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Unique Savory Cookies to Throw a Curveball Into Your Holiday Cookie Swap

There are only so many gingerbread figures and snowflake-shaped sugar cookies that you can make, so impress everyone at your cookie swap party by going savory this year. Try Parmesan-black pepper thumbprint cookies with cranberry-orange-thyme marmalade, or just top chocolate chip cookies with candied bacon — they’ll be a welcome break from the holiday sugar rush.

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Spread Holiday Cheer with These Cheesy Appetizers

A foolproof way to keep hunger at bay — and ravenous partygoers out of the kitchen — before the big holiday dinner is appetizers, and lots of ‘em. We have plenty of tried-and-true Christmas appetizer recipes to choose from, but the ones that fly off the table the fastest are always ones filled with cheese.

Here are  five of our favorites, including crunchy crostini topped with baked prosciutto, apple butter and melted Brie (pictured above) and deep-fried mozzarella bites. The best part? They’re all ready in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to babysitting your slow-roasted prime rib and other magnificent holiday dishes.

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What to Look for in a Quality Cheap Eat

 

Eating well on the cheap. It’s not nearly as easy as just eating on the cheap. And we have 50 years of the fast-food industry to thank for that. Not that I’m opposed to the occasional bag o’ drive-thru, mind you, but the old maxim is still true: You get what you pay for. The truth is we all have our own budgets in mind, and not all $6 burgers are created equal. So let’s look for a moment, beyond the bucks, to what makes food bang at any price point — a happy medium sandwiched in between Kobe dry-aged beef and the dollar menu. Here are my four tips for finding a legit cheap eat:

Figure out if the food/restaurant is “people driven.”

This is kinda like “chef driven,” but it involves a little more on your part than pulling up a website or a Yelp review. Bottom line: Are the people who work at this restaurant proud about the food there? Do they eat there on their days off? Can they list the faves from the menu in, like, no time flat? For most of you, this means gathering intel from your waiter, but don’t ignore the person bussing your table either. And, no, this doesn’t apply to only table-service restaurants. I reviewed a national burger chain ($6 and up) and was floored by how both the ladies taking my order were so down for their employer and the burgers they smashed (that’s a hint). After all, don’t you want happy people — people who genuinely believe that they are worthy of your hard-earned buck — serving your food?

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How to Cook Like an Italian Grandpa

Chef Pasquale grew up in Orsara di Puglia, Italy, and brought his recipes and stories to America. Watch how to make eggplant Parmigiana, meatballs, chicken cacciatore and more like an authentic Italian grandpa with skills from the old country.

Watch how he makes eggplant parmesan like he learned in Italy after the jump and check out the rest of his Cooking It Old School videos.

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Enter to Win Salvador Dali’s Cookbook


Salvador Dalí. Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí. Courtesy of TASCHEN

Lately it’s been feeling as if we live in a surreal world, from the recent election to newfangled illusory dishes like the raindrop cake. It’s like we exist inside a Salvador Dalí painting. Actually, depending on whom you wanted to win the presidency, you either want to drown your sorrows in comfort food or throw an over-the-top celebration as only a man adorned with a cape, walking stick and upturned waxed moustache like Dalí could. Dalí loved extravagance, and his penchant for opulence is captured in his 1973 cookbook Les Dîners de Gala, which has just been rereleased by TASCHEN. His esoteric guide to cooking has 136 recipes, many illustrated by Dalí, over 12 chapters (one of which is dedicated to aphrodisiacs and another to snails and frogs). Get his timely recipe for Turkey with Roquefort after the jump for a taste.

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes That’ll Hold Up to Reheating

Thanksgiving is full of wonderful food, family and fun, but before you get to the good stuff, there’s a lot of stress in the kitchen. Help calm things down by preparing in advance many Thanksgiving side dishes that can reheat well. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites — including Haricots Verts with Rosemary (pictured above), which can be served either room temperature or warm — that will keep you from going berserk on Turkey Day.

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See Bone Marrow Doughnuts and More Crazy Food on the Unique Sweets Premiere

Seven seasons in, Unique Sweets is still finding wacky treats across the country. In the premiere episode, our colorful commentators tried savory bone-marrow-stuffed doughnuts and everything-bagel doughnut hybrids at The Doughnut Project in New York, edible cookie shot glasses at Dirty Cookie in California and much more. If you missed any of the sweet action, watch the full episode for free below, and tune in for more on Sundays at 10pm ET.

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5 Gorgeous Carrot Recipes That Will Make You Eat with Your Eyes

Vitamin A-rich carrots are good for your eyes, so we’re always thinking of new ways to incorporate them into meals. One foolproof way to get more carrots into your diet is to make recipes that are easy on the eyes and thoroughly craveworthy. Take this Beet and Carrot Slaw, pictured above, that takes only minutes to make and is instantly Instagram-ready. Below, we’ve rounded up four more gorgeous ways to eat more carrots — some healthy, and some cake — that’ll have you saying, “What’s up, Doc?”

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Every Day We’re Brusselin’: 4 Craveable Brussels Sprout Salads

Brussels sprouts have come a long way in the palate-pleasing department. Once known as the foul-smelling, boiled, soggy vegetable of nightmares, they’ve transformed into a trendy, craveable and usually healthy dish. When you get sick of roasted Brussels, try crafting new, innovative salads instead.

Chuck Hughes makes a warm Brussels sprout salad (pictured above) by lightly sauteing leaves with bacon and Parmesan — hey, we said usually healthy. Check out three more of our favorite Brussels salads below.

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5 Horror and Sci-Fi TV Show-Themed Halloween Bites

It’s easy to fall back on your fifth Hocus Pocus Halloween party in a row, but this year, ditch witches for other horror and sci-fi fun. To help narrow down the genre’s options, we’ve picked five TV shows for inspiration. How about a Stranger Things-themed bash featuring Eleven’s favorite food — waffles, pictured above, that you can make in less than 30 minutes — or a Walking Dead party where you serve a zombie cocktail?

Check out more Halloween recipes and ideas below.

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