How I grilled the best steaks I've ever eaten

It's been nearly a year since I moved from London to Burbank, and in that time, I've been slowly iterating through various online tutorials to be better at charcoal grilling, something I had almost no experience with when I got here. Read the rest

McDonald's 1987 fashion catalog is a horrorshow

The Smile Makers 88 was sent to McDonald's franchise managers in 1987, filled with garments they could buy for themselves, their families, and their workers. It. Is. Terrible. Read the rest

Delicious Madagascar hissing cockroach cake

Artist and baker Katherine Dey made this creepy-as-hell but probably delicious cake that looks like a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Its innards oozes with Boston cream filling. Dey made a video how-to, below. Just make sure you clean up the crumbs or else the real roaches will come and then who knows what could happen if they realize what you just ate.

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Street food maker demonstrates incredible dough control

It's amazing what we can learn to make our work more interesting to others, and to ourselves. (YouTube via Atlas Obscura)

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Kickstarting a pair of goth cookbooks featuring drawings of Morrissey and Nick Cave

Elly from Microcosm Publishing writes, "Artist Automne Zingg started drawing pictures of Nick Cave gorging on comfort foods and Morrissey hoarding treats a few years ago to get over a breakup and it turned into an obsession. We got rockstar chef Joshua Ploeg to write lyrics-inspired vegan recipes to go with the books, and the result is... magic." Read the rest

Make smoked ice-cream by putting cream in a smoker

You put the cream in one shallow pan, and stick that in another one that's been filled with ice and water to make an icebath, fire up the smoker and let it sit for about 90 minutes. Read the rest

Dinner in the Sky is coming to LA in July

If you like heights and Los Angeles and food and have a grand or so lying around, maybe Dinner in the Sky would be a fun July adventure. Read the rest

Nature Made vitamins recalled for 'possible contamination' with Salmonella or Staph

Several nutritional supplements sold under the Nature Made brand are being recalled over concerns they may be contaminated with Salmonella or Staph. Aureus. Vitamin manufacturer Pharmavite released the announcement today, and it was cross-posted at the Food and Drug Administration website.

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Tacopedia – A sumptuous history of the taco

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz, Juan Carlos Mena and René Redzepi Phaidon Press 2015, 318 pages, 7.8 x 10 x 1.1 inches (flexibound) $20 Buy a copy on Amazon

Whenever I've been away from NYC for a while, the first thing I always want to do when I get back is to have a taco (or three). My mouth starts watering as soon as I see the skyline. Southwesterners and Mexicans will laugh at this and feel sad for me but a good North East taco is the best option I have. So when I discovered Tacopedia through an NPR review, I immediately put it on my wishlist.

The book offers a sumptuous history of the taco, beginning circa 1000-500 BC when a legendary hero first created “nixtamal,” a malleable dough made by soaking dried corn in water and a bit of quicklime. Once rolled out and roasted, nixtamal becomes a tortilla, an “edible spoon” that can hold a near infinite variety of fillings and salsas.

After the background chapters, the book is divided into 8-10 page sections on popular and specialized tacos, including: grilled, barbacoa (lamb roasted underground in agave leaves, served with broth), basket (morning tacos par-cooked in the container they’re delivered in), and – for the adventurous – insect (!) tacos. Each entry includes the region of Mexico where the variety originated and describes how it has evolved over the years. It then recommends a handful of restaurants – many of them, tiny stands that have been operating for generations – where you can find the best examples of these delicacies. Read the rest

How to make an edible virtual reality headset

Caleb Kraft used the Google Cardboard design to make a working VR headset from graham crackers and icing. It's entirely edible, except for the lenses.

"Making an Edible Virtual Reality Viewer for Your Phone" (MAKE:)

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Making an edible Google Cardboard VR viewer out of graham crackers and icing

Caleb Kraft used overlapping graham crackers and icing/glue to piece together a functional, edible Google Cardboard viewer whose only inedible components were the lenses (which Kraft says he could have made from edible material -- sugar? -- but lacked the time for). Read the rest

General Mills recalls some flours after 38 people become sick with E. coli

General Mills today announced it will voluntarily recall various batches of its Gold Medal, Gold Medal Wondra and Signature flours that federal officials say may be linked to 38 people getting sick in 20 states from a strain of E. coli.

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73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden by Niki Jabbour, illustrations by Anne Smith, Elayne Sears and Mary Ellen Carsley Storey Publishing 2014, 272 pages, 8 x 10 x 0.8 inches (softcover) $15 Buy a copy on Amazon

Fittingly, the layout of Groundbreaking Food Gardens is similar to a community garden. Within the landscape of this one book, readers find 73 distinct plots, each neatly contained, each with its own character in the beds of text and image. In it, edible gardening expert Niki Jabbour curates 73 thematically diverse illustrated plans contributed by master food growers and writers with unendingly fresh perspectives. Each mini-chapter opens with three or four cornerstones of the design therein, and these points become headers for each section, like garden markers for the reader.

Even the most bibliophilic gardener has to admit, it’s hard to find a good gardening book that says or does something new. But within the first 24 hours of bringing home Groundbreaking Food Gardens, I had filled it with every bit of scrap paper in our bookmark pile. Though more of a design lookbook than a how-to, it still offers plenty of information. Woven throughout the plans, there are both practical tips and historical gardening factoids to appeal to new and seasoned gardeners alike. You wouldn’t use a bean pole to support a squash, and so the scaffolding of each design chapter changes slightly to reflect the 73 unique concepts. Read the rest

How to cook up some delicious deep fried water

From Jonathan Marcus's YouTube:

water... frozen reverse spherification (calcium alginate membrane)... flour... egg... panko... 375ºF peanut oil

A dozen of these were prepared for and given away at the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon 2.0 ...

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Incredible build video of a goopy meal

It starts with a simple ear of corn. Then, it is drenched in pools of viscous liquids, topped with layers of crumbled something, and sprinkled with spices. Over and over again.

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Inside a flavor laboratory where new tastes are invented

Tom Vanderbilt, author of the classic book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do, has just published You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice, about the science and business of personal preference. In a terrific excerpt on Wired, Tom visits a lab inside McCormick & Company, the global firm that creates "custom labor solutions" for their own seasonings along with myriad food brands and restaurants. From You May Also Like:

In a search for clarity, McCormick turns to what (McCormick VP of applied research Marianna) Gillette jokingly terms its “human chromatographs”: trained sensory panelists. I joined Jason Ridgway and Tess Aldredge, two of McCormick’s senior sensory analysts, in a small room that faces, via a two-way mirror, a dimly red-lit room with a round table, around which a number of people were slowly nibbling pretzels from small paper cups. “They taste under red lights,” Gillette had told me, “because if they taste two gravies and one is more brown than the other, our senses will say one is meatier and richer than the other.” The absence of light and color makes the tasters’ job harder, Aldredge said. “You don’t get the bias of ‘it’s red, it’s going to taste like strawberry.’ You have to think it through. It’s very taxing psychologically.”

Ridgway flipped a switch, and audio from the other room filtered in, like a transmission from a distant spaceship. The panel’s director was asking the panel about “persistence of crisp,” which Ridgway defined for me as the “time to change in total quality during chewdown.” A “persistence of crisp” scale was provided to the panelists, ranging from cornflakes all the way up to Pringles potato chips.

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Make: "Pie Another Day," a no-bake James Bond Oreo pie

“Pie Another Day“: James Bond No-Bake Oreo Pie Recipe by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) (more geeky pie goodness) Read the rest

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