All Posts By Mandy Major

Mandy Major is the Online Editor for Emerging Brands. When she's not writing or recipe wrangling, she can be found hunting down strong coffee, eating ice cream or obsessively pinning recipes she'll probably never cook.

Rachael Ray’s Top 7 Cooking Tips

by in Food Network Chef, How-to, February 13th, 2014

Rachael Ray's Top 7 Cooking TipsShe’s given fans 30-minute meals, killer sammies and, of course, “EVOO.” Now the queen of weeknight cooking is dishing up a few more kitchen essentials. Read on for her best shortcuts.

1. Adding fresh lemon juice to a recipe? Squeeze the lemon cut-side up so the seeds don’t fall into your food.

2. Measure spices into your hand, instead of over your mixing bowl or pan. That way, you’ll never have to fish anything out if you make a mistake.

3. After cooking fish, get that stinky smell out with a bit of booze: While the pan is still hot, douse it with a splash of dry vermouth and swirl it around. (Caution: It may flame.)

4. Cut down soaking time for dry beans by pouring boiling water over them first. Let stand for 1 hour, rinse, then proceed with your recipe.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rachael Ray

by in Food Network Chef, January 2nd, 2014

10 Things You Didn't Know About Rachael RayShe dishes up great gossip on her daytime talk show, and even better food on TV and in her new cookbook, Week in a Day, but there’s still lots you don’t know about this Food Network megastar. Get the inside scoop on fun facts she shared during her Grand Tasting demo at the New York City Wine & Food Festival.

1. She’s a burger fanatic. “Meat for dinner is my favorite. I’m a burger-obsessed person. I love burger night — I love ground meat of any kind!” she says.

2. She loves a man who cleans. The way to her heart isn’t through food — it’s through washing dishes. “A man in the kitchen is very sexy,” she says. “Gentlemen: Get your butt behind the sink and you will be dessert!”

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Trisha Yearwood

by in Food Network Chef, November 18th, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know About Trisha YearwoodFor a self-professed “chick singer who cooks,” Trisha Yearwood has been more than successful — much more. She’s on her fourth season of hosting Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and, after two best-selling cookbooks, she’s back in the kitchen working on another. Yet despite her double dose of fame (and high-profile marriage to Garth Brooks), the Georgia native is as grounded as ever, evinced by her answer-any-question demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Here, our top takeaways from her event:

1. The slow cooker is her secret weapon. “I’m all about easy. If it’s hard to do, I pretty much won’t do it,” she says. “I grew up making stuff in the Crock-Pot. Things like chili, stews or soups — anything that could cook all day long.” Lately, one of her favorite ways to use it is for turtle candy. “Making dessert in the slow cooker is the coolest thing ever and it’s super, super simple,” she says.

2. She’s a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. It’s all about the big voice for Trisha. Growing up, her music hero was Linda Ronstadt; these days, it’s Clarkson. “Her voice is so powerful, amazing and emotional,” she says. She’s such a fan, in fact, that she worked with Clarkson (and country legend Reba McEntire) on a special Christmas album, which debuted in October.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri

by in Food Network Chef, November 15th, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know About Guy FieriYou know him for his trademark bleached hair, for flame-covered cooking gear, and, of course, his monster hit shows Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite and now Guy’s Grocery Games. But there’s plenty more that you don’t know about his royal dudeness, Guy Fieri. Read on to discover a few surprising insights the Food Network star shared during his cooking demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival.

1. He doesn’t believe in kid-friendly recipes. “What do your kids like to eat? That’s a good kid-friendly recipe,” he says. Even better: Ask them to help in the kitchen. “Get them involved with whatever you cook. Let them feel something!” It’ll turn picky eaters into enthusiastic ones, Guy says.

2. He’d take a wok over the grill any day. “The wok is one of my favorite things to work with when I’m camping,” he says. “Outdoor cooking is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers. There are so many styles of food you can make.”

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Barefoot Contessa

by in Food Network Chef, October 31st, 2012

Ina GartenHer fame may be relatively quiet — she doesn’t have a line of cookware, there isn’t a namesake restaurant — but make no mistake: Ina Garten is a powerhouse celeb chef.

Fans know her story well: From a White House budget analyst to specialty food-store owner, her path to stardom has been slow and steady. In 1978 she bought the Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton; after 20 years she quit and sold it to the employees, only then embarking on cookbooks. Her first was published in 1999.

Now, with her eighth cookbook (Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof ) out and her show entering its 11th year, the publicity-shy chef has plenty to dish about. Here are the highlights from her (packed) appearance at the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s Grand Tasting event.

10 things you didn’t know