Archive for May 11th, 2007|Daily archive page



According to Reveries, hot dog consumption is down, but there are a number of gutsy people trying to make their mark by opening hot dog stands with a twist.

Take for example Franktitude, a Miami-based semi-fast food restaurant. What is Franktitude you ask?

Franktitude has put together the words frank and attitude to demonstrate our clients that we reflect a different attitude towards the traditional “hot dog”. It is a new concept of “cool” food that offers freshness, innovation, design and nicer places to go and enjoy good food.

Studies show today that people of all ages are getting away from traditional fried food. Our obligation is to give a great variety of hot dogs, with fresh, healthy and tasty products. With an assortment of breads (poppy seed and whole wheat), 100% beef, chicken, tofu and salmon sausages, and fresh vegetables served in front of your eyes.

Franktitude has been created for all those who demand fast food customed to their busy life style. Demanding healthy menu choices with more and different options.

So how different are these hot dogs? Well here are a few of the hot dog selections you can make.

Completo Frank – avocado, fresh tomato, sauer kraut and cheese

Salmon Frank – whole grain bun, salmon frank, tartar sauce, fresh tomato, diced onions and sesame seeds

Fresh Frank – whole grain bun, tofu frank, artichoke hearts, cucumber, fresh tomato and fresh carrots

Unique Frank – avocado, fresh tomato, wasabi mayo and banana chips

The menu offers 13 pre-chosen combinations of frank, bun, and toppings – three of which are healthy options, two being less than two grams of fat! Guests can also opt for the do-it-yourself dog by choosing from the frank and bun options and nearly 30 gourmet toppings to create any combination they like. Some examples of the gourmet toppings include wasabi mayo, potato strings, avocado, hummus, chili, banana chips and the usual veggies and sauces.

For those guests looking for something other than a gourmet dog, they can choose from the soups and salads, as well as sides (French fries, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob or coleslaw). Another noteworthy aspect of this semi-fast food restaurant is that it will sell beer – Corona, Miller Lite and Heineken.

The menu even boasts a dessert hot dog, called COOL DOG. A sponge cake bun squeezes a vanilla ice cream dog topped with one choice of ice cream toppings!

I check out their menu and all their dogs appear to be under $4.00. They even have a few (the tofu dogs) that are under 2 grams of fat.

I haven’t actually tried one yet, but if you have, let us know how it is. I’m originally from Miami and I get back as often as I can, so you can be sure I’ll give this a try next time I’m in town.


Wine Guide for Beginners

Wall of Wine

If you’re like me and not an expert on wine, here’s a good article that’ll clear things up a bit. Read below to learn about the types of wines, pairings, categories and tips. The complete article can be found here and was written by Jamie Jefferson. Photo from Flickr.

You do not have to spend a fortune or spend hours reading labels to make good wine selections for your dinner guests. Here is a concise wine guide for beginners.

Wine Styles
Although the basic winemaking process is always the same, every wine has a unique flavor, depending on a number of factors, including the type of grape and the conditions in which the fermentation occurs.

Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes make white wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir grapes make full, rich red wines. Merlot grapes produce lighter, softer red wines.

The six styles of wine are:

Red: Includes Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet, Chianti, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and many more.

Sparkling Red: Includes Brachetto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gutturnio, Lambrusco and Syrah/Shiraz.

Soleras: Includes Malvasia delle Lipari, Marsala, Moscatel, Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Porto.

White: Includes Chablis, Chardonnay, Frascati, Goldmusketellar, Meursault, Muscat, Riesling, Vidal Blanc and many more.

Sparkling White: Includes Champagne, Moscato dAsti, Spumante and more.

Pink: Includes Busuioaca de Bohotin, Lagrein Rosato and Rose.

Most red wines improve with a bit of aging, some for as long as ten years. Most red wines are not distributed until about two years after they are put in the bottle. Most white wines, on the other hand, do not benefit from aging (except for champagne and sweet dessert wines.)

What kind of wine should you choose?
While there are guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules, because wine pairings really are a matter of personal preference. The general rule of thumb for selecting wine to complement your meal is to choose a light bodied wine with lighter fare and a full bodied wine with hearty, robust dishes.

Red wine is traditionally paired with beef, veal, ham, poultry, pasta, lamb, and pork. For poultry, ham, pork, and veal, try a Beaujolais or a red Zinfandel. For pasta, beef, and lamb, consider a merlot or a cabernet sauvignon.

White Chardonnay complements pork, poultry, seafood (including shellfish) and strong cheeses. For appetizers, mild cheeses, desserts, ham, lamb, poultry, and seafood, you might choose a white Zinfandel or Rose wine.

Sparkling wines, such as Champagne or Spumante can also be served with mild cheeses, appetizers, and desserts.

Wine Categories
Wine is often classified as one of the following:

1. Aperitif: Appetizer wines such as Madeira, Sherry and Vermouth.

2. Red: Dry wines typically served with red meats and pasta dishes.

3. Rose: Pink wines typically served with seafood and pork dishes.

4. White: Dry to sweet wines often served with chicken and seafood.

5. Sparkling: Wines often served in formal settings as an appetizer. If a sparkling wine comes from the Champagne region of France it is named after that region.

6. Table: Inexpensive, lower quality wine, usually served with lunch or used to make cocktail beverages.

7. Dessert: weet tasting wine, often served with desserts.

8. Cooking” Salty, poor quality wine used for cooking.

Eight More Helpful Tips

  1. Alcohol Content: Wine is considered an alcoholic beverage unless otherwise indicated.
  2. Chilling Wine: Place the wine bottle in a bucket of ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. For sparkling wine, refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving (or place it in the ice bucket for 30 minutes.)
  3. Labels: If you reside in North America, you will want to remember that domestic wines will be labeled with the type of grape used followed by its origin, whereas imported wines will list where the wine was made and then the type of grape used.
  4. Chilling: Sparkling and white wines are best served chilled. A red wine should be served when it is only slightly below room temperature. Both wines are best left to stand before opening. Some red wines have sediment, which should stay at the bottom of the bottle
  5. Serving: You can serve a white wine immediately after removing the cork, but a red wine benefits from breathing for about half an hour after the bottle is opened. For best results gently decant the red wine into another container. This allows a greater surface area of the wine to breathe and leaves the sediment behind in the bottle. Filling a glass just half full also allows the wine to breathe.
  6. Storage: Wine storage involves cool temperatures, preferably away from heat and light. Cellars can still become hot, humid and sticky during the summer months and it is suggested that keeping wine in a constant, cool environment will allow it to age properly and achieve its best attributes.
  7. Variety: Also known as terroir. The climate, soil, land slope or slant, type of grape(s) used, elevation, weather conditions, topography, fermentation process and yeast cultures are all key factors in the wine appearance, aroma and how the wine ultimately tastes.
  8. Vintage: Further classification involves the year that the grapes were harvested. For example, the wine output from one vineyard might taste significantly different from one year to the next Good wines usually have their year of production on the bottle. This is called the vintage. Some years produce better wines than others.

Once you become familiar with the different types of wine available on the market, you will feel less intimidated and more apt to impress your guests with excellent selections. Enjoying wine is a life long process because there are always new sights, aromas and flavors to discover along the way.

Dine by Diagram

Cookz Site

Looks like this could be the next big thing in recipe sharing.

It’s called “Recipics” and instead of reading and following steps, you can visually see diagrams and pictures of what the ingredients and steps are. Although some kinks still need to be ironed out (like measurements in different parts of the world), this is a very cool idea and could ultimately be something that catches on.
According to the New York Times

Recipics may be an answer to today’s cacophony of culinary chatter. Influenced by the field of instructional design and airplane-emergency-card instructions, the Australian graphic designer Lauren Bugeja began to create recipes using virtually text-free pictograms for a student project at the University of Technology in Sydney. Recently, she teamed up with designers to develop a Web site for sharing recipes and creating recipics (, which will launch this month. Bugeja says recipics will appeal to visual learners and could also be useful for translating recipes across languages. While steps such as duration, measurement and actions can be diagramed relatively easily, Bugeja acknowledges the occasional stumbling block: “The ingredients are still a work in progress,” she said. “For example, it’s hard to explain the difference between flour, baking powder, anthrax and cocaine without words.”

Ultimately, I think the goal is to lose the text so that it’s just strictly pictures of the cooking process, but for now words are still included.

Check out the cookz site to sign up for more info and to see a sample of how it’ll work.

Single Guy Chef

Oysters with Matsuhisa salsas

Great post by a10 over at Good For Party. If you’ve never been to Good For Party, check it out. Really cool site. I’ve even decided to start sharing some of my blog posts with them.

But GFP has a great blog (and site!) going on over there, and a10’s recent post on the Single Guy Chef is a great one! Why haven’t I known about this site?!

According to the Single Guy Chef…

So…it comes down to this. I am a guy that loves, as I like to say, “throw down” in the kitchen. Preparing and sharing great food and wine with my friends and loved ones. Hopefully, you will find some recipes, menus and other things to try.

Now, I will acknowledge and give credit to the recipe’s creator. I don’t pretend that they’re mine but throughout my years of cooking and entertaining, I’ve learned some tricks that will hopefully work for you too!

The site has some great recipes on it, and the Single Guy Chef really takes the time to break down the cooking process, and posts step by step photos along with his posts.

And according to a10…

With a nouveau Asian flair, posts his masterpieces as well as favorite recipes from around the web with his own embellishments added to the mix.

Asparagus with salmon roe and grilled oysters with pico de gallo are dishes easy to make and excel in presentation and taste. Folks will be talking about the party’s food for years and a dinner date where you serve up oysters and mussels has serious big pimpin connotations.