Thursday fun: Top(?) Chef, pot brownies, and more goodies

picture-22Top Chef?

Anyone else put off by the outcome of last night’s “Top Chef” finale? Hosea? Really? Mediocre all season long, too scared to make a dessert for the finale, and he still won? I’m with Hubert Keller–someone who will be called “Top Chef” should at least be able to turn out a damn dessert. If only my girl Carla had ignored dopey Casey (sous vide steak? souffles?) and stuck to her guns, she might have shown that nice girls can finish first. Join the discussion at Serious Eats, which is abuzz about it today.

Visit Brussels

picture-31Sprouts, that is. Heidi Swanson shares a delectable salad made with shredded raw baby Brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, and lots of other goodness.–101 Cookbooks


picture-14Water ways

Food scientist Harold McGee experiments with how much water you need to cook pasta.The incomparable Lidia Bastianich and Marcella Hazan weigh in, too.–The New York Times

picture-42It’s all about location

“Location, location, location,” is the mantra of real estate agents. Turns out, location has a big impact on food, too. A growing body of evidence links locale with diet quality. Residents of poor neighborhoods have limited access to high-quality fresh foods and tend to have correspondingly poor diets while those who are better off have a range of food-shopping options with healthier fare.–

Brain food

picture-8The just-say-no-to-drugs crowd likes to claim that consuming pot kills brains cells. Not so fast. A pair of new studies finds that marijuana, along with red wine, may prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease. “Neither of these findings surprises me,” says integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, M.D., in his latest weekly bulletin. “That marijuana has medical efficacy against a variety of conditions is firmly established scientifically, and the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption are also becoming clearer with each passing year. As of November, 2008, 15 states had laws with provisions for medical marijuana on the books, and I hope more states enact enlightened policies in this regard.” Now, if the federal government could just get on board and turn the war on drugs to more productive efforts…–