Currently viewing the category: "Food & Wine"

« A truly fine meal is enjoyed not once but three times, in anticipation, in consumption, and in remembrance »

Dear followers,

As you might know, I love food, and I love Excel (yes, Excel!), and as such I have a very strong tendency to record, rate and recommend all my favorite restaurants and bars using spreadsheets. (Happy to share them with you, current ‘shareable’ spreadsheets are Paris and London, still working on NY, Dubai and Marrakesh!)

I recently decided that the only missing feature to my little notes was a map, so I could look up what in my favorites or to do list was close by if I was in an area.

Of course, Google having a response to (pretty much) everything, you can create your maps using « My Places » in Google Maps. So here is my Paris Shortlist, in blue are my shortlisted places and in red my to-do list!

Any suggestions please comment on this article and I will gladly add it to my map (even better if you want to go and try it out with me!).

Cheers,
Ambre



View Ambrouille’s Paris Shortlist in a larger map

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Bon, après avoir envoyé a plusieurs personnes ma petite recette secrète de cookies (and as today, the web 2.0 is all about open source) I’ve decided to simply post it here.

Et puis quand on me demandera la recette je n’aurais plus qu’à dire « Oh va voir mon blog »! Et hop d’une pierre deux coup, pub pour Column Capital D en même temps. Or how to kill two birds with one stone!

Bref, voilà la recette, à respecter a la lettre, sinon je ne suis pas responsable d’un potentiel plantage! (Et je vous ai mis des photos de chaque ingrédient pour limiter les risques d’achat d’un mauvais beurre doux ou de levure à pain, un peu de sérieux!)

Ingrédients:

- 130g de farine
- 120g de poudre d’amande
- deux grosses cuillères à café de miel « dur »
- 1/2 sachet de levure
- 1 sachet de sucre vanillé
- 150 g de sucre roux / cassonade
- 125 g de beurre demi-sel
- 1 œuf
- 200 grammes de chocolat noir Nestlé dessert
- 60g de noisettes entières

Préparation

Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine, la poudre d’amande, la levure, le sucre, le sucre vanillé

Ramollir le beurre très légèrement au micro-onde (attention, il ne faut surtout pas qu’il fonde, juste qu’il se ramollisse suffisamment pour pouvoir l’écraser avec les doigts) et ensuite y mélanger l’œuf, et le miel.

Mélanger la préparation beurre + oeuf + miel dans la première préparation avec la farine, le sucre et tout.

Prendre la tablette Nestlé dessert et casser chaque petit carré en deux afin de faire des grosses pépites de chocolat.

Casser les noisettes en morceaux et éventuellement les faire griller à la poêle (c’est relou mais c’est bon!)

Ajouter les pépites de chocolat et les noisettes a la pate.

Mélanger.

Mettre au réfrigérateur 1 h si possible mais pas obligé. Préchauffer le four à 190°C.

Fais des boules un peu aplaties (il faut que ce soit épais pour que les cookies soient bien moelleux au milieux et croustillant sur les bords!) et les déposer sur un plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Enfourner.

Faire cuire 8-10 minutes a peu près, surtout pas plus!

C’est normal s’ils sont encore mous, sortir du four et laisser refroidir au moins 30 min, ça va garder le moelleux!

Ensuite, décoller les cookies avec une spatule (attendre que ça ai un peu refroidi sinon tout va se casser) et c’est bon!

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Sometimes, you come across some stuff on the internet, in this case- a company, and think, « WTF, that’s exactly what I should be doing! ». This happened to me recently when i came across Supersec, a company that sells dehydrated products (mushrooms mostly) online.

Seems very simple, but I love the idea. And yes, I love mushrooms.

Before the dictatorship of fresh, seasonal products such as mushrooms were subject to specific treatments for their conservation. These treatments used traditional techniques made available by the environment: ash, salt, smoke, sun, wind, cold…

Drying is a very effective technique: while it prevents the decomposition process in a lasting way; it also allows an optimal restoration of the taste and nutrients of the treated product.

Therefore we can keep some species that are particularly fragile and/or virtually impossible to find fresh on market stalls. This is the case for the « coprin chevelu », the « amanite des césars » or the « coulemelle ». (French names for these mushrooms, I did try to translate, but it just sounds absurd!)

Their special texture, concentration of flavors and aromas, and the ease and diversity of their use makes it a unique culinary experience.

The uncertain level of quality and constant increase in prices of wild mushroom, their probable cost to the environment, and traceability problems therefore urged the Supersec guys to seek new resources: remove the water. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

It takes between 12 and 20 kgs of fresh mushrooms to make 1 kilo of dried mushrooms, reducing thus substantially the energy cost associated with their transportation.

When dried under good conditions and directly in the hours after picking, they retain their aromatic and nutritious potential, and do not deteriorate during transportation.

Mushrooms contain between 80 and 95% water that dilutes both their flavor and nutritional potential. By eliminating this water, taste and nutritional values become incredibly (and wonderfully) concentrated.

SUPERSEC!
Their mushrooms are picked and dried in northern Greece, 200 kms from Thessaloniki, in the natural parks of the prefectures of West Macedonia, between 500 and 1500 m altitude.

So they’ll dry that up for you, and even give you recipes so you know what to do with these dried treasure!

Voila, go for it, and if you can’t be bothered to order and cook by yourself, then run to their Cafe des Spores in Brussels!

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Il y a les ogres des contes de fées. Et il y a les ogres modernes. Les premiers se contentent de chair fraîche et de petits enfants. Les seconds font, devant les caméras de télévision, des concours où ils engloutissent des dizaines de hamburgers, de hot dogs, de parts de pizza, mais aussi quantité d’asperges, de mottes de beurre ou d’huîtres (sans les coquilles).

On les appelle les mangeurs de compétition et ils sont regroupés sous l’égide de l’Ifoce, l’International Federation of Competitive Eating, la fédération internationale du goinfre, du bâfreur et du morfal réunis. (Page Wikipedia ICI!)

RECORDS ÈS RIPAILLE
L’Ifoce organise chaque année des dizaines de manifestations et tient à jour le livre des records ès ripailles.

On y apprend ainsi que, le 17 mars 2007, un certain Patrick Bertoletti a ingurgité, en cinq minutes, 47 beignets à la crème ou que, le 18 août, l’actuel détenteur de la ceinture mondiale, Joey Chestnut, s’est enfilé 266 gyozas, des raviolis japonais au porc. Sans éclater.

La science improbable ne pouvait que s’intéresser à un sport qui ne l’est pas moins. Dans une étude publiée en 2007 dans l’American Journal of Roentgenology, une équipe de radiologues et de gastro-entérologues américains a voulu comprendre comment les estomacs des champions de la boustifaille supportaient le gavage.

 

ENFLER COMME UN BALLON
Pour ce faire, ils ont invité un de ces gargantuas, Tim Janus (dont le nom de compétition est « Eater X »), à se livrer à une petite expérience. Ils ont également convié un solide mangeur servant de sujet témoin.

Tous deux ont d’abord avalé… un agent de contraste, un produit destiné à mettre en lumière leur estomac lors de la série de radiographies qui allait suivre.

Puis on a demandé à chacun d’entre eux de manger le plus possible de hot dogs en l’espace de douze minutes. Le sujet témoin (1,88 m, 95 kg) a commencé. Au bout de sept sandwiches, ce beau bébé a calé, s’estimant à la fois rassasié et incapable de croquer une bouchée de plus, sous peine de vomir.

Est venu le tour de Tim Janus (1,78 m, 75 kg). Afin de pouvoir faire disparaître plus vite sa pile de hot dogs, l’homme les a gobés deux par deux, pendant que les chercheurs, stupéfaits, suivaient les radiographies de son estomac prises à intervalles réguliers.

 

CHAMPION DU MONDE DU ROT
Alors que l’organe du sujet témoin avait conservé peu ou prou sa taille initiale, celui de l’ogre s’est mis à enfler comme un ballon que l’on gonfle. Au bout de dix minutes de test, alors que Tim Janus avait déjà avalé 36 hot dogs, les scientifiques ont interrompu l’expérience, craignant qu’il ne se perfore un estomac qui avait quadruplé de volume, au point que l’homme avait le profil d’une femme enceinte. Le cobaye, pour sa part, se sentait bien et voulait absolument poursuivre…

L’expérience a montré que les performances des mangeurs de compétition n’étaient pas liées à une vidange accélérée de l’estomac mais à son élasticité, accrue par l’entraînement.

Les auteurs de l’étude, dans leur conclusion, s’inquiètent des conséquences à long terme sur la santé des compétiteurs, qui n’ont plus de sensation de satiété, peuvent tomber dans une obésité morbide ou faire perdre à leur estomac la capacité à pousser la nourriture vers l’intestin.

Pour sa part, Tim Janus a trouvé un nouvel atout à sa grande contenance stomacale. Le 8 juin, il est devenu le premier champion du monde du rot (il y a aussi une fédération internationale pour cela), avec une éructation de 18,1 secondes. (Mon petit cousin serait jaloux d’une telle performance!)

EN-JOY! :D

Lu sur Le Monde

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Happy Thanksgiving to all! And to celebrate this day, here are some fun facts and a little healthy suggestion on how to prepare your Turkey for tonight!

 

Thanksgiving Facts throughout History

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.

In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He « pardons » it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

Fun Turkey Facts

The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.

Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
(LOL)

Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
(Double LOL)

A large group of turkeys is called a flock and they have poor night vision.

EN-JOY!

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Apparently a whole lot of people want to know how to set the dinner table properly!

This « Formal Dining Setting » infography has been viewed 213,990 times (unique views) on Visual.ly, the world’s largest community of infographics and data visualization.


(One could make some incredibly successful graphics answering simple questions like this. Hint hint…)

 

The New York Times published an article presenting 32 innovation that will change our future daily lives.

I loved Maggie Koerth-Baker’s introduction (below), and her regard on innovation « It’s messy, and it’s awesome » and have selected one post in each section (Morning Routine, Commute, Work, Play, Health, Home); however I strongly recommend you read the full article here!

« The electric light was a failure.

Invented by the British chemist Humphry Davy in the early 1800s, it spent nearly 80 years being passed from one initially hopeful researcher to another, like some not-quite-housebroken puppy. In 1879, Thomas Edison finally figured out how to make an incandescent light bulb that people would buy. But that didn’t mean the technology immediately became successful. It took another 40 years, into the 1920s, for electric utilities to become stable, profitable businesses. And even then, success happened only because the utilities created other reasons to consume electricity. They invented the electric toaster and the electric curling iron and found lots of uses for electric motors. They built Coney Island. They installed electric streetcar lines in any place large enough to call itself a town. All of this, these frivolous gadgets and pleasurable diversions, gave us the light bulb.

We tend to rewrite the histories of technological innovation, making myths about a guy who had a great idea that changed the world. In reality, though, innovation isn’t the goal; it’s everything that gets you there. It’s bad financial decisions and blueprints for machines that weren’t built until decades later. It’s the important leaps forward that synthesize lots of ideas, and it’s the belly-up failures that teach us what not to do.

When we ignore how innovation actually works, we make it hard to see what’s happening right in front of us today. If you don’t know that the incandescent light was a failure before it was a success, it’s easy to write off some modern energy innovations — like solar panels — because they haven’t hit the big time fast enough.

Worse, the fairy-tale view of history implies that innovation has an end. It doesn’t. What we want and what we need keeps changing. The incandescent light was a 19th-century failure and a 20th- century success. Now it’s a failure again, edged out by new technologies, like LEDs, that were, themselves, failures for many years.

That’s what this issue is about: all the little failures, trivialities and not-quite-solved mysteries that make the successes possible. This is what innovation looks like. It’s messy, and it’s awesome. »
 

Morning Routine – Electric Clothes

Physicists at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric that doubles as a spare outlet. When used to line your shirt — or even your pillowcase or office chair — it converts subtle differences in temperature across the span of the clothing (say, from your cuff to your armpit) into electricity.

And because the different parts of your shirt can vary by about 10 degrees, you could power up your MP3 player just by sitting still. According to the fabric’s creator, David Carroll, a cellphone case lined with the material could boost the phone’s battery charge by 10 to 15 percent over eight hours, using the heat absorbed from your pants pocket.
Richard Morgan

 

Commute – Bikes

1. Anti-theft handlebars
Here’s an old idea whose time has come again. The bearing system that allows the bike to turn can be locked so that a thief can’t steer his stolen bike. The lock is internal, meaning that he’d have to destroy the bike to ride it away.

2. No more greasy chains
An updated shaft drive — which replaces the chain with a rod and internal gear system — would be perfect for urban riders. They’re popular in China right now, but new versions will be lighter and have more sophisticated gearing.
One-piece plastic and carbon-fiber frames

 

Work: the SpeechJammer

When you aim the SpeechJammer at someone, it records that person’s voice and plays it back to him with a delay of a few hundred milliseconds. This seems to gum up the brain’s cognitive processes — a phenomenon known as delayed auditory feedback — and can painlessly render the person unable to speak.

Kazutaka Kurihara, one of the SpeechJammer’s creators, sees it as a tool to prevent loudmouths from overtaking meetings and public forums, and he’d like to miniaturize his invention so that it can be built into cellphones. “It’s different from conventional weapons such as samurai swords,” Kurihara says. “We hope it will build a more peaceful world.” Catherine Rampell

 

Play: Terrifiying Playgrounds

Two Norwegian psychologists think that modern playgrounds are for wimps. Instead of short climbing walls, there should be towering monkey bars. Instead of plastic crawl tubes, there should be tall, steep slides. And balance beams. And rope swings.

 

The rationale is that the more we shield children from potential scrapes and sprained ankles, the more unprepared they’ll be for real risk as adults, and the less aware they’ll be of their surroundings.

Leif Kennair and Ellen Sandseter’s ideas have won the support of playground experts on both sides of the Atlantic; one company, Landscape Structures, offers a 10-foot-high climbing wall that twists like a Möbius strip. Clay Risen

 

Health

Scientists at Princeton and Tufts are working on a super-thin tooth sensor (a kind of temporary tattoo) that sends an alert when it detects bacteria associated with plaque buildup, cavities or infection. It could also notify your dentist, adding an extra layer of social pressure to make an appointment.

The sensor may have wide-ranging use: the researchers have already used it to identify bacteria in saliva associated with stomach ulcers and cancers. While the sensor won’t last long on the surface of a well-brushed and flossed tooth, Michael McAlpine, the project’s leader, says that the sensors will be inexpensive enough that you can replace them daily. Clay Risen

 

Home – Food packaging

It’s depressing to think how much food packaging there is in your kitchen right now — all those juice cartons, water bottles and ice-cream containers. But what if you could eat them? “We’ve got to package in the same way nature does,” says a Harvard bio-engineer named David Edwards.

And so he has devised a way to convert foods into shell-like containers and films that he calls Wikicells. Yogurt will be encased in a strawberry pouch, for instance. You could wash and eat the packaging, like the skin of an apple, or you could toss it, like the peel of an orange, since it’s biodegradable. The newly wrapped ice cream and yogurt will be available later this month at the lab store in Paris, with juice and tea coming within the next year or two.

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Et… Bonne journée!

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Copyright Bibi © ++

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Zagat Blog has just published a list of 10 annoying restaurant trends.

While I do not agree that all of them I really relevant (but then, maybe I haven’t been to a lot of trendy annoying places!), here are a few I liked:

Dogs in Cafes/Outdoor Restaurants
Sometime during the early aughts, toting around your dog in your purse became acceptable social behavior (along with texting during dinner and talking about Twilight). As a result, it seems more and more restaurants started bending health code rules to please overly entitled « pooch pushers » who insist on dragging their smelly mutts around with them 24/7. Don’t get us wrong, we love animals (I don’t), we just don’t need to eat dinner next to them (definitely not). Still not convinced that this trend has gone too far? There are restaurants now offering doggy menus. (Is this a joke?)

Overzealous Wine Pouring
If there’s one thing we definitely don’t need help with, it’s pouring our own alcohol. We hate when servers are constantly topping off our glasses (clearly in an effort to sell more booze) when they’re already mostly full – leaving our wine/beer to get warm and stale in the process.

Designer Ice
While bigger, fewer ice cubes help keep drinks cool without watering them down, we’re really not a fan of those giant ice blocks that knock against our teeth as we’re sipping. Also note to restaurants – no one needs an ice cube in the shape of a dodecahedron.

Enormous Wine Glasses
What’s with the humongo glasses? We realize a bigger glass makes for tastier wine, blah blah blah, but when the table is barely 12 in. across, those gigantic wine glasses leave little room for the more important stuff – the food! Plus, using bigger glasses makes the wine pours looks smaller, which can’t be a good thing in terms of pleasing customers.

Ketchup Snobbery (love this one)
We don’t care if your homemade ketchup was hand-squished from eight different types of artisanal heirloom tomatoes. With a burger and fries, just give us good old-fashioned Heinz. « A » for effort, guys, but we cringe hearing things like this: “Oh, we don’t have ketchup but we do have our homemade organic red pepper jam.” Um, no. We also hate when a restaurant is too snobby to provide regular ketchup at all! Meanwhile they’re serving burgers, fries and other commonly ketchup-ed items. Lame.

Sparkling, Flat or Filtered Tap?
Is this a trick question? We realize that the dreaded water question must be asked – but seriously, there’s gotta be a better way to phrase it, because restaurants that make their servers say this seem to be trying to trick their customers into ordering a pricey bottle of water. If we want bottled water, we know how to ask for it.

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  1. In 1066, Huy, Belgium became the first European city to receive a charter of rights, making it the oldest free city on the continent.
  2. Brussels sprouts really do come from Belgium and have grown in the Brussels area for over 400 years.
  3. Although the exact number is disputed, Belgium makes over 800 different beers. Belgians drink an average of 150 litres of beer per year per person.
  4. Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate per year. That’s about 22kg of chocolate per person in Belgium.
  5. Luckily Belgians don’t eat all of that chocolate. The Brussels’ International Airport is the World’s biggest chocolate selling point.
  6. Belgium has one of the lowest proportions of McDonald’s in the developed world. It has 7 times fewer McDonald’s restaurants than the USA and 2 times less than France.
  7. Belgians tend to be liberal thinkers. They legalised euthanasia in 2002, and gay marriage in 2003.
  8. A 2007 European Report stated Belgium has the lowest salary gap between men and women in the EU after Malta. Belgium has the highest proportion of female ministers in the world (55% in 2000) and was one of the first to have a female parliamentarian, in 1921.
  9. Belgium has compulsory education up to 18 years old. This is one of the highest in the world.
  10. Belgium also has enforced compulsory voting.
  11. Belgians pay some of the highest tax rates in the world, around 40% of their gross earnings. Taxation represents 45.6 % of the country’s GDP.
  12. Belgium grants the most new citizenships per capita in the world after Canada. 1.6 million people in Belgium are immigrants or children or grandchildren of immigrants. That’s 15% of the population.
  13. Belgium has the highest density of roads and railroads in the world. It is the country with the 3rd most vehicles per square kilometre after the Netherlands and Japan. Because of the quantiy of lights, the Belgian highway system is the only man-made structure visible from the moon at night.
  14. The longest tramway line in the world is the Belgian coast tram (68 km), which operates between De Panne and Knokke-Heist, from the French border to the Dutch border.
  15. Spa, Belgium is home to Europe’s first modern health resort, opened in the 18th century and Europe’s first casino, “la Redoute”, opened in 1763.
  16. Belgium is also home to Europe’s oldest shopping arcades, the Galeries St Hubert in Brussels, opened in 1847.
  17. Belgium was the scene of Napoleon’s final defeat, at Waterloo, south of Brussels.
  18. The Law Courts of Brussels is the largest court of justice in the world (26,000 m² at ground level). It is bigger than Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
  19. Nemo33, in Brussels, is the world’s deepest swimming pool, reaching 35 metres in depth. It is a practice ground for scuba divers.
  20. Most people have heard of the comic strip Tintin, but did you know that in 70 years of existence, 200 million books of “The Adventures of Tintin” have been sold worldwide. Belgium also has more comic makers per square km than any other country in the world, even Japan.
  21. The saxophone was invented in Belgium, in the early 1840?s by Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), in the city of Dinant.
  22. The Body Mass Index (BMI) was developed by the Belgian Adolphe Quetelet, and is still used today to determine a person’s ideal weight.
  23. In the 15th century, Belgians were credited with inventing oil painting.
  24. 80% of billiard players use Belgian-made balls.
  25. Brussels was a famous hideout for Europeans in Exile. Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto with Friedrich Engles between 1845 and 1848. Victor Hugo was also exiled here and completed Les Misérables while visiting Waterloo in 1861.
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With over two hundreds elaborate diagrams and photographs, George L. Legendre offers a selection of mathematical equatinos and descriptions of unusual pasta shapes !!

Food & Maths, what else?! Click here to get some more!

:D

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