eben freeman

Get great tips on making the perfect drink from master bartender Eben Freeman. Great for your fourth of July party.


A perfect gift for anyone who loves cooking shows and celebrity chefs. No, not kitchen knives or another “Kiss the Cook” apron — but Celebrity Chef the Game. It’s been described as “a combination of Cranium and Bravo’s Top Chef.”

This trivia-based board game lets you test your trivia knowhow and navigate the tricky ladder up to stardom: endorsements, awards, TV deals, and the occassional mad critic. It’s fun and educational. Sample question:

Q:Which of these is a possible designation for wine?

A) Dolphin safe
B) Rabbit safe
C) Salmon safe


Celebrity chef Cat Cora, known for her online cooking show “Chef to the Rescue” and being the first female Iron Chef, gives a great solution for leftover turkey: put it in soup. Soup mixes add moisture to turkey that usually gets dry and petrified when placed in the fridge. Here’s one of her favorite recipes


4 slices Oscar Mayer Bacon
3 cups sliced leeks, white and tender green parts (alternatives are scallions or green onions)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
Salt and white pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
1/2 cup Breakstone’s or Knudsen Sour Cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley
Triscuit Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers, for serving

Heat a soup pot over medium flame. Toss in bacon and cook till crisp. Remove (drain the oil on a towel) and then add leeks and garlic to the bacon drippings left in the pot. Cook, stirring often, for three minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add potatoes. Cover the pot, allowing it to simmer till the vegetables are tender (usually takes half an hour). Remove from the heat.

Puree the soup (with a hand blender or food processer). Return the soup to the heat and fold in the turkey meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve in soup bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon and sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley. Serve immediately with crackers.

Emeril Chef In My Family.jpg
Many adults don’t want their kids in the kitchen. They are afraid that the kids will get hurt. They might burn themselves or cut themselves while working on a dish. Parents have a 101 fears about what could happen to their kids and they often see the kitchen as an accident prone area.

What many parents often don’t realize is that kids want to be in the kitchen, helping to make the meals. They love being legally messy – as most dishes can be. They enjoy getting to taste everything first and putting their hands in things. Best of all, they enjoy being with you and experienceing the joy of watching the family relish their cooking.

Get your kid started on making great meals from your kitchen. Make it a family affair. Use recipes from cookbooks like Emeril Lagasse’s “There’s A Chef In My Soup!” There’s A Chef In My Family!” or There’s A Chef In My World!” and you may be amazed at how well your kids do, how delicious the food is and how easy it was to make.

Silvana Franco
Cooking is best practiced if it has been something that was experienced from the start especially during childhood. Such is the story of one of the glamorous personalities to grace TV cooking shows in the mold of Silvana Franco. Franco trained as a chef at High Peak College in Buxton and obtained a degree in Home Economy at South Bank University.

Silvana started out writing for BBC Worldwide in its Vegetarian Good Food Magazine. She made this her cup of tea until she was elevated to a senior writer. She soon graced the TV sets for such shows as Gourmet Express 2, Ready Steady to Cook and Two�s Saturday Kitchen. But despite her continuous rise to stardom, she never let go of her writing which include that of Can�t Cook, Won�t Cook, Ainsley�s Big Cook Out and Friends for Dinner.

She also runs a food media company called Fork, proof of her continued love and loyalty in the field of cooking.

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Chef Mary Berry started out as a broadcaster and is known to be one of the well-respected cookbook writers that the United Kingdom has produced. She is also known for her signature cakes which sold over 350,000 copies. Chef Berry typifies the role of a plain housewife who should know her way around the household, something that most of her avid viewers have followed in her shows over BBC.

Chef Mary Berry

Outside her evident signature trait of making extra ordinary cake recipes, she has also written over 40 cook books including The Aga Book. Her approach towards cooking is branded as family style emphasizing on healthy recipes that focus on fresh ingredients rather than cholesterol animal fats, something that most people of today are quite particular about. With her exposure on various TV shows, Chef Berry has gained headway and prestige, all through her continuous efforts through tri-media, including magazines that are bought worldwide.

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Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Kennedy Shriver is known to be the executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation and honorary chairperson for the Special Olympics. Her main goal is to be able to provide support in enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all throughout the world. With such efforts comes a moniker that is used by people to associate with certain bake goodies.

Such was the tag given to an extra ordinary way of presenting the usual baked cookies that people are used to. While the recipes for preparing such are almost similar to that of mixing baking powder, vanilla, cream butter and sugar, the twist comes in when the butter is brushed and sugar is sprinkled to produce the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Sugar Cookies. This recipe was originally founded in 1989 during the Winter Games which contain heavy cream for the people who savor their sweet tooth demands.

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The year is about to end and you’d like to say goodbye to 2006 with a bang, and something delicious and different on the table. Only question now is, what to cook? Don’t give yourself a headache, check out some of the recipes the chefs recommend for this special dinner.

Rachael Ray.jpgIf you’ve only got 30 minutes, then who better to ask than Rachael Ray who hosts 30 Minute Meals. Her Crab Salad Bites on Endive are easy to make and a delicious way to get started at your party.

bobbyflay.pngIf pasta is something you want on the table and stay in the seafood theme, why not try some of Bobby Flay’s Sea Bass with Potatoes and Tomatoes in Parchment with Angel Hair Pasta. This is absolutely delicious and healthy. Chef Flay also recommends the Arugula Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil to go with this dish.

Tyler Florence.jpgA fancy dinner doesn’t have to be hard to make. In fact Tyler Florence says you can make this Filet Mignon with Mushrooms and Sauce Pinot Noir in just 20 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how quick and easy this recipe is and how wonderful it tastes.

Don’t forget to get some good champagne to welcome in the new year with. Put on your party hats, enjoy the food and the fireworks and sing Auld Lang Syne.

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Are you tired of having turkey for christmas dinner? You are not the only one. Traditions are great but every now and then it is nice to have a change. Turkey at thanksgiving is enough for some.

Instead of taking out the turkey, just add a few dishes as alternatives. You can try Rachel Ray’s Christmas Pasta for one. It is loaded with all sorts of meat, perfect for those who don’t want fowl or fish. You don’t even need to worry about any leftovers. This dish just tastes better with every reheat. Do note Rachael Ray’s reminder: cook only as much pasta as needed. That comes to about half a pound for every 3 people.

If you really want to keep the turkey off the table this year, how about some of Giada de Laurentiis’ Spicy chicken instead? It’s an easy dish to make that doesn’t take too much work to cook and it adds a little kick to your christmas meal.
Here are the recipes for these two dishes:

Rachael Ray’s Christmas Pasta

1/4 pound pancetta, thick cut, chopped into small bits (Italian cured pork, ask at deli counter)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 pound combined ground beef, pork and veal
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry red wine
1 cup prepared beef stock, paper container or canned
2 (32-ounce) cans chunky style crushed tomatoes
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon (a couple of pinches) allspice or cinnamon
Coarse salt and black pepper
2 pounds penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Grated Pecorino Romano, as an accompaniment
Fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

Heat a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and brown to render the fat. Transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. To the pan add the oil, and the meats and brown and crumble them for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and pancetta bits.Chop carrot, celery, and onions near the stove and add to the pot as you work. Cook vegetables with meat 5 minutes and add wine. Cook for 1 minute; add stock and tomatoes to the pot.

Stir in parsley, allspice, or cinnamon and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, minimum, before serving. Reheated sauce only improves.

Toss pasta (cook off only as much pasta as you need at the time: half a pound for every 3 people) with a couple of ladles of sauce to coat, then top bowl with extra sauce. Top pasta with lots of cheese and pass bread at the table

Giada de Laurentiis’ Spicy Chicken

4 chicken thighs with skin and bones
2 chicken breasts with skin and bones, halved crosswise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Chili Oil, recipe follows
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted, coarsely chopped green olives
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
2/3 cup dry white wine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the garlic, olives, 3 tablespoons of parsley and capers. Add the wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.Transfer the chicken mixture to a platter. Spoon the sauce over. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and serve.

Chili Oil:
2 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakesCombine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours

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Next in line for Christmas menus to consider is Mario Batali’s, the Food Network’s, larger than life American-Italian chef. I must say though, that this menu is not typical-Mario, whose recipes I’ve found not to be the simplest to do in your average home kitchen.

This Christmas menu is actually pretty easy to pull off, in both availability of ingredients and procedure, unlike his Christmas Eve menu, the Seven Fish (also found in his cookbook Holiday Food, pictured above), which is what I would call, classic Mario – delicious, but not exactly easy peasy.
This menu has all the ingredients for a superb holiday. The dishes indulge and comfort, and they incorporate a little bit of tradition and a lot of play. Best of all, none of these dishes is particularly complicated.

I love to cook for my family at the holidays; it’s a special way of showing love and affection. But there’s no point if all that cooking actually takes away from time spent with loved ones.

That’s why this menu is ideal. Certain components can be prepared ahead of time, and even the final preparations won’t leave you feeling as though you’ve spent the day handcuffed to the stove. It’s a celebratory dinner everyone, even the cook, will have energy and desire to enjoy.

Mario Batali

Mario’s Italian Christmas Dinner

Vongole Origanate
Clams with Oregano and Bread Crumbs

Crostini Napoletani
Fresh Ricotta, Anchovy, and Oregano Toasts

Broccoli Soffriti
Braised Broccoli

Tacchino Ripieno
Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts and Prunes

Linguine alle Noci
Linguine with Walnut Sauce

Affogato al Caffe
Coffee Semifreddo “Drowned” in Coffee

For recipes, click HERE.

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