The REAL Miracle Whip: No Evil Oil and Late-Night Televangelist Mayonnaise

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Pastor Danny Davis's blog, which hasn't been updated since 2009
One night, I was in a hotel room in Florida, unable to sleep. I turned on the television and it was set to the BET channel, where a mulleted man named Danny Davis was holding forth on miracles. He smeared some red gunk on his hand, shook a woman by the shoulders who was trembling perfectly well on her own, and then biffed her in the head. (If I'd had the foresight to smear some oil on my hand as a kid playing "flying biff" in New Jersey, I could have told the nuns I was anointing someone. Oh well, hindsight...)

Whatever this woman's ills were--overwhelming debt, the taint of witchcraft, a plague of body thetans, perhaps dry forehead skin--they were cured instantly. She tottered limply off the stage, weeping with what I can only assume was delight and relief.

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Five Ways to Beat Jason Quinn at the OC Fair Culinary Competition on Aug. 9

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So you know by now that this coming Thursday, August 9, I'll be facing off against chef Jason Quinn of Playground at the OC Fair's Pro Chef vs. Home Cook competition. The idea is sort of a mixture of Chopped and Iron Chef America, where we'll get access to a common pantry and have to incorporate a basket of disparate ingredients into a dish.

The show starts at 5 p.m. and is free with admission to the fair. While I'm planning on showing him what defeat looks like, the judges are serious food people, there's likely to be quite the audience, and it's time to brainstorm ways to ensure victory and make him cry like a little girl on stage.

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Game On: Culinary Competitions And $2 Fridays At OC Fair!

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Anne Marie Panoringan
Not an entry, but damn, it looks good!

Our friends at the Fair packed so much action in this year's edition, it's almost meatier than La Super Costilla! We can't possibly cover everything....or can we? Whether you're the competitive type or more of a spectator, food-related activities are going on all around. And after all the blood, sweat and tears, you can still leave with a few bucks in your pocket if it's a Friday. This is the post you want to bookmark for future reference.

Calling all Cookie Monsters! If you've got a winning chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, sugar or other classic recipe (no pre-made or boxed mixes allowed), your time is now. There are multiple categories for youth, but only one for adults. Judges want your fantastic four plated with an ingredient list at the Blue Gate Main Entrance between 11 a.m. and noon this Saturday. Of course, applications were due earlier in the week, so good luck to those that made it in time.
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Homemade Grappa: Don't Tell the ABC

Categories: Das Ubergeek
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Rows of homemade grappa in a bar in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
Grappa. Just the word sends waves of warmth down the esophagus.

Grappa is brandy distilled from pomace--the solids left over during the wine-making process; the stems and pips and skins and pressed pulp. The French call this leftover gunk marc and distill eau de vie de marc from it; the Italians call the pulp vinaccia and distill grappa from it.

The concoction called caffè corretto ("corrected coffee") is available all over Italy; it's a shot of espresso "corrected" with a shot of grappa. In the mountains above Venice, though, there's a variation called resentin, in which the sugar sludge left in the bottom of a cup of espresso is moistened with a small amount of grappa, then swirled and drunk.

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No, Pee Wee, Strawberry Cobbler Won't Dishwasher. Sorry.

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Pee Wee Herman's Facebook page
The secret word of the day is... DISHWASHER!
Pee Wee Herman--yes, that Pee Wee Herman--linked our "Will It Dishwasher?" post yesterday with the caption, "Strawberry Cobbler a la Dishwasher." That post was from last year and attracted a new wave of commentators, which we welcome.

But we're sorry, Pee Wee: That part of the experiment failed kind of miserably. Still, this is the kind of research that will keep America at the forefront of progress.

At least if it had blown up, we could have cleaned it with Kool-Aid, thanks to Pee Wee's previous Tweet of an eHow article on alternate ways of cleaning the dishwasher.

(What is it with Pee Wee Herman and dishwashers, anyway?)

Dave's New Year's Resolutions: OC Food Edition

Categories: Das Ubergeek
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It's not fair to impose resolutions on OC diners when I myself have failings. Some of those failings will have to stand (I absolutely despise white chocolate, for example--if a bakery specializing in white chocolate ever opens, it will be down to Gustavo, Edwin or Shuji to review it), but some are correctable. Read on for my five OC food resolutions for the New Year.

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Transition Laguna Beach: Changing OC's Food Sources, One Garden At A Time

Categories: Das Ubergeek, News
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Dave Lieberman
It doesn't get more local than your own backyard.
We're mocked a great deal in Orange County for our love of chain restaurants, convenience food and cheap, Sysco-type food. It doesn't seem to matter that our tastes mirror those of the rest of the country--the point is that food is trucked in from God-only-knows where, six or ten or fifteen steps removed from its growers by the time it reaches its consumers. So tortuous is the chain of custody of the food we eat that the U.S. government is attempting to enact food safety laws to require traceability of specific foods. The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), who naturally have something to say about this, estimate that the average American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm (or factory) to plate.

Becky Prelitz, the wife of environmental consultant Chris Prelitz, read her husband's book Green Made Easy: The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle and realized something had to be done.

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OC Weekly Familia Wins at OC Fair Baking/Jam/Jelly Contest!

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Dave Lieberman
My, do we have humble people working at the Weekly. A couple of days ago, I heard rumors that our calendar editor, Erin Dewitt, and Dave here at SaFII both placed at the Orange County Fair for their creations. But I received no email about the victory from Dave (who emails Edwin and I about EVERYTHING), and Erin didn't say a word about it until I asked her--hell, she didn't even tell the rest of us Weeklings she entered something until I accidentally ran into her while taking in my chica's entries.

But the rumors are true: THEY WON!!!

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Curtains For Pepe: How To Murder a Peep in 10 Ways

Categories: Das Ubergeek
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Flickr user Wordislandinfo.com / futuristmovies.com
So you've got a vendetta against chickenkind, but you're barred by restraining order from Zacky Farms? Get your revenge by torturing and murdering the popular Easter candy known as Peeps. We worked with Pepe the Peep to find which was the most efficient way.

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Will It Dishwasher?

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Dave Lieberman
"I made beer can chicken last night," said Guy #1. "I rammed the chicken down onto an open can of beer and threw that sucker on the grill. Best chicken ever."

"No way, dude," said Guy #2. "I once made beef stew on the manifold while I drove from Des Moines to Minneapolis. Got there, used a dirty flannel shirt to get it off the manifold, and dug in. It was great."

"I can beat that," I said. "I make catfish in the dishwasher."

Raucous mocking and disbelief. Nobody makes food in the dishwasher. Can't be done.

Or... can it?

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