As the temperatures aim for sweater weather, the possibility of sleeping with open windows and sipping from a warm bowl of freshly made pumpkin soup increase. But first try a bushel of apples and maybe some fried food — October is most definitely a month of mouth-stuffing fall fun.
Kentucky Apple Festival, Paintsville, Ky., Oct. 5-6: For half a century, this Johnson County hootenanny has warmed the bellies of locals and visitors alike. The delicacy here is the tiger ear, a fried apple pie (try saying that without a Southern drawl). Purveyors offering those treats will be joined by dozens of other concessionaires and sit alongside arts and crafts stalls. And who can forget the pageants, corn hole tournament and a parade of Golden Delicious proportions? Visitors to this festival will get to the core of the phrase, as American as apple pie.
More October food festivals
Food Network Kitchens celebrate National Pancake Day by seeing how many flapjacks they can stack at once; click the play button on the video above to watch.
Tell us in the comments: How many pancakes do you think were stacked before the tower toppled?
Pancakes are a great way to personalize breakfast and dinner, too. From bacon and corn to triple chocolate, they’re so versatile. Here are five of our new favorite ways to make pancakes: Reinvented: Pancakes 5 Ways.
If you’ve ever been to New York City, then you know that there is no shortage of places to eat here. Michelin-starred, James Beard-awarded, see-and-be-seen hot spots? We have plenty. Hole-in-the-wall joints with just 20 chairs and one server? Yes, they’re here, too. One of New York City’s most-beloved eating traditions, however, takes place not inside a room or at a table, but rather behind the windows of the street carts and food trucks that line the streets of almost every neighborhood in the city.
Every summer New York comes together to celebrate the city’s best sidewalk vendors and street food of all kinds at the Vendy Awards, an afternoon food festival that brings together big-time vendors and newcomers alike to support The Street Vendor Project, “a membership-based non-profit organization that stands up for vendors’ rights.” Vendors set up shop then dish out signature plates to lines of hungry locals while entering their food in one category to win the Vendy Cup, People’s Taste Award or the title of Best Dessert, Rookie Vendor of the Year or Best Market Vendor. This year’s awards took place last weekend on Governors Island, and we were there to taste the very best bites.
Savory plates of deliciously salty and spicy Mexican tortas, all-American cheesesteaks, Asian-style noodles, meaty kebabs and more filled the outdoor space, but it was the sweeter treats, the sugary, creamy and chilled desserts that wowed us the most.
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Are you a self-proclaimed carnivore? Do you have (or aspire to have) the butcher’s pork diagram tattooed on your arm? Then mark your calendar for Meatopia, an all-day event of meat, drink and music that will take place on September 8 at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. As Iron Chef Marc Forgione so eloquently told us, “It’s a cool party where chefs get creative with all sorts of animals and animal parts.”
It’s also a great way to see some of your favorite Food Network chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli and Pat LaFrieda, Jr., as well as Iron Chef Forgione. “Meatopia is the event that unabashedly celebrates meat and embraces the idea of using the whole animal in the process. I’m looking forward to working with a community of chefs and cooking more duck than I ever have in my life,” says Alex. Cooking Channel stars Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar will also be in attendance serving Pizza al Carpaccio made with certified Piedmontese beef.
Tickets are still available — to buy visit Meatopia.org. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to the Armed Force Foundation (AFF), whose mission it is to assist service members and their families in need.
It’s beginning to cool — at least it should be — from coast to coast. And we don’t just mean temperatures — this month’s food festivals are some of the coolest around.
Ayden Collard Festival, Ayden, N.C., Sept. 6–9: The world is stuffed with bitter greens, but none is more dear to Southerners than the collard. And for four days, the leafy vegetable will sprout from all points in this tiny Carolina burg. Accompanying collard greens will be grown men in miniature cars — what food festival parade would do without them? — a horseshoe tournament, line dancers and scads of other tightly packed entertainment. The eating contest will crown a male and female victor, the cook-off will test Southern cred and the carnival rides will turn you green. Gospel singing will season everything. What’s not to love about such a family-friendly fair?
Read about more food festivals
Food Network Kitchens celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day by seeing how many of the sandwiches they can stack at once — click the play button on the video above to watch.
Tell us in the comments: How many ice cream sandwiches do you think were stacked before the tower toppled?
To add a little more fun to your summer barbecues, bring along some sandwiches of the sweet variety. All you need is either store-bought or homemade cookies and several pints of ice cream in your favorite flavors — then scoop away! Read Squeezed in the Middle for ice cream sandwich recipes and inspiration.
Grilled cheese is my jam. When I was younger, my dad would make my sister and me a grilled cheese sandwich every day after our morning swim practice. It was basically the best treat in the world. Stuffed with Colby jack cheese and buttered to perfection, my dad would slice it in half on a diagonal, rather than a boring down-the-middle cut, and we would gobble it up with big smiles on our faces. But those were my picky eater days. Now I stuff my grilled cheese sandwiches with lots of fun ingredients.
And what better event to pair with an all-American jazzed-up classic, like the grilled cheese, than the Olympics? So I’ve decided to share my grilled cheese — Olympic edition. It’s loaded with two kinds of cheese, juicy tomatoes and sliced avocados, then slathered with a healthy dose of butter and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and grilled to perfection. Try serving this tonight for the Olympic swimming matchups — invite your friends over and tell them to bring over their favorite ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich soiree.
I’ve taken a classic recipe from Tyler Florence and made additions to it.
Click here to get Gaby’s Double Cheese Grilled Cheese recipe
August is about as hot as it gets each year, in terms of the temperature and the good-eats celebrations. It’s especially true for the hauls of seafood, corn and blueberry festivals this month. Below are our pick of the pecks.
Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine, Aug. 1–5: Vacationland is booming, fueled by bountiful catches of crustaceans that end up predominantly in lobster rolls. This is not a bad thing — it should be celebrated. And that’s what the small town of Rockland has done since 1947. The modern festival includes more than 20,000 pounds of lobster, a fantastical parade replete with giant lobster, the crowning of the Sea Goddess and loads of competitions. Beyond the professional and amateur cooking contests, there are blindfold rowboat and lobster crate races. For those who can’t stomach the crack of claw and tail, there are all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts.
Blueberry Arts Festival, Ketchikan, Ark., Aug. 3–5: More than fish is grown in the land of tundra and groceries via seaplane. The tart summertime burst of berries is also found in the 49th state. For that, Alaskans are grateful and because of that, they party. This annual festival is more than a platform for bragging about your best blueberry dish. The three-day happening involves a slug weigh-in (yes, that kind of mollusk) a race and a pie-eating contest. Attendees can also take part in local arts and crafts, a mini-beer festival and a doll parade.
Click here for more August food festivals
I love the idea of using food to help teach my kids about life and culture.
My family recently learned about the history of the Olympics. The symbol of the rings, which is five interlocking rings on a white background, represent the “Five parts of the world, which were won over to Olympism and willing to accept healthy competition” in 1914.
According to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who designed the infamous Olympic symbol, “The ring colors with the white background stand for those colors that appeared on all the national flags of the world at that time.”
I also stressed to my children the importance of eating foods that are good for you and provide energy. After asking my kids what their favorite event was, we talked about how athletes need the best possible “fuel” for their bodies. Wanting to create a special breakfast for them in honor of the Olympic games, I thought all-natural whole-wheat pancakes was a great way to kick off these summer games.
For this recipe, I used an all-natural pure maple syrup and found it to be a great way to talk about the gold, silver and bronze medals.
Get the recipe