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A little something for the weekend..

Tequila Lemonade by Chuck

I’m so annoyed right now. My favourite Cooking Channel chef and personality, Chuck Hughes, is but a couple miles away from me doing a promo ice cream event with the public and my day and week has been so snowed under I cannot go. Of ALL weekends to do this Cooking Channel you pick the ONE when I am going away! grr.

Hopefully there will be other opportunities. In the meantime Maybe you can enjoy the Tequila Lemonade recipe from the show ‘Chuck’s day off’. It uses Meyer Lemons and I am simply dying to take a crack at it! The recipe can be found here, but I am posting it below for your reference.

Chuck Hughes
Tequila Lemonade on Chuck’s Day off

Ingredients

* Ice cubes, (about 2 cups)
* 8 Meyer lemons
* Dash sugar cane syrup or simple syrup
* 4 sprigs fresh peppermint, leaves torn
* 1 lemon, sliced into wheels
* 4 ounces Tequila

* Dash of soda water or seltzer
* 2 vanilla beans, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Into a pitcher, put about 2 scoops of ice cubes. Squeeze in the juice of 8 Meyer lemons or 8 regular lemons in a pinch! Add several dashes of sugar cane syrup. Add the leaves of 2 fresh mint sprigs, torn into pieces. Add a few lemon wheels for garnish. Add 4 ounces of Tequila and give it a stir. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

When serving, put the ice in tall glasses, and pour the Tequila Lemonade over the top. Top up with a splash of fizzy soda water. Garnish each glass with a wheel of lemon, a vanilla bean, a sprig of mint, and a paper umbrella.

Thats’ it! Have a good weekend everyone – I will be away next week but never fear – I have a few guest writers who have submitted some great foodie based articles for you to read on this here blog next week!!

Image via cooking channel

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The Cooking Channel floats my boat..

…it really does. At least so far.

I am slowly but surely making my way through the roster of shows and have been thoroughly entertained, inspired and peckish! There is a very laid back ease to each of the shows, with presenters who are warm, friendly and make the deliciousness they are making look and sound like something totally do-able.

Last week I gave my opinion about four of the shows I’d watched and enjoyed, it was a mere coincedence that the presenters were all blokes. This week it’s the ladies turn..

French food at Home
Host: Laura Calder
Location: Canada via France
Premise: Author and chef Laura has a very calm demeanor that borders on shyness.The setting appears to be a studio kitchen but it is gently feminine with light colours and rustic touches (like that flour box and sugar container..with a scoop. A scoop!). I found her very relaxing to watch, with a gently delivery and quiet tone. Her technique was detailed and efficient.

She made the most gorgeous French looking tart seem so so simple to make – and it looked beautiful! I am fairly certain I am going to give it a try, perhaps with some farmer’s market apples..

I like Laura’s style of dress, though I cannot say it is MY style – she looked unoffensive ( I cannot stand the way martha stewart dresses..), like a nice-looking 30’something that you would expect to see on the street of any cosmopolitan city. Although Canadian, Laura has a delightful French lilt to her voice, possibly from living and work in France for many years, that makes it fun to listen to her speak – I was captivated. Totally.

Verdict: I like this show and can see it as a great ‘go-to’ reference for when I am looking for a dish to add some oomph to a dinner party. Not one for the DVR but mostly because my DVR list is a little overrun!

Anjum Anand

Host: Anjum Anand
Location: London
Premise: Food author and Londoner Anjum Anand goes to the home of someone who loves Indian food but hasn’t considered trying to make the dishes themselves. She shows just how simple it is to create classic Indian food meals with ease – and really it is ease!

But its more than just showing how to make the food, a jaunt to the supermarket elicits a lesson in how to pick ones produce properly. Knife skills in the kitchen teach the best way to skin a …well, Mango in this instance. These details, which amazingly pack into a half hour show without making it feel rushed, does more for the viewer than a printed page ever could.

Anjum talks with an authoritative air but with good reason – she whipped up a paneer so quickly I had to rewind my DVR to see if I’d missed something – I hadn’t. I found myself so excited watching this show, I love Indian food, and aside from curry had never entertained making other dishes myself..but this is all about to change!

Verdict: I am going to add this one to the DVR queue for certain.

rachel allen bake
Host: Rachel Allen
Location: UK
Premise: Rounding out this International affair of tv cooks and chefs is Dublin born Rachel Allen. I do love the Irish, and not just because I used to be a huge Father Ted fan many years ago. Surrounded by a small group of students, Rachel takes us step by step through the process of how to make sweet treats really very well.
Cookies, cake frosting, these are all things some of us take from granted, or worse still from a can. Rachel shows how to make all and more from scratch all the while coaxing us along with her warm tone.

Verdict: Maybe not one for the DVR queue for now, but that is by no means a reflection on the quality or lackthereof of the show. I really did find it informative and fun and will be checking in on Rachels new recipes and direction oft.

Keep your eyes on this blog for more cooking channel rambles next week!

all images from cookingchanneltv.com

So…have you seen it?

Well? Have you? I am talking about the brand new Cooking Channel of course. I must admit, I was highly skeptical about this channel, after all I loved FLN for it’s interior design shows and there is already a FOOD channel so why do we need a cooking channel?

I made a mental note last week to set my DVR to the only shows I thought I would enjoy: Chinese/Indian Food made easy, French food at Home, Jamie at Home and Rachel Allen Bake!

Little did I realise that once I sat in front of the tv I would be GLUED, simply GLUED to near every show on the channel. Despite the lovely warm weather and the presence of visitors, I managed to view an awful lot of the cooking channel this past weekend because I simply couldn’t pull myself away. Overall the shows looked very well styled, nicely shot (was it me or did every show look like HD???), had great enigmatic hosts and the content was genuinely interesting. I was largely impressed at the sheer internationality of the channel. Hosts hailing from the UK, Italy, The Caribbean, Canada and some. I am making it my aim to watch every show on the Cooking Channel at least once! A brief comment about some of the shows I saw this past weekend:

Chuck's day off
Host: Chuck Hughes
Location: Montreal, Canada
Premise: A very handsome, enthusiastic Montrealian chef who is inked with images of lobsters, meringues and a honking big ‘I heart Oysters’ piece. Yes, seriously. The first word Chuck uses to describe himself is ‘passionate’ and that quality is undeniable   because it is his enthusiasm that exudes through the screen which kept me riveted.

Chuck dresses like a trucker in the kitchen of his restaurant Garde Manger and his kitchen staff look like trainee mechanics, in beanies and an all black uniform. Some could be excused for writing off the look as ‘hipster’ but after a short time you realise that this dress code and swagger is not forced but just how they are.

The informality is reinforced by the direction of the show, this is Chuck’s day off and he is ‘cooking for fun’. In the episode I saw, he cooked a fish based meal for his two fish suppliers. But he didn’t just make a main course, he made a starter and complimentary beverage to boot – all the while encouraging you the viewer that it was in your ability to remake the dishes with ease.
Verdict: I am adding this show to my DVR record list. It is a must see in my book. Chuck is entertaining, informative and very fanciable.

David Rocco's Dolce Vita

Host: David Rocco
Location: Italy
Premise: Chef David Rocco, takes us on a trip around the tastes and gastro traditions of one of the most well known countries for culinary fare. The show is casual, with David cooking in his (?) home kitchen somewhere in Italy – like Chuck’s day off it is this informality that makes the show relatable.

I feel like I am with a friend watching them cook and that thus, all that they make is well within my ability to replicate. The dishes David makes all come with a story, usually one linked to the gastro-nostalgia of growing up within an Italian family or of memories of eating with friends.

Like Chuck, David is easy on the eyes and the ears – with his North American/Italian accent and casual setting. His skills around the kitchen seem to be without dispute too.
Verdict: I will definitely be watching this show on the regular but for now, will hold off from adding it to the DVR queue!

Everyday Exotic with Roger Mooking
Host: Roger Mooking
Location: Toronto, Canada
Premise: Chef, Restaurant owner and recording artist, (yes you read correctly). Roger Mooking hosts Everyday Exotic – a show that teaches you how to inject spice and exotic twists into everyday meals using just ONE new ingredient. I must say I enjoyed this show, the meal looked fantastic ( the exotic new ingredient to add was : Papaya), and watching Roger make everything from start to finish was a good lesson in how to use your kitchen tools, space and time effectively.

However, the one drawback, was the constant hum and warble of Roger singing and harmonizing over the stove. Yes, I get that he is a recording artist, but the relevance was lost in the kitchen and after a short while I found his impromptu outbursts more than a tad annoying.

That being said, the next day I did employ some of the tricks I saw on this show, but be rest assured, I wasn’t singing to my limes as I did so!
Verdict: Will definitely watch it if I catch it on TV, but its not one for the DVR queue. It is quite possible that from here on in I will watch it on mute with closed captioning ON so as not to miss a step.

Foodography
Host: Mo Rocca
Location: New York
Premise: Mo is a writer, actor and humorist. What’s that? He isn’t a chef??? That’s right – not a chef, and this is the thing that makes The Cooking Channel great. Not everyone on the channel is a food ‘expert’. What *IS* a food expert after all?? I mean, we all EAT food regularly (some way more regularly than others). We all cook to a certain degree and we all shop for food – either fresh, packaged, or harvested. Therefore, don’t we all have an opinion, angle and thought on food? Yes, and you will notice during the commercial break, ‘food nerds’, food bloggers and just plain food lovers (craven maven’s??!), waxing lyrical about their passion. Food.

Mo takes us in a direction I didn’t expect – the history of certain popular foods. The show I saw discussed Ice Cream – it’s evolution, it’s many forms and forums and it’s future. I can honestly say, I learned more than one would ever expect to learn about something they shove in their gullet on a regular basis. Food(ography) is like Discovery channel meets Food network, resulting in one heck of a food baby!
Verdict: I will add this to my DVR list because it’s just plain informative and lighthearted!

Each week I will post more about other shows I’ve watched on the Cooking Channel!

all images from cookingchanneltv.com