Archive for May, 2013

Party in Five: Neon Birthday Party

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements) you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

When we’re adults, birthdays come and go – often uncelebrated or with little fanfare – so when a milestone year approaches, it feels all the more special and worthy of a full-blown fete. In honor of a friend who recently turned the big 3-0 – and Cooking Channel, which turns 3 years old, today! – I planned a party that’s made for adults but is filled with the whimsy and excitement typically reserved for children’s parties. Utilizing a neutral background and metallic accents, I chose a neon color palette for an on-trend feel, but I’ll show you below how this party can be adapted to any color palette of your choosing.

To host your own neon birthday party, you’ll need five essential ingredients:
• colorful confetti
• printable do-it-yourself invitations (download the template here)
• homemade classic party hats
• extra-long and numeric birthday candles
• cupcakes with neon icing

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Beach Picnic Playlist

Nothing says summer more than the beach. Some people like to lie out and relax, read a book or just take a snooze.

But here at The Beat Advisory, we tend to turn our trips to the beach into daytime disco parties.

So in between bites of the Peach Salad With Tomatoes and sips of Strawberry Pina Coladas, get down to some of our latest and greatest summer grooves, including new tracks from Daft Punk, Capital Cities and Empire of the Sun.

Get our full Beach Picnic Menu.

Get more easy summer entertaining tips.

Get 100 Ways to Love Summer.

You can learn more about Andrew and The Beat Advisory at

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5 Health Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus’ green spears are a sure sign of spring. If you’re wondering about the health benefits of this seasonal must-have, this blog’s for you.

It’s low in calories: Five large spears have just 20 calories and 2 grams of fiber, making this a flavorful guilt-free food.

It’s nutrient-dense: Asparagus packs a lot of nutrition. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K (the vitamin that helps your blood to clot) and a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron and some B vitamins.

It acts as a diuretic: Asparagus contains high levels of the aptly named amino acid asparagine, which acts as a diuretic. This can actually help to lower high blood pressure.

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Just in Time for Swimsuit Season: Donut Sushi

When you ask someone what they like about sushi, invariably the words “fresh” or “healthy” will pop into the conversation. Sushi is, after all, just raw fish with a little bit of ginger and rice to wash it down. Nobody ever says that they like it because it is deep fried and topped with delicious frosting. That is until now. Donut sushi is now a thing.

California’s Psycho Donuts, who have a storied history with nutty donut concoctions, have created what they call “Psycho Psushi,” The donut creation contains absolutely no fish, but does ape the look using a clever combination of frosting, nuts and, for the health conscious, berries. Oh yeah. The whole thing comes packed in a bento box, complete with edible chopsticks. Nice!

For a lighter take on summer, check out Cooking Channel’s collection of healthy summer recipes.

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The Best Hotel Coffee Bars in the Country

We Americans love our coffee. After all, the average adult guzzles around 70 gallons of coffee a year — and spends over $1,000 annually on morning doses of caffeine. While the habit can be hard on your wallet, the health benefits of consuming coffee are numerous: Research shows it can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and heart disease. And particularly for business travelers who need to work through the night and then impress clients the next morning — all the while recovering from jet lag — a ready cup of joe is essential. We’ve found five of the best hotel coffee bars across the States so you can get that jolt you need without ever having to leave your hotel.

Best Coffee Bar to Impress Clients:

Knave at Le Parker Meridien, New York City (pictured above)

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Thirsty Thursday: Lemon Sorbet Punch

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.

Some drinks are just simply nostalgic. Take, for example, lemonade. My fondest childhood memories of summer include tending my lemonade stand and drinking endless cups of this tart beverage.

But now, as the summer heat settles in, I’m longing for an adult version of my favorite summertime drink. This Lemon Sorbet Punch — a far cry from your powdered lemonade mix — is every bit as cooling and refreshing as lemonade on a hot day. Fresh lemon juice and sugar are combined with icy lemon sorbet and bubbly seltzer. This punch gets an extra zing from vodka (feel free to adjust the amount to your liking) and is topped with plump raspberries.

It’s enough to evoke nostalgia for those 10-cent cups of lemonade on a hot summer day.

Bottoms up, folks.

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Dinner Rush! Picnic Pizza Rolls

This is it, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Memorial Day has passed and summer is officially here!  I think it’s only fitting to celebrate the advent of summer with a bit of al fresco dining (what’s all this beautiful weather for, anyway, if not to enjoy?)  This week’s Dinner Rush! is heading outside with a picnic basket in hand.

OK, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a picnic — the point is these pizza rolls are great to make in advance for dinner anywhere from the front porch to the city park.  Like any good pizza, you can pretty much fill them with whatever you want, then just pack them up and get out for some fun in the sun!

Most stores offer pizza dough that is already prepared and can be picked up from the refrigerated case (or even the freezer).  If your market seems to be out, give your corner pizza shop a call — they’ll usually sell you a ball of dough no problem.

Happy Summer!

Picnic Pizza Rolls

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Food Carts for Dogs

Food carts and food trucks have become veritable staples in big and medium-sized cities. Their offerings run the gamut from simple fare like hot dogs to exotic dishes from around the globe. They now offer tasty treats for dogs.

Yappy Treats Cart is a new food cart for dogs in New York City. They serve up a variety of pooch-friendly ice cream flavors, including tuna-carrot and peanut-butter-banana-carob. The cups are even designed to be perfect for dog tongues. They can thank Rachael Ray for paving the road with her pup-up food truck last year, and they can thank Weird Al for the name.

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Sifted: Summer S’mores and BBQ Recipes

S’mores Bars by Once Upon A Cutting Board

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. ‘Tis the season for gooey s’mores. If you’re not off to camp anytime soon, Once Upon A Cutting Board’s s’mores bars are a delicious alternative.
  2. What’s your secret to a perfect burger? Set the Table swears by peanut butter and a fried egg.
  3. Grab some chips and whip together This Homemade Life’s nacho cheese sauce for an awesome afternoon snack or dinner side.
  4. If you haven’t made strawberry rhubarb pie yet, now is the time. Andrea Meyers has a tasty recipe.
  5. Use Real Butter’s corn pudding is the perfect summer side for your next backyard barbecue.

Craving More? 

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Hump Day Snack: $15,730 Melons

The world has a new meloniaire (someone who can afford to drop 1.6 million yen on two melons.) A pair of Yubari King melons (a hybrid of two cantaloupe varieties) sold for $15,730 at an auction in Tokyo. It’s the perfect perishable gift for the person who has everything but melons.

See more of the world’s most expensive food.

Get (more affordable) recipes for melon.

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