'These chorizos are huge!' – how Paul Ryan's sausage gets made
October 8th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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Ask, and you shall receive. We implored CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd to suss out the secrets of vice presidential candidate and avid hunter Paul Ryan's much-vaunted homemade venison sausage, and goodness, did she deliver.

According to Sunday's pool report, the secret to Ryan's venison sausage is spices from Tenuta's Deli ("A Kenosha Tradition Since 1950!") where he spoke with reporters while purchasing supplies for this year's haul.

March 8th, 2011
01:45 AM ET
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The Prez – not so much a fan of the salty yeast extract that's a staple on sandwiches down under. In fact, he called the Australian spread "horrible." We'd tsk his diplomatic dealings here if we didn't so wholeheartedly agree.

White House Producer Shawna Shepherd weighs in at The 1600 Report

If there's one area where President Obama and his Australian counterpart disagree, it is over the culinary merits of Vegemite.

Vege-what? That was on the mind of one 11th grade history student when she asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain the Australian, um, delicacy, during a visit with Obama to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia on Monday.

As Gillard described the sandwich spread as a “by-product of making beer” and “yeast paste,” she must have realized how unappetizing that sounded to American kids who grew up on PB&J.

“I’m making this sound really good, aren’t I?” Gillard quipped and then added the spread has a black hue and is “quite salty,” cringe-inducing adjectives when combined with yeast paste.

Read Obama not a Vegemite-terian

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Filed under: Australia • Bite • Cuisines • News • President Obama

October 19th, 2010
05:30 AM ET
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Shawna Shepherd is a producer at CNN.

There’s got to be a better way. That’s what I thought when I was standing in the supermarket aisle staring at pricey bottles of vanilla extract. This was around the holidays, when I typically bake a lot, and I was going through it quickly. I wanted quality vanilla at a reasonable price and since I couldn’t get that at the store, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Vanilla extract, a staple ingredient in most cookie and baking recipes, can be made inexpensively from home with just two ingredients.

Anyone who has a busy job or a family might scoff at the notion of making something from scratch because who has the time? As a young professional who travels a lot, I won’t take on anything that requires a lot of upkeep. But trust me, making vanilla extract requires very little time and maintenance. You will impress both baking novices and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

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Filed under: Experimental • Make • Recipes

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