All Posts In Behind the Scenes

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Like a Kardashian for 3 Days

by in Behind the Scenes, December 7th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Like a Kardashian for 3 DaysMost of us go above and beyond simply “keeping up” with the Kardashians. Ever since Kim K.’s not-so-little scandal in 2003, confused (and mostly bored) people across the U.S. have been absolutely obsessed with the Kardashian family. Kylie Jenner dyes her hair and within a split second her “transformation” is the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter. Kim posts a nude selfie to Instagram and a full-blown social media war ensues. Khloé Kardashian finalizes her divorce with Lamar Odom and 90 percent of the U.S. population reacts as if the royal couple just called it quits.

In 2007 our fascination with the Kardashian family transitioned into hardcore obsession. Keeping Up With the Kardashians was officially on the air, exposing a concerning amount of American people to the most highly addictive television series to date. Even I will admit I’ve spent hours of my life watching Kourtney Kardashian eat salad on a television screen. Those are hours I will never get back, and, unfortunately, that’s something I have to live with.

Over the past 10 or so years, we’ve watched each of the Kardashian sisters grow … and in other ways, we’ve watched them literally shrink down. Yes, I’m talking about their beyond drastic, inconceivable weight loss journeys in which they seemingly drop about 5 pounds overnight.

Kim lost almost 70 pounds only seven months after she and Yeezy welcomed Saint West into the world — 70 pounds could very well be equal to the weight of both my legs combined. Khloé also shed some serious poundage within the past year, reaching her slimmest weight yet in late July. The 32-year-old superstar dropped a whopping 40 pounds post-separation with Odom and has kept the weight off since. Kourtney has been stick thin for years. Then again, we’ve never seen her eat a carb, so that explains that.

All three of the OG Kardashian sisters have opened up to various media outlets about their day-to-day diets. After hearing each of them spill the beans on how they stay so thin, I decided it was time to give the Kardashian diet a good old-fashioned try.

I ate like a Kardashian for three days, following Khloé’s, Kourtney’s and Kim’s daily diet plans. Here’s what I ate each day and how I rated each Kardashian’s diet.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Orange Foods for 24 Hours

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 30th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Orange Foods for 24 HoursIn many ways, fall is all about orange. Between society’s perpetual obsession with all things Halloween and the endless supply of festive autumnal vegetables, you can’t turn a single corner without spotting the color.

In an attempt to fully embrace the fall spirit, I decided to eat only orange foods for one full day. When I first accepted this challenge, I feared what my body may go through. I pictured myself loading up on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and aggressively squirting Easy Cheese into my mouth (no shame). And before my short-lived diet even started I was already resenting it. But I made a commitment, and without my good word, I was nothing. I strapped on my booties, put my big girl pants on and trekked all the way to my local grocery store to purchase the goods. And truly, the orange options were endless.

Butternut squash. Sweet Potatoes. Peppers. Pumpkins. Oranges. Apricots. Cantaloupe. Carrots. Peaches. Persimmons. Mangoes. Nectarines. Orange tomatoes. Tangerines. Goldfish. Cheez-It crackers. Cheese puffs. Cheez Doodles. Cheese. Cheese. A lot more cheese. The world was my oyster.

Of course, oysters were off the table.

I moseyed my way through each aisle, deciding to fully embrace the orange life and dive into the challenge head-on. To my surprise, locating orange food was anything but difficult. Finding the right produce to make well-balanced, home-cooked meals on the other hand was much more challenging. I definitely wasn’t in the mood to eat mostly raw vegetables for an entire day; I’m simply not interested in a lifestyle that healthy.

Eating orange was not so bad compared to some of the extremely questionable diets I’ve been subjected to during my 22 years on Earth. In sixth grade I attempted an all-celery diet, which I told myself was a thing, but it definitely was not. I somehow made it through “breakfast” that day, had an emotional breakdown before noon, then binged on an entire box of Mallomars for lunch just to calm myself down.

It’s shocking I was overweight.

Anyway, here’s how I pulled off eating only orange foods for a day.

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Ina Garten on Her Creative Process, What Keeps Her Going and Why She Loves What She Does

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, November 19th, 2016

Ina GartenWhen you pick up an Ina Garten cookbook or watch an episode of Barefoot Contessa, you might not realize how much work goes into creating the recipes, testing them and finally proclaiming them good enough to share. All of Ina’s recipes go through a rigorous testing period until they’re perfect, as the writer and TV host explains. Even Jeffrey has to wait until a recipe’s perfect before he can get a taste!

Thinking about Ina’s life story, it may seem like a stretch of the imagination that she went from writing nuclear policy in the White House to writing cookbooks in her Long Island home, but it happened. Despite the difference in subject, both lines of work require precision. But cooking goes a bit further, as it requires that something extra — the secret ingredient, if you will. And Ina has that. She says it’s just in her DNA. The rest is history: She didn’t attend cooking school or learn from a grandmother, but she picked up skills out of necessity while running her specialty food store, Barefoot Contessa. It started out as a way to try a new career and ended up giving her her well-known moniker. Would she have it any other way? Not really.

FN Dish recently chatted with Ina about her new series, Cooking for Jeffrey, her recently released cookbook and her Washington, D.C., special. Find out more about the elegant and earthy hostess in our interview.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Tried 7 Foods That (Supposedly) Curb Fear

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 17th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Tried 7 Foods That (Supposedly) Curb FearAllhallows’ Eve may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the horror movie trailers aren’t still everywhere. And every time one of them pops into my life, I go into flight mode. Headphones out. TV on mute. Ears covered. Eyes closed. Singing “la-la-la-la” until it’s finally over. I will do this in my home. I will do this on the treadmill. I will do this in public. I do not care. I do all this to prevent what I know will come if I don’t: looking out the shower curtain every 15 seconds, going out of my way to avoid mirrors in the dark, lying awake at night irrationally paralyzed by fear for weeks.

Did I ask for the scary-movie-trailer life? No, I did not. The scary-movie-trailer life asked for me — poor, innocent, fully grown, scaredy-cat me. I am scary movies’ easiest target. I get scared of pretty much everything. Even that rated PG-movie Enchanted — yes, the one about fairy tales coming to the real world — at one point made me jump five feet above my theater seat. The old hag was really ugly, OK?

Needless to say, I do not watch horror movies, save for a total of three in my lifetime. But if I did, all of them would get a rating of 1,000 out of 10 on the scariness scale from yours truly.

Besides making me a hilariously entertaining horror-movie buddy, this scaredy-cat quality of mine also makes me a prime test subject. For what, you ask? What use could I possibly have in the context of horror?

Well, according to Food & Life, a health-focused cookbook authored by Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon and,neuropharmacologist and acupuncturist Nadia Volf, eating certain foods can help curb fear. Yes, apparently other than just willing yourself to be unafraid of fictional monsters and demons, there is possibly another way to get through a horror flick. So I set out to test whether Robuchon and Volf’s prescribed foods could actually fight fear.

Step One: Eat said foods, and only those foods.
Step Two: Sit through one of those gosh-darned horror movies.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Did the Baby Food Diet for 3 Days, and Here’s What Happened

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 9th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Did The Baby Food Diet for 3 Days, and Here's What HappenedThis is a no-tricks, no-nonsense eating plan. The baby food diet is exactly what it sounds like: three or more days of eating pureed baby food and trying your absolute best not to complain (or vomit).

I first read about this diet in 2013 when my girl Jennifer Aniston was rumored to have shed quite a bit of weight from eating like a baby for a while. (This was a confusing moment for me, as it was the first time I ever questioned anything Jennifer Aniston did.) Started by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, the diet quickly became an internet phenomenon as a way to cut cals and drop pounds, fast.

It sounded like absolute torture. I genuinely could not understand why anyone would eat sweet potatoes out of a jar when they have the option to do otherwise. Only an idiot would put their body through that.

Fast-forward three years: I am that idiot.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: Can My Friends Tell the Difference Between Expensive and Cheap Wines?

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 2nd, 2016

If you ever walk into a Trader Joe’s wine section or shop (depending on where you live), one of the most-glaring things you will notice is a vast selection of $2.99 wines by the name of Charles Shaw. But when he’s just kickin’ back, down the esophagi of his more frugal fans, he’s known as Chuck, Two Buck Chuck.

Since Chuck’s introduction in 2002, Trader Joe’s famed wine of “extreme value” has earned itself a reputation – hence the nickname – especially among those who wish to enjoy the finer things in life but don’t want to break the bank.

I am one of those people.

But is it any good? I ask myself, as many people do, when they come across such a concept as a two-dollar-something bottle of wine. I had to find out but did not want to volunteer myself as tribute.

With such a predicament, I decided I would make my friends do it. Read more

Ina’s Back in the White House: Exclusive Interview About Her Barefoot in Washington Special Visit

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 28th, 2016

Michelle Obama and Ina GartenWhen Ina Garten worked in Washington, D.C., little did she know she’d end up in a completely different career, first operating a specialty foods store in Long Island and then writing cookbooks and hosting a very successful cooking show on Food Network. Now, years later, Ina returns to the nation’s capital in the special Barefoot in Washington, premiering on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1|12c. After making various stops in the city to see how the culinary scene has transformed, and to reconnect and cook with longtime friends, Ina makes one last stop at the White House to see how the gardens and the kitchen supply food for state dinners as well as the wider community. And before she leaves, Ina sits down to tea with Mrs. Obama.

FN Dish recently sat down with Ina to chat about the special.

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By the Numbers: What It Takes to Stock the Kitchen for the Grannies on Clash of the Grandmas

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 27th, 2016

Clash of the GrandmasThe ladies competing on Clash of the Grandmas are downright masters of their culinary crafts, with decades of experience commanding their kitchens at home. There’s no doubt they know what it takes to prepare meals fit for a family, but to succeed in the competition, they must put together dishes to impress a panel of all-star food authorities. To do that, they’ll need the very best in ingredients and equipment. So, to ensure they have what they need, the show’s culinary production team went to great lengths to ready the kitchen for the upcoming series of granny battles.

We caught up with Morgan Hass, a culinary producer on the show, who told us all about what it takes to stock the kitchen and pantry for the contest. Read on below to get her by-the-numbers details of what’s on hand, on the shelves and in the refrigerator.

2: Number of days it takes to build and stock the kitchen

8: Number of people on the culinary team overseeing Clash of the Grandmas

100: Total number of available gadgets, including 25 different varieties of equipment, like waffle makers, blenders and smoking guns

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Foods I Discovered on Instagram

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, October 26th, 2016

1. AvoEgg Breakfast

Photo courtesy of @remixt

I could’ve included avocado toast, but I needed to up the ante. After all, avocado toast is a staple for me and I’ve pretty much mastered that skill (NBD). I’ve seen so many ‘grams of bright-green avocados with pops of yellow yolks in the center, and I have always wanted to bake this for breakfast; alas, I’ve never had the time. And when I did have the time, this idea would escape me. This time there was no escaping. The instructions were pretty simple, as were the ingredients. I cut my ripe avocado in half, took out the pit and spooned in one egg in one half. This is where I made oops No. 1: I didn’t scoop out enough avocado, and the egg whites started to slip out of the avocado!

Frustrated, I tried again with my other half, this time carving out even more avocado. I spooned in the egg yet again, and the same thing happened. I decided to shrug it off and top my concoction with salt, pepper, chives and shredded mozzarella. (You can totally toss in paprika, onions, cheddar Jack — you name it.) I baked the eggs for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, and to my delight, they were good to go! However, they were not as beautiful as the next one.

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Multitalented Lorraine Pascale Got Hungry for Baking and Never Looked Back

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 5th, 2016

Lorraine PascaleLorraine has worn many hats, including those of a model and even a mechanic, but the one that fits her best is that of baker. After working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries in the U.K., she began hosting cooking programs, many of which were based on Lorraine’s best-selling baking books. Stateside, she’s served as a judge on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship. But now she’s offering her talents as a teacher to some of the most-terrible bakers in the country, in the new series Worst Bakers in America. Along with Duff Goldman, Lorraine mentors a team of hopeless hopefuls, with the goal of coaching one to the top of the ranks. With bragging rights on the line against her friend and fellow baker, Duff Goldman, all niceties get pushed aside. It’s a competition, after all.

In this interview with FN Dish, Lorraine reveals her motivation for becoming a baker, what the first dessert was that she made, which talk show queen she’d like to bake for and what keeps her doing what she loves most to this day.

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