So the F.T.C. calls me up, and they’re like. . .

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A couple of representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, evidently stung by my column last week (in which I called the agency “spineless”), scheduled a phone call to remind me that the F.T.C. doesn’t have the ability to pass legislation that determines how Big Food markets to children.

I knew that. But that doesn’t mean the F.T.C. needs to praise the industry for its ridiculously transparent self-regulation scheme. Here’s Jon Leibowitz, agency chairman, quoted in The Times: “The industry’s uniform standards are a significant advance and exactly the type of initiative the commission had in mind when we started pushing for self-regulation more than five years ago.”

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Posted in Behind The Scenes, Food Politics

A Toast to the Minimalist

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Thank you to everyone who has read the Minimalist column. It has been thirteen wonderful years of cooking and thinking about food. Here’s to many, many more (and some champagne for the road.)

Posted in Behind The Scenes

The Best Minimalist Video of All Time?

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My friend and colleague Gabe Johnson has shot and produced every single Minimalist video (more than 200.) Here he describes his favorite one to shoot (and more importantly to eat.)

Posted in Behind The Scenes

The Minimalist: Exit Stage Right

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Today I’m bidding farewell to The Minimalist. It’s been thirteen wonderful years (almost 700 columns.) I may be leaving the Dining section (there might be some return appearances,) but I’m not travelling far. Starting next week I’ll be writing in The Times opinion pages (and in a new blog there as well,) and beginning in March in The Times Magazine (plenty of recipes, most Sundays.) Check back throughout the day for some bonus links.

Posted in Behind The Scenes

2rd Day of HTCE: Meat Loaf

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Meat Loaf

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended

Free-form meat loaf has several advantages over those cooked in loaf pans: It develops a lovely crust on three sides instead of just one, and the fat can run off, rather than become trapped between pan and meat. Plus it’s easy to shape by hand and always turns out in the shape you wanted. You can also shape this mixture into meatballs if you like; just bake them for about half the time.

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Posted in American, Behind The Scenes

3rd Day of HTCE: Pad Thai

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Pad Thai

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 Minutes

Easy to make at home—easier than you thought, I’m sure—and better than most pad Thai you’ve had in restaurants. Just make sure you have everything on hand and prepared before you start stir-frying, because it goes pretty fast once the heat is on.

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Posted in Behind The Scenes, Thai