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.”

5 Tips for Successful Fudge

by in Food Network Magazine, February 13th, 2012

chocolate fudge
1.    Pick the right day: Avoid making fudge on humid days. It can actually absorb the extra moisture in the air, making fudge softer.

2.    Test your thermometer: It’s important your candy thermometer is accurate. Testing this is simple: Place your thermometer in a pot of boiling water (be careful not to let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan); it should read 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. If the thermometer is off, be sure to add or subtract the difference while cooking.

3.    Use the right pan: Be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan to prevent scorching while cooking. It’s also important to use the size pan specified in the recipe.

Beware of lingering sugar and have patience »

How to Successfully Slow-Cook

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, December 21st, 2011


The slow cooker is our friend in the test kitchen, and we’ve discovered some helpful tips to create the perfect dish every time:

1.    Pick the Right Cut of Meat: Use cuts of meat that are best for slow braising, like pork shoulder, and try to avoid leaner cuts, like pork tenderloin, that don’t hold up as well.

2.    Spend Some Time Up Front: All you need is 30 minutes or less to brown your meat. Make a quick pan sauce or reduce wine before adding to your slow cooker — it makes a big difference in flavor.

3.    Choose Your Alliums Wisely: Onion, garlic and shallot all belong to the same genus and when they’re added raw to a slow cooker, sometimes they create a metallically after-taste. We prefer to use leeks (also in same genus), which are milder. We also love to toast thinly sliced garlic in butter or oil and stir in at the end (like in Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable and Lentil Slow Cooker Soup, pictured above).

Get quick add-ins and recipes »

50 Pies From Food Network Kitchens

by in Food Network Magazine, November 30th, 2011

50 pies
As a kid, I loved those rotating dessert cases in restaurants. I’d usually have a slice of pie picked out before we even got to the table.

So when it came time to create 50 pie recipes for Food Network Magazine, I often thought about an imaginary dessert case large enough to hold them all. Our solution? We decided to freeze a slice of each and have a little fun.

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Behind the Scenes in Food Network Kitchens: Deep-Fried Turkey

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, November 24th, 2010
Recipe tester Leah Brickley (cautiously!) experiments with indoor turkey-frying in Food Network Kitchens.

Sometimes being married to a kitchen gadget geek has its perks. For our November issue of Food Network Magazine, we had to test Cat Cora’s deep-fried turkey recipe. Deep-fried turkeys have become really popular over the past few years and Cat’s is rubbed with a delicious Cajun spice blend. The turkey comes out crispy and really flavorful.

Our test kitchen is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market building, and the outdoor green space available to set up a vat of boiling oil is very limited to non-existent. Luckily, my husband, Paul, had a rather interesting solution to my deep-fryer problems: Why not fry it indoors? At first I thought he was crazy, but then he told me about this new (and safe) indoor turkey fryer made by MasterBuilt. It sits right on your counter, uses about half the amount the oil and has a safety magnetic break-away cord.

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