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The Scoop: Ramen Rants and French Fines

From ramen rants to French fines, here’s a boiled down list of this week’s headlines:

  • Any Way You Slice It: Pizza Hut partners with Hershey’s to bring us the ultimate, 8-inch pizookie.
  • Successfully Unsuccessful: In the wake of Crumbs’ closure, Slate records every time a food fad was deemed “the new cupcake” in English publications since 2006.
  • High and Mighty: A French food blogger has been fined for a negative restaurant review that ranks too highly on Google search.
  • Fried and TrueEater investigates the recent social media frenzy over a package of Fried Chicken Oreos.
  • The Word on the Web: A recent trend report reveals that kimchi is more popular than the Cronut and that ramen is perpetually popular.

Beat the Wheat: Corn-Tomato Salsa

AKA Wine check! Friends check! Salt air check! The best dang summer salsa you will ever make? Checkity-check!

One August evening a few summers ago, a group of us were at a friend’s house on the water at the south Jersey Shore. As we sat at the beautiful weathered-teak table on the portico, with the sun well on its descent toward the horizon and the rising tide lapping the dock, a friend poured each of us a big glass of a buttery Chardonnay and plunked down a bowl of corn and tomato salsa.

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Japan Finally Opens Official Pikachu Cafe

If you have kids, or have been a kid, you no doubt know of Pikachu and his Pokemon brethren. These collectible little scamps are everywhere, cheerfully fulfilling their duties as enslaved gladiators. Finally, Japan is recognizing their contributions to society by giving their mascot Pikachu its very own restaurant.

Tokyo’s Pikachu Cafe is your one-stop shop for Pikachu-related grub, including Pika-burgers, Pika-curry and delicious bowls of Pika-cream. The menu items are even made to look like the electricity-loving rodent-type creature. Burger buns are stamped with his face and ice cream desserts are lovingly molded into his likeness. It’s pretty bizarre.

Now the bad news. This is a limited-time cafe, meaning that you have until August 31st to get to Japan and get yourself a Pika-burger.

Thirsty Thursday: Ouzo Lemon Spritzer


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too.

When summer heat means long, lazy days, we need to take a step back and enjoy simplicity. Effortless cocktails, like this Ouzo Lemon Spritzer, rely on just a few flavorful ingredients.

This spritzer uses ouzo, an anise-flavored Greek aperitif that is often served deeply chilled on its own. The taste of the ouzo remains pure and aromatic when enhanced by only a few fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and a touch of soda water. It’s refreshing and simple, not to mention a great accompaniment to easy summer appetizers.

Bottoms up, folks!

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Summer Soiree: 5 Sizzling Skewers

May might be National Barbecue Month, but come July, the sun is hot and the grill is hotter. Spice things up with chicken skewers and an array of rich, tangy sauces for instantly party-perfect, swiftly satisfying summer fare. Whether your tastes run tiki, with a pineapple-chicken classic, or buffalo-style, give May a run for its mustard.

1. Chicken and Pineapple Skewers: Toasted pineapple adds just the right kick and summertime flare to this soy-glazed chicken (pictured above).

 

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Shock Metal Band GWAR Set to Open a Hot Dog Joint

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When you think of musical acts least likely to open a hot dog joint, ironic metal weirdos GWAR would have to be at the top of your list. After all, the group is known for spraying fake blood on the entire audience (and that’s the least offensive thing they do.) Well, guess what? GWAR are opening a hot dog joint for discerning foodies.

Richmond, Virginia’s appropriately named GWARbar will serve house-made dogs, burgers and all manner of expertly prepared bar food. This is no downscale joint, either. The menu is being prepared by GWAR member ‘BalSac, the Jaws of Death’ who, in addition to liking scrotum-based puns, counts a few known chefs as his friends.

The food may not be disgusting, but the decor is sure to be. It’ll be made up of GWAR memorabilia, including costumes, suits of armor and, of course, original sculptures. Let’s hope they ixnay the fake blood.

Hump Day Snack: Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs

Sometimes on these hot, muggy summer days, even firing up the outdoor grill can seem impossible. Keep the grilling spirit alive in a remarkably cooler with this DIY Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs. Summer’s perfect fruit comes in many shapes and sizes, but for this crowd-pleaser, a round watermelon about the size of a small soccer ball is ideal. Use a melon-baller to hollow it out, saving the sweet spheres for pretty, petite fruit kabobs. Wooden skewers pushed through the halved melon create the grill’s grates, while blackberries or other dark-hued berries play the role of the charcoal underneath. Use stalks of celery or carrots to fashion a base, so the grill stands upright, and chop chunks of your favorite fruits (like pineapples, strawberries or peaches) to complete the fruit kabobs on top. It’s a sure-fire way to heat things up for summer – no open flames, smokers or grilling tools required.

For more ways to celebrate summer without firing up the barbeque, check out some of Cooking Channel’s fruity favorites:

The Joy of Pickling

If you haven’t started pickling yet, it’s time to hop on the hipster bandwagon and get out the mason jars. Sure, it involves turning on the stove during the summer, but the payoff — both in flavor and health benefits — is worth it.

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This Cooler Brings 21st Century Amenities to Camping

The only problem with the great outdoors is the distinct lack of the kinds of stuff you can do in the great indoors. What if you want to enjoy a freshly made smoothie as you and a bear watch the sunrise together? What then? Well, thankfully, here’s a cooler that lets you do that and more.

The Coolest (actual name) is a tech-friendly cooler that’ll bring a little taste of civilization to your camping experience. Not only is it a working cooler, which is perfect for storing beer and soda, it’s also a blender, cutting board, USB charger, Bluetooth speaker and, of course,  bottle opener. It also has storage areas for plates and utensils, if you are into that whole eating thing.

Now the bad news. This modern marvel isn’t out on store shelves. You’ll have to pre-order a unit from its Kickstarter site, which has already raised over 80 times the funding estimate. The Coolest will set you back $185.

Dinner Rush! Tagliatelle with Four-Herb Pesto

Here’s a simple bit of arithmetic: What do you get when you combine a day that is 110 percent full with zero time to make dinner and an average air temperature of 89 degrees plus 75 percent humidity? If we’re both doing our math correctly, near effortless pasta with a four-herb pesto sounds like a pretty solid answer.

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