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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, June 1st, 2011

watermelon agua fresca
• We love everything about watermelons, except maybe chopping them. Until now! Enter the watermelon knife –- who knew sharp bladed things could be so adorable? []

• This Thursday, the USDA will reveal its new food icon, replacing the age-old pyramid for a plate. “We presume that it will be divided into sections that will show you how much of different types of foods you should be eating,” Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent for, predicts.  []

• 2011 is the year of beer (gardens, that is). According to the New York Times, there are over 50 German-themed drinking halls in the five boroughs with new ones cropping up and iPhone apps to tell you where to find them. []

• With global warming, the temperature isn’t the only thing that’ll rise –- so will food prices over the next 20 years. []

• Students at Bath Spa University have created five dresses made entirely of cheese (and they used one ton of it to do so). Because, you know, who doesn’t love a good fromage frock? [ via]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, May 26th, 2011

guy fieri
Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy appeared on Conan, where she revealed that, despite being unable to wear glasses on the back of her head, her character in the movie was inspired by Guy Fieri. []

• The good folks at New York Magazine have found 51 restaurants coast-to-coast worth visiting. Your summer road trip just got more delicious. [] [FN Local]

• Speaking of trips, interested in having or attending a destination wedding abroad? Here are some culinary customs for the big day that justify a plane ride. []

• The New York Times takes a look at how organic farming, both in Europe and stateside, has boomed despite economic hardships and inflation issues. “Many farmers and analysts expect the sector to remain strong in coming years, helped by increased public awareness of environmental and potential health benefits [and] better organization and production techniques.” []

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

A Little Pink Is Alright: USDA Lowers Pork’s Minimum Cooking Temperature

by in News, May 24th, 2011

pork chop with red onions

According to MSNBC and the AP: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will announce today that it has lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking pork to 145 degrees. That’s a change from the agency’s longstanding guideline and means pork will be held to the same standard as beef, veal and lamb.”

Previously, the USDA recommended pork be cooked until an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit had been reached.

“With its lower temperature recommendation, the USDA also called for letting the pork rest for 3 minutes after removing it from the grill or oven. The meat’s temperature will remain constant or rise during that period, killing any pathogens,” says the AP.

Read more on MSNBC.

Try these 5 new pork recipes tonight or make the dish pictured above: Guy’s Cuban Pork Chops With Mojo.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, May 18th, 2011

• The latest product at the chopping block of school cafeteria foods is the potato. The USDA is seeking to ban spuds entirely from federally-subsidized school breakfasts and limit them–and all starchy veggies–to one cup per week at lunch. []

• Intrigued by foods promising to lower cholesterol, curb digestive issues or perform other miracles? These “functional foods,” or edibles marketed as health and wellness promoters, might be a tad misleading to consumers. []

• Wisconsin-based McDonald’s enthusiast Don Gorske has eaten his 25,000th Big Mac. “You don’t dream of living so long as to reach a milestone like that,” he told the BBC, though we don’t think he was referring to health concerns surrounding the double-decker burger. []

• If you experience anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, head to the Texas office of Dr. Clint Herzog, who offers pre-cleaning beer and wine to patients. Good thing that glass of red comes with a free whitening. [ via]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Icing on the Cake: AP’s 2011 Stylebook Adds Food Writing Section

by in News, May 17th, 2011

ap stylebook 2011
Pop quiz time!

How do you make “petit four” plural?

When making pesto, do you add “pine nuts” or “pinenuts”?

And which is correct: bok choy, bok choi, pak choi or pak choy?

These are the questions I tend to spend too much time geeking out over. But then, as food editor for the world’s largest news organization, that’s part of the job. Especially recently, as we geared up for the release of the 2011 edition of “The Associated Press Stylebook.”

Unless you’ve done time in the news trenches, you may not be too familiar with the book. It’s basically an all-purpose spelling, grammar and formatting guide for journalists. We’ve been producing regularly updated editions of the book since 1953.

But the cool part is that this year we created our first standalone section of the book dedicated to food writing. In it, we cover the basics of recipe writing, as well as the proper spelling, capitalization and use of more than 400 common (and sometimes complicated) food terms.

Read more

Stick It To Me

by in News, Recipes, May 13th, 2011

salad on a stick
You’ve seen Guy’s Weird Spaghetti and Giada’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes. Let us now introduce you to a few more unexpected oddities, this time, those on a stick. From salad and tortellini to French toast and mozzarella, the possibilities of food on a skewer are simply endless. Check out our fun and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that can be stuck on and bit off with ease.

Who says you have to eat salad with a fork? Food Network’s unique recipe for Salad on a Stick (pictured above) is the ultimate way to have fun with your food. Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and carrot slices are layered high and drizzled with a creamy blue cheese dressing.

Serve your kids cool French Toast Kebobs from and they’ll actually want to eat breakfast before school. Cubes of baked bread are stacked high on a stick in between layers of fresh berries and bananas. Dunked in warm maple syrup, these kebobs are a sweet morning treat.

Read more

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, May 11th, 2011

Bobby Barbecues

• Psychology today reports: “Barbeques, it turns out, are good for your mental health — particularly when they take place in green spaces.” Here we thought our backyard bashes were so great because of the euphoric potato salad. [ via]

• In the latest cafeteria lunch news, public schools in Los Angeles are considering banning chocolate milk due to its high sugar content. [] [On Food Network: Better School Lunches]

• Meanwhile, there’s a movement in universities coast to coast (Berkeley to Penn) to cater to gourmet-minded students. A program at Wesleyan University, for instance, allows students to use their meal cards for local, organic cheese. [ via]

• Meet William Leigh, the new taste tester for the British chocolate company Green & Black. We’re pretty sure he has the best job ever –- all the fun of Willy Wonka’s factory without the responsibility of maintaining the chocolate extraction pipe system for the chocolate river. []

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Make Your Food Really “Pop”

by in News, May 10th, 2011

pop rocks cupcakes
Candy in moderation is a sweet treat for kids, but have you tried incorporating it into recipes?

Allen Salkin from Food Republic recently attended the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival where he wrote about the use (or overuse) of a popular carbonated candy in dishes. Not one, but two well-known chefs used popping candy in their recipes to create a “wow” effect with the crowd during an opening showcase. Salkin argues in his article that “perhaps there are ways creative people can recast tired things and make them work anew.” Others, like sous chef Amy Kalinowski of Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink say, “That was 2008. It’s not original anymore.”

Original or not, this classic candy keeps reappearing in recipes and products across the country — like Chuao Chocolatier’s famed Firecracker chocolates.

If you’ve never had popping candy like Pop Rocks before, these tiny bits literally pop and tickle your tongue infamously — lighting up your mouth in wonder.

We’re willing to bet that they’ll create buzz at your next party. Try these Food Network recipes with Pop Rocks and let us know if they were a big hit on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments section below:

Nostalgic Popping Candy Cupcakes (pictured above)
Raspberry Rose Pots de Creme
No Cook Pop Rock Cheesecake

5 Questions With Sue Zemanick: James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee

by in News, May 6th, 2011

sue zemanick
On Monday, May 9, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell and many others in the food industry will don their best as they join the James Beard Foundation at its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards Dinner.

In honor of the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, we’re chatting with the 2011 nominees for this category. Yesterday we caught up with Aaron London, chef at Ubuntu in Napa, Calif. Today we’re talking with Sue Zemanick, chef of Gautreau’s in New Orleans. “As a chef it feels amazing to be appreciated and recognized for all of the hard work that my cooks and I do on a day-to-day basis,” Zemanick says. “I feel honored to be considered for such an important award and to be in the company of other such great chefs.”

FN Dish: The theme of this year’s awards is “The Ultimate Melting Pot,” so what is your favorite type of ethnic cuisine?
SZ: Vietnamese.

Paula Deen’s fried chicken or Bobby Flay’s burgers? »

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, May 4th, 2011

vegetable garden
How More Restaurants May Begin to Compost: A small food-hauling industry equipped to deal with restaurants’ compostable fare is cropping up. Cities like San Francisco and Seattle have passed laws that mandate commercial composting and since restaurants don’t often have the space or time to do it onsite, food-waste managers, like Jeremy Brosowksy, are doing it for them. It’s all part of the food-sustainability movement, Brosowsky explains to “Farm-to-table is good. Farm to table back to farm is even better.” []

How Does Your Garden Grow? In a Truck! Compass Green, the brainchild of two Brooklyn-based green thumbs, just achieved its Kickstarter funding goal to create “the first-ever mobile greenhouse run completely on renewable energy – waste vegetable oil, solar and wind energy.” Follow the duo as they grow veggies in their greenhouse while driving around to educate both kids and adults on food and transportation sustainability. []

Dinner Parties Thrown to Recruit New Nudists: The Wall Street Journal reports that nudist camps, to combat flat or declining numbers of participants amongst the 18-34 year-old set, are throwing fun, no-clothes events. In addition to 5K road races, there are naked dinner parties in NYC lofts and a “Naked Booze n Schmooze.” The jokes for punny menu items just write themselves. [ via]

Royal Wedding Menu Looked Pretty Fancy: In more elegant menu item news, in case you missed it, Eatocracy has what was ingested at the Royal Wedding luncheon. Try saying “Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling” in a British accent. []

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.