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Introducing Somabar, The Robot Bartender For the Home

There will come a day, as seen in every sci-fi movie ever, in which humans are no longer needed in the workforce, permanently replaced by robots. Help speed the dystopia along by pre-ordering this spiffy robot bartender.

The Somabar, currently funding on Kickstarter, is an all-in-one robot bartender for the home. You just pop in the ingredients you want and let the machine do the rest. It connects to the Internet, so the list of available cocktails is constantly updated. Never again will you have to suffer through the humiliation of having to lift a spoon to mix something by hand.

Somabar has already blown through its initial funding amount, so this thing will see the light of day. Of course, if you get weepy and start crying about your ex to this bartender, it probably won’t give you any advice.

31 Days of Cookies: Warm Chewy Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies

How did the nut of Australian origin and Hawaiian proliferation come to marry the cocoa-free chocolate as a high-profile flavor combo? We’re not certain, but we’re not complaining. Partake in the 28th day of cookies with this tender, chewy take on the sweet, nutty cookies.

Click here for the Warm Chewy Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Gluten-Free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies

On the 27th day of cookies, our guest blogger proves that gluten-free cookies can hold their own in the dessert spread.

The inspiration for my Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies was the holiday spirit — or spirits — so present throughout the season. And while cocktails abound, booze goes a long way toward successful holiday baking too. Vodka renders pie crusts impossibly flaky; brandy or rum gives cakes a crumb so moist and heady that dessert lovers may need a designated driver; and a tablespoon of any liquor will forever transform the way you look at cookies. (Because we’re talking about gluten-free baking here, just make sure to grab a gluten-free vodka or brandy in lieu of the traditional 40 proof.)

I was inspired by my grandmother’s hazelnut bacci when I started developing these gluten-free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies. I used whole eggs and eliminated any trace of nuts by using my gluten-free cookie flour blend. I added a tablespoon of vodka to the dough and refrigerated it overnight so the sugars could absorb all the liquid. The end result? A chocolate cookie with a crunchy outer rim and a soft, supple center. Sandwich two with the chocolate ganache filling for a very seasonally appropriate splurge.

Click here for the Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Karen Morgan is the founder of the beloved gluten-free Blackbird Bakery in Austin, Texas, and is the author of two cookbooks on matter:  Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free and The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free, which feature her new line of gluten-free flour blends.

KFC Russia Embraces the Chopstick With New Teriyaki Menu

In other parts of the world, KFC has strayed pretty far from their fried poultry-based roots (Japanese locations even have deep-fried soup.) Now KFC Russia is gathering up new menu items that will probably never see the light of the day in the west. They’ve gone full-on teriyaki.

The new line is chock-full of teriyaki-based items, from rice bowls to salads to wraps. The star ingredient looks to be just your average fried-chicken chunks rolled around in sauce and sesame seeds, but they are certainly upping the curiosity factor by stocking chopsticks. That’s right. People in Russia can stroll on down to their local KFC and eat their dinner with chopsticks. The world is a magical and mysterious place.

When will the rest of the world get to chomp down on KFC’s attempt at Japanese food? There has been nothing announced, but keep your chopsticks sharp anyways.

25 Ways to Use Soy Sauce

A standard addition to stir fry and Chinese take-out, soy sauce is a great way to bring umami to the table. A little bit of soy sauce goes a long way in flavoring marinades, brines and all sorts of dipping sauces.

Soy sauce is a condiment that has been used since about 300 A.D. The standard bottle of soy sauce you’ll usually find in the international section of the grocery store is a Japanese “dark” soy sauce. Mirin, a sweet rice wine, is added to soy sauce to create a “light” variety which is slightly sweeter. There are also “light” and “dark” Chinese varieties of soy sauce that can be found in some specialty Asian markets.

Most soy sauce is made with wheat in addition to soybeans, but tamari is made with little to no wheat, and many brands offer completely gluten-free tamari. A gluten- and soy-free soy sauce substitute is coconut aminos, which tastes similarly to soy sauce but is made from coconut tree sap.

Store unopened soy sauce in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store soy sauce in the refrigerator. Because soy sauce (even the reduced sodium kind) contains so much salt, go easy on seasoning when you use it and make sure to taste it as you cook to avoid a salt overload.

Instead of ordering in this week get soy-sauce savvy with these 25 recipes.

  1. Try making your Chinese food craving at home. It’s healthier than ordering in and fun to experiment with new ingredients in the kitchen. General Tso’s Chicken, crispy and coated in a sweet sauce, is a great place to start.
  2. Soy sauce balances out a sweet BBQ sauce in Kelsey Nixon’s Roasted Pork Loin with Peach BBQ Sauce. Use fresh or frozen peaches depending on the season.
  3. Add tons of flavor to weeknight classic Tuna Noodle Casserole (pictured) by cooking mushrooms and onions with sherry and soy sauce, which brighten up a sometimes-flavorless dish.
  4. Eat delicious, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs any time of year with the help of your slow cooker. After the Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Ribs come out of the slow cooker, crisp them up underneath the broiler or on the grill.
  5. Crunchy and slightly sweet, Coconut Shrimp with Peanut Sauce is irresistible. Use canola or peanut oil for deep frying, as they have higher smoke points than other oil like olive oil.

    Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Soy Sauce

31 Days of Cookies: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Much a we complain that nothing is in season during brutal winter months, that isn’t the case at all. Citrus, including perky meyer lemon, is best in chilly months. So for the 26th day of cookies, we’re celebrating vitamin C with 5-star meyer lemon cookies, spiced with cardamom and ideal for a calm post-party tea session.

Click here for the Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

This Beer Tells You When You’ve Reached Your Creative Peak

It’s something of an open secret that people are more creative after a few sips of the ole ‘work juice.’ However, tis a fine line between excess creativity and excess alcohol consumption. A Danish brewery is attempting to help people skate right on that line, without ever falling off.

Rocket Brewing, along with a marketing agency called CP+B Copenhagen, has just unveiled a new beer called The Problem Solver, which attempts to solve the problem of keeping people drunk but not too drunk. The companies cite a study in which it is suggested that peak human creativity is attained at 0.075 blood alcohol content. Thus, every bottle of this 7.1 percent India Pale Ale comes outfitted with a drinking guide. It uses sex and weight to ascertain when you should stop drinking, so you can finally finish that novel instead of just texting sad faces to your ex-spouses.

Of course, this assumes one would stop drinking as soon as they get their creative buzz on. Ten thousand years of human history says otherwise.

Brunch Rush! Croque Monsieur Frittata

 

A croque monsieur is pretty much the perfect brunch food. It’s hearty. It’s crispy. It’s covered in cheese sauce. Its one Achilles heel, however, is how time-consuming it can be to prepare. If you’re making just two or four, it’s not so bad. But what happens when you’re cooking for eight or 10 people? The inclination to stand over a stove and griddle sandwiches for the better part of the morning suddenly seems a far less appealing proposition.

Instead, let’s take all of those delicious flavors and bake them into a frittata. A frittata covered with cheese sauce. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Continue Reading Brunch Rush! Croque Monsieur Frittata

31 Days of Cookies: Spritz Cookies

Merry Christmas from Cooking Channel! There’s no better way to celebrate the 25th day of cookies than with these classic, simple Christmas treats of German origin. Almond paste imbues the cookies with a subtle nutty flavor and makes the dough smoother — ideal for creating festive shapes in a spritz press. Sprinkle them with colored sugars to dress the plain cookies up for the holiday.

Click here for the Spritz Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Here is a Drone That Delivers Coffee to Your Desk

Many people predict that drones, tiny helicopters that fly about automatically, are going to be a fixture in the very near future. A slew of companies, including Amazon, are working on their own variations on the concept. One such company in Amsterdam, however, may have them all beat. They designed a drone that delivers coffee.

A tech firm called Purrontwerp & Skeyework are behind the Coffee Copter — and what a copter it is. If you work in a building that employs this technology, all you have to do is order a coffee and then wait as that delicious caffeine is flown to you posthaste. You won’t ever have to lift a muscle, which is good because muscles are heavy. A constantly evolving 3-D algorithm ensures the drone doesn’t bump into anyone or cause any trouble while it’s traveling and it also has a built-in stabilizer so it doesn’t waste any of that liquid gold.

The company is currently looking for investors so they can enter the manufacturing phase, but for now they have a working prototype set up in their own office space. The rest of us will have to get our coffee the old-fashioned way, by sending an intern out to get it.

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