The Chew Better Be Worth Killing All My Children

My mom is PISTED. Like super crazy mad, sad, frustrated, disappointed, pisted. My mom is a soap opera fan. She’s been watching All My Children for almost 40 years now. Yea, I said 40.

Every day she tapes the soap, which airs at 1pm EST, to watch later that night. Growing up I would watch with her. We would paint sea shells at the kitchen table and engage with our “friends” as they married, divorced, cheated, gave birth, died, mysteriously found the way back to Pine Valley with amnesia, and died again.

But no more. ABC yanked both All My Children and One Life to Live off the air…for a food (and lifestyle) show. My mom is someone fairly unconcerned with food. She eats to survive, not for pleasure, so you can imagine her fury knowing a food show (that has plenty of its own channels) will replace her soap. Luckily, AMC will transition online and continue to dazzle audiences with outrageous plots.

Starting September 26th, the one o’clock hour will feature The Chew staring Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Top Chef Carla Hall, “entertaining expert” Clinton Kelly and “health and wellness enthusiast” Daphne Oz (says press release.) ABC is furthermore calling its new food show “innovative and groundbreaking.”

Yesterday ABC released a “behind the scenes” (aka totally staged with fake moments of enormous laughter) teaser. Everyone’s giggling and super buddy buddy. I’m sure the show will be lighthearted, filled with quick tips for busy parents and party ideas for yuppie couples. But I hope it’s more.

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Meatless Monday: Will You Go Meatless For A Day?

Here we go again: conflict in the Middle East and the discussion incessant bitching about gas prices. I can hardly wait until the summer travel season. With a barrel of oil topping $100 for the first time since 2008 (my muscles start to twitch as I remember this era of my finance career), it’s a great time to talk about why our industrial meat system burns my bacon. I still wonder out loud why the average person hasn’t made the broad connection between meat consumption, the environment and the world’s resources.

Mark Bittman got it right three years ago in his New York Times article Rethinking the Meat Guzzler:

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

As 925 million people in the world suffer from malnutrition he points out the following:

…about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University.

This brings me to my question: will you go meat free for a day?

There are a swath of Meatless Monday participants around the country including Baltimore Public Schools, Sodexho, and University of California Davis. The effort, started in 2003, is in large part directed at public health (heart disease and high cholesterol), but I would argue that we should take a moment to examine our eating patterns.

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Open Thread: Thanksgiving Eats

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Good god. Thanksgiving is a week away and I’ve yet to come up with some fresh ideas. Dad Gansie will take care of the bird, but I need to thrill our guests with sides.

Here are some recipes I’ve spied and might try. Please add in your favorites or new recipes you’re giving a spin around the stove this year.

Thanksgiving 2010 – Tryouts

Beet Carpaccio
Would make for a fab presentation.
[NYT/Minimalist]

Carrot, Olive and Feta Salad
Feta!
[Make It Naked]

Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
I needed one egg dish in there.
[Smitten Kitchen]

Fried Brussel Sprouts
At least one dish wouldn’t use butter.
[The Food in my Beard]

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All About Mark Bittman

It’s all about Mark Bittman this week. First we rave about his iPhone app and now some lucky DC reader (and friend) will get to hear him talk food, talk recipes, talk sustainability, talk minimalism, talk Jew. Maybe.

Bittman will be shilling for his book The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. DC’s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is offering TWO FREE TICKETS to the chat on October 5th at 7pm.

Email info (at) endlesssimmer (dot) com with “All About Bittman” to enter. Emails must be in the box by Monday at 3pm EST.

More: Event Details

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Celebrity Chef Apps

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If Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” can have an iPhone app, then so can the celebrity chefs of the world. In fact, “The Situation” is pretty late to the iPhone app party. There are hundreds if not thousands of food and recipe related apps out there, almost making cookbooks a thing of the past. But don’t throw out those cook books just yet, we take a look at some of the features our beloved celebrity chefs have in their apps.

Bittman

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – $4.99

With over 2,000 recipes this is certainly one of the more comprehensive collections from any of the apps. “Bittman’s Picks” provides some of his more notable dishes with must try recipes. The recipes contain built in cook timers: hit the link and a nifty countdown will appear, perfect for those of us who can’t cook an egg. Another great feature is his suggestions for alternative dishes, search for Chicken Pot Pie and there is also a recipe for a mashed potato crust. However, for such a streamlined app the one thing it is sorely missing are pictures, perhaps on the next update. Thanks Mark.

Florence

Tyler Florence Fast – $4.99

If like me, when cooking, you tend to curse out the author of the cookbook, then this is the app for you. Tyler has included an “Ask the Chef” feature. Just click on the button and you’ll be directed to your email– to chat with Tyler himself. But do we really think he reads those things. The app updates seasonally, adding to the 500 plus signature recipes already featured. Another interesting feature is linking the kitchen timer to your iTunes. Listen to your favorite Lady Gaga as you wait for that prime rib to cook.

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This Needs to be Dal-ed Up

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Granola bars. Chex mix. Water bottles. Single portion packets of Motrin. Tissues. Mini bottles of Jack and Bacardi. That was the contents of my friends’ Katie and Joe’s wedding gift bag. My gift bag, however, included two additional items: black mustard seeds and udad dal split matpe beans.

Just a few weeks ago Katie drove out to the ‘burbs of Virginia or Maryland, I forget which one, and hit up an Indian grocery. She picked up extra goodies for me but in the craziness that is the weeks before a wedding we weren’t able to meet up. Brilliantly, she decided to drop it my gift bag. (Future brides take note!)

For a dinner my friend Raya hosted I decided to try out my newly received lentils.

Now I don’t usually pay for iPhone apps, but Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything is a gem. I googled around for dal recipes, even using its blog filter search, but I couldn’t find anything I wanted to try. I turned to Bittman. I trust him. And his laid-back, authoritative tone makes for good reading. Plus the app doesn’t require wireless to work.

Anyway, I used his “Simplest Dal” recipe as a guide.

And while I’m encouraged to play around with dal again, I haven’t mastered how to up the flavor. It didn’t have a great zing to it and at times tasted of tannins. Here’s what I did but please tell me what I should have done.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Philly Burger Beatdown

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The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– The locals are not taking kindly to the new Philadelphia location of Bobby’s Burger Palace.  That’s what you get for defeating Philly legend Delilah Winder on Throwdown.

– A new iPhone app will let Mark Bittman follow you around like some kind of creepy food genius.  Question:  How comfortable are you bringing a several-hundred-dollar electronic device into the kitchen with you?

After the jump…food television Upfront-a-palooza!

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