All Posts By Liz Gray

Want Better Biscuits? Alton to the Rescue

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, May 18th, 2012

alton brown biscuit festival
Biscuits hold a special, fluffy, buttery place in Alton Brown’s heart. His grandmother made the best biscuits every day for more than 50 years, and re-creating those legendary biscuits took him 10 years of science projects, oven temperature readings and failed attempts.

So it’s only fitting that he kicked off this weekend’s International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., with a talk on all things biscuit, including how he finally cracked the recipe and what you should and shouldn’t (read: yogurt) mix into your biscuit dough.

“Biscuits aren’t food, they’re currency for the soul,” Alton says. That’s because they’re all about tradition. After trying literally everything — including mimicking the barometric pressure and humidity of his grandmother’s mountain home in his Atlanta-area residence — to re-create the family biscuits, Alton finally learned that a difference in technique was ruining batch after batch. His grandmother kneaded with her fingers straight, while he kneaded with bent hands. For this reason, he says, “You can only learn biscuits from a direct transfer of one to another.” (Watch Alton make biscuits with his grandmother.)

No biscuit-savvy grandmother in the family? Continue reading for some of Alton’s tips to baking better biscuits.

Read more

Charity Cake: Bid on a Custom Charm City Creation

by in News, March 30th, 2011
Duff
Duff loves sweets and good causes -- buy a cake to help Japan!

Everyone loves to eat cake, but it’s not often you get to help people by eating cake. In the wake of the devastating Japan tsunami, Duff and the Ace of Cakes crew are holding an eBay auction for a custom-designed Charm City Cake, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

The lucky winner gets a cake consultation at the Baltimore or LA Charm City Cakes location, where you and the staff will dream up the most outrageous cake since this cheeseburger-dog-fry combo:

Duff's Take on Fast Food

Hurry: The bidding ends on April 3 and the current price is at $1,826. Need inspiration? Browse Duff’s latest creations, or check out these custom cakes from FoodNetwork.com fans.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
You'll be as excited as Meredith Vieira when you get your custom-made cake.

Can’t shell out the cash for a cake? Help victims of the Pacific tsunami by making a donation at RedCross.org. Or, text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10.

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day With Irish Soda Bread

by in View All Posts, March 17th, 2011
Ina Garten’s Soda Bread

Whether you’re cooking up corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew to celebrate the Emerald Isle this March 17, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need something to sop up all those delicious juices. The answer: Irish soda bread. Thanks to baking soda, it’s as quick to make as banana bread, yet as hearty and satisfying as bread that took all day to bake. Here are some of our favorite versions.

Make soda bread tonight »

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

by in News, March 2nd, 2011

Dr. Suess Cupcakes From Cupcakes Take the Cake

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, would be 107 today. We’re celebrating this beloved author with recipes that match up with some of his best-known books. Oh, the dishes we’ll cook!

Sweet and savory Seussical fare »

Oscar Eats: Inception and The Kids Are All Right

by in News, Recipes, February 22nd, 2011

Can’t make it to the Oscars? Grab your ballot, don your formal wear and make snacks instead, themed to match all the nominees for Best Picture. Every day this week, we’re featuring a new batch of ideas for two of the films (See all the posts here.) Today: The Kids Are All Right and Inception.  Pit family dram-com against science fiction with these plot-thickening snacks.

See our movie-themed snack picks »

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

by in View All Posts, January 8th, 2011
Happy Birthday, Elvis!
Elvis Waffles - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Happy Birthday, Elvis! The groundbreaking crooner would be 76 today. To celebrate, we’re breaking out the sideburns, some records and a few of his favorite foods. Serve these meals fit for the King of Rock and Roll all day long.

Breakfast: A Classic Combo
It’s no secret that Elvis loved what’s now a classic combo: peanut butter and bananas!  Aaron McCargo, Jr turns the classic sandwich into breakfast fare with these Elvis Pancakes: two buckwheat pancakes filled with…well, you know.   Or, make these snack-perfect Elvis Waffles from Food Network Magazine (pictured above.)

Elvis Waffles
Aaron McCargo, Jr's Elvis Pancakes

Lunch and Dinner: Southern Fare
As a good Southern boy, Elvis loved down-home classics, like this straight-from-Graceland recipe for Country Fried Steak and Gravy.  And don’t forget the barbecue  — Memphis-style, of course.  Pat and Gina Neely know a thing or two about Tennessee barbecue; make their tried-and-true recipe for Hickory-Smoked Ribs tonight.

Neelys Ribs
The Neelys' Hickory-Smoked Beef and Pork Ribs

Sweet Tooth: Elvis-Themed Desserts
Don’t forget dessert! These banana-flavored cupcakes from a Cupcake Wars winner are decked out with chocolate and peanut butter frosting. Top each one with a mini-electric guitar and get ready to start humming. Or, mix up a decadent chocolate-banana milkshake.

The King of Cupcakes
The King of Cupcakes

Here’s hoping Elvis’s favorite foods get your friends and family, ahem, all shook up!  What are you making to commemorate the King?

Healthy Inspiration: Weekend TV Preview

by in View All Posts, January 7th, 2011
Crispy Baked Fried Chicken
Cat Cora's Baked "Fried" Chicken

We’re one full week into the new year, and at Food Network, that means that our chefs are ready to show you how to cook up light, healthy and still-flavorful dishes that will have you eating better all year long. (Start now with Cat Cora’s Baked “Fried” Chicken, pictured above.)

All day Saturday and Sunday, tune in for a get-healthy block of your favorite cooking shows. Here’s a preview of the mouthwatering, better-for-you shows, and a few recipes to tide you over.

Healthy how-to highlights »

Get Healthy in 2011 With Bobby’s Help

by in View All Posts, January 5th, 2011
Get Healthy With Bobby Flay
Get Healthy With Bobby's Tips

You know the drill: New year, new you.  But why go to extremes in January, then leave your goals in the dust before Valentine’s Day? This year, make small changes instead of over-the-top resolutions to stay healthy all year long. We chatted with Bobby Flay about how he changed his habits to lose weight and feel better.  Get his start-the-year-right advice, then check back here and on our Healthy Eats blog for new tips every Wednesday.

Why did you decide to change your eating habits?

I just felt like I could be in better shape. While I wasn’t overweight, I felt like I needed to get my body back into shape and to be healthier. I knew that when I had been healthier in the past, I felt better about myself and about my day-to-day.  It helped my day-to-day happiness.

How did you accomplish your fitness goals?

A couple ways. Hard work at the gym, and on the road, so to speak, you know, running. And then just making some smart choices when it came to eating. They’re both important and you need to do both. Anybody will tell you the same thing, to exercise and eat well. It sounds like a cliche, but if everybody did that, we’d have a much healthier country.

What’s your personal philosophy on healthy eating?

It’s more about what not to do as opposed to what to do. Here’s what I do from day to day:

  • Avoid processed foods. I don’t eat fast foods or processed foods, when I can help it.  Instead, I eat things that have been prepared by hand.  Even if it’s in a diner, I know what it’s something that has been prepared by a person as opposed to a machine.
  • Nix huge portions. I don’t eat as much as I used to.  I try to eat about 2/3 of what’s in front of me when I go to a restaurant, and about the same amount at home.
  • Make every calorie count. I don’t eat just to eat things. If something doesn’t taste really good, I won’t eat it. I want my calories to count.

What are some techniques and tips for making healthy meals that are full of flavor?

You know, fat is always tasty. Cream, butter, all of that tastes good. So without those ingredients, you have to use great sources of flavor.  I use a lot of chipotles, a lot of Mediterranean ingredients, fresh herbs, dried spices, and savory things like onions and garlic that have lots of flavor but very little fat. See Bobby’s top-5 healthy ingredients >>

For hundreds more healthy appetizers, weeknight meals, desserts and healthy tips from Bobby, Giada, Alton and more, visit FoodNetwork.com/Health.

Fall Fest: Bounty to Be Thankful For

by in View All Posts, November 24th, 2010
Mashed Potatoes
Tyler's Mashed Potatoes

We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.
Sure, we all love the Thanksgiving feast: The turkey, stuffing, cranberries, green beans, mashed potatoes, all covered in gravy.  But no matter what you serve, it’s about who you’re passing the platter to year after year: your friends and family.  These are the things we look forward to making, eating and enjoying every year.

Our Thanksgiving favorites »

Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Guy’s Red Devil Cranberries

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2010

thanksgiving red devil cranberries
Each day from now ’till Thanksgiving, we’re sharing a new side dish. We’ve talked about everything from stuffing to mashers to scalloped sweet potatoes, but don’t forget about turkey’s favorite sidekick: cranberry sauce. Like macaroni without cheese or cookies sans milk, turkey just isn’t the same without sweet-tart cranberry sauce on the side. Guy’s bright whole-berry version gets a spicy kick from two kinds of hot peppers, and added flavor from orange juice. Your turkey — and your tastebuds — will never know what hit ‘em.

Get the Recipe: Guy’s Red Devil Cranberries

Vote For the Best: Guy and Paula’s Cranberry Sauce Showdown


Get hundreds more Thanksgiving recipes, menus and tips at

FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.