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Hump Day Snack: Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs

Sometimes on these hot, muggy summer days, even firing up the outdoor grill can seem impossible. Keep the grilling spirit alive in a remarkably cooler with this DIY Watermelon Grill with Fruit Kabobs. Summer’s perfect fruit comes in many shapes and sizes, but for this crowd-pleaser, a round watermelon about the size of a small soccer ball is ideal. Use a melon-baller to hollow it out, saving the sweet spheres for pretty, petite fruit kabobs. Wooden skewers pushed through the halved melon create the grill’s grates, while blackberries or other dark-hued berries play the role of the charcoal underneath. Use stalks of celery or carrots to fashion a base, so the grill stands upright, and chop chunks of your favorite fruits (like pineapples, strawberries or peaches) to complete the fruit kabobs on top. It’s a sure-fire way to heat things up for summer – no open flames, smokers or grilling tools required.

For more ways to celebrate summer without firing up the barbeque, check out some of Cooking Channel’s fruity favorites:

Hump Day Snack: Cherry Clafoutis

Every year, ten days after America’s birthday, we again celebrate the red, white and blue, this time for Bastille Day, the French national holiday that marks the storming of the Bastille prison and the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Celebrate a few days early with the ultra-seasonal Cherry Clafoutis, a baked French dessert typically made with black cherries covered in a thick batter. The traditional method calls for whole, unpitted cherries because when cooked, the pits release an almond essence into the dish, but feel free to remove the pits (or even swap in plums, apples or pears). The rich, custard-like batter is made on the stovetop with eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla, then poured over the cherries and baked until golden brown. Finish it off with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, pop open a bottle of champagne and channel your inner Francophile. Bon appetit!

Round out your traditional French menu with these classic recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Brazilian Papaya Rolls Compote

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has a little something for everyone, whether your eye is on the soccer ball or the players kicking it around. Since Brazil is the host nation, there’s also plenty for those more interested in the food and cocktails (looking at you, caipirinhas).

Continue Reading Hump Day Snack: Brazilian Papaya Rolls Compote

Hump Day Snack: BBQ Cupcakes for Father’s Day

Barbecue Cupcakes

If your dad’s perfect Father’s Day is spent lording over an open flame with beer in hand, honor him with one of the manliest treats around: a frosted cupcake. Kidding aside, these aren’t just any cupcakes. They’re flame-jumping, steak-searing, barbecue-revering replicas of a piping hot grill. After baking classic chocolate cupcake recipe, spear some gummy kebabs and mini chocolate “patties” over a flaming twirl of orange frosting flames. It’s a mighty fitting end to a day of grilling.

For more ways to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, check out these dad-friendly recipes from Cooking Channel:

Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Chili Rub
Fried Chicken
Blackberry-Bourbon Iced Tea

Hump Day Snack: Dude Food Magic Bars

Instead of the standards found in typical seven-layer bars, swap in some unexpected salty ingredients for the perfect balance of flavor all in one scrumptious little square. This recipe for Dude Food Magic Bars uses crushed pretzels for the crust, then layers crisp bacon crumbles, dark chocolate, peanut butter chips and crushed potato chips. Pour a creamy, salted caramel sauce over the layers and bake the bars until golden brown and bubbly. If you can stand the suspense, wait until the bars are cool, cut into squares, and then top them off with a sprinkle of crushed potato chips for a crunchy, salty finish. And don’t be shy — you can get creative with other ingredients like nuts or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a customized version of this decadent and dude-a-licious dessert.

For more wildly wonderful recipes, take a look at some of Cooking Channel’s favorite salty-sweet snacks:

Hump Day Snack: Boozy Butterscotch Cinnamon Roll Cake

Mom deserves more than standard brunch fare on Mother’s Day. This gorgeous towering Boozy Butterscotch Cinnamon Roll Cake combines cocktails, sweets and breakfast into one impressive dish, with the swirl-topped look of a bouquet of flowers. To assemble it, slather each fragrant layer of sponge cake with whipped cream and then sprinkle them with crushed brown sugar meringues for an added crunch. Don’t stop there! Place a batch of your favorite homemade cinnamon rolls on top of the entire cake, and instead of icing, prepare the butterscotch sauce, using bourbon, brown sugar and golden syrup. Let that glaze drip down the sides of the cake, then finish it all off with a generous handful of chopped pecans for a crunch.

Good luck topping it next year.

Round out your Mother’s Day brunch with these recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Devil’s Fire Cupcakes

It’s Hot + Spicy Week on Cooking Channel. So let the bright candy flames be your fair warning: these innocent-looking chocolate cupcakes have a devilish side. Disguised with a shiny chocolate ganache, this recipe for Devil’s Fire Chocolate Cupcakes sizzles with a handful of minced habaneros – the petite orange chile peppers that pack an unbeatably spicy punch. When eaten, the cupcakes leave a tingly sensation on the tip of your tongue, similar to the sweet heat of cinnamon red hot candies. Use food coloring and your favorite recipe for royal icing to create the fiery decorations to place on top of the cupcakes. If you still haven’t had enough, add the habanero seeds to the batter to satisfy the most daring heat-seekers of them all.

For more sure-fire ways to sneak some heat into your sweets, check out some of Cooking Channel’s favorite spicy treats:

Hump Day Snack: Fictitious Dishes

 

Culinary moments in literature can be as unforgettable as the stories themselves. From the mad tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to the lavish buffet-dinner spread in The Great Gatsby, rich food descriptions draw the reader in, conveying the personalities of characters and helping bring the scene to life.  Channel your inner bookworm and satisfy your appetite with Dinah Fried’s new photography book, Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals. Pulled from nearly 200 years of celebrated fiction, Fried’s book features photographs of recreated meals and table settings, like the chicken dish from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and the gruel that led Oliver Twist to beg a second helping. Each photograph has an accompanying excerpt from its novel, making it a full meal of literary deliciousness.

 

You can find more photos from Dinah Fried’s book here, or check out Cooking Channel’s take on your favorite foods in fiction:

Hump Day Snack: Lemon-Lavender Champage Cake

Had enough of marshmallow cream eggs, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans? Impress your guests and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth this Easter Sunday with this stunning Lemon Lavender Champagne Cake.  To save time, use boxed lemon cake mix for the base, then whip up a pretty, pastel buttercream frosting using lemon juice, lavender extract and purple food coloring – but don’t forget the bubbly! The recipe calls for a generous, celebratory dose of champagne in both the cake mix and the frosting, leaving just enough for an Easter toast. Assemble the cake using four layers of cake and frosting, and cover the top and bottom edges with a ring of colorful, candy-coated sunflower seeds for the perfect ending to your Easter feast and the ultimate dessert pairing for after-dinner sparkling wine. Cheers!

Get inspired with more of Cooking Channel’s festive Easter treats:

Hump Day Snack: Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Cookies

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or on the wrong side of the wall,) you probably know that HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones premiered its fourth season on Sunday, snagging a jaw-dropping 6.6 million viewers (and the network’s most-watched episode accolade from the 2007 Sopranos finale). Celebrate the new season of Game of Thrones — and yesterday’s announcement of two more seasons — with these stunning Dragon Egg Cookies that will transport you straight to the land of Westeros. Rows of scalloped edges, a textured bottom and a crafty coating of airbrush paint make the dragon eggs seem so lifelike, they may even hatch right in your kitchen.

Crack open a bottle of Fire & Blood Red Ale and round out your Game of Thrones-themed menu with these medieval munchies from Cooking Channel:

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