The Kickstarter Blog

A Day at the Edinburgh Fringe: Lucy Benson-Brown

  1. Meet the Team: Megan and Brandon

    We thought it would be nice to introduce ourselves. So every now and then, a couple members of the Kickstarter team will be saying hello, and picking out a few projects — past or present, successful or not — that they're especially fond of. (They will also be posing for GIFs. The GIFs are mandatory.)

    This week, meet Megan and Brandon:

     Megan McFerren (@meganistkrieg)

    Job: "I help backers, creators, and visitors with questions about using Kickstarter, and help moderate conversations between the whole community. (Can I call my banhammer Mjölnir?)"

    • Elixirs of Pain — "I'm a hot sauce junkie and have backed more of those projects than probably anything else. Habaneros? Easy. Ghost peppers? Delicious. Trinidad moruga scorpion? Now you're talking! It's always exciting to see what new flavor profiles people create to singe my tastebuds to oblivion, and Elixirs of Pain was one of the first I backed and surprised me with the best hot sauce I've ever tasted in my life. I even got to meet the creator and pick up my bottles in person, when I found out he worked right around the corner from me!"
    • Civil War Embalming Living History Demonstration — "I worked in funeral service before coming to Kickstarter, and love that Kickstarter exists to help little projects like this to come to life. The Civil War was truly the second 'golden age' of embalming and there were countless fascinating developments during that time that still influence how we attend the dead today. And the fact that this will be a period re-enactment just makes it that much better."
    • Three Day Hangover's Freaking Awesome 2014 Season — "Three Day Hangover's 'Drunk Shakespeare' productions are some of the best live theater moments I've had living in New York City. I've dueled in flip cup alongside Hamlet and Laertes, and battled by way of beer pong with the Capulets and the Montagues, so a season subscription was a must-do. Up next they're doing Drunkle Vanya and I can't wait!"
    • Jotun — "Just funded! A beautifully stylized game about a Viking warrior who has to battle her way through frost giants and monsters using magical runes and a big freakin' axe, to prove herself to the Gods and enter Valhalla. I'm covered in Norse-themed tattoos and studied Germanic literature in university, so there is not a word of that description that could make me throw money at the screen faster to support this game!"

     Brandon Williams (@mbrandonw)

    Job: "I'm a recovering mathematician turned developer here at Kickstarter. I've worked on a variety of projects, such as the iOS app, Discovery, and mobile web."

    • T-Rex — "I’ve backed more film projects than any other category, and this one is my favorite. A documentary about a girl from Flint, Michigan who won gold in the first ever Women’s Boxing event at the Summer Olympics. We followed all of her matches at the office."
    • Damn Fine Coffee! — "Twin Peaks is one of my favorite shows ever, and this compilation of fan art speaks to me. I still pick it up every once in awhile and flip through it."
    • Open Well-Tempered Clavier — "A recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, released for free as public domain. There have been similar projects for more of Bach’s pieces, as well as Chopin."
    • Dark Side of the Moon on Cello — "I’ve listened to this dozens of times. It’s on Rdio and Spotify. You should go listen to it now."
  2. Summer Recipes from Kickstarter Food Creators

    Some congratulations are in order: this week — thanks to a whole lot of wonderful, hungry backers — our Food category reached a whopping $50 million in pledges! To celebrate, we asked a few of our favorite food creators to send us a summer recipe they think you might enjoy. We'll be doing two separate recipe posts, and by the end, you'll have a whole meal's worth of inspiration, from salad to pasta to dessert. Enjoy part one!

    Summer Pasta by Angelo Garro, Omnivore Salt

    No one wants to stay long in the kitchen cooking or eat a heavy meal in summer. What makes this recipe so special is that you can make it, let the sun do the work of heating it up just a bit, and enjoy it with very little prep time. All the ingredients are abundant this time of year in both farmer's markets and from your own garden.

    Blanch the tomatoes and remove skin. Dice and place in a bowl; add crushed garlic, chopped basil, and all other ingredients. Set the bowl in the warm summer sun for 1/2 hour with cheesecloth over it. 

    Cook your favorite pasta (Angelo likes Penne), mix, serve, and Mangiamo!

    Serves 4 guests. Buona appetite!

    Grilled Country Ribs with Fresh Melon Salad by David Ellner, Panna

    All of my favorite recipes come from Panna and the chefs we’ve worked with. These ribs by Paul Kahan are probably one of the most delicious recipes we have. Paul is amazing and working with him was a real honor. He’s won best chef by the James Beard Foundation (their highest honor) and with all his accomplishments is one of the most down to earth, friendly, and talented chefs I’ve worked with. I’ve made these ribs a number of times and they are easy to make and an absolute crowd pleaser. And be sure to make the melon salad with it…just heaven.

    Vinaigrette: Toast green coriander seeds for approximately 2-3 minutes in a dry skillet. Place the seeds on a cutting board and crush the seeds with the bottom of a skillet. Add them to a mixing bowl. 

    Chop the shallots, adding salt to help with the mincing later. Using a microplane, zest the rind of one lemon over the shallots. Mince these ingredients together. Add this mixture to the coriander seeds. Add lemon juice and vinegar to the mixture. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper. Macerate for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, slowly whisk the EVOO into the coriander shallot mixture until well combined. Taste for salt, adjust seasoning as necessary, and set aside. 

    Marinade: Combine the onion, garlic, scallions (using most of the white), coarsely chopped cilantro, ginger, sesame oil, chili paste, soy sauce and palm sugar in a large mixing bowl. Smear the Chinese mustard onto the ribs and cover the ribs with the marinade. Marinate the ribs the morning you plan to cook them (6-8 hours ahead). 

    Light the charcoal using a chimney starter. Place real-wood charcoal into the chimney. Place several sheets of loosely crumpled newspaper under the bottom of the chimney. Ensure the charcoal is red hot, should take approximately 20-25 minutes. 

    Place the grill grate about 1 to 2 inches above the coals to let it heat up. Remove the ribs from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and wiping off all ingredients from the ribs. Chargrill each rib for approximately 5 minutes per side, or until cooked medium well and caramelized. Dip each rib back into the marinade and continue grilling for an additional minute per side to enhance the charred flavor. Repeat dipping process once more. 

    Tomato-melon salad: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes and watermelon. Dress with 1/4 cup of the coriander vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Arrange the country ribs on a serving platter. Spoon the tomatoes and watermelon over the ribs. Top with cilantro and serve.

    Grilled Tuna w/Radish Salad by Mark Usewicz, Mermaid's Garden

    We think it's a perfect summer dish — it's simple, quick to prepare, uses minimal heat and takes great advantage of local tuna and radishes, both of which are abundant from late spring through the early fall.

    Halve radishes, keeping their greens intact. Fill a sink or a large pot with cold water and soak the radishes to remove grit. Trim any discolored bits. Remove the radishes from the water and pat dry. Place the vinegar, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, mustard and oil in a blender and puree to emulsify. Season the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear or grill the tuna to desired temperature. For fish 1-inch thick, allow about 2 minutes per side to reach medium rare. Place the radishes and arugula in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the anchovy dressing and toss. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Divide vegetables and tuna between two plates and serve.

    Serves 2-3 (You may want to make extra salad if you're serving 3).

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