Top 10 Links of the Week: 2/12/10 – 2/18/10

Before we get to today’s links, the results are in from Tuesday’s Ask the Internet question. We queried: do you include tax when you tip a restaurant server?

THE READERS HAVE SPOKEN, and between thread comments and Facebook replies, it came down to a single vote. A single vote! No kidding:
  • Yes, I include tax when I tip: 29 VOTES
  • No, I don’t include tax when I tip: 30 VOTES
Henceforth, you don’t have to include tax! (Unless you want to.) With that dilemma solved forevermore, let’s go to el linkage.

1) River Front Times: 20 Unholy Recipes – Dishes So Awful We Had to Make Them
Possibly the post of the millennium: St. Louis bloggers attempted 20 different vintage recipes of varying awfulness, from Vienna Sausage Shortcake to Pickle-Stretcher Salad to Asparagus-Macaroni Loaf. The results are the culinary equivalent of Kurtz’s death scene in Apocalypse Now. (Thanks to Neatorama for the link.)

2) The Atlantic: The Great Grocery Smackdown
Great piece on Wal-Mart’s new produce initiatives, which include more organics and locally-grown fruits and veggies. In a blind taste test, the author matches some of the megacorp’s products up against Whole Foods' versions of the same things. The results are surprising and encouraging. A must-read.

3) New York Times: When Children Are Overweight, Changes for the Whole Family
Solid piece on how a family’s lifestyle changes when it's trying to correct a child’s poor eating habits. While you should never put a minor on a medically unsupervised diet, these subtle switches seem to make sense.

4) Wise Bread: 7 Ways to Cut Your Food Bill Without Clipping a Single Coupon
Quick-but-thorough primer on the basics of frugal grocery shopping. Definitely check it if you’re new to the field. (Which I call “grocerologyiatry.”) (I'm still working on the name.)

5) GOOD Magazine: The Emotional Quotient of Soup Shopping
This is super interesting, and probably emblematic of how food graphic designers work nowadays. Campbell’s just redesigned their label to appeal more to shoppers’ emotional reactions. Did you know, neurologically speaking, that we don’t give a crap about spoons? It’s true.

6) New York Post: My Personal Kitchen Confidential
Not Eating Out in New York blogger Cathy Erway saved $7200 over two years by cooking at home, avoiding takeout, and skipping restaurant meals. When you live here, it’s so, so, so super easy to blow all your dough on food. This is a valuable reminder that there's another way.

7) Re-Nest: How to Buy and Store Bulk Foods
As my storage is limited to whatever I can cram in an unplugged toaster, this wonderful post doesn’t apply so much to me. But sweet readers, with your newfangled “pantries” and “shelves,” might find it super helpful.

8) Jezebel: Jared Fogle and the Plight of the Celebrity Dieter
Subway’s weight loss poster boy has gained back 40 of the 200 pounds he lost. In the grand scheme of things, this is still a huge triumph: the guy lost 160 pounds and kept it off. However, advertising-wise, this means big trouble for Subway, much like Kirstie Alley’s gain was bad news for Jenny Craig. It’s a warped, twisted way of looking at dieting, but an interesting media discussion nonetheless.

9) The Simple Dollar: The Minimal Tip
Rounding out our discussion on restaurant tipping: have you ever given nothing? Trent has, and here, he discusses the reasons. (Honestly, it sounds merited.) Followed by a massive comment debate.

10) CNN: Jamie Oliver: 'Eat your chips,' just not every day
Go for details on Jamie’s victorious TED plan for correcting childhood obesity in America. Stay for the accent. Roit!


Dad Cooks Dinner: Weekly Dinner Plans
A different way of attacking menus. I like.

Hillbilly Housewife: 5 Steps To Safely Disinfect Your Wooden Cutting Boards
Non-bleach secrets to purifying your chopping blocks. (Note: not with hellfire.)

The Kitchn:
Quick Reference – A Guide to Herbs and Spices
30 Gold Medal Tips that Pack Some Punch in the Kitchen
What’s the Deal With Reactive and Non-reactive Cookware?
This week’s highlighted posts include an excellent primer on jarred flavors, kitchen hacks galore, and a question that has puzzled pan purchasers since the beginning of time.

Money Saving Mom: What is Your Stock-up Price on Toilet Paper?
If you ever wanted to learn about price discrepancies across the nation, read this comment thread. Mine: $0.66/roll. It don’t get much better in BK.

The Simple Dollar: Optimizing Your Grocery List
There’s efficiency, and then there’s EFFICIENCY. These strategies fall into the latter category.


Hey! We made some blog carnivals this week! Check ‘em out yourselves for a cornucopia of craft and personal finance articles, from every corner of the interweb.

Esquire: Roger Ebert – The Essential Man
A few years ago, film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to a series of cancer-related surgeries. Since then, he hasn’t had a bite to eat or a drop to drink. He’s completely lost his ability to speak. Yet, he’s living louder than ever, mostly through his blog, his movie reviews, and his prolific Twitter feed. This moving, revealing article chronicles a day in the life of new Ebert, and if it’s not too cliché, it gets a huge thumbs up.

Chicago Sun-Times: Roger Ebert’s Last Words
Here's Ebert’s response to the Esquire piece. Filled with astute observances, including but not limited to, “Low self-esteem involves imagining the worst that other people can think about you,” and "Resentment is allowing someone to live rent-free in a room in your head.” Win: Ebert.

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