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The Scoop: The Health Benefits of Tequila and Chocolate

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The Scoop: Chocolate Fried Chicken + Every State’s Official Meat

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Comfort Fest: Mashed Potatoes, Reinvented

Nobody can deny the appeal of warm, velvety mashed potatoes. But there are a number of variations on this classic side dish worth exploring. Try any of these recipes and you may never go back to the original.

1. Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Mascarpone Cheese (pictured above)

Bobby enhances the already rich and velvety texture of mashed potatoes by folding in a hearty dose of mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone’s mildly sweet flavor also helps to balance out the saltiness of traditional mashed potatoes.

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Tiffani Thiessen’s Dinner Party Secrets and More

Actress Tiffani Thiessen likes to throw intimate dinner parties at her house for her celebrity friends. She let us film one of them which we’ll air on March 23 at 8pm ET. We call it Dinner at Tiffani’s. Tune in for Tiffani’s favorite home-cooked dishes (Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, for example), delicious drinks (Blackberry Cocktail, for another) and entertaining stories from Tiffani’s guests Nathan Fillion (Castle), Willie Garson (Sex and the City) and Lindsay Price (90210).

We caught up with Tiffani to ask her about her hosting style, her favorite restaurants and more.

Cooking Channel: How would you describe your hosting style?
Tiffani Thiessen: Relaxed, warm, inviting and fun with a big side of silly.

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Your New TV Addiction: The Freshman Class is Back

On tonight’s Season 2 premiere of The Freshman Class, four students facing high-pressure personal struggles will fight tooth-and-nail against the intense, hands-on culinary program at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz in order to journey towards their dream career in the food industry. Gabriel is a former gang member trying to raise his baby son. Kim’s demanding husband thinks school will make her lose focus on his own selfish needs. Jim’s a high school dropout vet who lives out of his van.

With all things financial, personal and professional riding on their first semester, tensions will run high in and out of the kitchens. Turn on Cooking Channel tonight at 8pm ET to see what happens, then check out CookingChannelTV.com/freshmanclass after the episode to get a Web-Only clip.

Bonus: Watch Season 1 of The Freshman Class in its entirety for free online.

The Scoop: $1,000 McDonald’s-Inspired Dress

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Comfort Fest: Top 5 Pizzas Without Sauce

These five sauce-less pizzas are loaded with soft, savory cheese and indulgent, meaty toppings. Even red sauce lovers will do a double take.

1. New Haven-Style White Clam Pizza (pictured above)
America’s best pizza is a notoriously loaded subject, but the white clam pies native to New Haven, Conn., always surface at the top of the heap. Before making the pilgrimage, try preparing this legendary Neapolitan concoction at home. Fresh, briny littleneck clams come together with an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated cheese atop a charcoal-colored crust. You won’t be disappointed.

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Survive the Academy Awards with Alie & Georgia’s Quick Bar Tips

The Academy Awards are three hours long. The night is usually filled with a lot of crying and crushed aspirations — and don’t get us started on what goes on at the actually ceremony. Raise the bar for everyone surrounding your TV with Alie & Georgia’s tips on the best booze and mixers:

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The Scoop: 74,476 Reasons to Get a Bigger Pizza

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Binge Watch Kelsey’s Essentials Online

If you want to know how to make easy homemade pasta or a fail-proof roast chicken or perfect pie crust,  Kelsey Nixon will show you how on Kelsey’s Essentials — and that’s just in the first three episodes of Season 1. Now you can watch every single episode in its entirety online, and pick up all the essential techniques, equipment and foolproof tips you need to be the boss of your own kitchen.

Stream All of Kelsey’s Essentials

More Kelsey: Tune in to Kelsey’s new special Cans Make the Meal tomorrow, Saturday, February 8, at 10am ET to watch how to transform canned ingredients into simple and nutritious family dinners.

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