Ramen Noodle-Based Recipes: Officially Jumping the Shark

Why would I make such a pronouncement?

Well…

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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Burns My Bacon: Waste-of-Space Recipes

Maybe I’m just grumpy these days, but I seem to find annoying food-related practices everywhere I look.  Today I bring you: ridiculously inappropriate label recipes.

When it comes to cooking, I’ll take my ideas wherever I can find them: cookbooks (I own many too many), blogs, allrecipes.com, and on and on.  And sometimes, on the food packaging itself.  This seems highly logical at times.  For example, if I have a bag of cornmeal and I want to make polenta, the first place I look is on the side of the bag.  And–aha!–there it is.  I’ll try it, and if it works, great, and if not, my next stop will probably be The Joy of Cooking, followed by the vast plain of the Internet. Sometimes, a recipe can be useful even if it does not directly utilize the enclosed ingredient, like a good dip recipe on the back of a bag of chips.

Let me tell you what has never happened to me, though.  I have a can of olives in the pantry.  I am trying to decide what to make for dinner.  I pick up the olive can and notice, “Hey, look, a recipe for island chicken and rice!  And all I need is…every ingredient on the list.” Because olives aren’t even included until the very last line, as a garnish.  Seriously, I understand that you, label designer, had some space to fill, but really, that’s the best you could do?  I think that an olive-themed word puzzle, a la the cereal box, would have been preferable to this lameness.  But maybe it’s just me.

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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]

Read More
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Awwwwwww: Cutest Eater in the World Contest

owen cooking

Think your kid makes a cuter chef than my nephew? Prove it!

Announcing the Endless Simmer Cutest Eater in the World Contest: Send in that very best shot of your kid/grandkid/grandparent/whoever being shamelessly cute in the kitchen. Extra points if they’re actually cooking, but we’ll accept kids eating, smearing food on their faces, or just generally being cute around anything edible.

We’ll pick a crew of cute finalists and ask ES readers to vote on their favorite. The winner will receive a copy of Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers — a great cookbook from the culinary geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated full of recipes for the whole family  — and better yet, we’ll induct the cutest eater into the Endless Eater Hall of Fame.

So, pick out your best shot and send them to contests@endlesssimmer.com.

Update: Vote for the cutest eater in the world

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Who Cooked It Better? Bacon Cupcakes

Chalk up another win for the blogs over the MSM, as Sushi Day’s steak sushi rolls over Gourmet, 58 percent to 42 percent in last week’s Who Cooked It Better.

For this week’s contest, we’re going with a hot new trend that combines a possibly tired trend with a classic taste to make everything new and creative again. Confused? You’ll understand in a second.

As you know, cupcakes have been quite the ubiquitous presence over the past few years, to the extent where some are declaring them so over already. I liked them better myself in grade school, when they weren’t trendy and didn’t cost nine dollars, but I think we can all agree, overexposed or not, these little devils are delicious.

One thing that is definitely not over is bacon, so it was only a matter of time before bacon collided with cupcakes to create something God is kicking himself for not inventing. Bacon cupcakes are here indeed, and all of a sudden they seem to have taken over the food blogosphere. I browsed through said blogosphere to find the best of the best, and there are no half-assed bacon-topped cupcakes here, each of these three contenders mix actual bacon into their batter to present three tantalizing recipes.

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On the left is one of the first known versions of the mythical bacon cupcake. From the Vanilla Garlic blog, this maple bacon cupcake is for “those who eat with no fear,” and it sure lives up to that claim. Diced bacon is mixed into the brown sugar-maple syrup cupcake, which is then topped with a maple syrup-butter frosting and finished off with a sweet and salty kick from turbinado sugar and kosher salt. (Note: This does not make the cupcake kosher in any way). Full recipe here.

Appearing in the middle, No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner throws a chocolate spin on the BC, dreaming up an amazing coffee-buttermilk-dark chocolate-bacon batter. While she doesn’t give us a chocolate frosting recipe, she more than makes up for it by sprinkling bonus bacon (crispy, of course) on top of the cupcake. Full recipe here.

A Good Appetite, on the left, also goes with the dark chocolate theme, whipping up a batch of Hershey’s dark cocoa batter, topped with some dark chocolate frosting and a sprinkling of fleur de sel for that extra salty (and artsy!) touch. Extra points for some creative black and white photography. Full recipe here.

Wow I am hungry after writing all that up. I, for one, will surely be trying one of these recipes soon – so which one?

Find more cupcake commentary in Endless Cupcakes

(Photos: Vanilla Garlic, No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner, and A Good Appetite)

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