How to Indulge on Vacation Without Losing Sight of Healthy Habits: Melissa’s Bare-Minimum Plan

by in Food Network Chef, July 5th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianI love summer vacation, don’t you?

But you know what I don’t love? Getting out of my routine, especially my healthy routines, such as eating well and working out. At home, I know exactly when I will go to the gym, who I will see there (my workout buddies — hi, Heather and Julie!) and what I will eat when I get home. I don’t have to think about it or waste any energy figuring out how to make that all happen; that’s one of the great benefits of setting up solid routines to support our life goals.

So what happens when I go on vacation? When I am out of my normal routine, and faced with an unfamiliar environment and a list of to-do’s (albeit fun ones!) that involve not just me but my family, too, I can easily find myself going days or even a couple of weeks without following my normal healthy-eating and workout routines. Sometimes, I actually am quite happy to embrace the indulgence and enjoy a little “time off.” Who wants to go to New York City and not enjoy its amazing restaurants?

For these times, I have created a “bare minimum” plan — things that I can do pretty much no matter where, no matter what — that will keep me at least a little on track while still allowing me to let go of the workout guilt and enjoy time off from the routine. Because vacation should be fun and guilt-free, right?

You ready? This is what I do when I am letting loose, and it’s totally doable:

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Now There’s a Restaurant Dedicated to Ranch Dressing

by in News, Restaurants, July 4th, 2015

Ranch DressingThere are two kinds of Americans: those who like ranch dressing (like, on everything!) and those who frankly fail to understand the appeal. A new St. Louis restaurant is designed exclusively for those who fall into the first category, taking the ubiquitous creamy condiment and rendering it even more so.

Twisted Ranch restaurant will soon swing open its doors in St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood, offering diners a menu that includes 18 different flavors of ranch dressing — including garlic, horseradish, smoked paprika, tzatziki, cheesy bacon, chipotle and Thai — and features ranch dressing as an ingredient in essentially every single thing on the menu (except dessert, thank goodness).

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We’re Bringing Mac Back This Summer: 5 Best Macaroni Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, July 4th, 2015

Old-Fashioned Macaroni SaladMemorable because of the creamy mayonnaise-based dressing and mix-ins like hard-boiled eggs, smoky ham and crunchy celery, macaroni salad is a popular summer potluck pick, and many recipes can be made with just a few pantry staples and served in under 30 minutes. Browse below for twists on the traditional recipes, like the Neelys’, which adds pimento peppers, and one that uses mild cheddar cheese. Bring one of these macaroni salads to your next backyard get-together and you might notice that it’s finished before the meat even comes off the grill.

 Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad — For a true “down-home” side dish, try the Neelys’ take on macaroni salad (pictured above). They combine the classic ingredients, like freshly hard-boiled eggs, ham steak and mayonnaise, with pimento peppers for a Southern kick and pickle relish for a bit of unexpected sweetness. You’ll have to be patient to dig into this creamy salad, because the Neelys suggest refrigerating it for two hours, which allows the flavors to fully meld.

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Your Ultimate Summer Party Menu, Delivered

by in Recipes, Shows, July 4th, 2015

Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni SaladThe key to enjoyable summer entertaining is to keep the party simple, from the ingredients you shop for to the dishes and drinks you serve. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast came together to create the ultimate, one-stop guide for seasonal bashes, featuring recipes for crowd-pleasing dips, a bold chicken dinner and, because “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” of course, a fruity cocktail from Geoffrey Zakarian.

Since most summer soirees take place outside, perhaps around the pool or picnic table, keep the appetizer spread easily accessible with a trio of dips. Jeff Mauro’s Strawberry and Mango Guacamole comes together with just a handful of ingredients, letting the fresh fruit complement the spicy jalapeno add-in. For a classic mayonnaise-based option, stick with Geoffrey’s 20-minute Bacon and Egg Dip, a play on classic deviled eggs. In her Roasted Garlic and Frozen Veggie Dip, Sunny Anderson adds the warm flavor of roasted garlic to a cream cheese-laced mixture of processed vegetables for rich results.

When it comes to the main course, chicken is a perennial people-pleaser, and Katie Lee’s all-in-one recipe for Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni Salad (pictured above) is a must-try pick. To guarantee bold flavor in the meat, she seasons the chicken with a mixture of chili powder and garlic powder before grilling it until juicy and slathering it in barbecue sauce. The macaroni salad celebrates the traditional flavors of the beloved dish, which includes a tangy, sweet dressing spiked with yellow mustard and a pinch of sugar.

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Editor’s Picks from the July/August Issue of Food Network Magazine

by in Food Network Magazine, July 4th, 2015

lobster rollsBy now you know that Food Network Magazine’s July/August issue boasts an incredible burger section. And while the endless combinations of bun, toppings and meat blends can (and should) keep you occupied all summer long, there are plenty more all-American summer dishes to make for this BBQ season. The magazine staffers, for example, are beyond excited about the red, white and blue desserts for today’s 4th of July celebration. (The patriotic desserts taste just as delicious on July 5 and every day following, so don’t fret if they don’t make it to this year’s fireworks festivities.) Other highly anticipated recipes from the new issue include 50 things to make with zucchini, no-churn cheesecake ice cream and lobster rolls. Read on to find out what other recipes you should be making.

“We don’t always eat the food we photograph for the magazine — sometimes it’s been sitting out a little too long, or too many hands have primped and prodded it — but no one could resist Jeff Mauro’s lobster rolls (pictured above). As soon as they were shot, everyone on set dug right in. The recipe is super simple, but that’s how I like my lobster rolls: big chunks of lobster meat with just a little mayo and celery. And a butter-toasted bun, of course.”
— Lisa Cericola, Features Editor

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Sonic Dresses Up the Hot Dog by Putting It in a Flaky Croissant

by in News, July 3rd, 2015

Sonic Dresses Up the Hot Dog by Putting It in a Flaky CroissantNothing says America like a hot dog nestled in a croissant. OK, that’s not even a little true, but it is an actual fact that you can enjoy that very unlikely combo — for a limited time only — at Sonic Drive-In restaurants.

In order to mark National Hot Dog Month (it’s July) and to hop on the croissant-hybrid food bandwagon, Sonic is introducing its new Croissant Dog, which the company is touting as “a reimagined and reinvented premium take on an American classic.”

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6 Corn Recipes Begging for a Place at Your Summer Table

by in Recipes, July 3rd, 2015

Grilled Corn on the CobThe heavyweight champion of cookout season, sweet summer corn knows how to dance with every main dish at the table and often comes out swinging against even the pickiest eaters. From simply grilled corn on the cob to a fun spin on salsa and a shortcut way to revamp a classic dessert, get ready to find out why corn deserves the title of “Best Add-On” at your summer table.

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What to Watch: A Summer Celebration on The Kitchen and the Return of Battle America on Triple G

by in Shows, July 3rd, 2015

The KitchenToast to the warm summer months with Food Network this weekend and get all-new recipes from your favorite chefs. On Saturday, catch up with Trisha Yearwood as she hosts an impromptu get-together for her singer-songwriter friend Sunny Sweeney. She makes delicious finger foods like Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Spicy Slaw. The celebration continues on The Kitchen, where Bobby and Jamie Deen join the cast for fun recipes like Grilled Butterflied BBQ Chicken and Watermelon Margarita with Espelette Salt.

Kick off your Sunday morning with Daphne Brogdon for her backyard summer party, where her menu features Chorizo Sliders with Spicy Avocado Spread and Cool As a Cucumber Soup Shooters. Next, Damaris Phillips throws a fancy white party where she makes Roasted Chicken, Brie and Peach Pizza, White Summer Sangria and Orange Blossom Bundt Cake that she drizzles with a decadent White Chocolate Ganache. On Sunday night, prepare for three hours of competition, starting with Triple G, where Battle America returns to Flavortown. Then, watch as Food Network Star finalists pair up and collaborate on a dish for first-time daters on Match. Finally, it’s a circus-themed episode on Cutthroat Kitchen. Clown cars, a ring of fire and three-wheeling are all fair game for these daring chefs!

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Caption It: Here, Fishy Fishy

by , July 3rd, 2015

Food Network StarCome Sunday night, it's all about culinary pairs, both in terms of mashed-up ingredients on the plate and in terms of finalists working together as duos in the kitchen. After a classic ingredient swap in the Mentor Challenge, finalists head out of Fo...

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Would You Name Your Kid Quinoa for $10,000?

by in News, Restaurants, July 2nd, 2015

QuinoaWould you name your kid Quinoa? How about in exchange for $10,000 worth of bar food and booze?

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, a casual-restaurant chain with 163 restaurants in 20 states, has announced that it will award $10,000 in BJ’s gift cards to the first parents in the United States to name their child after the healthy high-protein grain, which it is featuring in two new dishes on its light-fare menu: Roasted Chicken with Spinach Quinoa Bowl and Roasted Salmon Quinoa Bowl.

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