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Archive for June, 2009

Chocolate-covered waiters

Pacci servers and chefs. Credit: Melissa Libby and Associates

Pacci servers and chefs. Credit: Melissa Libby and Associates

Pacci chef Keira Mortiz (at far left) painted two of her servers in chocolate for last week’s “Chocolate! 2009″ fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at Villa Christina restaurant.

Glad it wasn’t “Fondue! 2009.”

You can read more about the event here.

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What is this?

Can anyone tell what this is?

Bonus points: Can anyone tell where this is? (Hint: It costs $6.50.)

Unrelated question: do you find this new 3 megapixel iPhone camera takes better shots than the old one?

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This mama cooks

My 11-year-old begged-begged-begged for me to download the $6 iPhone app called “Cooking Mama.” Since she begged so sweetly and it was Father’s Day, I gave in.

Now I’m addicted.

This Japanese cooking game, which has  been a popular title for the Wii platform, uses both the iPhone’s touch screen and its accelerometer to guide you through (most of the) tasks involved in preparing a recipe under Mama’s watchful gaze. After each step, Mama renders judgment. If you do well, she beams and her eyes light like stars. If you screw up, Mama shoots flames from her eyes (left) but says she’ll fix it. Talk about a mixed message!

At the end, you are awarded with a view of the finished dish and a sprinkling of celebratory confetti.

The pleasure of this game is in its unreconstructed Japaneseness. Playing it will remind you, in a weird way, of the first time you saw “Iron Chef.” Recipes for green soybean soup, sakuramochi (glutinous rice cakes dyed the color of cherry blossoms) and pork stew …

Continue reading This mama cooks »

Lip balm flavors from water to cheese powder

from FoodBuzz

from FoodBuzz

My daughter has a tube of Dasani water flavored lip balm. Talk about a strange example of branding!

Now comes this. (Via FoodBuzz)

Continue reading Lip balm flavors from water to cheese powder »

Swiss Postcard

From the train to Mürren

I’m just back from spending a week of early summer vacation in Switzerland. See that purty photo? I took it from a train window with my iPhone. The Alps look exactly like they do on candy wrappers and paint-by-number pictures.

During the trip we ate well but not lavishly. Michelin-starred restaurants tempted here and there, but the high price of everyday food deterred us from splurging. In Montreux we tried good European thin-crusted pizzas (similar to the ones at Varasano’s and Fritti) for $20. In the exhibition hall at Art Basel (a huge contemporary art show for high-rolling buyers), a bratwurst served on a paper plate with a hard roll and mini-tube of mustard went for $8.

We did have a few memorable meals, however, that I’d recommend to anyone traveling to the CH:

Entrance to Blindekuh, Zurich

Entrance to Blindekuh, Zurich

Blindekuh in Zurich. This 10-year-old restaurant was the first to serve food in pitch darkness, though others have since sprung up in Germany, England, …

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Here’s what you want to do with rhubarb

In order to become palatable, rhubarb needs to be sweetened. But how — and to what degree — you sweeten it makes all the difference in how you experience this unusual-tasting vegetable. It has three sides to its nature — one that leans toward celery and green bell pepper, another that suggests the brightness of berries, and a third that brings to mind the fresh juice of an apple. 

I was playing around with a few stalks of rhubarb the other day, trying to fashion it into a garnish for grilled leg of lamb, and came up with a technique and a supplemental ingredient that worked quite well. I think it was the best rhubarb I had ever eaten. (Forgive this egregious immodesty; let me countermand it by pointing out the lamb came off the grill black on the surface and raw in the center.)

The technique was a basic gastrique, or classical French fruit sauce. The foundation of this sauce is dark, caramelized sugar. Once the sugar reaches this stage, you deglaze it with vinegar …

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Dunno…might want to upgrade to a Mario Batali popsicle

And then, is the Megan Fox popsicle far behind?

Read all about the Daniel Craig popsicle here. (Via BuzzFeed.)

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