Friday, February 27, 2009

Design Porn: Hilarious Sleeping Bag

This week's end note isn't so much design porn as it is design hilarity. I think the pictures say it all, so I'm not going to bother even trying to discuss this one!

See more of artist Eiko Ishizawa's work here. It's cool stuff. Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Miracle Berries for Taste Tripping Parties -- Madness!

Today I bring you something that will revolutionize the way you think of tripping. And no, I'm not talking about drugs, per se--I am, however, talking about totally distorting your senses. But in a completely natural, completely legal way. And by distorting all your senses, I really mean, distorting your taste buds. I'm almost in disbelief at home something this cool could be so closely within my reach for so long without my knowing it.

See, these "miracle berries" are farmed in few places around the world, but one of the main farmers shares an area code with me. That's right, the taste altering berries are harvested right in my home county. But alas, the only website selling fresh miracle fruit I've found (the Miami farmer only sells by phone order) takes orders from the UK.

So what do the miracle berries do? Eat one and everything sour will suddenly taste sweet. Everything sweet will suddenly be sweeter! Eat a lime whole, you won't squirm. Even if you're not like me and hate eating sour fruits. People talk about "tasting parties" where you buy a bunch of these and have everyone bring foods whose tastes can be significantly altered by the magic. Sounds like a crazy time!

If you don't want to order the fruit from a random farm, click here for miracle berry dust, which has the same effects in powder form. It's madness, madness I tell you!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Budget Finds: Glass Water Bottles

My office, in its entirety, is a blank canvas waiting to be turned into some chic and fierce. We're all pretty stylish people in the office (at least I'd like to think we are) and the space has yet to really reflect that. One step at a time, we make plans. But until then, I realize that I can start by making my desk a little bit more chic too, and on my own agenda. Now that the clippings from our Christmas tree have long turned yellow and no longer look handsome in my pewter pen holder, I need something else.

I'm completely charmed by these glass water bottles from Crate and Barrel and think they might be the kind of thing that I'm looking for. Let's face it--they're environmentally friendly, really cool looking, will keep my water colder, and will let me get of that ugly Poland Springs bottle that never leaves my desk. From just 7.95 to 15.95, they don't break the bank either!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Link of the Day

Today's link of the day gets you more of a value lunch than even the ramen quiche below. Yes, we're talking cheaper than $0.85. What could be cheaper than $0.85? A free lunch at Quiznos, that's what. Click here to get yours!

Good Enough to Eat... Again! -- Ramen Quiche

I know Good Enough to Eat is usually a Monday thing (every other Monday, at that), but I've decided to switch it up a bit for my own sanity and convenience this week.

Honestly, this week has been more hectic than I could have imagined, and it's only Tuesday. But my workload has literally doubled and with a new freelance project to eat away at my free time, I have less and less time to devote to glorious weeknight meals. It's a good thing I found incredibly cheap already-marinated meats at my gourmet grocer yesterday (like ginger-teriyaki spare ribs for $4 a pound!) but it's also quite fortunate that I found this super dirt cheap recipe, which can easily feed me lunch for an entire week and save me oodles (noodles?) of morning time.

Ramen Quiche
adapted from the Food Network Magazine

What You'll Need...

1 package ramen.........................$0.25
1/2 bunch leafy green.................$1.00
3 eggs...........................................$0.75
1 cup mushrooms, chopped........$1.00
1/2 cup grated parmesan............$2.00
1-2 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Total Cost............................$5.00
Cost Per Serving..................$0.84

What You Do

1. Remove seasoning packet from ramen and soak noodles in a big bowl of hot water to soften. After about 5 to 7 minutes, gently pull apart the noodles and strain.

2. Toss noodles with salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add in veggies and seasoning, and toss.

3. Beat the eggs and add to the mix. Blend all ingredients together until evenly dispersed.

4. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet (medium heat) and pour the mixture in to cook. Press down with spatula if it doesn't seem like it's quite coming together. After about 8 minutes, flip the quiche onto a plate and slide it back onto the skillet so that the opposite side cooks through. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, cut into slices and enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Write Prettily, Be Happy.. Or Something Like That

It's Monday again, and when I'm lagging on sleep and wishing for an extra day to my weekend, I realize I should count my blessings: I'm a lucky gal being able to incorporate so much of what I love into my workday. I'm always advocating that people follow their gut and do what they love, and to get creative when your passions don't seem to be lucrative in any way. Jenna of the blog Love, Jenna is one of those kinds of people. I love pretty handwriting, but who on earth could think of ways to put that to creative, business-minded use? Well, Jenna did.

Look at these gorgeous images and check out her blog here. And, if you're in a pickle about turning your life around during this hideous economic crisis, think of me and Jenna and the rest of us who are finding ways to just do what we love--eat, write, write prettily, whatever. It's always possible.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Design Porn -- Mad Hatter Tea Set

I do wayyy too much internet strolling to ever remember how I find the things that I find, which is particularly sad in the case of these "mad hatters." If the lead led to other equally adorable trinkets... well, I suppose it could have been damaging. Perhaps this is for the best.

Anyhow, these so-called "mad hatters" are a really precious take on the much-loved Alice in Wonderland tea party. If there's one scene in one movie that would spark a food lover's imagination, it could just be that one. It was with that in mind that Jorine Oosterhoff made these teacups, each with their own protective lid. Why the lid? Perhaps to keep your tea from getting cold. Or perhaps to protect candies from being found by the wrong eaters. But really, I think they're just for cuteness. Expensive cuteness, at that--this set of three is on sale for a rather exorbitant $595.00 right here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What The World Eats

Ever since TIME captured Obama's charisma through their brilliant behind-the-scenes photography on the campaign trail, I've been really impressed by the consistently provocative images their photographers manage to capture.

That's probably more true than ever this week, given the first set of photographs by Peter Menzel that form the multi-part project entitled "What the World Eats."

The e-exhibit goes around the world positioning families in front of a spread of food consisting of their weekly intake, providing the total cost and country below. Not only are the products and nutritional values staggeringly different from country to country, but food costs and presumptive breakdowns are fascinating as well.

Take a look at which countries drink more soda. Notice that although the Japanese families eat far more packaged food than expected--interesting, no? If I had to choose, I'd be torn between Italy and Mexico--so many fruits and vegetables (and let's not even mention all that delicious bread in the Italy picture!).

Perhaps my favorite observation--Nissin Cup Noodles in Japan. Aren't those made in the States? And Kosher? They're outsourcing ramen from us??? Click here to find out which photos belong where, check out some more great photos, and see the full stats.

Correction: Turns out this project wasn't done specifically by Time. Rather, Time ran the photos which were created for this book, called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Check out that book here, or check here for some more info. The kind folks with Peter Menzel request that if you continue to share these photos, that you please credit with "Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book 'Hungry Planet.'" Thanks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Budget Finds: Foodzie, AKA Food Lover's Paradise

I'm particularly excited about Budget Finds this week because this wonderful little gem is a whole collection of budget purchases just waiting to be made! Many of you are probably already familiar with one of my favorite sites, etsy, and the wonderful collection of homemade and budget-friendly everythings that it has to share. The one thing etsy is really missing? Food. Sure, they have a food section, and sometimes the offerings are tempting. But searching for food on etsy is nothing like, say, searching for vintage clothing or handmade jewelry on etsy.

That's where Foodzie comes in. Modeled after the super-success of etsy, Foodzie shares both a cutesy name and business model with its predecessor. Search through the various categories--bakery, cheese, olive oils and vinegars--and find a plethora of edible bargains right at your fingertips (er, keyboard keys?).

My favorites? These passionfruit marshmallows combine one of my most constant loves (passionfruit) with one of my obsessions du jour (homemade marshmallows), ringing in at a ridiculously inexpensive $6.00 a dozen with an endorsement from my oh-so-esteemed pseudo-mentor, Ruth Reichl. That's 50 cents a piece, people!!

This pomegranate teriyaki sauce looks absolutely delicious. Without having tasted anything like this before, I can only speculate as to how the sweetness and acidity from the pomegranate would play off of the familiar saltiness of soy. Talk about a complex marinade that'll keep guests guessing--and just for $7.99 right here.

My last pick takes me back to my childhood. It's a blend of multi-colored popcorn, except I'm fairly sure that the only colorful popcorn I had as a kid was artificially colored. I could be wrong. Either way, this cool blend lends its colors to heirloom corn varieties rather than food coloring, and it clocks in at just $4.95 for a pound and a half.

And that's without even touching the chocolate and cheese sections. Trust me, this is one budget find you really won't want to miss!

pssst! Missed the link? Check out Foodzie right here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hearts Made of Hearts, Just For You...

I have to get something off my conscience--I had no intention to leave you all alone for the long weekend! With internet gripes beyond my control, though, I had no choice. I'm sorry, but not terribly so--the ski trip and family visit made the sacrifice very worthwhile!

To make it up to you, I give you a little bit of love leftover from V-day. Tipped over from a friend, I couldn't resist this cheeky anatomical heart made of little candy hearts.

I'm not sure what kind of person has the time to come up with something like this, but thank you Nathan Sawaya for your diligent and amusing efforts. If only this was for purchase, it would be the most perfect gift for TWB...

I hope, dear readers, that you'll accept this belated token of my love and appreciation for you. Check back in tomorrow for some great Budget Finds coverage!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Encounter With Blowfish, Part Two

So finally the chance to eat blowfish was upon us once again. And this time it was no joke—the blowfish was available and about to make its dangerous journey into my tummy. I can’t say I was nervous—I knew I was in good hands. My expectations were tempered by the stories circulating my office—“it doesn’t have any flavor, really,” my one coworker said. Flavor or not, I was there for at least one thing—foodie street cred. And thus our adventure began.

Out came a small hunk of white fish which Suzuki began slicing not too thinly and not too thickly. Topped with a mysterious orange sauce and chopped baby scallions, it really didn’t look intimidating at all. Don’t poisonous things usually look poisonous? I guess that was a good sign.

My fellow foodie and I braced ourselves and, with a quick dip of soy, took what could have been our last bites. (Am I being sufficiently dramatic about this experience? No?? Just wait.) I’d been fairly warned—the taste was… rather absent all together. I’d also been warned about a tingling sensation in the throat… but that was absent too. Did I just ingest a piece of blowfish without tasting or feeling a thing?

I looked over at my friend, who was freaking out way more than me. “My throat is tingling!” she said, but I still felt nothing. “Maybe my lips are a little numb,” I thought, and realized that blowfish toxins would never make my lip numb. It’s not how it works. And so the psychosomatic symptoms came on. Half an hour later I thought maybe my throat was closing up. Could exhaustion be a side effect of blowfish?

Two days later I’m still alive, and still wondering what all the fuss is all about. But at least I met my match—and won! Any other takes better get in line fast—blowfish season only lasts two more weeks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Budget Finds: Last Minute Valentine

I'm a firm believer that sometimes the best presents are the most cost-effective. The first few presents I ever exchanged with TWB could easily fit Budget Finds, and they still remain incredibly memorable years later.

This pretty little key chain from Urban Outfitters has a real aesthetic charm--I love that you can personalize the initial, and the variety of charms from vintage-y and delicate to chunky and glitzy strikes a fun and playful balance. Too many pairs there? That's Valentines Day for ya.

Anyhow, imagine how nice it would be to get one of these with your initial on it... and a key... to your newly-serious boyfriend's apartment... what a moment it would be! A seriously romantic gesture and practical gift all rolled into one!

Key Locket Charm Ring, Urban Outfitters, available at their gazillion stores or right here for $18.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Link of the Day

For all those times that I wondered where the good food was in the Fashion Week tents, here's a lesson to be learned. Even when great food itself is not around, the possibilities still abound. That's a message that Bergdorf Goodman is putting into good practice with their new Fashion Week Tea Service, which is serving up treats inspired by the runway throughout the duration of this season's shows. The Times claims that it's a great idea to eat lookalikes when the real deal isn't in the cards, but at $45-60 for tea service, this may just be another thing to add to the list of "unaffordable beauties."

See more pics and info here.

Neither Fingers not Limes.... Discuss!

I've been eating a lot of limes lately. My boss mentioned that they were good for breaking up phlegm one day and, realizing that I love eating limes anyway, took that as a good excuse to do so. More info than you wanted to hear? Sorry.

But yes, I have a strange but true love for naturally sour and acidic fruits--limes, lemons, passion fruit, you name it. And that's only one of the reasons that these cool new fruits caught my eye....

These, my friends, are called finger limes. The flesh comes in little pebbles rather than segments--they're the caviar of the citrus world, if you will.

Finger limes are produced exclusively in Australia, where they grow in about five common varieties (about 75 supposedly exist, and they range in color from clear to green to purple). Discovered only in the last decade, they're still difficult to find outside of Oz, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my dear Food Emporium will one day stock them alongside their myriad options of bizarre worldly eats. But please, if you happen to see limes masquerading as mini-cucumbers with raspberry-colored insides, let me know?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Good Enough to Eat... Again! -- Pringles Chicken

Well friends, I'm back. The power of antibiotics is a wonderful one :)

I must admit, however, that it's a bit difficult to enjoy food as much as usual when the drugs make your stomach achy and the lingering congestion makes things difficult to taste. I only realized the appropriateness of this recipe in hindsight, but this is a great dish when you want something that's boldly flavorful yet not too heavy on the stomach. The secret lies with a surprising ingredient... Pringles!

Red's Pringles Chicken

What You'll Need

2 Chicken Breasts....................................................... about $4.00
1 short can of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles.........$0.79
1 egg.............................................................................$0.25

Total Cost.....................................................$5.04
Cost per serving............................................$2.52

What You Do

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Clean chicken breasts and trim off excess fat. Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk it.

2. Put all the Pringles in a ziplock baggy, leave a little bit of an opening, and mash up the chips so they reach the size of flaky bread crumbs. Don't pulverize them!

3. Coat the chicken in egg, then dip in the Pringles. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. No seasoning is necessary as the chips have all the flavor you'll need! Enjoy!

PS. The photograph is pre-bake so you can see the texture of the Pringles before baking... the end product is a surprise for you to discover!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sick Leave

I hate to inform you that after having a camera stuck up my nose and down my throat, it has been determined that your dear friend Red has come down with pneumonia. Until the antibiotics kick in, I'll be neglecting you. Will you please accept my apologies?

...Thanks :)