Ramen Noodle Recipe Magazine

Ramen Noodle-Based Recipes: Officially Jumping the Shark

Why would I make such a pronouncement?


Ramen Noodle Recipe Magazine

One of those cheapy publishing houses took this idea and ran with it… right over a cliff. I saw this recipe “book” or “magazine” or… “leaflet” (?) in the impulse magazine holders right by the check-out at a small town grocery store in Texas. Move aside ramen taco and ramen burger, we now have 55 recipes featuring ramen noodles. From the looks of this publication, we can now learn how to make anything, even a cheesecake crust, out of packaged ramen noodles.

Sorry guys… at this point I don’t think any creative new ramen noodle recipe is going to go viral. The trend is over. Ramen noodles are totally normcore. Onto the next food blog craze!

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Endless Beers: What Difference Does a Glass Make?

stoutglassIPA Glass

Hopefully most of our readers have finally bought in to the #drinkcraftbeer movement. Really, it’s not even a movement, but common sense. Why would anyone pay to drink something that tastes like (a) nothing, (b) pee, or (c) crap? You wouldn’t. So the next step in becoming an all-out beer snob is to drink beer from a GLASS, not the bottle or can. I originally thought the whole experience of picking glassware depending on the kind of beer was a gimmick. However, after testing various Spiegelau glasses out, I’ve changed my tune.

First of all, the main reason behind drinking your suds from a glass rather than the bottle or can is to get the aroma of the beer and to allow it to properly carbonate. The aroma will indeed change the taste of the beer – typically heightening your senses as you indulge in a cold one. Typically, I’ll just pour it into a pint glass no matter what kind of beer, and enjoy. But there are different and innovative ways to drink our beer now. Here are two taste tests (I know…my work is difficult) of the latest innovative beer glass collaborations.

The Glasses:

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Brussel Kale Sprouts

Brusselkale: This is a Thing

Brussel Kale Sprouts

What are the two trendiest vegetables in the food world? Probably Brussels sprouts and kale. So I guess it was only a matter of time before the BRUSSELKALE was invented. Don’t get me wrong, I do love both of these vegetables, but is it really necessary? It kind of feels like they’re just capitalizing on the crazy popularity of these veg. Kind of like when pomegranate became the new antioxidant superfood then there was pomegranate-flavored everything.

I guess I’m not the first person to realize this is now a thing. Today did a story on Brusselkale, too. It even called it the “Brangelina of veggies” (ugh, barf, just… no, Today. No.) Here’s the gist:

Kale sprouts, aka BrusselKale, are yes, a hybrid of Brussels sprouts and Russian Red kale, and starting to pop up in U.S. grocery stores.

Developed in the U.K. using old-fashioned breeding techniques, kale sprouts (or flower sprouts, as they are known there) look like flowering buds, with green-and-purple leaves. Brussels sprouts are big in the U.K., especially around the holidays, so British seed house Tozer Seeds set out to create a more subtle-tasting sprout, Lisa Friedrich, U.S. spokesperson for Tozer, told TODAY.com.

While new hybrid veggies come out all the time—think purple haze carrots—the kale sprout “is the most distinctive one we’ve seen since broccolini launched in 1999,” Bob Whitaker, chief science officer for the Produce Marketing Association, told TODAY.com.

Are they trying to sell me something I don’t need? After all, I can cook myself Brussels sprouts and/or kale on their own. I guess I can try it on my own and decide for sure, but when I saw these in the store I didn’t really feel like paying $10/lb for them, when kale and Brussels on their own are so much cheaper. Have any of you tried this Brangelina veg? What do you think?

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Taco Bell Dessert Package

And in Breaking Taco Bell News…

It’s no secret that here at ES we have a weird soft spot for Taco Bell. Here’s the latest thing that caught my eye. Do you want Taco Bell but also want dessert? And ALSO you’re at the grocery store? Well, I have just the product for you…

Taco Bell Dessert Package

Taco Bell dessert kits! Is this new or is my local HEB just now getting it in stock? Either way: what? Why did the world need this? Who is buying this as part of their weekly grocery shopping? And, more importantly, which option would you choose: Cinnamon Nachos or Chocolate Taco? I think I’m more of a Cinnamon Nachos girl, myself.

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Winflo Osteria Austin Pizza

Apps vs. Cash Money: How Do You Pay Your Tab?

Winflo Osteria Austin Pizza
I guess it’s not fair to say I had lunch with Tabbedout because, more accurately, I had lunch with Ashley, a longtime ES reader/commenter and fellow blogger  (at Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine) who recently moved to Austin! She just happens to also work in marketing for Tabbedout.

Have you used Tabbedout before? I’d heard of it, but never actually used it or even saw it in action before Ashley met me for lunch. (Speaking of lunch, shout out to the lovely Winflo Osteria and their ultra-delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas. See above for evidence of their glory.) Anyway, it’s basically an app that helps you easily split and pay your bill at various bars and restaurants. Usually when I’m trying to split a bill with friends and we don’t have cash or whatever, one of us will put everything on their card and then the rest of us will Venmo whoever paid. This cuts out the middleman, which is pretty nice.

Unlike my beloved Venmo (my friends and I seriously use that for everything from paying rent to buying concert tickets to splitting Thai takeout), Tabbedout is specifically for dining in restaurants and bars. It’s pretty easy to use, too – first, you download the app, make yourself a little profile, and load in your credit card information. Then when you’re at an establishment that takes Tabbedout, you just let your server know you want to open a TO tab, then at the end of the night (or whenever you’re ready to go) you just pay directly through your phone. You don’t even have to wait to ask for your check.

So is this it? As time goes on and technology advances, apps like Tabbedout and will become even easier to use and accepted by more and more restaurants. What do you think – is cash money basically becoming obsolete these days?

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BeatBox Booze

The Best/Worst New Invention for Your Summer 2014 Drinking Agenda

BeatBox Booze

Cool, look, a new stereo system!

No, wait, it’s just sugary pre-made cocktails in a candy-colored boombox packaging. Who needed wine in a box when you can have “wine-based cocktails” in a Beatbox? I was too afraid to purchase and taste-test for myself when I saw these at my local HEB, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty curious. If these aren’t 100% horrible, I could see myself ironically bringing some to a summer pool party this year.

The three flavors I’ve seen, ranked from most to least offensive:
3. Blue Razzberry Lemonade (“raspberry” spelled with not one, but two Zs!)
2. Box A’Rita (you can’t make a real margarita with wine, come on now)
1. Cranberry Limeade (it’s the one that sounds least like Guy Fieri named it, so I have to give it my thumbs up)

Someone out there has tried these, right? Y’all know my affinity for funny/novelty cheap packaged booze. Tell me if the joke is worth it.

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Food Porn Bonanza: Franklin BBQ Edition

If you’re a BBQ lover, you’ve probably heard of Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin Barbecue and the dude who makes brisket so delicious that all the food magazines/TV shows rave about it and people will wait 3+ hours in line to get their hands on some. Franklin Barbecue has only been open since 2009, originally a little trailer, but it’s already become an Austin legend. 

Last week I attended LiveFire, a big BBQ event out in Texas Hill Country, and of course Franklin was there serving up his meat to a long, long line of people. The dish? “Beef plate with ribs and smoked pimiento cheese.” The meat was tender and fatty (in a good way) and the pimiento cheese was straight-up crazy good.

So, now that you have the backstory, here’s just a few up close and personal moments with Franklin’s meat.

IMG_1334 IMG_1335 IMG_1336 IMG_1338

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