Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Must Visit These Sites - April 30, 2009


(Photo upload to Flickr by Shesnuckinfuts')

Each week, I'd like to expose you to some interesting sites and blogs for you to check out.

Here is this week's selection...

Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide - Save Money, Eat Better, Help The Environment

The first site I would like you to take a look at is called Still Tasty. I was reading one of the Yahoo groups that I belong to called Jewish Food Groups (among the hundreds of food groups I think I belong to) and one of the group members posted this blog site. What a wealth of information. It explains all about expiration dates on cans, bottles, packaging, how long foods stay fresh, what has to be refrigerated, and what doesn't. This is a great reference site to bookmark, and to send to all your kids. I know I always fight with my crew about leaving leftover pizza on the counter and eating it the next day because they are too lazy to wrap it and refrigerate it -

Here is what Still Tasty says: "Question: Last night, I ordered in some pizza and then fell asleep for a few hours before I could put away the leftovers. The pizza was sitting on the counter for a total of about 6 hours before I put it in the fridge. It still smells fine — is it safe to eat?"

Answer: Sorry, but you're out of luck.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it’s dangerous to eat any cooked food (including takeout foods like pizza, fried chicken or Chinese food) that has been allowed to sit at room temperature for two hours or longer.

The reason is that temperatures between 40° F and 140° F provide the perfect breeding environment for so-called “pathogenic bacteria” — the kind of bacteria that causes foodborne illness. And here’s the tricky part: Pathogenic bacteria generally does not affect the taste, smell, or appearance of food. In other words, just because the pizza smells ok to you, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.

Now, does this mean you're guaranteed to get sick if you eat the pizza? Nope — you could certainly get lucky and experience no side effects at all. But in our humble opinion, no food is worth taking the chance on contracting a serious foodborne illness.

The next time you order in pizza, be sure to follow the guidelines for storing your leftovers here."

So kids,if you ever eat unrefrigerated left over pizza, I'll have to kill you if the pizza doesn't kill you first!

Check out this site, you will be so glad you did!

A story in the Baltimore Sun states that in this recession, more and more restaurants are allowing diners to BYOB (bring your own bottle) and are either lowering or eliminating the corkage fee. See, there are some good things that come out of a recession. Many restaurant owners are saying this is a way to thank their customers (my own thought is, if some of these restaurants don't start courting customers, and lowering prices, they will be closing their doors, if they thought they could still get corkage fees, don't even think that they would be doing this for the customers benefit - it's time the little guy caught some breaks, so take them where you can.)

Each restaurant of course has their own policies, rules, and regulations so you would do best to call ahead and inquire, rather than be embarrassed. If you want to read more about this story,
here is the link - just clink on Baltimore Sun.

Of course, not to be outdone, Crain's New York Business published an article along the same vein as the previous article and it states that most BYOB restaurants are running afoul of the law, particularly in New York. The New York State Liquor Authority is now so concerned over this emerging new trend that they are giving classes to restaurant owners explaining the dos and mostly don'ts associated with allowing diners to bring their own bottle. The New York State Liquor Authority states that these restaurants are looking towards severe penalties as well as possible closure if they allow these practices to continue. So be careful, where you bring your own bottle, you could be jeopardizing your favorite restaurant - especially in New York, where our politicians have nothing better to do than to worry about their constituents having a nice bottle of wine with dinner, instead of figuring out why they are taxing us to death, our increasing number of unemployed, our loss of businesses and population to more people friendly states, but whether or not you bring your own bottle of wine, seems to take precedence!

By the way, just so you know, if you do gift baskets in New York State (which I did for years) you cannot include a bottle of wine, even if the customer gives you the receipt, you cannot ship wine across state lines, and a whole host of other stupid rules designed to make your life miserable and allow your business to fail.

Read more about this story on Crain's New York Business website.

The Elmira, New York, Star-Gazette features an article that will do your heart good. During National Library week, the Southeast Steuben County Library in Corning, New York, dispensed with their fines on overdue books in lieu of a donation of food to the library. One item of food for every overdue book would clear the offenders account. The food will then be donated to the Corning Community Food Pantry and the Painted Post Churches Food Pantry.

What a wonderful idea, perhaps more library's could follow their lead, and why wait for National Library Week, why not make it a once a month happening. Perhaps other organizations, with late fees, could follow suit. Perhaps the credit card companies, who have higher interest rates than the Mafia, could do an amnesty month - and instead of putting people in the poor house, they could feed people in the poor house! Something to think about - in the meantime, kudos to
the Southeast Steuben County Library - you did a good thing!!!! To read more about this article,
click the link Southeast Steuben County Library

Next comes an article from

on one of my fellow twitterers, Medini Pradhan

who calls herself "a Splenda-holic" hmmmmm a Splenda Foodfanataholic - wow!

Medini told me that she was being written up in the New York Times Weekender in an article about artificial sweeteners. Medini who runs an Indian food and culture website, uses Splenda to sweeten her tea. The article goes on to talk about people and their preferences in the Sweetener War, in case anyone cares, I am a Sweet-n-Low kinda girl. To read more, or voice your own opinion, click on the link for the New York Times Weekender.

To learn more about Medini, follow her on Twitter or visit her website Cuisine Cuisine . Com
to learn more about Indian culture and food, or to purchase beautiful gifts from India. You go Medini, your fellow Twitterers are proud of you.

The final pick of the week comes from my friend Anne, who is a wealth of knowledge, including giving me a great shrimp scampi recipe which I made for dinner tonight and will post when I get a minute to breath, comes a link for 50 of the Greatest Food Blogs. The link was up for awhile, but in case you missed it, here it is again from the Times on Line in the United Kingdom. Check the list and see if your favorite food blog is there.

Excuse me Times on Line but you forgot somebody......what about me????????????

Hope you all enjoyed this weeks picks...

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