It’s state fair season, so for the September issue of Food Network Magazine, chefs in Food Network Kitchens raided the fridge and pantry and deep-fried for days, looking for hits and misses for the story, “Can You Fry It?”. There were a few explosions — marshmallows melted, gumdrops sank to the bottom of the fryer, and the iceberg lettuce came out looking like a sea creature.
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To come up with Food Network Magazine’s perfect iced tea recipe, Food Network Kitchens recipe testers compared hot- and cold-brewed black, herbal and green teas, testing each with both tea bags and loose tea to ensure accurate results.
“Although the cold brew did have a nice, pristine flavor, you ended up having to use so much more tea,” recipe tester Andrea Albin, recipe tester, says.
Last week, three of the talented pastry wizards from Last Cake Standing — Jason, Jörg and Richard — were up in Food Network Kitchens working on a special project. It wasn’t totally top secret, so we’ll spill the beans: They’d been asked by Rachael Ray to come up with over-the-top cakes inspired by the upcoming Royal Wedding.
Each cake artist took a different direction; beyond the Royal Wedding theme, they had free rein to follow their own inspirations. Tomorrow, the guys will present the final creations on the Rachael Ray Show and Rachael will declare a winner. We hear the Royal Couple is planning to serve traditional English fruitcake at the reception, but if Will and Kate happen to catch Rachael’s show and see these beauties, I’m thinking they might reconsider.
Baby, baby oh: Ice sculptor Randy Finch, star of Ice Brigade, chips away at massive blocks of ice with cool tools and an artist’s hand. His latest subject? Pop star rock star teen star everywhere Justin Bieber. Happy 17th Birthday, Justin! Nice haircut, Biebs. Up next: Selena Gomez. Maybe. Never Say Never.
Tonight at 10 pm ET, watch as Randy and his crew head to Michigan to design an entire lounge–complete with a working bar, sushi station and pool table. Cool stuff.
What celebrity would you most like to see as an ice sculpture?
Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of Guy’s Big Bite, 30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Cooking for Real and Aarti Party. Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.
Like a post-holiday nymph who refuses to leave the party, January never fails to beckon with its tempting array of alluring sales. This is one post-holiday ritual not to be ignored. A plethora of fresh merchandise awaits discerning January buyers who peruse with a careful eye toward the coming year.
The seasonal green linens of December will surely welcome a spring lamb to the table, and a holiday red tablecloth will be the perfect backdrop for the guacamole and chips of that most sacred American celebration: The Super Bowl. And what better time to stock up on ornaments and decorations for the next Christmas season? You’ll save time and money next November. Here’s the original Christmas tabletop that I transformed for spring.
I often can be found scooping up discounted platters, plates, and bowls. I ask myself how a particular shape will enhance what I own already. Will that smooth shiny square plate play well with my favorite round matte dinnerware pieces? Glassware always makes my list, especially for replenishing the ever-disappearing stock of wine and Champagne glasses. I love discovering odds and ends. Glasses that look great together but don’t match give me a chance to build on this stockpile during the rest of the year.
I also love parties, so I never forget the cocktail napkin. Decorative paper napkins are on my radar and come in handy for office and birthday parties, or even stashed in the glove box for that last minute treat on the run. Small linen napkins in silver and gold make an anniversary special anytime of the year.
The venerable tray in any color or form is another sale treasure. I use them for everything from hors d’oeuvres to serving platters for larger fare. Don’t forget that when not in service they look wonderful on kitchen counters and coffee tables.
I bank on these January sales and similar ones after each holiday year-round. Shall we meet in the clearance aisle?
Sometimes being married to a kitchen gadget geek has its perks. For our November issue of Food Network Magazine, we had to test Cat Cora’s deep-fried turkey recipe. Deep-fried turkeys have become really popular over the past few years and Cat’s is rubbed with a delicious Cajun spice blend. The turkey comes out crispy and really flavorful.
Our test kitchen is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market building, and the outdoor green space available to set up a vat of boiling oil is very limited to non-existent. Luckily, my husband, Paul, had a rather interesting solution to my deep-fryer problems: Why not fry it indoors? At first I thought he was crazy, but then he told me about this new (and safe) indoor turkey fryer made by MasterBuilt. It sits right on your counter, uses about half the amount the oil and has a safety magnetic break-away cord.
Fans who took advantage of the VIP travel package for the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival earlier this month were treated to a special VIP tour of the Food Network Kitchens and a cocktail party with two of Food Network’s brightest stars, Melissa d’Arabian and Aarti Sequeira. Read more
Last Sunday’s Grand Tasting at the New York Wine and Food Festival promised to be the ultimate New York City culinary showcase, and that it was. The event featured samples from two hundred of the city’s best restaurants and wine and spirit purveyors offering samples on a pier overlooking the Hudson river. Attendees ate their fill of fabulous food and mingled with their favorite Food Network stars who were all in town for the festival.
Paula and Michael Deen came all the way from Georgia to take in the festival, greet fans and sign copies of Paula’s cookbooks.
Who makes the best meatballs? With the answer at stake, the New York City Wine and Food Festival’s festivities opened with the return of the ever popular Meatball Madness, hosted by Food Network’s own Giada De Laurentiis.
Among the mass of hungry revelers mixed Food Network favorites Anne Burrell, Aarti Sequeira, Donatella Arpaia and Cooking Channel‘s Chuck Hughes–all greeting their fans in good cheer.
Leave it to Chopped food and wine specialist Ted Allen to bring the focus and the camera lens back to the reason for the event, a smorgasbord of finely crafted, eminently waftable … meatballs. Iron Chef Judge Donatella Arpaia took the win. But the competition was stiff, and every entry was delicious.
Find out who was in the running. After the jump, a feast for your eyes.