Megnut

Cotton candy Pop!TechSlow day for updates. I'm sick as a dog and traveling back to New York. But Jason has a write-up of Day 3 at Pop!Tech with an interesting bit about Homaro Cantu's presentation. You can see a crappy photo I took of the edible paper he handed out during his session that was half logo, half patent notice. Mmmmm....legalicious!

Culinary trend suvery shows hydrocolloids and gums are the current tools of choice for experimental chefs. Also (of course) seasonal and local is big. Latin America looms on the horizon as the biggest new influencer. But ultimately it's the bottom line and flavor that matter.

Image_53.jpgHere at Pop!Tech, they've got e4b at breakfast. e4b (or Easy 4 Busy) is a fruit puree packaged in a space-age pouch. You remove the screw top, squirt the puree into your mouth, and imagine you're on the first voyage to Mars. At least, that's how I felt when I had it for breakfast yesterday. Its texture is like baby food, but with 110 blueberries, 6 raspberries, 1/2 banana, and 1.5 apples (the blueberry raspberry flavor, there are others) mushed into a single pouch, it's an easy way for grown-ups to get their daily allowance of fruit. I am boldly going where no fruit eater has gone before!

Find out the quality of your local drinking water. It's good to know what you're drinking.

I'm not sure how to spin this to make it sound like a cooking post, so I'm not really going to try. We just heard Mexican thrash acoustic guitarists Rodrigo Y Gabriela here at Pop!Tech and it was incredible. I think it would make great music to cook by. There, that's relevant now. Highly recommended.

Enter the Who's Your Favorite Resaurant Critic contest and you could win a dinner with Ed Levine and Jeffrey Steingarten.

Ruhlman over at the 92nd St. Y blog on I Learned To Cook Out Of Anger. He's leading a (sold out) discussion next Monday night at the Y. I'll have a write-up after the fact for those unable to attend.

People make over 200 food decisions a day, according to research by Dr. Brian Wansink. And that can lead to weight gain, even when you don't realize it.

Off to PopTech!

I'm heading to Maine today for a conference called Pop!Tech. Posting might be lighter than usual through the end of the week, but I'm hopeful that I'll be filled with new ideas and insights upon my return. One of the speakers will be chef Homaro Cantu of Moto, maker of edible menus and patentor of culinary processes. Perhaps I'll get a chance to ask him about recipe copyright while I'm there.

Ray builds her celebrity out of mixed signals, in this case, the sweet and the savory. An interesting look at the Rachael Ray phenomenon.

I realized that even though eating at home is cheaper, the primary obstacle for most people is that cooking at home is about as familiar as Abu Dubai. A tutorial if you're not sure how to get started cooking at home.

Two examinations of a timely topic: Is eating at home cheaper? and Is Eating Out Cheaper Than Eating In? I love cooking, so I don't want to eat out all the time (or eat out "in" with delivery), but I do wonder sometimes if the cost and effort are really worth it.

Former FDA commissioner pleads guilty to conflict of interest. He owned stocks in the food, beverage and medical device companies he was in charge of regulating. [Thanks Augie]

Man uses canola oil to cool his computer. Then he gets hungry, so he uses the oil to make some french fries, at the same time!

How timely! The November/December Cook's Illustrated does some testing on kitchen shears and rates these Messermeister Take-Apart Shears as the best. I think I've found my replacement.

Gadget: Kitchen Shears

Kitchen ShearsNormally, I wouldn't think of my kitchen shears as I gadget I can't live without. But the other day I went to use them and discovered they'd broken. On the inside of each handle (right below those bottle-top-gripping teeth) was a clean crack, making them hard to use when any pressure needs to be applied to cut. Now I realize how much I actually used them. I guess I need some new ones, since I can't get by without them. Perhaps it's worthwhile to invest in a more expensive pair.

Previous gadget: Peppergun

Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page want to see you Megnut readers at their next book signing in New York City. Thursday, October 19th, at 6:30 pm. Details can be found here.

With regards to the induction cooktops I mentioned last week, a reader emails asking: "What about stray magnetic fields? What are the chances of those disrupting cell physiology (yours)?" I've no clue about this. Any ideas?

You made the apple butter, now what? What do I do with apple butter?

A Saturday spent with 10 of Spain’s most prominent culinary masters. Jason Perlow (with tons of great pictures) on the Spain's 10 event. Coolest thing from the photos: using the steamer on your espresso machine to cook something in a broth. I totally want to try that one at home!

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