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Archive for March, 2012

Take Your Obsession to a New Level: Fantasy Cookbooks

Game of Thrones

You read the series of novels, and have strong opinions about the actors portraying the characters in the movie version. You were first in line to see the midnight showing, and you’ve seen it innumerable times since. You have heated online debates about what the writer/director got right and wrong and — not that you would ever tell your friends this, but — you may have even written a little fan fiction yourself.

We get it. You’re a fan. Or are you? How can you call yourself a fan if you’ve yet to recreate your favorite character’s most treasured childhood meal, or feast upon the bounty that was consumed after the pivotal post-battle celebration? If you’ve never invited your equally-obsessed friends over for a themed potluck, well then, we can’t confirm that you’re much of a fan at all, can we?

Not to worry, though, as we’ve whipped up a list of our favorite cookbooks based upon fantasy or sci-fi so that even the greatest nerds among us can up their obsession status. Though we do suggest you still keep that fan fic buried deep in the wardrobe that is your computer.

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Devour’d: Ice Cream Baked Potato

Ice Cram Baked Potato

This baked potato is "loaded" with fabulous, unexpected flavor.

Just another loaded-up baked potato waiting to be devoured?

Think again.

This big bad baked spud is actually dessert in disguise. The “potato” is ice cream, complete with a cocoa-powdered skin. Whipped cream masquerades as the sour cream, and frosting fills in for butter. The pièce de résistance? Dyed green pecan “chives.”

This sweet look-alike is good enough to mislead the most astute spud-spotter. 

I recently took on this Texas-sized treat (with a group of friends, I swear) and was pleasantly surprised that it’s authentic look didn’t affect it’s down-home delicious dairy taste. The vanilla ice cream was rich, the hot fudge was sweet, and well, it was too cute not to eat. 

You, too, can enjoy one if you “mozie on down” to Cowgirl in the West Village neighborhood of New York City.

Not in NYC? Well, you’re in luck: Food Network convinced the crew at Cowgirl to share the recipe.

Get the Recipe (and fool your friends): Cowgirl’s Ice Cream Baked Potato

Or for a simpler take baked potato deception, try Food.com’s version

Yee-haw and Happy April Fool’s Day, y’all!

What Can $640 Million Buy You?

MegaMillions Lottery

You’ve purchased your Mega Millions ticket already (who hasn’t?), but have you started dreaming about how you’d spend that money? We sure have! And we wondered: Just what could you buy with $640,000,000?

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

The Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake Cake combines all the deliciousness of classic strawberry shortcake into one cake and wraps it all in cream cheese frosting.

Everyone’s favorite accidental country girl, Ree Drummond, started the blog ThePioneerWoman.com in 2006, sharing stories of ranch life in Oklahoma, amazing photographs of food and family, and, of course, irresistible cowboy- and kid-approved recipes. Her first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, was a #1 New York Times best-seller, and last year she became a Food Network star with her cooking show, The Pioneer Woman.

Ree’s second cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier, focuses on simple, delicious food. She includes more than 100 recipes, covering every meal of the day with beautiful step-by-step photos for no-fail results. As you dive into her homey recipes, like cowgirl quiche, homemade glazed donuts, fried chicken tacos and more, prepare to be transported by Ree’s pictures and prose to a world of truck driving, cattle ranching, horse riding and good eating. This is one cookbook everyone, city slickers and country folk alike, will enjoy reading and using.

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Reinventing the Meal

Reinventing the Meal with Richard Blais

Tune into Reinventing the Meal this Sunday at 8pm ET with Chef Richard Blais. Join Blais as he seeks out unique purveyors, off-the-beaten-path ethnic kitchens & “wild card” foodie spots, collecting ingredients and insight as he goes.

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Thirsty Thursday: The Tipsy Pig Cocktail

The Tipsy Pig 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. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Ice cream, cookies and candied popcorn are tempting on their own, but sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top or, better yet, stir in crispy, salt-laden bacon and suddenly each mouthful is made all the more crave-worthy. Chocolate chip bacon cookies — check. Candied bacon ice cream — check. Bacon chocolates, peanut butter, banana and bacon cookiesbacon, rum and caramel salted popcorn balls — check, check, check. These are merely a few delicious ideas plucked from the ever-growing world of sweet and salty concoctions made with bacon.

While the killer combination may have already achieved celebrity status  — bacon-infused desserts have been the rage for quite some time now — leave it to cocktail extraordinaires Alie and Georgia to anticipate pork belly’s next, dangerously-addictive venture. With 3 parts smoky bourbon, 1 part dry vermouth and 1 part glorious bacon and brown sugar simple syrup, The Tipsy Pig takes bacon out for a drink, but does it subtly and seamlessly. Balance is the key to this unique cocktail, coming through even in its garnish — a single, sweet maraschino cherry, paired with a piece of candied bacon.

Bottoms up, folks.

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Fishing (and Surfing) in The Big Apple

Ben Sargent Fishing in Brooklyn

Bringing in a Fish in New York

New York is not the first place you think of when it comes to seafood, surfing and fishing. In fact, when I moved there more than 12 years ago, I was quite sure my days as a waterman were over. But boy, was I wrong.

My first great discovery was surfing in Queens. One day, I ran into a guy carrying a surfboard on the L train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Where are you going with that?”, I asked him, expecting him to tell me about an art installation he was working on. “I’m going surfing. Out at the Rock,” he said.

I dropped everything I had going on that day (including watching my friend’s gift shop) and headed out to the local surf break in Queens. From that day on, my life was changed forever.

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Sifted: Cheesecake Gets Out of Control + Easter Craft Ideas

We love this extremely decadent cake by Sprinkle Bakes.

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Devil’s Food Cake Cheesecake: When it comes to dessert, Sprinkle Bakes does not joke around.
  2. This carrot ginger dressing from Everybody Likes Sandwiches is packed with vitamins and will help you feel replenished after a long day (or after indulging in the above dessert).
  3. Daydreaming about the beach and piña coladas? The Baker Chick’s coconut-pineapple sorbet sandwiches are the next best thing.
  4. Feeling crafty? Get ready for Easter and make these edible egg nests from The Italian Dish.
  5. Its maple season! We’re intrigued by the savory and sweet creations submitted for Food52’s recipe contest.

Craving cheesecake but not quite up for baking the eclectic creation above? These are some of our favorite cheesecake recipes that you can swap in!

President Obama Pins His First Recipe

Curious about the first recipe from the First Family?

Always on top of social media, President Obama just joined rising social site, Pinterest, and included his First recipe on the unsurprisingly-titled board, Obama-Inspired Recipes. Suspense killing you? Find out the First Family’s First Recipe here

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Picnic for the Planet

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 by more than 175 countries, so a picnic to celebrate earth’s big day would have a pretty lengthy guest list. But it’s the Earth, after all, so it deserves it. What better way to celebrate the planet than with the world’s biggest picnic?

That’s just what The Nature Conservancy is planning this year with Picnic for the Planet, and you’re invited to join. All you have to do is throw a picnic, outside, somewhere in the world, sometime on April 22 (get all the rules before you pack your picnic basket). To make sure your picnic’s got the best food and is best for the earth, our test kitchens teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to come up with some picnic-packing guidelines.

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