Posts Tagged 'Food'

Japanese bento: an excuse to play with your food

I recently came across Japanese bento photography on Flickr and became intrigued with the intricacies of this cultural tradition. First, what is bento? In a nutshell it’s a combination of food items tucked into a container. The bento can be fairly simple or it can be an elaborate work of art. Wikipedia describes it in more detail:

A single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋, bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Flickr:

Geese bento, photo by kitsa_sakurako via Flickr

Cute animals, photo by soulstruck via Flickr

Halloween bento

Halloween, photo by pkoceres via Flickr

Sandwich bento

Sandwich man, photo by kitsa_sakurako via Flickr

Preschooler bento

Sesame street, photo by cuteobento via Flickr

Preschooler bento

Elmo and friends, photo by lovebones via Flickr

Fun & Creative Superbowl Snacks

Looking to get in touch with your creative side for this year’s Superbowl food line-up? Check out some of these fun recipes:

Ritz Cheesy Football

Recipe from Food Network

Ritz Cheesy Football

Ritz Cheesy Football from Food Network

Salad on a Stick

Recipe from Food Network

Salad on a Stick from Food Network

Perky Olive Penguins

Recipe from RecipeZaar

Perky Olive Penguins from RecipeZaar

Super Bowl

Recipe from Food Network

Super Bowl from Food Network

And the best for last… albeit a little over the top:

The Greatest Snack Food Stadium Ever Built

Recipe from Holy Taco

The Greatest Snack Food Stadium Ever Built by Holy Taco

Domino’s New Pizza

Today we figured we’d give the new Domino’s pizza a try. Reluctantly. We certainly weren’t the biggest fan of Domino’s. In fact, we had always hated it. Despite the negativity toward Domino’s, we thought we’d give them a second chance. To our surprise, it was a very pleasant experience. However, we couldn’t resist a laugh when we saw how they computed the price, but the online tracker really made up for it. See picture for reference (click to zoom in):

Domino's New Pizza Tracker

Our pizza arrived quickly and was presented to us by a very kind delivery man. So far, so good. On to the true test, what did the pizza look like?

New dominos pizza. Pizza on the right is thin-crust with green peppers and pepperoni. On the left: original crust with jalapenos and pineapple.

A big improvement from the old pizza. The flavors were a lot more sophisticated. Certainly not your top-notch pizza, but much better. I would say that the thin crust tasted a lot more gourmet than the regular crust. The regular crust pizza resembled a mash-up of Domino’s and Papa John’s pizza, so I’d probably stray away from that next time, just my preference. Down to the real question: would we order it again? Yes.

Oreo Cookie Cake Pan

Picture 1

Oreo cookie lovers, rejoice! You can imitate the look (and taste, if you wish) of an oreo cookie with this cake pan. Available at Williams-Sonoma for $29.95.

Orange Peeler Art

Orange Peeler

This modern stainless steel appliance is the perfect excuse to play with your food. You can carve designs into orange rinds as well as other citrus fruits. It’s shallow enough that it won’t puncture into the actual orange fruit itself, so carve away! Available at Alessi for $27.00.

Fall Wedding Mood Board

Since I’m in the beginning stages of planning a wedding, I’ve started to visualize what might be nice for our special day. Here’s what I call a wedding mood board. I’m open to any bits of advice you may have for fall weddings.

Wedding Mood Board, originally uploaded by  Refined Designer.

Vending Machine Makes Pizza in 2.5 Minutes

Looks like Pizza Hut may be getting a run for their money. Apparently there is a new type of vending machine on the market that makes piping hot pizza pies in less than three minutes for only around $5 bucks. There are four different types of pizza and each are made fresh; the robot prepares the dough, pours the sauce, sprinkles the cheese and bakes. The vending machine is currently only in Europe (Italy), but the owner plans to bring it to America. Check out the photos for yourself:

lets-pizza-by-claudio-torghele

lets-pizza-vending-machine-01

You can view the full article at Dvice.com, “Pizza-making vending machine serves fresh pies in three minutes.

[PICS] Food Portions Then & Now

200-calories

What do 200 calories look like?

Visiting with my boyfriend’s parents this weekend tempted me to revisit the portion control post from back in December 2008. His mother and I talked about the sobering reality of an American portion size. Here’s a visual representation from author Liz Monte of DivineCaroline.com of what a portion used to be twenty years ago versus now:

picture-1

Pizza

picture-2

Cup of Coffee

picture-3

Popcorn

picture-4

Bagel

picture-5

Soda/Pop

Coffee Lids Revisited: McDonald’s

Photos Louise Harpman and Scott Specht.

Photos Louise Harpman and Scott Specht.

When I first blogged about the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks Coffee Lids, I explained that I rate beverage product packaging based on the ability to function well while traveling. This morning, I took advantage of McDonald’s free medium cup of coffee special for the month of February (I would link to a reputable article about it, but it appears that the McDonalds’ marketing team decided to promote this deal purely through viral marketing).

After the McDonald’s employee handed me my coffee cup, I realized that the lid has no hole — that is, until I’m ready to puncture it to consume my coffee. While one consumer complained that the lid does not allow for safe slurping of hot beverages, I beg to differ. The lid does well in traveling safely without spilling coffee. My new rating for beverage product packaging, with #1 being the best, is:

1) Dunkin Donuts

2) McDonald’s

3) Starbucks

Judging from the comments and other blogs on the web, it seems like many people have an opinion about the design and functionality of coffee lids. Which one do you think is more important? Design or functionality?

For further reading, check out this article, Peel, Pucker, Pinch, Puncture.” A little outdated, but offers an extensive analysis of what should go into the engineering of lid design.

Fat Americans, Fatter Portion Sizes

Typical All-American Burger

Typical All-American Burger

With many restaurants and fast food chains offering meals that can be two to three times larger than a single serving, it’s no surprise that America’s nationwide obesity crisis is in full effect. For a reality check, learn about what a portion size really should be.

1 Serving of meat, fish, or poultry:
cards-main_full

Deck of Cards

Continue reading ‘Fat Americans, Fatter Portion Sizes’


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