Last weekend, there was some silly hacker who figured out how to bypass all of WordPress’s security measures and hack into a LOT of self-hosted WordPress accounts… including one of mine.
Not Macheesmo luckily, but they did manage to worm their way into Foodie Fights – the site I run with Dan. I noticed it when a reader brought it to my attention that all of the permalinks to individual posts were not working.
At first I thought it was odd that Dan changed all of the permalinks to look like this:
After a quick google search though I realized that I was one of the unlucky thousands that had been hacked.
Anyway, if you happen to run a self-hosted WordPress site, be sure to upgrade to 2.8.4 as soon as possible if you haven’t already. It’s kind of a pain to fix if you are hacked. If you’ve already been cyber-robbed, the instructions I used to fix Foodie Fights were on Journey Etc. The comments were helpful also.
No poll this week because I’m going to be out of town and away from the kitchen this weekend. Here are a few links though!
XOCO’s Chocolate – At Rick Bayless’s new restaurant in Chicago, they are making chocolate from scratch. This better be GOOD for all the work it involves. I’m sure it’s worth it. (@ Time Out Chicago)
Big Food vs. Big Insurance – A great opinion by Michael Pollan. He presents a really fascinating argument that if health care reform is passed, the insurance companies will actually line to up tackle the obesity epidemic. Right now they have no incentive to do that, but the reform would give them the proper incentives to work toward getting healthier food options for America. (@ NY Times)
Top Chef Exit Interview – Ok. Don’t click this link if you watch Top Chef but haven’t watched the most recent one. It’s a crazy surprise! I’m totally getting into this season. If you watch it, Jennifer is definitely my horse. She’s got the skills and calm professionalism to win it I think. Also, since the first 4/5 people eliminated were female, that basically assures that a female will win it. (@ Endless Simmer)
Artichoke Tapenade – An awesome end of summer appetizer! This is one of those recipes that’s been passed around the food blog world, but I like this write up on the dish. (@ David Lebovitz)
I really struggled with what to make when a Baked Dip won the poll last week. I know a few very good baked dips, but I feel like a lot of people kind of know all of the same baked dips. I wanted to try something a bit new.
I had some potatoes left over from the deep fry party and mashed potatoes just happen to be one of my favorite foods so I thought I would try my hand at coming up with a mashed potato dip. My idea was to mash up the potatoes with all kinds of goodies and then bake them with cheese and scallions and bacon on top.
This dip is ready for some football.
Great potatoes = good dip.
My main concern with this dip was texture. I didn’t want it to have the texture of mashed potatoes which I knew was going to be hard considering that it was basically mashed potatoes. I tried to make it more “dip-like” by mixing in a good amount of cream and cream cheese.
Last Saturday I went for a three mile run which was the longest I’ve ran in awhile. I also did some push-ups, stretched, drank a lot of water, and ate a salad.
That’s because on Sunday I knew that I was hosting a deep fry party. You have to prepare for that kind of thing.
For the last two years now, I’ve hosted this event at the group house where I used to live. The premise is very simple: You bring it. I fry it.
There’s a lot that could go wrong with a party like this, but luckily everything went right. I thought I would share a few photos of friends and fried things!
So you want to host a deep fry party eh? It’s really pretty simple. You’ll just need the following things:
Deep Fry Party Setup:
- Outdoor space! You can’t do this kind of thing inside or even in an enclosed area. It is much, MUCH too messy. Hours of hot splattering oil will basically ruin any surface so hopefully if you do this, that surface is dirt.
- A turkey fryer. That’s the basic version, but if you are going to be using it a lot, I recommend the one with all the bells and whistles. I have this exact model and it works fantastic when you need to heat up 4 gallons of oil. These kits also come with a bunch of accessories but most importantly it comes with an industrial thermometer which is essential.
- 4 gallons of oil. That’s about the right amount to fill up the pot. I think peanut oil works best. You can buy 2 gallon jugs of peanut oil from Home Depot or probably other department stores.
- Propane. You can get the refillable jugs most likely from the same place you get the oil.
- A Fire Extinguisher. Just in case.
Ok. So maybe that’s a lot of work for one party. But you can use this setup for all kinds of other things like a clam/crab boil, actually frying a turkey, or even making beer.
“I don’t really like quesadillas.” That’s what my roommate, Jeff, said when I told him what I was making for dinner. I, of course, took this as a challenge. The problem with most quesadillas, as stated by Jeff, is that the fillings tend to be kind of dull and people just rely on tons of cheese for flavor. So you end up with this gooey mess of cheese.
Some people like gooey messes of cheese.
But what you don’t want to do is rely on it. So, to prove him wrong (something I really enjoy doing), I made a really flavorful filling using three different kinds of chile peppers. Then you can either add a bunch of cheese or not. You can also top your three chile quesadillas with all kinds of fun stuff.
A mean quesadilla.
The recipe for these guys is extremely flexible. I’ll reproduce what I did below, but seriously feel free to adjust the peppers or the pepper quantity based on how hot you can handle.
If there’s one ingredient you can never have too many recipes for in the summer it has to be zucchini. I remember as a kid that my Dad used to grow these epic zucchini in our garden and we would not only eat zucchini for every meal, but beg people to take some off our hands.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a garden so I can’t actually grow gargantuan zucchini, but it’s still one of my favorite veggies and it’s very economical and fresh this time of year.
What’s cool about these zucchini pancakes is that they are pretty flexible. I served these for brunch, but you could just as easily have them as an appetizer. No matter when you eat them, zucchini pancakes are great!
This recipe is pretty flexible and you can throw in all kinds of extras based on what you have around. I just used a potato to give the pancakes a bit more of a hash brown kind of texture, but you could add in all kinds of other things: carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, celery root, sweet potato, ginger and garlic (for a slightly more Asian flavor). That’s just for starters.
Next week is the start of football season which is super-exciting for me. What’s even more exciting is that next weekend is also the start of fantasy football. I do enjoy a good football game, but football isn’t really my favorite sport. I much prefer soccer, but when coupled with the joys of fantasy, it makes it a very close second.
I’m almost positive that most of my readers could care less about fantasy football so I won’t go into intricate detail on my why team is going to destroy this year (or lose horribly).
Instead, you can vote on a dish for me to make for the football opening season game next Thursday!
Faux Mimosa – I’m not so sure that I like the idea of a mimosa without booze. But that doesn’t really matter. This is the funniest food post I’ve read in weeks. (@ omnomicon)
Food Blogger Shindig – I went to this great happy hour on Wednesday hosted by a few local food bloggers. I had no idea there were so many food bloggers in the area! I didn’t even get a chance to meet everyone. I did become very chummy with a guy who works for WordPress though. We are like BFF now. (@ Arugula Files)
Parenting and Food – I don’t have kids, but I imagine that someday I just might. Teaching kids to eat healthy is a tricky thing. This was a good article and there were a number of good letters to the editor about it also. (@ NY Times)
Have you ever stayed up all night drinking awesome sangria and playing Risk: The Game of Global Domination? I have and let me tell you that it is completely awesome and not dorky at all.
I confirmed a few things last Saturday night:
1) Never, ever start a land war in Asia. You will LOSE THE GAME.
2) Sangria is really good. Especially white sangria in the summer.
3) The sangria recipe below is not intended for two people unless you don’t mind being bedridden the next day.
Here's to a good night!
The thing I don’t like about some white sangrias is that they end up being really sweet. If you look up other recipes, a fair number of them have simple syrup in them which I don’t really like to add to mine. I think it makes it too sweet and less boozy and who wants that?