Category Archives: food/drink

Miracle Whip I, Miracle Whip II, Mayonnaise, and Hellmans.

mayovsmiracle1Miracle Whip I was a low fat, low cal substitute for Hellman’s/Best Foods/Duke’s Mayonnaise, a commercially sold “sort of” mayonnaise.

Real mayonnaise is quite simple to make, but the issue of using raw eggs is an important one, as a nasty case of salmonella might result. One should either use pasteurized eggs or eggs from a proven local source, or coddle the eggs at 170 degrees before use. The basic idea is to vigorously whip olive oil into egg yolks, adding a touch of mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar and perhaps some lemon juice. Homemade mayonnaise will keep for only a few days.


* 2 egg yolks
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
* 1/8 teaspoon sugar
* Pinch cayenne pepper
* 4 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar
* 1-1/2 cups olive or other salad oil
* 4 teaspoons hot water

Beat yolks, salt, mustard, sugar, pepper, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a small bowl until very thick and pale yellow. (Note: If using electric mixer, beat at medium speed.) Add about 1/4 cup oil, drop by drop, beating vigorously all the while. Beat in 1 teaspoon each lemon juice and hot water. Add another 1/4 cup oil, a few drops at a time, beating vigorously all the while. Beat in another teaspoon each lemon juice and water. Add 1/2 cup oil in a very fine steady stream, beating constantly, then mix in remaining lemon juice and water; slowly beat in remaining oil. If you like, thin mayonnaise with a little additional hot water. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Do not keep longer than 1 week.

Supposedly, using a blender makes the process much simpler.
Commercial mayonnaise is generally more acidic, because of vinegar or lemon juice, and will keep for longer periods.

Miracle Whip was produced by a new machine which was able to emulsify the ingredients without using as much fat. It is sweeter and tangier than mayonnaise. In an apparent cost-saving move, the recipe was changed by Kraft in 2006 to what I call Miracle Whip II, by removing some of the soy oil and adding water. The new list of ingredients:
The flavor changed, and it became more watery and less stable, much to the dismay of MW’s many devotees.
Hellmans has also changed their recipe. Kraft’s Real Mayo may be the most authentic mayo at present.
Aioli is a simple sauce similar to mayonnaise but may be simply garlic and olive oil, with or without the egg and mustard.

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Filed under food/drink, Uncategorized

Nestle to package products in Charmin?

New packaging for cookie dough?

New packaging for cookie dough?

Nestle seems to have gotten caught with its poop in the cookie jar:

Nestle USA Friday recalled its refrigerated cookies, one kind of Nestle’s famous Toll House products, after federal health officials linked the dough to infections from the bacteria in 66 people in 29 states, including five in Washington. The recall does not affect other Toll House products, including ice cream that contains raw Toll House dough.

Consumers were asked to throw away the dough or, to get a refund, return it to the store where it was purchased. The FDA advised against baking the dough because bacteria could be transferred to hands and preparation surfaces.

Gee, can’t “teh markets” take care of these poopy food issues? Oh, I guess that was something Bush thought up. I’m surprised the FDA still exists. Nestle seems to have brushed off the inspectors:

A WSJ report today says inspection reports covering the past five years show that officials at the company’s Danville, Va. plant, which made the suspect dough, “refused to allow a Food and Drug Administration inspector to review consumer complaints or inspect its program designed to prevent food contamination.”

Of course, no one wants someone watching while they “go number 2″…

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Filed under food/drink, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare, Humor, Politics, science: not a very Republican thing to do, Uncategorized

Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the fake rowing scene for Lipitor


Congress has been asking some tough questions while wearing their serious faces about why Dr. Richard Jarvik (inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart) is shilling Lipitor when he’s not actually licensed to practice medicine.

ABC News says that Dr. Jarvik has been paid a guaranteed $1.35 million for the ads, which feature him espousing the virtues of Lipitor in a doctoriffic-looking lab coat and rowing around a lake talking about “when diet and exercise aren’t enough.”

Here’s our favorite part of the story—the New York Times says that Dr. Jarvik uses a stunt double when he’s shown rowing in the commercials.

As it turns out, Dr. Jarvik, 61, does not actually practice the sport. The ad agency hired a stunt double for the sculling scenes.
“He’s about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen,” said a longtime collaborator, Dr. O. H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute. “He can’t row.”


Filed under celebrities in the news, economics, food/drink, healthcare, Humor, media, Outdoors

Sushi has too much mercury; EPA: yawn….

NY Times

Recent laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Filed under food/drink, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare

Restaurant review: Maverick, in the Mission

Maverick is a small American-cuisine restaurant on 17th just west of Mission in San Francisco. The place is cozy, dimly lit, not real noisy, and the decor is kind of, well, American; we had a fragmented, backlit road map of the US on the wall next to our table. We had the large table in front, with a view into the kitchen.

The menu was limited but diverse; I had the Maverick salad, which was very good, while others praised the oysters. My main course was the trout, which was excellent. My companions enjoyed the chicken, pork and pasta. The wine list is short and distinctly “small-winery” oriented; don’t expect the usual suspects. The friendly and knowledgeable staff bailed me out by bringing samples of several wines.

I highly recommend Maverick, though I think the smaller tables may be somewhat more cramped and noisy. Expect to pay $70-90 depending on your wine selection.

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Filed under food/drink, San Francisco

Updated:Don’t make your own yogurt without that ‘Made in China’ appliance

Our “MiC” yogurt maker died last year, of unknown causes. Probably just as well, as the alternative was probably that it would catch fire or be found to contain arsenic.

It turns out that yogurt makers are not very popular items these days. Don’t know why. But you can’t just walk into Sears or most of the big box stores and buy one. I have located some on ‘the miracle that is the internet,’ but I also found this story:

I was going to buy this yogurt maker, but after I read a review that said there was no thermostat in this machine, despite what the manufacturer claims (someone actually took it apart and looked!) – I decided to do further research. What I found was that I already had everything I needed to make my own yogurt – my oven. My oven has better temperature control and it doesn’t take up counter space.

Making yogurt basically involves mixing milk with a “starter” (usually plain, unpasteurized yogurt) and keeping it at a temperature where the “good” bacteria will multiply and turn the rest of the milk into yogurt. Everything needs to be really clean so you don’t introduce “bad” bacteria into the mix. Other methods I had heard about involved scalding the milk and sterilizing the containers and everything else — sounded like a pain. But I found a method that works really well for lazy people like me, with no scalding and no sterilization, and no special equipment:

Get a quart-size carton of milk and some yogurt, both at room temperature. Open the milk carton, pour some out to make room in the carton, and add 1/2 c. of plain yogurt with live cultures (like Straus Creamery or Dannon plain yogurt). Close up the carton again, clip shut, and shake it gently to mix up the milk and yogurt. As for the milk you poured out (you saved it right?), that’s going to be your starter for the next batch, so add a couple teaspoons of yogurt to that, give it a good stir, and cover tightly. Get an old (but clean!) bath towel and wrap both in it. Place on a cookie sheet and place in 110 degree F oven. “Bake” at 110 degrees overnight – around 12 hours – remove from oven and refrigerate. Perfect European-style yogurt! (For the thicker American style, add powdered milk along with your yogurt “starter.”) Best of all, there’s no need to pre-heat/scald the milk (not necessary if you use pasteurized milk) and no cleaning (since you make the yogurt right in the paper milk carton straight from the store). Any size milk carton will work — just adjust the amount of starter accordingly.

We go through 4 quarts of yogurt a week, so I make 2 big milk cartons’ worth each time. If I used the Salton, I would have to run it four times to get the same amount of yogurt.

I’m on board !! Let’s see how well this works!

Update: this method is not without problems:

our oven won’t go this low, and certainly the control isn’t accurate; putting a paper carton and a towel in the oven???.

getting the ingredients to mix is not that simple.

its messy.

how do you get solid yogurt out of the milk carton?


Filed under China: "junk" is not just a boat, economics, food/drink

How to find a good restaurant


The question at hand was how to find good restaurants, and his answer was to take the city you want to go to and just google up some restaurant names that serve the dish you’re after. Then got to chowhound or another foodie site, and rather than asking about restaurants, you put up an enthusiastic post talking about how you just had the best whatever you’re looking for at one of these restaurants.

At that point, what drivingblind likes to call the nerdfury will begin. Posters will show up from nowhere to shower you with disdain, tell you how that place used to be good but has now totally sold out and – most important to your quest – will tell you where you would have gone if you were not some sort of mouth breathing water buffalo.

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Filed under food/drink