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Sifted: S’mores Cake Balls, Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes + More

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

1. Can’t wait for campfire season? Butterlust Blog rolls chocolate cake, graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow frosting into bite-size s’mores cake balls.

2. Piped full of banana custard and garnished with snappy chips, these banana cream cupcakes from Tidy Mom taste fantastically similar to the pie that inspired them.

3. Eclectic Recipes takes the good ol’ BLT sandwich up a notch with a runny egg and Sriracha-spiked aioli.

4. Spring is in full bloom and so are Bake Love Give’s gorgeous rose-shaped ombre cookies.

5. These chicken wings from Spoon Fork Bacon are juicy and flavor-packed, thanks to a tangy yogurt marinade and final dusting of smoked paprika.

Craving More?

Dinner Rush! Steak Sandwiches with Tomato Jam + Watercress

Look, I know what you’re thinking. “Tomato jam? In February?” Yes, tomato jam in February. February is, in fact, the perfect time to be enjoying this spread of the gods.

Being that they’re out of season in most of the U.S. right now, savoring the joy of the tomato usually means eating yellow-greenish slices of “meh.” They taste faintly of tomato but are missing the lavish pleasantries that a sun-soaked field in August may yield. By turning that tomato into a quick and flavorful jam, a bit of that sunshine will likely start creeping through the ice that may or may not be freezing your car doors shut at this very moment.

This tomato jam keeps well in the refrigerator and is a rock star addition to a simple seared chicken breast or some sauteed winter greens. Make yourself a double batch and see where your creativity takes you.

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The Muffuletta AKA The Ultimate Super Bowl Food AKA The Grandwich

What do you get when you stack two pounds of meat and cheese on a hero with pickled vegetable relish? Something glorious called the muffuletta, a Louisianan sandwich that’s massive enough to feed every friend at your Super Bowl party (or one friend and his/her pet grizzly bear). Take a few hours to lock your gaze on the spellbinding glory that is its construction:

Now copy these steps at home.

Get more Super Bowl party food and ideas from Cooking Channel.

Dinner Rush! Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

I remember being a kid and revering Halloween like it was the holiest possible day of the year. Sure the pumpkins and hay bales and fallen leaves were charming, but let’s get to it and bring on the candy, yo! Nothing says fall to a fourth-grader like the hazy sugar-coma afterglow of a well-guarded trick-or-treat haul (there’s just no WAY anyone will find this under my bed).

I also remember the 90 minutes or so before trick-or-treating commenced: complete pandemonium. Mom’s just getting home from work. Costumes need last-minute tailoring. Those darling but equally annoying toddlers dressed as insects or vegetables are getting the jump on the crowd with a 4:57pm door knock, and we know we’re supposed to have dinner but are just too freakin’ excited to get on with the candy hauling. Enter the old soup-and-sandwich standby. It’s simple, satisfying and lets everyone in the house just get on with what’s really important about October 31st: knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding free sugar.

Of course, growing up in Northern New York, it was mostly for naught anyway. I can count on two fingers the number of Halloween evenings that weren’t blanketed with snow. The impact and mystique of being a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (the red one, duh) is somehow lost underneath a winter jacket so thick that you can’t put your arms down.

Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

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Dinner Rush! Croque Madames

“I don’t like sandwiches for dinner,” he said. The clang of my dropped fork echoed my shock around the room. “What are you talking about, you don’t like sandwiches for dinner?! Everyone likes sandwiches for dinner!” Assuming the food-pushing spirit animal of an elderly family member, I had in an instant become that nagging, cantankerous aunt from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (you know, the one who insisted on making lamb).

Apparently, over the course of the time we’ve been together, my husband has suffered his way through all of the dinner sandwiches I’ve prepared, too bashful (or perhaps appreciative of the mealtime effort) to share his true feelings. Nine years of unannounced moderate dissatisfaction, too inconsequential to ever bring up for any real reason. (Side note: Burgers and Reubens don’t apply to this rule. Riddle me that one.)

Bound and determined to harmoniously unite one of my favorite food categories with his evening caloric consumption, I dug deep. Real deep. All the way back to France, y’all. Who — tell me, who — could possibly resist the feminine wiles of the croque madame?

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Dinner Rush! Grilled Ham & Gouda With Easter Veggies

Easter Levtovers Sandwich

My in-laws love Easter. The thought of budding flowers and warmer weather herald happy times for them. It’s the way they express their love for the season — a meal for five that could easily feed that many tenfold — that gets me onboard.

Whether celebrating a holiday or just another Saturday night, a meal with my chef father-in-law always means leftovers. I love it, don’t get me wrong! It’s just a matter of coming up with ways to use them all. The beautiful thing about his Easter meal is that everything is so simply prepared. A beautiful roasted ham (locally sourced from a Maryland farm just down the street from their house), lightly dressed green vegetables and a crisp white wine: It’s a blissful welcome to spring.

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Your Favorite Sandwich Revealed

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

To help kick off Sandwich Week on Cooking Channel, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite sandwich on our Pinterest page. The battle was heated, but in the end, Kelsey Nixon‘s  Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches pulled away as victorious.

Kelsey turns classic game day fare into a hearty sandwich. Slow-cooked chicken gets a fiery kick from an easy homemade Buffalo sauce, and is then topped with some cooling, creamy blue cheese aioli. It’s no surprise it stole the show.

Get the Recipe: Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Check out the runner-ups after the jump.

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Happy National Grilled Cheese Month


Happy National Grilled Cheese Month. Why does this food holiday fall in April, you ask. Why not? But do you really need an excuse to consume a buttery cheese-filled sandwich alongside a bowl of creamy tomato soup?

The grilled cheese is so much more than the single slice American cheese sandwiches of your elementary school days. Now you can find all sorts of cheeses, meats and even fruit in between slices of crispy bread. Here are a few of my favorites:

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13 Grilled Cheeses Gone in 60 Seconds

Kobayashi finishes 13 grilled cheese sandwiches in one minute

Photo Credit: James Martin, CBS Interactive

Warning: Do not try this at home!

Takeru Koboyashi broke a new record at SXSW on Monday when he ate 13 grilled cheese sandwiches in one minute. We’re not sure whether to be appalled or jealous, but it’s impressive nonetheless (especially considering the fact that he weighs in around 130 pounds).

In 2006, the Japanese competitor reached fame when he devoured 53.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the Nathan Hot Dog Eating Contest. He held the record for nearly six years and has been an ongoing source of controversy for the annual competition ever since. (Due to sponsorship disagreements, he refused to compete in 2010 and was arrested for jumping the stage at the event wearing a “Free Kobi” shirt. In 2011, he was taken down from Major League Eating’s Wall of Fame.) Who knew the food arena could be so scandalous?

Competitive eating is his sport, and there is a strategy behind each bite.  Kobayashi executed grilled cheese victory by dunking each sandwich into water before swallowing.  So while we are intrigued by his consumption capabilities, you can see why we don’t recommend following his footsteps. Grilled cheese sandwiches are too scrumptious to make soggy. They are meant to be savored, “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed.”

The video of Kobayashi’s win will likely ruin your appetite, but a glance over our collection will fix your grilled cheese craving in no time. These recipes will inspire you to expand your repertoire past American cheese and run to the store in search of some Brie. Or perhaps you’ll drop everything to caramelize some onions for a subtle hint of sweetness and texture. You really can’t go wrong with any of these mouthwatering cheese pairings. Add some bacon, we dare you.

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Super Bowl Sandwiches and Sliders

Cajun Shrimp Po Boy

Believe it or not, a sandwich might just be the perfect game-day food. It’s, generally speaking, pretty uncomplicated, allows for a limitless number of meat/veggie/spread combinations, and comes in a handy, hand-held, nothing-left-over format.

With Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, we’re pulling out the best Cooking Channel has to offer between two buns.

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