White House Homebrew

“Four score and seven beers ago…” the founders of this great land never imagined that the leader of the free world would be touting the White House’s own home brew. But it’s true–=B-ROCK himself is supporting a small brewery in the White House for special parties and even on the campaign bus!

Stop the bus! Is this something that we can all actually agree on in politics? The right to crack one open? But wait! It’s not a big beer company?! Shocking…so not all beers are created equally? The President of the US of A says that it’s okay to drink a beer with taste. Put the Bud Light down and grow a pair. Maybe that’s a better slogan than “Forward.”

As for the kind of beer—that we can debate. The White House brews a honey ale (including dark and light varieties, for the sake of equality), but is this the best brew for America? What about us bitter American folk out there? Where’s the IPA to represent us? I want answers. Somebody pose the question at one of the Presidential debates.

So, from the candidates this year, I need the following:

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Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 5

Top Chef

Look at Padma and those knee highs, hawt.

But I digress- this week’s episode of Top Chef felt more like farmville than anything politico. The chef’testants murdered Chesapeake Blue Crab before our eyes and headed out to Ayrshire Farm in VA for the elimination challenge.

Read on to hear what last night’s loser has to say about packing his/her knives.

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Worst. Beer Summit. Ever.


Editor’s Note: After a year and a half indulging my nonstop food rants, the veggie gf, Alex, has finally gotten angry enough about something that she felt compelled to put it in blog form. What could have inspired this kind of simmering emotion? Well there are really only two things she gets this excited about: Barack Messiah Obama, and beer. Fortunately, today’s story involves both.

Like much of the nation, I’ve been following the story of Henry Louis Gates’s arrest and Obama’s subsequent media gaffe (sort of) with a fair amount of interest. But, being a big beer drinker and aspiring aficionado, in my opinion the most exciting thing to happen in the whole kerfuffle was yesterday’s so-called “beer summit.”  I love beer and I love talking out our differences and I mostly love Obama (even if he’s currently shirking his promise to federally fund needle exchange – sorry, unrelated Obama beef), so I eagerly refreshed the New York Times website until they gave me the deets I was looking for.

And then my jaw dropped.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Stems and All


I think I was inspired by gansie’s recent attempt at eating down the fridge to exercise a bit of frugality of my own the other night.  Or maybe it was just an empty stomach and a lack of hot sausage that made me reconsider something that usually is bound for the garbage.

Monday night was pasta night in the TVFF household and the dish this week was orecchiette and broccoli rabe with olive oil and toasted garlic.  Typically, that dish gets some crumbled Italian sausage to make it more substantive, but I found myself without.  And so I turned to the lonely broccoli rabe stems, which I usually lop off and toss in the trash.

It took a bit of time and some tedious peeling, but what was left was the size and consistency of tender asparagus.  I gave them an extra minute’s blanche and then threw them in with the florets and leaves, providing a slight crunch and a fuller meal.  The net result was a very tasty dish and a guilty conscience about usually discarding a perfectly edible item.

So…any great, thrifty hints that can save you a buck and make better use of the ingredients in your kitchen?  Share your frugal secrets in the comments.

Nothing ever goes to waste in the smörgåsbord!

–  After the past week, I have newfound culinary respect for the President–despite my previous reservations.  I had my first Five Guys experience (great burgers, even though they don’t serve medium or rare) and now the prez is grillin’ and chillin’ with Bobby Flay.

– Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali talk Italian food in Aspen.  The YumSugar folks list some of the advice that they provided, although we suggest you avoid adopting Mario’s unconventional hair-care technique.

After the jump: free investment advice (which is worth every penny you paid for it), your last chance at fame and fortune (yeah, good luck with that) and Gordo runs afoul of of the bobby while pushing his pram and driving his lorry (insert additional British slang here).

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: When in Rome


When I was asked for my last meal on earth, I immediately went Italian. I have a bit of Italian blood in me, but I’m not the typical New Jersey goombah.  No, I’ve never worn a track suit and gold chain and you wouldn’t mistake me for an extra from The Sopranos.  But it’s certainly the cuisine with which I most closely identify.  I’m actually more Irish than Italian, but you’ve got to be kidding me if you think I’m spending my last moments with potatoes, cabbage and corned beef.

Looking at the list of my fellow ESers, I was struck by how many of them went for simple dishes that undoubtedly remind them of home, family, heritage and the positive memories of life around the dinner table.  Nobody picked the twelve course tasting menu at The French Laundry.  I briefly toyed with the idea of a star-studded mega-meal, but it just didn’t feel right. If you have one last shot, I think it’s best to go with something that reminds you of all the good stuff in your life.

Another wise choice for a last meal?  How about a smörgåsbord?

– Well, if you were going to go high-end for your last dinner, you might want to go Jean-Georges.  If he’s good enough to cook for the past four presidents, he’s good enough for you.

– James Beard winner, Philly food rock star and my personal foodie man-crush Jose Garces makes fish tacos on the Today Show.  He’s pretty good on camera (hint, hint, Food Network folks!)

After the jump:  a politico makes a bold statement on communicable diseases, a food festival as envisioned by William Golding, and the perfect gift for the Giada-stalker in your life.

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