Get your orange and black oven mitts out. Semi-Homemade Cooking queen Sandra Lee is taking over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover channel. In the spirit of our Halloween Baking Championship (premiering tonight at 9/10c), Sandra is sharing her breadth of Halloween baking knowledge for the next 24 hours. Plus, she’ll be providing plenty of costume inspo.
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Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale have teamed up to coach teams of terrible bakers in the new series Worst Bakers in America, premiering Sunday at 10|9c. Even though the two are longtime friends and colleagues, appearing together as judges on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship, when it comes to a competition, they’re in it to win it no matter the cost. Lorraine will coach the Red Team, and Duff the Blue Team. Every week the baking challenges will get harder and harder, until only one member is left on each team to bake in a bakery-themed final battle for a chance to win $25,000. And for his or her mentor, there will be infinite bragging rights.
FN Dish caught up with both mentors on the set of the show to chat about the competition and find out who thinks he or she can win. And these two weren’t afraid to talk a bit of smack.
Apple orchards are open, leaves have begun to turn and, perhaps most importantly, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at your favorite coffee shop — fall is officially in session. While you may indeed crave the piping-hot comfort of a fragrant PSL, there are more ways to indulge in that seasonal flavor than in a cup of joe. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts showed off a simple way to create your own rich, boldly flavored Pumpkin Spice Latte Base, which you can use to transform whipped cream, oatmeal and more into autumnal dishes.
If you can mix up a few ingredients, you’re well on your way to prepping this five-minute recipe. Start with a can of smooth pumpkin puree, then sweeten it up with brown sugar and mix in flavorful additions, including, of course, the requisite pumpkin pie spice. This fuss-free combo will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator; it’s a grab-and-use way to boost the taste of your favorite plates. To start, try it in Pumpkin Spice Latte Sweet Dip with creamy ricotta for a next-level dessert.
October is here, which means Halloween is right around the corner, and this weekend the Food Network is full of sweets, tricks and plenty of treats. Saturday morning on The Kitchen the hosts put down the knife and share some no-carve pumpkin hacks. Plus, they share a recipe that will add a pumpkin spice flavor to hot chocolate, whipped cream, oatmeal and more! Then, Valerie Bertinelli has some friends visiting from Ohio, and she’s serving Three-Bean Turkey Chili and Sweet and Savory Cornbread Cookies while they play their favorite card game.
On Sunday morning, Guy Fieri is using his trip to Puerto Rico as inspiration for a feast that includes Pigeon Peas and Rice and Crispy Plantain Chips with Sweet Chile Dipping Sauce. Then American Idol winner Jordin Sparks is getting some help from Duff Goldman to complete her first professional cupcake order. After that, Bobby Flay is making one of his favorite brunch staples: crepes. He’s serving up sweet and savory flavors in his Cinnamon Roll Crepes and Ham and Cheesy Egg Crepes with Mustard Sauce.
Sunday night starts out with Guy’s Grocery Games Halloween Spook-tacular. During one round, the chefs must wear blindfolds and find a key ingredient to incorporate in their “Dinners to Die For.” Then it’s the season premiere of Halloween Wars with special guest judge Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Next up, it’s the series premiere of Worst Bakers in America as Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale battle it out to see who can turn the worst bakers into the best. Then Cooks vs. Cons gets the baking treatment when professional bakers will battle some devious fakers on Bakers vs. Fakers.
When Ayesha Curry heads into the kitchen, she’s not just prepping a quick meal for herself; she’s thinking about her husband, NBA great Stephen, and their young daughters as well, all of whom bring hearty appetites to the table. Beginning this fall, you can join Ayesha in the kitchen for a taste of what’s on her menu, as she’s kicking off her brand-new series, Ayesha’s Homemade, on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 12|11c.
Just like her husband on the court, Ayesha, a cookbook author and social media aficionado, has a game plan when it comes to family-friendly cooking. She’s known for turning out time-tested recipes and contemporary showstoppers alike, all with easy and approachable prep work ideal for everyday meals and dressed-up gatherings alike. Updated takes on brunch staples, party-ready stuffed peppers, holiday-worthy mac and cheese — these slam-dunk favorites and more craveable recipes are all in the works in Ayesha’s kitchen. She knows just what it takes to wow the crowd, and when she and her family open up their home to viewers, she’ll show you her secrets for making it happen.
No matter the day or time, the Cutthroat Kitchen arena is often brimming with eviliciousness. But in tonight’s premiere heat of the Tournament of Terror, Alton Brown-turned-Hannibal Lecter upped the diabolical factor immeasurably and brought in spooky spirits to control a sabotage. After two rounds of downright scary-good challenges, the host introduced the “CTK Seance Board,” which let the spirits, not the doomed chef, select ingredients for a blood orange dessert in Round 3.
Chef Richard Blais, the judge of the day who donned a “Clarice Darling” getup like a champion, tried his hand at the board on the After-Show — and let’s just say that he was all too eager to partake in the experience. “The spirits are with me!” he proclaimed, with his eyes closed and head thrown back as the spirits (or rather the spirits of the Bob hidden in the table) took control. “What do the spirits want you to have?” Alton questioned, as Richard’s hand was dragged across the board on a figure before it ultimately landed on blood oranges. The judge took his fruit in stride, but little did he know the horrors that awaited him: first a clown sidekick, then a menacing shower prep station that required careful manipulation.
With every week of Worst Cooks in America, Boot Camp gets more difficult — and sometimes a bit more cringe-worthy. This week’s challenges forced the teams to make sausages from scratch. And sausage isn’t the easiest thing to watch being made, especially if you’ve got a dirty mind like the remaining seven celebrity recruits, most of whom are comedians. At the end of the challenge, it all came down to who made the best links. Having the most trouble among all the recruits, John and Tommy turned out the worst sausages, and they were chosen for the elimination round — where they had to fill sausages again! The one who passed with the best quantity and quality would advance to next week; the other would go home.
By Angela Carlos
This week the Chopped Junior contestants proved that sometimes the best culinary experiences come together at the last minute. From two foods — the minute steaks that transported former major league ballplayer Jason Varitek back to childhood, and the just-a-minute-overcooked sauce from young chef Tavia that Chef Kristen Kish simply loved (a happy accident!) — we learned how important a minute can be in creating the perfect dish.
Much like this competition, real life gives you negative minutes to pull lunch together before you dash out the door in the morning. In the final round, Tavia’s and Lillie’s desserts did more than impress us — their dishes inspired this week’s lunchbox idea. Lillie’s use of pistachios with the mystery basket cherries and crumbly shortbread led us right to the best grab-and-go item of all: granola bars.
On the new season of Halloween Baking Championship, expect to be blown away by the extremely creepy creations the bakers make, but even more than that, be ready for probably the scariest panel of judges you will ever see — and a host who’s not afraid to deliver some deadly news to eliminated bakers. Judges Carla Hall, Damiano Carrara and Sandra Lee will be dishing out critiques, while Jeff Dunham will be sending home the bakers who don’t meet the spooktacular criteria of the $25,000 competition show. Before you tune in for the premiere on Monday, Oct. 3 at 9|8c, hear from Damiano.
Damiano is a very successful baker of Italian specialties, and he’s also familiar with competitions. He competed in Spring Baking Championship, Season 1 and Food Network Star, Season 12. FN Dish recently caught up with him to chat about the holiday and the championship.
Fresh off a whirlwind (and wild) summer at Camp Cutthroat, Alton Brown is heading back to the evilicious arena tomorrow night, but what awaits isn’t his usual lot of diabolical escapades. Instead, he’s set to kick off a five-part Tournament of Terror (Wednesdays at 11|10c), complete with all manner of ghastly, horrific and simply scary-good sabotages, just in time for the upcoming Halloween holiday. The 16 chefs that will face off in four preliminary heats and one over-the-top finale know to anticipate competitive rivals, trying challenges and judges’ commentary. But nothing can prepare them for the fear that Alton will instill.
We caught up with Alton about the new tournament in an exclusive interview, and he previewed the kinds of next-level Halloween shenanigans on deck for the Tournament of Terror. “Cuddles the Clown,” is one particularly incredible costume he’ll debut, he noted. Read on below to hear more from Alton and find out his take on homemade Halloween candy.
You’ve done Halloween-themed Cutthroat Kitchen episodes before but never a full tournament like this. What can fans except to see?
Alton Brown: We’ve built five shows that are essentially a bunch of love letters to Halloween. We’ve taken every scary movie trope and tactic and twisted them into sabotages. Oh, and they can also expect a lot of costumes.
We’ve seen a sneak peek of some of the costumes you wear in Tournament of Terror, and they’re pretty extravagant (and amazing). Do you have a favorite?
AB: Three words: Cuddles the Clown.