Friday, July 25, 2008

One Good Stretch

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With today's food prices higher than ever, putting meat on your table can be exceptionally costly. So, excluding the more reasonable alterntive of becoming a vegetarian -- what should you do?

Well, this new video from the American Meat Institute (AMI) seems to have the answer: Stretch Your Meat Dollar.

Great meat money saving tips here, and this woman in the clip really sounds like she knows how to pinch a good "meat" dollar. And while I'll admit that some of these tips are just good common sense, it often pays to be reminded on how we can save when we walk those aisles once a week in the supermarket.

So take a listen. And, don't forget to go here to download a brochure outlining more money-saving tips.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Party Like It's 1776

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Just in time for the 2008 elections, the owners of the fledgling Political Winery are strategizing with distributors and campaigning to get its wines, made by St. Julian of Paw Paw, in front of political junkies nationwide.

Featuring labels with caricatured donkeys and elephants, the four-wine product line has two Democratic and two GOP varieties. Each party line offers a red and a white semidry blend, priced between $11.99- $14.99.

Here are two examples:

Representing the Blue States

Jack Blue is their oldest wine, tracing his roots back to 1792. Through years of democratic reform, Jack Blue shed his more Republican ancestry. Enjoyed best with friends of all political stripes, but especially those seeking equality and social justice, Jack Blue is a wine for the common man. Although often criticized for having a disorganized flavor, Jack Blue is fermented following the principals of Jefferson and Jackson, culled from the vision of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson and finished with the ambition of Carter and Clinton.

Representing the Red States

Red Trunk traces its roots to Jackson, Michigan where it was first uncorked ‘Under the Oaks’ in 1854. Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free Soilers proclaimed that it was time to modernize the palate and formed a new Party pleaser for the masses to consume. Recent blends may be too conservative for some political tastes, but consumed in whole, Red Trunk is perfectly balanced with the Right juices. Red Trunk draws from Lincoln's responsibility, Teddy's tenacity, and Ford's humility.

How's that for two well-pitched political wines?

In any event, the state of Michigan ranks ninth in the nation in political spending, say the owners of the Political Winery, and it's also where the winery makes its headquarters. They also feel they can find plenty of Washington lobbyist customers looking for client gifts, party operatives organizing fundraisers, and armchair political junkies everywhere for their product.

So if you've been sold so far, these wines can be ordered: here

Great for those last minute Election Night Coverage parties, no matter if you're red...or blue.

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Dishing The Dogs

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Out of respect for Western dining habits, it appears "canine cuisine" is out, and man's best friend will not be served at Olympic-connected restaurants in Beijing this summer. In fact, Chinese officials are strongly urging other eateries to follow suit.

In other words, if a patron requests "xiangrou," or "fragrant meat," as the Chinese refer to dog meat, food servers will be instructed to politely recommend another dish.

However, as chef and world-class extreme eater, Anthony Bourdain, of the Travel Channel's No Reservations might agree, in several other Asian countries, dog is something you might very often find on some dinner tables. Even though it should also be noted that eating dog has become noticeably less popular in many places like China and Korea. And surprisingly, even in the West, it's no secret that a minor flap was allegedly caused when a newspaper reported about the popularity of curing dog meat into sausages and jerky in the Swiss rural cantons, as recently as 1996.

In any event, if you're planning on attending the 2008 Games in Beijing, just be reminded (and possibly breathe a sigh of relief!) that you probably won't be seeing that Lhasa Apso Quarter Pounder listed on a local Beijing McDonald's menu. Sheesh!

And for me as an avid dog lover, of course, this can only be seen as a good thing. (Better yet...better make that a *really* good thing.)

Anyway, big props to the folks in Beijing for this "noble" effort. Really.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Grilling Question

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With far more important issues to think about such as skyrocketing oil and food prices, and a U.S. economy that's literally at death's door, still when it comes to backyard grilling -- the people have spoken.

Given a choice between inviting Barack Obama or John McCain over for a barbecue, Americans choose the Democratic senator from Illinois over the Republican senator from Arizona by 52 percent to 45 percent, according to a new Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll out today.

"Having Obama to a barbecue would be like a relaxed family gathering, while inviting McCain 'would be more like a retirement party than something fun,'" the Associated Press quotes a Washington, D.C., systems engineer as saying.

And considering that many people think George W. Bush won re-election in 2004 partly because 57 percent of Americans decided that he was the kind of guy they'd rather have a beer with (than John Kerry ) I'd say let's just continue to take these polls with the same old humungous grain of salt-- as usual.

Happy grilling, one and all.
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