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Beat the Blizzard: 5 Warm-Up Favorites From Alton

by in Recipes, View All Posts, December 26th, 2010

Alton is at the ready with his Food Network Magazine Buffalo Wings, helping me wing it through the next 24 hours of snow.

Connecticut friends stuck in Los Angeles. Manhattan friends stuck in Texas. My three kids, my mom, my husband and I (or is it me? delirious, clearly), very much stuck at home. Warning, Florida, Arizona and other sunny outposts–this post may not be for you.

Here in New York City, a snowball fight is sounding like a good idea, if you know what I mean. Maybe some fresh air will make quality time in the family room seem more appealing. Meantime, what can I run out to the neighborhood store for, so that, as winter becomes a wonderland outside, we can warm things up inside? I’m dreaming of a ski vacation and the comfy-cozy lodge food that goes with it. Alton Brown recipes, to the rescue:

  1. Alton’s Hot Wings Butter and garlic makes these Food Network Magazine wings even better, and not only in snowy Buffalo.
  2. Hot Cocoa His secret? Confectioners’ sugar. Sweet memories in the making. Will use extra marshmallows to keep the kids’ energy up, so to speak.
  3. Cheese Fondue Alton uses a double dose of cheeses (smoked Gouda and Gruyere) and a double shot of spikes (hard cider and brandy) to make your heart melt.
  4. Alton’s Pressure Cooker Chili No pressure, all ease. Spicy and meaty and soul-warming, and without much effort. Bonus: When else will I put that pressure cooker I got last Christmas to use?
  5. Ultimate Nachos Corn tortillas, jalapenos, guac, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Six servings, so there’s enough to share.

How will you be cooking your way through the snow?

Showing Favoritism: FoodNetwork.com’s Top Recipes of 2010

by in Recipes, View All Posts, December 26th, 2010

2010 is drawing to a close, and many of us may find ourselves looking back over the year at goals achieved, trials overcome, times spent with friends and family and – if you’re anything like us – meals eaten. We’ve pulled together your favorite recipes from the past year in one place, so if you’re looking to revisit a beloved mac ‘n cheese dish or you’re searching for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, look no further; we’ve got you covered! As a little taste, here are five of my favorite recipes from the roundup.

Paula's Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Paula’s irresistible French Toast Casserole can be pulled together ahead of time, and then popped in the oven for an early-morning treat. Waking up to the sweet, cinnamon smell of the baking casserole is a real pleasure, as the 1,346 reviewers can attest to!

Good Eats Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a tried-and-true classic, a comfort food tradition for many. Messing with that sort of thing can be risky, but Alton changes up the flavors in his Meatloaf with skillful aplomb, punching up the spice mixture with cayenne and chili, and adding cumin and hot pepper sauce to the glaze. A no-fail, knockout recipe for meatloaf novices and masters alike – as evidenced by the 432 rave reviews.

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Drawing Inspiration: Last Call for Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, View All Posts, December 26th, 2010
Artist Abz Hakim of Toronto, Canada, nods to holiday cookie baking. Click the image to expand.

They Draw & Cook The Dish is teaming up with Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, founders of They Draw and Cook, all December to share holiday recipes rendered by artists and inspiring all sorts of seasonal cooking with Food Network chefs. Each day, stop by the Dish for a new drawing and Nate and Salli’s liner notes about the illustrations and the artists. Tell us which you like and why. A dollop of this, a dash of that and some talent add up to interesting ideas in the kitchen. Visit theydrawandcook.com for more info.

It doesn’t get any more festive than this recipe and illustration by Abz Hakim. We love the elaborately rendered details and all of the holiday sparkle. Every milk pitcher needs to be decorated with a string of lights and a Santa hat! And of course, this is a classic holiday cookie recipe made really yummy by adding buttermilk and cinnamon. Abz is quite the cook and artist. By the way, Santa has given us permission to print his secret recipe. But wait, there’s more!

Artist Sandee M. Chamberlain of Atlanta, Georgia, left a particularly sweet treat for Santa and his reindeer. Click the image to expand.

Cherries, chocolate, and nuts? Some people call this a cookie; we call it dinner. The artist who created this recipe, Sandee Chamberlain, gave us a little background information about this recipe. She said, “This recipe is near and dear to my heart. I have been making it with my family for the past 30 years–it’s our Christmas Cookie!” We love holiday recipes like this, which bring out the tradition in families everywhere. It’s great to have something special like this to look forward to once a year, every year. And, isn’t the cherry on Rudolph’s nose an awesome little touch?

See more great illustrated recipes today on They Draw and Cook. And count down to 2011 with great sweets, appetizer and drink recipes at FoodNetwork.com.

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

Snowman Cheese Ball

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 24th, 2010
Frosty the Cheese Ball

‘Tis the season for last-minute appetizers. Here’s one to be merry about; it’s easy, cheesy and doubles as table decor. It’s a cheese ball . . . snowman. Learn how you can make one in minutes. Read more

Drawing Inspiration: Chocolate-Dipped Delight

by in Recipes, View All Posts, December 21st, 2010
California artist Shirley Ng-Benitez dips berries, candy canes and pretzels in chocolate for chocolate-dipped treats that are surefire hits. Click the image to expand.

They Draw & Cook The Dish is teaming up with Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, founders of They Draw and Cook, all December to share holiday recipes rendered by artists and inspiring all sorts of seasonal cooking with Food Network chefs. Each day, stop by the Dish for a new drawing and Nate and Salli’s liner notes about the illustrations and the artists. Tell us which you like and why. A dollop of this, a dash of that and some talent add up to interesting ideas in the kitchen. Visit theydrawandcook.com for more info.

Everything is made sweeter with a velvety coating of chocolate AND an illustration by Shirley Ng-Benitez. Her wonderful watercolor style and sense of playfulness brings instant joy. She is truly an inspiring artist. Her characters are every bit as sweet as this caravan of critters luxuriating in chocolate. Her simple recipe for “Chocolate dipped…anything” makes it so easy to add that extra sweetness to your holiday menu. Strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows–all just the beginning.

Feast your eyes on more wonderfully illustrated recipes today on They Draw and Cook. Get all sorts of last-minute sweets and treats at FoodNetwork.com.

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

A McConaughey and Fieri Feast

by in View All Posts, December 17th, 2010

Guy and Matthew rocked it out on the bongos between takes on Guy's Big Bite.

What’s one of People magazine’s sexiest men alive doing playing the bongos and making soy-glazed green beans on Guy’s Big Bite? Turns out, Guy and Matthew McConaughey are buddies—they’ve cooked together several times, and one day at Matthew’s house they decided it would be fun to do so on Guy’s show.

Don’t miss the special one-hour episode tomorrow night, December 18, at 8pm/7c. Matthew loves to cook—he’s all about healthy, flavorful food—and brings along some recipes of his own, like Malibu Oysters and JKL Peso Pork, named for his charity, the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation.

Check out our behind-the-scenes gallery of Guy and Matthew on set, and don’t miss the episode tomorrow night at 8pm/7c.

Live on FN.com: Aarti’s Fan Favorite Web Series

by in View All Posts, December 16th, 2010

In her online videos, Aarti shares useful tips, go-to techniques and surprising myth-busters about Indian cuisine.

Aarti Sequeira pretty much cleaned up on The Next Food Network Star, Season 6. Her series of web-exclusive videos, a prize awarded to each season’s Fan Favorite, is now live on FoodNetwork.com.

“Fan Favorite was probably even more rewarding than winning the competition in certain ways because it’s coming from the audience,” Aarti says. “There is something very democratic about the fans being able to vote you in as well, to have their voice heard. I’m really thankful.”

For her four-video series, Aarti chose topics that give viewers new insights into the Indian cuisine she’s cooking up on Aarti Party, which just debuted its second season. For example: The ever-mysterious curry. “The number one question I get is definitely ‘how do I make a curry?’” Aarti says. “I am so glad to finally have the chance to explain what it is, what it isn’t, and that it’s actually not all that hard to prepare.”

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, December 15th, 2010
The Queen of Semi-Homemade Cuisine Reigns Big in 2010

2010′s Food Themes: Pies vs. cupcakes. GIY (grow it yourself) produce. Designer ice cubes. And yes, Sandra Lee as NYC’s First Lady and the Cooking Channel. We didn’t even pay the foodie folks at SeriousEats.com for those last nods, but they included them in their fun roundup of the top 10 themes and memes in food for 2010. See what else made their list and tell us what trends are on tap for 2011. [seriouseats.com]

Go Ahead, Waste Your Food: In the first move of its kind in the U.S., a Portland company has grand plans for your unwanted leftovers from local dining spots: They’ll turn them into enough methane gas and then electricity to power 5,000 homes. And there are further environmental pros to the project, the company’s president, John McKinney, told OregonLive.com. “We’re capturing the benefits of food waste that would otherwise be hauled long distances to a landfill.” [OregonLive.com via newyork.grubstreet.com]

Breakfast’s Ultimate Happy Meal: Like Starbucks and Jamba Juice before it, McDonald’s 14,000 nationwide chains are poised to start serving oatmeal by the end of this week. A cup of fruit and maple oats, with optional brown sugar, will set you back $1.99. [chicagotribune.com]

Don’t Eat Your Vegetables: Use them for art instead! That’s what one visual MacGyver, China’s Ju Duoqi, is doing with cabbage, potatoes, ginger and more. She’s reproduced Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona List,” Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn Monroe,” among others, using garden finds as her paint. [good.is]

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.

Instead of a Cookie Swap: Easy DIY Pizza Party

by in Recipes, View All Posts, December 10th, 2010
Homemade Pizza
Start a homemade pizza party tradition today!

Baking up pizzas at home creates an instant party vibe, and it’s easier than you think. Follow the lead of Food Network Magazine to start a homemade pizza party tradition at your house today!

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, December 7th, 2010
Where Do You Bite? - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Dissecting the Gingerbread Man: Two-thirds of those polled in a Dunkin’ Donuts survey say they go straight for the jugular when biting into a gingerbread man. What’s more is that this act, according to neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch, reveals something about one’s inner workings. Head-biters are “achievement-oriented individuals,” Hirsch tells the New York Daily News. As for leg-eaters, they’re so sensitive they probably apologized to the cookie before nibbling off its lower extremity. [nydailynews.com]

Top 10 Food Scenes from Christmas Movies: The folks at LA Weekly tapped Christmas movie authority Alonso Duralde, who watched 122  yuletide films, to curate their roundup of the awesomest holiday eating scenes on film. Duralde highlights some unusual suspects (Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, Huston’s The Dead), but since it’s not Christmas without Tim Allen, the Santa Clause graces his list, too. [blogs.laweekly.com]

We All Scream for Snow Cream: When life gives you ice (falling from the sky), make ice cream. The clever cooks at Eatocracy share their all-natural recipe for snow ice cream, which basically involves waiting for a blizzard, placing a clean bowl outside and far away from an “animals’ splash zone,” and letting the flurries fill ‘er up. If you can find your bowl under the accumulation, just add some mix-ins and you got yourself a snow sundae. [eaotcracy.cnn.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.