Friday, September 24, 2010

Healthier Foods For Pudgier Pets


Dog and cat lover that I am, I guess I wasn't surprised to hear that our canine and feline friends are battling the bulge more and more these days, same as we human pet owners have done since time immemorial. And just as human waistlines have ballooned, it seems that so have the physiques of our pets. Some poor dogs have packed on so many pounds they can barely get in and out of the car on family trips. (Jeez…I know that feeling! Er... about the poor dogs, I mean.)

Anyway, a 2009 national survey of veterinarians by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity found that 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats were overweight or obese. Those numbers revealed a 2 percent increase in dog weight problems from the year before, and a 5 percent increase for cats.

So this means that those of us who have stumbled upon the website for Nulo can be forgiven for thinking we'd taken a wrong turn into Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem. This particular site, just like all the other popular weight loss sites out there, is brimming with weight-tracking and meal-planning tools, fitness logs and the promise of "tasty, nutritious food" delivered "to your door." The only difference: Nulo is for pets.

Nulo founder and CEO Michael Landa launched the company in August after noticing an uptick in the requests his Los Angeles-based pet-care business was getting for medically qualified staffers.

The reason? Landa's clients' pets were getting fatter, sicker, far more susceptible to diabetes, arthritis – same as their human counterparts.

Interesting stuff. Read more here about the increasing problem of obesity in our furry friends, causing them to ask the very same age-old question: "Hey, do I look fat in this?"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Squeezing Made Easier


I admit that I just flat out adore lemons. From taking the smelliness off your hands after preparing your fish dishes, to kicking them up a notch after you've cooked them and put them on a plate, you have to agree, that if nothing else, these yellow and green (lime) little beauties are versatile.

So imagine how happy I was to stumble across Lékué's Luki Lemon Press, a worthy, and I must say, formidable competitor to the average, everyday Lemon Squeezer. Or, by simply using a little human hand and finger action to get the juices flowing.

PhotobucketBut by inserting a half of a lemon into this neat little gadget, you can squeeze the juice out of a bottom spout -- without seeds.

The design also includes a snap-shut spout for storage of your partially-squeezed lemon in the refrigerator.

$8.95 for a set of two at amazon.com What a gadget. Love this one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Burning A Few Cookbooks

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In the wake of all the crazy rhetoric and nut ball threats of Holy Quran burning from a cult leader in Florida cloaked as a Christian pastor, the people over at Guardian UK's Word of Mouth blog have been wondering: Have there ever been any foodie tomes that really got your goat? In other words, a few that perhaps you wanted to accidentally drop over a lighted stove top because they were so awful?

Well, first let me say, that as a writer, book burning in any way, shape, or form, is something that to me, should never happen. How someone could take any book and destroy it, good or bad, is well... Look, I say, if it's that bad, then just don't read it. Period. But anyway, having said that, on the heels of its controversial list of the 50 best cookbooks of all time, the Guardian (not me folks, I said: The Guardian) ponders this question, as well as which cookbooks truly deserve to be burned.

And surprisingly, one of my favorite foodie books making it to the Guardian's funeral pyre, was Julie Powell's Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which was the inspiration for the recent movie by the same name, also garnering Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination. Hmmmm…

In any case, read more about some rather famous cookbooks making it to the burn list here

Friday, September 03, 2010

Better To Have Smaller Melons

I've heard this from several different sources recently, so it does seem that these days, a good watermelon also has to ship well, which means a thick rind and a uniform shape. It has to be small enough so people pushing shopping carts or carrying a simple hand basket in big-city supermarkets will buy it. And, it can’t have seeds. (After all, who has time for those in big cities?)

And of course, all of that describes small hybrid triploid melon beauties with names like Precious Petite, Sugar Baby, and Orchid Sweet. Word is, these are very likely the future for many watermelon farmers, even though they appear to be the heartbreakers for a lot of people around southwest Arkansas.
Known for both President Bill Clinton, Governor Mike Huckabee, and the gi-normous melons that are celebrated at its annual Watermelon Festival, this football shaped, seeded variety only grows in a handful of watermelon patches these days. They also seem to be a thing of the past in a modern day world where small is big.
Anyway, when it comes to choosing a melon, smaller…is better. Take a look: