‘Milk Street: Season 1′ Will Leave A Relatively Good Taste In Viewers’ Mouths

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Chris Kimball, former host of PBS’ hit cooking series Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen has had quite the journey since 2015. From leaving both series to facing a lawsuit from the heads of one of the series to even facing controversy over the very name of his new show, Kimball has had a lot on his proverbial plate, no pun intended. Even through it all, he apparently managed to weather the storm and return to television late in 2017 with his new series Milk Street. Now thanks to Public Media Distribution and PBS, audiences can own the first season of this new series for themselves on DVD. Released on 2-DVD box set January 30, this 13-episode debut season presents Milk Street as an interesting new effort from Kimball and everyone else behind the show. That is due in part to the show’s presentation. It will be discussed shortly. One thing that detracts from the series’ debut season is the lack of printable recipes, but is luckily for its sake, the only negative to this presentation. The dishes that are presented round out the program’s most important elements. Each element is important in its own way to the season’s overall presentation, as will be pointed out in the coming discussion. All things considered, they make the debut season of Milk Street a good start for this new venture from Kimball and company.

The debut season of Christopher Kimball’s new cooking series Milk Street proves over the course of its thirteen episode run to be a good start for the show. That is evidenced in part to the series’ very presentation. Audiences familiar with Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen, the series that Kimball formerly fronted, will note that the series, in its presentation, takes the best elements of those series and mixes them with some new elements while also eliminating other elements for a whole new, interesting format. In regards to the best elements is the fact that Kimball once again serves only in a host role in this series, which is how the prior series were presented. The cooks were the real stars, and that is the case again here. Speaking of those cooks, Kimball has a new crop of cooks this time out, giving those new faces their own chance at making names for themselves. Also of note are the product and taste test segments. Unlike the segments in Kimball’s previous series, he handles those segments himself here. Instead of focusing on a number of products and comparing them — which is what those segments did (and that is not to talk garbage about them, either) — Kimball takes his time to focus on one item and one item only, making the most of the time for each segment. Love the approach or hate it, it is an interesting new approach. Also new to this series is the fact that instead of just talking about dishes before the segments, Kimball actually introduces the dishes with actual in-kitchen segments in other parts of the world. It’s as if Kimball and company merged elements of A Chef’s Life and Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern just without the really disgusting looking foods presented in the latter series to create this segment. It’s an interesting new take on a familiar approach. Even the studio segments have a whole new take with Kimball and company letting viewers know they are working in front of a studio audience. That was something, on the previous series, that was only made obvious during the taste test segments, so it is another interesting new approach taken here to break down that wall right off the bat. Considering the mix of the old and new presented here, it becomes obvious that Milk Street‘s presentation will appeal to longtime fans of Kimball’s previous series and his new venture. Keeping that in mind, it proves in whole why the general presentation is so important to this first outing for Milk Street. For all the good that the series’ presentation presents, its home release is not without at least one negative. That negative is the seeming lack of printable recipes.

In going through all 13 episodes of Milk Street‘s first season, it appears that none of the dishes presented are complimented with printable recipes. Instead, audiences who want to get the recipes for themselves have to go online to get them. This might not seem overly important on the surface, but when examined on a deeper level, it becomes clear why this is in fact very important to note. In seemingly placing the recipes online only, odds are they will only be available for a certain amount of time. That is because after a while they will have to be purged to make way for other recipes. This in turn creates a certain sense of urgency, and maybe not everyone who watches a series such as this even has access to the web. That makes having the recipes available to print from disc that much more important. It allows audiences to choose and print recipes on their own time. Keeping this in mind, seemingly not having the recipes available on disc does in fact prove pivotal to the presentation of Milk Street’s first season on DVD. It goes without saying that it definitely detracts from the season’s presentation on disc. Hopefully when and if a second season is produced and released, this will be amended, being the only major negative, but still a key negative. As much as it takes away from the season’s presentation, it is not enough to make it a fail. As a matter of fact, speaking of the recipes, the dishes that are featured this season are very similar to those presented in Cook’s Country and ATK. This familiarity rounds out the most important of the season’s elements.

The dishes that are presented throughout the course of Milk Street‘s first season are critical to its presentation because they are so easy to make by and large. This is something else that Kimball has brought over to this venture from his previous series. At the same time, they’re not just average, pedestrian dishes, either. From Fluffy Olive Oil Scrambled Eggs to Lemon-Buttermilk Poundcake to Georgian Chicken Soup (the country Georgia, not the state) to Shrimp in Chipotle Sauce and beyond, the dishes are easily made any night of the week as long as the ingredients can be found. By and large, they can be found with relative ease, too, considering the variety of grocery stores that are out there nowadays. What’s more, the dishes come from so many different nations. There are dishes from Mexico, the United States, Japan, Spain, The Middle East (Israeli Hummus in that case), Thailand, and again Georgia among so many other countries. In other words, this series presents audiences with dishes that they otherwise might not have ever tasted or tried to cook without making them inaccessible or too hard for the everyday cook. That is something that has continued to make ATK and CK hits with their fans, and is certain to resonate with fans who have come along for the ride in this series. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why this element is just as important to the presentation of Milk Street: Season 1 as its very presentation and even the issue with the seeming lack of printable recipes. Each element, as has been pointed out, plays its own important part to this series’ debut season. All things considered, this series debut season will not leave too much of a bad taste in viewers’ mouths. It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store. More information on Milk Street is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.177milkstreet.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cpkmilkstreet

Twitter: http://twitter.com/177MilkStreet

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Public Media Distribution Announces ‘Milk Street: Season 1’ Home Release Date

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Christopher Kimball, former host of PBS’ America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country recently made his return to television with his own new television series Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street.  That series’ debut season will make its way home later this month.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk StreetSeason 1 is currently scheduled to be released Jan. 30 on DVD and Feb. 12 on Digital HD.  The series’ debut season will be spread across three discs at a total run time of 390 minutes.  It will retail for MSRP of $34.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $29.99 via PBS’ online store.

Season One of Kimball’s new program features cooking lesson segments taped in-studio, tips and techniques that everyday cooks can use in the kitchen, and product test segments, just as in Kimball’s previous series.  Season One also takes viewers around the globe to learn about various dishes and more.

More information on Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.177milkstreet.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cpkmilkstreet

Twitter: http://twitter.com/177MilkStreet

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

2017 World Series Box Set Hits It Out Of The Park On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Family Box Sets List

Courtesy: Major League Baseball/Shout! Factory

Family programming.  What does one think of when one hears the term?  One probably thinks of stuff that appeals more to kids than it does grown-ups, right?  I.E. cartoons and other programming aimed at younger viewers.  The reality of family programming is that it can include programs that grown-ups can watch with their younger counterparts, whether it is something new or perhaps even something older such as the classic television shows that today’s grown-ups watched when they were children.

Keeping all of this in mind, one might ask what does that have to do with anything.  It is important to note in setting up Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.  This year’s list features titles that will appeal to children and grown-ups alike.  Some of the material might even appeal to both audiences at the same time (E.g. Cook’s Kitchen Season 10 and America’s Test KitchenSeason 17).  Both titles are included in this list alongside the ninth season of Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and even the 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition, which the whole family can watch together.  For those families who already enjoy baseball, it’s a great watch.  For those parents perhaps hoping to connect with their children over a common interest, it’s just as critical.  Add in everything in its presentation, and it proves an important release all the way around.

Also included in this year’s list are new Peanuts collections from Warner Home Video as well as the “new” Real Ghosbuters DVD set, which was released this past October.  It features “over 100 episodes” of the series.  That still is not the entire series, but it is more cost efficient than buying each of the standalone collections separately.  Originally aired in France, the programs included in those box sets definitely stand out from their American counterparts, but could still be entertaining for the whole family.  For older youths, this list also features recent releases from Saban’s Power Rangers universe.  Even Green AcresThe Complete Series has been pulled over as it might not wholly appeal to younger viewers, its content is appropriate for the whole family.  It is a family friendly sitcom — something that is sadly missing from television today.

Between the titles noted here and the others that make up the rest of this list, audiences will see that there is plenty out there for the whole family — just as much as there is solely for grown-ups.  As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 new Family DVD/BD Box Sets alongside five additional titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 new Family DVD/BD Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD/BD BOX SETS

  1. 2017 World Series Collector’s EditionHouston Astros
  2. Green AcresThe Complete Series
  3. C.O.P.S.The Animated Series
  4. Cook’s CountrySeason 10
  5. America’s Test KitchenSeason 17
  6. Spongebob SquarepantsThe Complete Ninth Season
  7. Sports DetectivesSeason 1
  8. PeanutsSnoopy Tales
  9. PeanutsGo Team Go
  10. PeanutsSchool Daze
  11. Power Rangers SPDThe Complete Series
  12. Power Rangers Mystic ForceThe Complete Series
  13. Power Rangers Jungle FuryThe Complete Series
  14. The Secret World of Alex MackThe Complete Series
  15. The Real GhostbustersVol. 1 – 10

That’s it for this list.  Now we’ve got the top new box sets for grown-ups and for families.  Again, some of the grown-up sets are just as viable as family entertainment as they are for grown-up audiences.  That is a testament to the ability of their content to reach a wide range of viewers.

While this list is now done, there’s still work to be done.  There is still a list of the year’s top new Children’s DVDs as well as potentially the year’s top new independent movies, theatrical releases and overall movies to wind down the year.  It can’t all be guaranteed before the year ends tomorrow, but this critic will try nonetheless.  So stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cooks Of Every Skill Level Will Enjoy The Ninth Season Of ‘Cook’s Country’

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

This past November, Public Media Distribution released the ninth season of PBS’ hit cooking series Cook’s Country on a two-disc DVD set.  Much like every season before, the series’ ninth season is loaded with lots of tasty dishes for every night of the week and for every season that cooks of every level can make.  That is the most important piece of the program’s presentation. While the dishes featured in this season of Cook’s Country do plenty to make it an enjoyable watch, it does suffer from at least one negative, that being one of its listed episodes is in fact missing from its presentation.  This is, again, despite being listed on the box.  It must be addressed.  Even as much as a problem as that one missing episode poses to Season 9’s overall presentation, it is the season’s only downside in its recently released DVD set.  On the positive side audiences once again get to print out the recipe for every dish displayed in this season.  That includes the chocolate truffles despite the episode missing from the set.  Cook’s Country Season 9 clearly isn’t perfect. Even with its one clear con, this season of Cook’s Country is still another enjoyable course in the bigger meal that is Cook’s Country.  It will leave audiences hungry for many more courses to come.

Cook’s Country Season 9 is not a perfect installment of the long-running hit PBS culinary series.  Even despite being another perfectly appetizing offering from the long-running series, it is still another enjoyable course in the bigger meal that is Cook’s Country.  That is due in no small part to the dishes that are presented over the course of the season.  The dishes that are featured throughout this season are culinary delights that cooks of any level can make.  Grilled Sugar Steak, Husk Grilled Corn and Breakfast Pizza are items that any everyday cook can make any day or night of the week.  More “seasoned” chefs will enjoy cooking up Prime Rib and Potatoes with Red Wine-Orange Sauce, French Coconut Pie and Cedar-Planed Salmon with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce.

That the series would once again offer audiences such a broad swath of recipes is nothing new this season.  To that end, it is its own positive.  It is just one part of what makes this season’s offerings so important.  Just as important to note of the featured recipes is their broad cultural reach and their seasonal reach.  From Italian (Zeppoles, Pasta with Mushroom Sauce) to Latin (Chicken Chilaquiles) to Cajun (New Orleans Muffulettas) to Southern cuisine (Tennessee Pulled Pork) and beyond, this season offers tastes from a number of cultural sources, and some educational content that will keep viewers just as easily keep audiences engaged.  Add in the fact that these recipes are not specific to just spring, summer, fall or winter and audiences see even more why the dishes featured this season are so important to the season’s overall presentation.  When this information is set alongside the fact that the dishes can be made for cooks of every level, it shows with full clarity why the dishes are themselves so important to the overall presentation of Cook’s Country Season 9.

The dishes that make up the body of Cook’s Country Season 9 form the foundation of the season’s presentation.  They are so important because they will appeal to cooks of all abilities.  They also once again represent a broad swath of cultural backgrounds and are perfect for every season.  While the dishes featured in this season prove to be so integral to the season’s presentation, they do present at least one problem.  That problem lays in the fact that at least one episode is oddly missing from this season.  The episode in question is that of the Chocolate Truffles.  The episode, included in the set’s “Sweet Indulgences” segment is noted in the set’s episode listing.  However, in watching Season 9, audiences will find that this segment is missing from the episode selection.  The segment’s Milk Chocolate Cheesecake and Swiss Hazelnut Cake segments are both there.  But the Chocolate Truffles segment is missing.  Whether that was just an error on the part of PBS and Public Media Distribution or something totally intentional is anyone’s guess.  One must hope the omission of even one episode was unintentional.  It seems trivial to even make note of the omission, true.  But if a certain number of episodes is listed, one is going to expect to see every episode.  To that end, even that one omission takes away from the overall viewing experience in this season.  It’s not enough to completely negate the season’s positives, but it is still a con that must be noted, regardless.

The omission of the Chocolate Truffles episode in this season is a con that cannot be ignored.  That is because while it doesn’t ruin the season’s overall presentation, it does still detract from the season’s presentation.  Noting again that it doesn’t totally ruin the season’s presentation, that means there is still at least one more positive to note in examining the season’s presentation.  That positive is the availability of the season’s dishes for print.  Once again, Public Media Distribution and PBS have made it easy for audiences to print out the recipes for every single dish featured this time out.  Even though the Chocolate Truffles episode is strangely absent from the viewing experience, it is still there for print.  That means audiences can add to their own cookbooks even more delectable dishes from one of television’s culinary series.  It means being able to make any or all of the dishes at one’s own time, (hopefully) stress-free.  It rounds out the season’s most important elements.  When it is set alongside the season’s wide-reaching recipes, both elements more than make up for the season’s one single con.  They make Cook’s Country Season 9 yet another enjoyable course in the bigger meal that is Cook’s Country that will leave audiences hungry for many more seasons of the series.

The ninth season of PBS’ hit culinary series Cook’s County is yet another delectable entry from the hit kitchen-based series.  The dishes featured throughout the season are items that cooks of every skill level can make.  They also reach across so many different cultures.  The educational content that comes with each dish adds even more depth to each episode.  The fact that audiences can once again print out each dish’s recipe (including that of the missing chocolate truffles episode) adds even more enjoyment to this season.  Both elements are important in their own way to the ninth season of Cook’s Country.  Altogether, they make up for the fact that at least one of the season’s episodes is missing despite it being listed on the season’s box.  All things considered, Cook’s Country Season 9 will appease every foodie’s appetite in every way.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other seasons of Cook’s Country is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cookscountry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CooksCountry

Twitter: http://twitter.com/testkitchen

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For ‘Cook’s Country: Season 9’

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

It’s time to warm up those ovens again, folks.  Next Tuesday, PBS Distribution will release another season of PBS’ hit series Cook’s Country.

Cook’s Country: Season 9 will be released November 15th.  It features 31 more mouth-watering dishes for audiences of every taste including shrimp and grits, chicken chilaquiles, Tennesee pulled pork sandwiches and much more.  There are also plenty of product tests included once again including tests of pizza cutters, cake stands and even drying racks among so much other kitchen equipment.

If the tasty dishes and equipment tests aren’t enough for audiences, Season 9 also offers all 31 of those dishes as bonus printable material.  That means that once again audiences can try the dishes that are made in the hit cooking series themselves in their own kitchens.

Cook’s Country: Season 9 runs 390 minutes and is spread across 2 discs.  It will retail for MSRP of $29.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $24.99 via PBS’ online store.  Audiences can take a sneak peek at Season 9 online now here.

More information on the ninth season of Cook’s Country is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.cookscountry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CooksCountry

Twitter: http://twitter.com/testkitchen

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘ATK: Season 16’ Is Yet Another Enjoyable Run From One Of TV’s Top Cooking Shows

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

Late last year Chris Kimball, host of PBS’ hit cooking show America’s Test Kitchen bid adieu to the show that he had helmed for so many years.  Though, it was announced not long after that he would continue to host the show on the radio.  Adding to that announcement, it was also recently revealed that he has his own new program titled Milk Street Kitchen that will premiere this fall on PBS stations nationwide.  While fans wait for his return to television they can enjoy his final season on America’s Test Kitchen in the form of the recently released America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16.  This latest installment of the standout series offers just as much to appreciate as was presented in the home releases of its previous seasons if not more beginning with its dishes.  That will be discussed shortly.  The extra segments included in the season are just as important to note of the set’s presentation as the meals that are made in each episode.  The bonus printable recipes round out the season’s most important elements and bring everything full circle in this season.  Each element is important in its own right.  Collectively, they make this season of America’s Test Kitchen yet another enjoyable run for the show and a fond farewell for Kimball from a show that he helped build.

America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 is yet another enjoyable run for a show that is one of television’s elite cooking programs.  It is also a fond farewell for long-time host Chris Kimball.  That is due in part to the dishes that are presented throughout the course of the program’s twenty-six episodes.  There are dishes for singles, couples, and families alike.  Regardless of where one falls into one of those categories, the dishes presented throughout this season can be made on a weeknight or a weekend.  There are even meals made just for vegetarians including black bean burgers ad super greens soup with Lemon –tarragon cream.  The weekend dishes include the likes of Ultimate charcoal-grilled steaks, sweet and tangy grilled country-style pork ribs, and roast rack of lamb.  The easy, weeknight meals featured in this season include Sausage meatballs and spaghetti, tagliatelle with prosciutto and peas, and Japanese-style stir-fried noodles with beef among many others.  There are even some really tasty desserts that could be made just as easily on a weeknight included in this season.  The dishes are accompanied by Kimball’s familiar “cooking chemistry” lessons are there to help audiences understand the importance of what goes into making each dish.  He explains once again the importance of each element and even the history of the meals and cooking methods.  It gives each episode a richer presentation.  Between the variety of meals and the educational material presented within each episode, the whole of the episodes becomes clearly key to the season’s presentation.  That whole is just one of the key elements to consider in this season’s presentation.  The companion segments that are featured throughout are just as pivotal to the season’s presentation as its episodes and their overall content.

The meals and material presented throughout each of Season 16’s episodes are important in their own right to the season’s new home presentation.  Even as important as they are to the season’s presentation they are not its only collectively key portions of its presentation.  The companion segments that once again come with the show are just as important to note as the meals and their educational information.  The familiar taste test segments are there as are the kitchen equipment segments.  But this season has seen an expansion of those segments.  There is now a second equipment feature this season as well as a “Letters to the Editor” segment, too.  One can only guess why the shows heads decided to expand the presence of its companion segments in this season.  That is beside the point.  The “Letters to the Editor” adds its own interest with its viewer questions.  One viewer question asks whether a person should wait for a pot of coffee to finish brewing before pouring that first cup.  Kimball’s response is a frank “yes.”  He notes that the first cup of coffee that is poured from a fully brewed pot of coffee is eight times stronger than any other cup that is poured after.  So that should give plenty of motivation (especially in a family) to be the one to get that first cup of joe.  There are lots of other interesting letters presented in this new feature.  Audiences will find their favorites for themselves when they purchase this season for themselves.  The same applies to the extra gadget segments and the familiar taste testing segments, too.  All in all, the companion segments that are featured in this season of ATK are just as important to its presentation as the meals and their educational information.  When all of that is set side by side the bigger picture painted of Season 16 is one that shows just why Season 16 is yet another enjoyable run from one of television’s top cooking shows.

The meals that are presented throughout the 16th season of ATK and their educational material, and the episodes’ companion segments are each important in their own way to the whole of its home release.  Altogether they make Season 16 yet another enjoyable run from one of TV’s top cooking shows.  They also make this season a fond farewell for host Chris Kimball.  They are not the set’s only important elements.  The bonus printable recipes that come with the season round out the season’s presentation, bringing the whole thing full circle.  Just as with the series’ previous seasons this season also comes complete with printable recipes for each and every meal featured in this season.  So those viewers who might be making their own personal cookbooks (whether from this series’ recipes, other recipes, or even a combination of sources) have plenty more options here from which to choose and develop those cookbooks even more.  They are presented in easy to access .pdf files.  There’s no having to download some app or anything else.  Viewers just put the discs in their computers’ DVD drives (for those who still have computers with said drives) and they can instantly access those recipes.  It is that easy.  The recipes join with the season’s meals and information, and the episodes’ companion segments to complete the set’s viewing experience.  That overall enjoyable viewing experience reveals the season’s home presentation to, once again, be yet another enjoyable run from a show that is one of television’s top cooking shows.

The 16th season of PBS’ America’s Test Kitchen is one more enjoyable run from a series that is one of television’s top cooking shows.  That is evident in large part through the meals that make up the main body of the season’s twenty-six episodes.  The dishes are delectable and fitting for any night of the week.  They are also fitting for singles, couples, and even families.  The familiar educational information provided in each episode makes the episodes all the more enjoyable.  The companion segments that come with each episode are just as familiar as that noted educational material.  What’s important to note of those segments is that there are even more of them this season than in previous seasons.  So audiences get even more extra information this season than ever before.  The bonus printable recipes featured in this season round out its presentation and bring that presentation full circle.  They allow cooks at home to build their own personal cookbooks even more and try their hand at the featured meals at their own leisure.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of America’s Test Kitchen in its 16th season.  All things considered they make America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 yet another enjoyable run from one of television’s top cooking shows and an equally fond farewell for host Chris Kimball.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on Season 16 is available online along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://americastestkitchen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/americastestkitchen

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TestKitchen

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

America’s Test Kitchen Receives Release Date For Its 16th Season

Courtesy:  Public Media Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/PBS

This summer, Public Media Distribution will release the 16th season of PBS’ hit cooking series America’s Test Kitchen on DVD.

America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 will be released on Tuesday, July 12th.  It will be released in whole exclusively on DVD.  For fans of the show’s now former host Chris Kimball, these episodes are the last in which Kimball appeared before his departure late in 2015.  As an added bonus, Kimball has a new program coming to PBS in 2017 called Milk Street KitchenAmerica’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 is spread across four discs and boasts a total run time (TRT) of 676 minutes.  Included in this season of ATK are segments featuring many family favorite dishes including but not limited to New York Cheesecake, Thick-Crust Sicilian style pizza, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Simple Pat-au-Feu, and much more.  Along with the many dishes featured throughout Season 16 its new home release will also feature printable versions of all fifty-one featured dishes.  The episode listing for America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 is noted below.

 

  • French Bistro Favorites
  • New York Natives
  • A Hearty Start to the Day
  • A Hearty Fall Feast
  • Spanish Chicken and Israeli Couscous
  • Pass the Pasta
  • Chocolate-Caramel Layer Cake
  • Why Not Add Wine?
  • Saucing Up Chicken and Roasting Mushrooms
  • Sweet and Spicy Asian Specialties
  • A Roast for the Holidays
  • Pork and Pears
  • Roast Chicken and Potatoes Revisited
  • Dinner in Italy
  • Serving Up Noodles and Rice
  • Italian with Ease
  • French Pork Chops and Bisque
  • Ultimate Chinese
  • Vegetarian Essentials
  • Braised to Perfection
  • Dinner in Cuba
  • Country Ribs and Corn Muffins
  • Pork Kebabs and Steaks Hit the Grill
  • Mexican Mole and Drunken Beans
  • Grilled Chicken and Salad with a Kick
  • Revolutionizing Classic Fruit Desserts

America’s Test Kitchen: Season 16 will be available Tuesday, July 12th on DVD.  It will retail for MSRP of $39.99 but can bee pre-ordered now at a discounted price of $34.99 via PBS’ online store.  More information on America’s Test Kitchen is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://americastestkitchen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/americastestkitchen

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TestKitchen

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cook’s Country: Season 8 Is Another Delectable Dish Of A Season For Foodies And Cooks Alike

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Late last year American’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country host Christopher Kimball abruptly left the long-running cooking shows after contract talks apparently broke down.  Kimball’s departure came as quite a shock to the shows’ loyal fan bases.  His departure from the shows left both of their fates in limbo.  And now news has come out that the wait for new episodes won’t end anytime soon.  As a matter of fact, it looks like fans of the hit cooking shows will have to wait until sometime in 2017 to find out what the next step will be for both programs.  Though, word has it that the shows’ new host (or potentially hosts god forbid) will be announced soon.  Regardless, audiences will have a long wait before they see the outcome of those decisions as new episodes won’t air until at least some time in 2017.   Thankfully PBS and PBS Distribution have given fans something to be happy about while they wait.  PBS and PBS Distribution released the eighth season of Cook’s Country late last year not long after Kimball announced his departure from the series.  Being that whole seasons are recorded at a time, one can only hope that Season 8 won’t be the last with Kimball at the helm and that at least a ninth season will be released with everyone’s favorite celebrity cook.  Even if it is, then it can be said of Season 8 that it is yet another delectable dish of a season for cooks of all kinds.  This is proven primarily through its primary cooking segments.  Once again, the dishes and Kimball’s cooks are the real stars, not Kimball.  He remains more the emcee of sorts.  The educational content that has made them so enjoyable is there, too.  It’s just the tip of the iceberg that makes this season so enjoyable for audiences.  The taste tests and product test segments that are tied into each episode are just as important to the season’s presentation as the show’s main cooking segments.  That is because they present their own serious, educational content as the cooking segments once again.  The overall structure of each episode rounds out the season’s most important elements.  This includes the transitions between the segments.  Whether it is for the cooking segments, the taste tests, or even for the product testing segments, all three segments play their own important part in the whole of Cook’s Country: Season 8.  Altogether, they make for one more season of Cook’s Country that any seasoned foodie or freshman cook will enjoy.

The eighth season of PBS’ hit cooking series  Cook’s Country is yet another season that both the most *ahem* seasoned (bad pun fully intended) cook and even the most novice will enjoy.  The main reason for this is the same reason that the series has been so successful over the course of its past seven seasons—its central cooking segments.  Just as with the series’ previous seasons Kimball maintains more of an emcee position in the show than the center.  That is something that he had done throughout the course of the show’s previous seven seasons.  He allowed his fellow cooks and their featured dishes to be the stars of the show, stepping in only to present the show’s educational content before and during each segment.  In regards to that content, audiences will once again be just as impressed with that aspect.  Audiences learn in the episode featuring Latin Fried Chicken that allegedly the practice of deep-frying food actually started in Africa.  And in learning how to make Dakota Peach Kuchen (koo-ken), which is essentially a special kind of coffee cake (that looks really tasty by the way) that it originated in Europe.  There is also an interesting revelation about Chow Mein in the season finale episode that most frozen and restaurant-made Chow Mein is not genuine Chow Mein.  Even this critic was amazed to learn a very important aspect of making home-made sweet potato pie in this season.  It turns out that home-made sweet potato pie will have a little bit of “jiggle” in the middle when it is done.  That just means that it is time to let it set once it’s done cooking.  It’s good to know that for the next time this critic (or anyone else out there) sets out to make their own home-made sweet potato pie.  It’s just one more way in which the educational content presented through this season makes it yet another mouth-watering must have for cooks of all kinds.  Of course it is just one part of the cooking segments that make them so enjoyable.  The dishes themselves should not be ignored in their own importance.

The educational content presented within each of Season 8’s episodes is in itself more than enough reason for audiences to watch this season now that it’s available on DVD.  Its inclusion is just one part of what has made the series such a hit over the course of its past seven seasons and has set it so clearly apart from the forgettable fare offered on Food Network and other channels.  The dishes themselves are just as important as the educational content that is presented along with each dish.  Being that spring and summer are just around the corner, this season offers lots of dishes that are perfect for anyone anxious to light up those grills.  They include but are not limited to: Smoked Bourbon Chicken, Barbecue Burnt Ends, Grilled Salmon Steaks with Lemon-Caper Sauce, and Grill Roasted Peppers.  For those busy families, the Chicken Chow Mein is a quick, easy weeknight dish and is worlds better than that frozen stuff or the restaurant-made stuff.  For those relaxing weekend mornings, the Dakota Peach Kuchen is a great dish alongside a cup of coffee.  And as the weather warms up there are going to be plenty of church luncheons and other get-togethers.  For those events, the Smoky Potato Salad is a nice twist on a classic side dish.  The Muffin Tin doughnuts are a great treat for any family with kids in the house especially on those weekend mornings.  Whether one picks that recipe or any of the others featured throughout this season of Cook’s Country it can be said of this season that it presents plenty of dishes for every night of the week and for cooks of any kind for that matter.  Together with the educational content presented in each episode, it can be said that the noted content and the dishes themselves combine to make Cook’s Country: Season 8 yet another delectable dish of a season for cooks of all kinds.

The dishes that are presented throughout the eighth season of Cook’s Country are in themselves more than enough reason for foodies and cooks alike to order this season.  That is thanks to the presentation of the dishes themselves and the educational content that comes along with each dish.  Of course it should be noted that also as with the series’ previous seasons each of the presented dishes each comes with its own printable recipe as a bonus for audiences.  Of course all of that aside, it is not the only reason that this season of Cook’s Country is so enjoyable.  The taste test segments and product testing segments are just as important to this season as the primary cooking segments.  Audiences will be pleased to see that the taste test segments feature both familiar products and some with which they might not be so familiar throughout the season.  The more familiar products include but are not limited to: Frozen pizza, store-bought lemonade, and grapefruit juice just to name a few.  And that is just in the season’s first disc.  Disc Two features taste tests of frozen dinner rolls, corn tortillas, and even something as simple as bread crumbs (croutons).  The less familiar items tested include peach jam and green salsa.  Audiences that watch these segments might find themselves at which products prove to be the winners and losers.  One of the biggest surprises was the winner in the test of different grapefruit juices.  And the process used to test the corn tortillas was interesting.  They apparently didn’t just taste the tortillas.  It is noted that the tortillas were used with enchiladas as part of the taste test here.  Again the ultimate winner is interesting in its own right especially when comparing it to the other featured products in said test.  There is just as much surprise in the tests for the frozen pizza and store-bought lemonade.  Regardless of which segments audiences themselves pick as the season’s best it can be said of each segment that there is something, again, for everybody.  They aren’t just some snooty foodie taste tests.  They are tests of products with which most audiences are familiar.  Just as with the featured dishes they serve to make this season that much more relatable to viewers and in turn that much more enjoyable.

The taste test segments that are incorporated into this season of Cook’s Country are wonderful seasoning (yes, another intentional and horrible pun) for this standout series.  As much as they do to once again enhance the series it would be unfair to not note the equipment tests that are included throughout the season.  There is a test of various slow cookers, which results in quite the eye-opening revelation for anyone that is a fan of this cooking method.  For all the grillers there is a test of different spatulas that will interest those cooks.  There is even a test of various dish detergents that yields its own interesting results.  The manner in which the detergents were tested is just as interesting as the results.  These are just some of the products that are presented this season.  There are also tests of tortilla holders, and fittingly single-serve coffee makers.  Audiences will laugh as Kimball reveals that even despite America’s infatuation with these products he still prefers drip coffee versus the more high-priced stuff.  No surprise that Keurig was the winner with its Cuisinart single-serve coffee maker.  It is not exactly the cheapest price wise.  But it won largely on its water reservoir.  Getting back on track, the equipment that is tested this season and the products tasted add even more flavor (yes, that terrible pun was intended, too) to the season’s run.  Together with the featured dishes all three elements make the eighth season of Cook’s Country even more mouth-watering for foodies and cooks alike.  They still are not the only remaining elements that are worth noting in examining this season of Cook’s Country.  The overall presentation of each episode is just as important as the previously noted elements.

The dishes that are featured throughout the eighth season of Cook’s Country are in themselves plenty of reason for fans of this long-running series to purchase this season.  The product and equipment tests that are included in each episode partner with the cooking segments to make each segment enjoyable in its own right.  While all three elements go a long way toward making Season 8 enjoyable they are not the season’s only notable elements.  The overall presentation of each episode rounds out Season 8’s presentation.  Once again each episode is expertly segmented.  The transitions that are used to note time passage in cooking times are smooth and gentle versus the rather abrupt transitions used by so many other cooking shows.  They also present beautiful countryside scenes to boot.  The transitions between the main cooking segments and testing segments are just as smooth.  Sometimes Kimball makes a direct note of the transitions while in other moments the transitions are not as direct.  Even in the less direct transitions those behind the cameras made sure to make them as fluid as possible thus maintaining viewers’ engagement.  Those transitions from one segment to the next and back makes the overall presentation of each episode solid, ensuring that audiences will be left wanting more, their mouths watering by each episode’s finale.  That is the proverbial cherry on top of this delectable dish of a season from Cook’s Country.  It rounds out the season’s presentation and together shows once more why Cook’s Country: Season 8 is a must have for any foodie and even for cooks of all kinds.

Cook’s Country: Season 8 presents plenty of reason for foodies and cooks alike to purchase this collection of episodes.  Its primary cooking segments are accessible for cooks of all kinds.  It isn’t one of those elitist style shows that are all too commonplace on other networks.  It also presents educational content that makes each cooking segment all the more interesting and accessible for audiences.  The taste test and equipment tests are just as important because they present equipment, foods, and drinks with which average audiences are familiar.  The overall presentation of each episode within Season 8 rounds out the season’s presentation.  That is because the transitions within the segments ensure viewers will remain engaged from beginning to end.  Though, the dishes and tests that are included do plenty to do that.  Each element is important in its own right to the season’s presentation.  Altogether they make Season 8 yet another delectable dish of a season for foodies and cooks of all kinds.  Cook’s Country: Season 8 is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=71368656&cp=&sr=1&kw=cooks+country&origkw=Cook%27s+Country&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other seasons of Cook’s Country is available online along with information on Cook’s Country magazine at:

 

Website: http://www.cookscountry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CooksCountry

Twitter: http://twitter.com/testkitchen

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cook’s Country Season 7 Another Great Fit For Any Foodie And Lover Of The Culinary Arts

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release the seventh season of its fan favorite cooking series Cook’s Country tomorrow.  The series’ seventh season is another delectable treat for any foodies and lovers of the culinary arts out there.  Much like its “sister series” America’s Test Kitchen, the central aspect of this season’s success is that it continues to make the food the star instead of the hosts.  And also just as with that series, it also offers the same content as that series, proving once more that cooking is a science rather than just standing over a hot stove.  Rounding out this latest release’s success is the fact that every one of the dishes features throughout the season are also presented with their own printable recipes.  Each of the factors noted by themselves play their own important part in the enjoyment of Cook’s Country: Season 7.  Collectively, all three factors make this latest collection of episodes one more delectable season of one of television’s top two cooking series.  The other top candidate:  That’s right.  It’s America’s Test Kitchen.

Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen are the top two cooking series on television today.  That is merely the opinion of this critic.  It is not a statement by the numbers.  Though, it would be interesting to see the numbers for both of these hit PBS series.  Getting back on topic, one of the reasons that Cook’s Country—much like its “sister series”—has remained so popular among audiences now seven seasons in is that it makes the food the star, not the hosts.  Far too many of the cooking shows on the likes of Food Network, Travel Channel, Fox, and Cooking Channel make the people the stars.  A cooking show shouldn’t be about the people.  It should be about the food.  Thank goodness this series has stuck to that constant now seven seasons in.  And the food is definitely mouth-watering to say the least.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all featured here.  From the rise and shine “Impossible” Ham-and-cheese pie to the Grilled Cowboy-Cut rib eyes and Grilled Caesar Salad for lunch to the Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti for lunch, there are plenty of tantalizing dishes for audiences of all tastes.  There are even some great desert recipes in the form of the Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Italian Cream Cake, and Summer Berry Pudding.  There are plenty of other recipes from which audiences will find their favorite(s).  Regardless of which recipe(s) audiences pick, the vast selection and styles show the respect that the series’ hosts and heads have for food and its role in the world.  It’s just one way in which this season continues the long-held tradition of Cook’s Country to make the food the star of the show.  And that continued tradition is just one part of why audiences will appreciate the series’ seventh season in its DVD release.

The long-held tradition of making the food the star rather than the hosts is a big part of what has made Cook’s Country and its “sister series” hits among audiences for so many years.  Just as important to the enjoyment of Cook’s Country: Season Seven is the focus on food’s history and its educational importance.  This is another long-held tradition that has made Cook’s Country just as much of a hit as ATK.  Audiences learn how different ingredients and chemicals interact with one another in each episode.  They also learn little tidbits along the way that make this season just as interesting as the series’ previous seasons.  One example of those tidbits is the importance of using room temperature milk versus cold milk in making homemade cinnamon buns.  There’s even some history tossed in throughout various episodes.  One of the more interesting pieces of history that audiences will learn is that the New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp actually uses no barbecue sauce at all.  It in fact uses spices and butter among other elements.  Host Christopher Kimball and his co-cook in that episode explain where the misleading name came from.  It’s a pretty interesting little lesson.  And it’s just one more example of why the educational content of Cook’s Country: Season 7 makes this season another wonderful collection for any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.

The combination of educational content and focus on food rather than people makes Cook’s Country: Season 7 well worth the watch by any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.  As enjoyable as the pair makes this season’s episodes, there is still one aspect of this box set worth noting that makes it enjoyable.  That final factor is the inclusion of a full set of printable recipes.   Every dish presented in this double-disc set is accompanied by its own printable recipe in .pdf format.  So all a person needs to print them out is Adboe Reader.  This is important to note in that audiences don’t get this with ATK‘s home releases.  There are some recipes in its home releases.  But they rarely include every recipe for audiences to try themselves.  Cook’s Country: Season 7 is the exact opposite.  Audiences can print out any of the recipes or all of them and start up their very own cookbook (or expand said cookbook).  That way, audiences can try out any of the recipes from this season for themselves whenever they want.  This aspect together with the show’s continued educational content, and its focus on food rather than people, makes Cook’s Country: Season 7 whole.  It makes this set another great addition to the home library of any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.

Cook’s Country: Season 7 is available now on two-disc DVD bo set.  It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46781986&cp=&sr=1&kw=cooks+country+season+7&origkw=Cook%27s+Country+Season+7&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other seasons of Cook’s Country is available online at:

Website: http://www.cookscountry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CooksCountry 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ATK Still Television’s Top Cooking Show In Its Fourteenth Season

Courtesy: PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS released the fourteenth season of its hit cooking series America’s Test Kitchen to DVD this summer.  For those that might not be familiar with the long-running series, it is the on-air companion to Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.  It is also the only series on television today worth watching by anyone that has a love of food and the culinary arts.  In comparison to all of the celebrity-based cooking shows that pollute today’s television spectrum, America’s Test Kitchen has always focused on the food and not the familiar faces.  This latest release continues that long-held tradition from the hit series.  It’s just one reason that makes this season just as enjoyable as its previous thirteen seasons.  Another reason that audiences will enjoy this season is its list of dishes presented throughout the season’s episodes.  From fine dining to even the simplest dishes, host Christopher Kimball and company bring audiences lots and delectable dishes.  And instead of just saying do this or that, they actually discuss how each dish is made.  They even add educational content, explaining the significance of the processes and ingredients in each dish.  For those wanting to try the dishes out for themselves, a number of printable recipes have been included as PDF files complete with fully outlined directions, ingredients and a picture of the finished product.  That bonus rounds out the box set, completing what is even more proof of why PBS truly is the last bastion of worthwhile programming on television.

America’s Test Kitchen has proven for years to be in this critic’s view the single greatest cooking series on television.  The only real contender to that title is its “sister series” Cook’s Country.  It just so happens that Cook’s Country is hosted by Christopher Kimball, who also hosts America’s Test Kitchen.  And go figure, both series are run by PBS, which is really the last true bastion of worthwhile programming on television.  Anyone that might not be familiar with America’s Test Kitchen will see instantly in the DVD release of the series’ fourteenth season why it has remained a hit for such a long time.  The central reason for its continued success fourteen seasons in is the fact that it is not celebrity driven.  That goes completely against the standard used on the shows that make up most of Food Network’s programming and that of the cooking shows on Fox, NBC, and ABC.  It actually makes the food the star, not the people.  It’s such a welcome change in comparison to those other shows.

The downplaying of the host as the star of the show is the cornerstone of what has made America’s Test Kitchen a hit among true foodies and lovers of the culinary arts for fourteen seasons now.  Audiences will appreciate that unlike all those commercially-based cooking shows, the food and cooking equipment are the stars, not the hosts.  Just as worth noting is the variety of dishes that are presented and the manner in which they are presented.  Unlike all of the commercially-based cooking shows, Kimball and company don’t just say “this is what you do”, flying through each dish along the way.  Rather, they take their time.  They explain the significance of the ingredients and the processes that the dishes undergo as each ingredient is added to the various dishes.  That extra educational content shows the importance of cooking not just as some random activity but a science of sorts.  There are so many chemical reactions that go on in preparing and cooking different dishes.  It is really something interesting to consider.  Speaking of the dishes in question, the dishes featured this season range from something one might see on the menu at a four-star restaurant to an update on something as classic and simple as a grilled cheese sandwich.  There is even an easy meals made with pasta, seafood, and corn (yes, corn).  And what’s more audiences can pick and choose which dishes to check out.  They don’t have to sit through episode after episode to get to their dish of interest.  That makes the whole experience even better for any foodie and lover of the culinary arts when watching Season 14 of America’s Test Kitchen.  The positives don’t end here, either.  PBS has once again included a number of printable recipes to complement the dishes presented in Season 14. That inclusion rounds out the set, proving once more why this is the only cooking show worth watching on television today and why PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today, too.

America’s Test Kitchen: Season 14 brings with it every one of the traditions that have made it a hit with viewers ever since its premiere season.  It includes once again explanations of each dish’s ingredients and the processes that occur in prep and cooking.  This proves that cooking isn’t just cooking.  It proves cooking is a science of sorts.  This is something that no commercially-based cooking show does.  It also makes the food and the cooking equipment the star, not the show’s hosts.  This has been a tradition since the show’s beginning so many years ago, too.  One more tradition that is carried into this season is the inclusion of printable recipes lifted right from the season’s episodes.  Obviously not every dish could receive its own printable recipe.  Sure it would nice to have the recipe for every single dish presented throughout each season.  But that just isn’t possible.  However, the dishes presented in this season’s selection of printable recipes  is delectable in its own right.  There’s a recipe for grilled corn with basil and lemon butter complete with recipe for the basil and lemon butter baste.  For those looking for something *ahem* meatier, there are recipes for grilled chicken, baby back ribs, and even grilled glazed pork loin.  Those viewers with a bit of a sweet tooth will enjoy the recipes for peach pie, lemon chiffon pie, and marbled blueberry bundt cake among other dishes.  There are plenty of other recipes included on the set that audiences will find their own favorite from the extensive selection offered.  That diverse selection perfectly rounds out the set and is sure to leave any viewer’s mouth watering in anticipation of trying these dishes themselves.  It proves once more why even now in its fourteenth season, America’s Test Kitchen remains the only cooking show worth watching on television and why PBS in whole is the last bastion of true worthwhile programming on television.

There is so much that can be noted of America’s Test Kitchen that makes it so enjoyable even now in its fourteenth season.  From the printable recipes to its in-depth episodes to the very fact that it continues to focus on the food and not the hosts, it continues to do so much right.  Any lover of the culinary arts and any foodie that has yet to see why this show continues to be so successful should order this four-disc box set now.  After watching through it, those viewers will join the ranks of those (like this critic) that already know why it is indeed the best cooking show on television today.  It is available now and can be ordered direct online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=35446656&cp=&sr=1&kw=americas+test+kitchen&origkw=America%27s+Test+Kitchen&parentPage=search.  More information on America’s Test Kitchen is available online at:

Website: http://americastestkitchen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/americastestkitchen

Twitter: http://twitter.com/testkitchen

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.