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food (179 posts)
I happen to love a good cup of tea and I’m a big fan of Crate & Barrel, which is why I’m crazy about these super-chic teapots designed by 12 contemporary artists to commemorate the store’s 50th anniversary. Each month beginning Dec. 1, Crate and Barrel will feature a new design on limited-edition teapots—I particularly love the whimsical red fish on the September pot by architect Paola Navone and the colorful cityscape on Brooklyn based-illustrator Julia Rothman’s pot for November. Only 200 of each teapot will be produced, making it a great gift for the tea lovers in your life (or yourself!).
"There's a fierce inventiveness to Detroit," says artist Kate Daughdrill. "People here take ownership of a problem and work to find solutions." In order to help Detroiters keep doing just that, Daughdrill and a friend cofounded Detroit Soup, a philanthropic supper club. Each month four local groups present ideas to diners who pay $5 to attend; the crowd then discusses the ideas over soup, salad, bread, and pie, and decides which project will receive the evening's proceeds.
Since 2010 Detroit Soup has raised from $700 to $1,000 per dinner for more than 20 community projects—like a bicycle education workshop, or the design and manufacture of a coat for the homeless that converts to a sleeping bag—and the typical number of diners has grown from 20 to 200. "Right now Detroit feels like an underdog," says Amy Kaherl (below), Detroit Soup's current coordinator. "Someone needs to care for it, and that someone could be any one of us."
As someone perpetually preparing food in a tiny, under-stocked space, I found this revelation to be quite refreshing: Even Julia Child had to fake it sometimes! Design Research's Jane Thompson describes how they set up the studio kitchen, and why it was so significant: "What [Julia Child] was doing was sort of modern living demonstration of the big symbolic thing, which was [meals going directly] from the stove to the table. We didn’t have servants anymore...we’re not living in the old elegant way."
But we can be living in the new elegant way, thanks to Child -- even if our kitchens are less than perfect. Read the whole post for more, including the unexpected significance of pepper.
Finding Your Inner Julia Child
Julie Powell's Favorite Kitchen Tools
The bakery chain Sprinkles has begun a "Pay It Forward" campaign designed to bring a little more, ah, sweetness to the typical partisan squabbles. Every day until Election Day, members of Congress can get a dozen cupcakes from the Georgetown Sprinkles shop for free -- if they have it sent to a representative or senator from the opposing party. According to Washington City Paper's Young and Hungry blog, Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson hopes “to inspire a spirit of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.”
I'm sure political junkies and sugar fiends alike can agree that this is one of the more original ideas we've heard out of Washington DC in some time.
What Oprah Knows About the Importance of Voting
According to Zagat (and the Guinness Book of World Records) pizza enthusiast Brian Dwyer has the largest collection of pizza-themed art and ephemera in the world. "It’s the only food that makes everyone happy," Dwyer told Zagat," It makes people remember their childhood - it’s the great equalizer." The museum, which is located in a pizzeria (naturally), features displays of pizza-themed art, literature, music, and, of course, actual pizza. (Read the Zagat story to find out what kind of pizza these pie-experts serve...)
I admit to having a tattoo-worthy love of pizza myself, but I also have a weak spot for quirky little museums. The news of Pizza Brain got me thinking -- why leave it at pizza? Did you know there is also a Peanut Museum? That's right, and Happy Peanut Day to you. One guess as to where the Potato Museum is. And don't forget about the SPAM Museum. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ROAD TRIP!
Women, Food, and God
2. Almost any cooked vegetables—broccoli, zucchini, potato—can be mashed and made into fritters. Simply add to a beaten egg, flour, and salt (you want the mixture to resemble thick pancake batter), and fry in canola oil until brown on both sides.
3. Puree surplus berries, then add lemon juice and sugar to taste for an easy pancake topping or yogurt stir-in.
Keep Reading: Your biggest cooking questions—answers!
A top choice for your late summer revelries, fried chicken is a classic—but to many of us, it's also...complicated. But making fried chicken from scratch means you can customize every step of the process, which allows you to get as creative – and healthy – as you want.
Enter Dante Gonzales, the Los Angeles-based chef and fried
chicken master whose upcoming cookbook, Ride
or Fry, will be out this November. Gonzalez recently hosted a luncheon where guests got a chance to taste his perfectly seasoned signature crisped fowl. We had to ask how to
achieve the same results at home.
His advice? Check out these 5 easy steps...
Slurpy, drippy, creamy, sweet—what's not to love about ice cream? But by late summer, my daily diet of the frozen treat means I'm also itching for new ideas. Here are five toppings capable of transforming that bowl of vanilla (or chocolate or strawberry...) into something deliciously new.
Lark Fine Food's Scourtins
They're like...cookie crumbles
Except...they're studded with bits of black olive. The sweet-salty contrast may sound jarring, but it was love at first bite in our office. The traditional French-style cookie's olives are almost raisin-like in their concentrated sweetness. And the super-buttery, super-crumbly texture makes it easy to crush a few of these grown-up cookies (at left) over ice cream.
Spoonable Sesame Caramel Sauce
It's like...traditional caramel
Except...toasted white sesame seeds give this so-thick-the-spoon-won't-move sauce an almost chewy consistency and a subtly salty bite. I especially loved it spooned over Talenti's Double Dark Chocolate gelato, for a doubly decadent match.
Jansal Valley Basil Crystals
They're like...candy sprinkles
Except...this basil candy is made from small, hand-harvested basil leaves mixed with sugar syrup. Crunchy, colorful, and sugary, the topping also packs an herbaceous freshness that can elevate a simple bowl of strawberry ice cream.
Of the many ways to cool off on a muggy day—visiting the pool, perfecting the floppy-hat-look, downing mint juleps like a character in The Great Gatsby, or my personal favorite, hiding out somewhere air-conditioned—the most creative we've ever seen has got to be watermelon carving. This is a pastime like carving a pumpkin, but with more delicious pulp-goop to scoop; like an ice-sculpting but without the need for dry ice and chainsaw.
The website of Japanese artist Takashi Itoh claims that each astounding carving takes about an hour, and that anyone can learn how to make one in about a week. Hmm. I'll just say I appreciate the modesty and optimism, respectively. Look at some of this watermelon-master's work:
I'm proud of myself when I actually cut a watermelon into slices that are somewhat uniform, but okay. Here's the extremely cute, eater-friendly hedgehog from, who else, The National Watermelon Promotion Board. (Instructions for creating your own little melon-pet are on the site.):
And then let's not forget (but how could we?) the Melounovy Festival of Watermelon Carving, which apparently produces some truly wonderful specimens, including this much-blogged, slightly threatening but still kind fun, watermouthen:
An internet search for even more images of carved watermelon is guaranteed to provide you with hours of nice, cool, air-conditioned fantasizing. Or get motivated and make one of juicy creations as a barbecue centerpiece. The only downside? You're going to give your lumpen potato salad a complex.
Mouth-Watering Watermelon Recipes
Sheryl Crow's Watermelon Margaritas
More Food Art We Love
How to Express Yourself With Food, Art, and More...
The spinach alternative: Boston or Bibb lettuce
Soft and silky, butterhead lettuce leaves have a tender texture similar to baby spinach. And if you’re a fan of the former’s mild, rather sweet flavor, you’ll love find a comparable taste in the the—yes—buttery leaves of of Boston or Bibb. With their light green, loosely clustered cupped leaves, every bite yields a dose of Vitamins A and K, as well as potassium, and work equally well in salads or as cups for holding tuna or chicken salad. Just handle it lightly and eat it quickly (the shelf life typically is shorter than spinach’s: about 3-5 days).
How to use it: Don’t add too much or these greens will literally fall flat. Use a light dressing (such as 3 parts red wine vinegar to 2 parts oil, plus dried mustard, salt, sugar and poppy seeds to taste) and mix with a few brightly flavored ingredients like sliced strawberries, candied walnuts, and feta or goat cheese to punch up but not overpower the delicate greens.