Wednesday, March 29, 2006 

How Much is that Cupcake seen in Microsoft Windows?

SFGate has a little article on the little gems of cakey goodness...and highlighted a fellow blogger!

Nobody's more creative than Cheryl Porro, a 34-year-old San Francisco chemical engineer who, one year ago, started a blog called Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit. A self-proclaimed baker, she started churning out treats for her family at the age of 8.

Porro's blog, filled with step-by-step pictures and wacky recipes, has tons of sweets lovers eagerly awaiting her semi-regular posts, which are complete with her tales of inspiration.

"If I go to a restaurant and have something fabulous, like a lychee martini, I'll say, 'I've got to have that in a cupcake,' " she says. She'll wind up spending an entire day in a sugar-buzzed frenzy until that drink has found its way into one of her signature pleated white cupcake liners.

Although Porro's recipes are available to anyone with an Internet connection, only her friends and family get to sample the fruits of her labor. "I tried doing cupcakes for someone's wedding a few years ago," she says, "and even with a laid-back bride, it was the most stressful experience of my life."

Sunday, March 26, 2006 

How much Oil in your Food?

A very interesting article in SFGate this morning about taking time to think about "consuming oil" in our daily "foodie" lives.

For decades, scientists have calculated how much fossil fuel goes into our food by measuring the amount of energy consumed in growing, packing, shipping, consuming and finally disposing of it. The caloric input of fossil fuel is then compared with the energy available in the edible product, the caloric output.

What they've discovered is astonishing. According to researchers at the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, an average of more than 7 calories of fossil fuel is burned up for every calorie of energy we get from our food. This means that in eating my 400-calorie breakfast, I will, in effect, have consumed 2,800 calories of fossil fuel energy. (Some researchers claim the ratio is as high as 10 to 1.)

.....So how do you gauge how much oil went into your food?

First check out how far it traveled. The farther it went, the more oil it required. Next, gauge how much processing went into the food. A fresh apple is not processed, but Kellogg's Apple Jacks cereal requires enormous amounts of energy to process. The more processed the food, the more oil it requires. Then consider how much packaging is wrapped around your food. Buy fresh vegetables instead of canned, and buy bulk beans, grains, and flour if you want to reduce that packaging.

You may think you're in the clear because you eat strictly organically grown foods. When it comes to fossil-fuel calculations though, that isn't relevant. However it is grown, a raspberry is shipped, packed and chilled the same way.

do go read the entire article and think about it next time you are at the Farmer's Market or Grocery store.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 

Shaking Like Jello in San Francisco


Liz Hickok sculpts buildings of the City by the Bay in Jello. And, to commemorate the upcoming Centennial anniversary of the "Big One", she will have a "demonstration" of live action "shaking" in certain neighborhoods. (I'm sure that the Marina will be one as it is pretty much all landfill and I can vouch that it does indeed feel like Jello during a little temblor....)

The city's restaurants and bars also plan to promote mixed drinks with names such as Earthquake Cooler, Trembling Martini and the Quake and Fire cocktail — a mix of sparkling wine, orange juice and raspberry liqueur. - AP

Thanks to Boing Boing for finding the fun food news bites and to Liz for putting more into the slogan "There's always room for Jello"

Saturday, March 11, 2006 

Don't Google...."FOODLE"

Guess Google isn't only heating up the financial world....It's heating up the culinary world as well! Look what they are "cooking" up now!
....It's the newest and bravest frontier of fine dining, where the Bay Area culinary trinity of sustainable/local/organic has passed to the corporate cafeteria.

With its dedication to providing free and largely healthful, organic and artisan-produced meals three times a day to its employees, Google may well be leading the way in corporate food-service programs in the same way it has set the bar for search engines.

By the sheer numbers of its employees -- Google is mum, but estimates put it at 4,000 and growing -- and its purchasing power, the company will likely affect the survival rate of local, small, organic farms as well as what ingredients appear in local markets and, down the line, how much agricultural land is saved from development.

Besides the impact on the local economy and food producers, Google is creating a new model for how corporate cafeterias serve their employees, both by the wide variety of offerings and the creative freedom allowed its chefs.

"We are not a typical food service group, flipping burgers and cranking out volumes of food,'' says John Dickman, Google's food service director. "We create menus with a thought and purpose in mind. Whether it's your health, conservation or incredible flavors, we have become a purpose-driven culinary team." - SFGate


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