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Archive for January, 2011

Countdown to Super Bowl: A World of Wings

Celebrate the Super Bowl with heaps of homemade finger-licking hot wings.

Nothing says football like wings. The light crunch of their crispy skin, the tangy, mouth-watering sauce, the way the first bite burns your mouth because you just can’t wait — it’s all part of the game-day tradition.

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, it’s time to get those wings ready for kick off.

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Chinese New Year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year Recipes

Chinese New Year Recipes: Sesame Noodles with Chicken (left), Shrimp and Snow Pea Salad (top right), and Zesty Chile Tiger Prawns (bottom right)

I’ve never been the lucky sort, lottery tickets aren’t my thing and I can’t even recall winning a single game of Bingo. Las Vegas is all about the food, not the slots and I don’t even bother entering sweepstakes. That’s why when Chinese New Year rolls around the beginning of each year, I don’t count on luck to carry me through 12 months, but rather go the Chinese route — eat my way to please the gods of good fortune.

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Pasta La Vista with Hungry Girl

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Afraid that pasta’s going to whack your diet? Fuggedaboutit! There’s nothing wrong with a little Italy, not when Hungry Girl’s in the kitchen. Catch her guilt-free pasta swaps today at 4pm ET/ 3pm CT.

Hungry Girl’s got plenty reasons to say I love you, Italian food:

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Perfect Pasta, Every Time

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Guest contributor Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

As I said before, pasta is everything for Italians. But getting perfect pasta doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a simple task that I would like to demystify. Here are my tips for getting it right every time:

Always salt your boiling water—always! I use two palmfuls of coarse salt as a first step in seasoning my dish. Start practicing with your own quantity, and do not be afraid—the pasta can be rinsed in the colander it it’s too salty, or you can add more at the very end if it’s needed.

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Girl Scouts of America to Give Downsizing Merit Badge?

As Girl Scouts around the country straighten out their beanies and practice their sales pitches (sales begin in early February), The Girl Scouts of America announced that troops in some areas are downsizing their annual offerings to just six cookies. Don’t panic — Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Chalet Cremes and Tagalongs aren’t going anywhere. But some recently introduced varieties, like Thank U-Berry-Munch, Lemonades, Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips and Dulce de Leche are. The scouts are scaling back in hopes that simplicity will streamline sales and ultimately lead to increased profits.

Already mourning the loss of the beloved, but apparently not-so-popular cookies that are about to be axed? Don’t be. You can make near-exact homemade versions, door-to-door sales and polyester beanie optional.

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Perfect Pasta, Part 2

Sausage and Radicchio Orecchiette

Guest contributor Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

Last time, I wrote about how Italians enjoy pasta in all different shapes and sizes, and talked about the various long cuts of pasta. Today I want to tell you about the different short pastas we cook in Tuscany.

Penne, Ditalini, Ziti, Wheels and Fusilli all have a casual feel, and allow for an easier and more relaxed approach than cooking spaghetti. Almost every recipe works well with these cuts—red sauces, vegetable sauces and meats are the most common dressings.

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Craving: Chocolate Cake

Rachel Allen's chocolate cake is the perfect way to celebrate my new favorite holiday.

Did you know that there’s a designated food holiday nearly every single day of the year? Some are a little “out there”—does anyone actually celebrate National Cheese Doodle Day? It’s March 5, if you’re interested. But today’s holiday is one we can wholeheartedly get behind: National Chocolate Cake Day.

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Three Thieves Take on Chile

Roger Scommegna from the Three Thieves

Three Thieves is coming to the Cooking Channel. No, it’s not a show revealing the inner workings of the crime world. Rather, it’s a show about three men who know how to get a good deal on great wine.

Get in on the fun!

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Pasta Perfect with Extra Virgin

Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, Wednesdays at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

For Italians, pasta is everything. It’s our heritage, our comfort food, our excitement and enthusiasm—pasta is pure sexiness!

Italians cook with both fresh and dry pastas, but don’t be fooled! They are very different from each other and they are absolutely not interchangeable.

We cook fresh pasta for special occasions or with special sauces: Grandma prepares it for the Sunday family lunch; the local bakery sells fresh ravioli or tortellini; and your favorite restaurant might offer fresh pappardelle to honor the wild boar that was hunted, prepared and cooked over the weekend by the locals.

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Cooking The Channel: Emeril’s Butternut Squash Cobbler

Butternut Squash Cobbler

Emeril's Butternut Squash Cobbler

Butternut squash risotto. Butternut squash soup. Roasted butternut squash. My diet has been full of the stuff ever since I invested in a bushel bag of butternuts. But since there’s only so many bowls of soup one person can eat, I needed to branch out. Enter Emeril’s recipe for Butternut Squash Cobbler: Use the last of the season’s squash to throw together an impromptu dessert easy enough for a Wednesday night.

And here to show you how, a special guest: my mustached sidekick/sous chef, Bertram the Butternut Squash.

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