by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, In Season, September 26th, 2013
by Maria Russo in Events, Food Network Chef, September 25th, 2013
It’s officially fall. I know this not because I went shopping and saw Christmas decorations this weekend (although I did), but because I’ve seen the numerous Facebook photos of people posing with their first pumpkin lattes of the season. Meanwhile, I barely managed to get the requisite first day of school photo posted of my actual children, let alone of a cup of coffee. So if I am to believe Facebook and Twitter (I do), then autumn has arrived somewhere in the United States. I take that on faith, however, because I’m living in a heat wave without the benefit of air conditioning in either my home or office. People are raving about the joys of wearing a cardigan, while we are taking cold showers and standing under the ceiling fan to cool down before we crawl into blanket-less beds at night. We are not seeking out and photographing steamy drinks.
But I have a love affair with all things pumpkin, and it lasts all year long. I’ll open a big can, freeze half and stick the rest in the fridge to fortify muffins, thicken a soup or make a smoothie. It’s full of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and a few grams of protein — a veritable nutritional bargain at 50 calories a serving. (I remind us all that this is squash. We drink squash with our coffee. I love America.)
Get my Iced Pumpkin Soy Vanilla Latte recipe
by Melissa d'Arabian in Family, Food Network Chef, September 12th, 2013
In the midst of the scary and often isolating world that is cancer diagnoses and treatments, SHARE, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, aims to shed light and foster a compassionate community with the help of volunteers who staff phone lines and offer individualized support for women battling breast and ovarian cancers. The friendly, reassuring voices answering calls from patients, families and friends are often those of survivors themselves, which makes them keenly experienced in navigating the uncertainty that lies ahead. Each year, female chefs from around the city gather to raise money to further SHARE’s mission of care at A Second Helping of Life, a walk-around tasting event showcasing their deliciously inspired eats and drinks.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of A Second Helping of Life, and to celebrate this milestone, Chopped judge and Next Iron Chef: Redemption runner-up Amanda Freitag spearheaded the event as the executive chef. “I’m just supporting this amazing organization like I do every year … I just find it to be one of the best organizations for women who are going through this,” Amanda told FN Dish on Monday night at Manhattan’s Pier Sixty. When she wasn’t chatting with guests or graciously posing with fans for photos, Amanda worked alongside her culinary team to plate individual corn flans, creamy yet light bites served alongside a watercress salad with crumbled ricotta salata. “I wanted to capture the little bits of summer that we had left in the corn,” she explained of the inspiration behind her dish.
by FN Dish Editor in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 12th, 2013
Life seems to get busy for everyone in the fall. I’ve been asked by a number of fans for ways to get dinner on the table quickly. One of the best tools in a busy life is your freezer. Making double of any labor-intensive dish (such as lasagna) and freezing half is a great way to cut down time in the kitchen. Another huge timesaver is partially prepping your meat before it goes into the freezer, making cooking day a much easier affair. A few minutes spent strategically upfront can turn ingredients you buy at the grocery store into menus-waiting-to-happen. Stare at a frozen hunk of ground beef and no ideas jump out at you, but imagine some barbecue meatballs that can be on the table in about a half hour (of passive cooking), and suddenly your mind can fill in the blanks: I’ll put them on a whole-wheat bun and add something crunchy like coleslaw.
My challenge today is to take on the monster ground beef package. I’ll share exactly how I partially prep a value pack of ground beef into six menu ideas in less than 30 minutes (not including shopping). These 30 minutes will save you a few hours up the road. Ready?
Keep reading for recipes
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 11th, 2013
Going to the supermarket can often feel like a competition, especially when you’re racing to get in and out in record time, or trying to get the best bang for your buck with specials, sales and coupons. And when you’re looking for all the ingredients for a recipe, just finding everything can be an exercise in frustration while getting to know the store’s stocking system. Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually get rewarded for all the troubles of grocery shopping? Well, now Food Network is turning the supermarket into a battleground with the new show, Guy’s Grocery Games
(premiering Oct. 20 at 8pm/7c), hosted by the one-and-only Guy Fieri
“I think that Triple G is a first of its kind,” Guy recently told FN Dish. “There are two common concepts here: cooking and shopping. But we’ve never really highlighted the shopping before. We’ve seen shopping competition shows before, but now we’re taking the shopping component and the chef’s creativity and mixing in time, money and challenges. Bundle it altogether and you’ve got a super high powered, family-friendly show on Food Network. That’s what this show is going to be.”
by Melissa d'Arabian in Family, Food Network Chef, August 29th, 2013
Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri are back together again to battle it out, but this time it’s not with celebrities — it’s with kids. Last Sunday, for the first time, they started mentoring eight of the most talented kid chefs in the new series Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off (Sundays at 8pm/7c).
“No one gets eliminated in this series. This competition is about educating, mentoring, encouraging and empowering the kids,” Guy recently said in an interview. “You’ll sit there, watch them and just be amazed. Whether you have kids or not, you’ll watch this show and ask yourself, ‘Why wasn’t this done 10 years ago?’ That’s the kind of show it is. That’s the kind of energy it brings.”
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, News, August 22nd, 2013
Fall is right around the corner and it’s perhaps my favorite season. As a child, I always loved how the air cooled just the tiniest bit when I would open the front door and head out to my first day of school, almost as if nature recognized the rhythms spelled out in my school district’s calendar. (Looking back, I wonder if it was simply chillier at 7am than at 10am?) I knew the tiniest wisp of cooler air meant the holiday season would soon follow, and I have always been someone who enjoys the anticipation of an event as much as the event itself. (I love sleep so much that I actually enjoy being tired, and I have been known to stay up an extra hour just to relish the thought of sleep to come.) I loved entering a new grade, finding out who my new teacher would be and scoping out the classroom on the first day for familiar faces. I welcomed routine and structure — beyond just goofing around with my sister at the local Woolworth’s, playing on the carts and enjoying free pong, much to the chagrin of Jan, the store manager in a mustard-colored smock.
My daughters started school this week: third grade, second grade and two girls in first grade. All four girls are at the same school now, which means we can ride our bikes together. School supplies and fresh fall outfits are bought and tucked away in their closets. I’ve stocked up on lunch-packing supplies (LunchBots for four girls can set you back a bit!). Back to School Night is in two days, and there will be signups, forms to fill out and probably a few more checks to write. But it’s all just part of the routine — the seasonal cycles of growing up.
Keep reading for back-to-school breakfast recipes
by Melissa d'Arabian in Family, Food Network Chef, August 15th, 2013
You’ve seen her host her own Food Network series, including Giada at Home, and mentor budding talent on Food Network Star. She’s an Emmy award winner, a six-time cookbook author and a mom. Now the Italian-born Giada De Laurentiis can add one more accomplishment to her long list of accolades: restaurant owner. After years of speculation regarding if and when this Food Network superstar would launch her very own eatery, Giada announced yesterday that she’s set to open her premiere restaurant in Las Vegas. “Ever since I was a little girl hanging out at my grandfather’s restaurant, I’ve dreamed of having a restaurant of my own,” Giada said. “Now, I couldn’t be more excited about working with Gansevoort Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment to turn this dream into a delicious reality.”
Perched high above the glamour of the shining Sin City, Giada’s restaurant will take over the second floor of the not-yet-opened Gansevoort Las Vegas and offer outdoor dining, plus striking views of the Las Vegas Strip. The menu, of course, will keep with the style of classic yet innovative Italian fare fans have become familiar with on Giada’s shows and in her cookbooks; freshly baked breads, antipasto, signature pastas, flatbreads and custom desserts are just a few of the specialties she’s promised to unveil at her sure-to-be-hot spot when it opens early next year.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 13th, 2013
I took my girls shopping for boogie boards the other day. I walked into the store and discovered that summer was over. Too bad I wasn’t shopping for dorm supplies: twin bed sheets, color-coordinated towel sets and bright plastic baskets for lugging toiletries down the hall were everywhere. I was immediately taken back to my own freshman year of college. I remember exactly what I was wearing (a blue sweater and flowy skirt that projected confidence in my 17-year-old mind) when we pulled up to my assigned dorm, Hamilton Hall. Mom took pictures of me making up my bed with my new twin sheets (extra long), and I placed unused pens, pencils and erasers neatly along the top of my desk. I set up a gift from my mom: a manual typewriter (the kind where the “k” and “b” keys would get stuck and I’d have to pop them back into ready position), a few spare ink ribbons and a tiny box of white out sheets. (No, this wasn’t a vintage objet d’art; this was the actual typewriter I would use all freshman year. I am that old.)
What followed was four years of studying, but also friendships made, laughter shared, milestones achieved (and others, missed) and lots of cooking. I cooked from the minute I landed in Hamilton Hall and made my first stroganoff in a hotpot. Later, in my sorority house, I hung out in the kitchen with Linda, the cook, and even signed up for KP duty once a week, my first pro gig in the kitchen I suppose. When I lived in an apartment junior year, I cooked so much that my roommates and I couldn’t eat all the food, so I would deliver random care packages to friends all around campus.
Get three college-friendly recipes
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, August 1st, 2013
Tyler Florence is back to host the fourth season of The Great Food Truck Race. Like last season, the food truck teams are made up of newbies who dream of one day operating their own mobile restaurant business. There’s a lot at stake: the winning team gets $50,000 and gets to keep their truck. Tyler guides the teams on their coast-to-coast journey, and along the way doles out challenges, with each new one more difficult than the last. And this year the route is the longest yet, so these teams are in for the ride of their lives. FN Dish recently caught up with Tyler to chat about the new season, his take on the food truck scene and his advice for the teams.
Watch the season premiere of The Great Food Truck Race on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 9pm/8c.
What are you looking forward to most on the new season of The Great Food Truck Race?
It’s the first year we have a team from Hawaii, which is really exciting, and we also have several all-female teams. The teams were so good this year, even as rookies. I think the teams are actually watching past seasons and taking notes. Although they’ve never done it before, they’ve seen the other people start from scratch and they’re taking those notes to heart.
Back-to-school ads are already airing and we’ve only just started our family vacation (anyone else?). I’m writing this blog from the balcony of a rental on Balboa Island.
Since we’re on vacation, we are bending the rules. The other day the girls and I all ordered lemonades with our lunch, instead of our normal tap water. (I am not the Ten Dollar Dinners lady for nothing.) Another rule I’m bending: Instead of planning our regular reasonable snack every day about 3pm, the whole family is venturing around the corner to Dad’s Original Frozen Banana shop and indulging in a chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-nut-brickle-laden frozen banana. (I say “bending” the rule and not “breaking” because I often use frozen bananas and cocoa in my smoothies.)