The 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is just $90 at Amazon

Many of us have been forced to improve our culinary skills while biding our time indoors. But if you're finding yourself routinely making the same meals, one way to kick things up a notch is to add an Instant Pot to your appliance arsenal. The mu...

Traeger’s smart grill app comes to the Apple Watch

Traeger's smart grills have taken some of the toil out of real cookouts using tech. The company's feature-rich companion app — which was overhauled last year with a ton of recipes and video guides and customization — pairs up with its WIFI-en...

Chinese Take-Out Jigsaw Puzzle: Where’s My Fortune Cookie?

Tired of jigsaw puzzles featuring scenic landscapes? I swear, if I have to assemble one more beautiful mountain range at sunrise… Well for those looking for something a little different for their next jigsaw puzzle, how about this two-sided Chinese Takeaway Jigsaw Puzzle from Fizz Creations? The 250-piece puzzle is the shape and image of a Chinese takeout container on one side, and the same shape but all noodles on the other. Great, now I’m hungry.

The puzzle has one glossy side and one matte side to make it easy to distinguish between the two puzzles, which I feel is unnecessary for a puzzle that only has 250 pieces, to begin with. Just make sure to burn a Chinese Takeout scented candle while you’re assembling it for a more immersive experience.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve attempted a lot of jigsaw puzzles during quarantine. My most recent was a 1,500 piece view of Santorini, Italy at dusk. It proved to be difficult. So difficult that I told my wife I didn’t want to finish it since I saw the dogs eat a few pieces and it could never truly be completed, even though it was me who ate those pieces and I hope she never reads this.

This eco-friendly takeaway packaging was inspired by the stacked Indian tiffin

The Dip-In Tiffin by Srishti Garg is a clever solution that takes cues from traditional practices to make single-use takeaway food packaging eco-friendly, modular, eye-catching, and culturally relevant! Its stackable design is directly inspired by the vertically stackable steel boxes found in Indian tiffins (the Indian equivalent of a bento-box), and it uses easily available natural materials to store food, making it safer to dispose than plastic.

The Dip-In Tiffin was designed primarily for dry/semi-dry foods. Since the packaging isn’t air-tight, it tends to exclude foods that are gravy-based, limiting its options, but making it great for dry snacks like doughnuts, sandwiches, etc (the Indian context uses savory doughnuts and fermented rice-cakes). The tiffin’s main vessel is created using a dried, thermoformed Areca leaf, an eco-friendly alternative to conventional disposable plates. These vessels hold semi-dry, saucy, and oily foods really well too, offering a more reliable alternative to brown paper bags/boxes. The Areca bowls are covered with a simple branded paper sleeve, and slots along the sleeve allow multiple boxes to be suspended to each other vertically, resembling the tiffin. The solution was devised mainly for airports, which see patrons quickly grabbing meals and eating them within hours of checking in. It doesn’t use any glue, staples, or seals either, making it safe, and the all-natural makeup of the packaging means it can easily be disposed of after use!

Designer: Srishti Garg

Taco Bell is working with Beyond Meat to create a new plant-based protein

Starting later this year, Taco Bell will begin testing a Beyond Meat-based dish at its restaurants. The chain didn’t say what said dish will look like but claimed it won’t be the usual planet-based substitution you’ve seen from other restaurants sinc...

Food trucks transform to help restaurants recover from the COVID-19 economic losses

The limits that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on our lifestyles have been grim, yes. But keeping up with the designs coming out as a direct result of the 2020 pandemic has helped pass the time. Has it been a year already? Arguably, the industry in need of the most innovative designs is the restaurant industry. Some eye-catching designs have certainly risen to the top and been put to the test. Jungsoo Lee’s design, a modular reinterpretation of the food truck, incorporates a removable seating area for guests to enjoy their favorite restaurant’s food with the full “dine-in” experience they’ve come to cherish. The design could offer some peace of mind or inspiration for restaurant workers across the globe in need of some financial movement.

The crux of Lee’s design hinges on the pressure of restaurant owners paying rent on a monthly basis. With fewer diners, many restaurant-owners are finding themselves without the means to fund their dining spaces at the end of the month, and most are signed into year-long leases – an off-menu recipe for disaster. Lee figured that by designing a physical and transportable space for people to safely dine and for chefs to safely cook, then instead of signing into a year-long contract, food business owners could rent modular food trucks by the day and also provide safe, on-site dine-in services for guests.

Each truck in Lee’s design comes in two modules: the top part of the truck is meant for cooking and the bottom quarter of the truck detaches and forms the seating area. As designed right now, Lee incorporates foldable support pillars on the bottom of the electric truck design so that once the seating module is pulled out, the kitchen can stand even and elevated on rolling posts. Food trucks are a reasonable solution to the problems that restaurant owners face in the age of COVID-19 and, if you live in a city, chances are you’ve probably already seen a lot more of them dotting the streets in the past couple of months.

While food trucks are a smart option for some cities, the seating module might not be ideal for every city as presently designed. In warmer temperatures and more moderate climates, outdoor dining has been the most popular adjustment made during the age of COVID-19, but for colder cities like Chicago or London, outdoor dining isn’t so convenient. With heated tables and outdoor cabins being among some of the winning designs for restaurant owners facing financial trouble with fewer diners, the need for warmth in colder cities is still a top priority. In the same vein, by transitioning restaurant owner’s brick-and-mortar locations into on-the-road mobile food services with exposed seating areas, the uncertainty of a city’s ever-changing weather comes into play and chefs will have to cut the area space of their previous kitchen by a substantial amount. Thankfully, however, like the weather, the design of today is ever-changing and constantly evolving.

Designer: Jungsoo Lee

Sharp’s first Alexa-ready microwave ovens are optimized for popcorn

If you’d like an Alexa-savvy microwave but would like something more advanced than the AmazonBasics model, you’re in luck — especially if you tend to snack during movies. Sharp has unveiled its first Alexa-capable countertop microwaves, the mid-size...