All Posts By Alex Guarnaschelli

Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

A First-Person Account of Being Judged by Bobby and Giada, Plus the Finalists to Watch — Alex’s Star Report

by , June 20th, 2016

Food Network StarTo kick off this episode of Food Network Star, we dive into the world of food hacks. A food "hack" is when you use a utensil for a purpose other than for what it is intended. I feel like we all have our own food hacks at home, such as using an iron a...

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The Realities of Live TV, Flopped Lobster Lettuce Wraps and the Need for Deep Breaths — Alex’s Star Report

by , June 13th, 2016

Food Network StarWhat's more nerve-racking than live TV? On Food Network, I can handily say, not much. You make a mistake, you miss a line, you don't describe your food ... guess what? You don't get a second chance. It's out there forever, and I don't think our Food ...

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Bold Food + Big Personalities + Bumps in the Road = 5 Unusual Finalist “Recipes” — Alex’s Star Report

by , June 6th, 2016

Food Network StarThis week’s Food Network Star integrates the important world of Food Network Magazine with developing an important muscle for any burgeoning food star. That muscle? "Flexing" written recipes and food images to engage viewers and make them eat with ...

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6 Important Pitfalls to Avoid, Plus the Makings of a Mash-Up Pizza — Alex’s Star Report

by , May 30th, 2016

Food Network StarWhat a mash-up of an episode! A challenge where our beloved Food Network Star finalists work in pairs? Fun, right? Just hide behind your teammate if your food or presentation is weak. That sounds good, right? Hmmm. Maybe. If you haven't seen the prem...

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A Culinary POV Pie for the Premiere and a la Mode Suggestions for Next Time — Alex’s Star Report

by , May 23rd, 2016

Food Network StarThere’s always so much hype and nerves when a competition gets off the ground. You sit in the greenroom with all the other contestants, laughing (and, in my case, devouring several bags of BBQ potato chips ... ) and chatting about where you’re fr...

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Competition Flashbacks, Tough Questions and a Finalist Milkshake — Alex’s Star Report

by , May 17th, 2016

Alex GuarnaschelliCan you imagine trying to become the next Food Network Star? It takes me straight back to my own cooking competition experiences. (Hello, Chopped All-Stars. Hello, The Next Iron Chef. Hello, The Next Iron Chef again.) And I relive those moments in th...

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‘Tis the Season for Béarnaise Sauce — Alex Eats

by in Recipes, October 3rd, 2012

bernaise sauceI feel we always discuss the seasons relative to what fruits, vegetables, fish and meat we are buying and eating. But to me, the seasons are just as much about how I feel. I want that blueberry pie in July at the beach and a lentil soup while wearing a fisherman’s sweater in February. One other thing I want this time of year, with pretty much everything and anything, is some béarnaise sauce. It’s a classic with poached eggs, but equally great with French fries, steamed fish, a simple steak or even some raw fennel for dipping. Have you ever tried it with wedges of oven-dried tomatoes? Or a bowl of steamed clams? Tackling a classic, iconic sauce like this at home can be daunting, but it’s really pretty simple and the taste is uniquely delicious. I make it close to when I intend to eat it and keep it by the stove, warm, until ready to serve.

I always learned to make it with clarified butter, but here I make it with gently melted regular butter. This is also a good place to splurge on some nice butter or even a type of butter you have never had before. Something about the eggs with the vinegar and herbs meandering through makes the butter flavors come to life. It almost tastes more like butter than butter by itself!

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The Power of School Lunch

by in Family, September 18th, 2012

school lunch box
My daughter played “What food am I?” in preschool the other day. When I came to pick her up, her teacher gave me an odd look. “What happened?” I asked. “All of the kids had to describe what kind of food they were today,” she began. “Most kids said apples, celery, oranges, hamburgers, tomatoes, etc., but your daughter told us she was a mix of quinoa and gooseberries…”

Good or bad? I wondered to myself. Probably some of both.

In my mind, that definitely tells me I’m going to be “that mom,” the one whose kid constantly feels embarrassed about. And “that mom” was originally my mom: the mom who dares to be different when, among other things, it comes to packing a school lunch.

My mother lovingly packed soggy, lopsided and sometimes grease-stained paper bags carrying oddball sandwiches or various leftovers from dinner.

Delicious? Totally. Awkward to eat? Totally. Not like any of the other kids’ lunches at a time when you did not dare to be different? Totally.

What was a classic lunch for me?

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In Summer Denial

by in In Season, August 28th, 2012

blueberries
As far as I’m concerned, summer continues until the squash varieties on the tables at the greenmarket outweigh the piles of tomatoes and corn. In an effort to prolong summer, I revert to the classics — the recipes that make me close my eyes and feel it can’t be any day other than the Fourth of July. This recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake does that more than any other. It tastes even better as leftovers or warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can substitute with other fruits like plums, nectarines and peaches, but it’s best with good ol’ blueberries.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

My mother is a New England gal and I always marveled at the way she ate this dish. While my father and I have been known to eat this as-is or pile on whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, she would put a slice of this cake into a bowl and pour some heavy cream (like a moat around a castle) on it. The unsweetened cream, in its purest state, really highlights the spices and blueberries themselves — try it!

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Alex Makes: Grilled Tomato Soup

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, June 12th, 2012

roma tomatoesThis is a good recipe when you feel like having a few late spring-early summer tomatoes when they are not yet at the height of the season. I find this is a simple and tasty way to extract the maximum flavor from them. I like to take my time with this recipe and work with the grill when it’s not so hot. I really like grilling something and blending that charred flavor into others. That’s why I dig this soup.

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