offbeat

More Japanese wieners

Following up on my previous post, here are some more recipes that use wiener sausages on Cookpad: continue reading...

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Why do Japanese people like wieners so much?

I often like to peruse the excellent Japanese cooking site Cookpad. Cookpad is a unique cooking community site. The bulk of it consists of cooking blogs, where people post recipes and pictures. People can post short responses to the recipes called tsukurepo, where they show a photo of their attempt making the recipe. A lot of recipes also note which other recipe on the site inspired the poster to come up with theirs. This is what makes the site unique - you can follow a complete genealogy of a recipe, and keep on discovering new variations on themes. continue reading...

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7 non-food things

Some time ago, when there were blog memes galore, I vowed never to do another meme again. Then I got tagged by Mei from mei eats, a really fun food blog from Taipei. So since this gives me a good excuse to link to Mei, here are some non-food facts about your humble author, other than what’s on my about page. continue reading...

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The hoarding habit

The disaster zone kitchen has been largely cleared up now. The kitchen table is still piled up with foodstuffs that need to be re-housed, but otherwise things are mostly back to normal. Except that is for my general will to do some serious cooking. There is something about throwing away bags of ruined flour, sugar, and formerly dry pasta that damages ones will to live, er, that is cook with a light heart.

What I did discover though is that I am a hoarder. With a small household, there’s no need at all to have so many things stockpiled. Why did we even have 6 bags of sugar and buy flour by the ten-pack anyway, when it’s not even cheaper to do so? I don’t bake that much, and I only need sugar in large amounts during jam and preserve making time, which is still weeks down the road. Likewise, we have still 10 cans of tuna when we barely eat the stuff at all. continue reading...

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Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night today

A shoutout to all U.S. readers who have a Baskin Robbins store nearby: tonight (May 2nd) they are holding a 31 cent scoop promotion from 5 pm to 10 pm. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one of the 31 flavors, seduced as I’ve been by richer ice creams, but for 31 cents…why not? Spread the word!

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Tasting Guinness Marmite

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Back in February I reported on the new limited edition Guinness Marmite. Since then, the salty yeast spread connoisseur in me yearned to taste this mysterious combination. Parts of me panicked at the thought of it selling out before I had a chance at it.

Enter my friend Mimi to the rescue. She kindly procured not one, but four, yes 4, 250 gram jars of Guinness Marmite for me, which arrived in the mail today. My first reaction: “ZOMG, a kilo of Marmite!” (That’s about 2.2 lb for the metrically challenged.)

Calming down, I proceeded to inspect it in detail. continue reading...

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The New Jersey Spaghetti Harvest

I couldn’t let Sunday pass by without posting this: the New Jersey Spaghetti Harvest. Oh, the pathos, the corporate evil, the…. Just go watch. Now.

[via raincoaster]

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Enjoy the Swiss spaghetti harvest

This Sunday is April Fool’s Day. Too bad it’s on a weekend, since that reduces the opportunities for good old office fun. I am going to take the weekend off again from the online world, but in the meantime enjoy the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest from the archives. The weather’s been so nice, maybe I’ll go down to the Ticino to check out this year’s crop…

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Tune in to the Big (Cheddar) Cheese

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Don’t forget to tune in to Cheddarvision.tv (previously mentioned on Just Hungry here) today! They are going to turn the Big Cheese over, take a core sample, and see how it’s doing! If they haven’t already…I’m not sure. Was that label on the other end before? (thanks Mimi!) continue reading...

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Fake strawberries

It smells like spring, and it feels like spring. It was so warm today that we left the windows open all day, and the garden is covered with snowdrops and wild pansies. And, there were strawberries! on sale! at the supermarket. They looked so red and tempting, I bought two boxes. By the time they got home though, some were already bruised beyond repair. The rest? Hard and sour, or tasting moldy in an odd way.

I guess I have to wait a couple more months for the real thing.

On a brighter note though, this felt strawberry cake from etsy seller kenshop looks nearly good enough to eat:

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I wonder if I am alone in finding comfort in imitation food when the real thing doesn’t satisfy… continue reading...

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Tiny kaiten sushi-ya

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I normally stay away from kaiten-zushi (kaiten sushi) or conveyor-belt sushi restaurants, since the quality can be iffy. But I could really go for this adorable miniature kaiten-zushi miniature set! (I’m not sure why the itamae-san (sushi chef) has Angelina Jolie lips though….) It’s a new themed set from Re-Ment (US site) (Japanese site), a Japanese company that makes amazingly detailed die-cast miniatures called Puchi Petites, mostly of food and related items like cooking equipment, but of other things too. The miniatures started out as omake, or free gifts that came with the purchase of candy, but the miniatures have become so popular that the candy, while it’s still included, is now a mere afterthought. continue reading...

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Free advice for PR people

Hi there, intrepid PR person who wants to get in on this new “blog marketing” and “viral marketing” thing. I have some free advice for you, especially if you are trying to sell some kind of packaged, manufactured thing that only vaguely resembles real food.

Don’t try to get food bloggers to try your stuff. Or let’s put it this way: the owners of any food blog with a following, a reasonable backlog of articles, and enough traffic and Alexa ranking etc. to matter for you, is likely to be a Food Snob. That’s the kind that your clients dread: they use real food, worry about seasonality (tomatoes in February make them gag), and, worst of all, actually cook. Or if they don’t cook they eat out at places that serve real food. continue reading...

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Almond Poodle

Japanese people have a long standing tradition of adapting words from other languages when a Japanese word or term doesn’t exist for something. The language most often borrowed from is English, but other languages are freely raided too. Often, the original meaning of the word changes quite a bit (see this post on my personal blog about the use of one such word, “mansion”) which can be confusing for the non-Japanese speaker. continue reading...

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Guinness Marmite!

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Wow, look at the gorgeous black and white special edition Guinness Marmite jar! Limited to a run of 300,000 jars, this special blend of Guinness and Marmite is on sale in the U.K. right now. I’m not too sure how different it would be in taste from regular Marmite, which is after all a yeast spread. I’m speculating it might taste like the slightly beer-y Cenovis. Now how to get my hands on one… (link via Coolest Gadgets and The Guinness Blog - yes, Guinness has a blog. The portal is a bugger…just say you are from England, and old enough.) continue reading...

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Flying toasters!

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Not quite food related, but, uhm, it’s about toasters. And toast. This has been around for a few months but what the heck, I just found it today. Retro Toast is a free (Creative Commons) version of the classic early ’90s screensaver, Flying Toasters! Flying toasters, and other After Dark products like their awesome Star Trek themed desktops, were what converted young bratty “but everyone uses Peecees” spouting self permanently to the light (the world of Macs) forever. That was….7 Macs ago. I feel old now. Retro Toast is available for the dark..I mean, Windows, as well as OS X. continue reading...

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Sugar high, really

Since I started my whole get fitter/lighter process last month, I haven’t ingested much sugar. I didn’t avoid it entirely, but was using quite small quantities - a spoonful of jam here, a bit of honey there, that sort of thing. (It’s also hard to avoid all sugar in Japanese cooking - a bit is often added to enhance the flavor.)

I never had a big sweet tooth to start with, so I didn’t really miss sugary snacks that much in a physical sense. But I did miss the whole idea and process of making something sweet, of the house filling up with those smells. Besides, Valentine’s Day is coming up this week and that means chocolate!

So an afternoon of experimentation followed, which resulted in the spiced chocolate cupcakes. The cupcakes were divine, and I overindulged and had three in a row. continue reading...

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The Flying Spaghetti Monster!

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Not quite edible, but how can one resist an animated paper model of that august diety, The Flying Spaghetti Monster? This is the newest paper model by Rob Ives of Flying Pig, a UK company that makes paper animation and other fun paper model kits. This one is available for download/purchase. I have a few of their models and they are a bit fiddly to make, but once they’re done they make adorable accessories for around the desk or cubicle. (Just be sure you put them in a place where someone won’t sit on it…as happened to my Schoedinger’s Cat.) continue reading...

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Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast spreads

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Since it was reported a couple of weeks ago (erroneously, as it turns out) that Vegemite was a banned substance in the U.S., there's been renewed interest in the mysterious black spread from Australia, and its bitter rival in the yeast-extract world from the UK, Marmite. continue reading...

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The U.S. (allegedly) bans Vegemite...can Marmite be far behind?

I really had to look twice at the calendar to make sure I hadn't suddenly skipped ahead a few months to April 1st when I read this news story: continue reading...

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How to behave in a European restaurant, a guide for American (or Japanese) tourists

(Related to my previous post - this is something I was originally going to submit to the How To... event held by ProBlogger, but I ended up posting something else. To be taken it with a big grain of salt.) continue reading...

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BlogDay linking to non-food sites

Today, August 31st, is Blogday 2006, the idea of which is to link to 5 blogs that you would normally not link to on your blog. (The site seems to be having some issues right now, hopefully they will recover before the day is done.) One of my other major passions besides food and cooking is design, and there are a number of great blogs that concentrate on what's new in the design world, from various angles.

It was really hard to pick just five out of many great design blogs, but here are some of the best out there. continue reading...

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Animals need ice treats too

You may have already seen this story about the animals in the Zürich Zoo being fed frozen meat and fruit "alternative ice cream" to cool them down. It seems that this isn't so uncommon. 20 Minuten, a free paper that's distributed in Zürich and other Swiss cities, has a great slide show on their web site of animals cooling down, using ice treats and other ways. continue reading...

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What does that mean? Food terms that make me go "huh?"

Since I started this site almost three years ago, there have been a plethora of food related terms cropping up that I have no idea of the meaning of. This worries me a bit since I'm supposed to be a Serious Foodie. Thankfully, the interweb allows all of us to fake being an expert. Here are a few phrases that have entered my consciousness lately. continue reading...

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World Cup Food!

I'd like to interrupt my long-winded Provence musing with a World Cup food moment. Here in Switzerland, people are going World Cup crazy (well, as crazy as the super-cool Swiss get). Most people are rooting for the Swiss team of course, especially since they are doing very well.

The stores have gotten into the act by offering all kinds of World Cup themed products. Migros, the largest supermarket chain in Switzerland, is selling boiled eggs dyed and decorated with stickers representing the World Cup participating nations. Yes, gold-colored boiled eggs. continue reading...

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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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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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Yes, the pot did survive

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Yes my friends - Swiss stainless steel triumphs over food disaster! Here is a picture of the pot that got a little bit singed a few days ago.

It had to be soaked for about 4 days, and scrubbed a few times to get all the black bits off, but it's as good as new now and back in regular rotation.

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Oops

I'd like to interrupt my usual flow of posts about mostly edible food, to bring you a small culinary disaster.

Badly_burned_pot continue reading...

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Strawberry, strawberry

This monster strawberry, that looks like - and was the size of - 3 regular strawberries all fused together, showed up in a batch bought some days ago, and since then I haven't been able to look at any strawberries at the store without a twinge of fear.

Scary_strawberry continue reading...

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