December 22nd, 2011

{recipes} A Hungry Guide to Christmas Eating

Holiday Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Holiday Spiced Sweet Potatoes

I handpicked Thanksgiving recipes.

I shared my go-to Hanukkah dishes.

Now, with three days to go, I’m going to point you to the One Hungry Mama holiday delights best suited to the Christmas table.

Let’s not spend time chatting—it’s menu planning time. Of all the recipes in my holiday cooking section, these are my favorite for Christmas.

Game on.

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December 20th, 2011

{holidays} My Favorite Hanukkah Recipes & Making Donuts with Kids!


Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!

Tonight is the first night of the Festival of Lights and I may have forgotten had it not been for the fact that I heard the Hungry Boys singing, “Hanukkah! Today is Hanukkah!” at the top of their lungs at 6:45 a.m.

Good thing those boys aren’t too busy to forget such things like their mama!

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December 17th, 2011

{recipe} Spicy Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin

spicy bacon wrapped tenderloin

I may not know a lot anything about football, but I sure am learning about how football fans like to eat by working with my sister on the Huddle to Fight Hunger, the Kraft Foods initiative to raise a whole lot of money for Feeding America.

See, the Hungry Sister and I decided to team up when we learned that Kraft Foods would donate 1,000 meals to Feeding America for every recipe I posted in honor of the Huddle to Fight Hunger, an initiative to get all of us involved in helping them raise enough money to provide 25 million meals to hungry Americans.

I wanted to help Kraft do something good for the world and my sister wanted to share a little bit about the food culture of tailgating, which is a big deal where she went to college. And we all—she and I, and you, too—want to help feed hungry Americans, right?

Put it all together and throw in a dip inspired by Snickers and a Spicy Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin and you’ve got a goal.

I mean, a score.

Or, um, make that a… TOUCHDOWN!

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December 16th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} KitchenAid 7-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway [CLOSED]

KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway

A winner has been selected: congrats to Kristen! And thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun.

Well, friends, this is it. The last day of “The 12 Days of Yum” holiday giveaway series and, as promised, we’re ending with a bang, PoP, POW.

Today’s giveaway is for the new KitchenAid 7-quart stand mixer in YOUR choice of red, silver or black.

I. Covet. This. Mixer!

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December 15th, 2011

{recipe} Curry Mayonnaise To Get You Through

Curry Mayonnaise

It happens like clockwork. Every year at the beginning of December thoughts of pies, roasts and latkes flood my brain, firing me into action. On top of making dinner every night, I dash about my kitchen planning, recipe testing and prepping dishes for holiday meals. Then time begins running down and I realize that I haven’t planned, tested or prepped quite enough. There’s more to do—oh, so much more!—and dinner starts to fall by the wayside in favor of getting the holidays squared away on time.

No big deal, I think at first. This is what a stocked freezer is for, but then my freezer stash dwindles. On one hand, this is good news since I need the room for all that holiday dough (and I ain’t talking about cash money). On the other, it’s bad because dinner starts to feel like a burden.

Really, kids? You need to eat tonight? Can’t you just WAIT TIL CHRISTMAS?!

My first thought when this all goes down, as it does every year right about now, is “take out!” Hey, I love to cook, but I’m also human and being a food writer and recipe developer does not mean I get any less stressed about getting it all done as the rest of you. Though my work almost never feels like work, times like these are when it gets real. And, actually, there’s more going on this year than just the holidays.

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December 15th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum!} Japanese Home Cooking Starter Kit [CLOSED]

Peko Peko & Japanese Starter Kit Giveaway

A winner has been selected—congrats to Alice! And thank you to everyone else for reading and joining in the giveaway fun!

Tomorrow is the last day of the 12 Days of Yum and, of course, we’ll culminate with a big bang courtesy of KitchenAid. I saved this giveaway, though, for nearly the end because it’s my personal highlight. It may not make quite the splash that tomorrow’s giveaway will, but it’s the height of this series for me. Today’s giveaway is what giving is all about: keeping others in your thoughts, learning about them, engaging with the things that are meaningful to them. Anyone can spend a little money, give a gift and walk away. But carrying the people to whom you’re giving in your heart is what makes it meaningful… for them and also for you.

Today’s giveaway is a Japanese Home Cooking Starter Kit complete with a Japanese Delicacies Sampler box courtesy of fine foods purveyor Marx Foods and a copy of Peko Peko: Family-Friendly Japanese Recipes a cookbook to support Japan’s recovery.

I published Peko Peko with the help of a long list of people without whom it simply would not have been possible. Even still, I’ve purchased every $29.95 (USD) copy that I own or have given away—including the one that will go to the winner of this contest—with my own money. One hundred percent of the proceeds, $11.45 of every (USD) sale, goes to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund and every penny counts. Even today.

But this isn’t just about the money. Sure, this giveaway adds one more donation to the pot, but I hope that it also inspires you to learn about Japanese cooking and culture. I want this starter kit to demystify Japanese cooking and help familiarize you with authentic Japanese ingredients. Food brings us closer together and I hope that making it easy for you to play with Japanese flavors at home brings you closer to a rich, deep, gorgeous culture and people who, more than ever, needed us this year.

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December 14th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} 4 Months of Free Yogurt from Chobani! [CLOSED]

Choabni Giveaway

A winner has been selected: congrats to Lauren! And thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun.

Chobani is bringing the YUM to the “12 Days of Yum”—not just once, but FOUR times over!

As you might expect, I’m a sucker for Greek-style yogurt. But, having tried the real deal made by family (yes, my family) from from their very own animals, I have high expectations. I’ve tried all of the brands and, to be honest, there are more than one that are good. In fact, I used to comfortably go between a couple of brands depending on what was available. Until I tried Chobani.

I love this stuff and if you don’t also, you will.

In the spirit of holiday giving, Chobani wants to help with your grocery bill by providing:

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December 13th, 2011

{recipe} Easy Homemade Edible Gift: Ginger Hot Chocolate Mix

Ginger Hot Chocolate
Holy cow. One week until the start of Hanukkah and only 12 days ’til Christmas. How did this happen?! I was so on top of things… at one point… kinda recently. But, now, I’m in the midst of the annual mad rush to prepare.

Thank goodness for easy homemade gifts like my new favorite treat, Ginger Hot Chocolate Mix.

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December 13th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Oxo Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

Oxo giveaway

A winner has been selected: congrats to Julie! And thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun.

Rummaging through my kitchen you’ll find more tools from Oxo than any other company. My guess is that you don’t need me to explain why. You already know that Oxo makes some of the most effective, comfortable, easy-to-use kitchen gear that money can buy. And I know that you guys love Oxo as much as I do.

Oxo was founded on a philosophy of Universal Design, a concept that anything that can be designed should be done so to be usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, race, gender or physical ability. While it isn’t possible to design everything to be perfect for everyone, the idea is to create something that works well for the broadest spectrum of users. Oxo’s dedication to Universal Design—combined with their knowledge of housewares, intuition about what we need at home and, best of all, their sense of humor—are what make them so awesome.

That, and the fact that they want to give one of you an amazing holiday gift!

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December 12th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Homemade Baby Food Gear Giveaway from Baby Bullet & Dr. Greene [CLOSED]

Homemade Baby Food giveaway
*These brands are not affiliated. I’ve packaged them together as two of my favorite baby food making products.

You didn’t think I’d do 12 days of giveaways without focusing on homemade baby food, did you?! This pair of my favorite baby food making tools—a Baby Bullet system and copy of Feeding Baby Green by famed pediatrician Dr. Greene—is for all you mamas and papas embarking on an eating adventure with your little one.

Those of you who have been reading since the very, very beginning know that my own adventure started before the first Hungry Boy began eating. When he was only 4-months-old, I develop a frozen organic baby food brand, ChowBaby foods. The idea behind ChowBaby was to offer parents a product as close to homemade that would also encourage an adventurous appetite to inspire a lifetime of healthy eating.

While ChowBaby never launched product (long story), the process of researching; working with a nutritionist, nutritional anthropologist, FDA lawyers and other experts; interviewing moms; doing lots and lots of recipe development; and bringing it all together with my expertise in child development made me the family food advocate that I am today. The lessons I learned while developing ChowBaby—and the ones I continue to learn—are what I pass along to you. And, funnily enough, one of them is to skip baby food all together, opting instead to share with your little one the healthy foods that you make for yourself.

So then why baby food resources? Because learning to cook in a way that’s healthy enough for baby and also delicious for you takes some adjustment. And the two products in this giveaway will help.

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December 11th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Rifle Paper Co. Giveaway: Gorgeous Print, Recipe Cards & Calendar [CLOSED]

Rifle Paper Co. Recipe Cards

A winner has been selected: congrats to Joy! And thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun.

I’ve been waiting for this giveaway!!! Rifle Paper Co. makes some of the prettiest stationery and home things I’ve ever seen. Yes—ever! And one of you lucky lovelies is going to get a package of their gorgeous products.

I discovered Rifle Paper Co. last year when I ordered personalized holiday cards from them. I was amazed at how perfectly they captured us with drawings that have only dots for eyes and mouths. They were amazing—people actually called me upon receiving our card to tell me how much they loved it! (I, of course, am sending holiday cards from Rifle Paper Co. again this year.)

Rifle doesn’t just make stationery. They make gorgeous coasters, lovely prints (I love this children’s “Ant” print!) and this lovely heirloom recipe box.

See! Prettiest ever, right?!

To celebrate the holidays with us, Rifle Paper Co is giving one of you a sweet fruit-themed package of goodies including:

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December 10th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} MightyNest Glass Food Storage Giveaway [CLOSED]

MightyNest Giveaway

A winner has been selected: congrats to Sarah! Thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun.

If your hungry kiddo is around, oh, 5-years-old, you probably remember the initial outrage over then-mysterious Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical banned in Europe that laced our kids’ sippy cups, spoons, toys, food storage containers and more. Dueling news stories reported that BPA was found in trace amounts that were safe and that it was actually quite toxic. It was scary and confusing.

If you ask me, the stuff should be banned here, too. It’s that simple. But short of that, and despite a whole lot of green washing, we’ve come a long way. We’re all much more informed and aware about BPA and other toxic materials used to make the things that fill our house. We are not easily appeased or convinced that these chemicals are safe. We know better and are helping each other know better.

Out of this parent-driven demand for safer products have come resources like MightyNest, my favorite one-stop resource for all-natural, organic and non-toxic kid and kitchen products. All of the products on MightyNest are free from known toxic ingredients such as BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, melamine, formaldehyde, flame retardants and parabens. The folks there even go so far as to interview each manufacturer about product ingredients, overall manufacturing processes and safety testing. If there is even one slight component that doesn’t meet their criteria, they will not sell the product.

These folks are serious about making sure your kiddos stay as healthy as possible and they are giving you a little holiday something-something to prove it.

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December 9th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Baker’s Delight: Food52 Cookbook + EatSmart Kitchen Scale + Bob’s Red Mill [CLOSED]

Baker's Delight Giveaway
*None of these products/brands are affiliated. I’ve packaged them together independently

A winner has been selected—congrats to Staci! And thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the giveaway fun!

When I first started developing recipes, I focused almost exclusively on savory cooking. Even before I mastered technique, I could braise, roast, fry, sauté or steam nearly anything and make it taste good. But bake stuff? Not so much.

It took me nearly a year to start experimenting with baking. Once I did, I was hooked. Not everything I do is great—I’m still learning—but I’ve come to love that I can’t just taste and go by instinct. I don’t have baking instincts! I’ve had to develop a whole new approach than the one I take to cooking. I do more research, focus more intensely on chemistry and practice being exacting, something I used to resent doing. Learning how to bake is a challenge that is making me a better cook.

What’s all this have to do with today’s giveaway? I designed this package with home bakers in mind, but then I got to thinking: this is as much for those of you who are afraid of baking, the way that I was. This package—an EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale, high-quality baking ingredients from Bob’s Red Mill, and the Food52 Cookbook, the manual for home cooks and bakers—is a great starter kit for anyone who’s ready to jump into baking. And what better time of year to start getting serious about your baked goods?!

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December 8th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Chocolate Overload from Scharffen Berger + Deluxe Double-Chocolate Cookies [CLOSED]

Deluxe Double-Chocolate Cookies

A winner has been selected: congrats to Sarah P! Thanks to everyone else for reading and joining in the fun. Happy new year!

Calling all chocolate lovers! This one from Scharffen Berger is for you.

Do I need to say anything else? You chocolate geeks already know Scharffen Berger and their amazing artisan chocolates. The rest of you chocoholics just need to know that this is some of the best damn chocolate you can get your hands on, especially for baking (something I do with these products more often than I should!). Simply choosing Scarffen Berger makes your dessert better.

If you can’t turn that down, I’ll meet you after the jump to tell you what’s in this amazing Chocolate Overload prize pack (and share a recipe for amazing Deluxe Double-Chocolate Cookies). If you can turn this down, well, there’s hope even for the craziest among us!

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December 7th, 2011

{12 Days of Yum} Big Bundle of My Favorite Cookbooks for the Family Cook [CLOSED]

Cookbook Giveaway

A winner has been selected: congrats to Catherine! Thanks to all the rest of you for reading and joining in the fun. Happy new year!

Being the cookbook geek that I am, I’m over the moon about this giveaway. I hand-selected each and every book that the winner of this contest will receive and, well, I’m jealous.

In fact, I’ve been carefully storing these books in my office and let’s just say that it’s been near torture to not grab ‘em, crack the spines and get cooking. I’ll just have to leave that to you!

Here are my current favorite cookbooks for the family cook included in this seven book bonanza:

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