December 26th, 2013
01:30 AM ET
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It may not fly with those imagining Santa with magical ones on Christmas Day, but a U.S. lawmaker decided to share with the world that one reindeer - in part, anyway - ended up on his plate.

"From Oslo, Merry Christmas season to my Scandinavian friends. 'Enjoyed' a meal of lutefisk, reindeer, & lefse," Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tweeted.

Some commenters on Twitter and around the web were less than thrilled.
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Filed under: Christmas • Holidays • Taboos


Christmas food frenzy!
December 25th, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.

We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.

Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.
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Filed under: Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays


The year's most ridiculous food gifts
December 24th, 2013
12:30 PM 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.

It looks like gift card sales will hit an all-time high this holiday season. E-gifting is expected to top $118 billion this year with the most popular cards being from: 1. department stores; 2. restaurants; 3. coffee shops; and 4. gas station cards.

Still, maybe you’re one of those people who hates impersonal gift cards, who has to deliver a present with “personality.” For all of you, I’ve asked my excellent Food & Wine colleague Daniel Gritzer to troubleshoot some of the more questionable food gifts out there.

Happy holidays, everyone! Now here’s Daniel, who says:

"There are many great gift options for the food-obsessed; there are also some real doozies. Do everyone - me, your friends, family, yourself - a favor, and consider not buying any of the below for the holidays."
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Think outside the bottle for wine gifts
December 23rd, 2013
10:30 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

The simplest answer to the eternal question of what to get your wine-loving best pal for a gift is, of course, a bottle of something. But where’s the originality there? No, the real trick is to find some supremely nifty, never-before-seen, wine-related doodad, so that the recipient will be filled with warm, generous feelings in return - and will immediately open bottle after bottle of grotesquely expensive grand cru Burgundy for you. After all, what’s the holiday season about if not shameless emotional manipulation?
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Filed under: Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Gifts • Holidays • Sip • Wine


Get poppin' this holiday season
December 17th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Pop up flavor, not fat, with this resolution-friendly snack. String it on your Christmas tree, Festivus pole or right into your belly.
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Spirited gifts for cocktail lovers
December 16th, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

The gift-giving season is upon us, and amid the stress of dealing with family members for whom it is perennially impossible to find an appropriate gift (here, Dad, have another tie!), we should give thanks for cocktail fanatics.

The reason for that is that there’s an endless and ever-changing world of cocktail-related widgets, tools, ingredients, glassware and whatnot out there, and cocktail fanatics never tire of adding new items to their collections. Of course, there are limits. An antique silver punch bowl like the one that sold at Sotheby’s back in 2010 for $5.9 million seems a little over the top to me. Similarly, you could fly him (or her) to Vegas, jump into a limo to the Wynn’s XS Nightclub and splurge on a couple of Ono cocktails at $10,000 a pop. But honestly, why bother? There’s so much out there that’s so cool for so much less money. Here, for instance, are some great cocktail-related gifts for those on more modest budgets.
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Filed under: Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Gifts • Hanukkah • Holidays • Sip • Spirits


How to solve common cookie conundrums
December 13th, 2013
08:00 AM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Sending out a holiday cookie SOS? Here are five lifesavers.
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December 12th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
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CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski, holupki and paska.

I’ve always enjoyed the Slovak food my mother and extended family prepares. We eat these dishes at every family gathering: weddings, funerals and holiday celebrations. We eagerly approach the buffet display to find the holupki and haluski that usually occupy the first few trays, but at the end of the tables are the treats.

Cookies and cakes dominate that section, but the pastry that has always delighted my palate is the kolachi nut roll. Kolachi (sometimes spelled "kolache") is the name often given to a standard type of Slavic dough-filled pastry. Our kolachi is rolled dough filled with a walnut mixture, but other families fill theirs with a poppy seed mixture.

My aunt Eleanor was always celebrated as the one whose recipe held the quality edge over the other family members'. Obviously, this unofficial title has been disputed, but I concede that hers had a slight advantage in my childhood memories.

But Eleanor’s health eventually left her unable to make the delicious kolachi. As her health was failing, she insisted that her daughter Renee learn her kolachi recipe and carry on the tradition and her legacy. My cousin Renee embraced her mother’s challenge, and carries, in my mind, the title for making the best kolachi nut roll.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Cookies • Cooking • Cultural Identity • Culture • Family Recipe Index • Holidays • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


December 11th, 2013
10:00 AM ET
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Got holiday hosting questions? There's a good chance that our panel of experts has answers.

Eatocracy editors Kat Kinsman and Sarah LeTrent - were joined by special guests, cookbook author and host of The Farm on Public Television Ian Knauer, sommelier and wine director of The NoMad Thomas Pastuszak and vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz - for a Google Hangout on holiday celebration and hosting.
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Filed under: Buzz • Christmas • Holidays • New Year's • Social Media


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