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Challenge: Outsmart a Sommelier

Do you think you have what it takes to take on a wine sommelier? Attend City Eats “Drink Yourself Blind” Party in Washington, D.C. and get a chance to prove it. And no, the “blind” in the title doesn’t refer to your level of drunkenness, but rather the crux of the challenge — can you identify wines in a blind taste test?

On October 10th at 7:30 p.m., the restaurant Society Fair will play host to 25 participants for a blind tasting party. Each guest will sample 10 mystery wines. During each round, players will attempt to identify the grape and outmatch the sommelier.  Winners will take home restaurant gift certificates, prizes and bragging rights.

You can purchase tickets here, or you can enter in the comment field below for a chance to win a pair for free. To enter: Tell us your favorite wine in the comments section of this post. We’re giving away two tickets to one lucky, randomly selected commenter (travel to and from the event is not provided).

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 12:00 p.m. ET on September 28 and 5:00 p.m. ET on October 5, 2012. Subject to full Official Rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $27.50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a/ Cooking Channel, 75 9th Ave., New York, NY 10011.

Cookbook Giveaway: Hedy Goldsmith’s Baking Out Loud

Hedy Goldsmith Baking Out Loud Cookbook

Hedy Goldsmith Baking Out Loud Cookbook Cover

Forget what your mom said about not playing with your food — we think food should be fun, and no one is better at showing how than Hedy Goldsmith, pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami. With her new cookbook Baking Out Loud, Hedy serves up desserts that are full of fun and big on flavor.

As someone who ate their fair share of Nutter Butters, Twix bars and Hostess snack cakes growing up, I particularly appreciate her chapter on “Childhood Treats”, where she re-conceives the fast, fatty junk food of her past into desserts with recognizable ingredient lists. Twinkies turn into Red Velvet Twinks (pictured above), a delicious combination of rich chocolate cake and cream cheese filling.

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Lunch Recipes Your Coworkers Will Try to Steal

We’ve all been there — your coworker starts heating up their lunch, a delicious scent wafts through the office and you look down at your ham and cheese sandwich with regret. Well, here’s our #1 tip to fight lunchtime envy (or create your own): Add global flavors to your brown bag meal.

It’s Global Week on Cooking Channel (find out when to tune in for international eats here) and we’re celebrating with our five favorite lunch recipes with global flavor:

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Happy National Waffle Day

Corn Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Today is National Waffle Day, and what better way to celebrate than firing up the ol’ iron, getting out the syrup and serving up a plate full of the breakfast favorite? And even though the breakfast hour has long passed, you can still join in the fun at dinnertime. Breakfast for dinner is our favorite meal of the day.

Five Favorite Waffle Recipes:

Corn Waffles With Blueberry Syrup (pictured above)

Though this recipe is a little labor intensive, the results are worth the effort. In addition to keeping them from being too sweet, the cornmeal also adds nice texture to the waffles. Blueberries in the sauce are a nice finishing touch.

Get the Recipe: Corn Waffles With Blueberry Syrup

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Thirsty Thursday: Grape Expectations

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark

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.

Classy Ladies‘ Alie and Georgia will send you on a sugar high with their Grape Expectations Cocktail.

The duo channel their inner children for a lesson from soda aficionado John Nese at Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in L.A. Then it’s time to put on the big boy pants and create a cocktail reminiscent of a grape cream soda, complete with silly straws and the ultimate candy garnish.

Watch Now:

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Cooking Channel’s Summer Eats Rolls Into the Windy City

Cooking Channel Summer Eats

Cooking Channel’s Summer Eats Pop Up rolled into Chicago this past weekend. We set up shop on Oak Street Beach, a beautiful beach located on the lake front with the Chicago skyline rising up in the background. Though we were greeted by stormy weather, the sky cleared up just in time for the event, and Chicagoans were able to sit back and enjoy good food and drinks, meet two of the newest Cooking Channel hosts and listen to live music while watching the sunset over Lake Michigan.

Check out more photos from the event after the jump.

Cooking Channel Summer Eats

Chef G. Garvin, host of Cooking Channel's Road Trip with G. Garvin, was on hand to meet fans.

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Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day

Cherry-Pineapple Cobbler Recipe

May 17 is National Cherry Cobbler Day, and we’re celebrating with a Cherry-Pineapple Cobbler. The recipe is courtesy of Pastry Chef Hugo Reyes from BR Guest Hospitality. This sweet and tart dessert will be featured at several BR Guest restaurants around New York City — including Blue Fin, Prime House, Wildwood BBQ and Atlantic Grill Lincoln Center. But in case you can’t make it in for a scoop, we’ve got the recipe below.

Buttermilk is the key ingredient in Hugo’s recipe: It complements and balances the tart flavor of the pineapple and cherries, and ultimately it leads to a fluffier biscuit. We also got three tips from Chef Hugo for making cobblers at home.

3 Tips for Better Cobblers

1. Choose fruit that’s in season, local and perfectly ripe for your cobbler.

2. The fruit should be bubbling and the biscuit crust baked through when the dish is ready. To make sure, insert a knife in the biscuit. If it comes out clean, the cobbler is done.

3. Don’t forget the ice cream! Cobblers are best served warm with heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream (or any flavor of your choice).

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Jane Danger Is Baking With Booze

Jane's Sweet Buns

Booze and baked goods: These are a few of my favorite things.

It would seem Jane Danger (pictured above) understands me. Barkeep turned baker, Jane has created a stir by using cocktails and spirits as the inspiration for her pastries at her charming shop in Manhattan’s East Village, Jane’s Sweet Buns.

Prior to opening her bakery, Jane spent seven years bartending in New York City. Starting at the iconic (and infamous) CBGB’s, she worked her way through some of the coolest downtown cocktail haunts —PDT, Little Branch, and Death and Co, to name a few, and headed up the punch program at Cienfuegos. At Jane’s Sweet Buns, she’s using her skills as a craft bartender to create boozy baked goods.

“It’s always been my dream to combine my passion for baking with my love of cocktails,” Jane said.

Campari Shortbread with Lemon Rose Buttercream (Get the recipe after the jump.)

And now Jane is teaming up with Campari to create three original treats featuring the spirit.

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HungrySofia Nominated for Saveur Food Blog Award

Hungry Sofia by Ana Sofia Pelaez

Congratulations to Devour contributor Ana Sofia Peláez, whose personal blog hungrysofia.com has been nominated for one of Saveur.com‘s Best Food Blog Award 2012.

Ana Sofia covers the spectrum of Spanish and Latin American cuisine for Cooking Channel’s blog, Devour, and in her own blog. From the rich smells and flavors of the Cuban food she grew up with to modern Peruvian causas, hearty Brazilian feijodas and delicate Mexican flor de calabaza soup, she’s always looking for her next great meal.

Her blog is nominated in the category of Best Regional Cuisine Blog. Voting ends on April 26th, so hurry over to here to vote for hungrysofia.com.

And bring a bit of Latin America into your kitchen with her best recipes from Devour:

Torrejas with Lavender Honey Syrup

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Host a Bake Sale to Help Fight Childhood Hunger

Cupcakes

Cookies, cupcakes and brownies: I love spending time in the kitchen baking up my favorite sweet treats. But did you know your baked goods can help end childhood hunger?

Share Our Strength‘s 3rd annual Great American Bake Sale is April 20-22. The idea is simple: Host a bake sale (or join one!) and Share Our Strength will use the proceeds to help end childhood hunger.

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