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Sake 101 for the Sake Virgin

I recently had the pleasure of attending a sake tasting in the Food Network Kitchens hosted by Timothy Sullivan, a “Sake Samurai” and founder of UrbanSake.com. I think I was likely the least educated about sake at the table — I was a total sake virgin. Thankfully, Timothy had some great takeaways to make sake more approachable for someone like me.

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What Makes a College Eat the Best?

In honor of March Madness, we searched out the top 32 Best College Eats from campuses around the nation. Now we’re pitting them against each other, bracket style, to see which dish will come out on top.

During our research, though, we noticed some similarities between the dishes that kept coming up as college students’ favorites. After some careful analysis (and sampling of the dishes) we identified these key elements when cooking up a Best College Eat:

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Julia Baker’s Best: Red Velvet Reinvented for the Holidays

Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. From mini Red Velvet Cookies to Chuck’s Maple Shortbread, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

With a last name like Baker, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Julia Baker found her way into the culinary world. As founder, head chef and CEO of Julia Baker confections, Julia creates luxury chocolates and desserts  – made from scratch without any preservatives or artificial ingredients – for discerning palates. Nicknamed “Chocolatier to the Stars,” Julia has created extraordinary cakes and chocolates for stars including Alicia Keys, Bono and U2, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Aniston, and Britney Spears.

And when we asked Julia Baker to participate in our All-Star Cookie Swap, we were delighted with the results. Red velvet reinvented as a cookie? Yes, please!

We reached out to Julia to find out where her inspiration for these cookies came from and if she had any tips for holiday bakers (with a lowercase B).

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How to Put Together a Hobbit Menu

There is only one way to get ready for the premiere of The Hobbit this weekend: Host a marathon viewing session of The Lord of the Rings. And in order to sustain the energy required for the 11+ hour viewing party (extended edition, of course), it’s essential to embrace the day and Eat Like a Hobbit. Hobbits prefer six meals a day, seven if they can get it, and  I say, why not? Just be sure if your guest list is at 13 that you find a 14th guest.

Now let’s get started:

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And for Dessert…Stuffing?

Stuffing Cookie Recipe

When we heard the Downtown Cookie Co.’s cookie of the month for November was a Stuffing Cookie, we were skeptical. Can you blame us? Stuffing belongs at the dinner table, not on the dessert menu. Or so we thought.

It turns out that adding stuffing to your cookies can result in a subtle and welcome savory note. Downtown Cookie Co. tested a variety of stuffings before ending on Pepperidge Farm for their recipe. We think it has less to do with the brand and more to do with choosing a stuffing that’s loaded with herbs. The end result reminded us of an oatmeal cookie, with a hint of herbs and loaded with cranberries.

You can order a bag from Downtown Cookie Co.’s website or, if you are feeling ambitious, make a batch at home. They were kind enough to share the recipe:

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March Madness: Best Campus Eats

Best Campus Eats

The 2012-2013 college basketball season kicks off this Friday and we’ve already got March Madness on the mind. After last year, we can hardly wait to see how this season unfolds. What teams will emerge as powerhouses? Which are going to be found out to be overrated? Who will be this year’s Cinderella story?

We’ve also decided that the madness shouldn’t be limited only to the court. Let’s bring some of the fun into food. What school has the best campus eats?

Here are a few preseason contenders:

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13 Days of Pumpkin: A Thanksgiving Trifecta (With a Splash of Politics)

Top Chefs’ Zac Young and Yigit Pura pay tribute to the 49th state with two kicked-up takes on Baked Alaska.

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 More Dessert Recipes From Zac and Yigit:

13 Days of Pumpkin: Pie Without the Crust

Aida’s Pecan Pumpkin Crunch is a crustless alternative to pumpkin pie.

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More Pumpkin Desserts:

13 Days of Pumpkin: Pumpkin Soup

David Rocco purees pumpkin, squash & potato for a thick and flavorful soup.

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More Fall Soups:

13 Days of Pumpkin: Throwdown Over Pumpkin Pie

Pie’s on the line, not in the sky, when Bobby faces an award-winning baker.

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Get a Jump-Start on Thanksgiving With More Pies:

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