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


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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December 5th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
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The Feast of Seven Fishes, or the Festa dei Sette Pesci, is the traditional dinner that many southern Italian and Italian-American families will sit down to this Christmas Eve. (It is also one of the few appropriate times to pluralize fish as fishes.)

The significance of the number seven reels in many different theories: Some families say it's for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say it's for the seven hills of Rome, and still others say it represents the days of creation or stands as a reminder of the seven deadly sins. Other families' traditions even allow for 10 or even 14 different aquatic dishes.

And just as the numeric explanations are allowed loose translations, so are the types of seafood served. The true meaning isn't in the number or kind you choose, but with whom you decide to share your feast.

This Christmas Eve, Alex Guarnaschelli, chef of Butter in New York City and Food Network star, encourages you to serve the humble sardine atop lightly fried cauliflower, an ode to her mother's Sicilian roots.

Fresh sardines - not the pungent, little canned guys - are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable, three wise choices for this holiday season.

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Filed under: Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • Italian • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


Holiday how-tos: recipes for gingerbread, peppermint bark, cocktails and more
December 25th, 2012
09:15 AM 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: Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Christmas • Feature • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • How To • Recipes • Step-by-Step • Techniques & Tips


It's the most wonderful time for a beer
December 24th, 2012
09:00 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.

Few issues in the world are truly black-and-white. Cats, for instance. Some people think they’re nice pets; some people think they’re furry little narcissists who’d happily dine on your face if there were ever a complete collapse of civilization due to a nuclear apocalypse. Ditto Elvis (meaning some people love his music, some think it’s awful. ...Not that he’d dine on your face. Though, honestly, if it were a zombie-based apocalypse, I suppose he might.)

But one thing that can be divided into simple, black-and-white categories is winter and holiday beers. Basically, there are the ones that taste like something your grandmother would bake, and the ones that don’t.

Not that I’m trying to tick off the grandmothers of the world. I don’t want a legion of rolling pin-wielding grannies chasing me down Fifth Avenue, bent on my demise. However, I do think that a beer should, at least in some way, taste like a beer instead of, say, a fruitcake.

Other people may not be as riled up by this topic as me. I accept that. Since it’s almost Christmas and there’s still time to buy a case of tasty winter ale, I don’t want the beer drinkers of the world to come back home with something that tastes like a fermented brown sugar-cinnamon Pop-Tart. So here are six that are actually very good:
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Filed under: Beer • Christmas • Christmas • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holiday • Holidays • Sip


Spotted dick, clootie dumpling and other reasons to put beef fat in your holiday desserts
December 21st, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Linnie Rawlinson is the Special Projects Editor in CNN's London bureau.

As the temperature falls and the leaves start to crackle under foot, British minds turn towards comfort food – and there’s nothing more comforting than a traditional suet pudding.

Suet, as in, beef fat?

In a dessert?

Why yes, actually.

And do you know what? It’s really rather good.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • British • Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • Travel


December 19th, 2012
08:00 AM ET
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Sugar cookies in every seasonal shape - from snowflakes to Christmas trees, stars to Santa hats, snowmen to holly leaves - overcrowd the dessert table this time of year. Even Santa is crying "Uncle!" for a little variety by the time he reaches St. Louis.

This year, try adding a little New York attitude to the traditional cookie swap with black-and-white cookies, a staple of New York bakeries and deli counters.

More cake-like than cookie-like, this oversized sweet is downsized into a fantastically festive treat by pastry chef Stephanie Teekaram of Kutsher's Tribeca in, where else, New York City.

"Seinfeld" fans might remember the baked good being forever immortalized in the episode, "The Dinner Party."

"The thing about eating the black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite," said Seinfeld. "Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate, and yet, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."

In this season of good tidings, peace and goodwill toward all, harmony vis-à-vis a cookie is a welcome addition.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Cookies • Hanukkah • Holiday • Homemade Gifts • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


5@5 - Hot chocolate variations
October 10th, 2012
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.

When temperatures dip, Noah Dan, founder of Pitango Gelato, starts warming up guests with hot Italian sipping chocolate.

“It’s not like anything that comes from a powdered mix,” says Dan, who took inspiration for Pitango’s hot chocolate from the classic cafés of Turin, Italy. “True sipping chocolate must be dark, thick, intense, complex and, like all good things in life, bittersweet.”

The prep is simple, as the recipe contains only three basic ingredients: High-quality cocoa, milk and sugar. The real trick is finding the right cocoa powder because at this level of concentration any negative characteristics in the cocoa will be amplified, making the result less than stellar. Pitango uses organic cocoa from Costa Rica, which has a pure, intense chocolate flavor.

To make the cocoa, combine 2/3 cup cocoa and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Gradually add three cups of milk to the cocoa and sugar over low heat, mixing to avoid lumps. Be sure that the milk is heated but never reaches a boil. Continue mixing the chocolate on low heat until it is fully blended and thickens to a rich consistency.

Thick and potent, hot sipping chocolate is the equivalent of a coffee purist’s ultimate espresso. As such, this “adult” version of hot chocolate is meant to be savored slowly, in small portions (5 ounces or less). If the pure version doesn't cure what ails you, here are a few classic variations that use this hot chocolate as a base.
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Filed under: 5@5 • Christmas • Holiday • Make • Recipes • Sip • Sweet • Thanksgiving • Think


A family gives up a secret sugar cookie recipe
December 23rd, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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Recently, I shared a family story on Eatocracy about our attempt to get back our family tradition: the befana cookie. My Grandmother passed away before we learned how to make them. We took these special cookies for granted.

My brother tried many different combinations of ingredients. He researched with other members of the family, the internet, even conversations with cousins in Italy to try to make them Nonna's way. But, finally, he achieved cookie perfection.

I couldn't disclose the secret recipe for fear of Bernardini excommunication. It has now become a family legacy. When the story was re-posted this year, I quickly from the learned from the comment section that that legacy turned into a fatal flaw. So many people were very disgusted with me.

As a form of penance, I want to post another recipe that we do share throughout the year: sugar cookies.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Christmas • Cookies • Family Recipe Index • Holiday • Holidays • Make • Recipes


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