Top 10 Links of the Last 3 Weeks: 12/25/09 – 1/7/10 (1/8/10)

Okay, you guys. I was going to start off by explaining that this is a massive links collection dating back to Christmas (which it is, and it starts a little further down). But a friend forwarded me this video yesterday, along with the blurb, “Someone has to tell her this is impossible.” You have to watch it right now:


Holy moly. She must be quadruple jointed. I need to start doing yoga. Or at least minimal stretching.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the top links of the last month. Enjoy!

1)Money Saving Mom: Celebrating a Major Financial Milestone
A lifelong frugalist, Crystal and her husband Jesse are now buying a house outright. 100% cash down. No loans necessary. I don’t think she’s 30 yet. They have three kids. Dare to dream, folks.

2) Three-way tie from The Kitchn
25 Money-saving Tips for Frugal Cooking and Shopping
25 Favorite Quick-and-Easy Weeknight Meals
Spice Storage & Pot Racks – Reader Storage Solutions
The Kitchn has been tearing it up the last three weeks, with countdown after countdown of their best posts from 2009. Nearly every comp is worth a gander, but these three stuck out to me.

3) Ruhlman: America – Too Stupid to Cook
Half smug rant, half careful critique, Ratio author Michael Ruhlman bemoans both the state and underestimation of U.S. home cooks. Read the comments for a fabulous, extended thoughtful discussion. (Thanks to Elise for the link.)

4) Jezebel: Taco Bell’s Drive Thru Diet isn’t Really a Diet After All
More fast food joints are pushing their menus as diet aids, with Taco Bell most recently jumping on the bandwagon. Marketing-wise, it’s pretty brilliant. Are-you-serious-wise … really? Taco Bell? The same people who placed a Fourth Meal ad (“The meal between dinner and breakfast!”) next to the one for their lower-fat Fresco menu? Hunh.

5) Chow: 10 Tips for a Healthy Diet
Resolution makers! This level-headed advice is an excellent way to kick off your 2010 dietary overhaul.

6) MSN Smart Spending: Are Weight Loss Plans Worth the Cost?
On the timely CBS piece exploring the efficacy and value of eight popular diet programs. South Beach walks away the clear winner at $3.25 per pound lost, while In the Zone runs a staggering $224 for the same. Yikes.

7) Gizmodo: You’re Doing it Wrong – How to Properly Buy, Maintain, and Use a Knife
Stupendous all-around tutorial on the most important piece of hardware in your kitchen. This will make cooking about 1000% easier. I'd stake my socks on it.

8) Serious Eats: Resolution – Eat Less Meat
Looking to improve your health and bottom line immediately? Eat a few vegetarian or meat-lite meals every week. This quick rundown from Almost Meatless co-author Tara Mataraza Desmond is a good way to get started.

9) Casual Kitchen: How to Resist Irresistible Food
Worthy piece on how logic/thoughtful eating can conquer cravings/mindless eating. If you’re interested in visualization and behavioral modification (or, simply going mental), definitely check this out.

10) KGW: Portland culinary institute faces class-action lawsuit
When I first saw this headline, I thought, “Man, such entitlement here.” But further inspection reveals a much more complex issue. When a school promises to place you in cooking capacity at a major restaurant, and you end up as a busboy, do you have a right to raise a ruckus? Law school graduates don’t start in the mailroom.


Bitten: Roasting Winter Vegetables
Vegetable + olive oil + salt-n-pepa + 30-40 minutes in a 400°F oven = wonderful January dinner. Don’t you love math?

Buffalo News: On a budget? Eat out in style by making smart choices
Quick, solid roundup of frugal restaurant strategies for newbies.

Cooking Issues: Crowded Wet Mushrooms – a Beautiful Thing
Hey! We’ve all been cooking mushrooms wrong. Dang. (Thanks to Eat Me Daily for the link.)

Food Politics
FDA warns Nestlé - Juicy Juice misbranded!
How Many Extra Calories Cause Weight Gain?
What’s up With Food and Nutrition in 2010?
Three solid quickies from Marion Nestle. The Juicy Juice thing is appalling.

Fox: Man Pays $72 for Taco
Frugality fail.

Get Rich Slowly: The Best Time to Buy Almost Everything
You may have seen Lifehacker’s recent roundup on this, but GRS is much more thorough.

MSN Smart Spending: Bean Counting and Bag Lady Dreams
Reflective piece in which writer Donna Freedman chronicles some tough times and the dreams that keep her going.

New York Times: Living on Nothing but Food Stamps
An increasing number of Americans have no income whatsoever, except for their food allowances. Scary.

Roger Ebert's Journal: Nil by Mouth
Cancer robbed the movie critic of his ability to speak, eat, and drink. But he can still write like the dickens.

Serious Eats: Low-fat Brownies – Applesauce vs. Yogurt
Yogurt wins by a mile. Read on for reasons.

Wise Bread: 7 Quick Meals That Are Faster Than Pizza Delivery
Why pay and wait for shrimp when you can make it faster and cheaper in your own galley?


Stereogum: The 12 Best Late Night TV Performances of 2009
Cheeky music blog selects the best mini-concerts from Fallon, Letterman, and more. Definitely check the near-flawless Phoenix set, as well as “Aeon” by Antony and the Johnsons. If you’ve never heard Antony Hegarty sing, you will not believe the voice that comes out of this guy. He’s been blessed.

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