5@5 - Holiday baking tips
November 15th, 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.

Ah, the holidays. 'Tis the season when our normal activities multiply exponentially, and we cram them all into a few short weeks at warp speed.

Be different this year: be sweetly prepared. Take a new approach and think like a pastry chef à la Ann Kirk of Dominick's, Little Dom's and The 101 Coffee Shop.

Baking Tips to Make the Holiday Season as Easy as Pie: Ann Kirk

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Filed under: 5@5 • Baked Goods • HolidayShopping • Make • Recipes • Think

The kid with the stinky lunch
November 15th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and these next two weeks, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. Catch up on past coverage and stay tuned for the live blog from our Secret Supper in Chicago on Wednesday night starting at 6:00 CT.

When you're all grown up and on your own and have lived a bit of life, it's easier to find peace with your weirdness. All those little and large things that set you apart as a child - your goofy-looking nose, talent for playing bassoon or obsession with the insides of small electronic devices - are what make you the gorgeous, fascinating, resilient adult you are today.

Back then, though, kids may not have been so kind. Conformity is key in formative years - it teaches us all to walk on the right, chew with our mouths closed and remain reasonably clothed in public places. But it can have a cruel edge if wielded by the callow.

Enter the elementary school lunchroom, where a break from the regimen of the day can often descend into food-flinging anarchy. PB&J or bologna sandwiches are the brown bag standard, and anything other than that is regarded as plain old freaky.

Confessions of a Thanksgiving alpha
November 15th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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Thanksgiving is an annual pause to give thanks - thanks that you aren’t related to "Marney."

The now infamous missive penned by her, simply titled “The Thanksgiving Letter,” first appeared on the popular blog "Awkward Family Photos" in 2009.

In the letter, Marney writes out detailed instructions about the upcoming feast to her family such as:

“If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.”

Just in time for Thanksgiving, it's National Clean out Your Refrigerator Day
November 15th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Who said springtime was the only season for cleaning?

Get out your trash bags (and plastic gloves and gas masks), because today is National Clean out Your Refrigerator Day.

It's high time to remove the Chinese food cartons that have turned into science experiments and start making room for the Thanksgiving leftovers that will soon be occupying space in your fridge.

Breakfast buffet: National spicy hermit cookie day
November 15th, 2011
09:00 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.

Come out of your shell - November 15 is National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day!

You don't have to be a hermit to enjoy one of these peculiarly-named holiday cookies, but you just might want to stash a recipe for your next cookie swap.

So how did the hermit cookie get its name? A 19th century favorite, these cookies were so named because they keep well in a cool, dry place for quite some time... like a hermit, apparently.

Coffee klatsch
November 15th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee Klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

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