Our favorite products, gadgets, restaurants, bars, wine, beer, and food websites and blogs.
When a new home cook asks more experienced friends what's the one true cookbook to have within arm's reach, the answer is generally Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (that is, if it's not Cook's Illustrated's Best Recipe). But at 1,000-plus pages, that thing's a monster; a pain to lug around or to drag on and off the shelf. The new How to Cook Everything app is more like it. There are sensible browsing categories (most popular, quick dinners), and a simple search interface to help you paw through its 2,000 recipes. One neat feature: When you start on a recipe you can click to start a timer, great for absentminded and/or drunk cooks.
All the information for the app is stored on your phone. You needn't have a connection to access any of the information, a plus for those watching minutes.
How to Cook Everything, $4.99
In a move that is sure to add at least +5 to Jones's cred with RPG fans, the company has released Dungeons & Dragons–themed sodas in a "Spellcasting Soda" limited edition pack. Because there's nothing like a cold Potion of Healing for a little refreshment. Or a bottle of Illithid Brain Juice to keep you sharp during the afternoon slump.
Jones Spellcasting Soda, $10.99 for a six-pack
Nothing says summer like the feeling of grape popsicle runoff on your bare toes. Stylish ladies and gents, you can now take advantage of the "big ring" thing going on in fashion right now and eat icy juice products at the same time. Find fun flavors to experiment with, even alcoholic ones, at Pops! cookbook author Krystina Castella's website. Then mold them with these.
Tovolo Freezer Jewel Pops, $10
Once the massively unhip province of Nick at Nite TV moms like June or Donna, pretty femme aprons are staging something of a return. They have their own blogs, art exhibits, media attention, pages on Facebook.
The ultimate kiss of mod approval: the crafty clothing/housewares chain Anthropologie's line of delicious vintage-look aprons. Every design would inspire one to throw dinner parties for the sole purpose of being seen in these beauties, but the Owl Invasion model has my credit card calling to me.
Owl Invasion Apron, $38
PDX-ers, you have my dream neighborhood beer spot. How had I never heard of the Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern on Killingsworth Street before last week's trip to the IACP awards? While at first it looked like it might be trying a little too hard with its predictable deer-antler motif and "cool" beer schwag stuck up everywhere, the food, beer selection, and laid-back staff proved the place to be everything I want in a beer joint. READ MORE
Antique plates have gone from old-fashioned snooze-inducers to wondrous platters of nostalgia by the simple application of characters from the original Star Wars trilogy.
Etsy seller BeatUpCreations offers a simple, healing promise: Never again will you need to yearn impotently for a rose-embellished scalloped plate featuring a photo-quality reproduction of Chewbacca's grimacing face. Check out the rest of BeatUpCreations' shop for a lovely plate featuring R2-D2 on a Renaissance lady's lap, as well as a Little Yoda Blue Boy platter.
via Daddy Likey
I am restraining myself from impulse-buying just about every tea towel from this British shop, ToDryFor.com. I particularly am drawn to the line by Gillian Kyle that has Scottish import foods illustrations. See, you can get a Scottish breakfast emblazoned on your dishrag, or in this case, a Scottish tea cake.
If you haven't had a Tunnock's, you should seek one out: shortbread cookies covered with a glob of marshmallow-y business, and then enrobed in chocolate.
Tunnock's Tea Towel, £7.50.
The third volume in the Canal House Cooking series of book-meets-quarterly-magazines is out with the same down-to-earth feel as the previous volumes. It's full of recipes perfect for the transition from winter into spring, like steamed fish with buttery sorrel sauce, lime curd tart, rhubarb roasted in red wine with vanilla bean for spooning over yogurt or pound cake, and focaccia topped with paper-thin slices of lemon. It would make a perfect host/hostess gift.
Canal House Cooking Volume 3, $19.95
adapted from Canal House Cooking Vol. 3 by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Thickly slice 2 pounds of rhubarb and put it into a deep oven-proof pot. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup red wine. Split open 1 or 2 vanilla beans and add them to the rhubarb. Roast the rhubarb until very tender, about 30 minutes.
If you're throwing a barbecue and you're anything like me, you've got some random wine bottles open, getting warm in the sun, or stuff stashed in some broken, ghetto plastic cooler full of half-open bags of party ice. Shouldn't we all strive for a better life? Imagine if you could chill your Lillet and Pinot Gris right there on the patio, in a classy hammered aluminum drink bucket by Roost? (Note to self: Remember to serve Lillet at next barbecue.)
The Pasha Wine and Party Buckets, $77-$143