Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda

Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda is managing producer of Travelchannel.com. A Washingtonian, Floridian and wannabe Charlestonian, Rani’s passion for writing, travel, photography and food brought her to Africa, Singapore and Italy. Not even close to scratching her Bucket List, Rani looks forward to her next adventure: traveling with her husband and 2 small children. Follow Rani on Twitter @IAmCraftWeb.

Posts by Rani Craft Robinson-Kiganda

Clear canisters of popcorn

 

Today marks the official savory-and-sweet National Popcorn Day. It’s time not only to celebrate the buttery, salty goodness of movie theater popcorn but also the cheese, caramel, chocolate (and many more) flavors that we simply can’t get enough of!

No one seems to know why or when the very first official National Popcorn Day started, but according to the Popcorn Board — yes, there is one — the end of January, also around Super Bowl time, was the official beginning, which seems to make the most sense. Why? Well, aside from eating chicken wings and drinking beer, lots of football fans also enjoy bowls of popcorn while watching the big game. READ MORE

Highclere Castle featured on Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey fans around the world are no doubt anxiously awaiting the return of the popular classic series this Sunday, Jan. 5, on PBS. Everyone wants to know: How will Lady Mary Crawley overcome the sudden and tragic loss of her husband Matthew Crawley? Will she be able to be a mother to their son? And what will become of the financially drained Downton Abbey estate … and of the lives of the staff who really make Downton shine? READ MORE

Andrew Zimmern at the Minnesota State Fair and holding a hot dog

I don’t know about you, but I love state fairs. Not just for the nostalgic feeling they invite but also because of all the food! Each year, state fairs are my excuse to go nuts! OK, not nuts, but let’s say “tip the scales” a bit. Even if you’ve not been to a state fair, you’ve more than likely heard of some of their wondrous creations, like deep-fried Twinkies, Oreos, funnel cakes and, in the case of the Minnesota State Fair, deep-fried cheese curds!

Tonight on Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern visits the Minnesota State Fair for Comet Corn, Famous Dave’s, Carl’s Gizmo, French Meadow Bakery, Sweet Martha’s Cookies and countless other foodie venues! Get all the details in our Minnesota State Fair Travel Guide.

Catch a sneak peek in our Minnesota State Fair Photos.

Caviar and BananasCopyright Caviar & Bananas 2013

Every year, my family takes a road trip to Charleston, SC. My husband and I were married there, in the nearby town of Mt. Pleasant, right across the Cooper River Bridge in an adorable area called I’On. And for the third time, Charleston was named the No. 1 City in the US by Conde Nast Traveler. The city has created a reputation for itself as the place to get married and the place to eat, touting award-winning chefs like Sean Brock’s Husk.

During my recent trip to Charleston, we had lunch at Caviar & Bananas (C&B), a gourmet café that also serves as a mini-market and bakery all rolled into one. There are 2 locations in Charleston – one off 188 Meeting Street and the other (the one we visited — several times) at 51 George Street, in Charleston’s historic downtown area, close to the College of Charleston campus. The atmosphere is wonderful – lots of smiles, college students and the occasional group of tourists. Purchase ready-made food, bakery items, locally made ice cream, popsicles and made-to-order sandwiches/wraps. READ MORE

Bar scene in New York City

Everyone knows that next to Las Vegas, New York City is the city that never sleeps. After a night of bar hopping, dancing and whatever other fun that empties your wallet, there is more drinking and eating to be done before it’s time for bed. But think past the easily accessible beer and greasy pizza and move forward to a more sophisticated cuisine.

On a recent trip to New York City, our own chef, traveler and TV host, Andrew Zimmern enjoyed a late-night city sampler that culminated in an episode of Bizarre Foods America we call, NYC Overnight: Bizarre At All Hours.

Andrew Zimmern’s quest answered the following important questions: Hungry? Go here. Still thirsty? Drink up here. And as always, Andrew doesn’t disappoint, offering up some of the best Asian-inspired late-night eats and more. READ MORE

Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is right around the corner — only 4 days away! Are you ready? If you’re still racking your brain for what to cook or how to prepare the ever-popular sides of stuffing, mac ‘n’ cheese or the main event: the bird, here are a few tips and recipes from chef and host of Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern, and chef and host of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain.

 Thanksgiving turkeyAnthony Bourdain’s Thanksgiving Tips

“The breast takes more time to cook than the legs. Take off the legs, and place them in a separate pan. Butter under the skin, and add salt and crushed pepper. No garlic!”

“Make the stuffing on the side, and don’t include it in the cavity of the turkey. Do this to avoid bacteria (salmonella), which will drain off the bird and into the stuffing.”

Get Recipes from Anthony Bourdain

Macaroni and Cheese Andrew Zimmern’s Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes

Andrew Zimmern definitely knows his way around a kitchen, so we wouldn’t steer you wrong by suggesting that you try his divine recipe for mac ‘n’ cheese, a great side dish for Thanksgiving Day. But if eating turkey isn’t your “thing,” then try Andrew’s braised rabbit or something spicy, like Asopao de Pollo y Mariscos, a chicken, shrimp and rice stew!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the second most important meal of the day: dessert. Keep it traditional with Andrew’s recipe for pumpkin pie.

Try all of Andrew Zimmern’s Recipes

Head over to our sister site, FoodNetwork.com for even more Thanksgiving Day tips and tricks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

We’ve got at least one item on your summer 2014 to-do list: Ride Verrückt. If you haven’t heard the latest buzz about Verrückt, allow us to enlighten you. Designed by Jeff Henry, the “Wizard of Water” and co-owner of Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City, KS, Verrückt, once complete, will be the tallest, fastest and, dare we say — scariest — waterslide in the world!

View from the top of Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark

The 17-story Verrückt waterslide, which requires 4 people to ride it at one time, will be taller than Niagara Falls  and the Statue of Liberty. And Travel Channel is on the ground capturing the entire build — we’ll be there when the first 4 brave souls take the first plunge! The waterslide will be featured in next summer’s Xtreme Waterparks, our hit series about the coolest, most ridiculous and most extreme waterparks in the world.

Stay tuned for more on how Verrückt’s build is progressing. Until summer 2014, wet your appetite with our Xtreme Waterparks pictures.

 

Chef, author and award-winning TV personality and host of Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern, kicks off the new season of Bizarre Foods America tonight at 9|8c. Andrew first stop: New Jersey! Don’t worry, there is plenty of bizarre, “gross” and outrageously delicious things to eat in Jersey.

Andrew begins with a tour of LaMonica Fine Foods, a fourth-generation Italian-American family business, where they process fresh shellfish, like scungilli, a traditional Italian food made from conch.

Did you know there’s a large population of immigrants from the Philippines in New Jersey? Andrew visits Little Manila to check out Phil-Am Foods, the largest Filipino-owned grocery store on the East Coast. READ MORE

 

Tonight on the season finale of Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern travels to the eclectic city of Portland, OR . While in Portland, Andrew visits the not-to-miss bakery of Voodoo Doughnut, along with Olympic Provisions, a quality meats shop that produces 12 kinds of salami!

See all the places that Andrew visits tonight in our Portland Travel Guide. Plus, go behind the scenes for a sneak peek of tonight’s Portland episode in our Portland Pictures slideshow.

Watch a Sneak Peek: Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut

Tonight on an all-new Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern travels to Northern California for wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma, and jelly bean sampling at Jelly Belly in Fairfield, CA (outside of San Francisco). Get a complete list of what Andrew gets into tonight in our Northern California Travel Guide, and go behind the scenes with Andrew in our Bizarre Foods America: Northern California slideshow.

Watch a Sneak Peek: Grape Picking in California

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