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Happy 4th Birthday, Cooking Channel!

Oh, how the time flies: Today, Cooking Channel turns 4 (!!), and it’s wild to think how much we’ve grown over the last several years. We launched in 2010 as a network (and website) filled with passionate Food People seeking to explore the unconventional, dig into global cuisines and uncover hidden gems. And now that we’re past our toddler years, we can look back on our bounty of new shows and stars, Web-original video series, growing recipe library, and unique food and lifestyle stories, knowing we’ve done just that.

And yet we’ve only scratched the surface. This year, we launched our Adventures in Cooking package: a collection of fun weekend cooking projects for the curious cooks and food geeks who dominate the Food People sector. (We’re talking fermenting kimchi, making bacon from scratch and crafting some seriously creative cakes.) We dug into Dumplings Around the World in honor of the Olympics, made magic fairy dust out of pizza and pastrami (OK, spice mixes that taste just like pizza and pastrami), mashed up your favorite comfort foods and gave you the most epic game plan, ever, for your Super Bowl or game-day party. Speaking of parties: We continue to share the best tips, decorating ideas and recipes for all your entertaining needs. From a last-minute holiday cocktail party to a casual Mediterranean summer fete, our Party in Five series has you covered.

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Teenaged Chef Sells Out His 11-Course Tasting Menu

What were you doing when you were fifteen years old? Maybe you were smoking cigarettes and complaining about the opposite sex. Maybe you were reading Catcher in the Rye and getting annoyed at phonies. Maybe you were still watching cartoons. You probably weren’t creating world class cuisine in New York City. Flynn McGarry, who is fifteen, just did exactly that.

McGarry has been operating a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles called Eureka for the past year. He just brought his grub to the West Village in NYC, selling out 100 seats a night. The chef has never been formally trained, but that didn’t stop him from serving up glazed green mussels with Thai curry, grilled scallop with Champagne-fermented turnips and, of course, langoustine tartare served with an emulsion made from the head of said crustacean. The pop-up was a huge success and word is he’ll be back in September.

Also, to answer the question everybody is thinking, McGarry chooses the the wine pairings by smelling them, being as how it is illegal for a fifteen year old to imbibe.

Signed Cookbook Giveaway: G. Garvin’s Dining In


On Road Trip with G. Garvin (tune in tomorrow, 5/21, at 9pm for the Season 3 premiere), host Gerry (“G.”) Garvin travels the country finding the best Southern cuisine — in and outside of the American South. But when he’s off the clock and not on the road, G. prefers to spend time at home in Atlanta, where he loves preparing intimate meals for friends and family. In his book Dining In, G. shares that love of entertaining with readers, showing them how simple tricks can be employed to give easy recipes a bit of a gourmet edge.

To G., difficult does not necessarily mean better, and ambiance, plating skills and the wine you serve alongside your meal are deemed equally important. He shares his tips on mastering these hosting skills in the book’s introduction before diving into his approachable recipes that are chaptered by ingredient type (pasta, chicken, meats, seafood), cooking styles (braises, grilling) and some niche passions (gourmet sandwiches, oodles of desserts). G. arms readers with more than 150 recipes to prove to them that preparing a special meal at home can be more rewarding — and more celebratory — than eating at any restaurant. Likewise, everyday meals (such as the simply prepared fish tacos featured above) can be prepared in under 30 minutes, trumping takeout and letting fresh ingredients shine through.

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How to Get all the Fiber You Need Each Day

Fiber’s not the sexiest nutrient, conjuring images, as it does, of Metamucil and heavy bran muffins. But there are plenty of exciting ways to get fiber in your diet, and good reasons to do so. It’s filling, it lowers your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and it helps keep you regular — sexy, no?

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25 Ways to Use Coffee for Mother’s Day

Moms are the toughest cookies out there. They manage to do everything and still have time to hang with the kids. How does she do it? No one really knows, but it starts with a cup of coffee. In honor of all the superhero moms running on coffee and love alone, I bring you coffee-filled recipes that are sure to please.

A few of these recipes call of instant espresso powder, which is a type of quick-dissolving coffee crystals. Check your grocery store; they’re often in the coffee section in little glass jars. Instant espresso is richer and darker than instant coffee, but you can use the coffee in a pinch — just add 1 1/2 times the amount of espresso called for.

This Mother’s Day treat your mom to something special, but first make sure she’s caffeinated.

  1. Turn your kitchen into a French bistro with Laura Calder’s Coffee Eclairs (filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a coffee glaze.) Get crazy with your eclairs and fill them with Coffee Pastry Cream instead.
  2. The dieting mom’s delight: Coffee Angel Food Cake (pictured above) with sweet coffee glaze.
  3. It’s a dessert and a cocktail at the same time, Giada’s Mexican Coffee is a drink your multitasking mom would be proud of.
  4. Take the ultimate combo of Coffee and Doughnuts to the next level. This doughnut dough proofs twice for ultra light texture, just be sure to start this project a few hours before you want to eat.
  5. So your mom’s more into savory? Singaporean Coffee Ribs are the way to go. Marinated and then fried, these ribs are tossed in a coffee-oyster sauce glaze and finished with some ground cinnamon. Nom.

    Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Coffee for Mother’s Day

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.

Continue Reading Why Gabriele Corcos Thinks Olive Oil is Liquid Gold

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.

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

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

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