All Posts By Mallory Viscardi

Mallory Viscardi is a country girl at heart. She grew up in her grandmother's kitchen and in her mother's bookshelves. There are few things in life she loves more than a good cup of coffee, a well-written cookbook and -- above all else -- a delicious meal. She's an enthusiastic home-cook, a haver of small adventures and does all her own stunts.

Vibrant Food — Off the Shelf

by in Books, June 27th, 2014

Vibrant Food - Off the ShelfSeasonal cooking has become a household idea over the past couple of years, and it’s not hard to understand why. This rings especially true as summer heats up with lush promises of fresh produce. Admittedly, there are a lot of good seasonal-produce cookbooks that really do a spectacular job of highlighting the potential nestled within the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, but this year I’m especially taken with Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food.

Vibrant Food takes an artistic approach to building dishes around seasonal ingredients, but not in a way that makes the recipes difficult. (Usually when someone approaches food “artistically,” it can get quite complicated quite quickly. That’s not the case here.) Much to the contrary, the dishes are bright, delightful and striking both in beauty and in flavor. The vibrant colors are as well-balanced as the fresh, crisp flavors that fans of good food appreciate and expect as they eat their way through the seasons. Put simply, the book is gorgeous and the recipes are delicious.

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My Paris Kitchen — Off the Shelf

by in Books, June 20th, 2014

My Paris Kitchen CookbookThe delightful thing about David Lebovitz’s writing is his ability to make even the most-intimidating foreign cuisine seem approachable and familiar. French cuisine can be overwhelming, especially for home cooks. It’s renowned for its heritage of precision, its delicate balance of flavors and its unwavering high standards for taste and presentation. That’s great for a major holiday dinner, but who has time for fussy food in the middle of the week?

My Paris Kitchen took me by surprise with how unpretentious and inviting its recipes are. Crack open the book to any page and it’s not hard to imagine David taking you calmly by the elbow and strolling you down a Parisian street and into his favorite cheese shop, where you discover how fascinating (and delicious!) seasonal cheeses can be. His style of writing is relaxed, conversational and friendly. You’re just hanging out with a friend, chatting about adding ice to wine, the virtues of a good mortar and pestle, and the miracle that is a perfectly ripe cherry tomato.

The other little something special that sets My Paris Kitchen apart is the fact that some recipes are basic and other recipes will gently guide you outside your culinary comfort zone. David’s inviting writing is almost misleading, in that you’ll be halfway through a recipe you once thought to be way beyond your skill level before you realize how simple French cooking can be if you have the right teacher. And that’s the mark of an exceptional cookbook: It doesn’t just give you better recipes; it helps you become a better cook.

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Preserving by the Pint — Off the Shelf

by in Books, June 13th, 2014

Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint

Marisa McClellan’s newest book, Preserving by the Pint, is a love letter to small-batch preservers of all levels of experience. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at preserving but were too overwhelmed by all the details and chemistry involved, Marisa is here to help you get your feet wet. At the same time, her inspired flavor combinations are fresh and creative, perfect for experienced canners looking to change up their seasonal preserving roster. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re incredibly approachable. The chapters are organized by season, making the book easy to browse and navigate. The recipes call for small quantities of seasonal produce, which I found makes them pleasantly, almost surprisingly, affordable. Her recipes are quick and easy to put together, and they pack huge flavors into tiny containers.

Marisa captures the bright, hopeful flavors of spring, the warm, sun-kissed flavors of summer, the earthy, deep flavors of autumn and the rustic, hearty taste of winter. If you’ve ever found yourself wistfully wishing you could bottle the magic of summer sunshine, give the Peach Jam with Sriracha recipe (below) a try. One taste and you’ll agree that it’s summertime in a jar. I’m not one to wish away the summer days, but I do look forward to the cold January evening when I pull a jar of this off the shelf and treat myself to a tropical vacation with breakfast.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts — Off the Shelf

by in Books, June 6th, 2014

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
My love for ice cream runs deep. In fact, it runs almost as deep as my love for cookbooks. Ice cream is ideal because it’s a perfect dessert all on its own, loaded up with toppings or used as a building block to make a treat that’s even more delicious. It’s this last use of ice cream that makes the new cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts by Jeni Britton Bauer so wonderful.

If you’re a home cook and you’re a little intimidated by the idea of making ice cream from scratch, Jeni has you covered. Most of her recipes skip the use of eggs in the base, which means no tricky tempering of egg yolks is required to get rich, creamy, decadent results. And the flavors are so fun. The book gives you a selection of flavors to try at home; it has everything from a basic Sweet Cream Ice Cream to a summertime classic like Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam Ice Cream, to flavors a bit more bold, like Cumin and Honey Butterscotch Ice Cream.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts doesn’t stop at ice cream, though. In fact, frozen favorites are just the beginning in this book. The title offers a wide range of dishes you can make, each with ice cream as its shining star. Readers will find recipes for cocktails, cakes, cobblers, biscuits, beignets and more. There’s even a section featuring all the ways in which you can dress the components of the book (ice cream, sauces and topping “gravels”) up into craving-inducing sundaes.

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Chopped All-Stars: Now’s Your Chance to Chat With the Judges

by in Community, Shows, April 1st, 2013

Chopped All-Stars Facebook ChatsFood fans will have a chance to chat with the people who are really in the hot seat on this season of Chopped All-Stars: the judges. Join us on the Chopped Facebook page and ask Alex (who will also be competing), Chris, Geoffrey, Marcus and even Ted the questions you’ve always wanted them to answer.

Enter the Feel-Good Food Sweepstakes

by in Community, Contests, January 4th, 2013

Feel-Good Food SweepstakesWhen it comes to helping Food Network fans get healthy in the new year, we couldn’t think of a better way to provide motivation than to combine two of our favorite things: delicious food and Pinterest. Food fans: We present to you the Feel-Good Food Sweepstakes.

Here how to enter the sweepstakes: Choose one of the six healthy recipes featured here, then fill in your email address. Next, pin the selected recipe to any of your personal Pinterest boards. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 — and five lucky fans will win a home juicer kit from the Food Network Store.

You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to look and feel fabulous. Enter the Food Network Feel-Good Food Sweepstakes and start your year off strong.

Chat With Food Network About the Holidays

by in Community, Holidays, December 4th, 2012

Easy Holiday Centerpieces
We have an all-star line-up of holiday-themed Facebook and Twitter chats coming your way. Mark your calendars for these upcoming social media chats:

  • December 6: Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian will be joining us for a Twitter chat about this season of The Next Iron Chef at 1pm/12c. Find out what it’s like to sit at the judges’ table this season by tweeting your questions using hashtag #NextIronChefQA.
  • December 11: Food Network Kitchens will be back to chat about holiday cookies with Food Network Facebook fans at 3pm/2c.
  • December 18: We’ll be answering all of your holiday cooking, baking and entertaining questions with Food Network Kitchens on the Food Network Facebook page at 3pm/2c.
Get your holiday cooking and entertaining questions ready. We look forward to chatting with everyone this week.

Kitchen Tested: The SpoonSpreader

by in Product Reviews, November 7th, 2012

The SpoonSpreaderUnlike most home bakers I know, I’m not yet married to a frosting method of choice. My Grandma Mimi (who did not believe in cupcakes and would instead make sheet cakes for the grandchildren) would dump entire bowls of vanilla buttercream on top of her chocolate cakes and swirl the magical mixture into place with her offset spatula. My mother would simply flip the cupcakes one-by-one upside down and dunk into a bowl of icing. I hadn’t given it much thought until I met The SpoonSpreader.

Though I hadn’t really used a pastry bag before, I assumed I’d prefer that mode of frosting application over what seemed like a slightly unhinged-spoon spatula amalgam (pun intended). The results I found were both surprising and delightful. The SpoonSpreader works with a little practice, as both a frosting scoop (when it’s folded) and as a frosting spreader and applicator (when flattened again).

See it in action