All Posts By Julia Caroline Smith

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Broke Up with Coffee for 4 Days

by in Behind the Scenes, January 18th, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Broke Up With Coffee for 4 DaysCoffee lovers everywhere, I did a very dumb thing: I decided to cut out coffee from my life. It was time to be an independent woman who didn’t need no caffeine. And boy — was I wrong.

As some of you may know, caffeine is a stimulant (i.e., it enhances alertness, increases heart rate and increases blood pressure) and can cause a mild physical dependence if you drink more than two cups of coffee a day (me). Concerned that I may become a little too dependent on coffee, I decided to cut it out completely for as long as possible and see if I could be just as productive — if not more — without the liquid gold. After all, I really cannot afford to buy $5 lattes every single day as a recent college grad, so maybe cutting this out could be economical.

So, here are the rules: One shall not consume coffee in any form, and one shall not eat or drink anything that has caffeine (chocolate, tea, the list goes on).

That’s it — pretty simple. To give you a sample of my regular daily caffeine intake, I usually start my day with one cup of coffee. I have a second when I get to the office, and at about 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., I have my third. You could say I’m a frequent user, and I’ll deny it.

Let’s get to the good stuff.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Attempted the Twinkie Diet for 48 Hours

by in Behind the Scenes, January 11th, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Attempted the Twinkie Diet for 48 HoursMaybe I was delusional, maybe I was naïve. But for some strange reason, I not only agreed to do the Twinkie diet, but I was the one to suggest it. I committed myself to 48 hours of living off only Twinkies. Those golden sponges filled with a mysterious cream that can survive nuclear bombs, hurricanes, droughts have found a special place in my heart over the years. And after two days, they have swiftly found a way onto my thighs too.

So, here are the rules: You can eat only Twinkies. You can drink water, coffee and tea. You must eat two Twinkies every three hours until you have maxed out on your daily calorie intake. That’s it.

I did some quick research and compared three calorie-counting calculators to find out just how many calories I should be consuming to lose weight. The calculators compute your height, weight, gender and fitness level, then magically spew a number — mine is 1,360 calories if I want to lose 2 pounds in one week. (This is the maximum healthy level of weight loss one should work toward.)

Now, let’s do some simple Twinkie math. 1 Twinkie has 130 calories. If I’m eating every three hours, I must eat two Twinkies every three hours (as I’m not awake 24 hours a day and thus cannot eat one every three hours to meet 1,300 calories). So this ends up being my strict schedule: Two Twinkies at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. This gets me to 1,310 calories. If this is too much nonsense, here’s what to know: I had to eat 10 Twinkies per day.

Bored? Let’s get to the good stuff.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Tried (Basically) Every Food Beauty Myth Out There

by in Behind the Scenes, January 4th, 2017

After spending hundreds of dollars on beauty products that promise to make my hair shinier and thicker, and my face smoother and tighter, I am at a loss. (And my mom is going to kill me with my Sephora binges.) I’ve tried $20 practically sample-sized bottles of products claiming to give me “new hair in two uses!” (what does that really mean?) and face masks that will make me “as smooth as a baby’s butt” (whoever thinks that’s a great analogy needs to be fired) with nothing but bleak disappointment. So, naturally, when it came to testing which foods can be a cheap and easy beauty product substitute, my credit card thanked me.

However, this was not an easy road to beauty. Beauty can be painful — and very, very smelly (I’m looking at you, mayo). Some of the beauty hacks I found online are straight-up weird, while others are just wrong. Nevertheless, I tried them all for you. You’re welcome.

Here’s what I started with:

My Hair: Thin and wispy shoulder-length, light-blond hair with (fake) highlights. Dry shampoo is in every purse I own, thanks to the oil gods thrusting the oily life on me.

My Skin: Normal to oily, few breakouts

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Foods I Discovered on Instagram

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, October 26th, 2016

1. AvoEgg Breakfast

Photo courtesy of @remixt

I could’ve included avocado toast, but I needed to up the ante. After all, avocado toast is a staple for me and I’ve pretty much mastered that skill (NBD). I’ve seen so many ‘grams of bright-green avocados with pops of yellow yolks in the center, and I have always wanted to bake this for breakfast; alas, I’ve never had the time. And when I did have the time, this idea would escape me. This time there was no escaping. The instructions were pretty simple, as were the ingredients. I cut my ripe avocado in half, took out the pit and spooned in one egg in one half. This is where I made oops No. 1: I didn’t scoop out enough avocado, and the egg whites started to slip out of the avocado!

Frustrated, I tried again with my other half, this time carving out even more avocado. I spooned in the egg yet again, and the same thing happened. I decided to shrug it off and top my concoction with salt, pepper, chives and shredded mozzarella. (You can totally toss in paprika, onions, cheddar Jack — you name it.) I baked the eggs for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, and to my delight, they were good to go! However, they were not as beautiful as the next one.

Read more

Eddie Jackson Takes Over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover

by in Food Network Chef, September 9th, 2016

Season 11 Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson is taking over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover channel today. Former NFL player Eddie, who has seamlessly transitioned from star athlete to star chef, is here to give you the insider’s perspective on tailgating season and how to stay fit throughout the fall.

Read more

Camp Cutthroat Takes Over Snapchat

by in Shows, August 24th, 2016

Alton Brown is out for revenge. After last summer’s evil sabotages and ridiculous antics, Camp Cutthroat is coming back for its second season with even more surprises and challenges. But before you tune in for the premiere on August 24 at 10 p.m., head over to Food Network’s Snapchat Discover channel, because Camp Cutthroat is taking over. Starting at 6 a.m., you can get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the madness that is Camp Cutthroat. Don’t wait too long, though, because Alton’s crazy antics and savvy sabotages will stay on Snapchat for only 24 hours.

Read more

Food Network Star Kids Take Over Snapchat Discover

by in Shows, August 22nd, 2016

America’s most-talented young cooks are here for the first-ever season of Food Network Star Kids, and we’ve got the sneak peek you’ve been looking for.

Read more

Geoffrey Zakarian Takes Over Snapchat Discover

by in Food Network Chef, August 14th, 2016

Are you ready for another week of shocking reveals on Cooks vs. Cons? To get you ready for the next showdown, Geoffrey Zakarian is taking over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover page. Starting at 6 a.m., you can get exclusive backstage access to everything Cooks vs. Cons — but for only 24 hours.

Read more