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Features Hacks Health

5 Practical Ways To Use A Lemon

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The majestic lemon is so much more than a garnish for your cocktails and crispy fish tacos.

Aside from its culinary uses, there are many practical things you can do with the fruit thanks to its acidity and pleasant citrus smell.

We dug around and found five practical uses for lemons outside making dishes taste better. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for it.

Furniture Polish

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Whether its the desk you eat so many lunches alone at or your trusty chopping board, sometimes wood can wear down and stink after exposure to so many different foods and contaminants.

Simply squeeze some lemon juice on the surface and wipe it down with a clean paper towel. You’ll get a fresh citrus smell and slightly cleaner and healthier furniture.

Mouth Wash

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Bad breath? After crushing a fat onion-filled burrito, you’re probably gonna want to clean your mouth somehow. If you gargle some lemon juice, minus the seeds, the citric acid will definitely kill any residual germs and odors from your last meal. Just make sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, or that same acid will harm your teeth.

Keeps Food From Oxidizing

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Ever get brown avocados or guac? The longer the emerald fruit is exposed to air, the more it goes through an oxidation process that discolors it and turns the delicious green into an unsightly brown.

If you squirt a bit of lemon on top of the avocado, it’ll prevent oxidization until you’re ready to finish off your snack. Just don’t let it sit for a week because a lemon can only do so much.

Scare Off Ants

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Those pesky insects are everywhere. Unfortunately, your kitchen is a sacred space and you wouldn’t want to fill it with too many unnecessary chemicals. Peel off some of the rind from a lemon and leave it around spots in the kitchen where ants gather the most. The strong odor will keep them at bay.

Get Rid Of Unwanted Smells

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YouTuber DaveHax recently purchased a product that you can plunge into a fresh lemon and spray juice directly from the fruit. With it, he recommends spritzing your garbage or bathroom whenever there’s an unpleasant or unwanted odor.

While you could easily just pour some lemon water in a spray bottle, this product cuts out the middle-man entirely.

Definitely adding it to our holiday wishlist.

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Features Restaurants What's New

This Chef Is Quietly Changing The LA Sushi Scene With His Unusual Techniques

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Jiro Kobayashi is a pioneer.

The talented chef at Roku in West Hollywood is best known for taking the traditional Japanese cuisine of sushi and charting a new path with the classic ingredients. His specialty: using fruit to create non-traditional, albeit stunning, sushi dishes.

On a recent food crawl with fellow Foodbeast Reach, we stopped by Roku to get a first-hand look at the master at work.

Upon first glance, Jiro’s sushi station looked no different than any other Japanese restaurant. There were fresh cuts of salmon, tuna, and albacore, and other seafoods on display, ready to utilize at a moment’s notice. However, there were secondary shelves full of fruits and preserves in marked jars directly under the fish – his unlikely tools of the trade.

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As he worked, his knife and hands danced around the plate, switching between fruit and protein in a blur of precise and breathtaking motion. When he finally stopped, a veritable Rembrandt sat before him that encompassed the heart of traditional sushi sensibilities with modern execution.

I started experimenting with different techniques and uncommon ingredients, and customers responded positively to it. In Southern California, we have so much great produce, and I wanted to be able to incorporate that into my dishes.

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Chef Jiro only took a moment to explain his dish – a decadent seared tuna tataki with figs, almond sauce, goat cheese foam, hearts on fire, and garlic chips – before proceeding on to his next work of art.

As with all sushi chefs, Jiro underwent years of formal training in Japan, working twelve hours a day, six days a week.

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His years of training strengthened his resolve to create something beautiful from the craft. Jiro’s menu items are a testament to his skills and attention to detail.

Take this Trio Plate for example. It features a blue crab tartare with uni, a Shigoku oyster topped with Osetra caviar and tosazu (Japanese vinegar) gelee, and a fluke kumquat sashimi.

During my time in Japan, I fell in love with the culture and the beauty, their work ethic and how detail-oriented everything is. It’s so intense, but they just want to be the best at what they do. I think that’s very reflective of the sushi profession as well, and that inspired me to continue on the path to become a sushi chef.

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What sets him apart from other sushi chefs is the way he experiments with his ingredients in new, innovative ways, while sticking to the foundation that makes sushi what it is today.

I respect the tradition of sushi making and Japanese cuisine, but I also appreciate that I don’t have to adhere to any strict standards at Roku, where I’m free to experiment with interesting or non-traditional ingredients.

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The kitchen is pretty much a playground for this creator:

I can use ingredients from other countries, like jalapeño, burrata, or foie gras, but I can also tie it back to sushi and Japan with ingredients like yuzu or shiso, and end an omakase with a traditional sushi course.

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A few dishes in and we were still mesmerized watching him work.

The chef nonchalantly picked up a blowtorch and started searing some scallops right before our eyes. With those same, trigger-happy hands, Jiro gracefully sauced a plate with Kabocha squash purée and delicately adorned it with the scallops, pomegranate seeds, and a nasturtium leaf. War and peace, all within a few deft motions, played out for our palates.

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Like a true artist, Jiro’s menu is never the same. The constantly-revolving dishes change with the seasons. Although, patrons can also request traditional sushi dishes, which the Japanese master would be more than happy to make.

You can find the sushi master on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Boulevard. Just make sure to call ahead and he’ll save you some fried amaebi head.

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Categories
Cravings Health Hit-Or-Miss News What's New

The Best Food At The LA Fair Is Actually A Vegan Taco

For a food lover, going to the fair can be a blast. Everything’s either deep-fried or wrapped in bacon. However, eating all that fried stuff really takes a toll on your body. That’s why we were delighted to discover the best tasting thing at this year’s LA County Fair was, in fact, a vegan dish.

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This year, a booth called Plant Food For People shocked us with one of their dishes: a carnitas-style taco made with shredded jackfruit. It was arguably the tastiest dish there.

We tried a bite and honestly could not tell the difference between the taco and its porky counterpart. The shredded jackfruit are specially seasoned and thrown on the grill. Afterwards, the jackfruit is dressed up with a vegan Chipotle mayonnaise and coleslaw.

After ingesting a ton of fried foods on premises, this was a welcome surprise.

Owners Jeremy and Genise Castaneda said that they plan on opening a stand in Venice sometime in the near future. For now, you can find them slanging these delectable vegan jackfruit tacos at this year’s LA County Fair.

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Hit-Or-Miss

CUCAMELON: The Cucumber + Melon Hybrid You Didn’t Know Existed

The cucamelon is the newest trending fruit hybrid, and its small size and watermelon-like exterior is everything.

The tiny, citrusy, cucumber-flavored melons have the aesthetic of a watermelon but are the size of grapes. They’re so adorable that you’re likely to feel a sense of guilt when you bite into one.

Food and Wine states that the fruit has been around for centuries, originating in Mexico, and are also known as mouse melons. They’re a fruit with many names and have also been branded as chihuahua cucumbers, and Mexican sour gherkins.  

Cucamelons are the new cotton candy grapes and they’re extremely photogenic and way too cute not to Instagram!

How have we just now found out about these?! Thank you internet.

Organic cucamelons can be found at Whole Foods, however, keep an eye out for them at your local farmers market. Another way to get your paws on them is to purchase seeds on Amazon and grow your own!

 

 

 

Photo Credit: averycools

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Products

Summer Just Got A Lot Cooler With These Frozen Vodka Pops

As most people know, hard alcohol is a very difficult thing to freeze, especially when using commercial freezers. A lot of people keep their hard alcohol in the freezer simply to make it a little thicker and cooler, making it easier to take shots of.

One fairly new UK company has not only found a way to freeze it (albeit in a small amount), but they also flavored it and put it in a sleeve. This wonderful company (known as Icycl) has just virtually created the alcoholic counterpart to Otter Pops. Let that sink in.

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When it comes to the target demographic, the brand makes it pretty clear: party people. The Icycl vodka pops were made to be enjoyed with music around, specifically EDM, and the photos accompanying the product make that abundantly evident.

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With a 6.4% ABV for each sleeve, you will actually be able to get drunk just by eating these and never actually drinking. Each box comes with six sleeves – two apple, two blackcurrant and two lemon & lime flavors. All you have to do is throw them in the freezer for a few hours and enjoy!

These Icycl Pops can be found on Firebox for $18.19 plus tax, a small price to pay for being the coolest person at any pool party this season.

Just don’t let your kids mistake them for actual Otter Pops.

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Hit-Or-Miss Video

Crazy Russian Hacker Uses Mortars To Blow Up Watermelons

The Crazy Russian Hacker, a DIY celebrity YouTuber who is constantly posting quirky videos of his sometimes useful — sometimes questionable — experiments, has been posting some pretty incredible videos as of late. A few weeks ago, he showed us how to make liquid nitrogen ice cream, which looked simple and delicious.

So this week, possibly to continue with the summer food theme, the Russian and his gang of cronies are using mortars, which are really powerful fireworks (and another summer themed item), to blow up watermelons. This time, however, for some added visual stimulation, they recorded it in slow motion.

While there’s little science behind this experiment, it still takes them a few tries to really get the watermelons to explode perfectly. Once they do, it’s remarkably mesmerizing. It’s even more mesmerizing when played back in slow motion.

We’re not here to tell you that using mortars to blow apart watermelons is a good idea, and we advise adult supervision if you decide to go against our wishes and use powerful explosives to destroy fruit.

It’s your life.

That being said, you can just as easily create liquid nitrogen ice cream and add watermelon for some extra flavor — without the fear or consequence of blowing off a limb.

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Celebrity Grub

Gordon Ramsay Reveals 10 Incredibly Useful Cooking Tricks

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As busy as this guy is, it’s pretty awesome to see that Gordon Ramsay isn’t above sharing some of his kitchen tricks. In one of his latest videos, Chef Ramsay shares 10 different tips that makes working in the kitchen loads easier.

He covers stuff from chopping herbs and veggies to cooking meat faster. Seriously, you don’t have to be a professional chef to find these incredibly useful.

Check them out.

Chopping up herbs

Bunch up your herbs, it makes them easier to chop.

Quickly ripen fruit

If you have fruit that still hasn’t quite ripened, throw it into a brown paper bag along with a banana and set it in a dark place.

Peel & cut a mango

Slice into a mango and cut it up into squares along the skin. Then, bend the mango and cut out the even squares.

Getting rid of the heat of chillies from your finger

If you’re working with chillies, you’re not gonna want to touch your eyes anytime soon. The trick is to squirt lemon juice in your hands to get rid of that heat.

Cooking potatoes

Start off your potatoes in cold water, not hot. When they cook, the outer skin won’t fall apart.

Peeling a kiwi

Cut the kiwi in half and scoop it out with a teaspoon.

Cutting a bell pepper

Cut off the stalk and flip it over. Start from the top (formerly the bottom) and start slicing around the seeds. It makes the remaining pieces much easier to cut up.

Finding a ripe pineapple

Peel a leaf from the top of your questionable pineapple. If it comes off easily, it’s ripe.

Cooking meat faster

If you score meat, cutting multiple inch-deep gashes into the flesh, you’ll allow it to cook faster. It’ll also let the marinade sink deeper.

Keeping food from going brown

Cover your potatoes, avocados and apples in water and add some lemon. It’ll stop the oxidation process that causes them to turn brown.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

This Avocado-Ripening Trick Will Save You DAYS Of Grief

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Have you ever wanted to cook something with avocados, but the only ones you can find just aren’t ripe enough? Unfortunately, that happens to us more than you’d think. Luckily, there’s a cheat code that’ll ripen those avocados right up for you.

Here’s what to do.

Take a piece of tinfoil and wrap it around the avocado. Then, place the foily fruit on a baking sheet and throw it into the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

Avocados ripen from the ethylene gas that it produces. Because it’s covered in the tin foil and heated, the gas surrounds the avocado and speeds up the ripening process exponentially.

It may take a little longer depending on how ripe your avocado still is, so do your best to limit the cooking time while you’re doing the grocery shopping.

It’ll at least save you the trip to another store.

h/t PureWow, Photo: MorgueFile