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Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice is Now a Thing People Pay Money For

Ice, as many people can attest, is usually made by pouring a bunch of tap water into a plastic thingamajig. Sure, you can make a case for using purified or filtered water, especially if you are planning to cool down some drinks. However, one company is betting people are willing to go a lot further than that. Introducing homemade, artisanal ice.

Favourite Ice, in addition to preferring the King’s English, was founded by a bartender at the W Hotel when he discovered that subpar ice was ruining expensive cocktails. Thus, a brand new industry was born. The company will hand-cut cubes of frozen water and deliver them to bars and restaurants. The company explains their ice is better than your ice because of, uh, air bubbles or something. Also, their cubes are big, which means they’ll stay intact for even the slowest drinker in your entourage.

So far the company is doing well and many high-end eateries have been taking them up on their offer of high-end ice cubes. Good on them.

Cookbook Giveaway: Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts

cheese pie

Ready or not, we’re careening into the holiday season, with a battery of meaty roasted centerpieces fitting of a Norman Rockwell triptych (or a cholesterol commercial).

Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts

Whether you’re meat-averse or preempting the onslaught with some healthy vegetables, Aglaia Kremezi has an idea.

The Greek cooking expert has a new book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, featuring 150 simple, flavor-packed meatless recipes. Like a tastebud vacation to Santorini, the recipes showcase light, bright ingredients like olives, lentils, herbs, yogurt and spices.

Arm guests’ taste buds for hearty winter stews with a light orange-olive salad with baby leeks and a tarragon-lemon dressing. Or swap in a quick 25-minute “Lazy Woman’s” cheese pie for the usual grilled cheese to serve with tomato soup.

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Fall Fest: Bring On the Brussels Sprouts

As children, we learned that Brussels sprouts are the yuckiest vegetable of all time. It’s an unfortunate misconception, because shaking our little heads in staunch refusal meant missing out on the versatile side dish for way too long. Embrace the bitter little cabbages and fight their bad rap with five of our favorites.

1. Crunchy panko bread crumbs and salty grated Parmesan give this Brussels sprouts recipe (pictured above) depth of both texture and flavor. For easier entertaining, prep the dish the night before, then cook it through while you complete your main course.

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Fruit-Flavored Hot Dogs Are Now a Real Thing

When was the last time you ate a hot dog? Did you think, while chomping down on said meat product, that it could use a little bit of lemon or strawberry? Of course you didn’t! That’d be crazy. However, that’s just what one manufacturer has begun adding to their dogs in Japan.

These fruit-flavored hot dogs are not gummies or candy or anything of the sort. They are actual processed pork links mixed with strawberry, lemon and other flavors. Reporters who have braved these dogs have said they have a “slightly milky” taste in addition to an overpowering sweetness. Yikes.

If you find yourself in the Saitama City region of Japan, you can pick up a pack of these precious pork links for only $1.77. Of course, you’ll also have to pay for your own dry cleaning if you can’t keep them down. There’s always that.

Hump Day Snack: Bacon-Crusted Beer Mac and Cheese

Bacon Mac + Cheese

The air is brisk, the leaves are changing and football season is in full swing. With college and professional games on TV almost every night of the week, why not bring the spirit of tipsy tailgates into your kitchen? This recipe for Bacon-Crusted Beer Mac and Cheese combines the irresistible ooey-gooeyness of cheese with a two football favorites — beer and bacon — for a hearty, winning combination. Throw in a generous glug of your favorite brew into classic bechamel to add an extra layer of flavor. Combine the cheesy concoction with elbow pasta, then top with a salty combo of bacon, Parmesan and panko bread crumbs for a smoky, crunchy finish. The finished dish will certainly score a touchdown with your friends and family, any day of the week.

For more game-time grub to nosh on, check out some of Cooking Channel’s best football finger foods:

Great Healthy No-Added-Sugar Breakfasts

Healthy Breakfast Burritos

Halloween may be behind us, but we’d bet that lots of people are having all-candy breakfasts this week. The occasional candy bar aside, there are definite health issues with an all-sugar diet. One way to keep total intake in check is to cut it out where you don’t need it, so that you can leave room for when you really want a treat. A great place to start is breakfast, which (candy aside) is often an unnecessarily sweet meal. Here are 15 breakfasts that show you how to start your day without sugar.

Multigrain toast topped with…

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New York City Gets a Pop-up French Fry Museum

Being as how you are reading this blog, you are probably the type of person that follows regional and national food trends pretty closely. You know the best burger or pizza slice to try in cities you’ve never visited before. You drink coffee out of a mug that says ‘bacon’ on it. You believe that classic edibles belong in their very own museum. To that last point, you are finally getting your wish. New York City has a temporary French fry museum.

The exhibit shows off more than 100 classic NYC frites from all over the five boroughs, locked away behind glass cylinders as if they were priceless works of art (they are.) The exhibit outlines the history of fries, as well as the history behind all of the various condiments that makes dipping so much fun. The brains behind all of this historical vegetable oil are a design firm called Guild and a niche condiment maker called Sir Kensington’s.

Unfortunately, this scholastic salute to fried spuds will only be open to the public for two days, this weekend. You had better book your plane ticket now, unless you already live in New York City in which all bets are off.

Sifted: Grilled Cheese Pizza, Baked Apple Cider Donuts + More

Grilled Cheese Pizza

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • Grilled Cheese Pizza by I Am a Food Blog is a glorious mash-up slice that proves you never have to choose. Cut gooey grilled cheese sandwiches into small squares and sprinkle them over pizza crust with crisp bacon and tomato slices.

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Dinner Rush! Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich with Apple Cider Gravy and Collard Greens

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is coming. You can’t stop it. I can’t stop it. The best we can do is to prepare ourselves for turkey’s imminence. Sounds about the right time for a dry run on roasting America’s most-grateful bird.

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This NBA Stadium Offers Up a Massive 8-Pound Burger

If you follow basketball, you no doubt know that the Charlotte Hornets are already off to yet another disappointing season. OK, that might be jumping the gun a bit, but 2013 — their final season as the Bobcats — didn’t exactly inspire confidence. In any event, who cares how they actually play? Their concession stand has some amazing food, including this mouth watering 8-pound behemoth of a burger.

Hugo’s Boss Burger, named after the team’s mascot, features 14 beef patties, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, cheese sauce and bacon. Don’t worry. There’s some healthy roughage in the form of lettuce, tomato, pickles and mushrooms. Also, the burger gets cut up into pie-like slices, in case you are tempted to share this beast with ten of your closest friends.

This meaty monstrosity was just unveiled for the 2014-2015 season. It’ll set you back around $75.

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