Ikeas pop-up restaurant: a crispbread-heavy menu and a virtual reality kitchen

The Swedish multinationals DIY eatery hopes to popularise the dinner party by holding tutored dinner parties in Shoreditch. But is it a flatpack recipe for disaster?

Now why would Ikea open a pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch, east London? I wouldnt even understand there being a permanent one, but at least I wouldnt be plagued with an insistent, existential sense of waste, making me yearn for a giant metaphorical recycling system, probably from Ikea.

The Dining Club, as it is called, showcases Ikeas wares, including the smallest kitchen in the world, which is about the size of a bath. It runs workshops. It employs chefs. It sells Daim bars and has plates full of fake meringue. It hosts tutored dinner parties, with crispbread-centric menus, all for free if you get on to the website fast enough. It has a virtual reality kitchen which (I have to admit this is cool) enables you to experience your workspace from the height of your pets. But why? I dont really know, says Fred Bolin, 41, the head chef. Im just a bit of a stupid chef. Im just thinking about the food.

We run a Life at Home report every year, says Jordi Esquinas, 35, Ikeas head of cooking and eating. And we realised people were spending less and less time cooking and eating. OK, so maybe they need to popularise the dinner party; but why micro-market it to a few score opinion formers? Why?

Then I had an epiphany; the genius of Ikea is that they dont ignore the undesirable. They approach them head-on, and revel in them. Back at the carefree turn of the century, when our biggest problem was how to assemble a Billy bookcase without having to immediately divorce you had to sign a pre-nup before you started about who would get to keep it they turned that into the selling point. Life was meant to be hard. Sweat was Swedish, and Swedish was good. Recently, as lifestyles have become more, shall we say, on the edge, they brought out their microapartment catalogue: dystopian box-living where your children sleep in a bunk above your tiny table, while your friends eat off the floor like dogs.

And across these decades of huge social change, there has been one constant: that as soon as you set foot in an Ikea, you long to escape. You cant; you havent found what you came for, and youve come many miles. You get distracted by a plant pot. You suddenly need a new chopping board. You havent even reached the bathroom section, and its already dark. This was a bold, some might say reckless attempt to make a feature of that, turn the very space that alienates us most into a hearth, a home, a community. If anyone would buy it, it would be the good burghers of east London.

I came out with a load of herring, so they got to me too.

The Dining Club by Ikea is open until 25 September.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/shortcuts/2016/sep/18/ikeas-popup-restaurant-a-flatpack-recipe-for-the-undesirable

Continue Reading

A video shows how one simple dinner plate can say a ton about hunger in America.

 

Theres something delicious and addicting about those trendy recipe videos circulating online.

You’ve seen them before: the quick and beautiful play-by-plays of mouthwatering dishes you wish you were eating at this very moment.

GIF via Tasty/YouTube.

The recipes seem so simple and magical and get you thinking, “Maybe I can make that five-cheese bacon lasagna tonight.” And before you know it, you’re at the store loading up on Colby-Monterey Jack (or is that just me?).

For some families, though, the ingredients and final product look a little different.

As part of Hunger Action Month, the hunger-relief organization Feeding America is using our obsession with cooking videos to highlight the reality many food-insecure families face when they sit down for dinner: an empty plate.

By putting a twist on the bite-sized food videos all over the internet, they hope to raise awareness that empty plates and empty stomachs are an unacceptable reality for too many families.

Currently, 1 in 7 people in the United States in our schools, communities, and in every county across the country struggle with hunger.

Today, we are down to our last dime, Gaby, a mother of three from Tennessee, told Feeding America. After the bills are paid, there is no money left. In fact, there is no money to pay the bills.

There are 48 million other Americans who know that feeling well.

We never thought our lives would turn out like this no one does, said Gaby. It was after she and her husband Josh both lost their full-time jobs that they found themselves financially underwater while trying to raise three kids. Their money for food quickly dissolved.

Kids have the most to lose with an empty plate.

Research shows that an average food-insecure family of four may forgo up to 100 meals a month because they lack enough money to buy food. That can be detrimental to the physical and emotional development of a child.

When kids dont have energy, they cant concentrate, learn, or grow. How are they supposed to chase their dreams and become productive members of society under those circumstances?

The good news is that hunger is a problem that can be solved if we work together to do it.

There are simple ways to help: becoming involved with a local food bank, checking out these anti-food waste apps, putting pressure on elected officials, and even spreading awareness through fun photo campaigns like this one:

Josh and I may have to skip meals, but we make sure our children never have to, Gaby said. Without help from the food bank, though, I really dont know how wed feed them.

Their local food bank, Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee, has been there for them while Gaby goes back to school and Josh has started a new job. And thats a big reason she feels confident in saying they won’t always struggle like this.

Life is full of unexpected moments, but having enough food should always be a constant.

It’s hard to get much done on an empty stomach, which is why reducing hunger helps kids grow and strengthens our communities. Not to mention it makes those online food videos that much more appetizing when more people can enjoy them.

Check out the full Feeding America video:

 

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-video-shows-how-one-simple-dinner-plate-can-say-a-ton-about-hunger-in-america?c=tpstream

Continue Reading

Food on fire: The world’s best barbecues

(CNN)Americans are perhaps the standard bearers of the “barbecue.”

Come summer, US backyards and parks are full of people gathering around sauce-slathered chicken and other meats.
But famed as America’s grill skills may be, many would claim it can’t hold a glowing charcoal ember to the meat-charring culture of, say, Argentina or South Africa.
 
History isn’t clear on where the term “barbecue” comes from — one explanation is that it comes from “barbacoa,” a term used by Spanish explorers to describe the Caribbean’s indigenous Taino people’s cooking technique.
In any case, barbecue as we know it today covers multiple cooking methods: On grills, above fire pits, under the ground and in clay ovens.
 
There are regional variations and customs everywhere from South America to Africa to Asia.
Read on for further proof that the lip-smacking barbecue experience is a universal tradition, not just an American one.

Braai (South Africa)

The South African braai (“barbecue” in Afrikaans) is the nation’s top culinary custom.
Here, the frequent gathering of friends and family over grilled, juicy cuts of steak, sausage and chicken sosaties (skewers) cuts through all racial and socioeconomic lines.
And no place does “Sunday Funday” quite like the townships, where shisa nyama (“burn meat” in Zulu) venues elevate the braai experience with on-site butchers, cooks, drinks and party-starting DJs.
Chicago native and model Unique Love spent three years living in Cape Town and fondly recalls her first shisa nyama.
“Having a braai in Cape Town’s Mzoli’s Meat felt like home,” she says. “After eating, I never wanted to [leave] because the community’s ambience felt comforting.”

Asado (Argentina)

 

Weekly

Though its place as the world’s top consumer of beef fluctuates each year, many would claim Argentina will forever be the grande dame of barbecued meats.
Like South Africa’s braai culture, Argentina’s affinity for the grill is more entrenched than in the States.
Attending a sociable, gut-busting asado (“barbecue”) on an almost weekly basis is the norm.
Though a variety of meats and cuts can be experienced at any gathering, Argentinian chef Guillermo Pernot insists: “For the absolute best asado, one should cook a sweet pork and beef sausage, sweetbreads, thigh intestines and blood sausages.”
Other asado tips from the two-time winner of the James Beard Award include using coarse salt to coat meats and to have the “indispensable” chimichurri — a sauce and marinade which usually consists of parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar and chili flakes — at the ready.

Yakitori (Japan)

Yakitori, a Japanese favorite, consists of diced chicken assembled onto bamboo skewers and cooked over a smoldering layer of charcoal.
Yakitori variations are labeled by chicken parts (strips of chicken skin make up “towikawa” and “negima” consists of thigh meat with leeks).
Its definition has expanded to include any grilled, skewered food, including vegetables, seafood, pork and beef.
While there are several ways to enjoy authentic yakitori in Japan, travel blogger Tanya Spaulding shares her tips for maximum enjoyment.
“The best way to savor yakitori is either from a street vendor, or sitting on the floor in your yukata (a sort of summer kimono), cooking your skewers over the shichirin (a small charcoal grill) in the middle of your table,” she claims.

Churrasco (Brazil)

 

Most

Barbecue enthusiasts with sizable appetites will love Brazil’s churrasco (Portuguese and Spanish for “barbecue”).
Most visitors to Brazil will get their barbecue fix at a churrascaria, where restaurant servers provide an endless supply of grilled meat cuts directly to patrons’ tables.
While Brazilian churrasco might be the most famous, it’s found in several other countries, including Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Portugal.
Dan Clarke, a tour specialist who frequents South America, believes Brazilian barbecues offer more options for vegetarians than neighboring, meat-loving Argentina.
“At an Argentinian asado, you’re really stuck with the salad and fries,” he says. “But it’s much better in Brazil because most churrascarias feature salad bars with dozens of kinds of fresh salads, pasta salads, pickles, breads, olives and all the other sides you could wish for.”

Lechon (Philippines)

 
Lechon (Spanish for “suckling pig”) features a whole, impaled pig spit-roasted over a charcoal bed or in an oven.
Many Filipinos declare the tasty, porky treat to be their national dish although the same claim is made by Puerto Ricans.
The lechon cooked in the Filipino island of Cebu is often considered the best in the country, if not the world.
Fun fact: Every June 24 in Balayan, Philippines, the locals pay a special, religious-themed homage to roasted pig at the Parada ng Lechon (Parade of Spit-Roast Pig).
It involves lechons getting blessed at a church mass followed by a lively parade of floats, music, water guns (for the baptism) and lechons “dressed” in outlandish garments and accessories.

Tandoor (India)

It’s true: that iconic Indian tandoori chicken you’ve known (and perhaps loved) for ages is considered a barbecue dish.
Tandoori food derives its name from the tandoor, the cauldron-like clay oven in which dishes such as naan bread, chicken, seafood and other meats are cooked under high-heat charcoal.
“The art of the tandoor originated centuries ago as a nomadic style of cooking in Central Asia [where] food was cooked on charcoal pits and meat was spit-roasted,” says Manjit Gill, an Indian celebrity chef behind several acclaimed restaurants including Bukhara in New Delhi.
“The Tandoori cuisine as we know it today was introduced in the late 1940s in post-partition India, when people discovered that it was a better medium to cook meat in a tandoor rather than on the spit.”

Mongolian BBQ (Taiwan)

 

Mongolian

“Surprisingly, despite the name, Taiwan is the origin of Mongolian barbecue,” reveals travel enthusiast and native Taiwanese Erin Yang, “[and] consists of the combination of sliced meat, noodles and vegetables quickly cooked over a flat circular metal surface.”
Mongolian barbecue is a relatively new food trend, emerging in Taiwan in the 1950s and influenced by Japanese teppanyaki and Chinese stir-fry.
It’s also popular in certain regions of China.
Beijing-based food and travel blogger Monica Weintraub says beef and lamb feature heavily in the north of the country.
“Whether you’re sharing a leg of lamb between four or five friends or ordering single lamb skewers (yang rou chuan), be expected to intake meat heavily doused in chili powder, cumin seeds and salt,” she says.

Lovo (Fiji)

Fiji’s barbecue tradition has more of an underground approach compared to other nations.
Erin Yang explains: “Unlike many other barbecue styles, Fijian barbecue is cooked in a ‘lovo,’ an earth oven.”
Lovo involves piping-hot stones placed into a large opening in the ground to allow slowly smoked cooking.
“Ingredients such as pork, chicken, vegetables, taro root and seafood are wrapped in taro or banana leaves and placed onto the stones,” Yang says. “After 2-3 hours, the savory lovo will be ready to serve.”
Unearthing the pit-smoked food is met with jubilation from feasters, perhaps due to the hours-long wait for the cooking to be completed.

Umu (Samoa)

 

A

Umu, Samoa’s version of the barbecue, is similar to the underground cooking customs of Fijian lovo.
Avichai Ben Tzur, a travel writer/entrepreneur who’s spent significant time in the South Pacific, describes barbecue prep work as a family task.
“Young men of the extended Samoan family gather together to prepare the ‘umu,’ hours before the traditional Sunday feast commences… catching fresh fish or slaughtering a pig, collecting taro leaves and breadfruit from the family’s agricultural plot and cracking open coconuts for the palusami.”
The palusami, a Samoan staple made of coconut cream (often seasoned with onions, lemon juice and simple spices) wrapped in taro leaves, is “a delicious calorie bomb that cannot be resisted by Samoans,” says Tzur.

Gogigui (Korea)

Gogigui (Korean for “meat roast”) is a favorite of both Koreans and international eaters.
Dining at a Korean BBQ usually consists of sliced beef, pork and chicken with an assortment of banchan (side dishes) and rice cooked in the center of a table, which is either cooked by the chefs or the diners themselves.
Should you choose to cook your own gogigui, “Masterchef Korea” finalist Diane Sooyeon Kang shares some tips.
“For thin slices of meat like chadolbaegi (thinly sliced beef brisket), you should lie it flat and cook it quickly for a few seconds on each side,” she says.
“For meats like yangnyeom galbi (marinated short ribs), high heat and fire will be best as it will caramelize the outside while keeping the meat juicy inside.”
Jessica Mehta, who’s lived in Korea for a year, suggests: “You’re not really having Korean BBQ if you don’t pair it with soju, a clear liquor somewhat similar to sake.”

Pachamanca (Peru)

Though Peruvian cuisine is known the world over for ceviche and Pisco sour cocktails, one of Peru’s most traditional Incan cooking customs, pachamanca, is still under the radar to many.
Pachamanca (meaning “earth pot” in the Quechua language) involves digging to create a ground oven and lining the cavity with fire-heated stones to cook the food.
A variety of potatoes, corn, legumes and marinated meats are enclosed in banana leaves and placed into the earth oven for hours.
Authentic pachamanca are served sitting on the ground, and mostly take place on special occasions (especially religious ceremonies) and during harvest time every February and March.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/29/foodanddrink/worlds-best-barbecues-bbq/index.html

Continue Reading

Traditional Lasagna Is Good, But These Handheld Poppers Are Arguably Better

I would eat pasta for every meal if I could also maintain a normal weight. Alas, this is just a pipe dream.

One of my favorite Italian dishes is definitely lasagna. And while I’ve never been adventurous enough to make it in my own kitchen, I may actually give it a whirl in this reincarnation of the complex meal.

 

Not only do these lasagna poppers look absolutely delicious, they seem so much easier to make than a full pan of the savory dish. If you’re looking for a new snack to try for your next party, these should be on your list:

Here’s how to make these at home:

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of minced onion
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella
  • 4 sheets of ravioli
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Egg wash
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs

Recipe:

  1. In a pan heat some canola oil, the garlic, onions, and ground beef. Brown the meat and drain the excess liquid.
  2. Return the pan to heat and add marinara sauce and salt and pepper to taste. After thoroughly mixed, remove from heat and add the mozzarella.
  3. In a pasta pot, add some salt and the ravioli sheets. Cook 8-10 minutes.
  4. On a plate, cut the sheets lengthwise so you have two strips.
  5. Spoon some of the meat onto one end and roll the strip.
  6. Freeze the rolls for 10 minutes.
  7. Dip each roll in a bowl of flour, egg wash, and then bread crumbs. Repeat the egg and bread crumbs once.
  8. Freeze them again for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Cook in frying oil for four to five minutes, let cool, and serve with marinara sauce!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/lasagna-poppers/

Continue Reading

How to cook the perfect kleftiko

This classic Greek dish needs some serious time and TLC. But the results are more than worth it

One of the undisputed classics of Greek cuisine, kleftiko is a special-occasion dish which showcases Hellenic cooking at its simple best. It demands no fancy ingredients or tricky techniques, just good raw materials and a good deal of patience. Said to be named after sheep-rustling bandits known as the klephts, who would cook their ill-gotten gains in underground pits to avoid detection, the success of the dish depends on long, slow roasting until the meat fairly falls off the bone. Thats handy, no doubt, when your knives were all engaged in more nefarious activity.

Though its no doubt at its best at a whitewashed island taverna, its also perfect for feeding a crowd when the circus of fire and knives that is our traditional Sunday roast feels like too much effort. Like many of the best summer dishes, kleftiko is happy to do its own thing while you get on with more important stuff such as sunbathing and drinking ouzo.

Rick
Rick Steins kleftico. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

The cut of lamb

Most recipes I try call for leg. Rick Stein uses a whole one, while Sebastians Taverna in Corfu and Eli K Giannopoulos of the website My Greek Dish plump for pieces. The testing panel, however, is largely with Georgina Hayden, author of Stirring Slowly, who describes kleftiko as her achilles heel but calls for shoulder, as does Tonia Buxtons recipe.

Though leg looks impressive, and one tester prefers its relative leanness, everyone else feels like its a cut better suited to cooking fast and serving pink; the tougher, fattier shoulder, meanwhile, really benefits from slow cooking, becoming wonderfully juicy and rich. Its also cheaper, which is always a pleasing bonus.

Those short of time might prefer to use Buxtons leg pieces on the bone, which only need cooking for a couple of hours, though Im slightly of the opinion that this is a dish that deserves a bit of love, and youre probably better off making something else.

Georgina
Georgina Hayden. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

The cooking

While were on the subject of time, Giannopoulos marinates his leg steaks for 24 hours before cooking, which gives them a wonderfully deep flavour. If you dont have that luxury, however, rest assured that it will still be delicious.

Sebastians Taverna is the only recipe to braise the kleftiko on the hob, rather than baking it in the oven. Theres no doubt that this keeps the meat beautifully juicy, but it doesnt have the same intensity of flavour as the others, especially since the pieces are submerged in water. Adding less liquid, as Stein and Hayden recommend, gently steams the meat, so its moist, but still retains its distinctive flavour rely on its own juices, as Buxton does, and you get a great-tasting kleftiko thats just a touch dry.

Stein and Giannopoulos both bake their dishes at a high heat: 190C and 180C respectively, but for shoulder, I think Buxton and Haydens gentler 160C gives better, more tender results. Equally importantly, make sure its in a tightly sealed package, either in a heavy casserole dish, sealed with foil, as Stein recommends, or in a completely closed parcel of greaseproof paper sprinkled with water as in Haydens recipe, so no moisture can escape.

Though I suspect this is unorthodox, Giannopouloss final blast of heat, with the meat uncovered, does help boost the flavour, just as a melt-in-the-mouth sous-vide steak is made infinitely tastier by a brief dance on a hot grill.

Eli
Eli K Giannopoulos. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

Vegetables

The simplest recipe, from Sebastians Taverna, calls for nothing more than onions and garlic, and Hayden, though she uses more spice, sticks with garlic alone. But, as youve got the oven on anyway, it makes sense to cook a few vegetables at the same time. Stein, Buxton and Giannopoulos bulk the dish out with potatoes, which are gorgeously rich and soft after a few hours with a joint of lamb (and even better crisped up while the meat is resting as Giannopoulos suggests) make sure you get the waxy kind, or youll be left with mush. Everyone peels them, but I think theyre even more delicious left whole, whatever Greek grannies might think.

Stein and Giannopoulos both also add peppers, and, like Buxton chuck a few tomatoes in there for good measure, which not only look colourful, but, as with anything given such a treatment, taste great too. Theyre not absolutely necessary, but they do help make this dish into a one-pot treasure trove.

Garlic, however, is very much necessary and the sharp flavour of the crushed kind is so different from the mellow sweetness of the roasted variety that Im going to use it as both seasoning and vegetable. The sugary heat of Giannopouloss red onion works similarly brilliantly with the savoury lamb.

Stein adds crumbled feta to his kleftiko, inspired by the one served at a restaurant in Symi, and Giannopoulos goes for kefalotyri, a very versatile hard yellow cheese that, to my surprise, I find in the supermarket, though Ive never noticed it before. Both have a tendency, however, to dissolve into the vegetables, prompting one tester to discreetly remove several blobs of what she believed to be lamb fat before I set her right. Cheese and lamb are not, to my mind, a marriage made in heaven, but if you fancy adding some, do so right before serving.

Haydens recipe has a non-traditional twist right at the end its finished with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and mint tossed in a little red vine vinegar, which is a very pretty idea if you decide not to add any extra vegetables, and serve this with salads instead.

Sebastians
Sebastians Taverna. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

Seasonings

Oregano is an absolute must I find the dried kind stands up better to long cooking than the fresh leaves and a couple of bay leaves, as used by Buxton and Hayden, dont go amiss either. A little acidity in the form of lemon juice, rather than Giannopoulos white wine, helps to cut through the richness of the meat and potatoes, so you can keep going back for more. Best followed by a glass of raki and a nap in the shade of a gnarly fig tree.

Perfect kleftiko

(serves 6)
1 lamb shoulder, about 2kg
Olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 heads of garlic
2 lemons
1 kg waxy potatoes
1 large red onion
1 red pepper
1 bay leaf
12 cherry tomatoes

Rub the meat with oil. Sprinkle over the cinnamon, oregano and salt, and peel and roughly crush half a head of garlic. Rub all this into the meat with your hands along with the juice of one lemon. Cover and leave for 12 hours.

Heat the oven to 160C. Cut the potatoes into wedges and use them to line the base of a large lidded casserole dish (or use a roasting tin lined with enough parchment paper to fold over the top of the joint on both sides youll probably need two pieces at right angles). Cut the onion into wedges and the pepper into chunky strips, removing the seeds, then add the cherry tomatoes. Place the lamb on top. Cut the remaining garlic and lemon in half laterally, squeeze the lemon briefly over the potatoes, and tuck the shells and the garlic in around the joint along with the bay leaf. Pour 200ml water into the dish. If using a casserole dish, tuck a damp piece of greaseproof on top and cover, if using a roasting dish, sprinkle the overhanging paper with water and fold over and tuck in to form a sealed package. Bake for 4-5 hours until very tender.

Turn the oven up to 220C and roast, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes at this higher temperature, then lift the joint out and set aside. Put the vegetables back in for 15 minutes until starting to brown, then serve with the meat.

Kleftiko: Greek cooking at its best? Do you like to keep yours simple, or make it a meal in itself like this one? And what do you serve with it?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2016/aug/18/how-to-cook-the-perfect-kleftiko

Continue Reading

App Lets You Buy Leftover Food From Restaurants And It’s Really Cheap

Here’s a situation where takeout is more cost efficient than cooking at home. 

Too Good To Go, an app operating in the UK, allows users to order leftover food at a discount from restaurants, according to the website. The goal is to help curb waste from establishments that typically toss out perfectly edible food at the end of the day.  

Users simply log in, pick a restaurant, and pay through the app.

Then they pick up their food at designated times usually around closing or after peak meal times, according to the Telegraph.

“Food waste just seems like one of the dumbest problems we have in this world,” co-founder James Crummie told Business Green. “The restaurant industry is wasting about 600,000 tonnes of food each year, and in the UK alone there are one million people on emergency food parcels from food banks. Why do we have these two massive social issues that are completely connected, yet there is not much going on to address them?”

Users also have the option to give meals to people in need by donating 1 British pound or more through the app, according to the website. More than 1,100 meals have been donated so far.

 

Founded in Denmark last year, Too Good To Go was launched this year in the UK and is expanding to other countries. The app is available in Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, and will be in London later this month. 

Food waste is a major problem worldwide. In the U.S. alone, up to 40 percent of food goes uneaten meanwhile one in six households didn’t have enough money for food last year.

Too Good To Go has already helped cut a significant amount of waste. So far, the app has saved 600 meals from landfills in the UK, reports Business Green.

Orders through the app cost between 2 British pounds ($2.60) to 3.80 British pounds (about $5), according to the website. 

Users aren’t able to the pick the food items, but they get an idea of the type of food that will be available, according to Business Green. 

To ensure the entire experience is super eco-friendly, Too Good To Go provides recyclable takeout packaging to participating restaurants, Grub Street reported. 

 

Restaurants using the app make extra revenue by selling food that would otherwise have been tossed, according to the Telegraph. And Too Good To Go itself makes money by taking a fee from participating restaurants on each sale.

Too Good To Go isn’t the first app to try to tackle food waste. In Spain, the Yo No Desperdicio app allows people to coordinate and exchange surplus food items with each other. In the U.S., the Food Cowboy app allows food distributors to redistribute “ugly vegetables” or produce rejected by groceries for purely cosmetic reasons to charities and food banks who need them.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/app-lets-you-buy-leftover-food-from-restaurants-and-its-really-cheap_us_57aa4469e4b0ba7ed23dff1a?section=&

Continue Reading

She Pours Concrete Into Dollar Store Pumpkins To Make Amazing Porch Sculptures

I am already getting excited for fall; the thought of candles and cozy clothes are already starting to creep into my mind from time to time!

Undoubtedly, my favorite part of the fall is Halloween. It’s something I definitely wait for all year round!

However, it always feels like I have a hundred ideas for decor and costumes until the day creeps up on me, then I am left coming up with a quick getup on the sly.

But thanks to clever DIY-er Diana, I have a great new craft to try that is incredibly easy and can be used all throughout the season!

Concrete can be used to make countless crafts to dress up an outdoor area like birdbaths, decorative tiles, and even a bespoke concrete “fire table.”

It can also be poured into molds to create statuesque versions of whatever you choose to fill.

In Diana’s case, she chose something fun, inexpensive, and festive: plastic pumpkins!

Check below to see how she turned theirtrick-or-treating staples into beautiful porch sculptures.

[H/T: Hometalk]

To begin her project,Dianapurchased the traditional plastic pumpkins that can be found in any ordinary dollar store.

While they’re typically used for collecting trick-or-treat candy, Diana decided to do something a little different with hers.

She planned to transform them into adorable concrete sculptures, perfect for the front or back porch during the chilly fall months.

Her next step was to assembleher concrete mix, usingapproximately two cups of concrete to one cup each ofpeat mossandperlite.

She added water to the mixture until it was a thick, cottage cheese consistency.

She also added dye to the concrete mix,so that the pumpkins would have a subtle orange hue rather than a concrete gray color.

Next, she covered the tiny hole within the bottom of the pumpkin, then coated the interior liberally with cooking spray.

Once that was done, she began to add the concrete mix.

When the pumpkin was filled to the top with cement, Diane added a railroad spike to create a rustic, quirkypumpkin stem.

The concrete was left to dry for several days before the mold was removed.

A utility knife was used to slash the plastic open, revealing the perfectly shaped mold inside.

The final product was a beautifully spooky sculpturethatwould get anyone in the festive Halloween spirit!

And once Halloween is over, the pumpkin sculpture can be rotated to reveal the plain pumpkin side; that way, the decoration can remain out through Thanksgiving, too!

Best of all? No need to dispose of a rotting, deflated pumpkin once the season has passed!

Are you excited for the chilly fall months? Or are you still enjoying the warm summer months?

Let us know in the comments below, and

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/dollar-store-pumpkin-sculptures/

Continue Reading

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

                                      Man Reading Books/Image Source: TimesHigherEducation

So you’ve completed your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While beginning your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is completed, getting your first reviews can’t begin until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publishing. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of books they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for children, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s books).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the release date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still begin there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 books a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your chances of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its release date, or you really want to get it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some dispute about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected outlet like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t offer vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast author, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan author, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by children. They are select age appropriate books, but the children read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger children have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of stories, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

Continue Reading

Getting odd in the kitchen with the ‘Bob’s Burgers’ cookbook

When I first started Bobs Burgersthe animated Fox comedy about a weird and loving family who owned a struggling burger restaurant at the Jersey shorea couple of years ago, I had a couple of thoughts. One, it was consistently funnier than I ever expected it to be. Two, I wanted one of those crazy Burgers of the Day.

Rarely shown but always named (except for that one episode where they temporarily disappeared), the Burger of the Day is one of the shows running gags. The nameswhich are almost always food punsappear on the chalkboard hanging near the cash register in every episode just like the revolving owners of the building next to Bobs Burgers and the rat vans in the opening sequence. The burger names are punchy, cheesy, the puns have the right amount of dad-level humor, and they can get especially silly if Louise Belcher gets her hands on the chalkboard. The puns themselves are created by the shows writers, and according to Bobs Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, its one of the main things theyre required to come up with when writing an episode. Theyre just as much a background joke as they are insights into Bob Belcher himself.

And thats only scraping the surface when it comes to the delightfulness of Bobs Burgers itself. It just wrapped up its sixth season on Sunday with at least two more on the way (with no signs of stopping), but it still has the feel of an underground show in part because its rise in popularity came from word of mouth. The versatility of Bobs Burgers makes it perfect fanart and mashup fodder. It has sold out concert halls on its live tour, which includes a table read, a Q&A, and standup from the main cast. Tina Belcher is the awkward, feminist hero weve been craving. And it even inspired Cole Bowden to start the Bobs Burgers Experiment, a Tumblr blog where he documented and strived to create every Burger of the Day shown in Bobs Burgers, which now number in the hundreds.

All Bowden had to go on were the names as he started to tackle the Burgers of the Day, and soon enough, Bouchard noticed. He mentioned Bowdens blog in a 2014 interview with Vulture, saying, That is my dream come true as it pertains to these burgersor, I should say, my dream come true would actually to put out a Bobs Burgers cookbook based on the Burgers of the Day.

An official Bobs Burgers cookbook was announced in January 2015, which was a collaboration between Bouchard, the other Bobs Burgers writers, and Bowden, and it received additional confirmation in August. Soon enough, the burgers they named and created strictly as puns would really come to lifeand wed all be Teddy, one of the Belchers few regular customers.

For those of us who worked on the show and followed him, Coles culinary ambition was thrilling, and his chutzpah was and is inspiring to say the least, but when you read his recipes it becomes clear that primarily what he brings to the table is imagination, Bouchard wrote in the Introduction of The Bobs Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers.

And now Bobs Burgers are a reality. The Bobs Burgers Burger Book is as bright, colorful, and humorous as Bobs Burgers itself, and the book captures the tone of the show wonderfully. Many of the burger names rely on cheese puns, and sprinkled throughout are witty comments such as discouraging the use of no-purpose flour, informing us that stretchy mozz rhymes with sketchy thoughts, and advising us not to touch our belly buttons after handling habanero peppers because well, you never know.

For burger and French fry novices, the cookbook offers a basic guide to making your own burgers and friesit even bolds the most important steps in the paragraphs for those who skim over itand many of the recipes are geared toward beginners. Essentially, if you can grill a burger and put it together youre pretty set, although some of the recipes can be somewhat sparse in their specificity. Most of the ingredients are available in your local grocery store, and if its more of a delicacy, like the black garlic in the Bet It All On Black Garlic Burger, itll inform you where you can buy it.

On the other hand, it doesnt seem as though the recipes are in any sort of order such as organizing by episode appearance or the type of cheese used, so if you find a recipe and want to come back to it, itll take some flipping through unless youve already marked down the page. If non-beef or vegetarian recipes are more your speed, theyre at least grouped together toward the back of the book.

The Bobs Burgers Burger Book was released in March, and fans have gradually discovered it, like the show itself. But now were putting it to use for one of the biggest days of the year for burgers and the people who cook themMemorial Day.

Bobs Burgers are supposed to be excellent despite his business constantly being on the brink of failure; on the other side of the coin, Bobs neighbor and rival Jimmy Pesto runs a successful yet tacky Italian restaurant, but his food is terrible. How do they fare in the real world?

I recruited my Daily Dot colleagues to take on several of the recipes. They may be joke burgers, but the deliciousness is more than real.

Cheeses Is Born Burger

Season 5, Episode 6: Father of the Bob

Ramon Ramirez

This burger is an efficient monster you can make in about 35 minutes. Its a savory lover, loaded in gooey textures that parachute down your windpipe: Jarlsberg and Swiss slices, molasses-brown gravy, sauteed mushrooms, diced Roma tomatoes, brown mustard. Only crispy lettuce and a thick bun balance out the protein-shake gob of hot lovin. The burger is a revelation thats difficult to botch in the kitchen. (Used a pan, as both of my backyard grills harbor spiders.) The caveat, of course, is that it features hot-button flavors difficult to unanimously please even a cookout of four. Its also heavy enough that it only pairs well with water and absolutely no fries, dear God are you mad? But if the profile is your shade, ingredients will run you about $27 (even if you spring for the $10, grass-fed patties) and youll eat with the fury of a spelling bee champ all weekend. Ramon Ramirez

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Parma Parma Parma Chameleon Burger

Season 4, Episode 20: Gene It On

 

Parma Parma Parma Chameleon

A photo posted by @theyeasticando on

Accented by garden-fresh zucchini and squash chips, this Italian-inspired choice spotlights freshly picked basil and a unique tomato sauce with a guest appearance by blueberry jam (which seemed like itd be easier to find than the called-for juice). We opted to double the helping of parmesanmelting some straight on the patty in addition to topping the saucebut otherwise found this recipe delightfully bright and flavorful. Wed recommend serving the panko-crusted zucchini and squash chips with some of the leftover blueberry marinara for dipping. Monica Riese

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Poutine On The Ritz Burger

Season 2, Episode 9: Beefsquatch

Poutine on the Ritz (Comes With Poutine Fries)

A photo posted by Michelle Jaworski (@michejaw) on

Poutine may make you think about Canada, but its just as much of a heartstopper as anything we have down here. Plus this recipe, which includes French fries, allowed me to test out the process of making your own fries, and a giant sharing fry bowl is a great addition to any party; just look at all of the fry-stealing that occurs during pretty much any happy hour.

I bribed one of my friends with food to help me cook, which is a good thing because even with her help it still took a few hours to make everything, so if youre making this for a party, start early or make them the night before. We used Russet potatoes and fried them in vegetable oil instead of the suggested peanut oil before mixing them with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (all measured to taste) and topping it with gravy and cheese curds. Creating the gravy from scratch was a simple endeavor, although I found the recommended amount of black pepper overwhelming; I added in more flour to counter. The fries came out crispy and well-seasoned, but you could just as easily use frozen fries or commandeer a bunch from your favorite restaurant and achieve a similar feat in a fraction of the time.

Once cooked in a regular stove pan and my burger assembled, the Poutine On The Ritz Burger is an expertly crafted mix of salty and sour with Ritz Crackers sprinkled on top, and it works much better than it has any right to (although I wish the cheese curds had melted a bit more). Be prepared to keep leftovers, because this is a lot more filling than it looks. Michelle Jaworski

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Shake Your Honeymaker Burger

Season 2, Episode 3: Synchronized Swimming

Rae Votta

I had about half the necessary ingredients on hand to make the Shake Your Honeymaker burger, so while it’s not something I’d approach on a whim, it is something I can realistically consider without feeling like I need to purchase obscure ingredients I’ll only use once. I decided to opt for the old-timey version of using a mortar and pestle to blend the dates, garlic, and sherry vinegar into a paste, which provided a more chunky and rustic condiment than a food processor.

My largest flaw was impatience. This burger requires you to caramelize your onions, which the recipe suggests takes a good 20 minutes but I, hungry and bored, fell short of by at least 10 minutes before I decided my onions were good enough to eat. My Honeymaker burger was an easy prep on a pan stovetop, and I used the same onion pan for my meat to make sure it infused with flavor. Construction was sloppy, as the feta cheese I had didn’t want to stay balanced on the bun, and once I took a bite everything came spilling out.

Taste-wise, it was too sharply sweet for me to enjoy, the honey meeting the sherry dates in a way that left an unpleasant aftertaste. It’s not a bad way to shake up the burger routine, but if you’re planning to feed a hungry horde, I wouldn’t recommend such a complex and nontraditional take. You’ll be stressing about presentation and the flavor blend more than you’ll be enjoying a well-done burger. Rae Votta

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Dont Get Crme FracheWith Me Burger

Season 2, Episode 9: Beefsquatch

 

Adam Weightman

The choice to make the Dont Get Crme Frache With Me burger was first one of pun, and second one of season. Itd make a great summer burger! I declared. Too bad summer burger is not really a thing.

Nevertheless, the idea of blueberries, basil, and crme frache was appealing. I subbed in a pretzel bun for Vienna roll out of necessity, and added some horseradish to the crme frache-basil mixture to give it a little heat. My line cook (aka helpful boyfriend) seared the burger in a pan, as per the recipe, but my meat-bread crumb-squished blueberry pattie was having a hard time keeping it together. The Dont Get Crme Frache With Me Burger would probably have cooked better on a grill, but it didnt look terrible when the crme frache and spring mix were added. Perhaps the pretzel roll was a misstep, because the burger was a little sweet; it needed something else (the boyfriend suggested onions sauteed in honey) to make it taste less like a breakfast sandwich. Maybe a sharp cheese? (I added Sriracha after a couple bites and it did the trick.)

If youre not a person who is disgusted by fruit in burgers, this would be a fun experiment this summer as a slider or appetizer. You know, a summer burger. Audra Schroeder

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Eggers Cant Be Cheesers Burger

Season 3, Episode 11: Nude Beach

 

Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers

A photo posted by Michelle Jaworski (@michejaw) on

I went into making the Eggers Cant Be Cheesers Burger thinking, This would be a great hangover burger not just because of the eggwhich is becoming a more common burger topping. And while I only had a slight headache when preparing it, that was spot-on.

I cooked new burgers for this in a stove pan, although you can probably just take leftover burgers from another one of the books recipes instead. (I cant speak for the burgers filled with other ingredients/cheeses, but I imagine theyll work just as well.) From there, just cook your egg, which I made sunny side upover easy would be another good optionand stacking everything in the right order. As soon as I placed my English muffin on top, the egg yolk began to run down. Ive had a similar burger on many occasions, but the addition of an English muffin and hot sauce to a new classic brought it all eggcellently together.

A new contender for the Breakfast of Champions? I think so. M.J.

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

A Good Manchego Is Hard to Find Burger

Season 5, Episode 10: Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob and Louise

 

A Good Manchego Is Hard to Find

A photo posted by @theyeasticando on

The sharp nuttiness of the aged manchego and zesty bite of fresh arugula play perfectly off the real star of this show: black fig jam, generously spread on the top bun. It wouldve played just as well without the shallots (which I slightly burnt after a last-minute prep snafu), but their caramelization easily ties the whole bite together. We paired this burger with the books basic fry recipe (subbing white potatoes for the recommended russet, and with corn oil over peanut), which turned out perfectly salted, if a tad soggy after a few minutes at room temperature. M.R.

Bob’s Burgers/Netflix

Disclosure: Universe Publishing provided the Daily Dot with a copy of The Bobs Burgers Burger Book for review.

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/bobs-burgers-cookbook-recipe-review/

Continue Reading