Archive for December, 2010

Debi Mazar Stars in “Extra Virgin”

Actress Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

What do you get when you pair a modern girl from the streets of Queens with a food purist from the hills of Tuscany? A modern day Lucy and Ricky with a passion for food, family and each other.

Actress Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos invite you into their kitchen in the new series Extra Virgin, premiering Wednesday, January 19th.

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Warm and Cozy Soups

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

Warm up with a comforting bowl of soup, like Rachael Ray's easy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup.

There’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup on a cold winter evening, and Cooking Channel chefs are heating things up with an eclectic mixture of soup styles, from classics to fantastic twists.

Three reasons to make more soup:

  1. The stretch factor makes them budget-friendly and good for feeding crowds. Extra guests? Throw a little more broth and veggies into the pot.
  2. Leftover soups freeze well and make great homemade lunches if you freeze in single serving portions.
  3. They’re infinitely riff-able! Sure, it’s good to have a recipe as a guide and for inspiration, but if you happen to have some extra veggies or meat hanging out in your fridge, it’s a soup waiting to happen.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Cooking Channel

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Matt’s Pimento Cheese Dip. With a Kick.

Pimento Cheese Spread

Ok, unless you are from the South (I’m from Texas, so I can only claim half Southern roots),  the mention of Pimento Cheese spread might be met with a look of disbelief or even smirks. Hey, isn’t this the cheese spread of yesteryear, when wood paneling was commonplace and our pants had just a bit too much fabric at the ankle? Perhaps. But to chalk this spread up to a southern thang and leave it at that would deny how truly perfect it is. Salty, sharp, cheesy but – here’s the best part – so completely and mindblowingly easy to make.

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Sparkling Wines that Won’t Break the Bank

Champagne Picks for New Year's Eve

It’s almost time to ring in the New Year. And the occasion just wouldn’t be complete with something bubbly to drink at midnight. But that doesn’t mean you have to splurge on a $80 bottle of Champagne to make the night special. We spoke with Lorena Ascencios, wine buyer at Astor Wines & Spirits in New York City, to find out the best bets for affordable sparkling wine.

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Quick and Easy Holiday Appetizers

Easy Appetizer Recipes for Christmas and New Year's

Mario's Crostini Misti

Holiday season is, for all intents and purposes, party season. Cocktail parties, dinner parties, black-tie affairs and galas, casual get-togethers, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa gatherings — all of these events can tax even the most imaginative of hosts and hostesses. Can’t come up with any new nibbles for friends and family to nosh on? Have no fear! Cooking Channel has you covered with new ideas for tasty appetizers. Here are five deliciously easy last-minute options.

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Christmas Tree Cheese Ball

O Christmas cheese, O Christmas cheese.

No holiday is complete without a whole bunch of cheese. In fact, no day is complete without cheese. This holiday season, your obligatory cheese can double as your obligatory holiday decor, if you play with your food a little and transform it into a Christmas tree.

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East Meets West: Yuzu kosho on Christmas Eve

Yuzu Recipe

On my mother’s side, my family is entirely Italian-American, and each year on Christmas Eve we would observe the Feast of the Seven Fishes. No fewer than seven fish dishes would be prepared, in groaningly large quantities, and laid out on a large table for dinner. Among the dishes there was always baccalà, salt cod reconstituted and baked with tomatoes and raisins; a tremendous bowl of cooked and chilled shrimp, popular with the kids; and spaghetti all’aglio e olio ai alici, spaghetti tossed in a simple sauce of olive oil with browned garlic and anchovies.

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Lazy Man’s Buche de Noel

Tackle the Christmas Bûche de Noël...or pick up some of these tasty miniatures.

Countdown to Christmas: 3 days. If you’re one of those type-A holiday overachievers, all of your presents are ready and wrapped, the whole menu is planned and the grocery shopping is done. Multiple batches of cookies are tucked away in tins, you’ve decorated an entire gingerbread village and you’re putting the final meringue mushrooms on a painstakingly detailed homemade Bûche de Noël. Your Christmas spread is not complete without this lifelike log of sponge cake and buttercream, a French holiday classic.

And for the rest of us…good news. If you’re up for it, there’s still time to tackle a Bûche de Noël—just don’t stress too much about the décor. Bobby Flay is not a pastry chef either, but he made a delicious Bûche for an episode of Food Network’s Throwdown and kept the décor nice and simple. Dust yours with lots of “snow” (i.e., powdered sugar) to cover any imperfections.

Baby Bûche de Noël from Ceci-Cela in NYC come in vanilla, chocolate and Grand Marnier.

Then again, there’s no shame in going the bakery route. Many Bûche de Noël are shockingly expensive and need to be pre-ordered, but check out these cute little gems from Ceci-Cela, a charming French bakery in New York. They’re individual-size and cost $6. You could also follow their lead and fashion mini logs yourself. If you step up and make your own, these tiny Santa toppers are a fun, festive and effortless touch. Pick some up at a party store if those meringue mushrooms aren’t looking so great.

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Two Meals in One

Delicious Short Ribs
Are you anticipating a house full of holiday guests in just a few short days? Being surrounded by family and friends for Christmas is a wonderful thing, but facing the daunting task of keeping everyone sated is not. Fortunately, I’ve found the perfect recipe for feeding the masses this holiday season.

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