Categories
Hacks

7 Tips To Help Nail The Perfect Pancake Stack

Photo: SoDelicious

What do you think of when you’re trying to plan the perfect breakfast? If pancakes are your answer, then we should talk. A nice stack on your plate is not very pretentious, but there are tips and tricks that can help you make better pancakes for your loved ones.

My stomach cannot handle many foods in the morning, but there are some just too enticing to say no to. That is how I trick myself into having breakfast: by going with the classics. A stack of pancakes with maple syrup or fruit is very high on my go-to list. That’s why I had to perfect my process and end up with better pancakes than what I was turning out.

Things aren’t really that complicated. And it will all go smoothly if you follow the next tips and tricks. When it comes to toppings, though, that’s where your imagination has a chance to shine. Let’s get you there first!

7 tips and tricks for better pancakes

1Use a whisk

A spoon is not a good tool for mixing the pancake batter. Get a large whisk and put the batter together like that. Why? Because a whisk tends to whip air into the batter. And that’s how you make them fluffy and airy – good qualities for a pancake.

Stack Your Odds for Better Pancakes in the Morning
Mix your pancake batter with a whisk to get fluffy pancakes.

2. Don’t overmix

Some people might have gluten sensitivity, but you know what? Gluten has a sensitivity to people too. I mean you shouldn’t overmix it or overbeat it. That is how you end up with tough batter and crumbly pancakes.

3. Let the batter rest

After you beat it, give it a break. Let the batter rest for a while, maybe 5 minutes but preferably on the side of half an hour. Mixing the dough activates the gluten, that’s why some rest is of utmost importance. Also, the flour has time to absorb the liquid, which makes the dough thicker and better for the results.

4. Use oil, not butter in the pan

Butter has a very low smoke point and it tends to burn easily. That’s why you should use an oil with a higher smoke point to make better pancakes. Try canola or even olive oil. And you’ve also solved the problem of smoking your kitchen too much!

You can use a bit of butter on top of your pancakes, but don’t cook them in it because it will burn.

5. Coat the pan in oil

Don’t just pour the oil into the pan! That’s a recipe for bad smudging. For greater results, use a kitchen towel to rub the oil on the bottom and walls of the pan. This is how pancakes end up cooked evenly, as opposed to just making them swim in pools of oil.

6. Cook the pancakes on medium

You should not rush the process of cooking the pancakes, even if your stomach is growling. So, don’t turn up the heat, or you’ll end up with raw dough on the inside and burns on the outside of the pancake. A medium temperature ensures that your pancakes end up crispy on the crust and fluffy and airy on the inside.

7. Flip once!

Don’t flip out about this. I understand the urge to flip anything multiple times. But that’s overkill. If you do too much flipping, then the pancake will lose its fluffiness and deflate. How do you know when the flip is supposed to happen? It’s quite simple: flip when the bubbles forming on the pancakes start to burst.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Culture Features Hacks Restaurants

10 Pro Chefs Reveal What They Do With Their Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while everyone’s planning what to cook for dinner, I’m trying to figure out what to do with the inevitable leftovers that come with a large family that refuses to take food home. Usually there will be Tupperware containers stacked with stuffing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, ham, and veggies sitting in my fridge that last well into Cyber Monday.

My go-to move is to plop everything onto a plate and introduce it to Mister Microwave. Lazy, yes, but it gets the job done. This year, I told myself I’d put a little more effort into my leftovers and was left wondering what professional chefs do with their extra holiday food the day after Turkey Day.

Photo courtesy of Josh Elkin

These ten professional chefs from across the country reveal their unique takes on tackling Thanksgiving leftovers. Check out what they have to say.


Jason Fullilove (Barbara Jean)

Photo courtesy of Peter Pham

“I like to make a Thanksgiving leftover pot pie with a simple 3-2-1 pie dough!” chef Fullilove shares.

Carmine Di Giovanni (Aunt Jake’s)

 

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“I love to whip up chili with my leftover turkey and vegetables, and then make croutons from the stuffing,” gushes Chef Di Giovanni. “It’s easy to make with everything that’s still in your fridge and doesn’t take a ton of time to put together. It’s also perfect for dinner the day after Thanksgiving and you still have family staying at your house.”

Molly Martin and Lyndi Stein (Juniper Green)

Photo courtesy of Hannah Schneider Creative

“We love to make a simple curry with leftover vegetables,” the culinary duo explain. “We usually have Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, roasted root vegetables, and maybe a spare onion and potato left. Fry up some sliced garlic, onion and ginger if you have it, then add red or green Thai curry paste, a little turkey stock (or even water), and a can or two of coconut milk.”

They add:

“If you have a can of chickpeas lying around, throw it in. Simmer your leftover veg in it just until it’s all warmed through and has a chance to marry and adjust the seasoning. We serve it over rice with lime wedges and cilantro for a comforting bowl that won’t leave you feeling like you need another nap.”

Linh Nguyen (Fleenor’s on 4th)

 

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“I like to make savory bread pudding out of the leftover stuffing, shred up some turkey and add gravy plus a couple fried eggs,” chef Nguyen says. “I call it my Thanksgiving Loco Moco!”

Jake Strang (L27)

Courtesy of Hannah Schneider Creative

“I like to take the dressing (or stuffing) and patty it out,” says Chef Strang. “You get a non-stick pan with a little butter and fry the patties until crispy. Then top with turkey that’s heated up in gravy until it shreds apart. Dump that over the top the crispy stuffing, top with a dollop of cranberry sauce and, if you’re feeling particularly healthy, some leftover green beans that have been slightly overcooked. It’s heaven!”

Greg Biggers (Fort Louise)

Photo courtesy Derek Richmond

“First of all, the [Thanksgiving] sandwich requires sturdy bread but not chewy,” chef Biggers explains. “A well baked, large toasted brioche bun is my go-to. Next, the most important ingredient (surprisingly not the turkey) is the stuffing! I like to make a patty out of it similar to a crab cake then sear it off. Now, you can add everything else left from the table you can find; turkey, cranberry sauce, mayo, coleslaw, and top it off with a side dish of gravy to dip it in.”

Josh Elkin (@thejoshelkin)

 

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“It changes every year, which is the fun part,” the YouTube celebrity chef shared excitedly. “Last year I made a leftover shooter sandwich. It’s a pressed sandwich packing in as much ingredients as I can fit. Weighing it down for a day and covering it in gravy. This year, I’m making a taco with a stuffing taco shell. It’s gonna be dumb smart. “

Nick Korbee (Egg Shop)

Photo courtesy of Hannah Schneider Creative

“Top a slice of bread with gravy, turkey, bacon and a tomato then broil away. When the bacon is crisp, and the gravy is bubbly, top this sandwich with a sunny up egg and enjoy!” Korbee instructs. “The prep for this classic sandwich can even be done while clearing the table. Build it on a cookie sheet and store in the fridge for an easy breakfast the next morning and save both time and Tupperware. If you’re feeling extra festive, substitute the tomato for cranberries for a little extra tang.”

Ed McFarland (Ed’s Lobster Bar)

Photo courtesy Hannah Schneider Creative

“I make Thanksgiving leftover meatballs,” McFarland dishes. “I grind the turkey, mix it with the stuffing and the cranberry sauce, form them into meatballs and heat it up in the turkey gravy. I like to do this because I use all the leftovers and every bite is the full taste of the Thanksgiving menu.”

Darryl Harmon (Clinton Hall)

Photo courtesy of Clinton Hall

“I take leftover pulled turkey, heat it up in the gravy with stuffing, cranberry sauce, baked apples and any vegetables I have from the day before,” offered Chef Harmon. “Then I take mashed potatoes and form into round mounds, add a dusting of flour (optional), and sear them on a griddle to make potato pancakes. Put the meat mixture in between and you have an amazing sandwich. Some people are weird about eating leftovers, but this twist is a fun, fresh take that my friends and family all love.”

Categories
Alcohol Drinks

Here’s Why You Should NEVER Store Premium Vodka In The Freezer

Almost everywhere I go, outside of a bar, I’ll see someone pulling out a bottle of vodka from their freezer right before serving it. Sure, it gives the alcoholic spirit a nice chill, but does storing it in a freezer actually do anything to enhance the quality of the drink?

Francois Thibault, the creator of Grey Goose Vodka, doesn’t seem to think so.

Thibault said that throwing your bottle in the freezer actually depreciates the quality of your vodka and that we’ve all been doing it wrong.

More premium vodkas should already have a naturally mild taste, so freezing it would only hide the “sophisticated aromas and flavors” of the alcohol, he told MSN. The Grey Goose creator added that keeping it at room temperature would also be a little aggressive.

Thibault said that the best temperature to store vodka is 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit because that is the temperature of slight dilution with ice in a glass. Freezing cheaper and low-quality vodkas will hide any “aggressive burning notes,” according to Thibault.

At the end of the day, the temperature you want to enjoy your vodka revolves around your personal preferences. Just know that sticking it in the freezer will have some dulling affects on your booze — especially if you’re spending extra on the premium stuff.

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#foodbeast Culture Features FOODBEAST Hacks

How To CRUSH Making Fried Chicken At Home

Experiencing fried chicken, when done properly, is like scoring the winning basket against a rival team in an ’80s coming-of-age film without your teen wolf powers. As Amy Holland put it: You’re shooting for the moon and finally make it.

I’ve tried making fried chicken several times at home, and each time it was just enough to fill my cravings. Never once, however, did it blow me away. So what had I been doing wrong?

fried-chicken-tips

Because I firmly believe making proper fried chicken is something I’ll need to know before I can venture into my 30’s, I sought out every juicy nugget of wisdom I could find.

This includes as many tips and tidbits from friends, professionals, and the Internet, that I possibly get my hands on.

If you’re ever looking to fry up a batch of chicken at home, perhaps you’ll want to stick to these fried chicken tips.


Fry in small batches

The number one thing to know about cooking fried chicken, according to chef Josh Elkin, is to fry in small batches.

“The more crowded the pot or fryer, the less even the chicken will fry and the longer it will take,” Elkin told Foodbeast.

“Making fried chicken is a bitch,” he adds, “But it’s fried chicken, so that’s the payoff.”

It’s all about the temperature

Never deep-fry cold chicken. When you’re about to cook, let your raw chicken sit out for a least 30 minutes until it gets to room temperature. The reason is that cold chicken will affect the cooking oil and dramatically lower the temperature once the pieces are thrown in.

This also causes the oil to soak into the skin — creating soggy, greasy chicken. Chef Linh Nguyen of Fleenor’s on 4th recommends a temperature around 335F.

Chicken skin is essential

According to simplifried, frying chicken pieces at a high temperature lets you know that there is no more fat sitting between the meat and the skin once it’s golden brown.

Because the fat works to fry the skin, removing the skin directs the fat towards the meat when cooking in high temperatures. This results in greasy chicken. Keeping the skin on acts as a barrier.

If you choose not to eat the skin, that’s up to you. If you’re doing fried chicken, though, it’s at least half the joy behind it.

Cooking oil is also essential

Put those fancy-flavored oils away. You’re going to need a fat with a high smoke point and a neutral taste. Canola oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, or even lard are all ideal. Avoid extra-virgin olive oil at all costs.

Don’t be afraid to brine

fried-chicken-tips

A well-seasoned buttermilk brine makes a world of difference for fried chicken. While salt and pepper are essential you can also add some paprika, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to give that chicken some heat.

Letting your meat brine overnight, or at least 8 hours, yields some fantastic results.

Take a fork and… what??

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay once shared with Foodbeast that you need to puncture the chicken to the bone with a fork before brining it. This way, the buttermilk seeps all the way into chicken and tenderizes the meat.

Season the flour

fried-chicken-tips

You’ve seasoned your brine, but don’t forget to also season your flour.

Again, you’ll need at least salt and pepper. After that you can be creative with the spices you use.

“Buttermilk brine and cornstarch mixed with the batter to make it super crunchy,” says Chef Aron Habiger of Cooking on the Lam.

It’s OK to double dip

Once you have your chicken coated in seasoned flour, you’re good to go right? Sure, but if you want that extra crispy skin, you can also let that chicken sit for a few minutes on a wire rack so that any excess liquid absorbs. Then, dip it into your seasoned flour a second time before frying.

The result: crispy, crunchy chicken.

Wire rack > Paper towels

We’ve often heard that laying down some paper towels will absorb the excess oils of the chicken. However, the steam created from the moist paper towels will then lead to soggy fried chicken. Instead, lay your fried chicken pieces on a wire rack so the excess oil falls off.

The Spyrou Finisher

Former recipe blogger and gatekeeper of dad jokes, Constantine Spyrou, had this little technique to share if you’re ever worried about burning your chicken.

“The longer the chicken sits in the frying oil, the more can get inside,” he said. “I like to get it to the right color on each side and then finish it off in the oven.”

He says he runs the oven to 350-degrees for both the oil and oven, so the chicken spends about 5 minutes in the oil and the rest of the cooking time in the oven —10 or so minutes.

“It keeps the chicken moist, keeps it from overcoloring, and prevents too much oil from breaking into the meat and making it greasy.”

The leftover cooking oil?

Your fried chicken is cooked, you’ve eaten your fill, and now it’s time to clean up. After finishing those dishes, your oil has now probably cooled a bit. I can’t stress this enough: NEVER dump your used cooking oil into the sink.

If you’re looking for ways to dispose of the oil, here are some options.

Categories
Culture Drinks Humor

10 Tips From a Former Barista That Will Ensure The Best Coffee Experience Ever

Listen, I get that the empire that is Starbucks has been crumbling in the past few weeks. With closures due to public outrage, the coffee conglomerate has seen better days.

However, it doesn’t mean that one bad egg ruins the bunch. The bunch is human, the bunch gets that what happened is abhorred, the bunch still has to go into work the next day and deal with the hundreds of people yelling and screaming at their faces for something so insignificant like coffee being too bitter.

So show the bunch some humanity.

I’m not asking for sympathy, just decency towards the people that have been up since 4 A.M. trying to give you a little pep in your step.

I’ve been a barista for five years, give or take. I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to inept customers not getting the simple and relatively easy to understand ins and outs about coffee.

I see how this complaint could be petty, but petty turns to torture when it’s hammered into my head every day. The fact that I have nightmares of my face melting off from someone angrily throwing coffee at my face, telling me it tastes “like dirt,” is a problem.

Instead of getting angry for not getting what you want like a child, there are steps you can take to  keep your latte from being spat into, and make your experience a little more pleasant at your local coffee shop

If You’re in Line, Decide

Figure out what you want before you get to the register. I can’t tell you how many times someone will mess around on their phone until they get to the register and still not know what they want. I’m not your mom, I’m your barista, I will help you if you know what you want. If not, at least lead with that.

Caffeine ≠ Coffee

Too many times people will walk in and say they want coffee, but aren’t down to drink a 16 oz cup of dark roast, or squeal when their cup is full of espresso. If you want coffee, say coffee; if you want caffeine, that’s a different story.  There’s so much more for you if you want caffeine. You can have espresso, iced coffee, cold brew, tea, or a mix.

There’s More Than One Type

Not all beans are equal. Certain coffee beans produce a different flavor profile and complexity. Even Starbucks, with their unicorn bs, still has three different types of coffee brewing in the morning. Ask the difference and taste it too, you’ll have a better morning if you have the coffee you like best.

Hot is Different From Burnt

Extra hot milk is just burned milk. Anything over 200 degrees is just burned. If you’re trying to save it for later just get a stopper to keep the heat from escaping, or get it later, I doubt there isn’t a starbucks around wherever you are.

Ethnocentricism is no Excuse

Cold brew has been around for a long time. Just because Starbucks recently began doling out the new drink doesn’t mean they created it. According to historical records, cold brew finds its origins in Japan, specifically in Kyoto. It used to be referred to as Kyoto-style coffee, and only recently has been proliferate amongst US markets. See, pretty interesting huh? Ask a barista, and if they’ve got an ounce of intelligence and care, they’ll gladly tell you any further information or tidbits.

Don’t Play Yourself

Milk/cream and sugar are not needed. Sometimes the reason your coffee tastes so bad is because it’s just not the right type. Not all black coffee is a bitter charcoal pit. This isn’t a one size fits all type of situation. Just like there are different flavors of tea, there are different roasts with varying characteristics. Experiment a little, baristas are there to help you with that. Don’t just say it’s gross and expect us to read your mind, tell us what flavors you’re into.

This is Not That

If you order a Caramel Frappuccino with extra caramel because you want “coffee,” I will slap you. In my mind, at least.

There Are Actual Sizes

“Regular” is not and has never been a size. I assume you mean medium, which is mostly correct, but for those special folks that think I’m being dumb when I ask what exactly they mean, regular is not real.

Seek Within

If you really don’t know what you want, just ask yourself these three questions: 1. Do I want something hot or cold? 2. Do I want caffeine? 3. Do I want sugar? If you just tell your barista these three things and give them free reign to do whatever, they’ll have a blast and you’ll probably find a new favorite drink.

Enjoy

Overall, enjoy the experience that the barista is trying to impart. We genuinely care about the coffee, it’s what’s keeping us from throwing a bagel in your face at 5 in the morning. So take a minute, soak in the environment and know this isn’t a vending machine, it’s a cafe and we have real beans with real hot water and real people, not a robot.

Categories
Video

15 Secret Cooking Tricks Chefs Learn In Culinary School

Culinary school can be expensive, but it’s still arguably one of the best places to learn the respectable craft of cooking from some of the best instructors the world has to offer. Unless you have an undying passion for cooking, you probably won’t want to invest an insane amount of cash and years of studying.

Alternatively, you can scour the Internet culinary pro-tips, or just invent your own cooking robot to make your meals for you.

For those home cooks looking for quick tips to improve their personal culinary skills, Bright Side created a YouTube video that highlights some cooking tricks that chefs only reveal in culinary school. Their tips and nuggets of advice range from cooking the perfect egg to making sure your pie crusts stay nice and moist.

Below are 15 tips and secrets that’ll make your kitchen experience so much better. While these factoids are a bit cursory, and your cooking talents will probably be more nourished coming from a real life instructor, you won’t have to break your wallet in culinary school to learn these particular tips.

You can also check out the video above for more details and whimsical cooking animations.


Culinary School Tips

The Perfect Steak

Don’t cook a steak that comes straight from the fridge. Allow it to get to room temperature first, because letting it sit for an hour or two allows the steak cook evenly.

Juicy Meat

To avoid dry meat, put it in a brine (three cups of water, a quarter cup of salt, and a quarter cup of sugar). Let the meat brine about one hour for two pounds of meat. Before cooking, pat the meat dry to get that nice crisp.

Seasoning

To enhance the flavor of some herbs and spices, toast them on a skillet for a little while. Then take a mortar and pestle to grind the spices.

The Perfect Dough

If you’re making your own dough, make sure to take the butter and eggs out the night before to let them get to room temperature. If you’re using yeast, store the dough in a warm place until it becomes puffy — resulting in an airier pastry.

Crusty Fish

To get the perfect crust on fish from a grill, spread some mayonnaise over your meat with a pastry brush.

Cooking Steak Without Using Oil

Once the skillet is hot, introduce the steak from the side so that the fat renders. Then, you’re able to cook your meat in beef fat rather than using excess oil.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Before whipping up boiled potatoes, dry them on a skillet so the excess water evaporates (careful not to fry the potatoes). The result is creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes.

Cream Soup

Before cooking vegetable cream soup, fry the veggies first to caramelize the vegetables and enhance the flavor. You can then introduce water or broth.

Pancakes

Adding two tablespoons of sour cream to whatever pancake mix you make keeps the batter from cracking while you cook it and results in fluffy pancakes.

Seasoning with Sugar

Adding a small amount of sugar to dishes with tomatoes (pickled, fresh, or paste) will reduce the amount of natural sourness. Just make sure to not be too heavy on the sugar.

The Perfect Fried Egg

To get that picture perfect egg, heat a frying pan and add some butter over minimum heat. Make sure the  butter melts, but doesn’t sizzle and then add the egg.

Clear Chicken Broth

If you want that pristine soup broth that you can see straight through, cook the chicken on low heat without a cover for a minimum of three hours. Make sure it doesn’t boil and remove the suds constantly. After the first hour and a half, you can add the vegetables to the broth.

Crispy Crusts

Putting a bowl of water, or ice cubes in the oven under your crust prevents your dough from drying out too quickly. The steam keeps the exterior of the dough moist.

Cooking Onions

Over a pan of medium heat, add cooking oil and butter. Add the onions and fry them with salt. Using salt reduces the onion smell, cooks the onions faster, and starts the caramelization process.

Using Garlic


If you’re scared of using too much garlic, you can add garlic juice to your plate to avoid having garlic breath. It should flavor the meal without leaving a lasting impression on your breath.

Categories
Health

I’m A Food Social Media Entrepreneur And I Just Quit All Social Media

Day 1.

This is weird for me to write. Let me explain.

I’m a 29-year-old co-founder of Foodbeast, a website and media company whose content is seen by over a billion people a year. Our articles are read on Foodbeast.com and our videos are viewed on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. We have some premiere food and travel shows in our network now. My work day consists of answering emails, thinking of content ideas, client relations and growing our audience.

I started Foodbeast close to 10 years ago as a blog. It was a time prior to Facebook’s newsfeed, before Instagram was a seed in Kevin Systrom’s entrepreneurial ballsack — in short, social media as we know it did not exist.

I was still in college at the time and had a passion for writing and telling stories in any medium I could. Whether I was blogging about my friend attempting to eat 30 Sloppy Joes in one sitting inside a school cafeteria, the new burgers at Carl’s Jr., or using a MiniDV cam to film myself burning the roof of my mouth on hot pot the first time — I just wanted to tell stories I cared about.

I wanted to discuss food sans all the pretentiousness, because the proposition of Food Network being the sole voice for food was starting to feel stale to me. Fast forward 10 years later, Foodbeast is a humble company of creators, social media managers, ad sales, writers and video producers that continue to live out that vision. To say we owe a LOT to social media would be an understatement. Before Facebook and YouTube, our monthly audience maxed out at 2 million people a month. That’s a LOT of people, don’t get me wrong, but when technology and hackers like Mark Zuckerberg, and the bros behind YouTube gave us some bigger microphones to tell our stories through, our audience ballooned. For a self-funded, entirely private company like Foodbeast, social media gave us an opportunity and voice we likely wouldn’t have had without it.

That said, I just deleted Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat from my phone. Any social application that gives me access to a seemingly unlimited amount of people, I’ve removed. Only 1-on-1 conversations. Text and phone is cool. No “social validations” for a while. No quick social media dopamine hits to vacantly boost my mood when people like or view my “content.” No addictive social validation loop. Gone:

I didn’t run this decision by my business partners, my family — I didn’t want to make a symbolic gesture by announcing “going dark” on all my social feeds by uploading some dumb all black photo. I’m obviously not looking to advocate for the eradication of the amazing tool that social media is — my business wouldn’t have succeeded without it. With social media I have the ability to, within seconds, speak to anyone on fucking planet Earth. It’s an amazing tool, I want to use it, but I no longer feel like I have any control over it.

Fuck, I literally just switched tabs while writing this — entirely muscle memory — to check Facebook. The above is literally a screenshot, in real time, of me stopping the task at hand and going to Facebook. Good thing I’ve logged out of all of it. But seriously, I just hot-keyed my keyboard to spawn up a new tab and began typing ‘F-A….’

This morning, on our bi-weekly Katchup podcast I do with my co-founder Geoff Kutnick, the topic was the Most Important Food Instagrammers of 2018. I had been planning to discuss my research, interviews and surveys I’d accumulated over the past couple weeks. Who’s the most important? Who takes the best photos? Who has the best engagement? My goal was to finish the article before the podcast went live. I didn’t. I must have been too busy to finish… hm.

If you listen to the podcast, you’ll notice that I nearly crack and lose it towards the end as I describe Facebook “not giving a fuck about you.” The one bit of my research that stuck with me so profusely happened to come from a random YouTube video featuring ex-Facebook execs talking about social media.

The following video reveals both Sean Parker (ex-President of Facebook) and Chamath Palihapitiya (former Facebook exec and current Golden State Warriors co-owner) having immense regret for growing the Facebook platform.

“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” Palihapitiya said in front of students at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Alright Chamath, you sound CRAZY, dawg. Easy to sit on your billions and say you don’t “do” social media now. But…

…then something clicked for me.

I know these tools inside and out: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They’re crucial and give us a wealth of power and communication. But who’s really in charge? I hate to call social media a drug, in fear of sounding like my mom circa the grade school years telling me my hours of Nintendo were turning my brain to mush, but fuck dude, I can’t take a shit without passively scrolling Instagram. I’d more rather have my phone on the toilet than toilet paper — at least I have my phone to look up alternatives to wiping my ass when the TP is depleted.

I can’t even go to the gym without checking Twitter for that fire Lavar Ball Tweet. I reward every task on my work ‘to-do’ list with a quick “hit” of social media. H ow come no one has checked me into fucking rehab yet?!

A study in 2016 (yeah, it’s two years old but it’s the first study that came up in Google, sue me) says the typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times every day. Bruh. That’s a TYPICAL person. And that’s an OLD study.

Psychological and mental health aside of living within the walls of a digital world for a majority of your day, the physicality of my neck crane-ing over 5+ cumulative hours a day actively using my phone while I wait for people to like my Instagram photo is fastidiously putting a herniated disc into my neck. Truly, my neck hasn’t stopped hurting for the past couple years.

Bruh, it hasn’t been but a couple hours, but speak of the devil:

I’ve found I haven’t been able to write like I used to. I’ll get 400 words in and my mind will find some unexplainable reason that I must check Instagram. An hour of scrolling later, I forgot what I was writing about, have jumped to Facebook, ignored my girlfriend’s texts and cracked my neck three times since there’s no “healthy” way for you to posture looking at a 4 inch screen on a couch.

I haven’t published a memorable article on Foodbeast in the past year or so. It took me “weeks” to get 80% done on three different articles, tens more in drafts. I even went on a “spiritual food journey” during a recent trip to Seattle and left my phone in my room for 24 hours. I documented every food I ate and person I encountered in a journal. A spiral-bound book of blank paper and a pen that ejaculates ink is what people used to use to document memories. It was brilliant day. It was eye opening. I felt like Bourdain on his third book. On the 25th hour when I sat down to write about my day sans-phone, I got two sentences in to my recollection, got distracted by a glowing notification on Instagram and never looked back at that draft.

It’s been five months since then.

It’s February 1st now. I’ll use social media again in March. I won’t be able to tell if people are “commenting” on this story, or the subsequent journal entries I’ll produce this month, but you can email me what you think.

I’d love to hear if I’m crazy. Will my food taste better now? Will my mind change? Does your neck hurt, too? Do you get anxiety about taking shits without your phone? Who will I share my food photos with? Have you ever lost your iPhone for a few hours and felt like you were completely void of meaning and direction in your day? E-mail me. Don’t Tweet me, don’t DM me on Instagram. I can’t see your messages on Facebook — but I can see your e-mails. My email is: elie@foodbeast.com

My Managing Editor didn’t proof this story. There may be typos. Like I said, I haven’t written in a long, long time. I’ve decided not to wait until March to journal my story, ’cause when I pick up the pipe again, I may just forget what the fuck it is I wanted to say.

Now you see why this is weird for me to write. I’ll see you tomorrow with more.

Categories
Hacks

Genius Colander Hack Was Right In Front Of Us The Entire Time

Boiling pasta has become somewhat of an adventure for us. Not classically trained, we’re still teetering along the line of knowing when that pasta is ready to be drained or if it needs a little more time in the water. Once that pasta is cooked, you don’t have too much time to get your drain game on. All Def Digital posted a brilliant colander hack on Facebook that will make your pasta draining experience so much easier.

All you need to do is go about the normal water-boiling process. Salt your liquid, throw in some noodles, and bring it to a boil, toss in a little olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Here’s where things switch up.

When your noodles are ready to be drained, whip out that trusty colander. Instead of dumping the entire contents of the lot onto the colander, simply use it as a barrier for the water to drain from the pot. This way you won’t have to dump your noodles back and forth.

If successful, you’ll be able to shave precious minutes off your cooking time. Just make sure your forearms can keep the colander and the pot together in one piece and you have proper oven mitts. Otherwise you might burn yourself.