Mr. Rogers and Top Pot Doughnuts

"So let's make the most of this beautiful day, since we're together, we might as well say -- " I pause for effect as we cruise past the Seattle Space Needle.
"Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?"
Baby Ty giggled at my crooning rendition of the Mr. Roger's theme song. Four-year-old Patrick shouted for an encore with a fist bump.

Seven-year-old Amelia peered out the rear window as the Seattle Monorail shuttled past on tracks above our Routan.
"When I was a kid I'd watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood." I stop, trying out how to explain Mr. Rogers to kids who weren't alive during his thoughtful reign on PBS.
"Mr. Rogers, would sing as he slipped into a zippered cardigan sweater and sneakers."

"What does Mr. Rogers have to do with Top Pot Doughnuts?" Eleven-year-old Sophie asks. She has a point.
My four kids and I were on our way to Top Pot Doughnuts to meet Mark Klebeck, one of the owners, who'd agreed to show our family just how they made their famous hand-forged doughnuts.


"Well, Mr. Rogers would take us on field trips," I said, recalling the "virtual field trips" to factories where we learned how towels and crayons were made and even watched as robots were assembled. "You knew him?" Sophie asked.
"It felt like I did. Through the television screen we discovered how things worked and that we were special." I said.
Mr. Rogers was my first exposure to the mechanical world and that you didn't have to be a brainiac to appreciate the ingenuity behind the creation.

Hot Dog Etiquete

In Chicago, if you want ketchup on your dog, they'll point you to the bottles used for garnishing French fries and tell you to "go ruin it yourself."

It is such a Chicago shibboleth that when Bob Schwartz, a VP of Vienna Beef, the leading Chicago wiener supplier, wrote a book, he titled it "Never Put Ketchup On A Hot Dog." He calls ketchup an "affliction."
Another famous Chicagoan, President Barack Obama, made it official with a proclamation on June 3, 2011 while visiting one of the Rudy's Hot Dog stands in Toledo, OH. Obama and the mayor stopped in for a chili dog, but apparently the subject of ketchup came up. "You shouldn't put ketchup on your hot dog," your President said.

Absolutely, Positively No Ketchup On Hot Dogs. Never. Fogeddaboudit.

Earlier this week Oscar Mayer and Ball Park found themselves before a judge in Chicago accusing each other of false advertising. One battle in the wiener wars is over Oscar Meyer's claim that their frank is the best.

Apparently ChefsBest in San Francisco tasted hot dog samples and they crowned Oscar Mayer #1 (interestingly, the results are no longer on their website). U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow grinned and asked "And how would ten chefs in San Francisco know what the best hot dog is when they have never been to Chicago or tasted a Chicago hot dog?" When the Ball Park counsel complained that the chefs were not given the opportunity to squirt ketchup on their dogs, Denlow interrupted, saying "That's an area of great debate."

Henry's Anytime Chili For One

Give a man chili and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to make chili and he'll be sad forever. At least, that's our takeaway from this recipe for "Henry's Anytime Chili For One."

Nevertheless, "Henry's Kitchen" may be our new favorite cooking show. First of all, we dig small serving recipes. Second, any cooking show that takes into account the fact that you might not own a good knife -- or know what mincing is -- speaks to us. Finally, there's Henry himself; awkward, sad, befuddled Henry. With the middle-distance stare of a man who has been chewed up, blown into a bubble and popped by life, Henry takes us through the step-by-incorrect-step process of chili making, only to find himself eating peanuts at the end.

But that's ok. It's about the journey, people.

Chef Assaults Kitchen Staffer After Critic Calls Food 'Disgusting'

It's hard to remain calm after a restaurant critic insults your food. But punching a kitchen worker and pushing him down the stairs may be going a tad too far. Chef and owner Charlie McCubbin of the River Café in Wales did just that after the Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill told him that the food was "disgusting."

Since his outburst, McCubbin admitted his wrongdoing and has patched things up with his staffer. He acknowledged his short fuse and said outside of court, "I've been compared to [Gordon] Ramsay but, to be honest, sometimes I make him look tame."

Peggy O'Neil's Pub Refused Minorities: Lawsuit

Peggy Oneils Pub Minorities 

A Dorchester, Mass. bar faces a lawsuit that claims the establishment refused to serve minorities.
The Boston Globe reports on a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General's office alleging that members of a group of friends were turned away from Peggy O’Neil’s Pub and Grille because they were African-American and Latino.
Dorchester Bar Accused Of Racism , Peggy O'Neil's Pub , Peggy O'Neil's Pub Minorities , Bar Accused Of Racism , Bar Accused Of Racism Dorchester , Pub Accused Of Racism , Pub Blacks Latinos , Food News

London's Best Street Food

A new set of food pioneers are taking quality food out of the restaurant and onto the street - offering prime ingredients at low prices. Marina O’Loughlin picks her favourite London street food spots

Recessions do curious things to eating out. I figured this one was satisfied with delivering the pop-up restaurant and supper club. But no, its work isn’t done: say hello to London’s new wave of street food entrepreneurs.

How to Make Bento (Japanese Boxed Lunch)

Cedar-Planked Mediterranean Chicken

What You Need

2 untreated cedar planks (14x7x1 inch each)
1 cup  KRAFT Greek Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
4 large bone-in chicken breasts with skin (4 lb.)
2 Tbsp.  oil
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives


Mediterranean Chicken Panzanella Salad

  Mediterranean Chicken Panzanella Salad recipe

What You Need

1 whole wheat pita bread, split
1 cup  chopped cooked chicken
1 small cucumber, peeled, chopped
1   red pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup  chopped red onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup  KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Salad

What You Need

2 slices Italian bread
1/4 cup  KRAFT Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing, divided
2 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1/2 lb.)
1/2 cup  cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh basil
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup  thinly sliced red onions

Mediterranean Chicken & Sausage

What You Need

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup  KRAFT Greek Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
1 roasting chicken, cut up (3 lb.)
1/2 lb.  medium mushrooms, halved
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
2 Tbsp.  cornstarch
1/4 cup water
6 cups  hot cooked instant white rice


Spuntino: Where the early bird beats the hunk

Restaurant review: Spuntino, an intriguing Soho joint that could well be the most blogged London restaurant ever, is a diner that feels like an event, from the comfort-food excess of the menu to the febrile, catching atmosphere.

Spuntino Soho Spuntino is attracting queues out the door and past the Soho sex shops
I am, as my blogger chums would say, late to the party on Spuntino (Italian for snack).  It might be the most blogged London restaurant ever.  But there is a side to this intriguing Soho joint – yes, it’s  a definite joint – that have kept  me away. 

BBQ Turkey with Mustard Sauce

BBQ Turkey with Mustard Sauce
We've introduced South Carolina barbecue sauce and now here is a great recipe you can make with it, barbecued turkey legs and thighs. I grew up with plenty of meals made with turkey legs because they feed a lot, and they're an inexpensive source of protein. But no matter what time of year we're having turkey legs, as much as I love turkey, the taste always reminds me of Thanksgiving, which is not necessarily what you want in say, June. In this preparation however, slowly cooked on a grill, and basted with a tangy, strong, sweet, sour yellow mustard-based barbecue sauce, the turkey doesn't taste anything like Thanksgiving turkey, in a good way. It just absorbs the smokiness from the grill and the tang from the sauce. Outside of the holiday bird, this is hands down the best turkey I've ever had.
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