Cooking is easy once you get the hang of it, but getting the hang of it usually means means burning a few entrees, making dishes that taste awful the first time around and/or serving undercooked meat and getting a gut ache.
But thanks to the smorgasbord of information available online newbie cooks can hit the kitchen with a better understanding of what and what not to do and avoid the common mistakes beginner cooks make.
Frozen dessert on a stick is a wonderful way to beat the heat, even if it drips sticky sugar all over you. But where did Popsicles come from?
The popular origin story for this frozen treat goes as follows: In 1905 in San Francisco, 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally left a wooden stirrer in a glass of soda powder and water on his porch one freezing night. The next morning, Epperson woke up to discover he had invented the Popsicle — something he initially named the Epsicle, a combination of his own name and “icicle.” Incredibly, it wasn’t until 1923 that it dawned on him that this could be a money-spinner, and he changed the name to Popsicle, reflecting that it was essentially frozen soda pop (early adverts billed it “a drink on a stick”). Fortunately, no one had a similar brain wave in the almost 20 years Epperson sat on it. But, despite patenting the Popsicle in 1924, he couldn’t quite break even and sold his idea to the Joe Lowe Corporation — which went on to make a fortune from the frozen treat.
Critics found problems with the origin story, both in the details and in the fact that frozen treats on a stick had been around for decades. But no matter, Epperson coined the word "Popsicle," and to this day it's a trademark worth suing over. There are other milestones in the history of the Popsicle, which you can read at Ozy.
Since 1984, July has been designated as National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday in July (July 16 this year) is National Ice Cream Day! You can celebrate by learning some facts about ice cream, but the most obvious way to mark the day is to eat some ice cream. Many ice cream companies and some fast food outlets are offering free ice cream, or very good deals, on the best treat for a hot day. See a list of the deals at Uproxx. Unfortunately, the only free ice cream deals available in my town require downloading an app, which probably won't help, since I don't use a smartphone. Your mileage may vary.
Everybody knows sandwiches are best eaten fresh, but sometimes we get distracted, fill up on other foods or forget we made dinner plans with someone from our Improv group and our sandwich ends up neglected and uneaten.
Then when we try to eat it anyway we discover it's dry (or soggy) and tastes like crap, so imagine what a sandwich eaten a year later would taste like...*barf*
Despite the disgusting nature of this premise Andy George of How To Make Everything felt he needed to know what it would take to make a sandwich edible after a year.
So he spoke to an expert on what makes food rot, then set about pickling, smoking, dehydrating and salt curing the makings of a year-old sandwich.
KFC seems to rotate between keeping their brand identity classic and coming up with silly and totally original ways to stand out in the fast food crowd, with their funny and unique ad campaigns winning by a mile.
They cast Norm MacDonald, Vincent Kartheiser, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Lowe, Billy Zane and George Hamilton (among others) to play The Colonel, teamed up with DC to create a two issue Colonel Corps comic, and now they've launched their new Zinger chicken sandwich into space.
To be exact they launched the Zinger into the stratosphere (about 60,000 to 80,000 feet above the surface) inside a bucket-shaped satellite that has a mechanical flag waving arm and plays a cassette of the Colonel talking about chicken.
We have previously bemoaned what hipster restaurants have been doing to food, but there are so many terrible things restaurants have been doing with their presentation that it cannot possibly be limited to just one post.
Over on Bored Panda, you can find a list of over 180 absurd restaurant serving ideas and each one is more groanworthy than the next.
Even the ones that look delicious still look impossible to eat.
Across the country, enclosed malls are going out of business or else struggling. The huge food courts that have a variety of familiar fast food chains are struggling or dying along with them. A new generation of foodies is rejecting the cookie-cutter recipe for eating on the run, but a new style of cluster dining choices is taking its place: the food hall.
What makes something a food court, and what makes it a food hall? One is the most discredited concept in 20th-century dining, while the other is the hottest new idea of the 21st: an open floor plan; fresh food prepared in front of your eyes; a post-industrial space, or at least one with high ceilings, exposed wiring, and hanging air ducts. Good-looking people hunched on long benches over small plates or perched on stools around dozens of tiny countertops. The accidental flash of a bad Instagram. The places brim with noise—perhaps even a kind of working sound, an occasional butcher’s chop, something left over from a more utilitarian period, or at least the roar of an espresso machine.
Reduce this concept to the basics—a dozen quick-service restaurants sharing a space, a landlord, and maybe a seating area—and you have a food court. A food hall, in contrast, is a drafty and austere moniker for an age of raw interior design. No pleather or plastic here. What separates the former from the latter is “authenticity,” according to Matthew Fainchtein, a senior director for real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield in Los Angeles and a guy who makes food halls, not courts.
While it seems the food hall is a completely hipster concept, it is actually a resurgence of the traditional public market. For example, they are not limited to malls, but are catering to neighborhoods by opening in office buildings and residential buildings in addition to shopping centers. Read about the development of the food hall at Slate. -via Digg
Situation comedies sometimes feature ridiculous recipes that are good for a laugh …but how would they taste in the real world? Loryn Stone of Cracked was determined to find out, so she prepared some of the most egregious joke foods found on TV, starting with Moon Waffles from The Simpsons. It's a waffle made with pancake mix, caramel, and liquid smoke, wrapped around a stick of butter.
The liquid smoke, a substance apparently made from the runoff from an extinguished house fire, wafted into my eyes, burning them to tears. And just like in the TV show, the mass started oozing out of the sides. The caramels, in fact, started leaking into the mechanical components of the waffle iron, and I wondered for a minute if this was going to be my last time using that machine. Then the caramels started falling out of the waffle iron, jizzing all over my counter.
Right as the burning smell really permeated my kitchen, the waffle iron's green light came on. I knew this had to cool for a while -- those melted caramels looked like little globs of lava that would burn right through my tongue. I let it hang out while I scraped caramel emission off the counter and charred residue out of the maker with a skewer.
Then she wrapped it around a stick of butter and ate it. That's just one recipe. She also made Breakfast Spaghetti, Seven-Layer Salad, Milk Steak with Jelly Beans, Peanut Butter And Clam Pizza, and Rachel's English Trifle. She is a brave woman. Read her accounts of all of these cooking adventures at Cracked.
Game Of Thrones fans adore Kristian Nairn because he did such a great job playing Hodor and because he's actually a cool and likeable guy in real life, an actor from a hit show who still has a sense of humor about himself.
And it's a good thing he keeps on smiling no matter where his acting career takes him- because in his latest role he plays a fast food worker dealing with the lunch rush in a commercial for KFC UK and Ireland.
Your eyes are deceiving you. This may look like a hamburger, but it's really dessert. KinkyKittenHeather made two dozen baked "hamburgers" for a family Fourth of July party. The ingredients are all sweet.
Cupcake bun, brownie "burger," coconut dyed green as lettuce, and red icing as ketchup.
One of the top three priorities in any survival scenario is the need for food, which is often in short supply when the s#%t hits the fan.
Which is why you may have seen recipes for hard tack, aka survival bread, floating around on sites like Pinterest- it's a must-have during a disaster scenario and the stuff has a shelf life of around a year or two.
Plus, survival bread is made with just three ingredients- water, flour and salt, which makes it ideal for dire situations where the crops are gone and food is hard to find.
A post shared by Backyard Survival (@backyard_survival) on Feb 22, 2015 at 12:33pm PST
Survival bread can be baked over a campfire inside a grapefruit or coconut, you can sub in sugar, oats and mixed fruit to give the bread a little flavor, and if you add olive oil to the mix the bread becomes way more palatable.
Every year for the Fourth of July, Southern California burger chain Slater's 50/50 introduces a new version of their outrageous 'Merica burger that always includes a 100% bacon patty. In the past, that has meant adding bacon to the bun, cheese, sauce and any other place they could squeeze in a little extra smoked pork butt (including in coleslaw and baked bean toppings). This year though, they decided to work in the old expression "as American as apple pie" while creating the new 'Merica burger and the result is a 100% bacon patty topped with bacon apple pie filling and bacon American cheese all topped with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream (though you have to wonder why they didn't just go ahead and make bacon vanilla ice cream). If that sounds like too much bacon for you, then you can always try the bacon apple pie dog, which is made of a half beef/half bacon frank also topped with bacon apple pie filling and vanilla ice cream.
Find out more about the burger and where you can get it at Slater's 50/50
This Canada Day will mark the country's 150th anniversary. To celebrate, Tim Hortons' will be introducing a poutine doughnut -though, oddly, the savory and sweet treat will only be available in America. "Our new Canadian-inspired treats are a great way for Americans to get in on the 150th celebration of their friendly neighbour next door," said a representative in a statement. Canadians do get some treats to celebrate though, including maple Timbits, a white and red velvet muffin, a Dutchie doughnut and a Nanaimo bar doughnut.
You may think you know a lot about bananas because you've eaten them all your life. Even if you do, you'll learn more in a list chock-full of banana facts, all with links for further reading. Did you know…
8. The so-called "banana tree" is not a tree at all. In fact, it is the world's largest herb.
9. Walmart sells more bananas than any other item.
The staff of the New York Times taste-tested ten hot dogs, most of which are available at your local grocery store. The ten were all-beef franks, so they will cost a little more than average, but you should get some idea of what you're looking for from their descriptions, in case you're hosting a picnic for the Fourth of July.
First, the hot dogs would be cooked on a gas grill until well browned.
Next, each would be tasted plain to evaluate the intrinsic qualities of the hot dog: seasoning, beefiness, snap, texture.
Last, each would be eaten in a bun with the judge’s preordained condiments — the same for each dog, to keep the flavor profile consistent.
This important final step would allow us to assess the melding of meat and bread, sweetness and spice, salt and juice that makes up a perfect hot dog. The bun should hug the hot dog closely; there should be enough juice in the hot dog to keep the whole package together; condiments should complement the hot dog, not overwhelm it.
If you ask my opinion, any hot dog is great when it's cooked on a grill outdoors in summertime, served with mustard and some potato salad (or even just chips) while you eat outside. I guess that's why they didn't ask me to be a judge. Read the results of the taste-test here. -via Digg
For a long time, I thought the only difference between olive oil and standard vegetable oil was the price. But would you ever find yourself dipping bread into plain vegetable oil, even with spices added? Olive oil is special, and Reactions, from PBS Digital, is here to tell us why.
In this video, we get a chemical explanation for olive oil's benefits, plus glimpse into the manufacturing process and some advice on using your oil. My advice: Start any meal by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil. After that, it really doesn't matter what you add, it will be good.
IKEA furniture has become an essential part of many homes, and since pretty much everything they sell is extremely affordable people are filling their homes with IKEA's household goods too.
Customers like the price but they also like the simplicity of IKEA, which is something the Swedish company has strived to bring into our lives by making it simple to furnish our homes with easy to build furniture.
So since they're known for their simplified assembly instructions IKEA Canada and marketing company Leo Burnett created Cook This Page- a set of illustrated recipe posters people can actually use to cook a meal.
All you have to do is fill in each blank on the page with the proper ingredients, roll the recipe page up with the ingredients inside and pop it into the oven. Now you're making dinner the IKEA way!
Whether five-alarm or just smoke-alarm, there's nothing like a bowl of Texas chili to fill a belly up.
NO BEANS ABOUT IT
If you know beans about chili, allow us to tell you something really important: Texas chili has no beans. Not a one. Maybe in other states you’ll find a bean or two. But in Texas, chili is just a fiery molten stew made of beef, onions, tomatoes, spices, and lots and lots of chili peppers. Everybody has a special recipe, but no true Texan would add a legume to the mix.
CONSIDER THE SAUCE
Chili’s past is a little bit shady since nobody quite knows who invented it or when. Some say it was invented by cattle drivers and trail hands during long cattle drives. Others speculate that chili’s origins go much farther back in time to the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Still others give credit to Canary Islanders who started immigrating to the San Antonio region as early as 1723. They were known for concocting tasty dishes using local peppers, meat, onions, and most important of all, cumin.
During the era of French colonialism, the Vietnamese took coffee and made it their own. Now everyone in Saigon drinks coffee, which is made one cup at a time, with a generous amount of ground coffee, and not in a hurry.
The Vietnamese like their “cà phê” sweet. Real sweet. As if spoonfuls of sugar weren’t enough, they also add sweetened condensed milk. This habit developed because canned condensed milk was easier for the French to import into the country than fresh milk, and the Vietnamese have just rolled with it.
I never sweeten my coffee, so I’ve had a hard time adjusting… Oh, what a liar, I don’t know why I even typed that! It took me like thirty seconds to adjust.
As they prepared to leave Saigon, Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell wanted to learn the secrets of the coffee they had grown to love. They got a barista at their favorite local cà phê shop to teach them how to make their own Vietnamese coffee. And armed with the proper coffee press, they are ready to move on. Where will they live next? Only time, and their first post from a new location, will tell.
The restaurant Industry Kitchen NYC already makes the world's most expensive pizza. Now they've introduced a new menu item called Pop Candy Land Pizza, although people are calling it "unicorn pizza." You can see that it's colorful, but you'll be glad to hear that it does not try to combine classic pizza flavors with candy. This pizza is a large rainbow sugar cookie topped with cream cheese frosting, sprinkles, Pop Rocks, and cotton candy. My teeth hurt just thinking about it.
Domino's Pizza used to be obsessed with delivering pizzas hotter and faster than any other pizza chain, and they would have won the Pizza Wars in the 80s and 90s too if it weren't for that pesky Noid.
But there's one delivery element Domino's overlooked in their fight to become the fastest- the two-story toss. Pizza pies are tossed while they're being made, so why not toss them up to the customer when they're done? (NSFW language)
Back in the 1950s, the BRI's future food historian, Jeff Cheek, took a trip to Scotland while on one of his clandestine missions with the CIA. (He won't tell us why he was there.) But he did write this story of haggis for us- the origin, the tradition, and the elusive hunt for a wee, wee beastie.
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
Scotland has given the world many gifts: plaid, golf, the poetry of Robert Burns, and Scotch whisky. They have also offered us their national dish -haggis- but there are few takers… once they find out what haggis is made of. It is the offal (the waste parts) of a slaughtered sheep, minced and then boiled in a sheep's stomach. The dish and name most likely came from the Vikings- the Swedes have a similar dish, hagga, but they use choice cuts of meat to make it. The frugal Scottish farmers, however, wasted nothing, so instead of discarding the lungs, heart, and liver, they used these along with homegrown oats to make haggis. And the Scots have revered it for centuries.
In his "Address to Haggis," 18th-century poet Robert Burns called the dish "the Great Chieftain of the Pudding Race." And it has become a Scottish tradition to serve haggis on Burns Night, January 25th, to celebrate the poet's birthday. Loyal Scotsmen are also supposed to eat haggis on November 30, St. Andrew's Day, to honor Scotland's patron saint.
Many people prefer Nutella to peanut butter, jam or plain butter on bread, and I've known a couple or three people who really go gaga for the stuff, eating it up by the jar as a staple in their pantry.
But given the sweet, chocolaty and deliciously hazelnutty taste of Nutella I've always thought it must be terrible for you and contain very few hazelnuts - and I was right on both counts.
And although this graphic shows a jar of Nutella is about half sugar the information on the label indicates it might contain even more sugar than that:
While Nutella contains just five ingredients (palm oil, cocoa, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder, and sugar), a whopping half of the stuff is sugar.
According to its nutritional label, a jar of Nutella has 21 grams of sugar per 37 grams of spread (two tablespoons), meaning that in reality more than half is sugar. Much of the rest is palm oil — solid fat some claim causes cancer.
National Doughnut Day is upon us! The holiday is set for the first Friday in June every year. The history of Doughnut Day is interesting: it was first celebrated in 1938 as a "thank you" to volunteers of the Salvation Army who handed out doughnuts to soldiers fighting in World war I.
Many national doughnut chains are giving away freebies today. Unfortunately, there are no national doughnut outlets in my hometown. Those doughnuts are sold through the local groceries. But if you live in a larger city, check out the list of freebies at Uproxx.
Look at this beautiful candy! Each piece looks like an antique glass paperweight with a rose blossom inside. Gregory Cohen of Lofty Pursuits (previously at Neatorama) shows us how they are made. While this batch of candy is cherry-flavored, later batches produced rose-flavored candies.
A lot of work goes into these, so I don't think you'll be making them at home. But while we watch the magic unfold, Cohen keeps us entertained by talking about everything under the sun. You can buy the candy at Public Displays of Confection. -via Laughing Squid
Nothing like a little Nutella on your burrito, right? Yeah, while most pregnant woman don't really have over-the-top pregnancy cravings, the ice cream and pickles craving does strike a handful of ladies. Over on Buzzfeed, you can read some of the strangest pregnancy cravings you could even imagine -like pickles stuffed with grape jelly, vanilla ice cream topped with pulled pork and even the outrageous sweet & savory pasta on Elf.
It's hard for new fast food chains to compete with the big names who have cemented their control of cities across America, and even Kenny Rogers couldn't compete with the big chicken chains- his chain of Kenny Rogers' Roasters officially closed for business in 2011.
But many failed fast food chains have found success overseas, because these American exports are popular around the world and the market isn't saturated in Asia or Europe like it is here in the U.S.
Kenny Rogers' Roasters was sold to a Malaysian firm in 2008 and has since become so big they now have 400 locations worldwide (more than they ever had in the U.S.), and they just opened their first restaurant in India.
This recipe makes bread that looks like crusty balls of molten lava! But that's just the appearance. It's really just tasty bread that you can use for sandwiches, burgers, or hot rolls for dinner. These rolls are not quite as "hot" as they appear. It's an illusion from Helen Die, aka Tye Lombardi.
When I make this in Hell, I like to roll my dough in the deep pits of sulfur and soul dust and cook them in the hot brimstone vents. Unfortunately, as you are mortal and have neither access to soul dust or brimstone vents, I’ve had to make a few adjustments to the recipe for you.
The inside is standard bread dough from your favorite mix, colored red. The crust is what makes the magic. Get the recipe and instructions at the Necro-Nom-Nom-Nomicon. Bone appetite!
The San DiegoFair doesn't start until June 2, but journalists already got a sneak peak of some of the amazingly strange snacks that will be offered this year at a media preview last week. Naturally, the legendary Chicken Charlie's was there in full force, this year offering a Krispy Kreme ice cream chicken sandwich that features fried chicken, ice cream inside a Krispy Kreme donut all topped with syrup and Fruity Pebbles.
But while we expect strange things from Chicken Charlies, some of the more outrageous treats were far more surprising -like the ninja pizza cupcakes that feature tomato spice cake, caramel marscapone buttercream and candied pepperoni.
And while fried octopus might not be that outrageous, the decoration for this display advertising the seafood snack is all too entertaining.