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Archive for September, 2012

The Best Pancake Recipes for National Pancake Day

We’ve all heard the saying, and even the supporting scientific research, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While what was probably meant was a healthy serving of eggs, whole wheat toast and other such staples of the modern American breakfast table, we’ve decided that what was meant was actually pancakes. Lots of pancakes.

What evidence do we have to support this flimsy hypothesis? Well, is there a National Healthy Breakfast Day??? No, there is not (we Googled it). On the other hand, there IS a National Pancake Day, and it just happens to be today. So let’s celebrate our favorite syrup-topped morning treat (sorry, waffles) with a hearty helping of some of the best, most interesting pancakes recipes out there. Buttermilk, you can sit this one out.

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Musical Tastes: Oktoberfest Playlist

While many will be turning up the accordion polka jams for their Oktoberfest celebrations, we thought we would treat your ears with a little more sympathy, so we dug up these fun “German”-inspired tracks for you to listen to while preparing some savory traditional recipes for your Bavarian bash.

Nico – “These Days”

Nico was a German model, actress, singer and songwriter who’s most well-known for her collaboration with the Velvet Underground, with whom she recorded the album The Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring the legendary banana cover designed by Andy Warhol.

Listen to Nico’s ghostly cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” while making the Potato & Beer Soup pictured above.

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Dinner Rush! BB&C Mac (Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Mac & Cheese)

As my husband loves to retort when I ask him how his workday went, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.” Regardless of your side of the motor vehicle, nothing says “time to celebrate” or “let’s get this day over with” as universally as mac & cheese.

And while I love it as much as the next guy or gal, I do still feel a bit bad about just eating a big bowl of cheese-covered starch for dinner. Call it an old habit, but a bit more nutritional balance would be nice. That’s why this mac doubles down on sensibility and cuts back on fat with two family-friendly secret weapons: cooked squash and delicious cheddar.

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Meatless Monday: Penne With Spinach Sauce

Penne With Spinach Sauce
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
The best pasta recipes — for weeknight dinners anyway — are the ones where the sauce is made in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Giada’s Penne With Spinach Sauce is one such recipe: the creamy, cheesy, garlicky spinach sauce comes together in seconds (just whiz is all up in a food processor) while the pasta is cooking, then the sauce, thinned with a little of the pasta cooking water is tossed with the hot pasta. It’s about as fast as mac and cheese out of a box, but one million times better (and better for you).

Look out mac-and-cheese-in-a-box makers, recipes like this one might put you out of business.

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Game Day Eats: Barbecue Chicken Sliders

There’s an unspoken rule in our house that when there is pork butt, it had better be smoked. And pulled. By a man. And while I think I have a pretty great recipe for oven pulled pork, it often gets scoffed at by the self-declared pit master I reside with. Problem is, I have barbecue cravings during the 50 weeks he’s not out back drinking beers and worshiping fire. So I found a loop hole. (Apparently the “pit master” doesn’t have any beef with me cooking chicken.)

It took a few tries, but I think I perfected my barbecue chicken recipe—a bold statement—but just ask my fiancé. He gave it his hard-earned seal of approval, which I gladly accepted. The secret is not really in the braise (although it helps) but in what comes next. To get the blackened, crispy ends that you expect from a barbecue joint, you’ve got to throw the chicken under the broiler. As for the results? You could fool anybody that’s not in on your scheme.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Tate’s Bake Shop

Tate's Peanut Butter Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop CoverMy husband isn’t a sweets person – and it drives me crazy. An admitted chocoholic, I usually avoid keeping cookies and desserts around our apartment because, inevitably, I’m the only one who eats them (all). There are a few exceptions, thankfully, and one of them is cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop. Ever since we were introduced to the bakery on a trip out to visit friends in the Hamptons, he can’t get enough. They’re crispy, crunchy, slightly salty and irresistible.

Fortunately, you don’t need to have a place in Southampton (or nice friends out there) to enjoy Tate’s goodies. The familiar green-and-white packages are sold in gourmet stores, and Tate’s Bake Shop has finally revealed some of baker Kathleen King’s secrets in a new cookbook. Now I can bake cookies I know I won’t have to devour all by myself. Thank you, Kathleen!

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Happy National Pecan Cookie Day!

National Pecan Cookie Day Zac Young's Cranberry Pecan Oat Cookie Recipe

Happy National Pecan Cookie Day! We’re celebrating the way we celebrate most every holiday: with boozy baked goods. Zac Young’s Cranberry Pecan Oat Cookies with Bourbon Glaze might not be your traditional pecan cookie, but we think it’s the pecan’s toasty flavor + crunchy texture that’s the key to these delicious chewy cookies. These would pair well with a tall glass of cold milk, or for that matter, our Cereal Milk Cocktail.

Don’t worry if you were craving something a bit more traditional: we’ve got you covered there, too.

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The World Domination of Polka Spot the Llama on The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Polka Spot

Without a doubt, Polka Spot was the break-out star of Season 1 of The Fabulous Beekman Boys. She quickly amassed thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers.

It went straight to her head.

Soon her desire for wanderlust and world domination became too much for the confines of her fenced in portion of the pasture.

For several weeks, we would mysteriously find Polka Spot wandering around various part of the farm. We surveyed all areas of the fence to find a hole where she might be escaping, and with none found, we were at a loss as to how to keep her safe and limit the amount of “llama drama” on the farm.

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5 Tips for Making Punch

Good news — September 20 is National Punch Day! Would you rather have a punch in the face or some punch in a bowl? We hope you said the latter because this is the Internet and not an old-timey saloon fight.

But if you’re more scared of making punches than taking punches, here are our essential tips for pouring a “liquid party” into a bowl. Grab those ladles and cups, because things are about to get punch-drunk.

5 Punch Tips You Must Know:

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Sneak Peek: Cooking Channel’s Feast of Thanksgiving Shows

Deen Brothers Thanksgiving Bobby and Jamie Deen fry a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast

Is it too early to talk about Thanksgiving?

Because we can’t help it — it’s our favorite holiday (and not just because of our severe pecan pie addiction), plus Cooking Channel has such a great line-up of Thanksgiving specials coming in November that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves.

While pie is our #1 highlight of the holiday, a close second is the chance to watch some of our favorite chefs like Jamie and Bobby Deen share the family recipes that fill their Thanksgiving table each year. We take inspiration and start planning which recipes to add to our own Thanksgiving menu.

So here’s a sneak peek at Cooking Channel’s feast of Thanksgiving specials:

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