Monday, January 30, 2012

A Polar RSVP

Further proof of why Coke is the #1 soft drink (soda, pop, Coke)....Live from their "snowfa" in the Arctic 2 of the Coke polar bears will react in live time from pre-game until the clock runs out. The two bears will react in real time to the game and will also be interacting with Coke's Twitter account (how do they get Internet out there? Wi-fi??).
One bear will be sporting a red scarf and root for the Pat's and the other will be wearing a Giants themed scarf. Head on over to and RSVP for Feb 5th. Coke is donating $1 to the WWF to help the polar bear with every RSVP. Which is kind of least Coke stopped putting seals and penguins with the Coke Bears....after all what better to go with a Coke than a nice seal-burger??

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lego Men to the Rescue in Russian Protests!

Lego figurines, Kinder surprises and other toys played the role of 'demonstrators'.
Photograph: Sergey Teplyakov/vkontakte

  What is the quote about building a better mousetrap? Well, protestors in Russia have taken innovation to a new level and police aren't happy. The protestors in the photo above are were declared "unsanctioned" and are currently in police custody in Barnaul, Siberia. 
  The tiny protestors (complete with placards) were displayed on January 26th, since authorities have repeatedly rejected requests to protest the parliamentary election results. Protest signs read,"I'm for clean elections" and "A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin".  Police are trying to contain the doll protests, one wonder how do you contain a doll that is only 5cm high? 
   "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Lego Protest Man" and "My name is Kinder Toy and I don't like you very much" come to mind as how the tiny toys would answer the police. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Skills Night in Ottawa!

Once again, greetings from Ottawa and tonight's Skills Competition!

Can we just say that Quick is the perfect name for a goalie?

Our order competition is fastest skater, breakaway challenge, accuracy shooting, skill relay, hardest shot, and finally the elimination challenge.

Oh, goaltenders trying to do the breakaway, and of course Quick wins! Kessel wins against Yandle, so that should shut up some of the fans....or encourage them....Brilliant commentating.."European born skaters are born and breed there".....Yes, yes they are....
 Our fastest skater is Carl Hagelin from the New York Rangers.

In this fourth year of the breakaway challenge we will finally crown a new champion. The past three years Alexander Ovechkin won, who will the fans crown this year? Johansen is up first and is not too exciting, a puck between your least Couturier juggles the puck. Kane kind of blows it and chokes after trying some fancy moves. Tavares can't seem to control his puck and looses it several times. Perry is magnificent! Finally, great puck handling and with a pinch of lacrosse. goalies seem to be getting into it. Well..about time, super Kane has a cape and glasses, slides/ flies across the ice and gets a goal! And be have bridged the hockey football gap with a Tebow-ing in net. Kane must of slipped a trick puck, because when he slapped it in it split into 4 pieces. Perry uses a baby goalie stick to shoot in his puck in the net.
 The fans vote for Patrick Kane as winner of the breakaway as the Superman theme plays in the background.

On to accuracy shooting!
Don't you just hate when the announcers say how great a person/ team is? Its like they curse them, oh, they've never gotten hurt, a penalty, a point scored against them...Its a need to have someone listen in so you can spit three times and reverse the curse. Jamie Benn proves that you don't need an appendix to score points, hitting all four targets in 10 seconds.

The relay....and Team Alfredsson wins both heats. Rats!

Now our favorite! Hardest Shot! We think the Chara will continue his reign, especially since he brought a Warrior stick. Alfredsson gets a whopping 101.3 mph-wow! Finally, Weber vs. Chara....Weber gets 104.9 and Chara gets 106.2! Then Chara gets 108.8...Oh my God! Getting hit by a a puck going that fast must be like getting hit by a truck. Who would want to block that?! Weber and Chara battle it out for the finale. Weber gets 102.6, Chara gets 106.9. Second heat, Weber gets 106.0 and Chara gets107. So Chara has won Hardest shot 5 years running.

Elimination Shootout time....Well, its not looking good for Team Chara, but Tim Thomas is fantastic in goal. Stampkos wins the elimination challenge.
 Well, Team Alfredsson has won the Skills competition 21-12.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

LIVE From the All Star Draft!!

Greetings from Ottawa , Ontario Canada! Yes, we are at the NHL Fantasy All Star Draft (what can we say, a mink doesn't take up that much room on an airplane). We will be reporting the draft to you live so you can get all the details here!

First off....

Hmm... all the players are backstage...We liked it better last year when all the players were in the front rows. This must be a ploy to make more money for the good seats.

Okay! We are getting ready to start! Oooo...a new rule! You can make one trade..interesting....

We have Team Chara (blue) vs. Team Alfredsson (Red) and Team Chara has first pick and he chooses Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Redwings. Erik Karlsoon is Alfredsson's first pick, not surprising since they are both Swede's and teammates. Since all goalies must be picked by the 10th round, its not surprising that Chara picks fellow Bruin Tim Thomas. Of course the announcer has to bring up this past week's events but, Timmy is ever the gentleman and gracefully changes the topic saying that tonight is about the players.

Team Alfredsson seems to only be picking his teammates, selecting Spezza. Chara doesn't seem to have any problem picking his players based on their playing ability, picking Malkin. We are loving that all announcing is done in French and English (we always look forward to expanding out vocabulary).

Chara's pick of fellow countryman Marian Hossa seems to seal which team we will be rooting for (but, best to keep it impartial during the draft).

The "Leafs Suck" is officially annoying....please cut off the crowds mic's or their supply of Molson.

Well, both teams have picked goalies and defensemen and we've only finished with Round 5.

 Carey Price was caught mid gulp when Chara picked him for goalie. Team Alfredsson sees Chara's goalie and picks a goalie of his own with Elliot. Team Chara picks Phil Kessel from the Leafs' (more booing)..not bad, last year Kessel was picked last and won a car! (who says the cheese stands alone? or would it be the poutine stands alone?)

Finally in the 9th Round Daniel Sedin is picked by Team Alfredsson, will his brother join him or will the Sedins be separated yet again for the All Star game?

Thoughts....Please get rid of the girl reading the Tweets the players are sending each other. We don't care and she can't even read the Tweets correctly. Also, please pick new music for when the players come on stage. The music they keep using is very dated. May we suggest you play the goal scoring music for the players' team? Say, when a Bruin goes up for his sweater, you play Shipping Up to Boston; or a Blackhawk goes up to play Chelsea Dagger....get the point?

We tried very hard to get a word from Chara during the break, but we think that being so tall, he doesn't look down much to see furry critters, maybe we should put on a puck costume and then try for an exclusive?

Chara starts the round with picking Campbell from the Florida Panthers (we mention only because we are still slightly bitter that Chicago traded him after he helped them win the Cup and his fantastic charity work). Joining his former teammate, Kane joins Campbell on Team Chara.

Another Senator, Milan Michalek joins Team Alfredsson (is he picking is whole team?!). On the other hand, Team Chara is picking every Maple Leaf ("They like us here eh? ", says pick Dion Phaneuf). It seems that the Sedin brothers will play together after all for Team Alfredsson.

4 more rounds to go!

Team Alfredsson picks his countrymen and so does Chara. We have our final four players, who will be picked last?

Not Seguin, he and Chara "hug it out" after the long wait. Pominville is chosen by Team Alfredsson. Two left....a Shark and a Star.

Chara picks Jaime Benn.....leaving Logan Couture for last...hey, he get a car, so its not all bad.  No trades? hmpf.....

The battle of skills will start on Saturday and the actual game will be on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A World of Pure Imagination

   If you were one of those kids that loved the scented markers (who didn't?) and longed to find a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory, the modern world is finally making it possible.

Pieter Brenner and his Sugar Chair
Amsterdam based artist Pieter Brenner creates in a media that every kid craves-sugar! Currently on display in KIDSshop in Cologne, the Sugar Chai ris the first object of its' kind to be made entirely out of sugar, 30 kilos. (just over 66 pounds) to be exact.
  "The sugarchair can be shaped by its owner into a personalized and unique form. Thru the shaping and the treatment of its owner, the sugarchair wil turn into a very unique object. The user can play an active part in the design with form and the dimensions of the object himself. The more consumed, the less mass left of the chair", states Brenner. Why sugar you may ask? Brenner points out that, "Sugar will become the basic material for eco-fuel, plastics and cosmetics". Just think of the sugar chair as a whole new level of recylcing!
   We here at The Country Mink and The City Mink are very excited to see what Pieter Brenner comes up with next as he continues to push the boundries of dada and consumerism.

  Back in 2007, Flavor Paper, a New York based wallpaper company came out with scented wallpaper in banana and cherry. That's right, scratch and sniff wallpaper for your very home! Designed by Michael Angelo you can purchase banana or cherry scented wallpaper.
  The wall paper is hand screened, measures 27" x 15' and comes in at $350.00 a roll. If you like the pop sensibility, but not the scent you can purchase them scent free, but what's the point in that? Maybe Flavor Paper can come up with some lickable wall coverings for that before bedtime snack?

 Lastly, an item that could be out of your childhood dreams (or nightmares) is Essential Dynamics 3-D food printer. While 3-D printing is nothing new, this is the first printer that prints with something other than plastics and resins.
The 3-D food printer was invented by a group of students at Cornell University. The Cornell students plan to have blue prints online for FREE, so your material start up cost would only be about $1,000. They hope to get that down to $700 and then down to about the price of an I-Pad. They want every home to be able to have one. The Essential Dynamics version is being sold for $3,000.
   Unlike other available 3-D printers, the food printer uses syringes that can be filled with any paste like substance; cookie dough, frosting, masa, chocolate, etc. The French Culinary Institute is already using one in their kitchens. If you can plot it in your computer, the machine can print it out in food. This also means that you could print a hamburger out of tofu, a cake out of ramen....Anything can be printed to look like the food that it is not.  Check out a video of the printer in action.
  Amazing as this seems, one can't help think of the last scene in Soylent Green when Charlton Heston finds out the tasty plant based crackers everyone eats are really made out of people.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back in Black

 CNN and Huffington Post reports that 2012 is supposed to be the year of black foods.....Hmm.... normally food is black either because you burnt it, or it's rancid!
  Black lentils, beans and Forbidden rice; okay I can eat that. I'm staying away from the squid ink pasta and the water. Yes, that's right, Blk makes black water enhanced by natural minerals...That's almost as bad as the black charcoal crackers. I know, I know, don't knock it until you've tried it.
  On that note, if anyone is willing to send some black food my way, I'll taste test it and blog back to all of you on my findings.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Snowy Friday

  Why is it that snow always comes on a Friday during rush hour? It's almost as if the snow has union meetings and the head snow flake declares that to make the humans miserable (or to make the snow plow operators rich) the heaviest snow must come during the morning or afternoon rush. I'm always wary of the weather reports that state "we will get a dusting" or "between 3 and 12 inches".....That much of a margin is akin to when they say the hurricane will hit "somewhere between New England and Florida".
   I sat at a standstill for over an hour because inconsiderate drivers (you know who you are) simply ignored stop signs, lights and common human decency.

When the going gets rough, the rough are thankful for packing a blanket, muffin, full I Pod and a water bottle

Snow doesn't always bring out the worst in people. The first snow kids are excited; sledding and making snowmen. People tend to help each other shovel or snow blow. Its that fifth or sixth snowfall or 6" or more that makes people curse the want to move to warmer climates as they curse the sky and decide that their sports car, truck or SUV can take the roads at a normal pace. Here's a math problem...

Vehicle + going 60mph + ice - stopping distance = vehicle in ditch or smashy smash crash

Maybe these tires from a 1920's advertisement in American Theatre would help out??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Vintage Winter Cold Season

   The winter cold season is upon us once again. It will be made even more miserable this week by the wonderful Chicago weather... the old saying goes, "Hate the weather, wait 5 minutes"....We are in for a 40, 20, 30, 50, 19, below zero kind of week.
   So, we've decided to prepare with some vintage cold ads.
   Listerine was invented in 1879 and was intended to be used as a surgical antiseptic, later it became the first over-the -counter mouthwash to be sold in the United States. Listerine was also marketed from the 1920s to the 1970's as a cold and cough remedy (this claim was ruled as misleading by the FTC in 1976). Listerine claimed that gargling every two hours (every two hours!) would help keep that sore throat at bay.

When you have a Vintage Cold, you look more glamorous!

Made from the bark of the willow tree, Aspirin is still used for relief of the common cold. 

Quinine was the only effective malaria treatment in the 1930's. Quinine is manufactured from the by drying and powdering the bark of the Cinchona tree. Bromo Quinine Tablets treated "La Grippe", influenza. It was also effective for cols and headaches. Grove's later became a division of Bristol-Myers Co. in 1957. 

 Our preferred medicine? The hot toddy...far tastier than anything Theraflu could ever make. Just combine hot water, lemon, honey, and two or three fingers of some Jack Daniels. The steam opens up your sinus', the honey and lemon soothe your throat and the whiskey helps you sleep. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

City Mink makes a Budino

  One of the better things about the World Wide Web is that when you have an ingredient in your pantry/fridge that was bought on an impulse...."Oh, so pretty and I've always wanted to make something with that...I think I have a recipe for that too".... So, you buy said ingredient and go home, stick it in your fridge or pantry and look for that recipe you are so sure you have. 
    You look through your cook books, your recipe clippings, maybe it was in that stack of magazines you still need to go through? Or, was it in the paper (which paper? There's a weeks' worth of three of them). Now dear readers, you are thinking I am like those hoarders on T.V....nothing of the sort. I just can't stand eating the same meal over and over. I like to try new things and have a constant source of inspiration around me. Cooking and Baking is a way to be creative and let off steam, unless its been a particularly dreadful week at work and I am drained...then pasta is usually the way to go (or take out Thai, my one caveat to ordering in). 
   The food in question in my recipe search was meyer lemons. 
Meyer lemons are a sweeter version of a regular lemon, introduced to America in 1908 by Frank Nicholas Meyer. Native to China it is thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a clementine or orange. 
   Unable to find the mystery recipe I thought I saw, I simply Googled my way to an Epicurious recipe for a Meyer Lemon Budino. Budino is Italian for pudding, but a budino is more than a pudding. Part soufflĂ©, part custard and a little bit of a curd; it is an unexpected dessert. 
 The budino is an easy dessert, you can make it while still being able to watch the "Who Dat" get slowly beaten out of the New Orleans Saints by the San Francisco 49er's. The one key to any dessert in which you separate your eggs separate into yolks and whites is the proper whipping of the whites. Luckily the budino calls only for soft peaks. After combining your zest, juice, yolks, blur and sugar, you fold in your fluffy egg whites (in two batches), divide up your "batter" ramekins. 
Budino's taking a sauna bath 
The budino cooks in a warm water bath at a low temperature. The water bath promotes even cooking and helps the moisture in. Making the water bath is easy, all you need is a roasting pan. After you fill up the ramekins, place them in the roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with warm water until the water comes up to the middle of the ramekins. Pop them in the oven, cook for 30 minutes, take them out and enjoy.
Finished budino with whipped cream

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 trends we saw coming.....Braids!

   As soon as The Hunger Games movie trailer came out, it was clear that braids would make a comeback this year. Katniss Everdeen's trademark single braid and her mother's fancy braided updo of braids are clear in the trailer and were even clearer on runways.
    Featured heavily in Valentino's ready to wear spring show, the simple yet elegant braided crown dominated. Pictures can be seen here on Elle's website. If you wander over to Harper's Bazaar, you can catch braided do's from Armani and Michael Kors and the very romantic Valentino.
   The braid of 2012 is thankfully different from the scalp yanking, tightly plaited perfections of the past. The braids in all of the spring collections are playfully messy, simple and don't require headache medicine halfway through the day.
   Let's just hope that the other body modifications from The Hunger Games stay out of the designer line ups. We're thinking that they will, since going back to you natural hair color is in (no aqua spikes or orange corkscrews and definitely no pink and gold wigs). Though, for some people remembering what their "natural" hair color is , well, that's a matter of personal opinion.