Using Bingo to Expand Your Palatable Horizons

Keeping up with new food trends via bingo!

Last year, innovators in the food industry introduced the world to sriracha flavored foods, cronuts, waffle sandwiches, cupcakes and pretzel buns. A concern among the foodies was be what trends would actually prosper in, 2014?

The quickest and simplest way to learn about the food crazes this year is through bingo. It’s been used as an educational tool in classroom teaching, which teachers have utilized it across the globe for game-based learning. The lottery-style game has also been associated with lifestyle organization. In addition to players being able to reach out to each other through online bingo chatrooms, they are also given chances to engage in new experiences with opportunities like Fly Foxy, an event sponsored by foxybingo which provided players with all-expenses-paid trips to a host of luxurious destinations. Given the above, bingo is an appropriate method for exploring the different styles of food this 2014.

Forbes recently listed some of the food trends that are already mesmerising the restaurant industry and restaurant patrons, including locally sourcing all ingredients, healthier kids’ meals, artisanal pizzas, and umami flavoring. Numerous dining facilities have already caught on to these food trends so those would be more than fitting as items on your customized bingo card. The other 2014 fads listed on the online magazine are gluten-free options, vegetarian/vegan, instant ice cream, nuts, chicken wings, more mash-up dishes, and biscuit sandwiches.

Another trend listed is upscale comfort food, a trend that sees the simplest comfort food with a gourmet twist to it. Andrew Freeman, a San Francisco hospitality consultant says that “highbrow versions of classic comfort foods are popping up all over menus, from appetizers to dessert”. Who couldn’t take pleasure in a bowl of gourmet Mac and cheese or a fancy twist on chicken noodle soup?

Other food fads are bound to take the world by storm this year, so just keep a lookout for them. Once your bingo card is full, you are ready to explore new restaurants with 2014 Food Trend Bingo.


Po’ Boy? No Mo’ Boy…

There’s nothing quite like discovering one of your favorite places to eat has shut their doors. I mean, we’ve probably all experienced arriving on a day that they happen to be closed for a holiday or simply as part of their normal schedule–that we failed to check, but closed? Forever? Forevah-evah? While not the worst thing to happen in the world, it can certainly throw you for a loop.

DC New Orleans Po Boy Shop (Closed) For me, that moment happened yesterday at DC’s New Orleans Po Boy Shop whose doors have apparently been closed since December. It was not a favorite place for me because of the food–which was excellent, or the location–which was close but not super close, and certainly not for the hours since they weren’t open on weekends. It was mostly a comfortable place that I would visit every time I had blood drawn for lab work related to my cancer.

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Kitchen Casino logo

I Miss Cooking Shows…

I don’t like reality shows. I really don’t like competition reality shows. I really really don’t like cooking-/food-based competition reality shows.

I realize that the three above statements cancel out a lot of television for me, but I still have hope from time to time. Honest, I do. The reason I peek an eye in on the cooking reality shows because I want shows to get back to not only teaching people how to cook, but also encouraging a love of food. Reality shows, for the most part–it seems, are not that interested in anything but drama. Still, I give things a chance.

Kitchen Casino article from April 7, 2104 Express On the way into work last Monday, the local free paper had an article about “Kitchen Casino”, a gambling-themed cooking competition… yeah, no. Not only is the prize just $30,000–for the final champion, weekly contestants aren’t guaranteed that–but here are two items from the host’s Q&A that really turned me off:

What do cooking and gambling have in common?

They’re like America’s two loves! Americans love to gamble, and they love to eat. On the show, that translates into rounds like a kind of roulette, where chefs might not wind up finishing the dish they start out making.

Do cooking competition shows create better chefs?

I think they do, because the pressure is on. Chefs have like 30 or 40 minutes to create a dish. It teaches them to think on their feet and quickly produce things.

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Roasted Chicken Wings

Roasted Chicken Wings

I’m not sure when I came around on wings. When I was a kid, they were sold as “Drumettes” and my mom might make them if we were camping or at a group picnic, but in general I always thought they were too much work, too little food. And when I’d have them in later years, they were drowned in a sauce that made them soggy and a total mess to eat. Frankly, if it hadn’t been for Pan-Asian take out places that straight up fried the wings with no sauce, I might have given up on them forever.

Roasted Chicken Wings

Unfortunately… the wings were fried. It became a great comfort food for me… and my belly… and my waistline. So I tried doing them myself at home, baking them didn’t have the mojo at all, smoking them was hit or miss and roasting them was good, but the main method I followed–Alton Brown’s–was a little more tedious than I liked. It still became a go-to recipe, however, until a little more browsing around online resulted in my new method.

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Mango Mimosa? No way.

False promises and simple cocktails…

I’m fortunate enough to have one telework day during the week and have generally been taking advantage of the opportunity to go out for an early breakfast. As there’s an IHOP right across the way from me, it’s a good bed for someplace open super-early in the morning. So I’d just sat down, ordered some coffee and noticed this on my table…

IHOP - Squeeze more joy into your day.

“Squeeze more joy” into my day, IHOP? Really? When you offer me something called a “mimosa” that is nothing of the kind? (And I suppose the word ‘squeeze’ is meant to make us think the juice is fresh-squeezed, but I’ll let someone else charge that windmill.) There is no joy in a cocktail ordered without alcohol.

Yes, non-alcoholic cocktails–it hurts to even utter the phrase–do exist, often called “kiddie cocktails” which I think shows an extreme lack of responsibility and taste. I mean, who would give a kid a cocktail in the first place? Or even anything resembling one? We don’t want children emulating behavior like smoking, but we’ll mix up a Shirley Temple or a Roy Rogers and serve it to them without thinking twice.

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Call a phone a phone, not a cocktail…

Happily pulling this month’s Saveur magazine out of my mailbox, I noticed this Verizon iPhone 5c ad on the back and frankly, it’s time to stop this trend:

[Verizon iPhone 5c ad]

If it isn’t a cocktail, don’t name it after a cocktail. This goes for iPhone 5c with cases, nail polish colors–well all colors, really–, scented candles… all of it. Just stop.

The #inebriati are watching you and we do not approve.

Food in the Garden

Food in the Garden at American History

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is hosting a series of evening events this summer called “Food in the Garden”

Food in the Garden Join us this summer for tastes, tours, and talks outside in the new Victory Garden on the east side of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History! The Museum’s American Food History Project and Smithsonian Gardens are bringing together local growers, practitioners, educators, and researchers to explore and experience where our food comes from and how we grow it. Enjoy evenings of locally produced food, drinks, and dynamic conversation in a relaxed garden atmosphere on Thursday evenings starting on July 18 and ending on Julia Child’s 101st birthday, August 15.

  • July 18, 2013, Heirlooms: Old, New, Local, Global
  • July 25, 2013, Foraging: Finding Food at Your Feet
  • August 1, 2013, Grow Now: Local Growers Spill the Beans
  • August 8, 2013, Pay Dirt
  • August 15, 2013, Celebrate Julia Child’s 101st Birthday!

Tickets are $20 each or $80 for the series, and each ticket includes two cocktails featuring Green Hat Gin and WildCraft Soda, with food from local farms.

Living in the city, I don’t do much gardening beyond the odd herb planting here and there, but this sounds like a fascinating series for anyone who’s a fan of locally grown produce and the farm-to-table movement.


Fifty Shades of Chicken

I already feel sadistically naughty enough when I subject a chicken to drowning (brining), bondage (trussing) and an oven (…an oven) to get a lovely roasted bird but this trailer for the book Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook takes it well beyond my imagination to a whole new level!

From now on, I shall always hear Patrick Stewart in my head when preparing a roast chicken.

I don’t normally buy parody or themed books, but this might be perfect to have on the coffee table or prominently displayed on the cookbook shelf.

DC: Beat the Heat with a Free Frozen Treat!

There are two things I know people in DC love doing, one is griping about the heat and the other is getting free stuff. So how about a great way to combine both of those into one activity!

This week in DC, the Climate Reality Project is partnering with Pleasant Pops to provide a little relief from the heat by offering free frozen treats to help raise awareness about climate change.

The Pleasant Pops trucks will be touring the city at the locations listed below. To receive a free frozen treat, Washingtonians can show us their tweet or Facebook post using the hashtag #ImTooHot telling us how the extreme weather has been impacting their daily lives.

We will also have on-ground spokespeople available at both the truck and the site of a free-standing #ImTooHot interactive mural and the below listed locations.

Fans of ER will be happy to know that celebrity and committed social activist Gloria Reuben will be joining the truck on Thursday and Friday. Follow the Climate Reality Project and keep up with the conversation on twitter.

It’ll be just like running after the ice cream truck back in the day, except now the truck comes to you and you can pay with a tweet. Enjoy and keep cool!

Fat, Flavor and Cheese

A quote from this articlepointed out by Ellie Krieger on twitter–on American cheese producers and the struggle to slim down their offerings really resonated with me. Most of the article is fairly scientific about cheese production and what the reduction in fats and sodium will do, but anyone who’s tried to eat or cook with reduced-fat or fat-free cheese will probably agree with this sentiment…

I usually try to avoid recipes that call for reduced-fat cheese unless it’s for sprinkling, like over chili. We’re still concerned about our fat/calorie intake, but some sacrifices simply aren’t worth it.