January 9th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

If your New Year's resolution involved being more adventurous in the kitchen, hold on to your toques - Charles Phan is opening up his highly anticipated first cookbook, "Vietnamese Home Cooking," for you courageous, budding culinarians.

Phan is the acclaimed chef and owner of The Slanted Door, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, California.

"These dishes all have memories for me and my family and have become favorites for one reason or another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuisines at home, these are all very easy to make, " Phan said. "Go a step further with our wine or cocktail suggestions and everyone will think you’re a professional and might not want to leave."

Five Vietnamese Recipes to Try At Home: Charles Phan

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Filed under: 5@5 • Asian • Bite • Cooking • Cuisines • Make • Recipes • Think • Vietnamese

December 10th, 2012
12:15 PM ET
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CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski and paska.

When we were kids, stuck inside during a long, cold winter or seeking respite from the summer heat under a shade tree, my friends and I often played board games. These games could go on for quite a while, and we'd get to talking about sports and whatever else young boys think about. Eventually we'd get around to the topic of our favorite foods.

We all agreed that stuffed cabbage, known as holupki, was the best of all. Second to pizza, of course.

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Filed under: Cooking • Cultural Identity • Culture • Family Recipe Index • Make • Recipes • Step-by-Step

iReport: Want to make Hostess cakes at home? Don't sweat faking the fakeness
November 19th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
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Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."

She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."

Barber advises:

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Challenges • Cooking • How To • iReport • Junk • Make • Techniques & Tips • Twinkies

iReport Challenge: Bake a Twinkie, Wonder Bread or other Hostess treat at home
November 16th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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Hostess Brands – the maker of popular baked goods such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread – announced it is asking a bankruptcy court for permission to shut down, blaming a strike by bakers opposed to a new contract.

This weekend, we'd like you to bake your own Hostess treat. Please send us a photo of your homemade creation along with the recipe. And of course, tell us how it tastes! (If you're not the baking type, tell us about your fondest memories of the iconic snacks.)

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Filed under: Challenges • Cooking • iReport • Junk • Make • Twinkies

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