Every once in a while, there comes along a single subject Tumblr blog so fastidious, so inspired, so freaking-ridiculous-it's-hilarious that it must be shared.
Today, that blog is Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza, the definitive collection of pictures featuring Bea Arthur, mountains, and pizza.
Anyone who regularly reads ManMade knows I have a deep love for regional Mexican cuisine. (It even infilitrates my Thanksgiving).
So, whenever I share this with someone local, they always say "Me too! El Vaquero is awesome." El Vaquero is fine, but it's about as Mexican as biscuits and gravy. (Actually, I had a pretty awesome Latinized biscuits and gravy at Dos Caminos in Manhattan, but you know what I mean.)
Most of the chips-and-salsa serving, combo platter, sombrero-laden restaurants near your local shopping center are better categorized as "Tex-Mex," that is, the north of the border food that uses the flavors of Mexico - masa, fresh and dried chiles, and aromatics.
Which, if it needs said, is delicious! (Well, El Vaquero isn't, but many can be.) It's just Tex-Mex, and most would be sorta unrecognizable to many Mexicans. But, that's okay, 'cause good is good.
Earlier today, I learned that Jim Henson had collaborated with Johnny Hart to make a tv test pilot for a 30 minute "Wizard of Id" show.
The video is okay. I've never been much of a fan of The Wizard of Id to begin with, but it got me thinking about how much I love Jim Henson, and how awesome his work has been for decades.
Over the weekend, I rode by bike over to the secondhand book store. I often get in trouble here, since it's even more tough not to overload on goodies when they're much less expensive [and recycled, I tell myself!], so when I go by bike, I know I'm limited to just the few that can fit on my wheel rack.
I decided to live dangerously, and hung out a bit in the Food and Wine section (this and the Art/Design aisle are serious tempters for me), and noticed one thing:
There are a $%*load of cookbooks out there.
Sure, I know folks have different types of expectations when it comes to food, and even if you're not good at it, nearly everyone prepares some sort of food for themselves.
But, oh my, the genericness and redundancy of so many of these was overwhelming...I escaped a potentially credit-crushing trip with two very lucky finds (why anyone would sell these back is a mystery) - David Chang's Momofuku cookbook and Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. I've checked out Chang's tomb several times from the library, and it's never gotten old, so finding it for $7.99 was pretty amazing. I'm headed to my local Asian market in a few hours to get started...
The Urban Grocer reports, "Sculpted, tweaked, and photographed. Nope, we’re not talking about the latest super model; we’re talking about meat. Raw cuts of red meat that Philadelphia-based artist Dominic Episcopo took as his muse for his latest inspired project, Meat America.
Channeling the inner butcher within us all, Meat America includes an impressive collection of photographed meats fashioned to look like everything from Elvis and Ben Franklin, to New Jersey and Texas. Through this work, Episcopo intended to celebrate his own unabashed love for meat and “the American appetite for decadent and iconoclastic deliciousness.”
Of course you've heard of Georgia peaches, Alaskan king crab, and Idaho potatoes. But how about Rhode Island coffee milk? Or South Dakota chislic?
I mostly hate party food. I mean, I like parties, and I love food, but somehow when I gather with others, all the options are sour cream and canned mushroom soup laden glops on my paper plate. And if I ever hear another person remark, "You put grape jelly in your meatballs!?!?" like it's some big secret, I may scream.
But not all is lost. Turns out, you can make tons of scrumptious, fresh, and (most importantly) edible finger foods. And by tons, I mean 101. The NYTime's Mark Bittman has created this master list on which you'll find stuff that'd be perfect for any upcoming Christmas or New Year's events, but worth keeping around to reference for a gathering in any season.
I, myself, have never had a McRib sandwich, McDonald's limited run sandwich first introduced in 1981 but I certainly know it's cult-like following that has inspired sites like the McRib locator, and moves folks who would never otherwise go inside a McDonald's to make interstate pilgrimages.
It's currently in restaurants nationwide for the first time in sixteen years, but there soon come a time where it won't. And then what?
Why you make your own, of course.
Being as we're in the midst of football season, you could head to any megamart, and no doubt see some unnecessarily large stack of soda or beer cans styled after your local team. Those displays tend to come on a little strong, but the idea isn't all bad, is it?
Enter Canstruction, an "event that challenges local engineers, architects, contractors and students to create massive, innovative structures using the canned good to raise awareness and food donations for the hungry. The NYC winners are currently being showcased at the World Financial Center through November 22nd, where the public can peruse the can-creations and even participate by dropping off their own canned food donations!"
Only the most virile of haters would be opposed to adding a little seasonal festiveness to your Thanksgiving table. It's just that most of us with tastes that lean towards contemporary have a hard time finding cool, modern-looking Thanksgiving decor items. Even the master crafters at Etsy haven't really been able to translate the aesthetic...Most of its harvest-y, country, or just straight dated.
So, this cool collection of modern, free printables from Hostess blog is a breath of fresh air. Yep, the orange and brown still abound, but do so in geometric stripes and dots. Includes: place cards, buffet labels, drink tags, dessert toppers, napkin rings, and bottle labels.
Photographer and former chef Jonathan Blaustein visited a certain, very famous fast food chain during the recent economic downturn. "'On one menu they had a cheeseburger for a dollar,' he said. What caught his eye, though, was another menu, which featured a double cheeseburger for the same price. That additional piece of meat, and the extra slice of cheese, somehow didn’t change the price."
And so began The Value of a Dollar, his 2008 series of photographs of food bought for a single $1.00 bill.
I got The Amazing Apple Book as a gift for the Christmas of '92, and I adored each of its pages. I learned about how there's no way the fruit from Adam and Eve was an apple, and all sorts of culinary applications. But my favorite project included carving a face in a fresh, ripe apple and leaving it out to dry and shrivel into a little fruit flavored shrunken face...though my parents always made me store mine in the basement, and they usually caught a coat of mold.