavortown Market back in an all-new season of Guy’s Grocery Games, premiering May 11 at 8|7c. Fans of the show will be excited to see returning judges Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, Troy Johnson and Catherine McCord — as well as some new faces. But that’s not all. Guy’s challenging a brand-new roster of chefs on an all-new set. That’s right — this season, Flavortown Market moves to Guy’s hometown, Santa Rosa, Calif. FN Dish recently caught up with Guy on set and asked him what viewers can expect to see this season.

“First and foremost, this set — Flavortown Market — will knock your socks off. It has the most-eclectic and most-international profile of ingredients available,” Guy shares. “When you use the term ‘super’ in supermarket, that’s what this set is — it’s truly defining in all shapes and sizes. The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves. Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper-friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

So what can fans expect in Season 2? “I think the biggest difference is that competitors have seen the show, so they have insight into the mechanics of it. When chefs walked in the door the first season, you’d hear, ‘Well, now what do we do?’ But since most have seen the show, they understand how it progresses,” Guy explains. “I also think a bigger profile of chefs has been made available — so the competition is even more fierce.”

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Veggie Ice Cream, Dining-Room Rug Rules and a Problem-Solving 3D-Printed Ketchup Cap

by in News, April 24th, 2014

Dining-Room Rug RulesI Scream, You Scream: Vegetable-flavored ice cream? Could be terrible or terrific. Ice cream eaters in Japan will get to decide for themselves on May 12 when Haagen-Dazs Japan plans to release two new flavors — Tomato Cherry and Carrot Orange — as part of a new “Spoon Vege” series. The new varieties will contain 8.5 percent milk-fat, a little over half the usual content in Haagen-Dazs ice creams — so if you ever get the chance to try them, you can convince yourself they’re a healthy dessert choice. Just so long as they don’t try, like, broccoli-lime or spinach-kiwi next. Or, well, actually … [Rocket News 24 via UPI]

Banish Dining-Room Floor Bareness: To rug or not to rug? That is the question we all face when we decorate our dining rooms. On the one hand, rugs are warm and homey and inviting, all things you want when you gather friends and family around a table; on the other, crumbs and spills. Apartment Therapy has entered the debate and come down solidly on the side of rugs, which, the site says, “don’t have to be an impractical choice” if you follow a few rules when making your selection. For instance? Choose something that has a low pile (it will soften dish clinks so you can better hear conversation) and a pattern (the better to hide stains), as well as something that is big enough for all the chairs to fit on and is cheap. Sounds like solid advice. [Apartment Therapy]

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