Friday, April 16, 2010

Top Ten Links of the Week: 4/9/10 – 4/15/10

So much to love this week, so let's skip the pleasantries and get down to business. Like business people do. Harrumph harrumph.

1) The Atlantic: Confessions of a Picky Eater
This whole piece on selective foodies and their coping mechanisms is excellent, but I laughed most at the author bio: “Amy Sullivan is a contributing writer at TIME Magazine and a Michigan native. She has never tried scallops (or artichokes or green olives), but she does not like them.”

2) Almost Frugal: 9 Simple Tricks to Save $1000 Per Year on Coffee
Wonderfully creative ideas to cutting down on your $4 latte habit. The first bulletpoint (Starbucks vs. everybody else) is most informative, Captain.

3) San Antonio Life: Planning Key to Creating Healthy Meals
In which writer Claudia Zapata praises her mom’s weekly menu plans, and then shares tips for creating your own. I especially liked: “Plate everything in the kitchen, except the vegetables. Serve those family style to encourage healthy seconds.” Good call. (P.S. When you read the name “Claudia,” do you always think Babysitter’s Club? No? Uhhhh … me neither.)

4) The Epi-Log: The Science of Cilantro Hatred
Though I enjoy a good mouthful of herbage, many friends claim eating the happy little leaves is roughly equivalent to swallowing a tablespoon of Palmolive. As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason for that. The soapy-mouthed might be on to something.

5) Village Voice: Hot Dogs Are the New Foie Gras
Burgers and pizza are all the rage in gourmand circles these days, and Voice critic Robert Sietsema does not appreciate the trend. “The escalation of prices for what were once working-class food, is the true blowback of the economic downturn.” I don’t agree – if people can afford a $6 hot dog, let ‘em have it. Still, read on and let me know whatcha think.

6) CNN/ Fat Camps for Grown-ups – Do They Work?
You can probably guess what they discovered here, but if not, here’s the quoted expert: "Weight-loss camps are not an easy or quick fix. The short-term investment of time and money does not automatically equate to healthy weight management in the long term." This seems to go for all quick fixes, doesn’t it?

7) AP: How to eat well on a food stamp budget - $68.88
Three chefs attempt to prepare varied, healthy weekly family menus based off the current food stamp allotment (which 1 in every 8 Americans are now receiving). The first flat-out fails. The other two, one of whom is Iron Chef Jose Garces, do very well, even though both of them pay more for meat. Veddy interesting.

8) The Kitchn
How to Make a Breakfast Burrito
Skip the Microwave - Lunches That Don’t Need Reheating
What is the Best Way to Clean a Box Grater
The first two posts: invaluable for office workers. The last one: invaluable for me. I lost many a knuckle before realizing scraping downward was a bad idea. And yes, I went to college.

9) The Simple Dollar: Family Dinner Night
Show up, maybe bring a dish, select your meal from a homey assembly line, sit down, talk to loved ones. Great idea for inexpensive, casual, fun get-togethers.

10) Atlantic Food: Make Produce Safe – Share Your Ideas
The FDA is accepting electronically-submitted suggestions to improve the safety of U.S. food. This piece gives a nice overview of the whys and hows, and then provides an e-mail at the bottom. Go! Now! Tell the feds exactly what you think! (Er ... without too many four-letter-words.)


Broke and Healthy
Inexpensive, nutritious meals from someone with actual professional cooking experience! (Meaning: not me.) Clean design, good pictures, step-by-step instructions. What more could you ask for? (Besides a rainbow made of bacon.)

Huffington Post Food: Becoming Better Cooks, or Why Sandra Lee Is Not Evil Incarnate
HuffPo’s new food section debuted this week, and among the first articles is this opinion piece by Ratio author Michael Ruhlman. He ruhlminates (haw haw) on Aunt Sandy’s place in the culinary world, finally deciding she’s defendable, because she gets people in the kitchen. I have nothing to add here, except: TABLESCAPES.


Hyperbole and a Half
Hilarious and smart, profane and unendingly awesome, I can’t stop reading this comic strip/narrative blog. If you go, you gotta check “How a Fish Almost Destroyed My Childhood” among other things.

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Betsy said...

TABLESCAPES! bahahha, love it!

Love your link round-ups (and witty remarks)!

galnoir said...

If I may vent ... I get kind of crabby about the all-or-nothing rhetoric about Starbucks (and, generally, getting coffee on the go). Those who dispense the "Stop drinking $4 lattes and you'll save tons of money!" advice don't seem to consider those of use who (a) don't buy $4 lattes every day but (b) still enjoy them every so often as a treat.

Nine mornings out of ten, I brew coffee at home; it's cheaper, and it's generally more convenient. But sometimes I'll treat myself to an americano. Or I might snag an iced americano at the in-store Starbucks at the grocery store to reward myself for doing the shopping. (I like americanos because they're fresher than drip coffee but not as complicated or expensive as the fancy lattes.)

In a similar vein, bottled water—according to the rhetoric, either you drink nothing but bottled water, even at home, and OMG! you're killing the planet and you're everything that's wrong with American. Or, you never touch the stuff and dutifully tote your Sigg everywhere. But again, I'm in between—I drink tap water at home and at work, but if I'm running errands, get thirsty, and didn't think to bring my Sigg, I'll grab a bottle of water (and then recycle it when I'm done).

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! And thanks, especially for the link roundup—I look forward to it!

Paula said...

Thanks for the links - I've read some and look forward to the rest. The one about saving $1000 per year on coffee made me cringe when it suggested re-using your coffee grounds to make more coffee. I suppose adding 50% fresh would help but it can't be appetizing.

Reminds me of the time many years ago when my little one decided to make coffee for me and my husband one morning. He put LOTS of water in the coffeemaker, left the old grounds from the day before, and turned it on. I came downstairs to find an overflowing coffeepot and a little boy who was VERY proud of himself (even though he realized that it didn't look quite right).

Kristine said...

I was so disappointed that the food stamp article. What was the menu? What exactly did they buy? Not enough info to truly be useful.

Oh, and I live reading your roundup every week. Always something interesting.

wosnes said...

I was also disappointed with the food stamp article.

Kristen said...

First time commenter, long time reader here. I wanted to say that I look forward to the Friday "Top Ten" post because it is always an awesome/amusing source of foodie info. But the Hyperbole and a Half fish link — no joke — made me laugh so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. I woke up my fiance and he asked me if I was OK, to which I could barely respond because I was shaking so hard with laughter.

I love your posts, too, and crack up often when reading this blog!

Kris said...

@galnoir: I completely hear you on the latte factor. A lot of personal finance bloggers use coffee/Starbucks to symbolize everyday purchases we don't think much of, but that eventually add up. That wonderful liquid of life takes the brunt of the bad press. Why not bagels or something? P.S. We love our Siggs, too!

@Kristine and wosnes: It was disappointing insofar as instruction, but I still enjoyed the point that you can make gourmet for a little money. Also, I have a weakness for Jose Garces. Understand your critiques, though.

@Kristen: I love that blog so hard I can barely stand it.