iReport: Want to make Hostess cakes at home? Don't sweat faking the fakeness
November 19th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
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Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."

She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."

Barber advises:
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Challenges • Cooking • How To • iReport • Junk • Make • Techniques & Tips • Twinkies


iReport Challenge: Bake a Twinkie, Wonder Bread or other Hostess treat at home
November 16th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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Hostess Brands – the maker of popular baked goods such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread – announced it is asking a bankruptcy court for permission to shut down, blaming a strike by bakers opposed to a new contract.

This weekend, we'd like you to bake your own Hostess treat. Please send us a photo of your homemade creation along with the recipe. And of course, tell us how it tastes! (If you're not the baking type, tell us about your fondest memories of the iconic snacks.)
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Filed under: Challenges • Cooking • iReport • Junk • Make • Twinkies


Spouse vs Spouse: pork tenderloin
May 10th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
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Welcome to round ten of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in, too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: pork tenderloin
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Filed under: Challenges • Cooking • Dishes • Make • Meat • Pork • Spouse vs Spouse


iReport: Winning chocolate recipes that are fair trade and fabulous
April 2nd, 2012
01:45 PM ET
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We asked you to make a dish with ethically produced chocolate, and the results left our mouths watering. But more than that, we were proud that so many people took the time to learn about child slavery in the chocolate industry.

A total of 65 entries came in, encompassing sweet and savory combinations (chocolate covered bacon) regionally distinctive recipes (chocolate sourdough bread) and deliciously simple snacks (chocolate dipped fruit and nuts).

CNN Freedom Project editorial director Leif Coorlim, Cacao Atlanta owner Kristen Hard and Eatocracy managing editor Kat Kinsman picked three winners based on originality, presentation, regional emphasis and story.
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Filed under: Challenges • Chocolate • iReport


Spouse vs Spouse: sliders
March 15th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
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Welcome to round nine of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: sliders
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Filed under: Burgers • Challenges • Cooking • Dishes • Make • Sandwiches • Spouse vs Spouse • Tailgating


Spouse vs Spouse: romantic dessert rumble
February 9th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Welcome to round eight of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: Romantic desserts
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Spouse vs Spouse: a soup showdown
January 17th, 2012
08:00 PM ET
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Welcome to round seven of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: Soup
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Filed under: Challenges • Cooking • Dishes • Make • Soup • Spouse vs Spouse


'Suzilla' debuts as TV's newest extreme eater
December 23rd, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Among friends, competitive eater  Suzanne "Suzilla" French is known for extreme behavior. Whatever she does, she does big, be it eating or drinking,  showing her love for country or pro-football.

She's the fourth-ranked competitive eater in the world - the kind of person who parties hard on Flag Day and decks her Facebook profile picture with the New Orleans Saints' logo. The last time I saw her, before she left Atlanta for her hometown of Houston, was in the back of a stretch limo that she'd rented for a mutual friend's birthday. I joined them after they'd spent the day at Medieval Times - a gorge-fest in its own right. Bottles of booze spilled forth as the car flew around town, making stops at bars where French knew everyone. I can't remember how it ended.

For its new extreme eating special, Discovery's Planet Green channel capitalized on her "girl-next-door consumes gargantuan portions of food" shtick. "Suzilla: The Mouth That Roars" follows the 28-year-old as she takes on men at least twice her size in eating competitions in some of the country's greasiest spoons and short-order eateries.

She took a few minutes out of her day job as a contract lawyer for an oilfield services company to talk about how she manages to not look like a competitive eater and the two kinds of food she refuses to eat.
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Filed under: Challenges • Restaurants • Sandwiches • Television • Travel


Spouse vs Spouse: holiday cocktail smackdown
December 22nd, 2011
04:01 PM ET
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Welcome to round six of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon each make a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who then judge which one they like better and why. We walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: Holiday cocktails
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Filed under: Challenges • Christmas • Christmas • Cocktail Recipes • Cooking • Holiday • Holidays • Make • Sip • Spirits • Spouse vs Spouse


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