books and media

Reading in brief: Mindless Eating, plus Black Dresses

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (book site) is a scholary yet very entertaining look at why we eat the way we do. I've already incorporated a few ideas from the Mindless Eating book into my plan, such as using smaller plates and cutting down on desktop dining, a major problem for me. We'll see how it works... continue reading...

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The first 100 days

Happy New Year! continue reading...

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TV: Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection

heston1.jpgHeston Blumenthal makes aerated chocolate with a vacuum cleaner, among other things continue reading...

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Yahoo! Food launches

I am on ten gazillion mailing lists about food, and one of those that drifted in this past week was about the launch of Yahoo! Food. My first impression is that it looks great - clean design, not cluttered with moving bits like the Food TV site. It's similar to BBC Food, my current favorite non-blog food site. I particularly like the huge search box on the Yahoo! page, as well as the food related quotes. continue reading...

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TV: Fear of Fanny - resurrecting Fanny Cradock

Mark Gatiss as Johnnie and Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock on Fear of Fanny

Fear of Fanny is the second in a series of biopics being aired by BBC Four this month. This time, the subject is Fanny Cradock, who ruled as a TV chef in the U.K. in the '60s to the '70s. continue reading...

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TV: The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton

mrsbeeton.jpg Mrs. Beeton attempts to hack off the head of a turtle, one of the skills required of a homemaker in Victorian times, as her maid looks on anxiously. (don't worry, she couldn't go through with it) continue reading...

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A week of foodie inserts in The Guardian

If you live in the U.K., (or elsewhere where they sell U.K. newspapers complete with inserts) get ready for a week of food-related inserts starting tomorrow in The Guardian.

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Isabella Beeton, Fanny Cradock, and Elizabeth David on the BBC

fannycradock_bbc.jpg Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock in Fear of Fanny continue reading...

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Reading: Heat

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Heat book coverIt has actually been a while since I last put down Heat - or to give its full title, Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.

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Food and being green on the BBC

I am eternally grateful that the BBC broadcasts free-to-air on satellite, and that I live within reception range. I feel a bit guilty that I don't have to pay anything to view the Beeb as UK residents do, and believe me if they started to bill me something I'd pay it without question. The BBC has the best programming, bar none, of any network I've ever seen in any country. (I'm even a closet East Enders watcher, but don't tell anyone.) continue reading...

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Review: ThisNext

thisnextlogo.gifThisNext is a brand new social shopping site that just officially opened last week. I have been using it for a little while now - it powers the Japanese Snacks feature you see on the sidebar of this site. continue reading...

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Why Hell's Kitchen is not a real food show

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon (mainly because I'm avoiding the task of Defrosting the Freezer...more about that later) and I'm sitting here contemplating TV Reality Cooking Shows.

Someone who had read my rather detailed reviews of Top Chef, as well as my adventures following the BBC Masterchef challenges, asked me recently why I didn't do similar reviews of Hell's Kitchen. continue reading...

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A Celebration of Life's Simple Pleasures at the 92nd Street Y

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This evening I went to a panel discussion about food writing at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side of New York. The title of the program was "A Celebration of Life's Simple Pleasures: Good Food and Good Writing".

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra

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Veggies are good for you. They are also pretty to look at. But did you know you can also listen to them?

The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra (Das Erste Wiener Gemüseorchester) is an Austrian group that makes music with vegetables. continue reading...

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Do you care what "celebrities" cook?

I am still buried in work and I haven’t surfaced yet. But anyway! It seems that there is yet another cooking show starting tonight in the U.S. on NBC, called Celebrity Cooking Showdown. It features your usual array of D-list “celebrities”, working with some of your usual gang of Chefs That Like To Appear On TV.

I ask the question though…do you care at to see “celebrities” cooking? Do you care if they can even cook or not? I don’t, in the slightest. continue reading...

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2006 James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award Nominees

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The James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award nominee list is out now. I've only read a couple of these, but can recommend them highly. The first, Hungry Planet, is not a cookbook, but rather a fascinating book about food and the way people around the world consume it and buy it. I wrote an in-depth review of it previously.

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The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

spaghetti_harvest1.jpg Today is April Fool's Day of course. Every year this day rolls around I remember the best food-related April Fool's hoax ever: the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest documentary broadcast by the BBC. continue reading...

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Closing thoughts on my MasterChef challenge

Seven weeks ago, when the second season of the UK food contest show MasterChef Goes Large started, I set myself a personal challenge: to play along and make a dish (or for the last week, 2 dishes) with the list of ingredients provided in the Invention Test that was the first part of the preliminary rounds. I've made 26 different dishes, based on 23 different ingredient lists (I skipped one day). continue reading...

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Cookbook meme (months late)

Talk about being behind. I was offline for much of June and July, and didn't even realize I had been tagged by Helen of Grab Your Fork for this way back then, until I was looking up something and stumbled on it. If someone else tagged me also I apologize. I have been tagged for other memes but being perpetually behind on my reading, I've decided to give most of them a miss. This one I couldn't pass up though.

So here we go: continue reading...

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Reading: Hungry Planet

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Reading: Michelin Red Guide New York

The Michelin Red Guides are considered to be bibles for dining and hotels throughout many European countries - France in particular of course, but also in the U.K., Germany, and other places. Their first North American edition is out now, for - where else - New York City. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago when I was in New York, and I've had a chance finally to peruse it thoroughly.

I have to say I'm quite disappointed. continue reading...

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The expanding crêpe waistline

Brnstwm

Ever since my last posting about crêpes, I have been sadly overindulging on the round, flat buttery goodness of them. My downfall was when I found a frozen stack of them tucked away in the corner of the freezer. Crêpes do freeze well (heavily wrapped to protect them against the dreaded effects of frostbite) and heat up nicely in a dry pan or, if you are in a hurry, the microwave. continue reading...

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Reading: Feast and Toast

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I've recently re-read two books about food, that are not cookbooks. One of them is a book that I must have picked up some years ago, probably during one of my bargain bin raids at Barnes & Noble or a similar store. It's called Feast Here Awhile: Adventures in American Eating, by Jo Brans.

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Reading: M.F.K. Fisher, the greatest of them all

Quite a few people have pointed out that the title (and the subheading) of this site are quotes from M.F.K. Fisher, one of my favorite authors period, not limited to just food-genre writing. I've neglected to give her the proper attributions however. Here they are, finally:

The title "I was just really very hungry" is taken from the title of one of her travel essays, "I Was Really Very Hungry", which is included in As They Were. continue reading...

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