All Posts By Heather Ramsdell

Make an Orangeade Stand This Weekend

by in Community, September 20th, 2013

OrangeadeSeptember is Hunger Awareness Month. You might have noticed that the Food Network and Cooking Channel logos have Gone Orange to support childhood hunger awareness and No Kid Hungry. How can you Go Orange? You’ll find several different options at FoodNetwork.com/Hungry, but we have an idea for you if you want to take it a step further.

Inspired by the color orange and the September weather, Food Network Kitchens thought it would be a great idea to set up orange-lemonade stands — before it gets too chilly — to benefit No Kid Hungry. Orangeade stands, if you will. It’s a great opportunity to spread awareness, teach the little ones about childhood hunger and support the cause as a family. The great thing about No Kid Hungry is that every cent goes a long way. As you’ll see on their website, “every dollar you donate can connect a child in need with up to 10 meals.” In other words, if your orangeade stand raises $5, that could potentially turn into 50 meals.

What will you need? First things first: an orangeade recipe.

Get the recipe

Strawberries in July

by in In Season, July 8th, 2013

Strawberries in JulyI went to the farmers’ market to get strawberries. I thought I might have missed their short season, but they were in fact there. And then, as if I were somewhere I might never visit again, I suddenly needed everything else there, too.

I hadn’t thought of tea radishes or pink or icicle radishes either — or purple, yellow or white spring onions, carrots, herbs, peonies, tiny, odd lettuces — or shell peas. I didn’t need snap peas, but there they were, tight in their skins, like a bin full of miniature blimps. I wanted to see them again, so I took a picture. The farmer said I could even taste one. Almost involuntarily, I found myself unfurling a bag from the roll and stuffing some in.

The less common the vegetables were, the more I suddenly needed them. And now that I already had to carry a bag, there wasn’t much reason not to quench my drought of fresh chamomile flowers, or to fill the now obvious garlic-scape chasm in my life. I pressured a nearby stranger who claimed not to know what to do with radishes to drag them through butter and dab them in salt, and later saw her headed to the register with three bunches.

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What Can I Do With Unripened Fruit? — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, August 24th, 2012

unripened bananas
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: “Is there a way I can use fruit that is not quite ripe yet?” — Kathleen Sefchick Dixon from Facebook

Answer: If you can wait a day or two, many fruits (such as bananas, pears, peaches, kiwis, tomatoes and avocados) will ripen quickly when stored in a brown paper bag, and even faster if you add a ripe apple or banana to the bag.

More From Fix My Dish

Keeping Blueberries From Sinking in Batter — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, August 10th, 2012

blueberry buckle
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: “How can I get my fresh blueberries to distribute evenly in my cake better so when they bake, they all don’t sink or rise, leaving nothing in the middle?” — Suzanne Sinatra Perucci via Facebook

Answer: Try tossing your berries with a tablespoon or two of flour before adding them to the batter. Just remember to account for that when you mix up your dry ingredients, subtracting that same tablespoon or two from the amount called for in the recipe. The light coating of flour around the berries will absorb some of the fruit’s liquid, making them less likely to sink. This is especially helpful when the batter is thin; thicker batters are a little better at cradling the fruit and keeping it suspended. You can try this with any of your add-ins — peach chunks, strawberries, chocolate chips, dried fruits or nuts — when the batter is thin. Even if it ends up not being necessary, it certainly won’t hurt the recipe.

More From Fix My Dish

The Perfect Pizza Crust — Fix My Dish

by in Community, How-to, January 18th, 2012

pizza recipe
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it.

Question: “How do I get my pizza crust to have that slightly chewy texture and hollow bubbles to obtain that authentic pizzeria-style crust?” — Stephanie.

Find out the answer to Stephanie’s question »

The Home Stretch — Your Morning of Checklist

by in Holidays, November 24th, 2011

mashed potatoes
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s time to sit back and relax — well, aside from some cooking — and make room for the big feast. Having prepared well ahead of time, you’ll impress your family and friends as the cool, calm and collected host. As much as we love the Thanksgiving meal, our favorite time of day is always the morning of, alternating between preparing the final dishes in the kitchen and sitting down to watch the parade with family and early guests. Not to mention, nothing beats the smells of a kitchen in full-on Thanksgiving mode.

• The Grand Finale: The moment you’ve been waiting for: time to roast the turkey. Unstuffed turkeys take hours to roast (anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on the size and the method), and you’ll want to give the bird at least 30 minutes to rest before carving, so start nice and early. One technique we like is to roast the bird at moderate heat, around 350 degrees F, only opening the oven door to baste occasionally so the heat stays inside. If the breast is getting too dark, you can cover it with foil. The turkey is done when the internal temperature of the breast is 165 degrees F and the legs are about 175 degrees F. Here’s where you get to use that meat thermometer.

Make the mashed potatoes fresh »

It’s the Final Countdown — Day-Before Planning

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2011

ina garten butternut squash soup
Take a deep breath — the finish line is in sight. You’ve made it this far, and will be happily sitting down to eat in about 36 short hours or so. The day before is a great opportunity to cross off a hefty portion of your to-do list. You only have one more trip to the store ahead of you for the flowers and then you’re home-free to hunker down in the kitchen.

• Brine Time: To ensure a moist and flavorful turkey, we highly recommend brining the bird the day before. A simple salt-and-sugar water bath will easily safeguard you from the perils of a dried-out turkey that even gravy can’t fix.

• Easy As Pie: If you’ve made or bought your pie crusts ahead of time, most Thanksgiving desserts can be a piece of cake. But if you’re looking to cross some cooking off your list the day before, make your pies ahead of time. In fact, we even prefer pies that have had a day to sit, especially pumpkin and pecan. Just remember to take them out of the fridge 2 to 3 hours before serving on the big day — and tell your family no early taste-testing.

Soup’s on and snack attacks »