Food & Recipes

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The Popsicle Story

May 2, 2017

As luck would have it, some of the best inventions that are part of our lives actually happened by accident. Who could possibly imagine going through a day without Kool-Aid, penicillin, microwave ovens, ice cream cones, Post it notes, potato chips, Super Glue, Slinkies or heaven forbid… no Popsicles?

The Cold Start of a Legend

The Popsicle was “invented” in 1905 by an industrious 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson during an unseasonably cold San Francisco evening. After accidentally leaving his fruit drink in a cup on the front porch overnight, he discovered that the juice had frozen around the wooden stir stick. The next morning, he pulled the frozen drink out of the cup by the stick and voila… the first Popsicle was discovered!

Epperson’s invention took the neighborhood by storm as the “Eppsicle,” but it wasn’t until 1923 while running a lemonade stand at the Neptune Beach amusement park in Oakland, California that he realized the money making potential of his discovery. His children grew to love the cool treat, begging him for one of “Pop’s ‘sicles,” so in 1924, Epperson applied for the first patent of the “Popsicle” – the first “drink on a stick.” read more

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Betty Crocker Means Good Nutrition

November 11, 2016

As a rambunctious kid growing up in southern California, I was lucky enough to live at home under the loving dictatorship of two middle-income parents. In exchange for a few menial tasks like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and cleaning out the septic tank, my parents gave me a comfortable place to live, a weekly allowance and home cooked meals.

After I joined the Navy, it still didn’t dawn on me that I couldn’t cook. Why would it? Every day at five o’clock, we sauntered over to the mess hall, grabbed a dented aluminum tray, a knife and a spork and stood in line for whatever slop they were pushing on us that night. We spent the rest of the evening debating over exactly what it was that we just ate and how bad it tasted. But at least I didn’t have to prepare it.

It wasn’t until several years later that I had to figure out how to feed myself. By the end of my tour of military duty, I was too old to go back home and couldn’t afford a personal chef, so I was on my own. I’d either have to get married, learn how to cook or wither away to nothing. read more

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The $84 Windpipe

July 11, 2016

“Never eat at a restaurant where the waiters wear spoons around their necks.”

That was the cost-conscious advice my rabbi proffered as I was trying to decide where to celebrate the first day of my girlfriend’s Rumspringa. I met Abhilasha Maddox online through and wanted to mask my stinginess by treating her to an upscale dinner at Reynaldo’s. My hope was that she would abandon her religious way of life to come live with me in the room I rented from my parents.

As it turns out, my rabbi wasn’t referring to a waiter – the correct term is sommelier – and Reynaldo’s was crawling with them. Plus, those weren’t spoons around their necks – they were “tastevins” – shallow, engraved cups designed to help embrace the appearance, aroma, finish, complexity, character, romance, potential or faults of a wine when determining what pairs best with Beluga, agar-agar or fachaud-froid. I had no idea that an alcoholic beverage could have character or romance. What I did know was this dinner was going to vaporize the down payment I’d saved for my house, so I’d better enjoy it. read more

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Sweeping Rule Changes for Eating Competitions

April 15, 2016

New York, New York – The world of competitive eating shocked the sports world yesterday when the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating) announced widespread changes to the sport of professional gurgitation.

“Due to the cutthroat nature of some of our competitors, the IFOCE has been forced to up the ante in all its sanctioned events by adding several new categories,” said George Shea, Chairman of the IFOCE. In an update posted on the Federation’s website, Major League Eating, Shea wrote, “Up until now, natural food products in various forms and methods of preparation were sufficient to challenge professional eaters from around the globe. But with the records falling at a startling rate, we’ve decided to increase the competition by including items, generally not considered food – at least in America.”

What Shea is referring to is the addition of three new gustatory categories: insects & reptiles, animal sweetbreads and non-organic hardware.

The additional categories were added in an attempt to challenge the numerous eating records held for baked beans, butter, cheesecake, beef tongue, hard boiled eggs, hot dogs, buffalo wings, brats, cannoli, catfish, chili cheese fries, corned dogs, crawfish, deep-fried okra, cream filled donuts, fruitcake, garlicky greens, grits, haggis, huevos rancheros, jalapeno peppers, key lime pie, Mars bars, meatballs, sour pickles, reindeer sausage, rocky mountain oysters and spam. “There’s one little lady named Sonya Thomas who ate over 9 pounds of Jambalaya last summer in 10 minutes,” complained Shea. “Who in the heck can compete with that? And, another guy downed 45 conch fritters in less than 6 minutes! I don’t know what a conch fritter is, but he ate a lot of them.” read more

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Daring Dining

February 17, 2016

Entertaining out of town guests can be difficult. Especially when it comes to finding original, trendy places to dine. After all, once you’ve had one surf & turf, you’ve had them all. Fortunately, the food and beverage industry is never at a loss for new and unusual places to eat. Here’s a list of my favorite new restaurants. Admittedly, I haven’t been to them all, but they’re on my bucket list.

The Heart Attack Grill – Dallas, Texas and Chandler, Arizona

The Heart Attack Grill makes no apologies for its menu. In fact, every featured item embraces an unhealthy diet. Located in Chandler, Arizona and Dallas, Texas, the Heart Attack Grill includes items like the Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass Burgers that can have as much as two pounds of beef and have over 8,000 calories. Accompany your burger with an order of Flatliner Fries (cooked in pure lard), a pure Butterfat Shake or a tall glass of full sugar Coca-Cola® and you’ll be well on your way to heart disease. As an added bonus, anyone who finishes a Quadruple Bypass Burger receives a free ride to their car in a wheelchair. read more

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