The official blog of BlendAbout, a Social Dining Network that helps people make new friends over group meals at great restaurants.
Read up on amazing new restaurants, check out our favorite Food Porn and recipes, and discover our latest Group Meals at the fabulous restaurants we all love.



Contributors

Caitlin Heikilla
Tara Roy
Kate Spivak (editor)

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For Meatless Monday: Tomato Toast with garlic, fresh basil, purple onion. cream cheese (bottom) and sprinkled with some parm on top.

Meet the World’s Most Expensive Cupcake!

Via the NY Daily News: “This work of edible of art was whipped up for a Toronto man who wanted to spoil his wife for her 40th birthday.” Read more »

Rolled up, on rice….or not, any which way you eat it, Sushi is YUM! But we betcha didn’t know…

Sushi Fun Facts:

Popular belief is that the word “sushi” refers to raw fish, but it actually refers to rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt.

In Japan, sushi is generally eaten with fingers, not chopsticks.

Proper sushi rice should be slightly chewy and sticky to the touch.

In order for fish to be considered sushi-grade and suitable for eating raw, it must be frozen for 7 days at negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, or flash frozen for 15 hours at negative 31 degrees.

The highest price ever paid for a sushi-grade Bluefin Tuna was $396,000 for a 754 pound fish (which is equal to $526/lb) on January 4th, 2011 at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.

June 18th is recognized as international sushi day!

Traditionally, Japanese sushi chefs train for 5-10 years before being allowed behind a sushi bar while American sushi chefs only get a few months of training.

The Japanese believe that you don’t just eat with your mouth, but also with your eyes which is why they create every dish to be a true work of art.

BUTTERSCOTCH BREAD PUDDING with house made caramel ice cream at California Cafe, in Los Gatos

Minced Chicken with shitake and pine nuts served on Romaine

Coconut-crusted Prawns with Mango-Jalapeno dipping sauce

Turnip cakes @ Joy Luck, in Coupertino 

Vodka Fun Facts for Thirsty Thursday!

  • The word “vodka” comes from the Russian word “Zhiznennia voda,” which means “water of life.” The literal translation is “little water.”
  • Vodka is the #1 top selling spirit on Earth.
  • As opposed to popular belief, vodka does go bad if stored for longer periods of time. Ideally, vodka has to be consumed within 12 months of the manufacturing date!
  • Aside from getting you drunk, vodka can be used for a number of other interesting tasks. You can use it to soak your razor blade after a shave to disinfect it and prevent rusting. Because the alcohol content is so high, vodka can be used to kill mold and mildew that builds up in showers, sinks and toilets – and it smells much better than bleach.
  • National Vodka Day is October 4th.
  • Both Russia and Poland claim to be the originators of vodka. Who do you think is right?

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One of our very dear staff members just recently had a birthday so we thought it would be a great time to talk foodie fun facts about cake. Round, square, flat, white, chocolate, red, we don’t discriminate….we eat them all!

Cake Fun Facts:

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According to food historians, the first recorded culture to bake was the ancient Egyptians. However, the so called ‘cake’ they made was more bread like and sweetened with honey instead of sugar.

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the original definition of the word ‘cake’ was: ‘A comparatively small flattened sort of bread, round, oval, or otherwise regularly shaped, and usually baked hard on both sides by being turned during the process.’ Sound like more of a thick cracker than the sweet spongy dessert we have today!

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“Let them eat cake!” was a phrase historically thought to have been said by Marie Antoinette when she found out that her citizens had no more bread, was actually most likely coined from a similar phrase said by Marie Thérèse of Spain who sat on the French throne decades before Marie Antoinette. Interestingly enough, Marie Antoinette’s daughter was also named Marie Thérèse (of France).

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Deliciously dense and moist Pound Cake got its name from the original recipe of using 1 pound of each of its simple ingredients. That’s 1 lb. of butter, 1 lb. of sugar, 1 lb. of flour, and 1 lb. of eggs. Now that’s heavy!

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Although in existence long before, Victorian England popularized the Fruitcake between 1837 and 1901. It was a custom at the time for unwed women to sleep with a piece of fruit cake under their pillow so they could have sweet dreams about the man they would someday marry.

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The world’s largest Sponge Cake weighed in at 2.5 tons and measured 26 x 16 feet – the size of a small New York City apartment! It took 3 days to bake and more than 3,000 eggs and 1,102 pounds of blackberries, pineapple, and strawberry were used. The dessert was then cut into 10,000 pieces and shared with the town of Seiersberg, Austria where it was baked.

The classic story behind the name Angel Food Cake is that the cake is so light, so white, and so fluffy, it must be fit for angels. It’s not recorded who thought up the name but according to a study of old cookbooks, recipes for ‘Angel Food Cake’ started appearing in American cookbooks in the late 19th century.

Devil’s Food Cake got it’s name because, just the opposite of Angel Food Cake, it is so rich and decadent people considered it sinful to eat.

Rainbow Roll take-out from Bushido, in Mountain View, CA. We do love us some sushi!

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.”

― Benjamin Franklin, circa 1700s

Have a hankering for frittata? Try a potato cup frittata for dinner. These individually-sized portions were designed by Sara O’Donnell to feed a hungry, army-sized family. But the dish also works great as a solo dinner—with extra to freeze! Just combine with a salad and you have a healthy, but filling, alternative to another night of soup or grilled cheese.

The best part of this recipe is its versatility. Don’t like the sound of a spicy Mexican egg dish? No problem! You can use almost any egg-and-veggie combo to fill these potato cups, so work with what you have in the fridge or get creative with your favorite ingredients. We happen to like a little spice with our dinner so we stuck to the original. 

Ingredients for Potato Cup Frittata:

For Potato Cups

  • 2 ten ounce Idaho Russet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • salt & pepper

For Frittata

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup cream (half-n-half)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup crumbled or shredded cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp green chiles
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Get the full recipe and watch the instructional video here: http://www.averagebetty.com/recipes/potato-cup-frittata-recipe/

We all love us some good ol’ fashioned Barbecue! It’s the American way. But did you know…

BBQ Fun Facts:

  • The most popular holidays for barbecuing are, in order, July 4th, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
  • Surprisingly, ribs of any kind are not the most popular type of meat that people usually barbeque. The most popular grilling meats (in order) are as follows: burgers, steak, hot dogs, and chicken.
  • The side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill are corn, potatoes, and then other vegetables.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson hosted the first barbecue at the White House, featuring Texas-style BBQ ribs.
  • Lexington, North Carolina is the “Barbecue Capital of the World”. Their Annual Barbecue Festival, in October, attracts over 160,000 people every year.
  • The oldest barbecue pit was discovered in the Czech Republic and dates back to 29,000 BC. The four foot-wide roasting pit contained mammoth bones and utensils.
  • The four distinguished categories of barbecue cooking in the US are Carolina style, Texas style, Kansas City style, and Memphis style.
  • Baby back ribs (also known as back ribs, baby backs, loin back ribs, or Canadian back ribs), are called “babies” because they are shorter and quicker to cook than spare ribs.
  • 63% of the U.S. population grills monthly.

Cenosillicaphobia: The fear of an empty glass.

Fear not. We’ve got you. »  BlendAbout.com

It’s kind of true. Cheers to the brilliance of Wine Wednesday!