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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, November 2nd, 2010
Cue the Popcorn - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Pop Goes the Kernel: If you’ve 12 seconds to spare, use them to watch the moment when a single kernel of corn explodes into the popped puff we love to pour butter over. It’s a dramatic coming-of-age tale, told by the folks at Modernist Cuisine, who slowed down the transformative moment to 6,200 frames per second. [eater.com]

Green Machines: Now that vending machines are dispensing fresh produce, why not create ones that actually grow them? Japanese company Dentsu has crafted exactly that, and no sunlight is even required. Take that, science! One of these portable garden machines can grow up to 20,000 heads of lettuce per year, and it only costs $90,000. [re-nest.com]

Would You Like to See the Wine iPad? Clunky paper wine lists are so 2009. Now, some restaurants are going digital with their wine selections, uploading the whole shebang to an iPad from which patrons can click to see specific details for each bottle. How will this trend translate to wine sales? One sommelier says it won’t. “Looking at the iPad is great,” Hong Kong’s L’Atelier’s sommelier Benoît Allauzen tells the Wall Street Journal. “But it is still the sommelier who gives you his services to introduce the wine.” [blogs.wsj.com] [Food Network Mobile]

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.

Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Chef Chauhan’s Parting Words

by in Shows, View All Posts, November 1st, 2010
Chef Chauhan's one regret about her final dish: Adding pineapple. "It was the jinx fruit for each and every eliminated contestant so far!"

What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
I walked away feeling that there was little that I couldn’t face and conquer. Some of the situations that we were put in were challenging to say the least, and being able to overcome these obstacles gave me the strength and resilience to believe in facing anything that comes in front of me with grace and pride. Even though those three weeks were stressful, and an emotional roller coaster if I’ve ever been on one, it made me a much stronger person and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything. I walked away from this competition feeling richer in experience, in friends and in life.

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Witches’ Brew: 5 Spooktacular Halloween Drinks

by in View All Posts, October 29th, 2010
Claire Robinson - Dark and Spooky Cocktail Recipe
Claire Robinson's Dark and Spooky - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is almost upon us! Whether you plan on trick-or-treating with the kids or celebrating with more experienced Halloweeners, these frightfully festive drinks will get every ghost and goblin in the spirit.

Try these Halloween cocktails – if you dare….

Creative Caramel Apples

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2010
Making Caramel Apples
A fresh caramel apple taking a spin through the toppings bar

I became addicted to caramel apples while visiting my parents’ fall festival, Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, last weekend. In three days, I ate more caramel apples than I care to admit: for breakfast, for late-night snacks and just for fun! Nothing satisfies cravings for sweets better than crisp, juicy apples dipped in luscious, buttery caramel. It’s the perfect Halloween treat.

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Cooking for Vegetarian Guests

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2010
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from FoodNetwork.com

Not sure what to make when a vegetarian guest comes for dinner? Don’t panic. If you’re trying to please a diverse group of eaters, these vegetarian-friendly recipes are sure to bring everyone to the table.

Break the ice with flavors of cranberry and orange in Emeril’s Red Rooster cocktails from CookingChanneltv.com. And show off your creativity with a colorful Vegan Antipasti of fresh vegetables with marinated mushrooms.

As a main course, “meaty” walnuts provide contrast to the tart cherries in Ellie Krieger’s Wheat Berry Salad. Add a bowl of Squash Soup With Caramelized Apple Croutons and you have a perfectly easy weeknight meal.

On a chilly evening, this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from Aida Mollencamp is the ultimate comfort food—creamy mashed potatoes baked over a bed of flavorful vegetables and gravy.

For a no-fuss dessert, try this sweet No-Bake Berry Frost Pie from Food2.com, which can be served chilled or as a frozen treat. Feeling sneaky? Our Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Food.com replaces the usual cream and eggs with tofu, but maintains the same great taste and texture of your old favorite.

Read more about vegetarian and vegan diets.

Claire’s New Cookbook: 240 Pages of 5 Ingredient Fixes

by in View All Posts, October 27th, 2010
On the cover of Claire's new cookbook, she's shopping at one of her favorite spots: NYC's Union Square Greenmarket

Our own Claire Robinson has a new cookbook out this month, and it’s 240 pages of the fresh, simple fare you love from her Food Network show, 5 Ingredient Fix. Claire shot the cover photo at one of her favorite places on Earth: New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket, where you can often find her roaming around, getting inspired and selecting the ingredients for her recipes.

5 Ingredient Fix in print makes a great holiday gift for a novice cook, a busy mom or anyone who doesn’t want to lug home dozens of groceries just to make one meal.

Claire is all about simplifying food without sacrificing flavor. Think it’s impossible to bake with just five ingredients? Claire did too, she tells us, when she first started shooting 5 Ingredient Fix. But recipes like her Millionaire’s Shortbread (featured in the cookbook) will prove that it can be done—with delicious results.

What else will you find in the book? Party-worthy recipes and tons of ideas for weeknight dinners—think updated comfort food like Cheesy Penne and Buttermilk Pecan Chicken.

Buy Claire’s book and tune in for new episodes of 5 Ingredient Fix on Sundays at 10:30am/9:30c.

Fall Fest: Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

by in View All Posts, October 27th, 2010

pepitas popcorn balls
We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

While you’re carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween, hold onto the gook and make your own homemade stash of roasted pumpkin seeds. They’ll last for about a week tightly sealed, or you can keep them in the freezer for a month.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is simple with Alton by your side. See how he does it:
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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, October 26th, 2010
Halloween Has Tricks, But, Historically Speaking, Few Treats

The Candy Land Before Time: Turns out candy and Halloween haven’t always been BFFs; in fact, bite-sized sugary treats were only doled out after coins, nuts, seasonal fruits, cookies and a slew of other trinkets until about 1950. Read up on their rocky road to a love that’s good and plenty. [The Atlantic]

Redesigning the Vending Machine: In order to plop out those healthy fruits and veggies, vending machines are getting a makeover. The new vending vats support two temperature zones, feature a landing pad (or “retrieval bin”) for bruise-inclined bananas, and some of its produce will come in special packaging to seal in freshness. [Wall Street Journal]

A Very Large Toast Portrait, Indeed: The world’s most enormous toast mosaic has been created, and it’s comprised of a mere 9,852 slices of bread. U.K.-based Laura Hadland recruited 40 friends and 9 toasters for the 32’x42’ portrait of her mum-in-law, Sandra Whitfield. “It was certainly a massive shock,” Whitfield gushed to the Daily Mail of her 50th birthday present. “I love toast, but it feels very strange seeing my face made out of it.” [dailymail.co.uk]

New Blog Fave: Underhill Lounge Shaken, stirred, up, with a twist – no matter how you like your cocktail, there’s a smart one awaiting you at this blog. While some posts start out with a warning (“dangerous cocktail geekery ahead!”), we wager all the sips featured here will go down smooth. [underhill-lounge.flannestad.com]

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.

10 Sweet Questions for Dessert First’s Anne Thornton

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2010
Anne Thornton's personal faves? Ice cream and anything salty-sweet.

Pastry chef Anne Thornton’s ridiculously delicious Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie (and fun, bubbly personality) caught the attention of many a guest — including a few top Food Network execs — at last year’s SWEET event at the NYC Wine & Food Festival. Now, one year later, Anne has joined the FN family with her very own show for the sweets-obsessed: Dessert First.

It’s a dream come true for Anne, who left a corporate career to pursue her passion for food. “I always thought, I’m going to go to culinary school when I retire,” she says. “Then I realized, you don’t have to wait until you retire to do what you like!”

Dessert First premieres this Sunday at noon. Before you tune in to watch Anne make festive Halloween treats (Couture Caramel Apples rolled in fun toppings like popcorn and peanut butter cups; spooky Red Velvet “Brains” Cupcakes), get to know our new pastry gal with 10 questions from the Dish.

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Dishing with Sandra, FN’s Queen of Halloween

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2010

To get in the Halloween spirit, the Dish took a few minutes to chat with Sandra Lee while she baked up mini pumpkin bundt cakes in Food Network Kitchens. Sandra’s Semi-Homemade Cooking Halloween special airs this Sunday at 11:30am/10:30c, and believe us, you don’t want to miss it. The theme is Renaissance Faire, the costumes are amazing, and there are some surprises, including … Sandra as Cher?

Semi-Homemade is now in its 14th season on Food Network — “I think Friends was only on for 10 seasons!” she says — and to celebrate, Sandra worked with Food Network to publish Semi-Homemade: The Complete Cookbook, stocked with 1,000 recipes.

Read on for Sandra’s dish on the new book, Halloween tips and buy bid-worthy tablescapes.

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