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Archive for September, 2011

Cookbook Giveaway: The Apple Lover’s Cookbook

Apple-Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake is an easy apple dessert, great for using sweet apples.

Apple season is in full swing, and that means apples are crisper, sweeter and riper than ever, with dozens of varieties available at pick-your-own orchards and farmers’ markets. And if you find yourself trying to decide between Mutsu, Empire, Cortland, Pink Lady and other unfamiliar apple varieties, wondering which is good for cooking, baking and eating out-of-hand, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso is the perfect book to have by your side.

Amy includes a reference section that describes 59 great apple varieties in-depth (with pictures!), but for ease of use, she also divides all apples into four general categories: firm-tart, firm-sweet, tender-tart and tender-sweet. There’s even an “apple varieties cheat sheet,” dividing the apples into these categories, that I may Xerox before heading to the farmers’ market.

The recipes, which span from savory meat pies to apple tarts and breakfast through dinner dishes, all include a general apple category suggestion (and occasionally a specific variety suggestion), so you’ll know you’re using the best type of apple for each recipe. It’s amazing and sure to get you out of the familiar Granny-Smith-for-baking rut.

A rustic Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart makes an impressive dessert for any get-together.

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Good Eats Premieres Tonight on Cooking Channel

Are you a Good Eats fan? (The odds are actually pretty high.) If so, we have some good news

Good Eats is premiering on Cooking Channel tonight at 8pm eastern / 7pm central.  Each Friday, we’ll air four Good Eats episodes, back to back, about a certain cooking theme.

This Friday night it’s Breakfast:

And Friday afterward, tune in for Good Eats episodes on Italian, Grilling, Seafood, Dessert … the list goes on! And if you’re out and about on Friday night, no worries!  You can catch the episodes again on Wednesdays.

We asked Alton: What’s your favorite Good Eats episode from the archives?

“My favorite GE episode to shoot was our meat pie show, which was a send up of Sweeney Todd.”
–Alton Brown

To whet your appetite, check out Alton Brown’s most popular recipes on Cooking Channel. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Today’s Lunch Box: Back in Black

Container Store Tote
Brown Bag ChallengeWe’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating with FN Healthy Eats on Facebook and Twitterwith the hashtag #brownbag. Are you up for the challenge?

Prepare for compliments when you pack your lunch in a chic tote from the Container Store. Safeguard against leaks with a hook and loop closure, while insulation keeps your food cool (or hot). Choose from pink, green or black ribbon handles. Find it here.

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Thirsty Thursday: Autumn Colors Cocktail

Autumn Colors Cocktail

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. Last week we stirred up a spicy Ginger Rum Shandythis week we’re back with a another fall-inspired sip.

With a beautiful orange-red hue, our Autumn Colors Cocktail isn’t made for just any season; it’s made for this season. With pomegranate juice, orange zest and sweet iced tea, it’s got the right balance of tangy and sweet to round out the vodka and help you ease up late in the day. So pour yourself a glass and savor fall tonight, tomorrow, or all weekend long. Bottoms up, folks.

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Today’s Lunch Box: Opt for Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Tara Luna
Brown Bag ChallengeWe’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating with FN Healthy Eats on Facebook and Twitterwith the hashtag #brownbag. Are you up for the challenge?

Are you constantly throwing out tupperware because it’s stained, failing apart or you accidentally melted it? Here’s a solution:  the Oval ECO-lunchbox from Taraluna. It’s a fun upgrade from tupperware and works just as well for leftovers as it does for lunch. Use the extra cup for sauces, dips or snacks. Find it here.

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Surveying Singaporean Street Food

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce. Photo: Roberto Ferdman

It’s no secret that street food is having a moment here in the States. Food carts and specialty trucks now serve some of the most sought-after foods in major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin and New York. Sidewalks have become the new sit-down restaurants, and lines often run not one, but two city blocks. But what’s become a novelty on our side of the Atlantic has been a staple of Asian cuisine for centuries. And in Singapore, some of the country’s best food can be found while walking its streets.

In an ode to Singapore’s rich culinary history and unique street food scene, 10 Singaporean chefs have been traveling the world and preparing traditional Singaporean cuisine out of a pop-up mobile kitchen. Set to span 4 continents, and 9 countries, the Singapore Takeout truck made its way to New York City this past week. Were we about to pass up an opportunity to try the famous street food fare? I think not.

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Apples and Honey: 5 New Ways

Kelsey's Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart

Go beyond dipping for Rosh Hashana with Kelsey's Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart.

This week rings in Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. Instead of toasting with lots of bubbly, this celebration involves a big spread of food, Manischewitz wine and apple slices dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. An apple-shaped honey bowl to use for this purpose is a common Jewish wedding gift and, sure enough, as a newlywed, I’m now the proud owner of one. 

To kick off the year 5772 on an extra-sweet note, go beyond dipping and jazz up your holiday spread with Cooking Channel recipes that feature the traditional Rosh Hashana pairing of apples and honey. Make sure to leave some apple slices and your little honey pot on the table for good measure — especially if the wedding guest who gave it to you will be in attendance. 

5 new takes on apples and honey:
Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart (pictured above)
Apple, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf With Honey
Piadini With Apples, Honey and Blue Cheese
Dessert Pizza With Apple, Gorgonzola and Honey
Apple and Blueberry Hand Pies With Honey 

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A Pan Am–Inspired Meal

Pan Am, ABC’s new drama series, takes off every Sunday night, sending more than 11 million viewers back to the 1960’s. Not only were in-flight meals more than a measly packet of peanuts way back when, but stewardesses also catered to the whims of first class passengers. Dishes like prime rib, lobster thermador, lamb curry and stuffed duck graced the plates of high-flying guests.

According to a recent interview, Anke Bode, a Pan Am stewardess from 1967–1986, verified “all those ice cold cocktails and delicious looking entrées were in fact standard on any and all Pan Am flights, especially those that traveled around the world.”

These days you won’t find extravagant entrees high in the sky, but who says you can’t pretend? Make them at home for a Pan Am-inspired feast.

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Today’s Lunch Box for In-Flight Meals

Brown Bag ChallengeWe’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating with FN Healthy Eats on Facebook and Twitterwith the hashtag #brownbag. Are you up for the challenge?

We’re feeling retro chic with this lunchbox. The printed propeller plane on canvas and blue touches gives the bag an old-school vibe, plus it comes with a detachable shoulder strap, rear pocket and adjustable handle.  Find it here.

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Meatless Monday: Green Beans with Paneer in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Indian food is surprisingly easy to make at home.

Indian food is known for being pretty vegetarian-friendly (though it’s friendly to meat-lovers too, with dishes like goat curry and chicken tikka masala). There are always warmly spiced vegetable curries, lentil soups and plenty of meat-free appetizers on the menu at an Indian restaurant. Whenever I order Indian food (which is as much as possible), I order something with paneer, a firm Indian cheese. Paneer is similar in texture to firm tofu or conventional (not fresh) mozzarella, but very mildly-flavored; it’s slightly nutty. It takes on the flavors of the spices in the dish its being used in, and it doesn’t really melt so stays firm in the dish. Basically, it’s great.

Here’s the thing about Indian food — there’s a common misconception that it’s something to be eaten in restaurants, only. Not true at all. It’s pretty easy to make at home, and to start, you’ll only need a few basic spices.

Bal Arneson’s Green Beans With Paneer in Tomato Sauce is one of the simplest, meat-free recipes out there, Indian or otherwise. The only slightly exotic spices involved are coriander, mustard seeds and cumin, and those should all be available in a large supermarket. As for the paneer, you can find that in an Asian or Indian grocery store, or regular supermarket with a robust international section. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own.

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