Preparing for Thanksgiving – Sweet Potato Cashew Bake

Hey guys!  As we’re moving into pre-Thanksgiving preparation time, I’ve been dreaming up my ideal Thanksgiving meal… the one that’s going to make up for the last 5 years I’ve not had it in Japan!  I wanted to share some of the recipes with you.  I hope you’ll give them a try and they’ll become part of your yearly traditions as well!

One of my ultimate favorite things at Thanksgiving in sweet potatoes.  Of course we have sweet potatoes in Japan, but they’re actually a completely different vegetable!  And they’re definitely not prepared in the same way.

American sweet potato

American sweet potato - browny-red outside, orange inside. Japanese sweet potatoes are purple outside and white inside.

So in honor of the American sweet potato, here’s my favorite dish.  It’s from an old version of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which is a staple in our family, no matter how old it it!

Sweet Potato Cashew Bake (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (2lbs) or 1 2lb can of sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup broken cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • An 8 3/4 oz. can of peach slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions:

  1. If you’re using raw sweet potatoes, peel and cook them in boiling water until tender, then drain.  Cut crosswise into thick pieces.  If you’re using canned sweet potatoes, drain and give them a quick rinse.
  2. Combine brown sugar, cashews, ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  3. Drain peaches well.
  4. In a 10x6x2-inch baking dish layer half each of the sweet potatoes, peach slices, and brown sugar mixture.  Repeat layers.  Dot with butter.
  5. Bake, covered, in a 350 deg. over for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake about 10 minutes longer.  Spoon brown sugar syrup over before serving.

MS the Younger’s notes:

The brown sugar can sometimes be a little much, especially if your potatoes are quite sweet.  I suggest cutting down a little – maybe 1/3 less.  And absolutely use salted butter to dot your potatoes, it balances the sweet nicely!

~MS the Younger

Food for Chilly Nights – Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Skillet

Bratwurst, King of Sausages! Sauerkraut, Queen of Cabbages!

Inspired by our the Steuben Day Parade viewing, we decided to sign up for a German cooking class at our local library.  Much fun was had by all, even though there was no beer ::le sigh::  I’d love to share with you the recipe we liked best from the class.  It’s for a hearty sausage skillet utilizing that wonderful meat, bratwurst!

Oktoberfest Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (opt)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb fresh bratwurst (about 5)
  • 2 medium apples, cored and sliced

Directions:

  1. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, remove from pan, drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. Drain off all but 2 tbsp of drippings (or use the 2 tbsp of butter or margarine if you prefer), add onion and garlic to drippings, cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in sauerkraut, potatoes, 2 cups water, apple cider, brown sugar, bouillon, caraway, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, brown the bratwurst on all sides over medium heat in another skillet.  Slice.
  5. Add the bratwurst slices to the sauerkraut mixture when it comes to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occassionally.
  6. Stir in the bacon and discard the bay leaf, then serve!

~MS the Younger

Ishikawa AJET Charity Cookbook

Congratulations to all the people in Ishikawa Prefecture who have finally finished their charity cookbook, “The Ishikawa JET Kitchen.”  They’ve spent the last 2 years developing and testing recipes that have been adapted for ex-pats living in Japan.

IJETcookbookSAMPLE

Are all the new foods you’re finding at the supermarket a bit overwhelming? Have you been wracking your brain trying to convert your favorite chocolate chip recipe to your metric measuring cups? Are you sick of not knowing which flour you need for what kind of cooking?

Cooking in Japan can be a challenge, but now it just got a little bit easier with The Ishikawa JET Kitchen, an interactive digital cookbook from Ishikawa AJET. This cookbook is the brainchild of former Anamizu CIR Leah Zoller. With the help of a dedicated group of recipe contributors and testers, the penultimate cookbook that every JET should own. Whether you’re new to cooking, or a culinary whiz you will benefit from the wide range of traditional Japanese and homegrown recipes from Ishikawa JETs around the world.

Recipes for people with dietary restrictions have been tagged for easy searching – so whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, or keep gluten-free you can find what recipe will work for you in no time.

For only ¥1000 you can get over your fear of the supermarket and use your kitchen like a pro. All proceeds from The Ishikawa JET Kitchen will go to Second Harvest charity. If you like the cookbook, make sure to tell your friends, family and coworkers!

The cookbook is beautifully laid-out, well-planned, and a great present for anyone looking to get into Asian cooking or a friend or family member who lives in Japan.  Head over to their blog to purchase a copy!

~MS the Younger

Speaking of old books…

Forgotten bookmark.I love when you open an old book or magazine and find a bookmark, or forgotten picture, or scrap of receipt or a recipe scribbled on a tattered old piece of paper.  I found this little bookmark on a piece of heavy card tucked into the front of “Mysterious Japan.”  I’m a little curious what the center roundel depicts.  At first I thought it was a religious scene, the woman wearing a veil and kneeling in the middle of her… bedroom?  Is it an allusion to an old biblical story or myth?  It’s probably not from classical antiquity…not with those robes!  There’s no poetry or quote on the back, and no publisher or printer marked on it either.  Anybody have any ideas what or who this picture might depict?

I was surprised to learn there are entire websites dedicated to those lost bookmarks and 2kitchensheaderrecipes.  The first is Forgotten Bookmarks.  Their sister site, Handwritten Recipes, collects all the recipes into one place, and people are already testing and trying them out!  There’s a recipe for “Pasta with Artichokes” that sounds absolutely fab(!!) and was tested by the ladies over at A Tale of 2 Kitchens.  It was the first time I’d heard about their blog, and I’m taken by lazygourmetstheir ingredient-driven, seasonal food blogging.  They’re definitely going on my to-read list!  I think the first thing I’ll try making is their Warm Breakfast Quinoa.  I’m always looking for another excuse to eat quinoa!  Also new to my blog-list this week is the lovely Two Lazy Gourmets.  The recipes are fresh, pictures inspiring, and there are also informative videos.  I’m looking forward to reading more of their blog!

…. (a little bit later)…

I took a little break while writing this post to go through some boxes from my grandmother’s house.  She sadly passed away about 3 weeks before I came home from Japan, and it was a real blow for me.  While I was sorting through some things, I found another bookmark!  The front has a scene from the Nativity, but it’s the poem on the back that really got me.

Don't Quit! PoemThe poem continues:

How close he was the the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, -
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit!

It’s kind of like my grandma is sending me a message – I like to think she’s watching from Heaven and cheering me and my family on!

~MS the Younger

Sweet, Sweet Defeat: Another food processor triumph!

Hey all!  What have you been cooking this week?  The weather here in Japan has been bouncing all over the place – we go from 5C to 15C in the course of a day or two, and we got an inch of heavy wet snow yesterday.  Spring, where are you??  So I’ve been cooking a lot to keep warm!!

Sweet, sweet defeat - only because I forgot to take a picture of this amazing casserole before I ate it!

Sweet, sweet defeat - only because I forgot to take a picture of this amazing casserole before I ate it!

This picture is of something amazing I made, something warm and gooey and good for you… something that was a recipe for 3 that I ate all in one sitting it was so good…. but I forgot to take a picture of it before I ate it all!  Oh, the tragedy!  So you only get a picture of the dishes, licked clean.  That casserole dish was full of  “Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese” from NYT.  I finally scored a bag of quinoa at a local import store, which made my day because grains beside rice are decidedly hard to come by here in the Land of the Rising Rice Field.  Combined with a chunk of ($10 for half a cup O.o) Gruyere and some tasty fresh spinach, this bake made a great main dish!  Quinoa is full of protein and cooks in only 15 minutes, so it makes a good addition to any menu.  The idea came from this awesome article over at Planet Green called “31 Recipes to Warm Up Your March” and I highly recommend you head over there and check it out because they’ve put up an entire month’s meal plan with recipes, and they all look delicious!  Black Bean Chili with Avocado Salsa, Spinach and Lemon Soup, Venison Stew… I’m drooling just posting about it!

Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 plump garlic cloves
4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)
2 large eggs
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

2. Heat a medium frying pan or a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Wash the spinach and without spinning dry, add to the pan and wilt in the liquid left on the leaves after washing. You may have to do this in 2 batches. As soon as the spinach wilts, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. Squeeze dry and chop. Set aside.

3. Wipe the pan dry and heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir with the onion until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the quinoa, the onion and spinach mixture, the Gruyère, and the sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir the mixture together. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit for about 5 minutes, and serve.

Second this week was something I haven’t eaten in over 2 years:  hummus!  This was inspired by first: the

Hummus party baby!

Hummus party baby!

food processor!!  and second, the fact that my local bakery has started making whole wheat pita!!  First time I’ve ever seen it in Japan.  Anyway,  I used Mark Bittman’s hummus recipe and loved it, it has a great balance of flavors.  I topped mine with some toasted pine nuts and used half and half cumin and paprika.

Hummus

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Time: 15 minutes with precooked chickpeas

2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, cooking liquid reserved if possible

1/2 cup tahini, with some of its oil if you like

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for garnish

2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste

Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic, spices, and lemon juice in a food processor (or a blender for even smoother hummus), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and begin to process; add chickpea-cooking liquid or water as needed to produce a smooth purée.

2. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed. Serve, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of cumin or paprika and some parsley.

I think the best part of the whole adventure was bringing this to work for lunch the next day and giving one of my coworkers a taste.  She had a very interesting look on her face as the cumin and paprika hit her tastebuds!  Hummus is definitely not something Japanese are used to.

On the craft front, I’m starting a new Spring project in honor of National Craft Month!  NHK’s Oshare Koubo (a crafting show on Japan’s version of the BBC) is doing crochet projects this month, so I’m starting this adorable little convertible shawl!  This will be my first time working completely from a chart, so it’s going to be interesting @_@ especially with all the notes in Japanese.

NKH Textbook and the gorgeous cotton yarn!

NHK Textbook and the gorgeous cranberry cotton yarn!

Convertible shawl as bolero!

Convertible shawl as bolero!

Happy crafting, campers!

~MS the Younger

Food Experiments This Week

February Breakthrough!!  How could I have been living without a food processor for the past 26 years??

Broccolini, walnut and garlic pesto.  Woooha!

Broccolini, walnut and garlic pesto. Wooha!

Wow, this picture makes my amazing pesto look like a leftover from Slimer from the Ghostbusters ::le sigh::  There just ain’t no way to do good food photography at 9pm in the middle of February in Japan under a huge fluorescent light ^^;;;  But that having been said, this pesto was great!  A nice way to get your veg and a little pep into your system.  Be careful not to add too much extra garlic though (as I inevitably do) because this is a raw pesto…

Broccoli Rabe and Walnut Pesto (from Melissa Jacobson over at FoodandWine)

* 1/3 cup(s) walnuts
* 2 tablespoon(s) walnuts, combined with above
* 1/2 pound(s) broccoli rabe, trimmed
* 1 clove(s) garlic
* 1/3 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, combined with above
* Pinch of crushed red pepper
* 1/3 cup(s) grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* 3/4 pound(s) linguine

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden; let cool. Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool under cold water. Squeeze out the excess water and coarsely chop the broccoli rabe.
3. In a food processor, mince the garlic. Add the 1/3 cup of walnuts; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the broccoli rabe, olive oil, and crushed red pepper and process until the broccoli rabe is very finely chopped. Add the 1/3 cup of pecorino and pulse until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the pesto into a large bowl.
4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the linguine to the pesto sauce, then stir in the reserved cooking water and toss until the pasta is well coated with the pesto sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and serve at once, passing more pecorino at the table.

Also this week was the (surprisingly late) foray into teriyaki fish.

Teriyaki yellowtail, garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed brussel sprouts.

Teriyaki yellowtail, garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed brussel sprouts.

There couldn’t be an easier way to cook tasty fish in less then 15 minutes.  What I cooked was a nice buri fillet, which I think is called yellowtail or sometimes amberjack in English.  Trust me here people, even if you abhor fish you will like buri.  Number 1: it has no “fishy” smell.  This is the only fish I cook that doesn’t leave me house stinking for 10 hours afterward.  Number 2:  It doesn’t taste like fish.  It doesn’t have that oily sea taste that people don’t like.  The flesh is firm, white, and juicy – but nothing at all like chicken.  It tastes great on its own or with a glaze or (the best!!) as sashimi.

Buri Teryaki from About.com

*Makes 4 servings.
Ingredients:

* 4 fillets buri (yellowtail)
* 2 tbsps sake rice wine
* 1 tbsp soy sauce
* For teriyaki sauce: 2 tsps sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsps mirin

Preparation:
Mix sake and soy sauce in a bowl and marinate fish in the sauce for 5-10 minutes. Wipe the liquid from the fish and set aside. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry fish until browned. Mix teriyaki sauce ingredients to make teriyaki sauce. Wipe some excess oil in the frying pan with a pager towel. Pour teriyaki sauce over fish in the pan. Simmer the fish for 10 minutes over low heat.

I’ll have to post my brussel sprout recipe one day, I just can’t stand when people think they only way to eat the little buggers is boiled into oblivion ::shakes fingers at imaginary over-cookers::  So what are you all cooking to keep away the February blues?

~MS the Perpetually Hungry

Winter Treat: Sweet Potato Boats

Sweet Potato Boats Recipe

A sweet, healthy, delicious treat!  Try something new for your Christmas dessert selection ^^

Sweet Potato Boats - the finished product!

Sweet Potato Boats - the finished product!

Ingredients:

  • 450g (about 2) Japanese Sweet Potatoes
  • 30g (~2T) butter
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 60g (~5T) granulated sugar
  • 4 T milk
  • a little water
  • Optional:  cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Mr. T says "I pity the fool who doesn't hand mash their taters, foo!"

Mr. T says "I pity the fool who doesn't hand mash their taters!"

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut up the sweet potatoes.  Put them in a pot and cover with water (quickly!  Japanese sweet potatoes go brown much faster than the American ones).
  2. Boil until tender.
  3. Drain well, put back in the pot, and mash.
  4. Add butter, milk, sugar and mix well.  Add spices if you’d like.  If your potatoes weren’t dried out by the residual heat in the cooking pot, put them over low heat and stir until they’re almost dry.
  5. Cool and add egg yolk.  Mix well.
  6. Shape tablespoons of potato like a canoe and put on cookie sheet.  They don’t really change shape while baking so don’t worry about putting them close together.
  7. Mix the second yolk and a little water together.  Paint over the top of the boats (if you don’t have a pastry brush, use your fingers like me ^^).  Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 180C/350F.

On with the egg and cinnamon!

On with the egg and cinnamon!

Notes:

Japanese sweet potatoes are really, really sweet.  I couldn’t put in all the sugar… I’d suggest adding half the sugar to the mashed potatoes and tasting before adding the rest.  I’m sure these would be interesting with a more American twist, like sweetening with maple sugar or adding other spices!  Also, Japanese sweet potatoes are much drier and less… mushy?… than American ones, so you might get a different result with American sweet potatoes.

~MS the HUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!

PS:  IshikawaAJET blog has an interesting pumpkin (kabocha) cookie recipe, go check it out!

More food blogs for your buck – Blogs with Bite Holiday Style

BlogsWithBite!  Take-Out in the Dining Room, after Paul Signac,” by Mike Licht.

BlogsWithBite - the logo! "Take-Out in the Dining Room, after Paul Signac,” by Mike Licht.

NotionsCapital is back with Blogs with Bite – this time with a very holiday feel to it!  Go check out their latest installation, including some awesome sites about the history of the turkey, The Barf Blog and The World’s Largest Food Encyclopedia!  Here’s a little excerpt to get your salivary glands going…

Here is a fresh serving of Blogs with Bite:

A Brief History of Turkey Research at BARC The USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center developed the Beltsville Small White Turkey, the genetic foundation of most turkeys sold today.

MeatHenge - Grilled meat, smoked meat, roasted meat and photography. Restaurant and product reviews from across the USA; recipes.

Gastronomer’s Guide - Well-written food blog by New York’s Joseph Erdos.

International Federation of Competitive Eating – IFOCE “supervises and regulates eating contests in their various forms throughout the world” with affiliates in United States, Japan, England, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Thailand and Ukraine.

~MS the Younger

Best Foodie Books and Movies

Saw a great article today on Good called “Sex, Heaven, and Peaches” about human’s obsession with food, which they say is related to its sheer sensuality (and the fact that fruit is the direct result of plant sex ^^;;;;).

Spiced Honey Cake with Carmelized Figs - this kind of picture certaintly turns me on XD  From Chow's Fall Food Recipe collection.

Spiced Honey Cake with Carmelized Figs - this kind of picture certainly turns me on XD From Chow's Fall Foods Recipe Collection.

Western mystics also knew about transcendental fruits. Thoreau, for example, spent his sunset years trying to find heaven in wild berries. As he writes in a lost final manuscript reprinted recently under the title Wild Fruits, “My profession is to be always on the alert to find God in Nature—to know his lurking places.” Thoreau believed God liked to lurk in fruits: “Nectar and ambrosia are only those fine flavors of every earthly fruit which our coarse palates fail to perceive—just as we occupy the heaven of the gods without knowing it.”  ~Excerpt from Sex, Heaven and Peaches

Since I’m one of those foodies who craves food media as much as the the real article, I was happy to find a list of best food movies and books at the bottom of the article:

The top 10 films and books about food obsession.

The Sex Life of Food (St. Martin’s Press, 2007)
Countless crumbs of edible erotica are sprinkled throughout this study of culinary carnality by Bunny Crumpacker.

Tampopo (dir. Juzo Itami, 1985)
A quest for a perfect bowl of ramen, punctuated with surrealist food-sex vignettes.

Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet (Weinstein Books, 2008)
Soft-focus shots of Padma Lakshmi are as suggestive as personal food reminiscences. Some pretty good recipes, too.

Comfort Me With Apples (Random House, 2002)
From pre-AIDS Californian hippy sex antics to gluttonous Parisian flings, a tantalizingly honest page-turner by Ruth Reichel.

The Anatomy of Dessert (Modern Library edition, 2006)
This reissue of Edward Bunyard’s 1929 masterwork is a fetishistic handbook of fruit exaltation.

Wild Fruits (W.W. Norton edition, 1999)
When Henry David Thoreau sees apples at the market, he doesn’t just see fruit—he sees “Iduna’s apples, the taste of which keeps the gods forever young.”

Big Night (Dir. Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci, 1996)
The final scene alone, of Primo and Secondo eating eggs in silence, is a moving testament to the power of food in storytelling.

Babette’s Feast (dir. Gabriel Axel, 1987)
After eating the best meal of his life, the hero says: “There comes a time when our eyes are opened and we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence and receive it with gratitude.”

Candyfreak (Algonquin Books, 2004)
Steve Almond explains how our obsessions “arise from our most sacred fears and desires and, as such, they represent the truest expression of ourselves.”

What’s Up Tiger Lily? (Dir. Woody Allen, 1966).
In his directorial debut, Woody “Sex Is Like Having Dinner” Allen overdubs a Japanese spy flick with racy sex gags about the world’s most delicious egg salad.

Sadly I haven’t seen or read a single on of these selections!  Can anyone comment on them?  I wouldn’t mind recommendations of which to start with ^^

~MS the Food Obsessed

PS:  A lot of readers have been suggesting other great food blog lists/sites.  Here are some of them:

Missed out on the first installments of food blog posts at MS?  Find them here:

More Best Food Blogs…

Photo credit ginnerobot.

Photo credit ginnerobot.

…from the wonderful blog NotionsCapital:

Blogs with Bite is an occasional omnivorous sampling of food blogs and sites we find particularly tasty. Follow the trail of bread crumbs back to earlier editions, starting here.

The latest serving of Blogs with Bite:

The Local Beet– “Local” means Chicago, but there are well-written blogs and features to interest readers (and eaters) everywhere.

Popcorn! — Website of the nonprofit Popcorn Board. Recipes, Encyclopedia Popcornica, features foe kids and teachers. Season it with the savory history of popcorn feature at USDA’s National Agricultural Library website.

Wild Fermentation– Micro-organisms make your meals tasty and your food longer-lasting. Unique, well-written website by Sandor Ellix Katz (Sandorkraut). Recipes and tips for making sauerkraut, pickles, sourdough, alcohol, and more.

Howcast Food & Cooking Videos – Kitchen skills, techniques, and recipes in a good selection of cuisines. Excellent production values.

Table Matters– Online magazine with outstanding features, particularly in the Culinaria and DIY departments.

Other Kitchens –  First-rate food photos; links to recipes.

Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook – Tasty Turkish cooking blog by Canadian author Binnur Tomay.

Seafood Selector – “Choose fish that are good for you and the ocean” through this webpage by the Environmental Defense Fund.

World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle – That may be “ketchup” to you, but this monument is in Collinsville, Illinois, former home of Brooks Catsup (now fresher!).

Beer Maps – The Beer Mapping Project. Maps of cities in the U.S.A. and a dozen other countries with locations of breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, beer stores, and homebrew stores. Beer Trip Planner function.

Burnt Lumpia –  Well-written, self-aware blog about Filipino cuisine and Southern California culture. Fun.

Dairy Today – Skim the cream of milk industry news from this Farm Journal website.

Cook Eat Fret–  A cooking blog by Nashville’s Claudia Young.

Food Photography Club– A Flickr photo group. 224 members, 5,644 photos, discussion and tips.

Eat Make Read – Chatty personal cooking blog by Brooklyn’s Kelly Carámbula. Excellent photography.

FoodConsumer – Informative — perhaps too informative — about possible health threats in comestibles. On the other hand, reading it may be an effective appetite suppressant for dieters.

Eat Me Daily – This group blog looks at food, culture, food in culture, and the culture of food. Recent posts: cooking in submarines, a digital Big Mac commerical, food paintings by Philadelphia artist Mike Geno, and a tribute to Gidget the Taco Bell chihuahua (1994 — 2009).

~MS the Younger

If you’re hungry for more, head over to our previous 50 Best Food Blogs post!

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