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Archive for December, 2012

Most Popular Social Media Posts of 2012

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie Pops
2012 is almost behind us. As a salute to a great year, we’re highlighting what you loved most about Cooking Channel, from the top posts on Facebook to the shows you loved most and the recipes you couldn’t get enough of, like the I Want to Marry You Cookies. See how this year stacks up against 2011 and 2010.

Cooking Channel surpassed a million followers on our social media in 2012. (If you didn’t know, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Foursquare).

Here are the posts you thought were the most Like-able (and RT-able and Pin-able) this year:

Facebook

Those Frozen Peanut Butter Pie Pops pictured above generated over 5000 Likes.

Twitter

We’ve got the best Hocus Pocus Halloween Party menu to knock your friends off of their broomsticks: http://ow.ly/eBFHg

Over 75 of you found those 118 characters bewitching enough to retweet. Or maybe you just love Hocus Pocus — who doesn’t?

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Merry Christmas!

Fruit-Focused Christmas Dishes: Rojik and Bastegh

You won’t find a holiday feast on December 25th in Armenia. That’s because they celebrate Christmas on January 6th, a date that all Christian communities used into the 4th century. But no matter when they celebrate, food is still a large part of Armenian holiday traditions. Families sit down to a delicious meal of different starters and salads like babaganoush and tabbouleh on Christmas day. Armenian meals vary, depending on the individual family’s roots, but a couple treats make an appearance on most tables: Rojik and Bastegh. Now these are unique and yummy sweets!

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Spice Up Your Holidays

If there’s one time of year when your spice cabinet gets a workout, it’s the holidays. Between mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie, I imagine olfactory glands across the country lighting up as they sniff on cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Ah, joy! Joy smells like spices, don’t you think?

Joy to the world!

Well, if you’re looking for some ways to sneak some of the inhabitants of your spice cabinet into your Christmas dinner, here are some ideas for you:

1)     Mango-Glazed Ham

Pick up a jar of mango chutney from your grocery store, and use that to make a glaze for your cooked ham. Sizzle some crushed cumin and coriander seeds in a little warm oil, add some crushed garlic, then add a healthy dollop of mango chutney along with some mustard and some kind of acid (red wine vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, etc).

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San Francisco’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

San Francisco‘s restaurants are known for melding Californian cuisine with a broad spectrum of global culinary influences. And this trick has certainly paid off: The city’s diverse offerings have earned their fair share of celestial acclaim. Some of our favorite hotel restaurants, in particular, are attracting the Michelin Man’s attention. Serving up unique and creative meals — often inspired by the California coastline — these restaurants are sure to leave diners salivating for more. Dig into our some of our faves below!

 

 

Campton Place Restaurant at Campton Place Taj Hotel (pictured above)

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The World’s Most Expensive Coffee Quite Literally Comes from a Cat’s Butt

Cats! We give them love. We give them a home. We give them all the food they can slowly eat. Aside from the occasional snuggle (or scratch), they don’t give us too much in return, though. That is about to change. Welcome to a world in which a cat’s butt can create delicious coffee.

Using the digestive tract of an animal to make gourmet coffee is nothing new. People have been harvesting beans from elephant dung for years now. The civet, also known as the toddycat, is getting in on the act, helping to produce the world’s most expensive coffee. Great Britain’s Harrods department store is now selling Terra Nera coffee, which is made from civet cat-processed beans, for $227 a bag. That’s right. $227 for a tiny bag of coffee.

Sure, that might sound like an outrageous sum but isn’t it worth it to be able to tell your friends and family what they’ve just drunk an entire cup of? Someone is liable to faint.

Southern Staples: Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy

Every recipe has a story to tell,” explains Chef Darin Sehnert of Savannah, Georgia. I have found that this statement couldn’t be truer for Southern recipes, which embody American culinary heritage rooted in technique and tradition. Though I didn’t grow up in the South, and I essentially have no ties to Southern cuisine, I am currently in the throes of a love affair with all things Southern, from biscuits and gravy to barbecue-slathered pork ribs. This all started the summer I worked at a barbecue restaurant in Vermont, where I instantly developed an appreciation for pulled pork, collard greens and pecan pie. With folk recipes dating back to the birth of our nation, it’s no wonder that Chef Darin says recipes contain stories.

Consider Shrimp and Grits. This elegant, yet simple, Southern staple started out with humble roots as just a fisherman’s breakfast. Chef Darin shared his recipe for Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy with us.

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The Best Part of Waking Up? This Star Wars Coffee Machine

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a substance called ‘caffeine’ that people ingested in mass quantities. A company called Nestlé eventually made this process more fun by releasing a matching duo of Star Wars-branded coffee machines. Peace and prosperity reigned.

You read that right. You can now let the force guide you to your morning brew. Nestlé has manufactured these two cool Star Wars coffee machines, one featuring C-3PO and one featuring Darth Vader. As you can see, the design is stellar. Each unit even comes with a branded mug. The whole thing will set you back $120 which, by our estimation, is about the same price as Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray. May the forceful hour of intense concentration followed by anxious jitters be with you!

The bad news? Nestlé has only made 5,000 of these and is selling the bulk of them in Japan. You had better set up an eBay email alert if you want to get your morning fix of midi-chlorians.

Les Misérables Movie Menu

Les Miserables Menu from Cooking Channel
The epic musical Les Misérables is coming to the big screen, and fans of the musical are eagerly anticipating its release on Christmas day. There have been many things written about the film of late, most not without strong opinion: some nice things, some not so nice.
After watching the actors pour their hearts and souls out during a preview screening in New York City for 2.5+ hours (singing live, thanks to director Tom Hooper’s genius), I was starving. What was I craving? French food, of course.
Check out our Les Mis Movie Menu to see how the characters and songs from the epic match up with our perfect French recipes.

 

Hugh Jackman‘s Jean Valjean is heroic and valiant. At one point in the film when he is first released from prison by Russel Crowe’s ruthless (and pitch-less) Javert, Valjean is rescued by a priest who feeds him his first decent meal in nineteen years: stew. Hugh gulps it down eagerly, but probably would have devoured it with even more gusto had it been Laura Calder’s Beef Bourguignon.
Valjean, Before and After Enjoying The Stew
Jean Valjean Hugh Jackman

Pizza Hut Singapore Creates the Craziest Pizza of All Time

Pizza Hut Singapore has released a monstrosity called their ‘Double Sensation’ pizza, which is really two pizzas in one. The outer pizza includes a crust that is stuffed to the brim with three melted cheeses and topped with turkey, ham, green peppers and, of course, salsa. The inner pizza also has a crust that is stuffed with chicken, sausage and cheese and is topped with smoked chicken, zucchini and Alfredo sauce. Want to know the weirdest part? The whole thing has an actual cherry on top. Not a cherry tomato. A treacly sweet cherry. Yum?

As assumed, you can only get this pizza in Singapore. If you happen to live there, the price won’t break the bank. You can get a regular-sized pie for around $21 and a large for around $28. Keep on innovating Pizza Hut!

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