Archive: Food on the Web

Psst. You Got Cukes? I Got Oregano. Wanna Trade?

These are the kind of conversations the folks at Veggie Trader would like you to be having on their new Web site. (Photo courtesy of VeggieTrader) A cross between Freecycle and Craigslist, Veggie Trader is an online classifieds service connecting home gardeners within their respective food sheds. In order to buy, sell or trade (and I think even to browse), you need to register with the site, which is free. Searches can be done by zip code and/or category (e.g. fruit, veg, seeds). If you live in Alabama, for example, and like figs, you might want to get in touch with “Edith,” who reports that her fig tree “will be loaded with figs around the end of July.” According to its blog, VT had 3,000 registered members by the end of May, but the listings remain rather lean in the early days of the site. (To wit: A search for...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 3, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

No More Excuses for Harboring 'Meat Cake'

I wonder what the late comedian George Carlin would think of Still Tasty, a new Web site focused on the shelf life of food. It was in the late 1970s when Carlin coined the expression “meat cake” for those unidentifiable objects left to rot in the fridge. The famous bit can be viewed, below (beginning at :57, 'til 2:17): Fridge neglect is something we’re all guilty of to varying degrees, and it inevitably leaves us in this strange state of panic and guilt, as perfectly good food decays and morphs into science projects and our money literally goes down the garbage disposal. We angst over past-due expiration dates on yogurt containers and we wonder just how long that carry-out container of Asian noodles will last. (Kim O'Donnel) Before February, when Still Tasty launched, there was nary one Web destination for all those nagging food storage/safety conundrums. Home cooks were forced...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 29, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Boiling Recipes Down to a Tweet

In the world of 140 characters or less, the recipe is getting a serious do-over. It’s the raison d’etre for Twitter.com/cookbook, the shrunken down recipe page of the very pro-twitter-lific Maureen Evans, who’s based in Belfast, Ireland. A micro recipe from Maureen Evans's Twitter page. Even for people who edit and write recipes for a living, recipe condensation is an art; here’s my feeble attempt last week, which went well over the Tweet limit: @Jeters Red lentils in a pot w hunk of ginger & cinnamon stick. Cook for about 25 min. @Jeters Cook up pot of rice. cook thinly sliced onions w cumin, coriander, salt. Remove from skillet. Add oil, then saute kale w/ garlic. Chip Brantley and his kitchen crew at Cookthink have issued a challenge to aspiring micro recipe writers: Submit yours here and “We’ll send a book of macro recipes to the person who submits our...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 2, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Writers Making Lemonade Out of Layoff Lemons

(Photobucket) Is the media dying or is the media a-changing? With my feet rooted in word-smithing soil for nearly 16 years, I’d like to think it’s the latter. If it weren’t for this daggonit economic downturn, maybe the lightning-speed changes in the ways and means of how we report the news and tell a story wouldn’t feel like an earthquake, but alas, the volcanic developments in media are unfolding, um, erupting by the hour. In my edible corner of the world, the work of four food writers whose work I had come to know has been snuffed out by the economic grim reaper in less than a month. It would be understandable if any or all of these writers decided to curl up on the couch glued to the Soap Opera Network, but this plucky bunch -- all women -- refuses to sing the layoff blues. In fact, they’re...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 25, 2009; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

Obamafoodorama

I wish I could say I made up this word, but a feisty blogger in Los Angeles beat me to the punch. There’s no dictionary-style definition just yet, but I’m placing my bets that blog minx Eddie Gehman Kohan will get to that in the first year of the Obama administration. Gehman Kohan, a food writer and blogger based in Los Angeles, launched Obamafoodorama on election night as a “daily diary of the Obama foodscape, one byte at a time.” Born out of The Haphazard Gourmet Girls, a group blog on food safety, sustainability and agriculture policy written by Gehman Kohan and her sisters, Pleasant and Meghan (aka 'Cupcake' ) Gehman, Obamafoodorama is everything and anything that makes any agricultural, comestible, edible and gastronomical connection with the First Family. You want to know what Sasha and Malia are having for lunch at Sidwell Friends? You got it. What Obama ate...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 20, 2009; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Much-Needed Tears From 'Onion' Cooking Video

We interrupt our regular program of paper shuffling and dish-towel drama for this special report from the geniuses at Onion News Network (ONN): In the throes of single-handedly packing up the contents of Casa Appetite, I haven't laughed in days, and after watching "Chef Adam Scott" demo the omelet that came to him in a dream, I couldn't stop. Man, I needed that (and just had to share the comic relief). Should I spoil the fun and tell you what my favorite parts are? I think it's when Adam asks "Jim," the apron-donned "Today Now" host to put on his scarf and "get me three pieces of bacon out of the bathroom cabinet" to crumble over the nearly-done omelet. Or is it when Scott says "if you use a fork, Robin Williams is going to come and offer to lend you use his whisk and the two of you will...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 28, 2008; 10:36 PM ET | Comments (19)

Eco-Bite: Nibbles From the Green Eating Blogosphere

This week's Green Plate Special is a selection of eco-minded food blogs, which are cropping up like wild mint. Here's what's catching my eye (and whetting my appetite): "Eat your greens" is the mantra of Envirovore, a new addition to the rapidly expanding EcoGeek family. Written by a trio of women in Montana, the blog is a collection of newsy items from around the country, with a politics-policy bent. To wit: yesteday's post is all about the dairy industry's pursuit of a more sustainable image. Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group is the force behind Mulch, a daily report of what's going on in the world of agriculture and food policy and what the media -- and media makers -- are saying, spinning, spewing. A must-read for Farm Bill drama followers. Underwater sustainability is the primary focus of Sea Notes, blog home for Monterey Bay Aquarium, but author...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 7, 2008; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (4)

Mixing Drinks (and Cooking) From Your iPod

How would you like your digital, downloadable margarita -- straight up or on the rocks? That's the gist of a cocktail recipe book now accessible on your iPod. Originally published as a 128-page hard-cover book in 2006, "101 Margaritas," by drink minx Kim Haasarud, is the latest addition to Raybooks, a line of digital, iPod-able books offered by Durham, N.C.-based Modality, Inc. A photo from the iPod version of "101 Margaritas." (Kim O'Donnel) It brings a whole new meaning to iPod mixology, n'est-ce pas? I've just downloaded Haasarud's book to get a sense of the look, feel and functionality, and I must say, the interface is impressive. It's readable, clear and easy to navigate and includes all the photos from the original book. Pricewise, a Raybook is a tad more than buying the two-year-old print version via amazon.com, where it's presently listed as $10.85, but then you've got to pay...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Sustainable Catch of the Day on Your Phone

The wireless gadgetry that I love to hate (I refer to Mister MA's BlackBerry as his "girlfriend.") has just earned its way back into my good graces. Remember when I was lamenting just a few weeks ago about what a pain it's become to be a seafood shopper? You practically need a degree in marine biology to decipher (and remember) the constantly changing health and eco advisories for all of your favorite fish, a daunting task when all you want to do is grill up some salmon steaks and call it a day. Friend of the Sea's eco-update on cod, via SMS. (Kim O'Donnel) But if you own a cell phone (I think most of us do) or a PDA "girlfriend," your seafood counter confusion may soon be a thing of the past. For basic cell phone users, getting the 411 on tonight's shrimp can be easy as sending a...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 27, 2008; 07:55 AM ET | Comments (9)

Who's Cooking What Online

The big wide world of the Web is in constant motion, which means you practically need running shoes to keep up with the latest greatest sites, blogs and multimedia extravaganzas. Who would have thought just a few years ago we'd need "bookmarking" tools like del.icio.us to keep us Web-organized? The online food universe is no exception; in spite of my Web-surfing vigilance, I often find myself up to my eyeballs with new designs, site navigation, whiz-bang databases and embedded videos. Below, a short list of Web kitchen destinations that have caught my roving eye over the past few months. It takes a village to stay hip and Web-groovy, so please share your online food faves in the comments area below. Today is chat day; join me at 1 ET for What's Cooking Vegetarian. You can use the Web to find a date, a dog sitter or a plumber. Why not...

 

By Kim ODonnel | February 21, 2008; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Veggie Blogosphere

It's that time of the month, which means you, me and other assorted veg-heads gather together 'round the online countertop today at 1 ET and talk about meat-free cooking, eating and shopping. The idea to offer a vegetarian-only chat spawned six years ago as an experiment, but it immediately became clear that there was a hunger for this kind of information and conversation. But what about the other days of the month? How do vegetarians and vegans learn to be better cooks in our online universe? Six years ago, the pickings were slim. Now, the Web is more veg-friendly than ever, particularly with the explosion of food blogs in the past few years. To wit, if you go to blog search engine technorati.com and search for "vegetarian cooking" in its blog directory, you get a search return of 223 blog destinations. So, with such an overgrown garden, how does one...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 26, 2007; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (15)

The Noblest Beans

"You can tell where someone is from by their attitude about beans," argues Steve Sando, owner/founder of Napa, Calif.-based Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food. "Californians and Southwesterners understand that you have a pot of beans like any other veg," Sando explains. "Eastcoasters are freaked out by beans and need a recipe. And if you're from the Midwest, there's zero bean culture." A work of art: Rancho Gordo's Rio Zape beans before cooking. (Kim O'Donnel) Generalizations aside, Sando knows of what he speaks; his life has been nothing but beans for the past 10 years. To be specific, Sando's business is heirloom beans; according to the USDA, the term heirloom plants refers to a) those planted from seeds that have been passed down for more than 50 years and b) open-pollinating, meaning that in addition to sowing seeds of a previous generation, they disperse naturally, by wind, rain and insects,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 12, 2007; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (13)

Del.icio.us Food

For wonkie Web types, this blog post may seem like old newswrap (digital, of course), but I'll take my chances. For the rest of us still trying to catch up with instant messaging and the constantly changing world of Internet technology, del.icio.us may very well be a new item on the menu. Earlier this year, "tag this article" links began to appear on article pages of washingtonpost.com. What this means is that rather than "bookmarking" a url with a Web browser (IE, Firefox, Safari) that appears in difficult to find laundry-list fashion, you "tag" it with del.icio.us. It's Web bookmarking on steroids. Described on its Web site as a "social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share Web pages from a centralized source," del.icio.us works like this: After setting up a free account, you get a personal page for storing Web bookmarks. There's room to make...

 

By Kim ODonnel | August 16, 2006; 09:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

A Blogging Diet

Even a blogger needs to forage for her food. A blog cannot live on one blogger's keystrokes alone. Let's face it; the blogosphere is one enormous communal table, at which bloggers break bread and mooch off each other's plates. To wit, the Web site of Food and Wine magazine features a weekly "Blog Watch," a list of links to five food blogs considered peruse-worthy. Here's a sampler (in no particular order) from my weekly virtual diet, each blog offering unique gastro-literary nutrients and sustenance. Although updated only once, maybe twice a week, Saute Wednesday is an important part of my diet, as it provides a tasty stew of food news, original essays by blogger Bruce Cole and stuff that people are debating in the food world. I feel imbalanced if I don't check it regularly. It's based in San Francisco but has a strong national flavor. The Food Section gets...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 26, 2006; 08:55 AM ET | Comments (5)

 

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