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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Does Your Stomach Really Expand if You Eat More?

Does Your Stomach Really Expand if You Eat More?

We're talking about your digestive system, not your waistline. READ MORE

Using up Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a popular condiment in sandwiches, of course, but not just turkey sandwiches: hounds love it in cheese, pork, and peanut butter sandwiches, too.

Cranberry sauce is good for breakfast, too, mixed with yougurt and granola, or as an oatmeal topping.

Many like to use leftover cranberry sauce in desserts or baking. Warmed cranberry sauce, perhaps with a splash of Grand Marnier, is great over ice cream or pound cake. bolivianita uses it in muffins, adding a middle layer of cranberry sauce between two scoops of muffin batter. Others recommend recipes for apple-cranberry crumb pie, cranberry swirl coffeecake, and cranberry almond coffeecake.

On the savory side, sixelagogo makes a cranberry vinaigrette with cranberry sauce, red wine vinegar, and olive oil that works well with peppery greens. zorra browns chicken or pork chops with some chopped onion, then simmers it in cranberry sauce and red wine or orange juice until done. Jpan99 makes a cranberry burgundy sauce she says goes great with ham: Mix about 2 cups cranberry sauce with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard and about a cup of burgundy. Cook and reduce until thickened.

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ideas for leftover cranberry sauce

Dreamland BBQ

The ribs at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are ribs you’ll dream about, if you’ve ever eaten there. And best of all, says CDouglas, they travel well through the mail. Ribs arrive perfectly spiced and meaty. The quart of sauce is addictive, and worth the price of the order alone. They’ll include a loaf of Sunbeam bread for your sopping pleasure!

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Mail Order BBQ Ribs

Breakfast in a Basket

Need a clever twist for your next gift basket? Try stocking it with breakfast stuff.

Candy likes the offerings at Harrington’s of Vermont. The Deluxe Country Brunch package will feed you and the neighbors. There’s a lot to choose from here. The cob smoked bacon is some of the very best, says Candy.

Wolferman’s has selections that contain English muffins and scones, savory or sweet, that gozz37 says are very good.

The Breakfast in Bed basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets, has a great assortment of goodies for about $40.

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Breakfast gourmet gift basket recs?

Crap on a “Top Chef” Plate

Crap on a “Top Chef” Plate

Is ousted chef Carlos the most decent person on reality TV? READ MORE

It Could Happen to U.S.

Australia, host of the recent G20 summit and home to one of the world’s chowhoundiest cities, is on the brink of a food crisis. Analysts say that the country’s five-year-long drought is its worst in 1,000 years and is expected to cut staple-crop production by more than 60 percent this year. After an initial drop in the price of some livestock (like sheep, which I’m told are selling for $1 AUS apiece these days), food prices are expected to spike nationwide in the months ahead. And the drought is having a psychological impact on growers and ranchers as well: Faced with dying crops and livestock, farmers are committing suicide at the rate of one every four days.

Sure, the continent-cum-country is halfway around the world for most of us—but as South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann put it recently, “what we’re seeing with this drought is a frightening glimpse of the future with global warming.”

One bright side of this sad affair is that it may push agriculture in Australia to a more sustainable level—and perhaps it will also give the rest of the world some ideas. While farmers of water-intensive crops like rice and cotton are taking a lot of heat for their irrigation practices, those growers have become mega–water efficient by necessity and could potentially export some of their know-how to help other nations conserve water. Even better, some farmers are switching their land over to more efficient crops, creating strong local-food movements in the process. “We’re really going to have to start rethinking the crops we do in Australia,” says Doug May, a vintner whose family farm used to produce only super-thirsty plants and animals like potatoes and cattle, but now grows greens, fruits, and legumes for the local CSA.

Eat and Get Out

Eat and Get Out

The manipulative techniques of casual-dining establishments READ MORE

Hog Heaven

You might think that a bottle of tequila and a bag of pork rinds would be anyone’s recipe for a good time. But taking the high-low fusion to new, um, heights, The New York Times reports on a Brooklyn bistro’s latest entry into the meatini sweepstakes. At Porchetta, aspiring molecular gastronomist Jason Neroni ditches the margarita’s ho-hum salt rim for a dusting of crushed pork rinds zapped with arbol chiles. Inside the glass, a smoky añejo tequila is swirled with fresh lime and tangerine juices and a jolt of Cointreau.

Somehow, the Style-section article missed the Vegas bacon martini described on CHOW, although they did give plenty of space to a description of a homemade hot dog–infused vodka dubbed “weeniecello” by its maker, one Andrew Fenton. For those without the patience for the months-long infusing process, cocktail site Liquor Snob provides a convenient DIY bacotini recipe, with the priceless instructions to “rim the glass with bacon grease.”

Of course, you don’t have to drink your meat products to stay ahead of the curve. Just in time for holiday indulgence, Slashfood has a how-to for bacon caramel. And the star of last year’s Southern Foodways Alliance conference was the pig candy, shards of sweet-salty porky delight made from country-smoked bacon rubbed in brown sugar and roasted with pecans.

Three Giblets in the Fountain

For a long time now, my family has joked about buying ourselves a chocolate fountain and breaking it out for dessert each night. But then we agree that it would lead to eating too much sugar.

Well, poster Turkey Tek at the DIY blog Instructables has a solution. Instead of fountaining some pedestrian melted chocolate, he rigged up a recirculating gravy fountain that “provided a gushing torrent of delicious, piping hot gravy.”

Originally created for Thanksgiving “2K5,” this is the kind of idea that will never go out of style! Like waterfalls in the wild that put off negative ions, an ever-flowing gravy fountain can generate mysterious feelings of well-being.

Greedy Gobbler

Greedy Gobbler

Are you entitled to Thanksgiving leftovers? And other Turkey Day conundrums. READ MORE