Category Food & Drinks

Letters & Numbers / Steve Rura

Earlier today I came across Letters & Numbers, the portfolio site of Steve Rura, and was so excited by how creative his work is. Steve graduated from Cooper Union in 2002 and now does freelance design from Brooklyn, New York. His site is a breeze to go through, and it’s also kind of fun because you have to click on a project’s name in order to see it, otherwise there’s just a gray back there. He works in a ton of mediums, including package and graphic design, motion design, sound design… you name it and he has it on there.

My favorite of his projects are the cans and brand identity he did for Nestea, and the calender books he created. The Nestea campaign is absolutely stunning, with a ton of variation as well as making the brand something extremely hip. It’s too bad that Nestea didn’t take his advice, it’s this kind of direction they could really use.
The calender he created is made of blank moleskine books with bold photos on the fronts of each one. You have one for every month of the year, and you fill it as you go. I think this is such a great idea because you could totally keep these on your shelf forever! How cool would it be to look back 5 years ago and see all the stuff you were doing? It could potentially be bad, especially if you started dating someone new, but whatever.

Also be sure to check out the concept spots he did for a television channel that never came to be called The Rabbit Hole. Beautiful imagery and awesome sounds.


Italian Caramelle Candies

For as long as I can remember I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. I like birthday cakes, and seasonal pies, ice cream every now and then, but that’s pretty much it. But when I saw the amazing Italian candies posted over on Ms. Adventures in Italy, it totally made me hungry for some sweets! She does a really cute post about caramelle’s, which in Italy are usually hard candies and are usually non-chocolate. Most of the candies she shows are made in Italy, and there are tons of different types of flavors like absinthe, green tea and coffee.

Definitely check out her wonderful post, and prepare to satisfy your cravings!

Found through Tastespotting


Sushi Cookbooks

I’m a pretty big fan of sushi, I try to have it at least once a week if possible. But it can also be kind of expensive as well, so I was thinking it would be cool to start making my own. That way when I get a craving, I can open up my fridge and whip up a delicious roll. But I have no idea how to make sushi, and I’m not really sure where to start. I’ve looked for books online, but I’m not sure which one would be the best.

Can anyone recommend any good sushi cookbooks that would help a novice like me? Or maybe there are some good sushi websites online? I’d like to try my hand at making delicious Japanese food!


Starbucks QuickOrder Concept

In just 3 days, Steve Jobs will be announcing all sorts of Apple goodies, including a very probable software developer’s kit that will allow people to create applications for the iPhone. The Starbucks QuickOrder system by Phil Lu is one such application, allowing you to order, customize, and pay for your favorite morning wake-me-up beverage.

At first I wasn’t sure that this was a very good idea, thinking there would be cold, unpaid for drinks sitting Starbucks across the world. But it turns out that the application would sync with your iTunes account, which would draw the money directly from your credit card that’s attached to the account. Then you walk into your friendly local Starbucks, they scan a Semacode that’s on the screen, and your beverage is made. I think this could be pretty damn handy if Starbucks were to ever implement something like this. Man I love the future.



Last night, Jeff and I went by Shaw’s, one of the local grocery stores out here, and I was pretty excited when I saw that they had the new POM flavored teas. I’ve been drinking these for a few months now, and I’m obsessed with the Lychee Green Tea and Peach Passion White Tea flavors. We bought one of each of them, and then headed over to Jeff’s friend’s Matt’s house.

Well, I was quite surprised to find that my Lychee Green Tea had some extra flavoring in it! Turns out to be what I think is… cardboard. One big chunk, larger than a quarter, and one smaller piece. While this isn’t the worst thing in the world I could find in there, I certainly wasn’t excited to see it in there, either. I’m going to let it dry out and see if I can tell exactly what it is, maybe I can get Jeff to throw it under a microscope here at MIT and we can scientifically diagnose it… er, something.

But no matter what, I’m definitely going to look a lot more carefully the next time I’m drinking a POM.


Hotdog Hearts by Liam Devowski

Hotdog Hearts by Liam Devowski

I feel like I’m kind of cheating on this post, because I didn’t quite find Liam Devowski and his awesome typography, he found me.
Liam commented on a post yesterday, and as I do with everyone, I checked his website out to see what he was all about. Liam graduated from Syracuse University this last spring, and is now freelancing in illustration and graphic design in San Francisco, which I’m sure is a totally different beast from Syracuse.

The poster above was my favorite because instead of printing the poster with ink, he printed it with ketchup and mustard, haha… Sheer brilliance. He’s a huge type nerd, so be sure to check out his site if you’re into that too.


How To Make Vodka Drops

I love candy, and I love vodka, but I never thought you could combine the two. That is until I read the amazing blog of chadzilla, 4 chefs cooking in Miami who make some pretty incredible looking foods.

Chef Fabian has a step-by-step tutorial on how to make vodka filled ‘drops’, as I like to call them. On the site they call them ‘pills’, which to me doesn’t quite fit. To make them, all you need is sugar, water, vodka and corn starch, you can have some intoxicating, little candies! The process itself is pretty complex, but it would be totally worth it to make these things, they sound so good! I would love to try to make them with some peach flavored vodka.

And how great would these be at a Halloween party, or the next time you need to go on a trip? No need to worry about buying a stiff drink, just bring these candies with you!


Bee Raw Honey

I spotted these jars of honey while I was browsing Design*Sponge and had to post them immediately. They’re made by a company called Bee Raw, and they are makers of high quality, varietal honeys. Honestly I had no idea that there were flavors of honey, but the folks at Bee Raw compare honey to wine or coffee, it tastes different depending upon the floral source the honey is made from. They have 11 flavors available, including sage, wild raspberry, sourwood and star thistle.

It sounds like a really cool idea, and I’d totally love to try some of these, even though I’m not a big fan of honey. Which in my case they come in sampler packs which has the honey packed into vials with corks in the top. I’m so in love with the packaging they used for everything. The minimal type on the front of the jars lets the color of the honey be the real star. And the tiny vials of honey are really amazing and wonderful.

A really great idea, executed extremely well.


M&M’s Survival of the Fittest

Jeff sent me this bizarre ‘Best of Craigslist‘ posting, from a man in Tampa Bay, and I thought I’d share it:

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the “loser,” and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3×5 card reading, “Please use this M&M for breeding purposes.”

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this “grant money.” I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

Pure Genius.


The illycafe, Illy’s Portable, Fold Out Café

Check out this amazing amazing café by designer Adam Kalkin for Illy! The café was made from an old shipping container, Kalkin’s favorite thing to build with, and pretty magically folds out into a beautiful environment in about 90 seconds.

All of the materials used were recycled or recyclable, and the space contains a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, living room, and a library. All in one tiny shipping container. Such an amazing idea.
They’re going to be around the Time Warner Center in New York from the end of November till the end of the year.

Link via The Cool Hunter