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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A quest for Christmas pudding
December 21st, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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The luscious, dark, tangy, sweet, and often intoxicating first bite of Christmas pudding is a special reminder of the holiday season for those of British origin. A bonus for those unfamiliar with the aged, steamed cake filled with fruit, liquor, and nuts is the opportunity to douse it with brandy butter and set it aflame.

It has been almost two years since I last laid eyes on a Christmas pudding, and in planning this year’s holiday festivities, I knew it had to be an integral part of our celebration. My husband, however - a Florida native with childhood memories of Jell-O brand products - couldn’t conceive of pudding as something special. Indeed, from an American perspective, tapioca and chocolate pudding is generally the domain of the cafeteria. I had to broaden his dessert horizons.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • It's not the holidays without • Recipes


5@5 - Tips for gluten-free cookies
December 19th, 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.

A few years back, when people heard the words “gluten-free,” the words “tough” and “tasteless” also came to mind. Now, with so many options available in stores and restaurants, gluten-free is kissing its drab reputation goodbye.

Mastering the art of gluten-free baking is easy with a few simple tips to ensure great texture (no cardboard here!) and flavor.

Just in time for the holiday cookie season, Whole Foods Market's gluten-free guru Lee Tobin offers five tips for gluten-free cookies that are good enough to bring to your next holiday party, or even offer up to Santa ... if you're nice enough to share them.

Five Tips for Gluten-Free Cookies: Lee Tobin
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December 19th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Oh come all ye Christmas carol literalists: PNC Wealth Management recently released its annual "Twelve Days of Christmas" calculation for holiday shoppers in the market for milk maids and French hens.

In 2013, springing for the whole menagerie, from twelve drummers drumming to a partridge (complete with pear tree), will set an aspiring Santa back a hefty $114,651.18.

But in case your house is already crowded enough without throwing eleven pipers into the mix, the scent of gingerbread baking is a wonderful gift - for a smidgen of the true cost of Christmas.

Cronut creator, pastry chef and bakery owner Dominique Ansel will have you run-run-running as fast as you can ... to the kitchen with his fragrantly spiced adaptation of the classic holiday treat.
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December 13th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes sharing green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.

There’s something addictive about that moment when you hand someone a homemade treat and their face lights up like you’ve just given them a hug. It turns baking into therapy, food into an olive branch, and those you share it with into a family.

I’ve experienced that joy for many years, by virtue of being the delivery girl every winter. I may have switched from wearing hair bows and Christmas dresses to newsboy caps and tall boots, but that feeling stays the same, and I always come bearing gifts.
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Filed under: Baked Goods • Christmas • Christmas • Dessert • Dishes • Family Recipe Index • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step


November 10th, 2011
04:00 PM ET
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The holidays are upon us - you've successfully tackled the fall squash, mashed potatoes like James Brown and reserved the appropriately sized bird for your guest list. You've even found time to craft your very own "bacon pig." Everything is shaping up nicely in apple-pie order - that is, until the word "pie" just sent you into a flour frenzy.

Although sweet, dessert can bring out the crustiness in the most pleasant of holiday hosts and hostesses. While pie crust is minimalistic in origin - flour, butter, ice water with a little sugar and salt thrown in for good measure - many home cooks find themselves thankful for the premade varieties this time of year.

If you're one of those put off by do-it-yourself pastry, just roll with this all-butter crust tutorial.
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December 29th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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We recently asked readers to immortalize their holiday food tradition in words, recipes, pictures or video via iReport so we could show off some of our favorites on CNN's Eatocracy all the way through the end of the holiday season. Christmas may be over, but for White House Sr. Supervising Producer Stacia Deshishku, the leftovers are the fun part.

I don’t know when we began eating Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, but it likely was some time in the mid-1980s. In Tyler, Texas - home of the Greenberg Smoked Turkey - the Greenberg family has been smoking turkeys since the 1940s. Ordering one (or more) each holiday season has been a Christmas tradition in our family for almost 30 years.

We order every year from Greenberg for two, well, really three reasons. First, they are phenomenally good. Second, they are easy - no cooking required! But third and most important, once you finish your turkey dinner, the turkey ball party begins. I actually prefer the turkey ball to the actual turkey, and I’ve been known to purposely underserve my guests so that there is more turkey leftover for making turkey balls. Once, we even ordered an entire turkey simply for ball making!
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A merry taste of Eatocracy
December 24th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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Just in case you still have, like, eggnog to 'nog or plums to sugar before the second cousins twice removed arrive, consider us Santa's little helpers.

Here are a few instructional holiday posts we love that might have jingled right on by during the holiday hullabaloo.








We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday. 'Til then, you can find us by the punch bowl.

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5@5 - Chef Suvir Saran
December 23rd, 2010
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.

Cookies abound this time of year, but that doesn't mean the holiday table has to face the wrath of a cookie cutter spread. For many first-generation immigrants like chef Suvir Saran, 'tis the season to spice up the traditional feast of their adopted country with old, reliable tastes of home.

New Delhi-born Saran is the executive chef of Dévi restaurant in New York City, where his authentic Indian flavors earned one Michelin star in 2007 and 2008, as well as two stars from The New York Times and three stars from New York Magazine.

He is also the author of Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes and American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen. His third book, Masala Farm, is set to be released in the fall of 2011.

Five Masala Holiday Dishes: Suvir Saran
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