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Archive for October, 2011

Bobby’s Carrot Cake Pancakes for Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday breakfast-for-dinner.

Breakfast for dinner feels special for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out. It seems frivolous or rebellious to eat meals out of order, but it’s nonetheless a great idea. I mean, if it’s a balanced meal and you’re satisfied after eating, why shouldn’t pancakes and omelets be on your plate at dinner? Bobby’s Carrot Cake Pancakes With Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle and Toasted Pecans feel a bit more decadent for a weeknight meal than, say, a Bisquick-made short-stack. But this recipe is easy enough to make, and homemade pancakes trump a boxed mix any day. Especially when there’s cream cheese frosting involved — it’s a delicious way to skip meat this Monday.

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Nacho Jack-o’-Lantern Cheese Ball

halloween cheese ball recipe

The trick to this treat is crushed Doritos.

Sure carving pumpkins into Jack-o’lanterns is fun and all, but where’s the payoff? You do all that work, and in the end, there’s nothing to eat (except for some seeds). In an ideal world, Jack-o’-lanterns would be cute, squat, orange and taste like nachos.

This nacho-flavored, pumpkin-shaped cheese ball is just the thing for your Halloween party. It looks like a pumpkin, but tastes like everyone’s favorite party chip.

This is one pumpkin that won’t get smashed, but it will be devoured.

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Fantasy Foodball: Tennessee Chili vs. Texas Chili

Chilis

When football kicked off last month, the tail-end of grilling season made hotdogs and burgers a staple of any game-day menu. But then temperatures dropped, grills were left to hibernate, and tailgating foods took a turn for heartier, fall-appropriate fare. Rather than mourn the end of warmer days, look on the bright side: chili is back on the tailgating menu, and it’s here to stay.

Coveted nation-wide, the hearty stew has been known to stir up quite the controversy. You’ve got your meat purists and your bean backers, the folks that throw in every spice known to man and those that prefer as few ingredients as possible. Some add chocolate, while others like a dash of cinnamon. And everyone thinks their recipe is the best.

Apropos this week’s match-up between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, we’re teaming up with the National Football League to offer up two rival chili recipes — one from Tennessee, and the other straight out of the lone star state. Taking sides is always tough, but choosing a chili? It’s going to be a nail-biter.

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Thirsty Thursday: Get Down with a Zombie Gut Punch

Zombie Gut Punch

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 boozy Halloween-inspired Zombie Cocktailthis week we’re back with something even more bloody good.

As far as Alie and Georgia are concerned, deciding what to drink for Halloween is just as important as choosing a costume. But as with anything else that pertains to the most sinister of holidays, sipping on any old cocktail simply won’t due. Cue the Zombie Gut Punch.

With blood orange juice, cherry soda and grenadine, their spiked punch is not only red enough to lure an entire city’s worth of blood-sucking zombies, but boozy enough to send them all stumbling home. So stir some up tonight, tomorrow, all weekend long or Sunday night while watching The Walking Dead.  Bottoms up, folks.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Cutie Pies

Cutie Pies

Key Lime Pie is a year-round fave – make them bite-sized with a mini-muffin pan.

Cutie Pies CookbookMini pies are the cupcakes of the pie world, and they’re surprisingly easy to make – you can just use a muffin pan! In Cutie Pies by Dani Cone, owner of High 5 Pie in Seattle, the secret to perfect homemade mini pies is revealed with 40 sweet and savory recipes. And the best part is, you can mix and match crust types and pie shapes, making: “cutie pies” baked in muffin pans; “petit-5s” baked in mini-muffin pans; “piejars” baked in half-pint mason jars; “flipsides” which are like hand-held turnovers; “piepops” which is pie on a stick or, go traditional and make these recipes into full-size pies.

This cookbook will have you baking pies, pies and more pies, through all seasons and for any occasion. But, of course, it’s most useful with Thanksgiving and holiday office parties right around the corner – cute little mini pies are easy to transport and serve (no slicing required). Plus, savory offerings like Mac’n’Cheese Cutie Pies and Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill Peti-5s would make wonderful, creative Thanksgiving and holiday appetizers – a host’s secret for keeping guests munching and mingling happily.

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Popcorn Balls, Reinvented

Popcorn Balls Recipe

Double, double toil and trouble, I’m gonna stuff my face with Halloween candy.

OK, so that didn’t rhyme and I now owe Mr. S. an apology, but it’s everyone’s favorite time of year, so I’m going with it.

For me it’s my excuse to skip all meals in favor of candy and all sorts of nontraditional sweets. I think nothing of overindulging in all things sticky and sweet, and I’m pretty sure my dentist appreciates that.

This year I wanted to adapt my recipe for Popcorn Balls on a Stick from my book, On a Stick! It’s a very easy recipe to make. They travel well, are fun and easy to eat, and they can be made ahead so you can tend to those pesky trick-or-treaters as they try to steal all of your candy.

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Lynn Crawford Will Work for Food

Lynn Crawford from Pitchin' In

What happens when you lose your passion for your life’s work?  How do you get it back?

If you’re Chef Lynn Crawford, you go back to the basics and rediscover what it is you love about food. On Cooking Channel’s newest series, Pitchin’ In, Lynn takes a break from the restaurant world and tracks down the source of her favorite ingredients.

Each of her far-flung adventures leads her to different places — farms, on fishing boats or cranberry bogs — and each destination becomes the inspiration and source for an epic feast at the end of each episode.

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Have a Bloody Good Halloween

true blood drink
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drink Tru Blood, now’s your chance to find out. The drink, based off of the hit True Blood series on HBO, isn’t exactly the same as the synthetic blood concoction vampires gulp down on the show to sustain strength, but that’s probably a good thing, right?

The blood orange carbonated drink graced store.hbo.com in 2009, but it recently became more widely available at BevMo!, the spirits and beverage specialty retailer, just in time for Halloween.

Planning a Halloween party? Pick up a pack or two before your spooky soiree and see how many people are daring enough to try a sip. For grossed out guests, though, serve up some of our favorite vampire-inspired cocktails instead.

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Fall Fest: Cozy Up With In-Season Potatoes

We’re continuing our season long Fall Fest 2011, which welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. First up was the classic fall favorite, apples, and now we’re discovering the creamy wonder of potatoes.

Creamy, cheesy or crispy, potatoes seem to be delicious just about any way they are cooked, making them the perfect fall comfort food. Laura Calder’s Pommes De Terre a la Boulangere: Potatoes a la Bakery is a prime example of this warming fall favorite. It features layers of buttery potatoes and onions in a casserole dish, topped with thyme leaves then baked until crispy.

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Debi and Gabriele: Back for More

It has certainly been a while since Debi and I served you up new stories, new recipes and new family adventures. We’ve missed you, too! But your patience is about to be rewarded. We’re back on Wednesday night at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm Pacific, and we’re bringing you a whole new season full of laughs, guests, and, of course, food; all that you’ve come to expect from your favorite Tuscan American-blended bunch, but there’s also been some changes, too…

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