SkyMall Monday: Ice Cream Ball

skymall monday ice cream ballThere are plenty of things that should be included on any packing list. Items such as underwear, toothbrushes and your passport should not be left at home. However, certain sundries are oft-overlooked but are just as important as those commonly accepted essentials listed above. How many times have you been on the road only to be frighteningly without ice cream? Lack of ice cream kills thousands of travelers every year*. Here at the SkyMall Monday headquarters, we always keep ice cream pre-packed into travel-sized containers just in case we’re called away at a moment’s notice. You’ll be surprised to learn, however, that ice cream does not travel well. That’s why it’s always best to pick some up when you’re traveling. That said, it’s not always easy to find ice cream. In those situations, you need to make your own. Traditional ice cream makers are bulky, noisy and boring. They just sit there and churn while you’re left to entertain yourself. Thankfully, SkyMall understands that the presence – or promise – of ice cream means that fun is about to ensue. They’ve combined all the joys of ice cream with the simple pleasure of playing with balls to make the moments leading up to the ice cream more fun than you ever could have imagined. They’ve provided us with the Ice Cream Ball.

Why should making ice cream be a passive activity? Rather than letting an electric ice cream maker do all the work while sapping the Earth of precious resources, you can make ice cream using the power of play. Roll, toss and caress that ball until your ice cream is ready to melt in your mouth. It’s the natural evolution of off-the-grid dessert manufacturing.

Think that you shouldn’t play with your food? Believe that ice cream is best left to the professionals? Well, while you wait in line for an overpriced banana split, we’ll be making a ball of ice cream while reading the product description:

Make ice cream anywhere! Don’t settle for 31 flavors. The only limit is your imagination! You don’t need electricity, just add ice and rock salt in one end and ice cream mix in the other end-then have a ball as you shake it, pass it or roll it!

Finally, we no longer have to “settle” for 31 flavors. Free at last, free at last, thank Ben & Jerry almighty, we are free at last. And since we all travel with ice (which keeps much better than ice cream) and rock salt, we’re always just a few ball jiggles away from a sweet, fresh dessert.

The next time you are preparing for a trip, make sure that you pack all of the necessities. Grab your toothbrush, bring your glasses and don’t you dare leave your house without the Ice Cream Ball.

* Ludicrously imagined statistic with little to no merit.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Cathay Pacific wants your dessert

Pastry chefs, caterers, home cooks and Mom’s packing lunches, listen up: Cathay Pacific wants your dessert to feature on their international flights.

The “Art of the Dessert” contest asks travelers to create their own Asian-inspired dessert, and submit a photo and recipe on Cathay Pacific’s Facebook page with a brief entry on why your dessert deserves to win.

Peter Ho, the Regional Catering Manager for Cathay Pacific North America for the last 43 years, will judge the entires. If your dessert passes the quality test of Mr. Ho, you could be in the running for a free business class flight to Hong Kong and your dessert will be featured on Cathay Pacific’s in-flight menu.

Need some help? Here is a list of some of the most popular Asian desserts. Add your own spin to this favorites and enter to win:

  • Steamed pears
  • Spicy coconut custard
  • Mango pudding
  • Lotus Leaf pancakes
  • Fried custard
  • Fortune cookies

Think you’ve got the sweets for this game? Enter the contest here and get baking!

Photo of the Day (7.11.10)

Does all this sweltering Summer weather have you feeling sweaty this week? Why not cool off for a second with today’s refreshing Gelato photo, courtesy of Flickr user Leslie at The L-List. Taking photos of your food while you travel can be a fun way to remember a particularly great meal or a special ingredient you just don’t want to forget. In the case of today’s photo, there’s also plenty of interesting visual elements that catch the viewer’s eye. The Macro technique does a great job of making you feel like the viewer is about to take a big old bite. I can almost taste that Gelato now…

Have any great food photos from your own travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of your delectable shots as our Photo of the Day. Food-loving photographers should also check out Gadling’s Food Photography Contest ending tomorrow. We’re giving away over $400 in photo gear.

SkyMall Monday: Edge Baking Pan vs. Giant Cupcake Pan

Here at SkyMall Monday, we love to eat. We’ll eat hot dogs, pizza or any other foods that SkyMall wants to shove down our gullets. But after those healthy meals, we like to indulge in the sweet stuff. From cakes to crepes, brownies to blondies and ice cream to crème caramel, we just want dessert. However, when it comes to SkyMall, two devices have long battled for sugary supremacy. Now, however, we will settle that dessert debate once and for all. This week, SkyMall Monday pits the Edge Baking Pan against the Giant Cupcake Pan. It’s the Battle of the Desserts and your votes in our poll will settle once and for all which device is SkyMall’s greatest contribution to the confectionery universe.Our first competitor weighs in at $39.95. The Edge Baking Pan is for the brownie lovers who enjoy the firm, crisp edges of a well-baked brownie. What you lose in gooey middles you gain in chewy, overcooked edges. Brownies not your thing? The product description shows you how versatile the Edge Baking Pan truly is:

You’ll also love the results with quick breads, cobblers and lasagna because they bake evenly, no burnt edges or gooey centers.

Zig-zagging lasagna that’s crispy and not gooey? Sign me up. I mean, who wants moist lasagna? Dried out pasta and burnt cheese are how they make it back in the old country. Or at least that’s what Sophia told me.

Or next competitor is looking lean and mean at $29.95. The Giant Cupcake Pan takes all the fun of a cupcake – the fact that it’s a small, personal cake that you enjoy by yourself – and blows it up to a big, communal cake that you share with others. It’s everything you want in a cupcake when you don’t want a cupcake but want a cake instead but also want a cupcake. Confused? Read the product description, moron:

This whimsical cake will be the hit of the party!

The USDA recommends that you get 300 grams of whimsy everyday. The Giant Cupcake Pan provides you with that recommended daily allowance. It may also make you diabetic.

So, what say you, lovers of SkyMall? Vote for your favorite SkyMall dessert device below. I may just have to test the winner to see if victory does, in fact, taste sweet.

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Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

What German McDonald’s thinks of New York City

Apparently Germans really like to visit New York City. How else to explain a new Big Apple-inspired menu of cupcakes, now appearing at McDonald’s restaurants across Germany? According to food website Eater, the new German cupcake campaign features sweet desserts named after New York’s “tourist hot-spots,” including Chelsea, Central Park, SoHo and the East Village. The campaign appears to be a tribute to the New York’s never-ending cupcake craze, inspired by famous bakeries like the perpetually crowded Magnolia Bakery.

Each cupcake also comes complete with a trendy description and suitable New York-style “hipster” mascot. Did you know for instance that the East Village is home to all of the city’s most famous artists? Maybe 30 years ago. Even if it’s slightly off the mark, it’s always interesting to catch a glimpse of another culture’s take on your own. In a way, famous cities like New York have become global brands, exporting their cupcakes, t-shirts and grocery stores around the world.

Anybody seen these on the menu on a recent trip to Germany? Share your thoughts in the comments.