Michele Bachmann, a butcher's knife and some beef carcasses. No, really.
September 20th, 2011
07:45 PM ET
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Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Armed with a sharp knife, a protective smock and with 400-pound beef carcasses hanging around her, Michele Bachmann visited an Iowa meat plant on Tuesday and sliced through a slab while going for the kill over government regulations.

"One thing we learned today is that, in a company that has five or six employees, one employee is dedicated just to deal with government rules and government regulations," the Republican presidential candidate told employees and assembled media at the Amend Packing Co. in Des Moines.

Bachmann began the tour with a visual that, even her campaign acknowledged, would make for visually arresting images: the Republican presidential candidate walking through rows of hanging cattle – dead and skinned – then grabbing a knife to cut a long slab into manageable slices of beef.

"My grandfather owned a meat market here in Iowa," she said while measuring the size of her cuts.

"How many times do you have to re-sharpen?" she asked as her host – one of the plant's owners – sharpened her blade. "Is it the fat that dulls it or is it the muscle?"

Read Bachmann serves up irresistible 'red meat' headline

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Filed under: Campaign Trail

5@5 - Quickfire desserts from Top Chef's Gail Simmons
September 20th, 2011
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.

Sweet things come to those who wait. Food & Wine Magazine's Gail Simmons been one of the breakout stars of the Top Chef judging panel since the very first season back in 2006, and she's earned her just desserts with a hosting gig on a sweets-centric spin-off of the show, now entering its second season on Bravo.

The Canadian-born host doesn't just mug and "mmmmmmm!" for the camera; she's a bona-fide kitchen star with a culinary degree, plenty of restaurant and recipe development cred and a food memoir on the way in early 2012. This all adds up to pretty high expectations from her dinner guests, but Simmons doesn't break a sweat. Here are five quick, simple, crowd-pleasing solutions for a tasty end to any celebration.

Your time starts...NOW!

Five Quickfire Dessert Ideas: Gail Simmons

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Filed under: 5@5 • Gail Simmons • Make • Recipes • Sweet • Think • Top Chef

Box lunch: Lynyrd Skynyrd's BBQ debut and a fond farewell to Captain Tumor Man
September 20th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Free bird? Naw - you're still gonna have to pay for that pulled chicken. Lynyrd Skynyrd to open a BBQ restaurant in Vegas. - Las Vegas Sun

  • I tried to dry it, but it just went moldy. Why moisture is the enemy. - Well Preserved

  • Meat, poultry and egg producers agree - no fee. For them at least. They'd like to pass the food safety inspection costs on to consumers. - Food Safety News

  • On cooking all pretty for the camera and still being able to afford a a tipple with dinner. - Crasstalk

  • When "Twitter feed" takes on a whole new meaning – cooking in a digital world. - Food 52

  • Last call for beloved wine world figure Joe Dressler, the self-titled "Captain Tumor Man" who lost his battle with cancer, and kept everyone laughing to the very end. - Louis/Dressler


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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Thirsty? That'll be $12,000 a shot
September 20th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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It may be the most expensive drink ever.

A Chinese businessman has put down a deposit of $79,400 ($100,000 Singapore) on a bottle of Scotch whisky that goes for $200,000 ($250,000 Singapore). The 62-year-old bottle of Dalmore single malt is one of only 12 produced, according to a report on ChannelNewsAsia.com.

The $200,000 bottle price amounts to about $12,000 per serving, the report said.

The bottle of whisky is still on display at a duty-free shop in Singapore's Changi Airport. The businessman put down the deposit with a bank transfer, an airport spokesman told ChannelNewsAsia.

The price breaks the retail record set by another bottle of the same brand three months ago, according to the Moodie Report. That bottle of Dalmore 64 sold in London for $188,000.

Read Bottle of whisky sells for $200,000

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Filed under: Sip • Spirits • Weird News

September 20th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Gather around the punch bowl, a different kind of water cooler– September 20 is National Punch Day!

You can skip straight to the punchline today. Whether you like it spiked or as innocent as a high school homecoming, punch has been a catch-all beverage since the 1600s.

Originally, punch, known as "panch" in Hindi, "panj" in Persian or "panchan" in Sanskrit (all words meaning "five"), was made with alcohol, sugar, lemon juice, water and tea or spices. The British developed their popular Wassail, created around a wine or brandy base, but once Jamaican rum dropped on the scene circa 1655, modern punch was born. Naturally, today is also National Rum Punch Day.

Fruit punch was developed by soft drink manufacturers, although it doesn't have much to do with fruit in the first place. Different regions and cultures are famous for their own takes on punch, so try one of these 600 or one of the dozen vintage recipe in the gallery above.

We dare you to attempt Chatham Artillery Punch. According to Joe Odom, it's "seven parts liquor, three parts juice, whatever you have on hand on both counts." Drink up, and try to remember us in the morning.

Click through for 12 vintage punch recipes

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