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Food Hacks on eight reasons why you should never throw away eggshells, primarily because they have additional uses you probably never thought about:

2. Make Your Coffee More Drinkable< Do you hate how bitter your morning cup of coffee is? Here are two pieces of advice: read our coffee primer, and add crushed up eggshells to the grounds when you brew your cuppa.

I know, I know: it sounds weird and gross. But the eggshells serve to clarify the coffee, which helps reduce the bitter taste (and they add no taste of their own). However, make sure that you’re using eggshells that have been washed (note: in America, all eggs are washed before being sold).

なるほど. Who knew?

Simple homemade taco rice donburi with rice, taco meat, fresh onions, shredded lettuce, two types of tomatoes, avocados, and topped with some nice sour cream. This time I took the lazy way out and used some Lawry’s taco seasoning rather than going fully homemade when cooking up the ground beef.

It came out quite well, even if I do say so myself.

This is a slightly older piece of news that I recently ran across and thought was worth sharing. Popular California-based cult coffee cafe Blue Bottle Coffee is seeing so much success in Japan they are planning to open up a third cafe later this year:

Blue Bottle’s first Japan shop, which has a roaster, is in Kiyosumi, an older part of Tokyo, chosen because it reminded Freeman, the founder, of Oakland. It opened in February. The second shop, in a backstreet of Tokyo’s fashionable Omotesando, opened in March.

A third, likely opening later this year in Tokyo’s Daikanyama shopping area, will feature a menu that reflects Blue Bottle’s recent acquisition of San Francisco-based Tartine Bakery, which serves croissants, sandwiches and pastries.

I have never stepped foot near a Blue Bottle cafe but given their popularity I may have to reconsider. When I tried a few smaller niche coffee shops I was unimpressed with the coffee, finding it far too bitter for my palate. Maybe Blue Bottle will be different, though I do not want to be caught in a four-hour line just for a small cup of joe!

Eater on Cronut founder Dominique Ansel unveiling the first cronut flavor for his upcoming Tokyo bakery situated in posh and trendy Omotesando:

Soon, there will be two places in the world to buy an authentic, bona fide Cronut. As the opening date for pastry genius Dominique Ansel’s Tokyo bakery nears, Ansel is teasing out details about the menu and space on Instagram. Last night, he revealed the flavor of the first Cronut of the month: Hokkaido Milk Honey Ganache with Yuzu Lemon Cream.

The flavor actually sounds quite interesting. A yuzu lemon cream sounds simply delightful, and when coupled with a milk honey ganache sounds like it could be quite addicting. Hopefully, as previously discussed, the sugar levels will be low enough to whet the average Japanese appetite. Too sweet, and it will be eaten once and summarily discarded. Made just right, and there will be hour-long lines from now through eternity.

Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan have their own twitter and instagram accounts worth following if you are interesting in staying updated on the latest and greatest original cronut news for Japan.

The Japan Times on the original cronut master concocting Tokyo-only pastries for his upcoming Omotesando store:

Ansel is also promising exclusive items with a distinctly Japanese theme, but won’t disclose the details just yet.

“We are still working on a few Tokyo-only items,” he says. “It’s important to me to look into the traditions of Japanese culture, but also the techniques that are used. There are a few Japanese ingredients I am working with. I am trying to surprise people — it’s going to be a little bit of a surprise for everyone.”

Ansel also knows that what works in New York may not necessarily translate to the Japanese market, and intends to adjust his recipes accordingly.

“I have turned down the sugar level quite a bit,” he says. “I think it’s important to have a product that’s really good without having too much sugar. And something that matches Japanese culture — not too much sugar but more focused on the quality and the taste.”

It may be a smart move to tailor the cornet offerings to better match the Japanese palate. However, it is worth noting I have already had cornets in Tokyo. Every so often a pop-up Jack in the Donuts shop is resurrected in Shibuya Mark City for a couple weeks, selling their cronuts wares. They are actually very tasty, and I have been craving one lately but the pop-up shop has been MIA for months.

It is also worth mentioning, Krispy Kreme remains highly successful in Japan and it has not modified its recipe. Arguably, the cronuts could follow a similar course. But my gut instinct tells me this is a smart, long-term move, because the originals are far sweeter than their native cousins.

Just like Taco Bell in Shibuya, just like the god-knows-why popcorn shop in Harajuku, and just like when Krispy Kreme opened in Shinjuku many years ago, expect lines for cronuts to be unbelievably long. My best guess is the wait will be at least two hours to get your New York sugar fix, if not longer.

I recently ran across this article discussing how to make the perfect salad dressing and decided I need to give this a shot because it seems just way too stupid easy:

Let’s be honest here, the only thing many of us really care about when it comes to salad is the dressing. That’s where all the flavor is, and that’s what makes a salad memorable. Heck, that’s often what makes salads edible.

But if you don’t make your own dressings, you’re stuck with the store-bought versions that are full of unnecessary sugar, cost way more than they should, and aren’t even that good. What’s a salad eater to do? The answer is easy: Learn how to make dressing. It’s way easier than you think.

Basically, a homemade dressing is just a mixture of oil, acid (such as vinegar or citrus), and flavor in the form of fresh herbs or spices. It’s really that simple. But don’t take our word for it, let the infographics below walk you through the process of becoming a dressing-mixing genius.

What is awesome about this approach is it both saves money and you get a much better tasting, fresher, and chemical-free salad dressing. Nothing compares to homemade food, and apparently salad dressing is no exception.

Here is an example of one of the few infographics explaining how easy it is to make great homemade salad dressing:

ACN_Salad-Dressing_Infographic

Looks easy enough, right?

I am going to give this a shot because I am quite positive I can make a decent tasting homemade dressing using some balsamic vinegar. “Change your salad life” is the motto I plan to follow.

Inae Oh of Mother Jones on why your snobby wine friends are full of shit when they tell you the only good wine is expensive:

Find yourself in the company of an intolerable, self-annointed wine connoisseur? Don’t bother arguing about how great the $7 bottle of supermarket merlot is. The best way to deal with the inevitable snobbery headed your way might be to show them the following video produced by Vox, which slays the belief expensive wines are more delicious.

When 19 staffers blind-tested three different red wines from the same grape, the average ratings for the cheapest and most expensive wines were exactly the same! And while half of those tested were able to correctly identify which wine was the most expensive, they actually reported enjoying it less than the cheaper offerings. That’s because, according to the video, more complex wines tend to challenge our plebian palates.

I drink quite a bit of wine and am more than happy with wine in the $10-$30 range, but primarily around $15-ish. Most expensive wine I have experience with does taste good but there is only a nominal difference between it and the cheaper wines I enjoy. Maybe my palate isn’t snobby enough?

On to something a whole lot lighter. This time mindbodygreen discusses twenty-nine food rules we can learn from the French to keep a slim waistline and remain healthy:

5. Eat real, local, fresh, unprocessed food. 
As much as you can.
6. Balance your meals.
Indulgence is important, but you feel you’ve overdone it a little at one meal, balance it out with a lighter meal the next time you eat.
7. Never go for second best.
It’s about quality not quantity. Always.
8. Have three meals a day.
Not two, not six. Three.
9. Set and respect meal times.
You’ll be hungry for your meals and will actually enjoy each of them if you’re not snacking in between.
10. Add side salads.
Eat a green salad at every meal or at least once a day; it’s the best way to easiest way to eat more plants.
11. Prepare and cook your meals with love.
Take pride in what you prepare to feed and nourish your body.

I especially like the idea of preparing and cooking meals with love. I have dabbled in cooking lately and always try to apply as much love as possible to my meals. The outcome is obviously notable.

One addition to the list I did not quote is to always drink as much water as possible, or even a couple glasses of good quality red wine, completely foregoing sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks. This is something I need to pay closer attention to, although I have been getting better lately. Most of my meals are enjoyed with wine and water, but I more than occasionally slip in a glass, or three, of Coca-Cola.

The entire list is well worth the read, especially if you are interested in remaining healthy while still enjoying very tasty food.