All Posts By Ricky Smith

Spice Things Up with Creative Hummus Spreads

by in Recipes, September 11th, 2014

Hummus is one of those foods that most people enjoy and has a ton of great health benefits. Rich in protein, it can help you feel fuller longer. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in most hummus recipes, but sometimes you need to switch things up a bit — even if that means cutting the chickpeas and starting anew. These recipes have taken hummus to the next level, calling on everything from black beans to edamame, so you never get bored of the Mediterranean treat.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus: It’s definitely one of the most-loved flavors to pair with hummus, and this recipe makes it the star of the show. Guy Fieri calls for the roasted red peppers to be pureed in with the chickpeas and even adds in some chipotle pepper in adobo to kick the flavor up a few notches. It makes a great spread for sandwiches too.

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The Lighter Side of Comfort Food

by in Recipes, September 8th, 2014

Comfort food is notoriously indulgent. Butter, cheese and potatoes make appearances in nearly every dish. Even though it’s not the healthiest cuisine in the world, we turn our heads away from the calorie count in the name of comfort and deliciousness. But even these down-home dishes can be lightened up by replacing fat-laden ingredients and opting for the oven instead of the fryer. By being more conscious about ingredients, you can enjoy these classics with a little less guilt.

Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese
If you often find yourself craving a big bowl of cheesy goodness, this recipe is going to be your new best friend. Instead of heavy cream, this version uses skim milk and low-fat sour cream, and includes part-skim mozzarella and low-fat Swiss. And for a little indulgence in the flavor department, it calls for a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

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See Which FN Stars Braved the Ice Bucket Challenge

by in Food Network Chef, August 31st, 2014

FN Stars Brave the Ice Bucket ChallengeThe Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the Internet by storm, getting support from countless Facebook users and celebrities alike. Our own Food Network personalities and chefs have pitched in as well, pouring freezing-cold water — and some other interesting additions — on themselves in the name of charity. Check out which stars have participated so far.

Rachael Ray (pictured above): Even Rach got chilly for charity. Watch the full video

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Special Guest Judges Scare on a New Season of Halloween Wars

by in Shows, August 27th, 2014

Halloween Wars returns for Season 4 with all-new episodes starting Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9|8c. Fan favorites and first-timers alike will be serving up sweet and scary creations like never before to renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and Emmy-nominated makeup artist Brian Kinney. Special guest judges, including American Horror Story’s Naomi Grossman, The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Francia Raisa and renowned horror film producer Adi Shankar, are slated to weigh in on the teams’ pumpkin-themed displays. The supersized desserts are bigger, better and more terrifying than ever before, as the cake decorator, sugar artist and pumpkin carver on each of the five teams go head-to-head for the grand prize of $50,000. Don’t miss the exciting new season filled with sweets and surprises.

Watch Halloween Wars on Sundays starting Oct. 5 at 9|8c.

6 Dill-icious Summer Dishes

by in Recipes, August 23rd, 2014

Dill doesn’t get included in nearly as many recipes as, say, thyme or basil. Sure, it’s a unique flavor, and a little dash can seriously alter the taste of a dish, but there are plenty of dishes that can benefit from a bit of the summery herb. It’s great for adding something extra to dressings, sauces, seafood and even tea. Besides its subtle sweet flavor, it also boasts some unexpected health benefits: It helps soothe the digestive system and has a calming effect that can be used as a sleep remedy. So try out some of these recipes and showcase your new favorite herb this summer.

Creamy Dijon-Dill Potato Salad
No summer gathering is complete without a good, creamy potato salad. This elevated version makes use of fresh dill along with Dijon mustard and lemon juice, giving it a sweet, salty, tangy taste that is the perfect complement to some smoky barbecue. Remember, for the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended that you make it a few hours in advance and keep it at room temperature.
Potato Salad

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5 Make-Ahead Desserts for Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, August 13th, 2014

Amid getting meats prepped for the grill and making sure cold cocktails are readily available, the last thing you want to worry about while entertaining in the summer is a big, fancy dessert. And to be honest, after all those cocktails, no one is going to fully appreciate that spun-sugar garnish you spent three hours on anyway. So keep things simple. And nothing is simpler than a sweet treat you can make ahead of time and pop in the freezer until it’s time to serve. These recipes utilize bold flavors that hold up well in the icebox, so you and your guests can indulge while keeping cool.

Frozen Key Lime Pie
Ah, what a classic. Summer is the peak of lime season, so this is a great way to showcase the freshest citrus of the year. A graham cracker crust is the perfect bed for the creamy lime filling, adding a bit of sweetness to balance all of the flavors. It takes just 25 minutes to prep and bake, then pop it in the freezer overnight. Plus, think about how much easier it is to divvy up and serve a pie that’s frozen rather than falling all over the place.
key lime

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New Ways to Get Your Quinoa In

by in Product Reviews, August 9th, 2014

New Ways to Get Your Quinoa InTaking a look at any package of quinoa (or even doing a simple search on the Internet) will give you plenty of reasons to join the superfood’s craze. Fitness gurus love the fact that it’s one of the most-protein-rich foods you can eat. But it’s definitely not the easiest thing to make. Many people shy away from preparing it because the process can be long, and getting the right texture and flavor balance can be difficult. The good news: There are plenty of ways to enjoy quinoa that require no effort on your part at all.

Recently more and more quinoa-based products have been hitting supermarket shelves across the country. Think tortilla chips, pastas, baked goods and more, all made with the ancient grain. While it’s totally acceptable to treat yourself to some classic potato chips every once in a while, it couldn’t be simpler to swap in a quinoa creation.

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The Jerky Revolution

by in News, Product Reviews, July 29th, 2014

JerkyRemember that beef jerky you got at the gas station during road trips? The stuff that’s loaded with sodium and has what you would imagine the texture of dog treats to be? Well, it has come a long way since then, becoming a bona fide healthy snack for protein lovers. With less sodium, better flavors and almost nothing unnatural about it, artisan jerky is on the rise.

Just one ounce of the leading brand’s beef jerky can have almost 800 milligrams of sodium, while new brands that concentrate on a more-natural process usually stay around 400 milligrams for the same-size serving (some as low as 300). Besides the fact that these new brands won’t make you feel like you’re gnawing on a salt block, they’ve also got an ingredient list you can fully pronounce. It’s refreshing to see words like “garlic” and “sesame seeds” in place of words like “flavorings” and “monosodium glutamate.”

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Keep Cool with Watermelon Cocktails

by in Drinks, July 19th, 2014

Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.

Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
Watermelon Mai Tai

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Classic Cocktails That Are Anything but Old-Fashioned

by in Drinks, July 12th, 2014

The food world is all about trends, and drinks are no different. You can barely walk into a bar right now without finding something containing muddled ginger. And there are plenty of tried-and-true classics that are easy enough to make (and elevate) at home. Drinks like mint juleps, mai tais and rum punch are always great to have in your entertaining arsenal during the summer. Plus, these favorites (below) each have an added twist, so they’re even more exciting than the originals.

Mint Julep: This cocktail is just about as simple as they get. A little bourbon, a dash of sugar and some mint and you’ve got yourself a foolproof refreshment. Bobby’s recipe includes shaved ice, so it’s the perfect option for a hot summer day. Don’t forget the cherry on top for a little sweetness and a splash of color.
Mint Juleps

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