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Archive for April, 2013

11 Coolest Video Game Cakes

Playing video games and eating junk food go together like Mario and gummy mushrooms. However, if you are going to gorge on sweets while gaming you may as well keep it fancy. Here are 11 amazing and beautiful cakes based on popular video games.

Dinner Rush! Moroccan Chicken Stew With Green Beans

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry encouraging you guys to make your own tandoori spice at home, inspired by a delicious one I found at my local market. Not being that guy who is going to leave you hanging with a rogue jar of “what do I do with that now?” spice blend, this week’s Dinner Rush is putting it back in action to create a quick and delicious Moroccan-inspired stew.

The flavors of Morocco are known for rather closely treading the line between sweet and savory. Lots of the spices in our tandoori blend — cumin, ginger and turmeric, for instance — are blended with cinnamon, lemon and dried fruits to produce simply composed and intricately flavored dishes. For ease of preparation, I’ve borrowed only a few of those ideas. If you’ve got the time to get a bit crazy, though, see how a pinch of saffron and a handful each of chopped prunes and chopped green olives completely will take this dish to a new level.

This stew is a great idea to keep on hand, too, for a Meatless Monday inspiration. You can easily swap the chicken stock for veggie stock or water, and trade the shredded chicken for a can of chickpeas. Do me a huge favor, though, and don’t skimp on the cilantro at the end. It cuts through the spice in the tandoori powder and gives the dish a great balance. Plus, it’s one of my top-three favorite herbs, for those curious.

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Virgin Airlines Passengers Can Now Hit on Each Other With Food

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Air travel is an amazing thing. You step inside a metallic bird and jut across the sky like a mythical Pegasus. New York to Los Angeles in just three hours? Drinking booze and watching Ryan Reynolds movies? The possibilities are phenomenal. Well, get ready for another mid-flight marvel. Now you can flirt with fellow passengers.

Virgin America has instituted an in-flight system specially designed for flirtatious encounters. The system is called Seat-to-Seat Delivery and it works via a touchscreen attached to the seat in front of you. If you spot someone that gives you butterflies, select their seat and buy them a drink or something to eat. You can even do it anonymously if your nerve fails.

Nothing says imminent entry into the Mile High Club like a stale turkey sandwich and a tiny vodka tonic.

The Heat is on Cooking Channel

Next Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexico’s vibrant heritage that almost always involves lively fiestas and dishes that are muy caliente. Get ready for a week of festivities with some Scoville-worthy programming on Cooking Channel.

What better way to anticipate this May 5th celebration than by tuning into Cooking Channel to see how Alton Brown makes homemade chili powder (Friday, May 3, at 8:30pm ET) or how Bobby Flay throws a Mexican-inspired brunch (Thursday, May 2, at 9:30pm ET)? You can also visit some of the spiciest kitchens around the country with Unique Eats (Saturday, May 4, at 5pm ET), and be sure to stay tuned for Saturday’s prime-time marathon of Heat Seekers (starting at 8pm ET) as chefs Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking explore the fruity, raw heat of chiles. From fiery salsas (Wednesday, May 1, at 8pm ET) to jalapeno-laced guacamole, we have all things hot and spicy this week on Cooking Channel.

Literally turn up the heat in your kitchen with more hot and spicy recipes. Just be sure to keep a glass of milk close by.

Meatless Monday: Spinach and Tortellini

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?

You don’t need copious amounts of butter or oil to make vegetables tasty. You can sneak good-for-you ingredients into the dishes you love without adding a bunch of fat. Spinach is packed with vitamins and is a good source of calcium and fiber, but its not exactly my favorite food to eat totally raw. With garlicky pasta and a bit of cheese, however, it becomes a lot more enticing.

You can count on Cooking Channel’s recipe for Spinach and Tortellini for a simple, satisfying Meatless Monday dinner. Who doesn’t love pasta after all? With no fancy ingredients or complicated steps, the meal comes together in just about a half an hour. The sauteed garlic and tomatoes bring the familiar Italian aromatics we all crave, while mushrooms, peas and spinach add new flavor and texture to each bite. With so many healthy ingredients in one bowl, a sprinkle of pine nuts and Parmesan is the little extra indulgence you deserve.

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Japanese Fast Food Joint Releases Nine-Patty Burger to Promote Movie

Americans may regularly dine on double, triple and even quadruple cheeseburgers, but how often do they dig their chompers into a nine-patty beast of mythic proportions? That is just what consumers have been able to do across Japan, thanks to a popular fast food chain called Lotteria.

This nonuple cheeseburger, called the Q Burger, is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s nine beef patties and nine slices of cheese on a bun. The burger is a promotional stunt for an anime film called Evangelion Theatrical Version: Q. Readers of this blog will note that this artery clogging fiend is quite different from Burger King Japan’s own homage to anime. 

If you are brave enough to buy this burger, the restaurant will give you a commemorative lance so you can prove to your family and friends that you have absolutely zero regard for your health and well-being. The most insane part? This isn’t even the biggest burger on Lotteria’s menu. They also offer a non-branded ten-patty cheeseburger.

Rock This Look: Nadia G.’s PMS Fashion Tips

When it comes to the touchy topic of PMS, we could all do with a little less mood swings and a little more food cravings. But when we’re feeling our worst, and our attitude reflects it, we don’t have to turn to robes and sweatpants to feel better. Put down the chocolate, and pick up these fashion tips for a playful summer look that’s sure to put a smile back on your face.

Outfit

We know the call of the Snuggie is strong at this time, but there are comfy clothes that still show off the benefits of being a woman, instead of just hiding the negatives. G looks absolutely dashing in her Hello Sailor playsuit by Traffic People.  Get yours, and get back to feeling playful — that’s what candy stripes do to you!

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Top 9 Kitschy, But Super-Cool, Hotel Bars

You may have gotten over themed spots after your tenth birthday party (um, hello, Princess Tea Party Fest), but they’re actually great for some old-fashioned adult fun, too. Hotels across the world have fabulously themed bars that run the gamut from classy to trashy. We’ve shuffled through the clutter to find the top hotel bars that, despite (or because) of being themed, are super cool. Check out all of our favorites.

Stables Bar, The Milestone Hotel; London (pictured above)

Located in the luxurious Milestone Hotel — perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London — Stables Bar embraces an over-the-top horse theme that only Londoners can truly appreciate or understand. (As you may know, Londoners love their horses almost as much as they love their dogs.) The split-level bar, decorated with rich green tartan upholstery and mahogany-paneled walls, has tons of riders’ paraphernalia including horse murals and paintings, bridles, saddles, needle-point horse pillows and even a somewhat terrifying jockey mannequin. Needless to say, the bar takes its former use as a carriage house very seriously. Stables also has satellite TVs for viewing sporting events and an exclusive list of champagnes and cocktails.

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What to Eat at the New Orleans Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest food stalls

At the annual New Orleans Jazz Festival, which kicks off this weekend, food doesn’t play second fiddle. In fact, the Fest could be double-billed as a full-fledged food festival. Regulars — locals and visitors alike — love to hop from stage to stage at the sprawling fairground, dancing to everything from gospel choirs to Billy Joel to Trombone Shorty. But Jazz Fest fans also give serious consideration to their food agendas, making sure to hit favorite stands year after year. We like to zone in on the vendors who serve unique dishes that are hard to come by outside of this two-weekend event.

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How to Make New York-Style Pizza at Home

Pizza Cuz

The whole world likes pizza. But in New York City, we have a love affair with it. Italian-American pizza as we know it was born here. New York City is the “slice joint” capital of the world, but if you can’t make it out to the Big Apple, I’m going to show you how to make it right in your own kitchen at home.

First, let’s talk about your oven. What gives New York-style pizza its signature crispy crust is the deck ovens that we use. Deck ovens have thick stones that we cook the pies directly on. These stones retain a lot of heat and give our crusts that unbeatable bottom. To convert your home oven, you’re gonna need a pizza stone. Don’t have one? You can use quarry tiles.

Go to Home Depot, buy a box of quarry tiles, put your oven rack all the way to the bottom and lay your stone or quarry tile over the rack. The stone needs to be heated all the way through before putting your pizza on it; otherwise you’ll end up with a cooked top and a soggy bottom. Turn your oven up as high as it goes; we want to get to about 550-600 degrees F. Let it preheat for at least an hour.

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