A Call to Nervous Bakers: Fail With Pride!

Categories: Cooking!

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Photo by Anne Marie Panoringan
Now THIS is a pie! From Pie-Not...

It's almost December. We're about to embark on all the people freaking out about roasting a large bird and making mashed potatoes, and now we're on to the biggest baking period of the year. Reddit is full of "please help me" stories about pie dough, cookies, bread and muffins. eGullet is too.

I blame decades of mass-market cookbooks giving dire DEFCON-1 type warnings. If you overhandle your pie dough, it'll be dense and gross! If your butter gets soft for your biscuits, they'll be (horrors!) bride's biscuits! It happens all the time.

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Get Your Holiday Baking Done Ahead of Time with Bobby Deen

Food Network

FINALLY "pumpkin spice" season has passed and the local stores aren't the only one thinking of the upcoming holidays. Food Network is rearing up to get us all in the mood with their newest series "Holiday Baking Championship" hosted by Bobby Deen on Sunday, November 9th. Along with judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale, Bobby will be on hand to cheer on eight competitors as they flaunt their skills with traditional holiday desserts all in the hopes to win a $50,000 prize. While we might not personally be in the mood for putting up a tree or lighting the candles just yet, we are in the mood for learning a few new recipes and kitchen tricks so we chatted it up with Bobby to see what the show has in store for us.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): The last time we talked you were not married so I wanted to say congrats although I feel like a lot of gals (me) might be sad....

Bobby Deen: Well thank you! I waited a long time and I've been married a little over a year but here's what I know. If your spouse makes you a better person, you've done well.

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Charlie Palmer At Bloomingdale's Preps You For Thanksgiving

Categories: Cooking!, Holidays

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Photo by Meranda Carter/OC Weekly
We heard that chef assigns the BEST homework

Instead of being annoyed by how soon holiday decor is being displayed in stores, we've opted to look on the bright side. Thanksgiving is barely a month away! Cravings for turkey, gravy and pumpkin spices fill us with joy (and calories).

While we brace ourselves for the roundup of places promoting holiday meals, our friends at Charlie Palmer planned ahead. They're offering a cooking class this week! Those who want to slave over a stove can learn from a pro. Everybody else? A bottle of red and white can win over most dinner parties.

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Richard Blais: If You Love to Eat, You'll Love Hungry Games

Food Network
I would probably spend way too much for a pizza.

In his new Food Network show "Hungry Games," Chef Richard Blais teaches, learns, and trivializes the way the food we chose is essentially chosen. On Monday October 20th, you can get in on the fun challenging your foodie awareness by tuning in but of course, we wanted you to get the details on what Hungry Games really entails. And because we love you sweet readers so much, we reached out to Blais for some answers just for you. The passion and knowledge he transmitted blew our minds just as much as his new show promises to. No worries, you can save the "thank you's" for later.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So you've done Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped All-Stars...which was the most challenging for you?

Richard Blais: Well we're talking competition with all of those and I'm a big runner so I like to think of them all as running different kinds of races. For example with the three you mentioned, Top Chef is a marathon, Iron Chef is a relay, and Chopped is a sprint. It depends on where your style fits but they all have their things that make them interesting. I enjoyed running all of them but I'm just glad that Hungry Games is not a race so to speak.

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How To Make It: Pizza for All Four Meals of the Day (Yes, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Dessert)

Categories: Cooking!

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
Oh, wonderful day

Say it out loud -- pizza. Piiizzzzaaa. P-I-Z-Z-A.

Just the sound of it is beautiful, isn't it? Now imagine that times four and you'll kind of get an idea of how magical my day was when I ate pizza for every meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Oh, man.

That's right, for this How To Make It, I made four pizzas, one for each meal of the day.

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How To Make It: Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz

Right now, your snack game's basic.

Nachos -- boring. Trail mix -- whatever. Veggies (if you're having a clean eating week, I guess) -- meh. You need an upgrade, and I've got an answer. Meet Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders.

Basically, chip-crusted chicken tenders are two of the all-time best snack foods ever comemerged together in perfect harmony. You get the protein and meaty goodness of the chicken tender and the sodium-high calorie density of chips. I've never been more prepared for Netflix binge marathons. Sorry, summer bod, but this is more important.

So, this is how you make it.

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Farm to Fork Class By Chef Debra Sims At The Ecology Center

Categories: Cooking!

Dustin Ames
Hot stuff!

The phrase "farm to fork" is an overused one these days. Kitchens can claim their devotion to gardens and farmers' markets, but whether I truly believe them is another story. Diners formulate an opinion of a dish long before it is consumed based on description, appearance and our previous experiences with food. To see our meal being prepared in an exhibition kitchen is to believe it. In turn, to witness the exchange between farmer and chef (and ultimately chef to consumer) would legitimize the "farm to fork" notion.

Former On the Line subject Debra Sims will demonstrate the joy of cooking from start to finish at San Juan Capistrano's Ecology Center. Beginning with a walk through the facility, she will lead a discussion on produce before heading into the kitchen and preparing a meal based on vegetables and herbs found on your tour. This interactive class provides an opportunity for home cooks to learn more about the Maro Wood Grill chef's fiery cooking style.

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Good and Cheap Teaches You How To Eat Well for $4 a Day

Categories: Cooking!

That's a nice sandwich.

Are you cheap? Not too well off? A college student and sick of ramen? Well, boy, do I have the cookbook for you.

Good and Cheap is a cookbook created by Leanna Brown as the thesis project for her graduate degree in food studies. In it, you'll learn how to make great meals on just $4 day -- basically how much money you get for food if you're on the SNAP program.

The PDF is available on Brown's website for free, but if you're a dead tree kind of person, Brown's currently Kirkstarting a print edition.

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Thai Cocktails and Cooking in Orange This Week--And a Cookbook Giveaway NOW!

Categories: Cooking!

I'll make the fried rice if you prep the pineapple.

There are those who prefer to cook their own meals, and others who'd rather pay someone to do the cooking. If you're more in the DIY camp, here's an easy score. I'm giving away a copy of Everyday Thai Cooking by Katie Chin to one Forker who answers a simple question.

If you happen to be in the latter camp, there's still an opportunity to dine on some Thai fare. And if you're on the fence on cooking versus eating, Chin is conducting a cooking class this week. Choose your own adventure after the jump.

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How To Make It: Mac-and-Cheese Pizza

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz

You read the title right. Don't worry; I'm excited, too.

Mac and cheese pizza is a thing, and it is glorious.

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