Short and Sweet

Friday, October 16, 2009

Union Station's chocolate-scented come-on

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Union Station celebrates the art of chocolate
Everyone loves chocolate -- right? That's what the management of Kansas City's Union Station is counting on as it opens Chocolate The Exhibition (the show and the tour were developed by Chicago's Field Museum), a family-friendly educational experience that runs today through January 3 and will lure, hopefully, plenty of ticket-buying tourists through the holiday season. Union Station needs all the successful attractions it can get.

The exhibition is a multi-sensory experience and features the aroma of chocolate wafting through the air in various settings. A variety of tastings are scheduled through the run, including chocolate and wine pairings and chocolate and vodka tastings.

Union Station is also seeking chocolate-loving volunteers to serve as greeters, ticket-takers and exhibition attendants.  

(Image via Flickr:(c)pacificist)



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You can't escape the California Raisins

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 1:00 PM

If you weren't scared of the California Raisins long ago, this might do the trick. Here's a face-painting homage to the ubiquitous mascots of the 1980s. It will take a moment to figure out what's face, what's background and what's a shirtless man. Repeat watching may be necessary.  

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Today is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day!

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 10:45 AM


Strawberry Cream ... a nice pie, if you can find one

Yes, Monday, September 28 is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day. There are lots of places in town to find cheesecake with strawberry sauce (including Winstead's) or baked berry pies, but strawberry cream pie? I feel fairly confident that the Village Inn Family Restaurant in Mission -- that great cream pie palace -- would have it.

Otherwise, I'd love to know where else in town I might be able to get one -- today!

(Image via Flickr: 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Joe Posnanski fears The King, too

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 10:30 AM


It's nice to know you're not alone when it comes to the irrational fear of waking up next to The King -- the ever-smiling mascot for Burger King.

In the recent blog post "Creepy Kings," Kansas City Star/Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski gets at the heart of why The King's mirth is so anxiety-inducing:

The reason you don't want to go to bed before him is because he will be in your eerily darkened room when you are mostly naked and he will blow an airhorn in the middle of the night or team up with someone to dump feathers on your head while he blows a leaf blower at you. And then the King will laugh and laugh and laugh without moving his mouth.
In essence, he is a pranking boogeyman to Posnanski -- and that sounds about right for a mascot with a frozen smile.

I was always scared of the earlier campaign that encouraged people to "wake up with The King." The deep-voiced repetition of meat and cheese to describe the Double Croissanwich while a man shared an awkward hand-contact moment with The King was simply unsettling.

But there's good news for Posnanski and others who are dreading the return of The King's Halloween masks. He might not be a marketing presence for much longer.

Burger King's Chief Marketing Officer, Russ Klein, recently announced that he was taking a leave of absence. A change of direction on the marketing and advertising side could mean a big break from The King. If the King is dethroned, perhaps we'll all sleep better at night.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The cupcake has peaked

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 11:20 AM

​With the cupcake trend in full swing, one writer believes that all of the different iterations and new storefronts are leading to the bursting of the cupcake bubble. On Slate, Daniel Gross argues that cupcakes are a luxury item and all of the new options are reactionary, retro-fitted onto a pastry that is meant to be simple.

"Indeed, they are being pitched as affordable luxuries. In an age when discretionary, feel-good spending is at a nadir, cupcake bakeries are trying to persuade people to trade up from cheaper sugar-delivery vehicles (such as, say, a doughnut)."
He feels that most Americans are not in a mood to upgrade. Yet, America is all about affordable luxury. That's why Starbucks exists today and Walmart advertises its genuine Steak House Steaks as something you can afford without a special occasion. In a culture of individuals, we want our food purchases to make us feel unique -- and a fancy cupcake sits perfectly in that niche.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Down the hatch: Mountain Dew Voltage

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM


A recent post about sodas gone by the wayside led me to the soda aisle to see what colored and flavored offshoots are surprisingly still around. Green Tea Ginger Ale is apparently still going strong in its first year -- or is on the way out: a single two-liter bottle was all that remained on the shelves of Target.

When I came across Mountain Dew Voltage, I figured I owed the drink a chance. This would be my first mistake. Introduced in 2008 as the winning flavor in a  "dewmocracy competition," the blue-hued soda is described as "Dew charged with raspberry citrus flavoring and Ginseng."

Creativeone, a user on YouTube, has a series of videos in which he tries Mountain Dew products. His experience tackling Mountain Dew Voltage should have been telling:

 "I like it, I really do...My eyes are watering...I can kinda feel it going down my throat...feels like a sizzly feeling."

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fair food straight from your kitchen

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 10:30 AM


The Missouri State Fair is in full swing (the last day is August 23), but driving to Sedalia isn't on the top of your list.

So get inspired by The Kitchn's State Fair Food Week, and take that gas money and apply it towards a deep fat fryer. It's time to recreate the state fair experience in your kitchen. The beauty of the recipes below is that even when you screw up, the fat content is so high they are still likely to taste pretty good.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Today is National Frozen Custard Day!

Posted By on Sat, Aug 8, 2009 at 10:43 AM


​We love frozen custard in Fat City and recently did a "battle of the frozen custards" using samples from the best-known national frozen custard chains: Culver's and Sheridan's. We also explained the difference between frozen custard and soft-serve.

Since today is supposed to be gruelingly hot, I'm going to make a devotional pilgrimage to one of the local frozen custard vendors for a cup of something cold and creamy.

(Image via Flickr: Red Oak Kid)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

File it under 'I' for ice cream

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 12:30 PM


Bookworms unite! A new Facebook group "People for a library-themed Ben & Jerry's flavor!" boasts more than 6,400 members.

Among those who want to see book-inspired ice cream flavors, the top entries so far are the "Gooey Decimal System" (dark fudge alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream), "In the Stacks" (butter pecan with fudge swirl), and "Library Loan Shark" (butter rum with little butter-flavored sharks).

The New Yorker has come up with several flavors to add to the list including: "Twilit" (pale-white lemon sorbet with red shoestring licorice and the hair of Robert Pattinson) and "Chick Lit" (fat-free peach-mango swirl with pieces of Chicklets chewing gum).

If you're feeling inspired, you can submit your flavor suggestion to Ben & Jerry's directly or request that the company resurrect a flavor from the flavor graveyard.

You'll also finally have a chance to enjoy ice cream at the library when the The Wimpy Kid Ice Cream Truck Tour rolls into the Kansas City Public Library's Waldo Branch (201 East 75th Street) on August 14. The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., features free ice cream treats to promote cartoonist Jeff Kinney's Diary of Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Just tell your boss it's market research.  

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Whoopie pies are the new cupcakes

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 1:00 PM

​There is always some new pastry on the block attempting to dethrone cupcakes. Now, The New York Times is certain that the next best hand-held dessert is nearly as old as the tiny cakes we've been enjoying since grade school. Ever had a whoopie pie?

The standard version is two round cakes, resembling hamburger buns, around a white icing that's typically vanilla. Whoopie pies share some flavor similarities with black-and-white cookies. The icing can be tooth-achingly sweet and the cake portion can be dry and crumbly.

While believed to have originated in the South, whoopie pies have become synonymous with two East Coast regions -- Pennyslvania Dutch Country and Maine. If you want tradition, Labadie's Bakery in Lewiston, Maine, has been making the pies since 1925. 

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