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Meatless Monday: Zucchini Chili

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of lifeEating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Fall can be so confusing. It’s hot out, it’s cold out, and each shorter day seems to taunt us with memories of late evening sunshine that has faded all too quickly. It’s a bummer. But instead of being haters, let’s consider the season’s upsides, like superb vegetables that weren’t quite ready in August. Take advantage of these last warmish days by stocking up on almost-over-ripe tomatoes or eggplants the size of forearms. Eat corn. Ignore apples. Or, grab a few enormous zucchinis and make this too-hearty-for-summer vegetarian chili. Loaded with beans and best alongside spinach-laced rice, this meat-free meal can be served hot or room temperature, making it perfect for the in-between days.

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Fancypants Ham Sells For 2 Million Bucks (Really)

When you think about the price of ham these days, you probably hover in at around 8 dollars a pound. Of course, if you are purchasing it right from the hog, the price tends to uptick a little bit. How much of an uptick? Oh, about two million bucks. That’s right. Somebody bought some pork for an absolute boarload of money.

Everywhere at the Kentucky Fair, a dry-cured country ham is auctioned off for an exorbitant price. This year’s 16-pound bevy of pig parts went for an astounding 2 million bucks. The pig in question wasn’t raised on a steady diet of diamonds; it was just your average ultra-delicious cured hog. So why did it go for so much? It was an auction to raise money for charity, although this year’s entrant beat the record by a full 1.5 million smackeroos.

In other news, white bread is still just a buck or two. Who wants to make a really ironic sandwich?

 

This Modern Marvel Toasts Bread and Makes Coffee at the Same Time

If life is a difficult trudge through snow, then mornings are a three mile jog through a blizzard in bare feet. In other words, they stink. Thankfully, a group of South Korean tech-wizards have invented a gadget that makes mornings just the teensiest bit more palatable.

It’s called the Baking Pot and, believe it or not, it doesn’t really bake at all. It does brew coffee, however. It also toasts your bread. That’s right. You can now have your coffee and toast prepared via one smartly designed machine. You can use that extra counter space for the juicer you swear you’ll use one day you promise.

That’s pretty much all it does. It brews and it toasts. If you are the kind of person that worries about getting coffee grinds on their toast, the two halves also separate. It’s currently only available in South Korea. Sorry guys.

26 Questions with Corndog Maestro Jim Stacy

This is Jim Stacy. He’s run landmark bars, revamped a historic drive-in movie theater, built the South’s most famous corndog truck and created a temple of comfort food treasures at his Georgia restaurant Pallookaville Fine Foods. On October 17 at 9:30pm ET, he’s coming to Cooking Channel with his new show Offbeat Eats with Jim Stacy.  For six episodes, Jim will track down some of the most innovative rebel chefs around who are creating offbeat food and experiences (like a restaurant in Seattle with circus décor that serves carnival-inspired dishes and a spot in Louisville that is one part old-school arcade and one part gastro-pub). We sent Jim 26 rapid-fire questions about his favorite foods, trends, comic book and more.

Cooking Channel: Craziest thing you’ve seen deep fried?

Jim Stacy: I’ll answer that in a roundabout way. I see too many things fried badly. Folks will fry things to shock you and be clever. That’s fine, but I see right through it. My most surprising and satisfying thing I’ve had fried lately is Kale Pakoras. It is a curry spiced, battered and fried kale dish. Pakoras are usually made out of potatoes or cauliflower, but I recently had them made of Kale at Chai Pani in Decatur, Georgia and was slain by how great they were. I’d rather people seek out the sublime and smart than deep fry stupid stuff.

CC: Favorite food?

JS: I’m partial to Soul Food made by a crew of old ladies that have worked together for years.

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Fall Fest: A Week of Apple Recipes

Apple Crisp Recipe

You know what they say about an apple a day. So why not commit to getting in your red (or green) all week long. We’ve developed the perfect meal plan for a week of all-apple eating.

Sunday: With an eye toward Monday breakfast, make a giant apple crisp. Kelsey’s 5-star apple crisp recipe (pictured above) comes together quickly and is ideal for a dinner party or leftovers.

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A Death Row-Themed Restaurant

If you had one last night on planet Earth, what would you eat? Fried Chicken? Ice Cream? That was the idea of a London pop-up restaurant  set to burst onto the scene this October. That’s because the whole thing was death row-themed.

According to the idea-smiths behind this macabre eatery, Death Row Dinners would explore the concept of last meals by transforming a restaurant space into something that resembles a prison. However, the idea stirred up some controversy (for obvious reasons.)

Tasteless? Sure. Will people be lining up out the door? Probably, if they had the chance. Public outcry has caused Death Row Dinners to go lights out before they even opened. It’s a shame they didn’t get a last — or first — meal before their death sentence .

Hump Day Snack: Soft Pretzels for Oktoberfest

Soft Pretzels

You don’t have to fly to Germany or even attend an Oktoberfest party to get the authentic experience. Channel the spirit of a Bavarian beer hall at home with this recipe for homemade soft pretzels. Start your from-scratch dough with yeast, sugar, white flour, baking soda and butter, leaving time to let it rest and double in size. When the dough is ready, roll each piece into a rope and form it into a pretzel shape. (Perfect pretzel tip: Make a smiley face holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press them down to connect at the bottom of the “U.”) Then bake them and prepare some spicy mustard and also perhaps sausage, schnitzel and an ice-cold stein of German beer.

Complete your Oktoberfest meal with Cooking Channel’s best German recipes:

Happy New Year: Our Sweet Rosh Hashana Menu

Labor Day Picnic
Sundown on Wednesday marks the eve of 5775 in the Jewish calendar and the beginning of the Rosh Hashana holiday. While most celebrations lack much of December’s New Year’s Eve flair (no Champagne, and there are yarmulkes instead of party hats), the holidays do share one common tradition: Everyone gathers for a huge meal. If you’re looking to amp up your holiday dinner — or you simply want to enjoy a fall-centric menu — give these classic dishes a spin. You might like them enough to incorporate them into your next New Year’s party. After all, who needs caviar when you have kugel? L’shana tova (aka happy New Year!).

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Sifted: Quick Cinnamon Rolls, Maple-Cookie Butter Granola + More

Cinnamon Rolls for Two

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • When you have a hankering for fluffy, sticky cinnamon rolls  but no time or crowd to help you eat them  Dessert for Two‘s small-batch recipe comes to the rescue. Not only do these Quick Cinnamon Rolls come together using no yeast, they reach that delectable, buttery status with just 15 minutes in the oven.
  • While you’re still opting for run-of-the-mill mass-market granola, you’re missing out on Hipster Food‘s genius breakfast mashup. Maple-Cookie Butter Granola comes with a swirl of cookie butter for a gingerbread-esque vibe that’s an ideal wakeup call all year long.
  • Blend the last of your stone fruit loot into a tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce that can go on just about anything. Deepened with molasses and ignited with jalapeno and chile powder, this recipe may come from the herbivorous blog, Vegetarian Ventures, but we won’t tell if you slather it on a meaty main.
  • Hazelnut Layer Cake with Fig Compote is the kind of cake that will elicit ooos and aaahs with the very first look. Fine hazelnut meal makes for a nutty, toasted cake flavor under the vegan cream cheese frosting. Dolly and Oatmeal adds a couple of pristine figs tothe top tier for a striking, simple garnish.
  • Financiers don’t get nearly as much oven love as good ole’ brownies, cookies and bars. But Honestly Yum‘s take on the small French cakes  Pistachio, Saffron & Rose Financiers — should change that. These beauties are the perfect excuse for a tea party, especially with a sugar-encrusted rose petal crowning each one. 

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Dinner Rush! Wild Mushroom Risotto with Honeyed Mascarpone

Why is it that pasta is the go-to “pantry raid” dinner of choice? Sure, pasta just seems so effortless and satisfying. But here’s a fun fact: so is risotto.

Arborio rice. Stock. Some aromatics. The vegetable of your choice. Cheese. That’s pretty much all you need to have on hand to get dinner on the table.

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