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Debi Mazar’s Mother’s Day Celebration

Our life is a freight train — a constant grind of family, jobs, chores and occasional headaches, just like everybody else’s life. Being that we live in New York City, this is somewhat amplified by the “concrete jungle” and the city’s never-ending buzz. This is not our house in Fiesole, Italy, where we can find peace by taking a walk in the olive orchard, or by simply sitting on a tree stump and waiting to spot a deer, pheasant or hare.

What works for Debi and me is to gift each other with free time: One of us takes care of it all, and the other one takes care of himself or herself. It does not sound as romantic as it is; our lifetime is always running too fast, and this is the only way we can find a pause.

Mother’s Day is one of those calendar events that is, for our family, as important as Christmas, and the girls and I always end up having a blast celebrating “Debina.”

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Why Gabriele Corcos Thinks Olive Oil is Liquid Gold

I grew up in a family of many religions, where Jewish and Catholic faith was blended accordingly. On top of that, my father is a surgeon and a researcher in the medical field, which allows him to find escape and comfort in alien-driven evolutionary theories, Aztec and Mayan end-of-the-world predictions, with a very peculiar result: Our calendar is a real mess!

I have always celebrated religious holidays with the utmost respect and truly profound conviction, even when Passover really messed up with Easter; if dad was on Passover there were no cakes or bread in the house, but if Easter overlapped, how could I enjoy a slice of colomba cake?

It was not always easy.

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Tips and Tricks for a Satisfying Dinner Salad

Salads can be an easy, healthy choice for dinner, as they simply require some basic chopping and mixing (easy) of a heap of vegetables (healthy). The best way to get enough heft from a dinner salad is obvious: Add protein. But when you want a vegetarian dinner salad, it gets a little trickier. Here are the top secrets for making a satisfying salad:

1. Start with hearty greens. Kale, broccoli rabe and spinach are nutrient-packed and substantial alternatives to lettuce. Massaging tougher greens with oil and lemon juice breaks down the thick fibers, making them a manageable base for any toppings.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: Debi & Gabriele’s Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen

Extra Virgin Cookbook As any fan of Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin knows, for stars Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, a great passion for food and their love for one another are intimately intertwined. Their new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen (on sale May 6, 2014), paints a road map of their romance through recipes – the fried squash blossoms Gabriele made for Debi on their first date; the farro salad Gabriele’s mother made for Debi upon their first meeting – offering as many glimpses into their warm lives as authentic Italian dishes. As Debi puts it in the book’s introduction, in “meeting and falling for Gabriele, I discovered how much great food also comes from a desire to feed the ones you love.”

As their story goes, Gabriele introduced Debi to the fresh, produce-driven dishes and rustic cooking style from his native Tuscany, and together they celebrate a bicoastal, bicontinental fusion of Tuscan influence, California freshness and Debi’s New York heritage in their cooking. They happily spoil loved ones (most especially daughters Evelina and Giulia) with inspired, flavorful meals and encourage viewers (and now readers) to do the same. Start with the Heirloom Tomato Caprese shown on the cover, and make your way through to understated Mascarpone and Amaretti Cups for dessert. The chapters are cleanly organized in the order you’d consume the dishes: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Salads, Meat, Fish and so on (Gabriele is such a fan that risotto has its own dedicated section) so you can easily mix and match courses in your own Tuscan buffet.

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11 Best Video Games About Food

Video games are usually about muscular mercenaries fighting off bands of blood-thirsty aliens or not-so muscular plumbers fighting off bands of anthropomorphic turtles. However, once in a while games are released in which food is the primary concern. Here is a list of the best video games based on culinary delights.

11 Best Video Games About Food

Your Favorite Foodie Instagrams

After our initial post of Favorite Foodie Instagrams last week, we were happily inundated with suggestions for other great food ’grammers to follow and were overwhelmed by the beautiful, drool-inducing photos on those accounts. Because we love nothing more than viewer feedback on our posts (note: mostly when positive!), here are a few more awesome foodie Instagram accounts, suggested by you!

Let Me Eat Cake

The battle cry of this ’grammer’s name is one we can get behind, and the luxurious photos of pies, ice cream and cakes will have your sweet tooth buzzing. Nastassia is a queen of all things sugary sweet, and we’re happy to support her reign.

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Powdered Alcohol Just Got Approved For Sale By the Government

If there’s one thing we can all get behind is the idea that alcohol is simply not portable enough. Sure, you can fill up an ironically decorated flask, but who has the pocket space in today’s day and age? No, liquid alcohol simply won’t do. There must be another form, some other way to do it. Well, consider your wish granted, introducing powdered alcohol.

The appropriately named Palcohol just got approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau so it should start appearing on liquor store shelves shortly. It works just like the juice mix. You add water and then stir. Soon you’ll be drunker than good ole Uncle Ernie at a family gathering. Just keep the ranting to a minimum.

What possible uses does this have over traditional alcohol? Well, if you were an unsavory type, you could sneak some in to the ballgame and save yourself from spending $15-20 per drink. Not saying you are an unsavory, but if you are that would do nicely. Oh yeah. It’s also lighter so you can jog with it stuffed in your wallet. There’s always that.

25 Ways to Use Matzo

Have you already run out of Passover-friendly meals and never want to see another piece of brisket again? (Okay, maybe just one more slice). To help you avoid the Passover food rut and the twice-a-day matzo pizza, we’ve gathered recipes to fill your 8 days of unleavened bread. Because you can really only eat so much matzo ball soup before becoming an actual matzo ball.

  1. Matzo Brei is a mix between French toast and scrambled eggs in the best sort of way. You can go sweet and add some cinnamon and sugar while you scramble, or go savory with Matzo Brei with Creamed Spinach and Crispy Onions.
  2. Up the ante in the search for the afikomen, a game played during the Passover Seder, by hiding Chocolate Coconut Matzo Bark (pictured above) instead of a plain piece of matzo.
  3. Matzo meal, finely crushed pieces of matzo, is a game-changer during Passover. Although pretty bland on its own, matzo meal is the base for delicious dishes like Matzo Apple Tea Cakes.
  4. Matzo farfel is a Passover-friendly egg pasta dough (often sold pre-made) that is mainly used in kugel, soups and side dishes, but it can also be used to make Chocolate Matzo Farfel Haystacks, an easy sweet treat.
  5. These ain’t your grandmas’ matzo ball soup recipes: Bobby Flay adds flair to Throwdown’s Matzo Ball Soup with the addition of jalapenos. You can also go the mushroom route with Truffled, Shiitake Matzo Ball Soup and gribenes, the kosher version of pork rinds. Alternatively, Sephardic Chicken Soup with Sofrito and Herbed Matzo Balls give matzo balls a saffron makeover.

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Crazy Food Experiments in Movies

In the immortal words of some random scientist, “Don’t just play with your food, experiment with it!” It’s with that spirit that we present to you the greatest, wackiest and just plain tastiest experiments with food in the history of cinema.

Pictures: 10 Craziest Food Experiments in Movies

Spring Fest: 5 Kid-Friendly Cupcakes

Cupcakes, when you get down to it, are just cakes sized for kids. And some of the best cupcake flavors — including strawberry — are at their peak in spring. Give in to sweet temptation with these spring cupcake recipes that appeal to kids of all ages. A few are even decorated with seasonal, floral accents, making them ideal for a spring garden party.

1. Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes
Perfect for a spring party or birthday celebration, these cupcakes hold an unexpected burst of strawberry frosting inside, not just on top. The inviting pink hue is all natural — the jewel-colored berries mean that no food coloring is needed.

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