How To Make Real Eggnog

I gave one of my daughters her first taste of eggnog (store-bought) when she was maybe seven years old. She sipped it and said, "Oh Mom, that's disgusting. Why did you give me that?" I thought, "sez the kid who eats sardines in mustard sauce." That's eggnog for you; people either love it or hate it. Eggnog is a real American drink, from our colonial history when milk, eggs, and rum were  plentiful here compared to Europe. The real pull was that the original drink had more alcohol than milk or cream, which conveniently preserved the milk and eggs. We've refined our recipes considerably since then, and egg nog connoisseurs agree that homemade is better than store-bought. Uproxx has three different recipes for your holiday eggnog, including George Washington's popular recipe that produced the drink by the gallon.


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Going Away Cakes

Throwing a going-away party for an employee who quit is a nice gesture. Getting a cake specially decorated is even nicer. But those cakes don't always have nice things to say. Yeah, it's all in fun, because if the quitter's colleagues were really angry, they'd throw a party and not bother to invite him. Take a look at 30 clever going away cakes that range from sweet and sentimental (those are in the minority) to rude to bordering on vicious. Some contain NSFW icing text. -via Pleated-Jeans


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Great Ideas For DIY Holiday Gift Baskets

There is no gift more personal or thoughtful than a gift basket, but they can also come off as a bunch of junk you threw together at the last minute because you couldn't be bothered to buy a real gift.

However, the junky factor can be avoided by thinking about what the recipient likes, what you can make that won't look like crap, and how much the recipient cares about overall presentation.

Guys are less likely to give or receive gift baskets during the holidays, but if the baskets contained cool stuff for barbecuing, like a homemade rub and sauce and some special tools, they'd get the gift basket appeal.

And speaking of appeal- orange-cardamom marmalade. It's a yummy treat that's pretty easy to make, and it adds that homemade wow factor to any basket you put together.

But what if you're hopeless in the kitchen? You should consider giving a themed gift basket that contains cooking utensils and other kitchen stuff, soaps and stuff for the bathroom, etc.

The recipient will still appreciate and applaud the effort, and you won't have to worry about your lack of cooking skills making your basket look subpar.

See 11 Ideas For DIY Gift Baskets That Make Great Christmas Gifts here


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I Can't Even Handle This Insane Giant McNugget

What's better than a twenty peice chicken nuggets? How about one jumbo nugget that takes two hands to hold? This video shows two different methods to make your McNugget dream a reality -though one is clearly better than the other.

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Of course, the problem with having a nugget this big is that your dipping sauce options are limited and I doubt most McDonalds will give you twenty sweet and sour sauces to pour into a large bowl for dippping.

Via That's Nerdalicious


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How Cut Fruit Reacts Under UV Light

Fruit always looks delicious even if it's sliced, chopped, crushed or otherwise mangled, and watching someone cut a piece of fruit tends to make my mouth water.

But it turns out color has a lot to do with produce appeal, and when a piece of fruit is sliced open to reveal flesh that's a different color than expected it triggers our WTF response rather than our salivary glands.

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This video by Mathieu Stern and UV photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer shows what the inside of our favorite fruit looks like when viewed under UV light. Here's how it was made:

For this UV video, the subject is illuminated directly by UV emitting lamps . UV filter is placed on the lens, which allows ultraviolet light to pass and which absorbs or blocks all visible and infrared light. UV filters are made from special colored glass and may be coated or sandwiched with other filter glass to aid in blocking unwanted wavelengths.

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Burger That Literally Explodes With Cheese

A burger bun pumped full of cheese sounds like heaven, but when you see it launch the cheesy goo in a stream that looks disturbingly pimple-ish way, it may just change your mind. 

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The burger, created by RawMaterialNYC is totally dividing audiences, with some mesmorized with the delicious cheesy filling -and others utterly disgusted with the zit-like visual that happens whenever someone bursts that bun open. What do you guys think? Nasty or nice?

Via Incredible Things


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Chestburster Turkey

Tye Lombardi is a writer for the SyFy channel zombie show Z Nation. She also shows that wicked sense of humor as she blogs about food "from the Devil's Kitchen" at The Necro Nom-Nom-Nomicon. For Thanksgiving this year, Lombardi prepared a dinner that you'll be glad you didn't see before you feasted with the family. It's a turkey with a chestburster! The Alien critter is a pork loin wrapped in prosciutto with spaghetti teeth. She finished it off with a wash of cranberry sauce for the blood, and served it with green gravy. Relatives assured Lombardi that it was delicious, and that she'd never host the family Thanksgiving feast again. See the step-by-step process of making this turkey at her site. -via io9


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The $50,000 Thanksgiving Dinner

There are those that say you should always "go big or go home" and if you apply that logic to spending money, then you should have been in New York City today for the $50,000 Thanksgiving dinner. Restaurant Old Homestead is always a fancy affair, promising to offer guests "more opulence and decadence than the lobby in Trump Tower" and their Thanksgiving dinner is no exception.

So what does a $50,000 holiday dinner experience consist of? Well, it's not all food. You also get four tickets to an upcoming Giants game worth $10,000, a $5,000 a night room at the Waldorf with room service and breakfast in bed, limo service while in NYC worth up to $2,000 and a $7,500 Fifth Avenue shopping spree and a carriage ride through Central Park.

What about the other $25,000 or so worth of goodies? That's all food, baby. And your meal will feature a 20 pound free-range, organically raised turkey worth $85 a pound seasoned with spices imported from the Middle East and basted with $17 an ounce olive oil; stuffing featuring $465 a pound Waygu beef, $54 a pound foie gras and made from $46 a loaf sourdough from the UK; sweet potatoes topped with $1,600 caviar from the Caspian Sea; green beans prepared with $90 per pound ham; pumpkin ice cream topped with $4,200 a bottle rum-infused eggnog sauce.

Sadly, you know at least half the dinners will probably throw away at least half of their food because leftovers are so gauche.

Via Gothamist


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A Wacky Collection Of Ads, Photos And Card Art From Thanksgivings Past

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Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day of giving thanks, spending time with friends and family and celebrating the wonderful bounty offered in the fall, but let's face it- sometimes Thanksgiving comes and you don't give a crap. 

That's because Thanksgiving can be a nightmare with all the family feuding, uninvited guests and the massive dinner preparation headaches in the kitchen, and all for zero gratitude or reward.

So if you're feeling as blue as a turkey's face, or you're just looking for more things to be thankful for, then feast your eyes on these cards, ads and photos from the good old days of Thanksgiving past!

Apparently pumpkins who survive Halloween hate Thanksgiving turkeys

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Young Elmer Fudd wanted to serve wabbit on Thanksgiving, thankfully that tradition never caught on

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The mid-20th century was full of Jell-O happy maniacs who thought outside the roasting pan and came up with this meaty monstrosity

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And children once wore the skins of fallen turkeys in remembrance of their sacrifice

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This Marshmallow Has a Blooming Flower in the Middle

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Remember the cronut? Well the genius behind that culinary creation, Dominique Ansel, has also developed a new and whimiscal creation that may not blow your mind flavorwise, but is certainly one of the most beautiful ways to enjoy a hot chocolate. That's because it features a marshmallow that blooms into a flower, only to reveal a chocolate truffle on the inside. Time to add this to your food bucket list.

Via Incredible Things


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The French Chef Who Wrote a Misguided Thanksgiving Cookbook

A couple times already this year, we've discussed how Thanksgiving dinner is a celebration of American foods. That part of the feast flew over the head of one of the most famous French chefs ever. Auguste Escoffier wrote Le Guide Culinaire in 1903, which became a bible of sorts for French cooking. That's what he is most remembered for. But in 1911, he wrote Thanksgiving Cookbook as a newspaper supplement. That one is rarely mentioned these days.  

The book was intended to double as a guide for home cooks preparing a Thanksgiving meal and an intro to French cooking. Escoffier did include a suggested menu for a multi-course Thanksgiving meal. Strangely, though, it did not have any of the dishes we’d now associate with Thanksgiving—no turkey, no mashed or sweet potatoes, no stuffing, no gravy, no green beans or brussels sprouts, no squash of any kind, no cranberry sauce, and no pumpkin pie.

Instead, in the cookbook, Escoffier offered 12 separate recipes for rabbit, a chapter on ragouts that featured only mutton, recipes for tomato sauce and macaroni; “some new ways for preparing tomatoes” including “Tomatoes à la Americaine” (basically tomatoes sliced and sprinkled with salt, pepper, vinegar and oil); crawfish recipes and tips on making cream soups.

Yeah, tomatoes are American, but are usually out of season for most of the country by Thanksgiving. The story of how Escoffier totally misunderstood the American attitude toward French cooking for an American holiday is at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Sunday American/Sarah Laskow)


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How To Open A Can Of Food With A Spoon

Most people learn to rely on their can openers because it's the easiest solution, never feeling the need to learn alternate ways to crack open canned goods.

But if you love to learn new ways to do basic and necessary stuff then you'll definitely want to watch this tutorial video by Dave Hax so you can see how easy it is to open a can with a spoon.

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Once again the humble spoon has proven it's one of the most important tools for survival.

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Bloody Mary

Mike Chace concocted an extreme Bloody Mary that's got everything but the kitchen sink in it. It would have the kitchen sink in it, if you didn't need that sink nearby when you consume it! Ingredients range from turkey sliders to vodka (seven shots!) to bacon to pumpkin pie. The drink is so inclusive that you need a pitcher to fit it all in. This cocktail is recommended for dealing with: annoying family members who insist on discussing politics, Black Friday sales, and/or a holiday hangover. It's also a way to use up Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. See the complete ingredient list for the Ultimate Thanksgiving Bloody Mary. It's pretty long.


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Italy Now Has a 24 Hour Wine Fountain

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Thirsty and away from home? Don't want to buy a drink? Well, up until now you're stuck drinking out of a boring old water fountain, but if you happen to be in the small town of Caldari di Ortona, Italy, you can always visit the wine fountain instead. That's thanks to the Dora Sarchese Vineyard, who wants the fountain to serve as road side attraction and filling station for thirsty religious pilgrims on the way to Ortona, where the body of the disciple Thomas is said to be kept. Something tells me it will also serve as a destination for wine pilgrims seeking to find something new and wonderful in the world of wine.

Via Eater


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Megatoad Gobbles Up A 3-Pound Gummy Worm In 8 Minutes

Having a giant worm in your stomach is generally seen as a bad thing, but when you're competitive eater Matt "Megatoad" Stonie that giant worm represents an eating challenge you tore through like a boss. 

Matt devoured an entire 3 pound gummy worm in just under 8 minutes, and the before picture above is also a faithful representation of what the inside of his intestines will look like after he finishes the challenge! (NSFW language)

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So that's what "4,000 calories of pure sugar" looks like! *drool*

-Via Laughing Squid


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Memorable Calls to the Butterball Hotline

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line was launched 35 years ago for customers who have questions about turkey, specifically cooking one. In recent years, they've hired 50 trained experts to answer calls in November and December, and they get more than 10,000 calls on Thanksgiving Day. In all that time, you know they've heard some strange cooking dilemmas. Talk-Line co-director Sue Smith shares some of them.  

"We had one mom call, and she was stuffing the turkey, and the kids had their little Matchbox cars, and they would park them in the garage, so to speak. So they went to carve the turkey and found the cars in the stuffing. And the kids were like, 'There they are!' I had them throw away the stuffing, but the rest of the turkey was fine."

Don't eat Matchbox car stuffing. Do eat Matchbox car turkey. Thanksgiving saved.

Some problems are funny, and then there are heartwarming tales of people who've never cooked a turkey before, but got the help they needed. Read those stories at Popular Mechanics. -via Digg


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Behold the Stomach-Bursting Glory of the 20-Pound Gummi Turkey

Thanksgiving is great, but cooking is such a hassle -especially when you want a sweet treat and not a big pile of savory boringness prior to getting to eat pie.  If you want to bypass all the trouble and get to the great dessert part, then you might consider investing in this 20 pound gummy turkey from Vat 19 -the masters of insane gummies. Best of all, you won't feel tired and worn down after dinner.

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As you can see in the video, it's a great main course in your all-candy Thanksgiving meal. Just pair it with gravy bubbles, chocolate chip cookie stuffing, gummy cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie soda and green jelly bean cassarole.

Via That's Nerdalicious


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A Cornucopia Of Charts To Help You Tackle Thanksgiving Dinner

The biggest headache on Thanksgiving day has got to be the preparation of the meal, because as much as cleaning and dealing with uninvited guests can suck there is no Thanksgiving without the meal.

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And since it's one of those epic meals with a ton of sides, all of which need to be cooked or baked at different intervals for varying amounts of time, it can be hard to keep track of it all, especially if you're an army of one in the kitchen.

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But with a little chart based assistance and some pre-cooking prep on paper you can cook up an awesome turkey day spread without breaking a sweat. 

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See 23 Super Helpful Charts To Make Thanksgiving Dinner Less Stressful here


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Irish People Taste Test Thanksgiving Food

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks -for food! And there's no better way to show that gratitude than to pig out, and to share those wonderful American dishes with the rest of the world. Let's see what Irish people would think of American Thanksgiving dishes: turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and some side dishes that aren't all that universal.

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When you see what Irish people think of our traditional dishes, you have to feel sorry for them. What have they been eating all their lives?


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Let Celebrities Eating Things Show You How To Dine Like The Rich And Famous

It seems fan obsession knows no bounds, and some fans are so obsessed they want to see every single thing their favorite celebs do in a normal day, including their eating habits.

These fans feel closer to celebs when they can take a voyeuristic peek into their daily lives, and they are the target audience for weird Instagram accounts like @celebritieseatingthings.

At @celebritieseatingthings you can see awkwardly candid pics of celebs like Will Ferrell, Leo DiCaprio and Eva Mendes stuffing their faces, if that's something you're in to.

You'll also discover a mystery I have yet to solve- why do so many celebrities like to eat bowls of soup or ramen in strange places?

Like Natalie Portman literally walking around eating soup out of a ceramic bowl, doesn't she have ten minutes to sit down and eat her soup comfortably?

See Celebrities Eating Things Will Be Your New Favorite Weird Instagram Account here


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We Can't Even Fathom Eating This Jumbo Sushi Roll

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It's arguable about whether or not this is the largest sushi roll or ever as it has to compete against the longest (8,273 feet long) roll, but either way, it still is pretty damn impressive. This crazy beast was built by the Sushi Chef Institute for a Japanese Food Festival. You gotta admit that having sushi that's so massive it has to be cut like a cake is certainly a unique experience if nothing else.

Via Thrillist


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Fool-Proof Roast Turkey

There's not a lot to cooking a perfect turkey. Once you've remembered to properly thaw it by Thanksgiving Day, the rest is easy. You put that turkey in a hot oven until it's done, then eat. Joseph Herscher (previously at Neatorama) shows us exactly how to do it.

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You got all that? Then Thanksgiving dinner should be a snap! -via Metafilter


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The Delicious History of the Nation's Oldest Chinese-American Restaurant

You know that Chinese immigration to the US exploded during the California Gold Rush and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. There were fortunes to be made, if not in the industries themselves, then in providing services to settlers of the frontier. Chinese restaurants fed San Francisco from the beginning, so why is the oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurant in the United Staes in Montana, of all places?

If it seems strange that the nation’s oldest functioning Chinese restaurant is in Montana, chalk it up to 19th century immigration patterns. Between 1850 and 1900, around 250,000 Chinese people came to the United States. Many of them were fleeing political strife, poverty, and famine; others were lured by the 1849 Gold Rush. Montana Territory was a mining mecca, and thousands of Chinese immigrants flocked there looking for work. By 1870, nearly 10 percent of Montana’s population was Chinese-American.

Eventually, gold reserves dwindled and animosity from white miners grew, so Chinese immigrants then found new jobs building America’s first transcontinental railroad. Once the railroad was completed in 1869, they gained new livelihoods as entrepreneurs, founding small businesses like laundries, groceries, farms, and—yes—Chinese-American restaurants.

The Pekin Noodle Parlor has been serving Butte, Montana, since 1911, and is run by family members of original founder. And they still serve the same dishes they started out with over 100 years ago. Read about the restaurant and its history at mental_floss.

(Image credit: Flickr user ramsbee)


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Thanksgiving Sandwich

Oliver Babish (Andrew Rea) recreates Ross Geller's disgusting-sounding Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich from the TV series Friends, by cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal in order to have leftovers. The tutorial is perfectly seasoned with occasionally snarky commentary   

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Babish has a whole series of videos in which he recreates fictional food from TV and movies. That's a thin but entertaining disguise for some seriously good recipes. -via reddit 


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The Surprising Origin of Thanksgiving Foods

One of the reasons we eat what we do for Thanksgiving is to celebrate the uniquely American foods that the Pilgrims discovered when they came to Massachusetts and learned to grow with the help of Native Americans. At their first Thanksgiving feast, they ate lots of seafood and venison, but what we concentrate on for the holiday are the foods that Europeans didn't have at the time: turkey, cranberries, corn, potatoes, pumpkin, pecans, etc.

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Joe Hanson of It's Okay To Be Smart looks at those American foods and how they were cultivated for centuries before Europeans arrived. American foods are something worth celebrating! -via Tastefully Offensive


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The Most Insane Restaurants Around the Globe

Have you ever wished you could eat inside a cliff beside the see or that you could have food cooked from the heat of a volcano? Maybe you dream of eating at the bottom of a waterfall as the river flows along your feet. Of course, you could always try to eat below the sea in an underwater restaurant. If these kinds of crazy restaurants sound great to you, then check out these an more dining locations on this fascinating Travel and Leisure article.


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A Veterans Day Mission

Cristian Ramirez is an Army veteran and a video producer at Cracked. For Veterans Day on Friday, he went on a mission to see how many free meals he could actually eat. He was prepared for the challenge with his identification and shorts with an elastic waistband. Ramirez ruled out buffets ahead of time, but appears to have endangered his well-being anyway. He ended up consuming seven meals. The brisket sandwich wasn't even the final one.

I had to rally again before this one. I think I'll probably need to after each subsequent one. The meat sweats are so real right now. This stopped being funny in the last entry. I'm really not sure I'm going to make it back to my car after this one. I'm about as mobile as the Spruce Goose trying to achieve liftoff with both its wings on fire. I need to rally again, even if it hurts -- it's the only way I can keep going. I love you, America.

Read the saga of Ramirez' Veterans Day quest at Cracked.


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How To Open Coconuts Without Any Tools

You never know when you might find yourself stranded on a desert island, by choice or otherwise, and as every castaway movie has taught us there are coconuts a-plenty on desert isles.

Coconuts can be eaten, worn as a bikini and used to simulate the sound of horses galloping, but first the husk must be removed before the coconut can be cracked open, which is really hard to do without tools.

Enter "The King of Random" Grant Thompson with a time tested method for de-husking coconuts while using as little energy as possible- by dropping a giant rock on it.

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Once you're done dropping rocks on husked coconuts and dropping unhusked coconuts on sharp rocks you can use the fibers to make rope, which is another handy thing to have when you're a castaway.

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-Via Lifehacker


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The First Food Writer

(Image credit: Byron Eggenschwiler)

With a name like Clementine Paddleford, she should have been unforgettable. So why don’t you know who she is?

In the Long Island Sound, the world’s fastest nuclear submarine was cruising 200 feet beneath the waves. Sirens and horns whined as the crew tested the submarine’s alarms. As usual, the USS Skipjack hummed with activity. Sailors walked purposefully through tight passageways, their buzz cuts skimming the ceilings. That wasn’t the only buzz in the air: Word on the ship was that Clementine Paddleford was touring the galley.  

It was March 26, 1960, and after a year of wrangling, the U.S. Navy had finally given the 61-year-old journalist permission to board the Skipjack. Now she was in the submarine’s capsule kitchen, a cape around her shoulders and a notebook in hand, scoping out the 54-square-foot room where cooks prepared nearly 300 meals a day for the crew. They flurried about, making strawberry shortcake, prime rib, and endless pots of coffee from ingredients compressed to save space. Though she was no stranger to unusual kitchens, the endeavor was nerve-racking. Paddleford would later write that as she boarded the ship loaded with torpedoes, she’d been “clothed in gooseflesh.” 

But she hadn’t worked so hard just to walk away empty-handed—she’d get her story, along with a brownie recipe that could feed 80. Whether Paddleford was inspecting a kitchen at the bottom of the ocean or piloting a plane across the country in search of new delicacies, she was a fearless pioneer, intent on uncovering tales that would resonate with the American public.

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The History of Butter

We've covered the history of margarine, but the development of real dairy butter goes back further than written records. When dairy farmers found that agitation separates the fat from the liquid in milk, the result was a delicious substance that made everything else taste better. They were making butter long before the butter churn we know was invented.  

You wouldn’t recognize the world’s earliest butters. For one thing, they were made from the milk of sheep, yak, and goats, not from cow’s milk. Domesticated cattle came much later in man’s conquest of various animals. From as early as 9000 BCE in the region of what is now Iran, communities relied on domestic sheep and goats, which are less intimidating in size and have comfort-loving dispositions that early man coaxed into submission. In the Near East, domesticated goats functioned as a virtual power tool and dairy plant for early man as well, defoliating the scrubby land as they grazed so it could then be cultivated. The animals turned this coarse plant diet into a ready source of good meat and milk. Goat’s skin, being nonporous, also provided an excellent milk vessel.

But water buffalo milk made better butter, or at least more of it. There's a lot more to the history of butter, as you'll see in an excerpt from the book Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova, at Lucky Peach. -via Digg


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