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Archive for May, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday, Cooking Channel!

Oh, how the time flies: Today, Cooking Channel turns 4 (!!), and it’s wild to think how much we’ve grown over the last several years. We launched in 2010 as a network (and website) filled with passionate Food People seeking to explore the unconventional, dig into global cuisines and uncover hidden gems. And now that we’re past our toddler years, we can look back on our bounty of new shows and stars, Web-original video series, growing recipe library, and unique food and lifestyle stories, knowing we’ve done just that.

And yet we’ve only scratched the surface. This year, we launched our Adventures in Cooking package: a collection of fun weekend cooking projects for the curious cooks and food geeks who dominate the Food People sector. (We’re talking fermenting kimchi, making bacon from scratch and crafting some seriously creative cakes.) We dug into Dumplings Around the World in honor of the Olympics, made magic fairy dust out of pizza and pastrami (OK, spice mixes that taste just like pizza and pastrami), mashed up your favorite comfort foods and gave you the most epic game plan, ever, for your Super Bowl or game-day party. Speaking of parties: We continue to share the best tips, decorating ideas and recipes for all your entertaining needs. From a last-minute holiday cocktail party to a casual Mediterranean summer fete, our Party in Five series has you covered.

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This Machine Lets You Print and Eat Your Own Customized Fruit

Fruit and veggies are pretty good; there is no denying that. However, what are you supposed to do once you’ve eaten them all? Eat them all over again? No way! There needs to be an endless procession of brand new fruits just like there is an endless procession of stuff to read on the Internet. Luckily, technology may just have you covered on that front. Now there’s a way to create your very own customized fruit.

It’s no secret that 3D printers are working to change the way we eat. A UK company called Dovetailed has created a new kind of 3D printer that creates new kinds of fruit on demand. The printer uses a molecular gastronomy technique called spherification, which creates tiny edible spheres filled with fruit juice. These spheres can then be combined in way you see fit, creating something like a boring old apple or some kind of bizarre apple-raspberry-pomegranate hybrid.

This technology is still a ways off from being adopted by mainstream culture, but its still fun to think about gorging on some franken-fruit.

25 Ways to Use Quinoa

Quinoa sparkles and shines all year long, but I love it most in the summer when I cook up a huge batch and mix in tons of fresh veggies for barbecues, or I use it throughout the week in my lunch salads. Quinoa can take the place of almost any grain or starch, cooked risotto style, featured in a pilaf or even tossed in with curries.

Although it’s often associated with grains, quinoa is really an ancient seed, first used about 5,000 years ago by the Incas in South America. There are thousands of varieties of quinoa, but most often you’ll find white, red and black. Keeping in mind that the darker varieties are more firm and don’t absorb water as well as the white, they can all be used interchangeably. Most quinoa is pre-rinsed, but check the package. Its natural coating, saponin, leaves a bitter taste when not rinsed off.

This week marks the unofficial start to summer, and with that comes endless uses for quinoa.

  1. Holiday weekends mean more time for breakfast; try Quinoa Hash Browns and Turkish Eggs (pictured above).
  2. Bobby Deen’s veggie-heavy Quinoa, Salmon and Broccoli Bowl is the perfect meal for bikini season.
  3. Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern salad, heavy on healthy herbs like mint and cilantro. Mix in our favorite superfood for Quinoa Tabbouleh.
  4. Serve Kelsey Nixon’s Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf (less than 250 calories per serving) hot or cold all year long.
  5. Ingrid Hoffmann’s Yellow Quinoa is seasoned with adobo seasoning, a traditional Mexican spice blend of garlic, paprika, oregano and salt.

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52 Weeks Fresh: Plants Need Friends Too

Tomatoes like company in the garden, so keep things easy and organized by clustering the stalks with basil and any other ingredients you’ll need for salsa or tomato sauce. Not only will this save space, it will also discourage pests. 

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The Pretentious Food Critic Baby

Fine restaurants beware: This baby is very particular about the food served on kids’ menus.

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This Edible Mist Machine Lets You Enjoy Bacon and Ice Cream Without the Calories

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There are the foods we love because we know they are good for us and keep us on the planet longer — stuff like kale and asparagus. Then there are the foods we love because they taste really good and we need them in our lives. Bacon and ice cream fall squarely into the latter category. Unfortunately, we can’t eat bacon and ice cream all day or else we’ll die (happy.) Some industrious foodies in England have created a machine that lets us inhale our favorite foods without the calories and fat.

The Edible Mist Machine uses “ultrasonic vaporization” to extract the goodness from our favorite foods and turn it into mist we can inhale with a straw like a crazy person. The mist is currently available in over 200 flavors, with more on the way. Heck, the creators will even make a personalized mist out of whatever you desire, like your ex-girlfriend’s hair or that odd smell in your grandmother’s closet.

They are currently available to rent for parties in the U.K. or you can buy your own for the modest price of $8,400. That’d buy you a whole lot of bacon and ex-girlfriend hair.

The Best Food Power-Ups in Video Games

If you’ve ever played a video game, you know that once in a while you gain an item that gives you a massive power-up. These power-ups are very often food related. After all, when you are critically injured, what you need is a plate of spaghetti. Here are some of the coolest and most-iconic food-based power-ups in video game history.

Gallery: Best Video Game Food Power-Ups

Summer Fest: 5 Picnic Potluck Ideas

By the time summer rolls around, we’re usually ready to push our casserole pans and dutch ovens into the dusty back corners of our kitchen cabinets. Not so fast — by using fresh summer vegetables, seafood and even berries, you can make lighter one-dish wonders that will feed a crowd without sending them into a full-blown food coma.

1. Tomato Vegetable Casserole (pictured above)
Giada combines ripe tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers with potatoes and yams to form a Parmesan-crusted casserole that boasts enough heft as a vegetarian main, but is still light enough for warm summer nights.

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Teenaged Chef Sells Out His 11-Course Tasting Menu

What were you doing when you were fifteen years old? Maybe you were smoking cigarettes and complaining about the opposite sex. Maybe you were reading Catcher in the Rye and getting annoyed at phonies. Maybe you were still watching cartoons. You probably weren’t creating world class cuisine in New York City. Flynn McGarry, who is fifteen, just did exactly that.

McGarry has been operating a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles called Eureka for the past year. He just brought his grub to the West Village in NYC, selling out 100 seats a night. The chef has never been formally trained, but that didn’t stop him from serving up glazed green mussels with Thai curry, grilled scallop with Champagne-fermented turnips and, of course, langoustine tartare served with an emulsion made from the head of said crustacean. The pop-up was a huge success and word is he’ll be back in September.

Also, to answer the question everybody is thinking, McGarry chooses the the wine pairings by smelling them, being as how it is illegal for a fifteen year old to imbibe.

Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos’ Favorite Wines

When you visit certain regions of Italy and get lost in the multitude of flavors that are so specific to the land, the simple thought of not bringing home some food is in general inadmissible. Parmigiano, lardo, salame, extra virgin olive oil, a couple bottles of wine you just need to have your friends try. How many times did I pack it all up in the dirty laundry secured in my luggage, then fly back home, hoping that the smell of a hot and humid summer on my tank tops would be enough to trick that brown beagle roaming the basement of JFK airport with a USDA agent on its leash?

As the world is shrinking, though, many of the ingredients you can savor while traveling through the bel paese are now somewhat available in the United States — and more so on the Internet. Once you have developed a taste for something Italian that you cannot live without, rest assured that with a little research, chances are you can relive your tasteful experience back home, wherever that might be.

Whenever we travel to Fiesole, Italy, one of our excuses for bouncing around villages like pinballs is to taste all the new batches of the wines we are fond of, make notes of new ones we discover along the way and occasionally buy a couple of cases.

Continue Reading Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos’ Favorite Wines