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.”

Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Guacamole on the Half Shell

by in Recipes, Shows, December 2nd, 2015

Chopped Junior Inspired Lunchboxes: Guacamole on the Half ShellOur young Chopped Junior contestants were tasked with using avocado — an ingredient that’s great solo — as part of an entree dish. Inspired by their dishes, we put on our aprons and wandered into the Food Network Kitchen to make lunch.

We thought about guacamole, the most-iconic preparation of avocado, and decided to make it portable for lunch. So we mashed and mixed it right in its shell — no bowl required. Here’s how to make your own:

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Waffled Peanut Butter and Jelly

by in Recipes, Shows, November 25th, 2015

waffled PBJOn this week’s episode of Chopped Junior, our young contestants were challenged with incorporating waffles (along with lobster mushrooms, chorizo and orange frozen pops) into their appetizer course. Inspired by the notion of waffles, we decided to experiment with one of our waffle makers in Food Network Kitchen. We took the most-iconic school lunch sandwich of all, peanut butter and jelly, and waffled it. We loved how crunchy and toasted it was — like PB&J was always meant to be waffled.

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Pumpkin Hummus

by in Recipes, Shows, November 18th, 2015

Pumpkin HummusOn this week’s episode, our young Chopped Junior contestants got into the holiday swing of things with Thanksgiving-inspired mystery baskets. So with pumpkin pie spice and rainbow carrots in mind, we threw together a fun autumnal hummus that kids can enjoy as a side or main dish for lunch.

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunches: Watermelon with Toasted Coconut

by in Recipes, Shows, November 11th, 2015

Watermelon dishInspired by the mystery basket ingredients — watermelon pizza and coconut milk yogurt — on this week’s episode of Chopped Junior, we threw together a simple fruit salad in the test kitchen. It’s perfect for any brown-bag school lunch!

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups with Wasabi-Peach Sauce

by in Recipes, Shows, November 4th, 2015

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups with Wasabi-Peach saucePretty much all kids love dip. If a food can be dunked into a sauce — ketchup, honey mustard, hummus or ranch dressing – then they’re game! That’s why we were so happy to see one of the contestants on this week’s episode of Chopped Junior elevate the world of dipping condiments with two of the mystery basket ingredients: wasabi and peaches.

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Go Behind the Scenes: What Hangs on the Walls at Food Network?

by in Behind the Scenes, November 4th, 2015

Go Behind the Scenes: What Hangs on the Walls at Food Network?In our 22 years of producing and airing cooking and food television shows, we’ve amassed quite a collection of props in our vast prop room, everything from fine china to vintage utensils (there’s even a ukulele). We recently decided to dust off some of our more interesting pieces and hand them over to artist Deniz Asutay, who masterfully converted them into large-scale collages. She created 16 in all, and now our office walls are adorned with eye-catching pieces that help tell our story in a way that’s every bit as visually appealing as the food the props helped make beautiful these past two decades.

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Caesar Salad with Pepperoni Pizza Croutons

by in Recipes, Shows, October 28th, 2015

Chopped lunchboxWhy should adults have all the fun? Thanks to the new show Chopped Junior, kids now also have the opportunity to get their hands on some infamous mystery baskets. And we were happy to see that the ingredients are just as tricky as those in the grownups’ baskets: items like cotton candy cookies, pepperoni pizza and candied sardines!

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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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