For recent story on old-school fruit leather roll-ups in Food Network Magazine’s September issue, chefs in Food Network Kitchens tried all sorts of combos, but apple-ginger, spicy mango and raspberry-vanilla were clear favorites. Don’t ask for pineapple, “No matter how many times recipe developers tried it, it just wouldn’t set.”
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Last month, fans of Food Network Star had the chance to get up close and personal with Susie Jimenez, Mary Beth Albright, Whitney Chen, Vic “Vegas” Moea and the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, during the Food Network Star: The Official Insider’s Guide Book Tour.
We were there to snap memorable moments, including an unforgettable autographed sandwich signed by the Sandwich King himself.
With any half-hour episode of Crave, there are hundreds of facts and thoughts I don’t get to share. If you watched this past Monday, thank you. If you missed it, well, suffice to say, your chicken knowledge is in serious decline.
Fried Chicken Facts and Thoughts
FACT: Chickens are the closest living relative to T. rex. They got the short end of that evolutionary stick.
THOUGHT: I realized that my ultimate fried chicken would be crossbred with a spider so that it would have eight drumsticks.
FACT: In China, KFC sells Irish Fried Chicken dipped in Bailey’s liqueur. Next time you’re at a local watering hole, ask for a drumstick in your snifter.
Each month, Food Network Kitchen chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Every recipe goes through at least two to three rounds of testing, plus a round of cross-testing, where the recipe goes through one final run-through to make sure it works as it is written in final form.
“We make sure language, timing and visual cues are correct,” says Andrea Albin, a Food Network Kitchens recipe tester.
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.
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?