So yeah, apparently there’s a cookbook for Angry Birds, that ridiculously popular mobile video game. Officially titled Angry Birds: Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes, it’s available right now for around $10. I have absolutely zero idea what could possibly compel a person who plays Angry Birds to want to cook something inspired by the whacky little game, and I have no idea what type of recipes are inside, but that doesn’t mean their on to something. I just hope we don’t see Resident Evil: 10 Easy Steps on How to Eat Delicious Food and Your Guests.
Nearly every home cook I know has a system for organizing their recipes. Some of my older friends (and a few of the younger one’s as well) use a classic card system. My mother, for example, has this little open top card box stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes. Some of my other friends, who tend to use cookbooks as their source of inspiration, use a system where by they either dog ear particular recipes of note or they rip the pages from the cookbooks and three-ring binder that shiz. Under the old school umbrella, I’ve even got a friend – let’s call here Martha – and Martha hasn’t written a recipe down ever. Seriously – her head is like a freakish memory bank. It’s like instant Dewey decimal up in there.
The problem with these paper based systems is that they are incredibly difficult to manage. You have to commit to an underlying organization method (Cuisine type, Main ingredient, type of course). This can make meal planning incredibly cumbersome (unless you’re Martha of course).
So unless you’re blessed with a particular gift for list management, using technology to keep track of your recipes is incredibly beneficial endeavor. But choosing a way to store all your stuff electronically can be a daunting task.
For those food bloggers who use an iPhone 4 (or 4s) as their camera, taking good food photographs is one of the biggest challenges you come across. As it happens, a company by the name of Photojojo is trying to make things easier on you by giving attachable lenses for your iPhone.
As the power behind mobile phones increases with each generation, so to does the technical prowess of the cameras inside. Pixel counts increase, new lenses are incorporated, and iPhone apps like Instagram and Flickr are available to make it easier to take good food photographs. But no matter how good your photography skills, no matter how many pixels power that cellphone camera, and no matter how many apps you have, iPhone users have always had to deal with the limitations of having just one lens.
To help remedy that, Photojojo has released three tiny camera lenses that magnetically attach to your iPhone or iPad. The idea is that these external lenses will help you take better pictures. While I have yet to use these (as I don’t have an iPhone), the lenses seem like a legit purchase.
There is a a 180-degree fisheye lens, 2x telephoto lens, and a 0.68x wide-angle lens (which also doubles as a macro lens). If you shop the Photojojo store, the fisheye lens will run you $25 while the other two will cost $20 a piece. However, if you buy the complete set, it’s just $49.00. However, I poked around on the internet and found the entire set for less than $30 from a number of retailers.
To use the lenses, you have to attach a metal ring to your phone’s lens (using an adhesive). Then, each lens can snap magnetically to the ring. It sounds like a good system and feedback on the lens quality seems pretty good; although, a few people have complained that the attachment blocks the phone’s flash. As a food photographer, that shouldn’t be a major concern to you. So while buying a dedicated point-and-shoot (or even a full dSLR) is the way to go if you’re looking for top quality food pictures, the Photojojo set seems like an inexpensive alternative. I’m curious to know what other phones this may work on. If anyone of you has tried these, please hit us with some feedback in the comments section! You can also find some sample shots over on TUAW.
Do at the View (as in dough – as in do-re-mi – as in not in pizza dough) is a relatively new Westside pizzeria that hasn’t gotten a ton of attention [at least from those of us interested in the food]. Opened in May, my first visit came during “the dark ages” – aka that time when I decided not to post for a while. I will leave my comments on the food for another time but I thought y’all would be interested to know that Wired magazine just did a little blip on the Italian eatery.
As Wired is a technology based endeavor, it follows that their article on Do has a distinctly technophile theme to it. Essentially, the article focuses on the restaurant’s all out plunge into the world of technology.
Not only do customers order using an iPad, but they are also tortured by treated to a bevy of lame impressive features thanks to Do’s fondness for technology. Gimmicks abound as customers can chat with each other online, fight over the music blaring on the speakers and tell the valet they want their car … all from the provided iPad. Wired also points out the lack of mirrors in the bathrooms (you guessed it – cuz of the iPads mounted over the sinks).
Author Charlie Sorrel isn’t exactly laying on the charm and I’m not sure if he’s been to the restaurant. However, I can confirm, through first hand experience, that this gimmicky system is likely to give people a headache.
Earlier today (technically yesterday by the time you read this), I spent some time reading an article on sustainability and seafood, which prompted me to write this little bit on an associated topic: the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their Seafood Watch app (android market/apple store). The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the leaders in the sustainability discussion as it pertains to seafood. They have launched a number of initiatives and have a hand in the food served at quite a number of seafood restaurants all over the country.
Project FishMap and the Seafood Watch app is an attempt to take their sustainable seafood recommendations and put them at the tip of your fingers in the most accessible way possible. The app helps you not only see what seafood (even sushi) they consider ocean-friendly and then helps you find nearby restaurants that are sustainable conscious (or not for that matter). Last but not least, they crowdsource information so that you can update your findings on the app and let other people know about it. For those without an iPhone or android, you can use the mobile site.
More on Sustainable Seafood
Now, as that article by The Passionate Foodie will tell you, sustainability is a hotly debated topic. It’s been turned into a buzz word and much of the accepted “facts” aren’t really accepted (or even facts). So while I can’t universally back the list of seafood listed as sustainable, I believe Seafood Watch is a great tool for those looking to educate themselves a little bit more. For those of you not as technically inclined, you can find pocket guides and online tools on MBA’s website.
While not perfect, the Aquarium’s Seafood watch app is a great start. The Aquarium has taken great strides to update their information every six-months, so this should be relatively fresh (HA – I made a pun!) information.
For more info on seafood sustainability, take some time to read through a few of the Passionate’s posts on sustainability. They are in depth, highly informative, and he has a huge TRUST factor in my book. He never takes anything at face value, and does his best to present a balanced take on whatever the topic at hand is. (show him some @ love)
Moreover, get on the interwebs and start searching. Learn what sustainability actually is and how it affects (and effects) you. Here are some good reads:
I make no bones about my general disdain for a company that embeds personal information into audio files that you purchase (see: Apple). That said, I know a big thing when I see it … and for better or worse, the iPad is a big thing. That I have no intention of playing with it for any significant amount of time is neither here nor there. What’s important is this: we’re foodies and the iPad will be good to some of you. So … were you one of the 300,000 people to rush out and purchase an iPad on day one? If so, check out some awesomely cool things you can do with it after the jump (with a tip of the hat to awesomeness that is Super Mario Brothers)!