All Posts By Leah Brickley

Leah Brickley is a Recipe Developer and Nutritionist in Food Network Kitchen. “My day typically bookends with researching, cooking, tasting, enjoying, evaluating and talking about food.”

Behind the Scenes in Food Network Kitchen: Vivian Chan, the Home Cook Advocate

by in Behind the Scenes, October 4th, 2015

VivianYou may have heard of Food Network Kitchen, which is housed inside the famous Chelsea Market in NYC. But what is it, exactly? Well, FNK (as we like to call ourselves) is a team of about 30 people who develop, test and edit recipes, write about and photograph food, and work as culinary producers on many of your favorite Food Network shows. From the moment we step into the kitchen/office, we are completely immersed in all things food. And it’s awesome.

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Competition-Inspired Cooking with Your Kids: Croque Monsieur 101

by in Recipes, Shows, September 22nd, 2015

croque monsieurThe Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, was the guest judge for this week’s episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. And, of course, our contestants had to win him over with amazing sandwiches during the first round. We were so sad to see Sabrina go home with her first attempt ever at a croque monsieur sandwich — but so impressed that she took a chance! If you’re like Sabrina, and never made this classic French sandwich, then here’s a little 101.

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Competition-Inspired Cooking with Your Kids: Ode to Sardines

by in Recipes, Shows, September 15th, 2015

sardines on toastWe were so happy that none of the kids on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off were sent home this week! They all did a stellar job, especially during the immunity round when each competitor had to cook a dish with one of his or her parent’s least favorite ingredients. Juliana was stuck with sardines — her dad’s worst nightmare. She did an amazing job, lightly frying them, and completely converted him into a lover of these oily little fish.

So many of us in Food Network Kitchen love sardines — fresh or canned in olive oil. And we’re sad that they have a bad reputation, because they’re delicious, inexpensive and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. And because sardines are low on the aquatic food chain, you don’t have to worry about mercury levels.

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Competition-Inspired Cooking: One Secret (and Free) Ingredient You’re Not Using

by in Shows, September 8th, 2015

pasta boilingIn this week’s Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off immunity challenge, the remaining contestants could use only five ingredients (not counting salt) to make a sauce for a pasta dish. This is no easy task, but the kids did a great job, especially Scarlett, who won with her earthy mushroom pasta.

But there’s one secret (and free) ingredient we didn’t see in any of the dishes and that’s the pasta cooking water! Just a little of this starchy and salty water can be a real lifesaver. Cooked noodles tend to suck up a ton of sauce, leaving pasta dishes dry. A splash of this magic water can help loosen the sauce up, plus add plenty of body (thanks to the starch) and seasoning, if you salted your water (which we suggest you do). We’ve saved literally hundreds of gloopy pasta dishes in our test kitchen with pasta water — it works like a charm!

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Competition-Inspired Cooking with Your Kids — Double Potato Hot Dog Sliders

by in Recipes, Shows, September 1st, 2015

Hot DogsThis episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off was amazing. YouTube’s popular food critic Daym Drops (Daymon Patterson) was a guest mentor and judge, and we also saw some really innovative dishes from the kids. Our favorite moment was when Christopher kept his cool during the waffle disaster in the elimination challenge. He had started out making a waffle-and-fried-chicken sandwich, but his batter was too thin and leaked like crazy out of the waffle iron. So in a moment of genius, he dipped slices of bread into the waffle batter and made a French toast fried chicken sandwich instead! He even won the challenge and received the highest honor of a Daym Drops’ “5 All Day.”

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Competition-Inspired Cooking with Your Kids: Heart Your Food

by in Recipes, Shows, August 25th, 2015

Heart toastWe met our eight kid contestants from Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off this week, and the competition is sure to be fun and fierce. Who else was blown away by the contestants’ cooking skills and understanding of flavor pairings? They cooked with ingredients we never expected, like scallops, mussels and smoked salmon.

We loved Olivia’s sweet heart-shaped one-bite creation, and we were super-impressed with her last-minute sweet-to-savory shift. It’s amazing how changing an ordinary food into a fun shape can totally inspire kids (and some adults) to retry a once-refused dish. Or it can just make an old favorite even more fun to eat!

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From the Competition to Your Kitchen: Our 6 Favorite Filled Pastas

by , August 13th, 2015
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From the Competition to Your Kitchen: Our 6 Favorite Filled PastasSurprise, Dom’s back! Our unsuspecting final three contestants, Eddie, Jay and Arnold, were all shocked to see the scrappy Star Salvation winner return for one last battle. Dom impressed the judges with his homemade agnolotti pasta and best on-came...

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The Secret to Great Gluten-Free Pizza? You’d Be Surprised.

by , May 10th, 2014

meatball pizza

This Jimmy Kimmel video made the rounds this week when his show stumped a few civilians on the street by asking them to explain what gluten is. But Kimmel’s best line just might have been: “People are very anti-gluten, which bothers me b...

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How to Make Wildly Inspired, Wicked-Good Waffles Out of Anything

by in How-to, November 8th, 2013

After wrapping up our waffle project, we in Food Network Kitchens kept thinking of new things we wanted to waffle. Let’s share the fun: You waffle some foods and share your hits and misses. Here are five tips that will help you through your waffling adventures:

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Waffle It: How to Pick the Best Waffle Maker

by in How-to, November 4th, 2013

How to Pick the Best Waffle MakerAfter clicking through our 12 Favorite Foods Totally Transformed with a Waffle Iron and Classic and Creative Waffle Recipes, you may find yourself in the market for a waffle maker. But before you run out and make your purchase, there are some important things to consider: Are you more of a classic waffler, or are you a bit more on the adventurous side? If classic is your go-to, then pick a waffle maker based on your favorite shape and thickness. If you’re looking to get creative, then consider a larger model, like a four-slice Belgian-style waffle maker — you’ll have more room to play!

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