Archive for October, 2007|Monthly archive page

Good or Bad?

Bad Milk

Back in March I posted an blog entry titled “How Long Will It Last” which discussed different kinds of food and how long they were good for. To this day, that remains one of the most viewed blog entries on the site.

But it looks like a new site might be able to help out if you’re stuck on whether or not something is good (thanks to a recent posting on lifehacker.com). Rather than posting a comment asking me when your tuna will go bad (believe me, I’m no expert) try heading over to BestWhenUsedBy.com, a site that will try to help you keep track of your food and let you know when it’s going bad. The site isn’t fully functional yet, but there’s a demo that’ll help you figure out how it all works.

Can’t wait for that site to launch? Well check out this comment from Drama Queen from a Lifehacker post. She says this is the Layman’s version of how to tell if an item is still good (just for fun, of course!):

Is it good or bad?

THE GAG TEST: Anything that makes you gag is spoiled (except for leftovers from what you cooked for yourself last night).

EGGS: When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime.

DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt. Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese. Regular cheese is nothing but spoiled milk anyway and can’t get any more spoiled than it is already. Cheddar cheese is spoiled when you think it is blue cheese but you realize you’ve never purchased that kind.

MAYONNAISE: If it makes you violently ill after you eat it, the mayonnaise is spoiled.

FROZEN FOODS: Frozen foods that have become an integral part of the defrosting problem in your freezer compartment will probably be spoiled (or wrecked anyway) by the time you pry them out with a kitchen knife.

EXPIRATION DATES: This is NOT a marketing ploy to encourage you to throw away perfectly good food so that you’ll spend more on groceries. Perhaps you’d benefit by having a calendar in your kitchen.

MEAT: If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three-block radius to congregate outside your house, the meat is spoiled.

BREAD: Sesame seeds and Poppy seeds are the only officially acceptable “spots” that should be seen on the surface of any loaf of bread. Fuzzy and hairy looking white or green growth areas are a good indication that your bread has turned into a pharmaceutical laboratory experiment.

FLOUR: Flour is spoiled when it wiggles.

SALT: It never spoils.

CEREAL: It is generally a good rule of thumb that cereal should be discarded when it is two years or longer beyond the expiration date.

LETTUCE: Bibb lettuce is spoiled when you can’t get it off the bottom of the vegetable crisper without Comet. Romaine lettuce is spoiled when it turns liquid.

CANNED GOODS: Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a softball should be disposed of. Carefully.

CARROTS: A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh.

POTATOES: Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.

CHIP DIP: If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad.

EMPTY CONTAINERS: Putting empty containers back into the refrigerator is an old trick, but it only works if you live with someone or have a maid.

UNMARKED ITEMS: You know it is well beyond prime when you’re tempted to discard the Tupperware along with the food. Generally speaking, Tupperware containers should not burp when you open them.

GENERAL RULE OF THUMB: Most food cannot be kept longer than the average life span of a hamster. Keep a hamster in or nearby your refrigerator to gauge this.

Still curious if your food is good? Check out this article from BusinessWeek that covers the topic.

Hope some (if not all) of this helps.

Photo from BusinessWeek.

REWARD: Beer For Life

Croucher Hef

The owners of a New Zealand brewery Croucher Brewery Co. just had their laptop stolen. They want their laptop back so bad that the reward for finding it and safely returning it is free beer. For life.

That’s about $18,000 in beerilicious fun. We asked Nigel, one of the owners, how many bottles was that as well as many other things about the laptop and their divine nectar.

Our production is a touch over 100,000 bottles per year. We are pretty small, but growing quickly. Our beer market has many similarities to the american beer market: near/virtual prohibition followed by dominance by a couple of massive brewers, followed by the growth and interest in the flavours of craft brewers. The american market is probably 15 years ahead of us, but our craft market is just starting to gain a toe hold.

We make fine handcrafted beer, and our signature is beer full of flavor, which puts us apart from the mainstream in this country. We produce a pale ale based on a new-world best bitter, a czech-styled pilsner, and ‘the hef’ a hefeweizen, a cloudy german wheatbeer. The hef has gained a bit of cult following helped by its catchy name [gotta love the bunnies], and the growing awareness and interest in wheatbeers here. (from Gizmodo)

If you happen to stumble upon a stolen laptop in New Zealand and want to take them up on their offer, contact them through their site.

This is NYC.

 NYC Food

New York City is being branded.

Starting with a new logo, then a commercial and full fledged website with downloadable wallpaper and limited edition prints, NYC wants to get in your head.

The commercial is actually very cool, making NYC look like an oversized amusement park.

BBH New York has created a new campaign for NYC & Company, the official tourism organisation for New York, in a bid to attract yet more tourists to the city (the aim is to entice 50 million visitors annually by 2015). The campaign, based around the tag This Is New York City, encompasses television, print, online and outdoor advertising, as well as a new logo by Wolff Olins, which will be used in advertising, promotional materials, as well as on New York taxis.

With the campaign airing in such diverse markets as the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain, as well as domestically in the US in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and San Antonio, the ads focus on creating a family-friendly feel, pitching New York as a exciting, frentic fairground of a city. While this is a gripe that many New Yorkers may have about the city’s image post Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg’s considerable clear-up of its grittier edges, as so often is the way with these campaigns, those actually living in the city may recognize little reality in the tourism-friendly campaign. (from Creative Review)

Download the above NYC food-themed wallpaper here.

Check out NYCvisit.com for more info and to see how the campaign and commercial turned out.

Pasta with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

Sundried Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Last night’s dinner. I found this recipe on epicurious.com and decided to alter it a bit and make it mine own. It’s a really quick recipe and a simple one.

Here’s how I changed it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2 tablespoons oil reserved)
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves 5 sweet chicken sausages (meat squeezed out)
  • 1 pound gnocchi pasta or medium shell pasta 1 box whole wheat penne
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken sausage to plate and cool; do not clean skillet. Then do the same with pancetta. Cook, and transfer to a plate with the chicken sausage.
  2. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon tomato oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chicken sausage and pancetta (both already cooked), basil, broth, cheese and pancetta to skillet and bring to boil.
  4. Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts and serve.

Taste the dish before seasoning with salt. The gorgonzola and pancetta might be enough. It was for me.
Even with my roommate and I having about 3 bowls each, their is still a ton left over. It’s a delicious dish that looks impressive and should keep for at least a few days.

Photo from Flickr.

Taste Sweet Victory

Seahawks

Back in May, I reported that the Jones Soda Co. sacked Coke, by acquiring the exclusive rights as official soda of the Seattle Seahawks and Qwest Field.

Jones is indeed serving soda left and right over at Seahawks games, and being fall, Jones has decided to come out with yet another unique soda collectors pack, but this time is has nothing to do with the holidays. Jones has traditionally been known to release collectors packs in odd flavors, including their Holiday Pack, consisting of Turkey and Gravy soda, Sweet Potato Soda, Dinner Roll Soda, Pea Soda, and Antacid Flavored Soda.

But now that Jones Soda has an in with an NFL team, they’re coming out with the Seahawks Collector Pack. Flavors include Field Turf Soda, Sports Cream Soda, Perspiration Soda, Dirt Soda and Sweet Victory Soda. Each features a Seahawks’ player on the label. Here’s what Jones has to say about all of this.

IF YOU THINK you’re tough enough to play in the NFL, then you’d better step up and have a little taste of what NFL players experience throughout their entire careers.

NFL players have:
• Spent an average of 2 years in the gym.
• Perspired 10,000 gallons of sweat.
• Eaten 2 pounds of grass.
• Tasted 3 pounds of dirt.
• And spread over 5 gallons of sports cream on their muscle aches.

So Jones Soda created this Limited Edition Seahawks Collector Pack as a tribute to the Seattle Seahawks and a little taste of what it’s like to be in the NFL. If you can get through it all, only then can you taste SWEET VICTORY.

Each pack also comes with a #12 flag. FYI, #12 stands for the fan, as in the 12th player on the field.

The pack hit some stores on Oct. 1st, but you can order yours at the Jones site. All this can be your for $19.95 plus shipping.

Illy in a Box

Illy

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen all day.

Designer Adam Kalkin has teamed up with Illy Coffee and designed a café in a box that unfolds at the push of a button.

Holiday shoppers milling about the Time Warner Center in New York will have a fabulous chance to experience one of these (pop-up metal containers) soon. Between November 28 and December 29, 2007, they can rest, relax and sip a perfect cup of illy espresso in one of Kalkin’s creations, the temporary Push Button House cafe that the Trieste, Italy-based illycaffè will install there.

With the push of a button, the house opens in 90 seconds like a flower and transforms from a compact container into a fully furnished and functional space with a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, living room and library. All materials used in the Biennale house were recyclable or recycled. As Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of illycaffe, has been quoted as saying, illy was initially interested in Kalkin’s idea as an examination of “home as one continuous mouldable surface, a relief against which human activity would pop out.” (from Cool Hunter)

And according to Gizmodo

Not only will you get to check out a cool piece of outside-the-box (or inside-the-box, I guess) design, but you’ll get a free espresso when you go.

If you go, report back and let us know how it was. If all goes as planned I’ll be stopping by sometime in December to check it out.

Tasty Table

Tasty Table

Threadless is always a great place to buy cheap t-shirts, but it’s an even better place when those shirts are food-themed.

Designed by Kenny Wheeler, these “Tasty Table” shirts are a must for the foodie in your life. It might be hard to see but here are some of the elements featured: Ws for Wasabi, Av for Avocado, Mn for Moonshine, Pt for Port, and J for Jello. It’s actually very geared towards drinks and libations, although I can’t remember ever having a drink with avocado in it.

Pretty self explanatory, but this shirt is a periodic table of food. Guys shirts will cost ya $15 while girls shirts go for $17. Also available as a hoodie for $40.

Sizes run out quick so get yours today! Click here to buy yours.

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