All Posts In Community

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home

by in Community, April 21st, 2017

Is it just me, or does Earth Day have a way of making people feel fundamentally bad about themselves? It’s like January 1st all over again, except this time it’s not my holiday belly I’m scrutinizing — it’s my plastic consumption, or my less-than-conscientious water usage. (I’m not one for long showers, but I am guilty of sometimes letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth.) Just like with New Year’s resolutions, I set myself up for failure by raising the bar for improvement too impossibly high. This will be the year I start walking to work every day! This will be the year I always remember my reusable bags at the grocery store! But alas, walking isn’t possible in all weather, and trips to the grocery store are often spontaneous — and I don’t always have a trio of large canvas totes on hand. The real irony is that I probably laid out one of my elaborate energy-saving schemes while munching on a lightly bruised apple, destined for the trash after just six or seven bites.

We all want an A for effort, but reducing one’s carbon footprint goes well beyond tossing plastic to-go cups in the correct bin. I know that now, after reading how 40 percent of all food in America goes to waste — and specifically, to our landfills. It seems unreal; you wouldn’t slave over a gorgeous meal only to dump 40 percent of it into the trash. (You wouldn’t dream of running your shower for two hours either, but that’s how much water goes into making a pound of cheese.) What’s more is that this waste adds up to $162 billion in unnecessary water, energy and production costs each year. Much as I would love to blame it all on restaurants and large corporations, the hard truth is that it’s individual consumers like you and me who throw out 20 percent of the food we buy, which translates to nearly 300 pounds of food per year! Don’t believe it? Just ask Anthony Bourdain, the most-influential voice of the current food waste conversation.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: How a Trendy New Cooking Gadget Helped Change My Mind About Steak

by in Community, Product Reviews, April 8th, 2017

For the life of her, my grandmother could never understand why I wasn’t head over heels in love with steak when she, and so many of her generation, came to embrace it as the official dish of the American dream. The daughter of Italian immigrants and the first woman in her family to attend college, beef was more than sustenance for her; it was a luxury. And the fact that she could supply it on her dinner table nearly every night of the week was proof of her success.

This conviction prevailed throughout my childhood, when our dinner table featured a steady rotation of meatloaf, peppers stuffed with ground beef, spaghetti and meatballs, and tough cuts of steak. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful — because we certainly never went hungry. But I always dreaded the steak: large, grayish-brown slabs that took more than a little bit of elbow grease to slog your knife through. (Grandma feared food poisoning more than anything, so every meal she served was treated to a rigorous blast under the broiler.) “Why haven’t you touched your steak?” No one at the table was ever moved by my reasoning.

“Raising cattle takes a big toll on the environment.”

“Red meat is bad for your heart.”

“I don’t like the taste.”

Surrounded by carnivores, I longed to be left in peace with my starchy rice, soft dinner rolls and steamed broccoli.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Like My Dog for 24 Hours

by in Community, March 3rd, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Like My Dog for 24 HoursBy Diana Chang

I love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs. I had two growing up, a Maltese named Joy and a Labrador retriever named Jackie. If I wasn’t living in a typical, tight-fitting apartment in New York, I’m pretty sure I would be a dog lady and own at least two today. But as it stands, I have only one, Mwaji.

Having said that, I was never one of those pet owners who took the extra step to look into what my dog was eating. My dog, who is practically my baby and is treated as if I birthed her myself, always ate whatever brand I saw first at the store that had the word “healthy” or “natural” on the packaging. So when I was asked if I would ever consider eating the same food as Mwaji, I said a very hesitant “Yes?” because I figured this might be a great opportunity to find out what exactly should be in my dog’s diet.

After some research (aka searching on Google and asking some dog-owning friends), I discovered that there is a surprisingly large number of people who cook for their own fur babies. The recipes used the same stuff I usually put in my own dinner (except onions and garlic because those are poisonous to dogs — who knew?!).  So with that, I embraced the challenge.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Cooked Like Pippa Middleton for 3 Days

by in Community, February 27th, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Cooked Like Pippa Middleton for 3 DaysPippa Middleton may best be known as the svelte younger sister of Kate; after all, Pippa left the world buzzing after the way she flaunted her figure as the Duchess of Cambridge’s maid of honor at the royal wedding in 2011. The natural question anyone would have after seeing her perfect, curve-hugging ensemble that April day would be: But how does she keep herself looking so fit and gorgeous?

She may be related to a Duchess, but Pippa doesn’t actually have her own royal title (at least not yet — her engagement last year to James Matthews should eventually give her one, too, according to a House Beautiful article published around the time of their engagement.) She’s authored several books on party planning, and recently she released a cookbook called Heartfelt: Over 100 Quick & Easy Recipes for a Healthy Heart in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

It turns out that the famous younger Middleton is actually a total health nut. She’s cycled across the United States and run marathons, including the Great Wall Marathon in China to support the BHF, according to reporting by Elle. And if she eats anything like the diet she’s laid out in her new cookbook, it’s clear she puts health above pretty much everything else.

And good for her! I totally support that, and, honestly, I wish I could do a better job of eating healthfully and exercising the way I know I should. But, there is one question that any flavor-obsessed food writer like myself has to ask: How does the food taste? So, I obtained a copy of Heartfelt (the proceeds are going to charity, after all!) and decided to test some of Pippa’s recipes myself to see if I could cook and eat exclusively from her book for three whole days.

Read more

I Ate Alone at the Most-Romantic Restaurant in New York City

by in Community, Holidays, February 13th, 2017

I Ate Alone at the Most-Romantic Restaurant in New York CityNew York City’s super-romantic restaurant, One if by Land, Two if by Sea, sees 10 proposals per week. “Or, something around there,” my soft-spoken server tells me. And while Valentine’s Day marks the official end of engagement season — yes, that would explain the absurd amount of engagements that have been popping up on your newsfeed since late November — One if by Land, Two if by Sea witnesses proposals year round. They are always in engagement season. And according to Architectural Digest, One if by Land, Two if by Sea is among the most-romantic restaurants — anywhere.

I suppose this is the place to bring the love of your life. Or just yourself if you’re single and enjoy placing yourself in uncomfortable situations. Like I do.

A Romantic Evening for One
I headed over to One if by Land, Two if by Sea after what has felt like an eternity at work thinking about how I just can’t wait to have dinner with myself. Does my breath smell OK? Does my hair look good? Is my makeup on point? It’s supposed to be a nice place. Gosh, I’m so nervous. What’ll happen when I try to lean in for the kiss?

Oh right, nothing. Nothing will happen. Because you cannot kiss yourself on the lips — one of life’s greatest tragedies.

Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: Here’s What Happened When I Ate Like an Astronaut for 3 Days

by in Community, February 7th, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: Here's What Happened When I Ate Like an Astronaut for 3 DaysDay 1: To Infinity and Beyond

The possibility of (and even need for) space travel for us regular human beings doesn’t seem so far fetched nowadays. With the rise of climate change, space tourism, the potential human colonization of Mars and the beginnings of space commercialization, the black night sky no longer feels so untouchable.

Not to mention, we have — especially in recent years — produced a trove of movies about surviving against impossible odds in the vast, open unknown. And that is why, dear friends, in the event that any of us get launched into space for whatever reason, I have subjected myself to the astronaut’s diet here on our great Earth, so you know what to expect if you find yourself trying to chow down in microgravity.

How do astronauts eat?

NASA compares eating in space to “going camping for more than a week with several of your close friends.” Here’s what that means: “You would make sure you have plenty of food and the gear to cook and eat it with. The food would have to be stored properly and be nonperishable to avoid spoilage. After finishing your meal, or at the end of your camping trip, you would then stow all your gear and dispose of your trash properly just before the ride home. Astronauts basically do the same thing when they go to space,” NASA notes.

While some foods can be eaten as is, like brownies or fruit (but only within the first couple days of launch), a large portion of an astronaut’s diet consists of freeze-dried food, aka food that can sit in a container for pretty much ever. To eat, all you have to do is add water.

Freezing and removing water from foods that are basically ready to eat not only grants them an incredibly long shelf life, but it also keeps meals lightweight, which is why freeze-dried foods are perfect for travel and minimizing storage weight when you are trying to launch a space shuttle.

While I couldn’t get the exact food they eat aboard the International Space Station (ISS), I did acquire a whole lot of freeze-dried camping food.

After all, I am pretty much camping. In space. On Earth.

Here we go.

Read more

Cheesy Baked Ziti — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 1st, 2017

Baked ZitiWe’ve arrived in one of the best seasons of the year — no, I don’t mean the holiday season, which is wrapping up with today’s New Year’s Day parties. Instead, I’m talking about comfort-food season, which celebrates all things cheesy, creamy, hearty and oh so decadent. Ease your way into 2017 and keep warm all winter long with piping-hot comfort food, like the recipe featured in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. The Pioneer Woman’s fuss-free Baked Ziti is layered with a gooey mozzarella mixture, a beefy meat sauce and, of course, plenty of pasta. This top-rated casserole yields a whopping 12 servings, so keep it in mind when you’re planning for a crowd.

For more indulgent recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Baked Ziti

Hot Chocolate Pudding — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 25th, 2016

Hot Chocolate PuddingNo, this pudding isn’t served hot a la hot chocolate. Instead, this rich, creamy treat takes its flavor cues from the cozy drink you know and love with the help of hot chocolate mix. That’s right. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is made with the same mix you’d use to make a cup of cocoa, plus a bit of cornstarch, which helps the mixture thicken and turn into a pudding. When it comes to serving the pudding, the chefs in Food Network Kitchen explain, “Our hot chocolate pudding is topped with whipped cream, but as on the real thing, mini marshmallows would be great too.”

For more season recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate the Holidays board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Hot Chocolate Pudding

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas on These Food Blogs

by in Community, Holidays, December 22nd, 2016

Wreath Cookies

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent most of December with your eyes glazing over, dragging item after item to your virtual shopping cart and crossing your fingers that all the gifts would arrive in time. That said, you can’t blame us for taking a break here and there to ogle some of the cutest holiday treats in the blogosphere — no shipping fee required.

Some people have holiday wreaths nailed to their doors, but Alana Jones-Mann set out to spread festive cheer in the baking department. Her adorable, green-as-can-be Wreath Cookies (pictured above) are all about leafy texture, and packing them up in little boxes makes for a cute, edible gift.

Read more

Eggnog Monte Cristos — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 18th, 2016

Eggnog Monte CristosWhere there’s a holiday party there’s almost certainly eggnog, and we can be sure that with just a week until Christmas, seasonal soirees are in full swing. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week puts that sweet, creamy drink to good use — beyond sipping, of course. Since eggnog has a custardlike texture, it’s used as the dipping liquid to gently moisten the turkey-ham-cheese sandwiches before they’re cooked. The indulgent flavor of the eggnog delivers a savory-sweet richness, which pairs well with tart cranberry sauce on the side.

For more hearty recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Monte Cristos from Food Network Magazine

123...102030...