All Posts By Ricky Smith

QUIZ: Which Destination Is Your Best Bet for Summer BBQ?

by in Restaurants, May 15th, 2015

Barbecue is a huge part of summer eats. It’s hard to find any outdoor gathering during the warmer months that doesn’t include sauce-slathered ribs, tender brisket or at least some smoked chops. And while you’ve probably got your favorite local joint, the options across the country are only increasing. Barbecue has become a highly respected cuisine in America, with spots serving up everything from bigger-than-your-head ribs to classic blue plate specials. Take the quiz below to find out where you should venture to get the best ‘cue this summer.

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5 Spring Soups to Brighten Up the Dinner Table

by in Recipes, May 7th, 2015

Get excited, because your love for soup no longer has to be put away with your winter jacket and scarf. Just because it’s getting warmer outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a comforting bowl of avocado soup or a ginger-carrot creation. In fact, these soups were made for sunnier times. Just like as chili warms you up while it’s snowing outside, there are chilled concoctions that can cool you down and nutrient-rich spring veggie versions that can boost your energy. Either way, soup lovers, rejoice!

Chilled Avocado Soup (pictured above)
Move on over, guacamole — there’s a new avocado dish in town. Marcela Valladolid’s Chilled Avocado Soup, served cold , is a beautiful dinner option for the warmer months. With a bit of spice from serrano chiles and fresh flavor from the avocado and lemon juice, it would be a surefire hit at any spring get-together.

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6 Breakfast Pastries That Are Totally Worth the Carbs

by in Recipes, April 30th, 2015

Breakfast for dinner is always a fun way to mix things up, but what about having dessert for breakfast? Besides those few times you ate chocolate cake on a Saturday morning, it’s probably not something you think of often. But with pastries like warm, sticky cinnamon rolls and apple turnovers stuffed with syrupy filling, it’s definitely possible to satisfy your sweet tooth before 10 a.m.

Strawberry Muffins (pictured above)
Make these beauties over the weekend and have a quick breakfast to go during the week. Whether you eat them at room temperature or heat them up with a little pat of butter, they’re sure to give you the right dose of sweetness.

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QUIZ: Which City Should You Eat Pizza In?

by in Restaurants, April 28th, 2015

Does the local pizza joint know your order the second they realize it’s you on the phone? It might be time to branch out and try something out of your comfort zone. After all, pizza comes in lots of different styles. From Chicago’s deep and cheesy to the classic New York slice, we’ve got your ideal pizza style.

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6 Ways to Spice Up Pizza Night

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2015

Everyone from busy moms to college students knows the ease of grabbing a quick slice of pizza or a pie for the family. Most pizzerias have an array of classic options that never seem to get old, and all of that cheesy goodness never disappoints. While your favorite local joint’s pizza is probably hard to replicate, there are plenty of ways you can spice up pizza night from home. Read on for some out-of-the-box ideas like mini pizza muffins and warm pizza dip.

Pepperoni Pizza Pocket (pictured above)
The ultimate hand-held food becomes even more portable when you follow Jeff Mauro’s recipe for pizza pockets. Just load up premade dough rounds with pepperoni and cheese, and pop them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Jeff’s slow-simmering sauce for an unforgettable weeknight treat.

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QUIZ: Where Should You Travel for Your Next Meal?

by in Restaurants, April 1st, 2015

If you know every pasta dish at the Italian place down the street (plus the Sunday specials), it might be time to widen your taste buds’ horizons. But gone are the days when you had to travel to Europe to get authentic French cuisine and a good steak was served only at a steakhouse. Today there are tons of cities in the U.S. that boast fresh-from-the-boat seafood and burgers that will change how you thought about Dad’s grilling skills. Take the quiz below to find out which food-filled city will be your ultimate destination for dinner.

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Save Some Coffee for Cocktail Hour

by in Drinks, Recipes, March 28th, 2015

A cup before work, a cup to get through 3 p.m. — why not have a cup during happy hour? Coffee cocktails might be exactly what you need: something that melts away the stress of the day while simultaneously boosting your energy for late-night laundry. Add in some rum or chocolate, and you’ll enjoy your caffeine fix more than ever. Whether you’ve just finished a big dinner with friends or you’re spending a Friday evening in alone, these sips are sure to put a smile on your face.

Pitch-Dark Coffee Stout (pictured above)
Why not have both brews—coffee and beer—at the same time? Coffee liqueur and espresso give you a bit of a jolt while stout rounds out the richness of the drink.

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Fries to Feed Your Late-Night Cravings

by in Recipes, March 21st, 2015

After a long day (or night), few things will bring you as much joy as a big plate of crispy french fries. And while it’s easy to stop at the nearest fast-food joint, there are so many flavor-packed versions you can make in your own kitchen. Why settle for the drive-thru stuff if you can whip up your own? Think thin fries smothered with chicken and cheese, and crinkle-cuts piled high with spicy poblanos. Whatever your vice, you’re bound to find something to curb your cravings in this list of the best fry creations.

Chicken and Cheese Poutine (pictured above)
There’s something about deep-fried potatoes covered in cheese that makes all of life’s problems seem to melt away. When you add chicken and gravy — game over. This sinful treat from Food Network Magazine is ready in 30 minutes, but it probably won’t be on the table for too long. With Worcestershire sauce, peas, paprika and scallions, no flavor gets left behind.

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7 Meatloaves That (Might) Beat Grandma’s

by in Recipes, March 14th, 2015

Food can bring back so many different memories from childhood — family meals around the dinner table, weeknight dishwasher duties, Mom’s failed attempt at homemade sushi — but it’s hard to beat the comforting tastes and memories that come with a slice of meatloaf. Let’s face it: Meatloaf is basically a giant meatball, and no one is mad about that. Juicy ground meat and soft veggies only get better with a big dollop of that classic, sweet sauce. But just like every other classic dinner, there are tons of new spins on the original recipe, like vegetable-packed versions and even meatloaf muffins. Read on for some new ideas on how to take this hearty classic to the next level.

Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (pictured above)
There’s bacon on top — need we say more? If the bacon doesn’t sell it, the tomato relish will. It’s got all of the classic flavors of a meatloaf sauce, but with some fresh ingredients and great texture. Everything comes together for a sweet, salty, tangy feast.

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Enter to Win a Duff Goldman Cake and Cookie Baking Kit

by in Contests, February 4th, 2015

Duff Giveaway Baking KitExperience what it’s like to bake and decorate your creations like Duff Goldman. Put your skills to the test along with the wunderkinds of Kids Baking Championship, Mondays at 8|7c.

To buy the Duff Goldman Decorating StencilsTie-Dye Cake Mix, White Frosting and Tie-Dye Swirl Sugar Cookie Mix, you can visit the Food Network Store, or enter a comment below for a chance to win the items. To enter, let us know in the comments: What was your favorite baked treat as a kid? The contest starts at 12 p.m. EST today and ends Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m.

You may comment only once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2015 and 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 11, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the total prize is $36.96. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37932.