Livin' la vida Four Loko
November 17th, 2010
11:59 PM ET
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Disclaimer: No editors were harmed in the making of this blog post. ... Except maybe their egos.

In the name of journalism and science, I - or more specifically, my liver - am taking one for the team.

Wednesday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration announced the results of its safety review of caffeinated alcohol drinks, and whether or not to ban them. The announcement came with increasing pressure after a media firestorm erupted in October because nine students at Central Washington University were hospitalized after consuming the caffeinated alcoholic beverage, Four Loko.

According to the the CNN Wire Staff:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the manufacturers of seven caffeinated alcoholic beverages Wednesday that their drinks are a "public health concern" and can't stay on the market in their current form.

"FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is 'generally recognized as safe,' which is the legal standard," Sharfstein told reporters. "To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern."

Thus far, Michigan, Oklahoma, New York, Washington and Utah have taken action to remove the drink from state stores. Eatocracy's own home base of New York will stop receiving shipments of the controversial "blackout in a can" on December 10.

With the impending Food and Drug Administration ban, Phusion Products, the beverage company behind Four Loko released the following statement late Tuesday evening:

Phusion Projects today announced the company’s intent to reformulate its products to remove caffeine, guarana and taurine nationwide, saying it has taken the necessary steps to do so and is informing its employees and distributors of the plans. Going forward, Phusion will produce only non-caffeinated versions of Four Loko.

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5@5 – Claire Robinson
November 17th, 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.

Claire Robinson is the host of Food Network's "5 Ingredient Fix," in which she does just that - creating enticing recipes using five ingredients or fewer. Each element stands out and shines through, and allows for a major trim-down on prep time.

During a busy, pricey holiday season, most folks need all the extra time and cash they get get. With Ms. Robinson on your side, the fix is in.

Five Ingredients (or Tips) for a Fantastic Thanksgiving Fix: Claire Robinson
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Filed under: 5@5 • Cooking • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Make • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving • Think


Lunchtime poll – holding back on the holidays
November 17th, 2010
12:45 PM ET
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'Tis the season for a food editor's inbox to fill up with press releases about slimming down Thanksgiving staples and holding back at holiday dinners. We'll say this about that: we're a food blog - not a diet blog, and unless you plan on having Uncle Merv jam a foie gras gavage funnel down your throat so you can ingest more giblet gravy, chances are this one meal probably isn't going to undo you.

So far as we're gonna tell you, use real butter, don't skimp with skim and by all means, nibble that crispy skin. Just eat sensibly at the non-Big Event meals and don't make your guests have to pretend to relish abstemious gravy and stingily-sweetened pumpkin pie.

We're not advocating gluttony but for this one day, relax, enjoy, indulge and give thanks for a gracious plenty. The gym will still be there tomorrow - just perhaps a tad more crowded.

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Filed under: Buzz • Holidays • Lunchtime Poll • Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving for two
November 17th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Over the next nine days – including yes, the very day of – we'll be sharing our time-tested hosting tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities (that's always fun, right?), hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Thanksgiving with a confident smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on the other side with your sanity intact.

There’s a bicycle built for two; two for tea (and tea for two); and everyone knows it takes two to tango – so what about a Thanksgiving feast for two?

CNN.com writer Lisa Respers France recently submitted this Turkey Day quandary to Eatocracy:

"Love Thanksgiving, but a bird seems wasteful for just the two of us and we are too far from family to just hop over and share a meal with them. Minus begging an invite from friends or trying to find folks to come over and eat with us to justify a huge meal, what are some alternatives for a couple who don’t want to settle for a rotisserie chicken this year?"

If anything, we are not afraid to be servicey - especially in the ever-dwindling days leading up to the big feast.

Point blank: you are not responsible for whipping up cranberry chutney for ten if there are only two of you this year. You can have your turkey and roast it too, without skimping on the fixings and gobbling up refrigerator space. Here’s how:
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