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June 19, 2007

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Skim milk foams better than whole


Sandra Wu responded as follows to a reader's question in the July/August 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated.

Why Does Skim Milk Foam Up Better Than Whole Milk?

We poured 4-ounce samples of both nonfat and whole milk into oversized cups, whipped them up with a battery-operated milk frother, and compared the results. The skim milk [top] indeed frothed better than the whole milk [below]: The foam was thicker, more stable, and composed of finer bubbles; it rose up higher in the cup. The whole milk foam took longer to form and was made of larger bubbles that deflated in a matter of minutes.


As it turns out, milk fat contains monoglycerides and diglycerides, two substances that happen to be good emulsifiers but have a negative effect on the formation of foam. They destabilize the air bubbles introduced into milk when foam is made, thereby impeding the foam’s formation. Skim milk contains a much smaller amount of these emulsifiers, thus making frothing easier.

Although most baristas wouldn’t recommend using skim milk to make rich and creamy cappuccinos, if plenty of airy foam is your goal, the less fat in the milk, the better your results will be.

June 19, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Magnifying Makeup Mirror


From the website:

    Magnifying Mirror

    Apply makeup or tweeze without your contacts or glasses.

    Powerful 12X magnification


    lets you see eye area clearly.

    Mirror stays at a proper angle and distance so your hand won't get in the way.

    Closed compact measures 4"L x 3"W x 1/2"D.

    Plastic case.


June 19, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

We get comments: 'You are an idiot'



Probably correct — but whatever happened to "don't shoot the messenger?"

I mean, all I did was innocently repost redferret's thoughts on the upcoming iPhone's touchscreen and all manner of stuff broke out, including a rebuttal on tuaw (theultimateappleweblog), and yesterday afternoon in came the comment above.

Nigel, the grand panjandrum of redferret, was perspicacious enough to email me the following after I let him know his post had been picked up by tuaw:

    "Oy, what *have* you done, Joe? :-)



Even though I did publish Xof's answer, you can still visit him at iphone.digitalfreak.net — just don't tell him joe sent you.

Stop Press

This just in from Xof's website:


Xof has just given me a great idea for a name for my first joe.tv production:

"Idiot Winner of the Year's So-Called 'Show'"

Whad'ya think?

June 19, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Weremonkey's Lair


Created by Jules Perry a long, long time ago and last updated on January 4, 2003.

I happened on it yesterday when I explored the source of a comment on something or other.

Turns out Jules also has a blog which is regularly updated and is quite entertaining.

What caused me to admit Jules to bookofjoe space (it's kind of like hyperspace: go down the wormhole and hang a sharp left — you can't miss it) was the list of links (top) at the bottom of the Weremonkey's Lair homepage.

What am I doing there with people like Megan Reardon (notMartha), Neil Gaiman and David Byrne?

You can bet I'll be spending a lot more than a little time visiting Jules's links in the very near future.

Full disclosure: I still can't figure out if Jules is a male or a female.

Not that it matters.


June 19, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rock Paper Scissors Throwdown at California Tortilla


Yesterday's Washington Post story by Nancy Szokan has the details, and follows.

    If Cashier Is Cro-Magnon, Play Paper

    We're not sure how this will affect the time it takes to pay for your order, but the latest gimmick from California Tortilla caught our eye. This Wednesday, customers at the Rockville-based fast-food chain are invited to challenge cashiers to an instant game of rock, paper, scissors. Customers who win get a dollar off their meal.

    Dreams of victory sent us to the Web site of the World Rock Paper Scissors Society (slogan: "Serving the needs of decision makers since 1918") to study a little strategy. What we learned at www.worldrps.com is that, just as in any negotiation, the key to winning is successfully sizing up your opponent. The RPS tips:

    Rock is "the most aggressive throw," said the site, evoking "fist fights... rugged boulders and the stone ax of the caveman." So if your cashier-opponent looks like the knuckle-dragging type, the best strategy is to play paper. (Paper, you recall, wraps rock; rock smashes scissors; scissors cut paper.)

    This is clever, because paper traditionally feels wimpy; the RPS gurus say that's because the open-palm gesture is a common a sign of friendship or even surrender. But, the site says, there is a subtle power in the symbolic intellectualism of paper, "the victory of modern culture over barbarism." A cashier with a telling aura of intellectual superiority — and we'd be interested in meeting that cashier — could be defeated by a play of scissors.

    The typical scissors player, the site says, is crafty, clever, a user of tools. Pointed, dangerous scissors also appeal to someone whose feelings of aggression are "controlled, contained, re-channeled into something constructive" and who is capable of "a well-planned outflanking maneuver."

    You could beat the scissors-playing cashier with rock. It might be smarter to just hire her.


Lucky for you that here at bookofjoe no rock goes unturned: witness the December 5, 2006 post featuring World Champion of Rock Paper Scissors Bryan Bennett (below),


which included tips on how to beat the dealer — as it were.

June 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Art & Cook Angled Scraper Spatula


From the website:

    Art & Cook Angled Scraper Spatula

    Clean sweep.

    A different and decidedly brilliant take on the classic scraper, this spatula features a flexible silicone head with extra-fine tapered edge that scrapes bowl and pan sides clean.

    Don't be afraid to take this spatula directly from the bowl to the stovetop — the steel core is enveloped in heat-resistant silicone.

    The strong yet lightweight handle is constructed from 18/8 stainless steel with a nonstick coating and stunning satin-pearl finish.



Pink or Green.


It's kind of a shame to see a business commit suicide as a result of being too cute and smart by half.

The actual name of the company that created this spatula is Ar+Cook, pronounced "Art and Cook."

See, the + sign doubles as the letter t, and you're supposed to figure out that the + sign also means "and," and say that too.

The other disaster is the company's Flash-riddled website, totally nonfunctional and annoying.

Like I said — too bad.

June 19, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Welcome to the website of the Mr. Lee CatCam'


That's the greeting offered by this wonderful website.

Russ Thomson, my Los Angeles bookofjoe correspondent, has clearly become intoxicated by his new title and abandoned all gainful pursuits in favor of bringing us the very best the Left Coast has to offer.

Wait a minute, joe — Mr. Lee CatCam lives in Germany.

Never mind.

You want German?

No problema.

Among your choices, should you choose to spend a little time with Mr. Lee CatCam:


I dunno: Adding a WebCam to Humphrey's already copious neck candy and then expecting the same level of performance on the treadmill he's demonstrated in the past may be pushing the envelope a bit....

Whad'ya say, Humphrey?

June 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: What's the best book on tape ever recorded?


New York Times senior editor Dwight Garner, who pens the weekly "TBR" column in the Times book review, this past Sunday wrote, "my vote is for Amanda Plummer's cool, dark telling of Joyce Carol Oates's slim 1992 novel, "Black Water," an updating of the Chappaquiddick story (young woman, old senator, car, water)."

Not convinced?

Listen to a sample here.

I was mesmerized when I read the book.

I'm heading to Amazon to buy the audio version cited above just as soon as my cold, dead hand finishes this post.

June 19, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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