5@5 - Vegetarian comfort food
December 8th, 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.

As the winter months settle in, so does our urge to permanently hibernate alongside the biggest and heartiest plate of comfort food we can get our mittened hands on.

And while visions of chicken pot pie and spaghetti and meatballs may have immediately started dancing in your head, comfort food can be just as satisfying in meat-free form - at least if Alyssa Gorelick, the executive chef of Fern, Flavors from the Garden, in Charlotte, North Carolina, has anything to say about it.

Comfort Dishes Where You Won’t Miss The Meat: Alyssa Gorelick

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Think • Vegetarian

December 8th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe. Jeremy Harlan is a CNN photojournalist. He has a hungry baby.

I know how this scene goes. You stroll into the convenience store looking for your typical travel snacks: Teriyaki beef jerky, pepperoni pizza Combos and a Diet Dr. Pepper. And as you peruse the aisle just to make sure there's not a sweet treat that suits your fancy, you catch a glimpse of some canned goods: microwavable beef ravioli, potted meat, and Vienna Sausages.

"Bleh, Vienna sausages. Seriously? Who in the world eats that?"

Allow myself to introduce myself. My name is Jeremy Harlan and I do love me some Vienna Sausages. They are my perfect finger snack for long driving assignments. And in my humble opinion, they are a cornerstone of any quality convenience store. (I'm talking to you, Sheetz.)

Why do I like them? I can't give a specific reason, I just enjoy prying them out of the can and eating them one by one.

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Filed under: Buzz • Food in the Field • Hot Messes • Obsessions

Box lunch: Shunning kids and kale krazies
December 8th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • "It’s my party and I’ll kvetch if I want to" about dinner party guests showing up with tots in tow. - Gourmet Live

  • When do we eat?: The dinner time debate. - Guardian

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

The weird, the wacky, the salamanders of Japanese cuisine
December 8th, 2011
09:45 AM ET
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As the world and his dog know, the Japanese are famously open-minded eaters, and their cuisine is full of tastes and textures alien to the foreign tongue.

But plenty of foods that strike terror into expat hearts are actually pretty damn good when you get right down to it. Seaweed, konyaku, oden, natto ... I've braved them all, and my life is the better for it. In fact, sometimes I even find myself craving them when I'm away.

But there are certain dishes that can cause even a native gourmet to lose their lunch. Think: Reptiles, amphibians and insects (oh my!).

So, allow me to present a rundown of the top five freaky Japanese dishes I’ve encountered on my travels. For the faint of heart, I've ranked them in ascending order of difficulty to digest ... or at least to get down.

Read the full story: "Extreme cuisine: The 5 dishes even Japanese people are freaked to eat"

See all our Japan Eats coverage and get more on CNNGo

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Filed under: Asian • Bite • Cuisines • Feature • Insects • Japan • Japan Eats • Japanese • Travel

Breakfast buffet: National brownie day
December 8th, 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.

Bake up some love - December 8 is National Brownie Day!

Pop a pan of chocolate goodness in the oven, snuggle up by the fire and sink your teeth into a pile of brownies - glass of milk optional, but deliciously complementary. Consider this sinfully easy treat a gift to yourself amidst the holiday rush.

A cross between a cake and a cookie - and really, is there any better place to be in between? - rich and fudgy or light and cakey brownies have been making us smile since the first half of the 20th century.

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