The Friday Five – June 3rd, 2011

3 06 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  If you grew up in the 80’s, you surely remember pudding pops.  Now that summer is here, you can make your own!  Bill Cosby would be so proud. (You Tube, chow.com)

2.  It’s National Donut Day in the U.S.!  Canadians can celebrate too – after all, with a Tim Horton’s outlet for every 12.5 Canadian citizens (that’s a rough estimate), we love our fried dough just as much as our neighbours to the south. (Huffington Post)

3.  The Stanley Cup final is underway so one of the teams will soon be spending the summer with the Cup (Go Canucks!). There are many legendary stories about the Cup’s off-season adventures – check out some of the great Food and Drink Moments with the Stanley Cup. (The Daily Meal)

4.  Food lovers on the internet were already scratching their heads about Donald Trump and Sarah Palin’s recent pizza lunch when Jon Stewart launched a funny tirade about it. (U.S. readers can watch it here.) (Chowhound, Comedy Central)

5.  The food pyramid has been replaced with a simpler ‘plate icon’ to help people figure out how to eat properly. Unfortunately, french fries still don’t count as a vegetable. (Eatocracy)

Have a great weekend!

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The Friday Five – May 27th, 2011

27 05 2011

After a brief hiatus, The Friday Five is back!

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  Looking for a fun, food-filled road trip this summer? Then check out these 50 State Dinners (Plus One). I love the idea of following the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (No. 18) or enjoying fried chicken in North Carolina (No. 34) but I think I might pass on West Virginia (No. 49). (Grub Street)

2.  If you enjoy pop tarts, you’ll love this restaurant in California: they have house-made ‘pop tarts’ featuring seasonal fruit on their menu! (Huffington Post)

3.  I have never liked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I know, I was a weird kid) so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I read about a new invention called a Candwich. They are PB&J sandwiches that come in a can and supposedly stay fresh for up to a year and “taste great”. I’ll take their word for it… (Bites on Today)

4.  Everyone is familiar with cereal mascots such as Tony the Tiger and the Sugar Crisp Bear. College Humor imagines what would happen if boring cereals had mascots. I think Cal, the Regular Bowels Owl, sounds like he’d be a hoot. (College Humor).

5.  A bar in NYC claims to serve cocktails that are good for your skin. Drinks such as the tequila-based Watermelon Kiss will supposedly help even out skin tone. It sounds a lot more fun than using a fancy face cream but dermatologists are understandably somewhat skeptical. (NYT)

Have a great weekend!

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The Friday Five – April 29th, 2011

29 04 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  If you sold that punch bowl you got as a wedding gift at the last neighbourhood yard sale you might regret it: apparently punch is making a comeback. (nrn.com)

2.  Millions (billions?) of people around the world watched today as Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. The royal festivities will likely go on through the night, ending with Prince Harry’s “Survivor’s Breakfast”: a meal of traditional English fry-ups and bacon sandwiches. (Yahoo)

3.  Have you ever had trouble finding a recipe you needed just as you were about to start cooking? Then you will probably enjoy the convenience of having an omelet recipe already printed on your egg.  (Slashfood)

4.  Social media shows no sign of slowing down. If you’re interested in adding to your list of people to ‘follow’, check out this list of 10 Most Followed Food Critics on Twitter. (The Daily Meal).

5.  April 30th is Tax Day in Canada. To ease the pain, why not mix up cocktail or two? The Taxman contains blood orange juice, gin, vermouth and of course, bitters. (Toronto Star).

As a final note, my thoughts are with the people in the Southern United States who have experienced devastating storms over the past few days. If you are interested in helping out, check out some of these links to various aid groups and charities.

Have a great weekend!

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The Friday Five – April 15th, 2011

15 04 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  You know royal wedding fever is heating up when someone claims to have found a jelly bean that looks like bride-to-be Kate Middleton (it really kind of does!). (Yahoo)

2.  Apparently Olive Garden’s ‘Tuscan Cooking School’, where they claim to train their chefs, is basically a sham.  They just rent some rooms at a hotel and hold a few cooking classes in the kitchen. What?!  You mean they aren’t learning how to make delicate handmade pastas from someone’s nonna, using the finest local ingredients? Shocking! (Slashfood)

3.  Montrealers take their hockey very seriously (trust me!), especially during the playoffs.  First, the French-language election debate was moved to accommodate game one of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series. Now, Canadian-based Boston Pizza is temporarily changing the name of their 26 Montreal outposts to ‘Montreal Pizza’. Go Habs Go! (Bloomberg,Montreal Gazette)

4.  In a move that is sure to be popular on college campuses, Taco Bell is experimenting with a new menu item: a taco shell made out of nacho cheese Doritos. (Food Beast)

5.  Apparently a school in Seattle has asked people to call Easter eggs ‘spring spheres’ instead. Stephen Colbert is understandably outraged. (Toronto Star, Eater)

Have a great weekend!

(p.s. – if you’re American, you still have the weekend to pull together your taxes: they’re due Monday!)

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The Friday Five will return on April 29th, 2011.





The Friday Five – April 8th, 2011

8 04 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  I absolutely love pho – a Vietnamese soup that is packed with noodles. I also love puns so you can imagine how delighted I was by these Nine Funniest Pho Restaurant Puns (even if they do require pronouncing the name of the soup incorrectly). (good.is)

2.  Researchers in Maine have developed a biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells.  They are intended for use on cruise ships and help prevent lobster waste, which sounds like a great excuse to eat more lobster. (Yahoo)

3.  Speaking of lobster, The Maritime Fisherman’s Union has started a marketing campaign where you can ‘meet’ the person who caught your dinner. The pilot project tags lobsters with a code, which diners can enter on-line and get information where and how their lobster was caught. (CBC)

4.  Everyone is familiar with the legacy of Julia Child: chef, cookbook author, television pioneer and ….spy? A new book details her time in the Office of Strategic Services (a predecessor of the CIA) during WWII. (Salon)

5.  You know the bacon craze has gotten out of hand when companies are coming up with things like bacon cologne. Let’s hope the next big food trend isn’t durian… (Huffington Post)

Have a great weekend!

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The Friday Five – April 1st, 2011

1 04 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  As a recipe developer, I am concerned about a new government proposal that all Canadian recipes will have to include metric times.  I’m not great at math so I’ll have to put on my thinking cap for this one… (Zapatopi)

2.  Totino’s Pizza Rolls have decided to scrap their user-generated marketing plan in favour of a more traditional ad campaign. Apparently the submissions for the Tell Us Your Totino’s Tale were too depressing. (The Onion)

3.  You may recall a that a few months ago, a photographer took photos of a McDonald’s happy meal for six months and discovered that it looked exactly the same at the end of the project.  In light of this, McDonald’s has scrapped their composting program because the foods wouldn’t decompose. (Eatocracy,Grist.org)

4.  The famous Michelin Guide is firing its inspectors and moving to a user-generated model.  Finally the average diner will have a say about what constitutes a three-star dining experience. (chow.com)

5.  Getting kids to eat can sometimes be a challenge.  These clever recipes can make mealtime fun again. (familyfun.go.com)

Happy APRIL FOOL’S Day everyone!   ;)

Have a great weekend!

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The Friday Five – March 25th, 2011

25 03 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  Salon creates a dinner menu based on food made by children’s toys such as the Big Burger Grill and Chuck E. Cheese pizza oven. A Snoopy Sno Cone makes an excellent palate cleanser between courses… (Salon)

2.  I used to love birthday parties when I was a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Usually they involved homemade birthday cake, pizza and a rousing game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t quite cut it at these stylish parties: 10 Great Kids Party Ideas. (The Daily Meal).

3.  If you enjoy Tim Hortons’ Roll-Up-the-Rim contest, you’re going to love what happened at Starbuck’s: Last week a man walked into a Boston area Starbuck’s yelling, “I’m rich, I’m rich!” and threw around $100 bills before calmly walking out (the money was collected by staff and donated to Japanese relief efforts). (The Consumerist)

4.  If you’re looking for an excuse to celebrate something today, it’s International Waffle Day!  Why not whip up some Gingerbread Waffles or Crispy Waffles with Salted Caramel Coulis (or just doctor up some Eggos with a delicious topping). (The Independent, Toronto Star)

5.  Tired of the same old thing and are looking for something different when dining out? You might want to try one of America’s Weirdest Restaurants. Some of the unusual dining destinations include a restaurant in a cave and a Martian-themed resto (Bonus for South Park fans: Casa Bonita is real!) (The Daily Meal)

Have great weekend!

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The Friday Five – March 18th, 2011

18 03 2011

The week is almost over so celebrate the weekend by rocking out to the latest viral hit (and one of the worst songs ever written): Friday!

1.  Do you remember the Seinfeld episode about muffin tops?  Apparently someone got the bright idea that people might want to make them at home and invented the Muffin Top Baking Pan.  Check out more of the Daily Meal’s 10 Food and Drink Inventions We Didn’t Need.  Tater Mitts, anyone? (Wikipedia, The Daily Meal)

2.  Bartender Sheldon Wiley recently won the Guinness world record title as the Fastest Bartender in the World by making 1,043 drinks in an hour.  I’ll be thinking of him the next time I’m stuck waiting forever for the bartender to make me a single cocktail. (Eater.com)

3.  Apparently an extended NFL lockout has more than football fans upset: the chicken wing industry is very concerned that it will be devastating to them because a large percentage of their sales occurs during games.  Although I bet chickens are happy about it… (Yahoo UK).

4.  If you’ve never had (or heard of) cherimoya, you might soon: the delicious fruit has been touted as “the next banana”.  However, researchers first have to figure out how to grow seedless versions in a commercial capacity. (LA Times)

5.  Do you have a waffle iron you rarely use?  An ice cream maker that’s collecting dust?  Get some ideas for new ways to use them from Real Simple: Repurpose Rarely Used Appliances. (Real Simple)

On a serious note: Like everyone, I have been following news of the horrible devastation in Japan following last week’s earthquake and tsunami.  If you’d like to help, you can visit your nation’s Red Cross website to make a donation: Canadian Red Cross / American Red Cross / British Red Cross.  For people living in the Toronto area, a benefit dinner to aid the victims will be held on Sunday, March 27th at Boehmer restaurant.  The dinner features some of Toronto’s top chefs so book early. For more information, visit nowtoronto.com: Support for Japan.

Have great weekend!

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The Friday Five – March 11, 2011

11 03 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  Apparently the customer isn’t always right: The New York Times reports on restauranteurs who refuse to cater to customers’ requests for things like take-out espresso, ketchup on french fries and toasted bagels. (NYT)

2.  Have you ever had a dream about food?  The Dream Mood dictionary gives interpretations for a variety of food-related dreams, from abalone to whiskey. Or it could just mean you ate too much before bed… (The Daily Meal)

3.  I think onions are a crucial ingredient for adding flavour to a lot of dishes. However, some criminals from Queens have found a new use for them: torturing their victims by sticking their head in a bag of cut up onions until they give up their money or drugs. (NY Daily News)

4.  The recently released cookbook ‘Modernist Cuisine’ has been called a “game-changer” for chefs. It comprises six volumes totaling over 2,400 pages, weighs 49 pounds and costs $625 (USD).  Judging by the (rather ridiculous) burger recipe, this isn’t exactly a starter book for nervous new cooks. (examiner.com, Eater National)

5.  Lent has just started and many people give up something for the 40 days leading up to Easter. Apparently a man in Iowa has decided to give up all food and drink – except for beer.  He is planning to consume only water and four pints of beer a day until Easter to re-create the way Franciscan monks marked Lent centuries ago – or at least that’s what he told he wife and pastor. (msnbc.com)

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to ‘Spring Ahead’ this weekend by moving your clocks forward by one hour Saturday night!

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The Friday Five – March 4th, 2011

4 03 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  I used to love my Easy Bake Oven when I was a kid.  With the end of incandescent lighting nearing, Hasbro is re-vamping the ovens, depriving future generations of the joy of eating half-baked brownies they proudly cooked by the heat of a lightbulb. (Salon)

2.  Do you remember the McDLT? It was innovative because it kept ‘the hot side hot and the cool side cool’, which apparently was an issue with hamburgers.  Re-visit other ill-advised ideas with these fifteen Fast Food Failures. (CNBC.com)

3.  Speaking of McDonald’s, there were rumors this week that they would be rolling out the McLobster across the U.S.  Alas, the stories were false but the elusive McLobster is sometimes available in parts of New England and Eastern Canada. (Huffington Post)

4.  If you turned on the tv or radio this week, you probably heard about actor Charlie Sheen’s mad rants. Now you can whip up a timely tabloid-themed drink for your next party: The Charlie Sheen. I’m guessing it will leave a bad taste in your mouth… (The Daily Meal)

5.  In honour of the second anniversary of his talk show, Jimmy Fallon was given his own ice cream flavour by Ben and Jerry’s. He joins other celebrities with their own flavours including Elton John, Stephen Colbert and of course, Jerry Garcia. SlashFood reviewed the concoction, which is made with a vanilla base, a salty caramel swirl and clusters of fudge-covered potato chip clusters. (Eater.com. slashfood.com)

Have a great weekend!

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