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This Is the Final Week to Win a Sick Kitchen

Nadia G makes sure to add style to everything she does, from her recipes to her outfits to her kitchen. That’s because, in order, she likes great food, looking hot and cooking in a place that has as much flavor as the food she prepares in it. The latter is the subject of her new web series Sick Kitchen on our sister site Ulive. She travels around to people’s houses, tells them their kitchens are tacky and cluttered, and then revamps them with inspired decor and slamming new appliances.

Now through June 16, you can give your own kitchen a bit of Nadia G’s sick style by entering the Sick Kitchens sweepstakes. We’ve teamed up with Ulive to give away a sweet fridge and range (in the colors of your choice) from Elmira Stove Works to one lucky winner.  Check out Sick Kitchens and then enter to win now.

You can enter twice a day — once here and once on Ulive.

Enter the Sick Kitchens Giveaway now!

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

Review: Willy Wonka’s Peelable Ice Cream Pops

Willy Wonka’s candy inventions are as erroneously named as they are innovative. Nerds are actually quite popular, Everlasting Gobstoppers dissolve several millennia sooner than forever and Laffy Taffy, in all its uniform ruddiness, can be very austere. In all likelihood, the snozzberries on his lickable wallpaper taste more like kumquats.

Public deceit isn’t his worst offense. Oompa Loompas are basically slave labor. Sure Loompaland has its share of hornswogglers and whangdoodles, but that’s no justification to smuggle its natives into your vault of a factory and pay them in cacao pods. Maybe his political shortcomings shouldn’t negate his culinary genius. Even the clean-cut Beatles were fairly scurrilous in private life, and we still like Abbey Road. We digress.

The Willy Wonka Candy Company has recently released some frozen desserts called Peel-a-Pops. They legitimately look like bananas and are sheathed in an edible husk that can be stripped away in four segments to reveal a soft center of vanilla ice cream. The peel has the consistency and flavor of an actual banana peel, or at least how you’d imagine the texture and taste of a peel — somewhat gummy and tangy. It has the gelatinous give of the thick skin of some banana-flavored pudding. That sounds unpalatable, but it has a tantalizing je ne sais quoi. The ice cream at the core is everything a soft-serve aficionado could desire: creamy, soft but firm, and with that wonderful, albeit synthetic, vanilla essence. Overall, the spectacle of peeling open your ice cream like a tropical fruit more than rectifies however off putting the act of eating it may be for some people.

Well done, Wonka, you wily wizard.

The pops are available in banana or grape flavor at supermarkets nationally.

DIY Kitchen Gifts for Mom

Remember how much your mom loved it when you came home with a gift you’d made and not just run out to buy at the last minute? Now that you have more manual dexterity (and access to raw ingredients), make her something special from your kitchen. From edibles to spa-style products, this list will help you find here are some creative DIY gifts for Mother’s Day.

Bath Scrub:  Salt or sugar bath scrubs are easy to make, and leave your skin silky-smooth. Try this recipe from Wellness Mama: Mix together two parts of sugar, 1 part oil (almond, olive or coconut), 1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil (or the gel from a few capsules) and a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide — 5 Ways to Win Mom Over

Remember that time your mom literally brought you into this world? Yeah, that might be a hard act to match. We don’t doubt she loved the macaroni necklaces you gave her when you were a kid, but if you want to step it up this Mother’s Day (aka Sunday — freak out!), woo her with some food-centered gifts that really show her the love.

Method 1: Start Strong
If there was ever a day to serve Mom breakfast in bed, May 11 would be it. Start things off right by serving her in style on Reclaimed Wood Trays from West Elm ($69-$115). Load them up with brunch dishes while she sleeps in, and rejoice in the fact that these gorgeous rustic trays are gifts in and of themselves.

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May the Fourth Be With You: 5 Star Wars Kitchen Gadgets

A long time ago, a seemingly wise, old, green being of an unspecific species stole a human’s lunch and asked, “how you get so big eating food of this kind?” So maybe his wiseness is questionable.  Also of questionable wiseness: purchasing any of the following Star Wars-themed kitchen wares to celebrate Star Wars Day, May 4th.

  1. R2-D2 Measuring Cups (pictured above) [via: ThinkGeek]

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Unexpected, Awesome Easter Treats


Does a tiny foil-wrapped chocolate egg just not do it for you on Easter morning? Here are some offbeat, awesome Easter treats actually worth the hunt this Sunday morning.

Chocolate Jesus
In the (admittedly rewritten) words of Cool Hand Luke, “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my chocolate Jesus.” Though perhaps not for the most humorless Easter observers, this gilded four-inch edible icon ($14.40) from mouth.com is a refreshing update to the standard chocolate chick. There’s also a chocolate Moses if you prefer your edible action figures in pairs. (Available for overnight shipping through the end of the week.)

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Stocking Stuffers for Food-Lovers

The old adage “good things come in small packages” is especially true when it comes to stocking stuffers. To maximize this year’s small pleasures, here are some stocking-sized gift ideas for the food lover in your family, perfect for the…

Baking Mother:
Sometimes a few secret ingredients can make a huge difference in baked goods. Black cocoa (King Arthur Flour; $9.95) is one ingredient that packs a wallop, for the most intensely chocolaty desserts. Vanilla bean paste (King Arthur Flour; $12.95) adds flecks of vanilla to baked goods without the hassle and expense of using a real vanilla bean.

Cocktail-Loving Father:
Ice size really does matter for cocktails — bigger cubes mean less watered-down drinks. This highball ice mold (Sur la Table; $12.95) makes a glacier of an ice cube that fits perfectly into a highball glass. Dad can use it to ice down cocktails, or just tea and soda.

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25 Ways to Use Tahini

Tahini is the glue that holds hummus together — at least that’s what I’ve always thought of it as. But tahini paste, ground-up hulled sesame seeds, isn’t just an ingredient in a dip. This rich and slightly bitter paste stands on its own as a salad dressing, marinade and even as a cooking sauce for meat. Tahini is a staple in North African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean (Greek, Turkish, Israeli) cuisines, and it pairs well with eggplant, cilantro and yogurt (all popular in those cuisines, as well). Store tahini in a cool, dry place like a cabinet. It is particularly resistant to rancidity, which is an amazing quality for a pantry item. Did I mention that it’s a near-perfect substitute in recipes for people with peanut allergies? Like some natural peanut butters, the oil will float to the top of your jar. Don’t worry about that; just mix it in and go on your merry, sesame-filled way.

  1. Let the battle of the canned chickpea hummus versus dried chickpea hummus (pictured) begin.
  2. Once you’ve conquered hummus, try it out in every single variation: Sour Cream and Onion Hummus, Buffalo Wing Hummus, Edamame Hummus and Green Herb Hummus.
  3. Pickled jalapenos and guava jam stuffed into Black Bean Hummus and Gouda Grilled Cheese is a flavor explosion of the best kind.
  4. A tofu twist on classic falafel, Tofu Edamame Falafel, Tofu Tahini with pickled shallots makes for lovely hors d’oeuvres.
  5. Lamb’s earthy flavors pair well with the bright, garlicky sauce in Nigella Lawson’s Lamb with Spinach and Garlicky Tahini Sauce.

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25 Ways to Use Chorizo

Chorizo Fundido

Beery Chorizo Queso Fundido

Just as the hot dog is an American classic, chorizo is a traditional favorite in Spain, Portugal and Mexico. And just as hot dog styles (red hots versus NYC-style versus all-beef versus pork-beef combo versus skinless — you see my point) vary throughout the country, the ingredients in chorizo vary depending on the part of the world you’re in.

The staple ingredients of this dry-cured (read: ready-to-eat) sausage in Spain are pork, garlic and paprika. Chorizo in La Rioja, in the north of Spain, contains both sweet and hot paprika, while chorizo in Andalusia, in the south of Spain, contains black pepper, cloves and dry white wine along with the standard ingredients.

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