5@5 - Spice up your holiday soiree
December 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.

Holiday food traditions exist for a reason: they're as feel-good as a Nora Ephron movie and keep the past alive for future generations.

But after 15 years of Aunt Betsy's (in)famous casserole, sometimes change is appreciated.

Chris Yeo, the chef and owner of the Straits Restaurant Group, recommends five spicy additions to make this year's holiday dinner one to remember - in a good way.

Five Spices to Make Your Ordinary Holiday Dishes Extraordinary: Chris Yeo
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Christmas • Holidays • Make • Recipes • Think


Box lunch: Pudding bias and party pants
December 20th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • A new pudding vending machine is for adults only; and contains the technology to refuse samples to children to prove it. - USA Today


  • Go shorty! It's your birthday! We're going to stuff $283 worth of food in your pants like it's your birthday. - CBS Charlotte




  • Kim Jong Il had a taste for the finer things in life, like Hennessey and mugwort-filled rice cakes. - Bon Appétit
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


December 20th, 2011
11:55 AM ET
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Marilynn Shcolnik of Snohomish County, Washington, shared photos of awe-inspiring gingerbread houses from the 19th annual Gingerbread Village fundraiser in Seattle. The creations are all made by architects partnering with hotel chefs, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northwest chapter. The theme this year was “Holiday Express.”

Is there a food that makes the holidays bright in your home? We want to hear all about it. Immortalize your food tradition in words, recipes, pictures or video, submit it as an iReport and we'll show off some of our favorites on CNN's Eatocracy food blog through the end of the holiday season.

See the assignment on iReport

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Filed under: Buzz • Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Feature • Holidays • iReport • It's not the holidays without


How to drink sake
December 20th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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How do you make a 1,200-year-old drink, hip?  One way is by calling it the “new wine” and making it an essential ingredient in killer cocktails. That’s what’s happened to sake, the rice-based liquor that is associated with all that is traditional about Japan. Yet from its origins in Shinto ceremonies in the 8th century and its place modern-day weddings, it is currently undergoing a revival.

It may be a laggard compared to sushi in its global appeal but it is increasingly popular among connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine, says Kelvin Zeia, the sake sommelier of Japanese restaurant Zuma in Hong Kong.

“The palate goes from sweet to dry, but there are subtleties between different types of sake,” he says. The alcohol content of around 15% also means it can be a discreet mixer in cocktails.
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Filed under: Asian • Cuisines • Feature • Japan • Japan Eats • Japanese • Sake • Sip


Breakfast buffet: National sangria day
December 20th, 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.

Now it's a party! - December 20 is National Sangria Day.

So it might be a while before summer rolls around again, but that doesn't mean you can't take your taste buds on a tropical vacation.

This spiked punch comes to us from Spain, and usually mixes in red wine, simple syrup, a few drops of brandy and a whole bushel of chopped fruit. The wine can be any inexpensive type that is light, dry and young, but red is preferred.
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Chili for the holidays? Why the heck not!
December 20th, 2011
07:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

In the Hall of Fame of holiday foods - gingerbread men, roast prime rib, potato latkes - chili is what you’d call a holiday underdog. Unless you’re a major player in the competitive chili circuit, it’s probably not a big part of your Christmas tree decorating or stocking stuffing. (And even if you are a chili champion, hopefully you know where to draw the line.)

Still with all the monumental things people are doing with chili these days, I just might shake up my holiday menu. Maybe my family will decorate bowls of chili instead of cookies? Just thinking.

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Filed under: Chili • Christmas • Content Partner • Dishes • Food and Wine • Hanukkah • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Kwanzaa


Coffee klatsch
December 20th, 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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