Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The food fight known as Tomatina

It's that time again, squashed tomatoes during the "Tomatina" fight in Bunol, near Valencia, on August 31, 2011. Thousands of people splatter each other with 120 tons of squashed tomatoes.

The annual food fight known as the Tomatina paints the streets red with smashed tomatoes as 40,000 people drunk with sangria run around on the streets of Bunol, eastern Spain.

See the video yourself:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Poop Burger

A team of Japanese researchers lead by Mitsuyuki Ikeda of the Okayama Laboratory have created a way to take human poop and make edible “meat” out of it.
Not sure how this even became an idea, but Ikeda was asked to look at the possible uses of sewage.
He discovered that human waste contains a great deal of protein due to all the bacteria that exists within.
The process involves extracting the proteins from the sewage, combining them with a “reaction enhancer”, and putting it in an “exploder.” (what?) and just like magic, you have poop meat.
After all that the “meat” is colored red and the flavor is enhanced with soy protein.

The breakdown goes like this:product is broken down as follows: 63% proteins, 25% carbs, 3% lipids, and 9% minerals.

Even though nobody really wants to try it, we are told that it actually tastes like beef.

According to Professor Ikeda, there are “psychological barriers that need to be surmounted knowing that your food is made from human feces.” The ultimate goal, then, is to convince people that eating a poop burger isn’t all bad and will consider the environmental impact when making the decision between meat made from animals and meat made from poop.
(good luck with that)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Now We Have Cigar Flavored Beer

Beer just isn't what it used to be.
We know about the beer that tastes like ice cream, but now we have the aroma and flavor of hand-rolled cigars.

Cigar City Brewing in Tampa is responsible for all this.
They are using ingredients such as Spanish cedar, guava, Cuban espresso and citrus woods to create beers.
As a result of their efforts, Cigar City has found itself in the Florida beer industry spotlight.

Let's take a look:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Classic Tiramisu at Dolce Vizio

Bakery owners Nadia Tade and Alessandro Radic, along with the help of Michelin star chef Fabrizio Ferrari, (photo below) have opened Dolce Vizio Tiramisu, a wonderful bakery devoted entirely tiramisu.

"We were looking to bring a little bit of Italy to New York," says Alessandro, who will be getting his M.B.A at Columbia University during the day, and helping Nadia run the store at night. "And the West Village seemed like the perfect place to try it out."

"This is the kind of environment we were looking for," adds Nadia, who says that, in its first week, the store was packed until its 11 p.m. closing time. "We've already gotten the neighborhood vibe we were hoping for."

They will serve slices of tiramisu for $7, including the Classic, Limoncello, Orange Espresso, Nutella, Raspberry and Mango.

"Tiramisu is what we're good at," says Nadia. "And that's exactly what we'll be serving."

Dolce Vizio
131 Christopher Street, New York NY 10014

Here's the recipe: Dolce Vizio Classic Tiramisu
Serves: 9


½ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
²/³ cup heavy cream
2 cups mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks
About 24 ladyfingers, depending on exact pan size
8 shots espresso
100% cocoa powder, unsweetened, for dusting


1. Sweeten the cream with the teaspoon of granulated sugar and whip on high until it forms soft peaks, about a minute and a half. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix on low for 20 seconds, then turn the mixer up to full speed for another 20 seconds. Refrigerate.

2. Prepare the "pâte à bombe." Whip the yolks in a bowl at medium speed for half an hour. While whipping yolks, heat ½ cup sugar and the water in a sauce pot, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Syrup is done when small bubbles form and a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees. Very slowly, in a thin stream, add hot syrup to the yolks without stopping the mixer. Continue whipping the mixture until cool.

3. Add the refrigerated mix of whipped cream and mascarpone to the egg "pâte à bombe" and mix until fully combined.

4. To assemble, soak one side of the ladyfingers in cold espresso, then lay them on the bottom of a 3-inch-deep 9-by-12 pan, dry side downward. Spread a layer of tiramisu cream over the ladyfingers. Add another layer of ladyfingers, these soaked on both sides with coffee. Add another layer of cream. Dust cocoa on top.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Word to the wise, BE PREPARED

We will only know the impact of hurricane Irene after it's all done with, but we know that the threat alone sent shoppers into stores to stock up and wipe out the shelves.

Home Depot and Wal-Mart Stores were busy selling selling water, flashlights, batteries and almost everything else.

"Most probably, the biggest demand right now is for generators, obviously," said Suzanne Roche, manager of a Sears store in Wilmington, North Carolina. "We have got customers calling nonstop."

Many stores thought they would be selling back to school clothes, shoes and school supplies, those plans have been put on hold.

"Nobody is going to go to a mall to buy a pair of jeans," said Richard Hastings, consumer strategist at Global Hunter Securities.

Target plans to keep their stores open as long as it is safe for shoppers and workers, and to comply with any evacuation orders.

Walgreens said it would keep many stores open 24 hours a day to meet demand for supplies.

We see this all the time, people panic, wipe out the stores and hope for the best.

Once again, wouldn't it be great if we could be prepare before an emergency strikes?

Even if you had a two week supply of food, water, pet food, batteries, first aid kit, propane and whatever else you may need, you wouldn't have to worry if you'll be ready.

The average grocery store has just 72 hours of inventory...
and that is easily wiped out even by severe weather warnings.

We have gone over this in greater detail in earlier posts (feel free to check them out) but look at these photos, you don't want to be in this prepared.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bill Clinton, The Vegan

President Bill Clinton, 65, says he only eats a plant-based diet these days.
The former president has gone from a meat eater to a vegan, the strictest form of a vegetarian diet. He says he eats fruits, vegetables and beans, but no red meat, chicken or dairy.

He talked about his plant-based diet last year, saying he lost 24 pounds on it for his daughter's wedding.
He says,"It's turning a ship around before it hits the iceberg, but I think we're beginning to turn it around."

Actually, we think he looks more like Bob Barker (photo below left) than he does Bill Clinton in the photo above.

But Bob Barker doesn't eat meat either, so it's all the same to us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good Germs and Bad Germs

Most of us go to great lengths to keep our personal environment clean, and that's a good thing.
But it may surprise you that many people have this germ business backwards.
Keeping things clean is a smart move, but being obsessive with the antibacterial hand soaps, and overusing antibiotic medications actually destroys the microbes that can help strengthen the immune system.

Its true, antibacterial products fight some infections, but they also encourage the growth of drug-resistant organisms and weaken the good bacteria that we have inside us.
So perhaps instead of waging war on all germs we need to encourage their growth.

Encouraging the good bacteria can offer big payoffs, fewer ear infections, stomach aches, occurrences of diarrhea, urinary-tract infections and food allergies.
It can even fight off coughs, colds and fevers.

Eat right right, meaning eat foods that naturally contain helpful organisms. These include yogurt, pickles, dark chocolate and feta cheese.

There is even a probiotic supplement (available at most pharmacies and health-food stores) containing beneficial live bacteria.
There are other foods to include in your diet that don't contain good germs but help to nurture them: garlic, onions, asparagus, whole oats, whole wheat, honey and bananas.

As for antibiotic drugs, don't insist that your doctor prescribe them when he says they're not necessary.
Antibotics eliminate both good and bad bacteria.
Keeping the body's bacteria in working order doesn't take a lot of effort, but it can have big benefits.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

BOURDAIN & DEEN Let the battle begin

Let the battle begin...
Chefs Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain haven't met, but that didn't stop Bourdain from saying,
"The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen, She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is ... bad for you. ... Plus, her food sucks."

Later he clarified his remarks on Twitter stating, "my comment was actually 'worst, most dangerous to America cook on [Food Network]."

Butter fan Deen had addressed Bourdain's Food Network attack Thursday as well, telling Page Six, "You know, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills."

Paula Deen said that she "was actually kinda shocked, considering I have never met Anthony. I was really shocked that such harsh words could be used."
"I don't know if it was a publicity thing or if someone had just peed in his bowl of cereal that morning and he was mad."

Paula shouldn't feel alone however, you may remember Anthony Bourdain has also trashed other Food Network stars Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray.
Here's a sample: Regarding Rachel Ray, (“Does she even cook anymore?”), Sandra Lee (“I hate her works on this planet, but she is not someone to be dismissed, clearly.”), and Guy Fieri (“I look at Guy and I just think, ‘Jesus, I’m glad that’s not me’”).

Deen's has responded saying, He’s moody and not charitable enough. “My good friends Rachael, Guy and Sandra are the most generous charitable folks I know,” today. “They give so much of their time and money to help the food deprived, sick children and abandoned animals. I have no idea what Anthony has done to contribute besides being irritable.”

After all the hoopla Bourdain says,"Resolved: Next time I'm asked [for the millionth time] who the worst cooks on Food Network are, I'll just shut up," he said Wednesday on Twitter. "Who cares?"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Down with the King

Burger King has overthrown the weird, yes, creepy "King."
The Burger King people have decided instead to focus on food. (Imagine that?)
Could it be the struggling fast-food restaurant's new advertising campaign to feature fresh ingredients rather than the King's strangeness is a sign of the times?

Burger King plans to roll out its new, guacamole-filled California Whopper burger nationwide.

The advertisements will feature lush images of avocados, tomatoes, lettuce and beef.
But just when we thought the King was banished forever, Burger King says,“That’s not to say that in the future, we don’t introduce him in some other form, but our new marketing approach is more food-centric.”

Let's face it. the King has played second fiddle to Ronald McDonald who earned $1.4 billion in net income in its second quarter, a 15% increase year over year. Burger King’s net income slipped 13% in its second quarter to $42.8 million.

But let's take a little look at some of the Kings moments...

Starbucks Sued for Firing Dwarf

While the Starbucks Coffee Company wants to stand tall, they have paid $75,000 to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to settle a lawsuit for denying a reasonable accommodation to a woman who happens to be a dwarf.
Elsa Sallard also claims she was fired from her job as a barista because she is a dwarf.

Sallard told Starbuks during a training that she could use a stool or stepladder to do her job.
The manager at the El Paso Starbucks apparently didn't like stepladder idea and on the same day that Sallard made the stool request Starbucks terminated her employment, claiming that she would pose a 'danger' to customers and employees."

Starbucks says: "Using the stool in that environment just wasn't a reasonable accommodation in that store.

Starbucks also says, that the woman was hired on a trial basis. After three days, the store manager decided the work was too physically demanding for her to perform.

So, Starbucks is dammed if they do and dammed if they don't.
Society applauds Starbucks for giving the dwarf woman a chance, but now the price for that decision is $75,000, we wonder, would they do this again?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

King of the flies

There were so many flies at a Burger King, inspectors wouldn’t open their mouths.
That's right, a Burger King on Chicago's South Side has been closed after inspectors found so many insects flying around that they were “afraid to open their mouths.
Hundreds of flying insects were found throughout the Burger King. 
They were on the walls, the ceilings, the shelves intended for clean dishes, around the sink, in the food storage area, in a dry storage area, on the tubing of boxes of soft drink syrup, and in front of the drive-up window.

And if that wasn't enough, a wasp nest was also found just over the rear door.

“Pest control was woefully inadequate and poor housekeeping fueled the infestation of flying insects at the Burger King near 95th and Ashland,” Josie Cruz, deputy commissioner of Street & Sanitation’s Bureau of Rodent Control, said. “We closed this location for the critical violation of inadequate pest control and they won’t be allowed to reopen until they clean and pest-proof their restaurant, revamp their pest control and housekeeping plans, and then pass a tough re-inspection.”

It looks like this Burger King is Lord of the flies.

Monday, August 15, 2011

60,000 pounds of ground beef recalled

A USDA food safety inspection has resulted in the recall of more than 60,000 pounds of ground beef sold at four major supermarket chains in the Southeast.

Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and Krogers have issued recalls for ground beef sold in the past three weeks.
The inspectors found E. coli bacteria in samples of ground beef supplied by National Beef Packaging Co. of Dodge City, Kansas.

Officials say the ground beef recall is mainly in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
But the ground beef was also sent to several distributors for nationwide distribution.

Here's the rundown:
  • Kroger 5 lb. Pkg. Flavorseal Ground Chuck (UPC: 1111097028 (only date included for this product is "Freeze By 8-12-2011)
  • Kroger Beef Chuck Ground 80-85% (UPC 22251500000, 22251510000, 22251520000, 22251530000, 22251550000, 22251560000, 22251570000, 22251580000)
  • Ground Beef Patties - Regular & Family Pack (UPCs: 22250400000, 22250410000, 22250420000, 22250430000, 22251600000, 22251610000, 22251620000, 22251630000)
  • Ground Beef Seasoned Patties - Regular & Family Pack (UPCs: 29116750000, 29116760000, 29116770000, 29116780000, 29116850000, 29116860000, 29116870000, 29116880000)
  • In Store Made Meatballs - packaged and service case (UPCs: 29119600000, 29119610000, 29119620000, 29119630000, 29119640000)
  • In Store Made Meatloaf - packaged and service case (UPCs: 29109100000, 29109110000, 29109120000, 29109130000, 29109140000)

Also on the recall list, are Publix  meatballs, Salisbury steak, stuffed peppers, Mesquite seasoned chuck patties, meatloaf and other beef products with "sell by" dates of July 25 through Aug. 12. The Publix beef products were sold at stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.

Products subject to the Winn-Dixie recall have "sell-by" label dates from 7/31/11 - 8/12/11 and can be identified as follows:
-- "Winn-Dixie Ground Chuck," UPC code 20170000000
-- "Winn-Dixie Ground Chuck Family Pack (FP)," UPC code 29127700000
-- "Winn-Dixie Ground Chuck Patties," UPC code 20170100000
-- "Winn-Dixie Ground Chuck Patties Family Pack (FP)," UPC code 29128200000
Products affected by this recall were sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Consumers with questions may contact Winn-Dixie Guest Services toll free at 1-866-WINN-DIXIE.

The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) collects data on recalls, and offers advice to consumers on how to safely prepare raw meat - fresh and frozen. It advises: "only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

You can have your beer and ice cream too

A Scottish firm, Glasgow-based West Brewery is serving up ice cream infused with a wheat beer. 
Yes, you read that correctly.
The brewery's very own award-winning Hefeweizen beer and the ice cream, made by Ayrshire Glen, a small company based in Galston., is available throughout the summer at its bar and restaurant on Glasgow Green.

Founder and managing director Petra Wetzel said: "We are just as passionate about our food as we are about our beers and we felt it would be great to celebrate the summer by bringing a new dimension to our best-loved beer."
"We are always looking at ways to use our beers in the dishes we serve, and have already used our St Mungo lager in our fish and chips and our Dunkel in our steak pies."

"Our Hefeweizen wheat beer is a perfect complement to the dairy ingredients of ice cream with a refreshing taste that has gone down a treat with our customers."

"The beer garden is such a favourite when we have sunshine and we are positive that the West ice cream will go down a treat with beer-lovers who are big kids at heart."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

200 year-old cookbook has been found

A rare find: The Art of Cookery book was found at the back of a kitchen drawer in Devon

200 year-old cookbook has been found in an old kitchen drawer.
The cookbook, 'The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy', explains the culinary delights including baked calf's head and pickled pigs feet.
There is also the first ever English recipe for curry, which is very similar to recipes used today, frying chickens with herbs and spices, then adding cream and stock.

Lucky find: Sylvia Sibley from Devon found the recipe book dating back over 200 years when she was clearing out a drawer
Sylvia Sibley found the recipe book dating back over 200 years when she was clearing out a drawer

The cookbook was written by Hannah Glasse, dating back to 1796 and has hundreds of recipes.
Sylvia Sibley, 73, found the cookbook while cleaning some of her late mother's possessions at her home in Plymouth, Devon. 
Mrs Sibley said: 'Some of the recipes are certainly very unusual and I wouldn't necessarily fancy them. 
'I have read through it but the recipes are very complicated. The list of ingredients is very long and uses meat like 'calf's head' which I wouldn't fancy cooking.
'It is interesting to see the difference between these recipes and modern cooking.'
The cookery book is a later edition of one of the first ever widely available cookery books, which was first published in 1747. 

The 'Calf's Head Surprize' is where you 'Take a calf's head with the skin on, take a sharp knife and raise off the skin with as much meat from the bone as you can possibly get, so that it may appear like a whole head when stuffed. 
'Stuff the head with ingredients including beef suet, veal, bacon and herbs' before putting the whole thing in the oven for two and a half hours'.

There is even a section at the back of the book, which includes a host of 'medical recipes' like the cure for the bite of a Mad Dog. 
It reads: 'Let the patient be blooded at the arm nine or ten ounces.
'Take of the herb called in Latin lichen cinereus terrestris, in English, ash-coloured, ground liverwort, cleaned, dried and powdered, half an ounce. Of black pepper, powdered, two drachms.
'Mix these well together, and divide the powder into four doses, one of which must be taken every morning fasting, four mornings successively, in half a pint of cow's milk warm.
'After these four doses are taken, the patient must go into the cold bath, or a cold spring or river every morning fasting for a month. 
'He must be dipped all over but not to stay in (with his head above water) longer than half a minute, if the water be very cold. After this he must go in three times a week for a fortnight longer.' 
Mrs Sibley said, 'I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now. I quite like the book and it is certainly very unusual so would like to hold onto it.
'I think it would be quite nice to hand it down to my children one day and keep it in the family.'

Friday, August 12, 2011

Taco Bell employee cuffs self to coworker after date refusal

Jason Dean, 24 had been relentless asking a female coworker at Taco Bell for a date,  and she kept telling him no.
So Jason comes up with this genius plan, he handcuffs himself to the 18 year old woman Monday night in the parking lot of Taco Bell.
Eventually the teenager was finally freed after other Taco Bell workers convinced Dean, (pictured in the above mug shot) to release her.
As a result Jason found himself in handcuffs as well, proivided by the police.
He now faces a felony false imprisonment charge.

The victim turned down Dean’s advances (smart girl) over the past month and she even had her shift changed to avoid the creepy fellow.

When Dean was arrested last night, he was in possession of the pair of handcuffs, and not the ones he was wearing himself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Arrested at McDonald's for popping pimples

Here was Owen Lemire Kato, 23, minding his own business, popping his pimples at a local McDonald's when customers began to complain.
This all led to a chase and arrest by officers.
The fun all started Monday when customers notified police that a man standing outside the McDonald's for about 10 minutes squeezing away at the pimples on his back. Events that followed with police ended in a brief chase and the arrest of the man, who allegedly gave a false name when confronted about the complaints.
He was arrested on charges of giving a false name upon arrest as well as drug offenses.

Apparently, an off-duty police officer confronted Kato about the complaints from customers. Reports say Kato said his name was “John Smith” (Really? John Smith? You've got to be kidding) before giving his real name, but then ran away before being chased down and tackled by the officer and other police on duty nearby.

Owen Lemire Kato was found to have a syringe in his pocket allegedly used to inject Oxycontin.
No doubt the Oxycontin was for the pimples.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feds knew about the salmonella last year

Federal officials said they knew about this dangerous form of samonella at a Cargill turkey plant last year.
Even knowing this, the feds did nothing until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 other people.
Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall of ground turkey from the Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., on Aug. 3.
The USDA said the third-largest meat recall in history affected 36 million pounds of ground turkey, and it took them all this time to do it.

The reasoning for the delay?
"We have constraints when it comes to salmonella," said Elisabeth Hagen, the USDA's top food-safety official. She said that unlike E. coli, salmonella isn't officially considered a dangerous adulterant in meat unless that meat is directly tied to an illness or death. (well congratulations, it has.
A routine USDA inspection last year of the Cargill plant in Arkansas turned up three samples contaminated with salmonella Heidelberg, the agency said. A USDA spokesman said the agency brought the findings "to the attention of the facility."

Meat plants are expected to pass a performance standard that allows up to 49.9 percent of tests to come back positive for salmonella. 
Researchers from Narms found salmonella Heidelberg in a package of ground turkey that came from the Cargill Arkansas plant.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating clusters of salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that had begun in March. Antibiotic-resistant forms of salmonella such as Heidelberg have become a serious health problem because they cannot be treated with some common antibiotics. If untreated, infections can be fatal.