Archive for November, 2010

Don’t Forget: Thanksgiving Reminders

Cranberry Sauce - Michael Chiarello

Cranberry Sauce: The Perfect Make-Ahead Dish

Thanksgiving is 3 days away! If you want to avoid a 4 a.m. wake-up call alongside your turkey, dressing and sweet potato cupcakes, a little planning and preparation can go a long way. We’ve got the digital equivalent of the string-around-the-finger — here’s what you can and should do ahead of time to make Turkey Day a breeze.

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Pix Potluck: A Beautiful Apple Pie

'Tis the season ... for apple pie.

Got your desserts all planned for Thursday? At this point in the game, we hope you’ve at least narrowed down the options.

Amy Uhl Ortega posted this photo of her beautiful apple pie to our Facebook page, and we couldn’t resist sharing. It looks almost too good to eat! Almost.

While she didn’t post the recipe (but maybe we can convince her!), we have a few apple pie recipes of our own that you can fall back on.

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Brunch All Weekend

Blueberry Heaven

Locanda Verde's Blueberry Polenta Muffins are nothing short of magic.

From a restaurant that bakes a brick-oven breakfast to a pancake house in Portland where you cook the food, an all-new season of Unique Eats kicks off Sunday night at 10pm ET.

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Guessing: Gadgets — Thanksgiving Edition

Can you guess what this old-school apparatus is used for?

We came across this very interesting-looking device in our search for all things Thanksgiving. They don’t make ’em like they used to, folks.

Any ideas what this beauty is? If you nail it, please claim your Cooking Channel bragging rights.

***UPDATE:  Karen Smith McDonald correctly guessed that this is actually an old PIE RACK. But we loved all of the guesses that came in. Kudos to Karen, and congrats!

Plus, swing by our Thanksgiving Headquarters for recipes, ideas, techniques and more.

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Cranberryless Sauce

The classic log shape.

Even non-foodies are passionate about their Thanksgiving foods. Would you prefer white meat or dark? Do you call it stuffing or dressing? Is ambrosia salad actually food? But the one T-day element that cleaves the world neatly in two is cranberry sauce. In one corner you have the folks who like the gelatinous log embossed with the ridges from the can; in the other you have devotees of a chunky sauce or relish made with fresh cranberries, often with citrus and/or nuts. It’s not a topic people are ambivalent about.

I was curious where affinities lie, so I asked about 1,700 of my closest friends. The results were surprising, with an overwhelming show of support for chunky cranberry sauce. The log didn’t stand a chance.

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Pushing the Limits of Pizza

Making Indian Pizza

What makes Zante's "Indian Pizza" one of a kind? Keep reading.

Last night’s premiere of United Tastes of America featured Jeffrey Saad and his mission to dig into the incredible diversity of pizza. From a slice in the streets of New York to sushi-topped pies on the West Coast, Jeffrey thought he’d tried it all until tasting a slice of Zante’s “Indian Pizza.”

Serving up traditional pizzas and authentic Indian fare in San Francisco, CA, Zante Pizza doesn’t mess around when melding the two cuisines into its popular pie. While Zante wouldn’t share all the details of its secret recipe, they’ve given us enough tips to piece together a version for you to try at home…

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Fall Fest: Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Enjoy the combo of sweet potatoes and marshmallows AFTER your turkey. (Photo: Tom Censani)

Fall Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out

Marshmallows are dessert. They’re made of sugar and are positively dreamy when floating in a cup of homemade hot cocoa. They’re probably at their best when charred on an open flame (on a stick found in the woods, of course) stacked on a piece of slowly-melting chocolate and smooshed between two graham crackers. Or, if you’ll admit to certain guilty pleasures, marshmallows are pretty fabulous when melted with butter, mixed with cereal and formed into Rice Krispie Treats. There are endless ways to enjoy these sweet, springy confections, but the dinner table is surely not the best place to showcase them.

Enter the ubiquitous marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole. Surely invented to trick kids and adults into eating a not-so-popular tuber: the sweet potato, Sweet Potato Casserole is featured prominently on Thanksgiving tables and in womens’ magazines — right next to the canned onion-topped green bean casserole — this time of year. Well it’s high time we put marshmallows back where they belong, on the dessert buffet, and the can take those sweet potatoes with them.

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Mad for Pizza on Tonight’s Premiere of United Tastes of America

Jeffrey Saad pulls the secrets of great pizza out of executive chef Nate Appleman.

What makes pizza so special? It must be the thin, crispy crust. (No? You prefer deep-dish, Chicago-style?) Then it has to be the cheesy topping. (Except for that fantastic version you had with just olive oil and fresh mushrooms…)   

A true American staple, pizza is the comfort food of millions. Its fanatics range from junk-food junkies to haute-cuisine haughties; its interpretations from cheap, late-night snack to reinterpreted, culinary masterpiece. Tonight in the Cooking Channel premiere of United States of America, Jeffrey Saad searches out all them.  

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Matt’s Chipotle Sweet-Potato Spoon Bread

Chipotle Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

Serve up a spoonful of deliciousness.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks the best part of Thanksgiving is the sides. While I’m definitely a turkey lover (dark meat, please), it’s that plateful of savory stuffing, mashed potatoes, greens in the form of beans or brussels sprouts and the sweet tang of cranberries or chutney that really gets me going. And as long as I’m confessing my love for sides, I’m not afraid to tell you that I’ll make more than necessary so I have plenty to indulge in (and lots for leftovers). Maybe one year I’ll even have an entire Thanksgiving feast just of side dishes. It could happen.

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Kelsey’s Travel Tips for Food People

Kelsey digs into some helado (ice cream) on her recent trip to Spain.

My husband and I like to plan a big trip that we can look forward to every year. This year our destination was Spain and the country did not disappoint! We ate our way though Granada, Sevilla, and Barcelona. We embraced the sprit of tapas bars and small plates and ate more seafood than we ever thought that we could possibly consume. We also seemed to justify eating churros y chocolate quite frequently. Some of our best memories were centered around the experiences we had with food in Spain. It was a very tasty trip!

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