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Archive for March, 2013

Happy Easter from Cooking Channel

Happy Easter from Cooking Channel

Get our easy recipes that showcase spring’s freshest ingredients.

Pictured: Cupcakes with Piped Flowers

The Top 10 Easter Brunches Across the U.S.

Spring has sprung and that means Easter is just around the corner! When Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the lane, we get all too excited for egg hunts, chocolates galore, and — most importantly — Easter brunch. Who doesn’t love the combo of booze and food on a Sunday afternoon? And when it’s in the name of all that is holy — well, that’s just an extra perk! A chic hotel is often just the place to find a perfect Easter brunch spread, so we’ve rounded up our favorites across the states. View our mouth-watering photos below and prepare yourself to mug down deliciously this Sunday.

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A Lucky Armenian Chorag Recipe for Easter

Armenian ChoragPhoto by Kankana Saxena
Armenians bake a sweet chorag, a braided bread, for Easter. As with any family recipe, particularly one with such a rich history, there are many variations in technique and in tradition. The bread could be a single braided loaf or small individual rolls. Home cook and blogger Robyn Kalajian says that her recipe for chorag, one that she has been making all her life, came from a family friend. The recipe has a delightful combination of spices: anise, fennel, ginger and mahlab (ground cherry pits, found in Middle Eastern stores). “Whenever I make chorag, I think of past family Easter gatherings when it was customary to have relatives from both sides of the family crammed around the dining room table, talking and laughing. Colorful Easter eggs, Armenian string cheese, cured olives, dried Armenian meats — basterma and chor mees — fresh fruit and Armenian coffee rounded out the menu. Many of the elders are gone now, but this memory will never fade. I continue to serve this Easter menu every year even if it’s just for my husband and me,” she says.

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The Most Basic of Breakfast Sweets: Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

I had a forehead thumping moment recently when a friend asked me for a blueberry muffin recipe. In all the years I’ve been running zoebakes.com, I’ve never posted the most basic of breakfast treats. How did I get away with this, especially when they are one of my favorites?

For me the perfect blueberry muffin is light, fluffy and bursting with blueberries. I add a touch of ginger because it perks up the flavor of the berries, but not so much that it’s overpowering. The topping is buttery, sweet and bakes into a lacy crust.

I like to bake them in large “Texas-sized” muffin cups, so there is lots of muffin top and just as much of the berry center. They are great small, but I am always left wanting more and for some reason, I feel less guilty eating one big one, instead of two little ones.

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Eating Well When You Feel Lazy

Penne Aglio-olio-Anything

Put down the mac and cheese, and back away from that can opener. I know the terrifying depths laziness can take a person, but don’t take it out on your stomach. A Doritos panino topped with Brie cheese and pickles isn’t creative — it’s a cry for help. Here are some foods that taste awesome and don’t require much effort.

Penne Aglio-olio-Anything

No excuse, folks. Pasta practically cooks itself. And this recipe doesn’t call for a trip to the store or to your neighbor’s house to ask for missing ingredients. Just throw in whatever you’ve got and it’s totally good enough.

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These Fat Pants Enlarge to Fit Your Post-meal Gut

We’ve all been there, sitting around the dinner table as your uncle makes the inevitable crack about having to loosen his belt a few notches after eating. It’s a joke as old as time itself, and yet nobody has ever called that fun-loving uncle on his bluff. Well, now you tell him there is an actual pair of pants that will help accommodate overindulgence.

Betabrand’s Gluttony Pants can shrink and enlarge to suit the current size of your gut. After a particularly brutal meal, you’ll be as a snug as an overweight bug in a pair of adjustable pants. It works via a trio of cleverly named adjustable buttons, which are Piglet, Sow and Boar. Now you’ll be able to hide that food baby away like the shameful creature that it is.

The only downside to these girth-cloaking pants? A pair will set you back a cool hundred bucks, which if our calculations are correct, works out to over sixty pounds of stuffing.

Thirsty Thursday: Spring Cocktails for Easter Brunch

This is the season to celebrate the warming weather and spring holidays. Relax and host an Easter brunch with some fabulous food and drink. If you’re hunting (Easter egg-style) for colorful, spring-centric cocktails to pair alongside a savory ham or a springy frittata, look no further than these fizzy glasses that will make you think of warmer weather.

For Easter brunch, we’re thinking drinks that are crisp and refreshing with a touch of fruit to bring you out of the winter blues. These lighter, simple drinks get a shot of color and effervescence to mimic the cheery mood of spring. Put down your embellished eggs, wash your color-stained hands and whip up these celebratory cocktails in a cinch.

Here’s a roundup of our favorite Sunday brunch beverages:

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Garbanzo Stew with Malanga and Calabaza

When most people commit to eat seasonally, they gloss over the bleak days of winter and its dwindling produce. And though we are technically in spring, fresh produce still feels a ways away. If you’re looking for an alternative to frigid carrots and exhausted potatoes, tropical root vegetables like malanga make a great base for comforting soups and stews as you wait out the seemingly never-ending cold.

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Where to Get a Kangaroo Burger if You’re Into That

The faraway land of Australia has brought us Vegemite, Crocodile Dundee and more Blooming Onions then we can shake a cricket bat at. There is still much more to plunder from the land down under, however. Too long have kangaroos been allowed to appear in movies and hop around the continent freely, joeys in toe. It’s time we eat the heck out of them.

One restaurant in Queens, NYC, has that very same idea. The Thirsty Koala sells a diverse array of kangaroo-related food items, including burgers, steaks and sliders. They have proven so popular that the owner says kangaroo outsells even beef. “There’s a lot of other meat out there. People are eating elk; they’re eating emu; they’re eating ostrich,” she said. “So why not kangaroo?”

In case you are wondering, $15 will get you an 8-ounce kangaroo burger with all the fixings, including bacon, beet root slaw, pineapple, caramelized onion, goat cheese and a fried egg. Eat up, but beware, next time you watch Kangaroo Jack, you might feel guilty.

3 Ways to Keep Your Bridesmaids Happy

Listen brides — we know that getting married is a really stressful time and anyone who tells you otherwise can seriously suck it. The only magic a groom and his future bride feel is when one of them chugs 30 milliliters of NyQuil and knocks-the-fork-out.

Yeah, we know planning was fun for the first 10 minutes. And if movies like Bridesmaids and 27 Dresses have taught us anything, it’s that being a bridesmaid ain’t all it’s cracked up to be either — they’re the real troopers. Here are a few tips to keep your best buds happy despite your soon-to-be craziness.

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