A+R is the closest thing out there to a NOTCOT store... and the novelty has yet to wear off, since Andy keeps the place stocked with far too much that makes me feel like a kid in a designer candy store. Aside from the Theosauruses that i showed you earlier... i fell for this Puzzle Dinner Tray from Royal VKB designed by Wendy Boudewijns. In a nice unbreakable melamine, this tray helps kids get used to what goes where... and having loved puzzles of all sorts growing up, i just know my mom would have gotten me one of these had it been around when i was a wee one. Although i'm sure i've seen this around the web, playing with it in person won me over to post about it... see some hands on pics below!
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Click the tiny pics to find out more! Here is this weeks roundup full of roundups ~ showing you some of the most popular posts across NOTCOT.org, TasteSpotting, and NotCouture ~ click on to see these top 25 from each site after the jump!
Click the images to find out more! 25 popular posts across NOTCOT.org (and TasteSpotting and NotCouture after the jump) from this week! I know i missed last week while i was in Toronto, apologies for that... but here's a big one to catch up!
Papabubble. I was just watching the CoolHunting video (embedded below for easy viewing!) interviewing the candy makers at the new NY store, and it was incredible. I feel like those kids in the candy store, face pressed against my monitor drooling over the incredible candy making process ~ turning a simple mixture of sugar, water, and glucose combined with flasks of coloring and flavoring ~ into what looks like delicious candies, and perhaps just as fun, the perfect medium for sculpting random dioramas out of (as well as classics like Gehry's cardboard wiggle chair)! Truly impressive is watching how all of the candy is made by hand, down to the mixing in of coloring and stretching to aerate until its more translucent. With stores in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the NY store is the first in the US.
The Edible Martini ~ incredible video at the NY Times - "Chef/mad scientist Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute has figured out how to vacuum infuse a martini inside a cucumber." Armed with a cucumber, a bottle of gin, vermouth, simple syrup, a paper clip, and a vacuum machine Dave Arnold does some impressive flash pickling ~ and this martini infused cucumber comes out as crunchy as when it started if not more. Essentially, the vacuum machine sucks all the air out, so when air comes back in, gin forced into the cucumber, and as the air returns it turns beautifully clear. See my screenshots of the process below, and watch the The Edible Martini video!
Click the pics to find out more! Here we have another roundup of roundups ~ a full on best of last week showcasing 24 of the most popular from all of our sites below... and above we have lots of fun art, and a row of green themed foods. Why? Its just what inspired me as i flipped through a few pages this sunday! Oh, and if you haven't checked out Adam's Apple, that's a must! Brilliant illustrations coupled with quite the unexpectedly twisted creation tale.
RANDOMIZER! Also new, we've been working on/tweaking this new feature, and its getting there ~ new buttons are up on all the sites now (see the cute little push pinned polaroid stacks?). I begged dan to make me this one for a while, because with nearly 10,000 posts on NOTCOT.org and TasteSpotting, there is so much incredible stuff, its hard to keep track of everything, so when you just feel like something random and inspiring, perhaps a blast from the past or even something you might have missed... just click the stack! Personally i've lost hours browsing randomly.
And to finish off my triple feature from the FORDBRADY Dwell party, i loved the typography and use of wood for Ford's Filling Station's menu board's and branding. This Culver City restaurant, which turns two on Valentine's Day, catered the event, and after the jump you can see more images of the incredible kitchen island at FORDBRADY, as well as some of the drool worthy food served!
Roundup time! Trying something new again ~ i LOVE the roundups, i think its such a nice way to get a condensed speedy overview of what's been going on across the curated user submissions sites (NOTCOT.org, TasteSpotting, and NotCouture), but i've been finding myself quite torn. I just don't love the look of NOTCOT.com being cluttered with so many roundups on the front page at one time... yet there is so much awesome stuff on all the sites, i can't bear to pick one of the three... anyhow, so here's the new idea. Above you see three rows of 5 of my favorites across the sites! And after the jump you can see the top 24 from the last week of all three sites! So as always: Click the pics to find out more! and yes TasteSpotting's row is themed for people who might need some Valentine's inspiration.
Mmm Magic Berries. (I prefer that name for it.) Today i received some Miracle Fruit in the mail, and after much research and curiosity, did a bit of grocery shopping for bitter/sour foods, and then came the ultimate test (these tiny berries turn anything sour/bitter SWEET)! Pictures galore after the jump... and for those who haven't heard of these magic berries, here's the short version of their magic powers and background (also see the full wikipedia entry on it):
"The Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miracle Berry, or Magic Berry (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by an explorer named Des Marchais during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans. The berry is sweet, and contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours. It is not a sweetener, as its effects depend on what is eaten afterwards, but has been used to sweeten bitter medicines." See after the jump for how it went:
UPDATE ~ rumor has it that these berries might also be perfect for valentine's day, and not just because they are red. Their ability to help turn things sweet can be very handy...
Click the pics to find out more! Wow what a week its been over at TasteSpotting... honestly there was so much incredibly drool worthy deliciousness there this week, i dont know how i manage to not try to cook and consume it all. Looks like stand out trends this week were definitely those Cake Pops of Bakerella, who also brought us Oreo Balls and Nutter Butter Balls. There were also home made pop tarts this week! And my favorite and most inspiring post of all truly was Steamy Kitchen sharing her photo "food porn room" studio with us all! It certainly helped answer my questions about how some of the TasteSpotters get such beautiful imagery of their home cooked delights!
Oh, and if you click through any of those, you may have noticed a little experiment (in beta phases - still cleaning up design) on both notcot.org and TasteSpotting... we now have permalink pages... which also mean a single post view... where you can browse linearly (for those who dont like the overwhelming all at once view!)... AND you can play with the RANDOMIZER feature i've long begged for (and can spend hours exploring the nearly 9000 posts with now)... you can even try using Keybord Shortcuts! (although i haven't put up the image about this on the sites yet... try ctrl+r, <, > keys on mac, and use alt instead of ctrl on a pc).
Ok, i'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. And certainly wasn't expecting any this year... or this early! But a Despair, Inc. generated email from Jef (you can see what he sent after the jump) ~ tipped me off to these hilarious Bittersweets. Just in time for Valentine's day, these candy hearts come in three tin variations: Dejected, Dysfunctional, and Dumped. "Dejected" sayings include: I MISS MY EX | PEAKED AT 17 | MAIL ORDER | TABLE FOR 1 | I CRY ON Q | U C MY BLOG? | LOSS LEADER | A FINE WHINE | MOMMY ISSUES | DIGNITY FREE | DORK MAGNET | PURE NAUSEA | WE HAD PLANS | MAIL ORDER | SETTLE 4LESS | I'M HOT INSIDE. "Dysfunctional" sayings include: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | HE CAN LISTEN | GAME ON TV | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS | SUB PRIME | I WANT HALF | RETURN 2 PIT | NO FIX 4 DUMB | RATHER DRINK | MUTUAL DISGUST. "Dumped" sayings include: I GOT SOBER | HE FIT U FAT | U LEFT SEATUP | USED U 4 FUN | JUST A FRIEND | BACK 2 KENNEL | DORKA PHOBIC | U HAVE A BLOG | RUSSIAN BRIDE | CELEB8 THX2U | DOG IS CUTER | TRADIN YOU IN | FORGET WE MET | KISS A FROG | SHE IS 22! | HE HAS A JOB. Wow. See more images after the jump!
p.s. Despair Inc is the company behind those Demotivators posters.
Click the images to find out more! Wow. On trends that i can't quite comprehend... BACON. Sure we've all been seeing the bacon toys, bandaids, etc floating around, but i am impressed that there are over 80 posts on TasteSpotting on bacon... and here are 15 of the most unique... we have: Bacon and cheese scones. Bacon wrapped tofu. Bacon weave. Bacon vodka. Bacon salt. Bacon wrapped asparagus. Bacon cookies. Bacon candy. Bacon kettle corn. Bacon dark chocolate. Bacon cupcakes. The Baconator. Bacon wrapped monkfish. Bacon alarm clock (yes it wakes you up with fresh bacon). Bacon spa wrap.
So really, what IS it about bacon that people love so much? Enlighten me?
I rediscovered the work of YaYa Chou at the Tinlark Gallery Anniversary Show opening ~ her love of gummi bears is impressive... or perhaps its her hatred of them, constantly molding and manipulating them into new forms. At the show, she was showing her 2006 piece "Simon," 7"X32"X30", gummi bears, faux nailtops on wire armature and canvas - a gummi bear rug - and you should have seen these little kids diving at it, dying to lay on it and eat some (i wonder if any ever made it when no one was looking). Closeups from the show after the jump, as well as some of her other gummi pieces you may be familiar with, like the chandelier, creatures, and a porcelain boy covered in gummies...
This one goes out to all the carnivores, biologists, and butchers who read NOTCOT... i went by the opening at GR2 saturday night, and when i popped by the original Giant Robot store, i couldn't help it but i totally had to buy two of these silly Gotochi Dissection Animals... See? I buy things sometimes not because i need or want them, but because i just really want to take a bunch of pictures to share with you. So after the jump you can see my full coffee table photoshoot of a tiny bull and tuna showing what i imagine to be the different edible anatomical portions of both - check out images of the packaging, and fun closeups of both... as well as all the other models GR has in store.
Handpresso... i've been intrigued by this french contraption since i first laid eyes on it over at Acquire a few days ago (i haven't a clue why i've taken so long writing/editing this post bit by bit). And their ads crack me up ~ particularly the one with the french couple in a movie theater trying to be all suggestive while pumping up the espresso, getting the cups ready, etc. It's a beautiful contraption that looks like a nicely design mini bike pump you feed a packet of espresso (the premade type - pics below) and some hot water into for a perfectly brewed cup of espresso? I'm skeptical, but curious... see pics and videos after the jump as well as some of the accessories you can buy to go with.
Joey Roth's Sorapot has come a long way, and after years of waiting we can finally all get our hands on one in 2008! In fact, Joey Roth is officially the *first* reader from NOTCOT i ever met in person ~ we met about 2.5 years ago when i was in NY doing our NOTed photoshoot, and he's been a great friend and supporter to NOTCOT since! Well, you should be caught up on all your Sorapot news by now, and if not check out the video of it in action after the jump, but what this post is really about is the gorgeous new teacup design to match it! So why this design? Joey says "I designed this teacup to emphasize the the beauty of tea on glass while insulating your hand and tabletop from heat." I must admit my favorite part was the base... at first it looked like a mercedes logo ~ perhaps a cute idea for a future mug is a peace sign base that leaves peace sign water marks when left on paper... See more close ups of his new Teacup below!
Click the images to see the posts! I think i might have a new weekend tradition of rounding up the most popular from the week on TasteSpotting! (or at least i'll try this out for a little while and see how it goes!)... from faux sushi to foccacia, its been quite a drool worthy week as usual!
Although this post trilogy on Cup Noodles started out in good fun, and we found ourselves giggling and amused by the 20 ads as well as the custom Cup Noodles... we became inspired by the innovative thinking behind this brand when stumbling across a pdf from Nissin Foods about how "Cup Noodle Looks Ahead", where President Komori sat down with Koki Ando, president of Nissin... For the most noteworthy excerpt first:
Making the impossible possible. One of my plans for our company is to double the number of 'eccentrics' in Nissin Foods. As a manufacturer, we must continue to make new breakthroughs. We must 'make the impossible possible,' and common-sense individuals often can't accomplish this. Breakthroughs can only be achieved by those who are a bit eccentric. organizations, however, necessarily aim at efficiency, and eccentrics, who may only work one week out of a year tend, to vanish from the organization. When the chips are down, though, these people are capable of great feats. Corporate leadership must find and keep these valuable human resources. By 'encouraging eccentrics' we can achieve our impossible dreams.
Isn't that an inspiring thing to hear someone in a corporation say? That passage has given me a whole new level of respect for Cup Noodle - don't get me wrong, i'm also slightly horrified to find that the noodles are deep fried for efficiency, and are really mostly fat and salt... so luckily we don't indulge in the college staple often! As for the sweet Eco Style Cup Noodle Refill pack? Read more below...
So while dan and i got sidetracked from "real work" researching the insanely bizarre world of Cup Noodles... you already saw the Custom Cup Noodles you can make at the factory/museum... well now we have 20 youtube ads embedded for you after the jump. We tried to just show a few, then dan found more and more amazing Cup Noodle Ads, and we couldn't resist sharing the full collection with you. This all started with my discovery of the funniest cutest animated caveman ads that all end with HUNGRY? Cup O' Noodles (in that slim jim ad type voice). As the pack of *tiny* cavemen race around to try and catch some very large prey... well, its just hilarious, watch a few! And after that, dan started finding more and more... the main campaigns being a No Border campaign that launched when Cup Noodles were going into space, showing how food could bring people together... and the most recent campaign is the Freedom campaign which is an anime series. So happy friday! Here is more than your usual dose of distraction ~
UPDATES... i just found one with the governator in it... and other hilarious japanese ones... added about 20 more ads.
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
Click any of the 100 tiny images to find out more! In light of 2008 already being upon us, and the first year of TasteSpotting now behind us ~ dan wrote up a new toy for me to create some new roundups playing with popularity of posts! So what were some of the most popular delicious links of 2007? Explore above to find out! Happy 2008!
It's been a spam-filled holiday season, why is it that spammers are attacking me with prospects of great fakes to order (who knew even spammers have boxing day sales?) and ways to enlarge and satisfy? But while cleaning through the multitude of flagged emails i'm far behind on, there was some REAL spam. The meaty kind... some fabulously ambitious TOASTVERTISING for the new Book Of Spam... from the guys who brought you the human flip book (remember those hundreds of tshirts that got printed for the animated advert? It was on .org as #6369), but now they toasted an animation frame by frame and by hand into 220 pieces of toast... thats more than there are pages in the Book Of Spam. See some screenshots as well as the advert itself AND the making of! (both are equally awesome and worth checking out for some toasty inspiration)
Click the images to find out more! While most other blogs seem to be taking some time off for the xmas/new years week, once again i might be doing the opposite and posting even more frequently in spurts... holidays never really play out to be the happiest of family reunion times, so i'll probably be mentally escaping into my love of design, products, and in this case... cookies! Been playing with the idea of baking, and i can't decide whether its because i feel like making something or whether all those tastespotters are getting to me with their cookies, cakes, and other delectable goodies this season! So here are more that are leading me into temptation... those top left Irish Coffee Brownies are calling out to me right now!