Food Huggers Help Keep Cut Produce and Open Containers Fresh

I think I'm unreasonably excited about this. Maybe it's just because I love things that fit perfectly into other things

Know Your Sweets: Angel Food Cake

These were a staple of childhood birthdays in my house -- and we loved it -- though in retrospect it was all just a trick to steer us away from sugary frosting.

Ask the Food Lab: What's the Point of Bay Leaves?

Wow we got the opposite of the poison story. When one of my siblings complained because there was a leaf in their stew, my mom adlibbed "ohh you got the lucky bay leaf." For the rest of childhood, my mom had to make sure there were 3 bay leaves in everything or face insufferable whining from the other two children. God help her if one of us found 2 leaves in our dish.

Make Meyer Lemon Bitters This Weekend

Those are Meyer lemons? The Meyers we get in Chicago are a much more buttery yellow, as opposed to that, well, lemon yellow.

Staff Picks: What's Your Least Favorite Dessert?

@ephraim, that sounds convincing, but it doesn't explain the bizarrely bitter, not sweet dessert items that my coworkers bring back from Korea sometimes, a country that certainly has intense flavor in its cuisine. Those were the only things I could think of (aside from just bad quality dessert) when looking at the slideshow.

Poll: Do You Send Your Burger Back if It's Not Cooked to Your Requested Doneness?

There needs to be a third option: only if it's egregious.

@ccbweb, are you on immunosuppressants? I had a stem cell transplant last year and am on tacrolimus, so I feel you. I've had some mid-rare steak at home where I know it's been handled properly, but otherwise my burger orders have also had to change to medium or better.

Frankly though, like others have mentioned, I'm more worried about contaminated raw produce -- the lemon that goes into water is a sneaky offender -- or items like salt shakers or condiment bottles that get repeatedly handled and refilled but not washed.

Serious Cheese: Be My Cheesy Valentine

*this is. Too busy drooling to bother typing coherently

Serious Cheese: Be My Cheesy Valentine

Is is the sexiest article I've ever read.

Staff Picks: What's Your Favorite Soup in Chicago?

No love for Soupbox? Might not be super fancy, but it's darn good and the staff is always really friendly.
The ramen at Kabocha is good.
The Gage always has great soups. Their lunch special is well worth it.
Bittersweet (a bakery) has a cute cafe with a small menu, and I've always liked the soup.

The Vegan Experience: The Three Types of Servers

Interesting discussion! Just wanted to chime in that there are dummies on the customer side of things, too. When discussing allergies with him, a server at a Korean restaurant once told me about a customer who, upon receiving his food, asked "Hey there's no shrimp or chilies in any of this right? I'm pretty allergic." Facepalm.

The Vegan Experience: How to Cook Crispy Tofu Worth Eating

as well as the flavor gained by tossing the broccoli into the air, allowing the hot air rising from the burners to vaporize some of the micro-particles of oil that get sprayed up during the process.

This runs counter to my stir fry method of dumpling stuff in with a hand in an industrial oven mitt while holding up a splatter screen like a shield. Drop screen on to pan as fast as possible then cower out of the way until the splatter noises calm down.

Why yes, I have been burned by hot oil, why do you ask? But really, I shudder to think of the mess from those delicious airborne particles you speak of. Even with my above method, there's a halo of grease around the stove. Broccoli acrobatics would just send it into orbit. Also, much spilled broccoli. Very mess.

The Science of Jello Shots

So glad you mentioned jelly shot test kitchen. They had a great blog that's no longer updated but still live. Some very creative stuff on there.

Hey Chicago, What Should We Eat in 2014?

Seeing some more coverage of the suburbs would be fun. Even we city dwellers occasionally venture out there and it would be nice to know fun places to go when out visiting family, coming back from IKEA, on the way to the outlets...

You could feature a certain suburb and tell us about the different options there. It would be great if I could come here, look up Gurnee or Lake Bluff or wherever, and see what places sound good in a list.

Also, more Chicago dogs. Meaning puppies of course. Why is all the canine cuteness stationed in New York?

16 Sparkling Cocktails to Dazzle Your Party Guests

I tried out the Blur over turkey day. It's pretty tasty and looks great in a glass.

What Happens When a Restaurant Celebrates Colonial Kitsch?

Questionable as these practices may be, there's clearly a large grey area between ignoring historical fusion and celebrating imperialism itself.

Umm, how does that come across as preachy or leftist, asterik and gaffer? Acknowledging a gray area seems like a pretty moderate standpoint.

Classic Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish From 'The New Midwestern Table'

Perhaps this is cheating, since a hotdish is simply a casserole with a cute name

Yeah, my first thought upon reading the title of this post was "sounds like someone's trying to rebrand the casserole." Frankly, I think casserole sounds better. "Hotdish" sounds like some kind of questionable school lunch option: Salisbury steak hotdish with creamed vegetable medley, anyone?

Does The Doughnut Vault Serve the Best Doughnut in America?

@tom dunne, The circle of failure is now complete!


Another good Chicago spot for donuts is Endgrain in Roscoe Village. Some of them are made with their homemade biscuit dough. Ssssso good

Show and Tell: Your Home Bar

Oh god, I can't even look at this. I rarely drink the hard stuff, and yet I still have ridiculous fantasies about Don and Peggy coming over to drink from my immaculately well-stocked bar with beautiful decanters. It's a fantasy that's entirely about shiny objects and mild OCD. It's gotten so bad that I've referred to a certain model of a bar cart at Crate & Barrel as "my bar" for quite a few years now.

Open Thread: What's Your Most Memorable College Dining Experience?

Two words: s'mores ravioli.

Even after 4 years there, you can't make me care about football to save my life, but just mention those dessert s'mores, and I melt like a toasted marshmallow: love thee, Notre Dame.

Where to Eat in Your College Town

I clicked just to see which schools had the most outcry for being unceremoniously excluded :)

I second the suggeston for Notre Dame. My mom grew up in South Bend and helped us navigate to some lesser known gems while all the rest of the football-loving world was crowded into the same usual suspects on game weekends.

Lunch in the Loop: Impressing the Parents at The Gage

Funny, I also spent my Labor Day at the Gage and Art Institute, but with my brother instead of my parents. All the cool kids are doing it.

An Ode to The Charleston, a Neighborhood Bar in Chicago's Bucktown

I used to go regularly because it was nonsmoking before it was the law. Remember smoky bars? Blech.

I thought it looked a little more polished than I remembered it. It looks nice, but I can't help but feel nostalgic when bars get makeovers. I remember when Sheffield's was a warren of more than mismatched tables, but also weird custom booths in the front windows, weird artwork, a weird nook in the back of the front room ... It just makes me a little wistful to see all the original, maybe tacky charm replaced with more tasteful charm.

First Look: Underground Tiki Cocktails at Three Dots and A Dash, Chicago

I had no idea that Trader Vic's closed. I was there once years ago for some lazy mid-afternoon drinks and have always wanted to go back. Glad there's another option again, especially one with a banana dolphin. The next banana I see is getting whittled into a dolphin.

Any word on where the bar's name came from?

Trademarking Food Products

I work in branding, so bear with me while I ramble:

You can't trademark a word or words that are so generic that they describe a category.
Hamburger can't be trademarked. Superstar Burger could be.
Bacon Burger: nope. Oinkity Oink Burger: yep.

To make it more confusing, names can be duplicated across different industries if the products or services don't compete with each other. This is why there's an Apple Vacations, Apple Recording, and Apple Computers -- and also why the sh*t hit the fan when iTunes started selling MP3s, because music sales was the record company's territory.

I don't know enough about the kale story specifically to comment on it, but can tell you parodies and satires are protected by law because they transform the meaning of the source material by making a commentary on the source. Works like Warhol's are protected in the same manner because they're referential -- they assume their audience's familiarity with the source so that the new work is a commentary on the original. This is different from plagiarism because plagarists don't acknowledge that their ideas are derivative and try to get away with taking credit for them.

Now, where commentaries are not protected is when they're trying to capitalize off a known brand by misleading consumers into thinking that their product or service is associated with the known brand. This is why the restaurant McDougal's appears in Coming To America -- it's a parody of McDonald's -- but not in real life, where its name, its product names, its logo, and the colors of its branding would be misleading customers into thinking they really were the more famous company.

Easy Grilled Cornish Hens and Zucchini with Greek Marinade, Tzatziki, and Greek Salad

The prep was pretty simple and it came out juicy and delicious

My first taste of Meyer lemon?

I've read so much about Meyer lemons, but never tried one, so when I saw them at the store yesterday I had to grab one.

Having never tasted one before, what's the best way to first experience it? I know it's sweeter than your typical lemon, but I figured I still shouldn't just bite into it like any other fruit, yet I also don't want to make something too strong or convoluted that doesn't let me taste the difference between it and your run-of-the-mill lemon.

Suggestions and/or recipes would be greatly appreciated!