Food Blog

KIPlog cooks, eats (and drinks)

Entries from August 2005

Food LInks

August 28th, 2005 · Comments Off

I should note that I’ve found quite a few of these at the excellent My Aim Is True weblog. It’s not a food blog, but one that carries on the tradition of the classic weblog – that of passing on cool links once in awhile. It’s only fair that I steal some of her links since she stole one of my pictures. All is even now.

the (all American) history of shopping (carts)

The Bacon Show “one bacon recipe per day, every day, forever” If that’s not a lofty enough goal, the sidebar is one of the best bacon resources on the web. A site and blog for people who love to cook, love great wines, and who also happen to love Apple Macintosh computers.” They also make a cool looking program with the same name: “Think of MacGourmet as “iTunes for recipes.”MacGourmet helps you create and edit recipes, wine notes and cooking notes, easily browse your entire collection and build your own custom lists for categories like appetizers or desserts.”

Shameless Restaurants “This site is the voice of all struggling bar and restaurant workers.
It is clear that the food industry in our cities has been out of control, and the truth is that many restaurant employers are abusive, sexist, mean, sleazy and crooked, they will take advantage of anyone who is kind, young, naive or new. The fact is the food industry makes billions of dollars from teenagers, college students, immigrants and others who work so hard so some CEO can get richer.” While you’re opening up a can of worms every time you ask people to complain about their jobs, there is some insight here on the back of the house. You might just find out things you don’t want to know about the places you know and love.

The Industry: Killer Tomatoes “Although seedless grapes have been around for more than 100 years, seedless tomatoes aren’t yet commercially available.”

Tropical Fruit Reviews “Just got back from traveling around Asia… Wandering the streets of vast metropoli, exploring obscure corners of ancient ruins, digging my toes into white sand beaches, and pattering around intricately decorated buddhist temples has led me to a new level of enlightenment. I’ve been missing out on some damn good fruit… Here’s a roundup of my favorite new culinary delights, appearing in order of relative deliciousness”

We all need to get ready for Grilled Cheese day on Monday.

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Tags: Food News and Links

Kiwi Beer

August 26th, 2005 · Comments Off

Ugh, look what I missed on my birthday – free beer given out by DB (popular New Zealand beer) on their birthday. Found at – “the leading source for beer industry information in New Zealand. The latest beer news, beer events, listing of New Zealand’s breweries, plus an online beer forum.” From their brewery list I’m glad to see the Shakespeare Tavern, where I lived during the spring of 1987 is still around and brewing. Looks like they just opened a nice boutique hotel on their top floors, which wasn’t that fancy back then.

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Tags: Drink

Food blogging advice

August 25th, 2005 · 1 Comment

Amateur Gourmet has reached his 1000th post and it’s called How to Start a Food Blog. He’s got some good advice for you fledgling bloggers. For lots more detailed advice on food blogging, visit the Food Blog S’cool.

I could spout on here with advice and tips for new bloggers, but the Amateur Gourmet (certainly not an amateur blogger after being that prolific) covers the most important part of blogging – what you get out of it. It’s been said before, blogging helps you become a more knowledgeable writer, a better communicator and in the case of food blogging, a better cook and a better photographer.

I recently made the argument against setting popularity as a goal for blogging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try for greatness, or a book deal. But with the food bloggers population increasing exponentially, you will really have to shine above all the rest.

Here’s a few tips I don’t see in many blog advice posts:

Keep it short. The classic blog post is short, two paragraphs at most. Complicated recipes and 12 course restaurant reviews are obviously going to take more, but if you post essays that run 4 screen-page scrolls every time, readers will start to skim posts. Reread and edit anything that’s redundant, repetitive and that you’ve already said twice. And please people, use the ≤p≥tag. 70 sentence paragraphs are easy to write, but impossible to read. And while I’m at it, use a period once in awhile.

Use some personality. Don’t be afraid to be opinionated, both on your blog and on others, but be respectable, reasonable and likable. People with character become celebrities, or at least they become memorable. That cake recipe that reads the same as a Betty Crooker cookbook isn’t going to make you likable no matter how good it is.

Link, link, link. Links are the currency of the web. So spend. You will be paid back with interest. Link to other bloggers, food products you find interesting, the best recipes, food information etc. It’s not like there’s nothing out here to link to. After you’ve written a recipe look at the words you’ve used and do some googling, you’re guaranteed to find something interesting and useful for your readers. Besides all that, links give readers’ eyes something to fall on if they are skimming, and may pull them into reading in depth.

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Tags: Food Blogs

Food podcasts

August 24th, 2005 · Comments Off

As the world learns a new word, they’ll be evangelists to tell us it will change everything, critics who blast the unprofessionalism, fans who tout the benefits of the everyman having a voice, naysayers who predict a quickly fading fad and prophets who will predict the death of one media due to the birth of a new one. Podcasts aren’t really anything new, audio blogging has been around for awhile. A fellow Chicago non-food blogger with a culinary name – Greasy Skillet was where I first encountered it – around 1999. What’s different now is the device that the media is played on – a portable, personal player, something away from the computer. Critics of podcasts who don’t get it are those who sit in front of their screen trying to listen to a podcast on their computer. That’s not podcasting, that’s playing an audio track while staring at a screen.

Recently I remember someone saying this same thing, on a podcast, I think it was Dave Winer, but one of the differences between podcasting and weblogging is you can’t search (usually) the text and attribute a quote via a link.

Anyway, what does this all have to do with food? The point is to listen to podcasts while doing something else – commuting, walking, cleaning the house or – cooking. That’s why food podcasts are perfect for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You can blast them from your monitor speakers in the other room, plug an MP3 player into a kitchen stereo or boombox or listen to them on a laptop on the kitchen table while you spend a 1/2 hour stirring that risotto. Hopefully they’ll be more step by step, nicely produced cooking casts that might walk you through each step, repeating ingredients as you prep and add them, timing each cooking operation with a nice musical interlude or an historical essay on the ingredients. Until that time here are some casts with people talking about food and drink that you can listen to while you slave over that stove.

Technical note: these links are to websites that have links to the casts, but some may wish to subscribe or download them using iTunes or any other podcast aggregator. Most of these sites have links and advice to help you along your way to listening in.

Editorial note: unlike blogs, podcasts take lots of time to listen and review. Since I haven’t listened to all of these yet, I can’t put up a subjective list of ones I like, just a list of a variety of them.

Eat Feed “Intelligent focus on food”. Chicago based. Listen to their cast on Chicago food.

Winecast An excellent blog as well. The best thing about learning about wine from a podcast – you’ll know how to pronounce them! Probably the single biggest reason why newbie winos are intimidated by the ordering process. I’ve stolen most of the links you see here from his sidebar.

All You Can Eat “is all about food and beverages. On this podcast you will hear feature interviews with chefs, farmers, winemakers, producers and cookbook authors. Sometimes you’ll hear from my taste panel, a regular gathering of friends who compare different brands of foodstuffs. One week it could be fruitcake, the next: meat substitutes. I will also open up my radio archives to bring you documentaries I’ve produced from locations around the world like India, Japan and France.” From Don Genova, the maker of the Pacific Palate blog

Cheers to wine and food “Daily tips and tidbits to celebrate the pleasures of wine and food” Quite a bit of food knowledge here, especially since it’s daily.

Coffee Geek “… the world of true artisan coffee and expresso. Interviews, HowTos, Product Reviews, roundtables with professionals, News and Commentary will turn you into an enlightened coffee aficionado.”

Cooking on the Radio From nearby Naperville.

Craft Beer Radio “The show for craft beer and the craft brewing industry.”

GrapeRadio “three hosts sharing their opinions and experiences with the audience. Show topics review issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends. The hallmark of the show is guest interviews with winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers.”

KCRW’s Good Food

Let’s Get Baked Podcast “with Mat and Dave is Halifax’s premiere vegan baking radio show”

Screwtops These guys are funny and they do what most FCC sanctioned broadcasts don’t – they drink on the air!

Winemaking Radio Beyond just drinking the stuff.

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Tags: Photography

More food blogs

August 24th, 2005 · Comments Off

Yet more food blogs for the list. Don’t feel bad if you asked to be included and aren’t on yet, they’ll be another installment soon.Austin Food Data Bank Austin restaurant reviewsBibliocook Christchurch, New Zealand.Everybody Likes Sandwiches British Columbia, CanadaFork This “food, drink, places”French Food & Lavender “Information, opinions and other musings on French Food, Lavender and related French topics from the owner of Splendid Palate. An informative resource on French food, lavender, France, French cuisine and the French country lifestyle.”Garlicster “is a blog about all things garlic. It contains links to garlic recipes and garlic lovers.”The Hungry Blogger “Where Isabella will share her most intimate thoughts on food, poetry,and la vita bella.” Boston.Makan Kings Kuala Lumpur, KL, MalaysiaMantia’s Musings “A few thoughts on cooking, eating and the world of food from Mantia’s International Foods” Memphis, TennesseeMy Favourite Plum Melbourne, Australianami-nami An Estonian foodie in Edinburgh, ScotlandOne Whole Clove “The sweet and savory experiments of a kitchen addiction.”On the Farm Truffles and Stuff “a New Zealand truffle grower and writer. It’s mostly about truffles, and growing them in New Zealand, but there’s other stuff too…”Sauté “(from the French sauter: to leap) holds a special place for me in cooking. I can think of no more aggressively connected act of cooking than saute: making the food leap from the pan. Only exquisite knifework better exemplifies culinary skill, but of course, knifework is prep.” Austin, Texas.Sean’s FoodBlog NY

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Tags: Food Blogs

Eat Local

August 23rd, 2005 · Comments Off

I haven’t been trying too hard to join in on the Eat Local Challenge. Except for a few vegetables from the farmer’s market or a pepper and a tomato identified in Whole Foods as being local (Indiana), I’ve only been keeping up the challenge when it comes to beer. In particular, Goose Island Last week I had one of the best beers I’ve ever had there – Bourbon Imperial Brown Goose “This special ale was first brewed to commemorate batch #1800 here at the original Goose Island Brewery. This brew is based on our Gold Medal winning (Real ale Fest ’03, GABF ’03) American Brown Ale, Naughty Goose, but with 60% more malt and twice the hops. This version was aged in Jim Beam Barrels for three months.” At 11 percent, this is potent and full of caramel and bourbon flavor, but with the being “cloying” like a strong Belgian. Downright delicious. Also, on their menu is a note that might interest local eaters: “LOCAL FLAVORS SERVED HERE
Using the best ingredients makes a great meal. We proudly partner with
Paulina Market, Stockyards Packing, Intelligentsia Coffee, and
Frontera Foods”.

West North has a post listing a few Chicago food producers that would be cool to tour.

Vital Information has some good posts this month on local food and his how he’s following the challenge.

I like the way a few of the local food companies express their seriousness towards their craft:

The Spice House “The tools of our trade are a series of large stainless-steel scoops, mixing bowls, sifting screens of various mesh sizes, a small vibrating sifter, a collection of old-style stone and shearing mills, and most importantly, our human senses.”

Letizia’s Natural Bakery “Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts!” “We have a strict “No Margarine” policy – everything we make is made with lots of butter and that’s why it tastes great!”

Bobak’s “We at Bobak Sausage Company do not use the terms “Polish Sausage” lightly!”

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Tags: Food News and Links

Food links

August 18th, 2005 · Comments Off

Death by Caffeine Enter your weight and pick a caffeine drink and it will tell you how many of them you shouldn’t drink. Mine: “It would take 235.77 cans of Mountain Dew to put you down.” There’s also a page on energy drink ingredients and a database.

What’s in the foods you eat? Search tool. Find the food code, enter the amount of servings and find out what’s in it. I learned that a Little Debbie Snak Cake has a mg of caffeine.

Here’s a unique use for Flickr – Wine Memory Jogger “I have the damnest time remembering which wine I’d like to buy more of. Add a photo of the wine label, along with your critique, price and where you found it, and if you’d buy it again.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

Local food plugs

August 15th, 2005 · Comments Off

One of my clients, the founder and owner of Harborside Beverage got a feature written on him in the Tribune – He’s not just having a beer ” Some people’s dreams come in the form of the Great American Novel. James Kosin’s dream comes in a 12-ounce bottle.”

Gapers Block lets us know about the rush on Cupcakes, a new gourmet cupcake place in Lakeview. “How we came up with cupcakes, I’m not exactly sure; 7000 miles in a car will send the mind in all kinds of directions. But 9 bears, 7,000 miles of mountains and 1 volkswagen sized moose later, cupcakes it was.”

Chicagoist lets us know about the sweet stuff at the Belmont location of the Oak Mill Bakery.

The Chicago MetroBlog has recently let us know about their favorite local desserts.

And local food knowledge guru Vital information let’s us know about a blog about food on Devon Ave – Eats by East-West “Every week, we sample a different restaurant on Chicago’s Devon Avenue. East to West, either side of the street, all eateries with tables are included. We will record our experiences here, as we explore both the lesser known and popular eateries of this vibrant South Asian neighborhood.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

Restaurant Food Photography

August 12th, 2005 · Comments Off

Not to bring up the whole dining/photography debate, but the Sun Times has an article on the trend “Picture this: Haute cuisine as theater”.

“At Alinea, diners with cameras — and there are plenty of them, Achatz says — are told by staff that picture-taking is fine, but only without flash.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

More food blogs

August 7th, 2005 · Comments Off

Yet even more food blogs to add to the list.Don’t feel bad if you asked, but haven’t been included yet – I’m catching up.The Baker’s Rack “Because my passion is baking” West Texas.BBQ Junkie is a blog that focuses on what’s happening in the Southern California barbecue scene.Beauty, Joy, Food “a celebration of food, health, and literature” Florida.Cook & Eat: attempts of a pseudo chef Perth, Australia.Foo(d) Bar: Yet Another Foodie BlogGluten-free Girl “Food, glorious food…. And now, a glorious life, free of gluten. After a recent bout of horrible pain and not being able to eat–one of a series of inexplicable medical emergencies in the last few years–I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. Now, I feel better than I ever have before. This is an imperfect record of being gluten-free, and alive.” Read her post “what the heck is gluten anyway?” to learn what and where it is. Seattle.Knife Skills, a chef-in-training “Diary of a career change: From The Office to The Kitchen.” Vancouver, BC, CanadaKayak Soup Vancouver, BC, Canadala.foodbloggingokay noodle “a blog of our thoughts on the best places to dine in the San Gabriel valley along with the rest of Los Angeles county.”Poco-cocoa “chocolate covered blog”Rate a Restaurant Los Angeles (with a few reviews outside L.A. too).A Spicy Meatball “My other car is a Kitchen Aid” Los Angeles, California.

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Tags: Food Blogs