Monday, February 27, 2012

Around The Culinary World

Hello again everyone! Welcome back to another Monday and a new week of recipes and cooking adventure here at Out Of The Culinary. For the first time in a long while, Maggie and I actually had two days off, during a nice weekend, with no other obligations or places to be. We were able to enjoy the weekend and recoup a little bit – which means it’s extra hard to get into the Monday routine!

The easiest way to get back into the normal workflow is to ease into it with a little culinary news (in my opinion anyway…) It was an interesting, if not slightly eclectic week for news – so there’s sure to be a story for everyone in the list below. Let’s get this week started and dive right into the culinary news!

Last week we featured the best strawberry jellies on the market. It only makes sense to follow that up with a feature on the best natural peanut butter options on the market. Over the past few years, the natural peanut butter industry has become a booming business. Essentially, natural peanut butter is regular peanut butter, sans trans fat. Most natural peanut butters do use a coconut or palm oil in place of hydrogenated oils – in order to preserve the creamy texture. This creates a much more rich and…well, natural tasting peanut butter. Many consumers (ourselves included) prefer the natural flavors of peanut butter over the oily, waxy and sometimes oddly sweetened ‘less-than-natural’ varieties. This rise in popularity has brought many competitors to the table and just as many variations of natural peanut butter flavor. So, which brand stacks up as the best of the best? Check out the results HERE.

The early leader for a*% of the year has to go to one Wall Street banker who likes to flaunt his position on the whole 99% to 1% debate that has cropped up over the past few months. This self righteous scum likes to ‘preach’ his supposed ‘power’ in an way that can only be described as “being an absolute and utter tool” see this jerk’s actions HERE (including a redeeming ‘fix’ from his employer possibly in the works)

Panera Bread is expanding their trial market for a unique new restaurant concept. The popular bread and sandwich maker launched a ‘pay what you want’ store in order to feed the hungry “in a dignified way”. The concept is simple, while the restaurant does list the price of a product on their menu, the customer is only asked to pay what they think is fair. Interestingly, some actually pay more than the price on the menu, while others pay what they can and a (surprisingly lower than expected percentage) pay nothing at all. Panera notes that the store has been able to break even every month with this approach. Panera is planning on adding two more ‘pay what you want’ stores in the St. Louis area over the coming months. Check out more on this interesting concept HERE.

We have featured a story like in the past, but it’s always good to have a reminder. Just how long can you store certain foods in the refrigerator before the go from amazing leftovers to “did that takeout box just move?!”? KitchenDaily has a handy little infographic that serves as a reminder of just how long to keep that opened package of brie before it goes bad. Check it out HERE.

Onions are probably the most common thing we buy at the grocery store. There is hardly a week that passes that we don’t need to pick up a red, yellow or white onion for some reason or another. After all, onions are an essential piece of cooking. Many recipes use onions (and shallots) as the foundation. Without the onion, many flavors you know and love simply would not exist. However, it can sometimes be hard to know which onion to use in a certain situation (handy hint, it’s almost always yellow if not specified in a recipe). KitchenDaily has a great onion profile this week highlighting all of the major onions and where (and when) to use them. Check it out HERE.

Finally, we have a blog related announcement. Last month, we posted a poll asking for your feedback on a potential Out Of The Culinary Cookbook. We finally pooled enough of a response to announce a decision – although the numbers that actually voted and the numbers that read this blog daily were pretty far apart, we did receive enough “yes” votes to undertake the effort. (Essentially ¼ of our daily readership voted ‘yes’ – no one voted ‘no’ but the non votes are likely composed of readers who were not interested. That being said, even 25% return was a strong enough response to make this a worthy undertaking).

That means we’ll be releasing a new cookbook in the coming months. I have already begun working on the project and am about 75% done with typing up the recipes. We still need to edit, add pictures and format the book. This is a relatively time consuming process as we have to take (sometimes verbose) blog posts and break them down into cookbook friendly length, without compromising the lessons learned and helpful tips to each dish.

While some details are still TBD (such as the price) we can tell you the following details on the book. Based on voter feedback, it will be a paperback cookbook, roughly 5 X 10 and spiral bound. While there was some interest in a hardcover cookbook – not one voter felt a fair price for such a book was over $25. Unfortunately, it costs US $25 to make – so that was out, paperback is in.

Our current aim is to feature over 100 recipes from the first two years of the blog. Our goal is to have the book typed, edited, formatted and ready for purchase by this summer. Stayed tuned for future announcements regarding our new cookbook!

Also, as a special offer with the announcement of our new cookbook, we have put 2010's cookbook on sale. Follow the Blurb link on the upper right hand side of our blog to check out the previous edition of our book and pick up a copy for yourself today!

That’s all the news that’s fit to blog about this week. We’ve got two new recipes lined up for you this week. Maggie is taking a dish she found online and turning it healthier – and boosting the flavor at the same time. I’m tackling a brand new cut of meat – a high end piece that deserves a high end recipe. Maggie will feature her dish on Wednesday, and I’ll follow her on Thursday to close out the week. Stop in Wednesday night to see what Maggie has cooking. Until then,


1 comment:

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