5@5 - Food Network's Sandra Lee
October 25th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Halloween is a scary good time, that is unless you're futzing over the stove in preparation for a monster mash chez you.

Let's face it: being the (g)host with the most isn't exactly a painless task - and that's where Sandra Lee comes in.

Sandra Lee is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine and host Food Network’s Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals.

With a little lead time and a few spooktacular shortcuts, Sandra says you too can have the most coveted RIP…or RSVP…in town.

Five Semi-Homemade Tips for Hosting a Halloween Gathering: Sandra Lee

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Filed under: 5@5 • Celebrity Chefs • Sandra Lee • Think

Pumpkin shortage all patched up
October 25th, 2010
02:00 PM ET
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It may not be as all-American as apple pie, but for most, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without that other uniquely American treat - pumpkin pie.

But a wet summer and record rainfall in the central United States last year made that traditional dessert a lot harder to come by.

Suffering from three years of bad weather and low yields, canned pumpkin was getting scarce on many supermarket shelves, forcing pie bakers to scramble for the remaining cans, sometimes buying and selling them at inflated prices on eBay or trying to find a substitution for the orange “super food.”

“It’s been a difficult year,” says Evan Lunde, Marketing Manager for Libby’s Pumpkin. Libby’s Pumpkin, owned by Nestlé, grows and processes around ninety-five percent of all the canned pumpkin in the U.S.

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Filed under: Bite • Business and Farming News • Farms • Ingredients • News • Products

Lunchtime poll – road rations
October 25th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Pssst! Don't bust me to my bosses; I'm supposedly still on "vacation" and "relaxing," but I'm not especially gifted in either department. So as it happens, I've been trekking around the country to food conferences in Las Vegas and Oxford, Mississippi, talking with some of the most vibrant, intelligent, innovative chefs, writers, growers and enthusiasts in the country.

All that chatter gets a person awfully peckish, and of course the conversations inevitably conclude with, "So where are you eating after this?"

As professional food folks, the instinct tends to be toward seeking out local flavor - the specialty of the city, the only-in-insert-city-here experience. It's equal parts enjoyment and trainspotting, but in this case it led me to closet full of salumi and brain-smashing Tiki quaffs in the middle of the desert, as well as gas station chicken in Faulkner country and BBQ spaghetti and bologna near the home of The King.

I'll be back at my desk tomorrow, once again standing behind Eliot Spitzer in the CNN Cafeteria lunch line. In the meantime, my heart will still be back on Elvis Presley Boulevard, deep-fried and served with a slather of sauce and a side of neon slaw.

Box lunch
October 25th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Cobia? Cuttlefish? Black drum? In the name of "sustainability," some unlikely fish are becoming menu staples. - Wall Street Journal

  • Tom Colicchio says he will not open any more Craft restaurants. “The assumption is that it's a chain, and that dilutes the brand.” - Crain's

  • It's a burger blast! Australian police are on the search for a man that detonated a device in a McDonald's toilet. - Herald Sun

  • Some D.C. public schools are now serving free dinner to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. - Mother Nature Network

  • Korea is in a pickle with its kimchi shortage, but it isn't the only country with a staple food in crisis. - The Guardian
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

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