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Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake

by in View All Posts, November 12th, 2010
The Cheesecake Factory wouldn't share the recipe for its popular November special, so Food Network kitchens got to work and recreated it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake is a seasonal special at the Cheesecake Factory chain, and diners can’t get enough. Good thing Food Network Magazine asked our kitchens to create the perfect replica. Even die-hard pumpkin pie traditionalists won’t miss the classic after a forkful of this decadent treat. Sure, it’s rich—as cheesecake should be!—but still fluffy and light thanks to a filling that combines cream cheese, sour cream and pure pumpkin. A sprinkling of toasted pecans adds a festive touch.

TELL US: What desserts will be on your Thanksgiving table?

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving

Date Night at Home

by in View All Posts, November 11th, 2010
Champagne Risotto from FoodNetwork.com

The key ingredient to a great date night at home is a little bit of imagination. Make cooking together part of the fun with a creative adventure featuring romantic recipes.

Start your special evening with a champagne toast, and set aside some bubbly for Giada’s Champagne Risotto with tender asparagus and crisp pork. Asparagus has long been considered an aphrodisiac. According to an old French tradition, bridegrooms prepared for their wedding night by eating three different asparagus dishes on the previous evening.

While your risotto is heating up, cool off with this Melon and Prosciutto appetizer. Luscious melon is kissed by a touch of berry syrup and wrapped with prosciutto in a near perfect combination of salty and sweet flavors. This is as much fun to assemble as it is to eat.

Rachael Ray’s quick cooking Garlic-Buttered Sliced Steak with Onions makes a mouthwatering main course. Believe it or not, garlic has a reputation for stirring up passions. Long ago, Tibetan monks were not allowed to enter the monastery if they had eaten garlic for exactly this reason.

And for dessert, nothing is more romantic than sharing a dish of Chocolate Orange Mousse with Raspberries. This simple yet indulgent recipe from Sandra Lee is the perfect ending to a fantastic meal made better together.

Fall Fest: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

by in View All Posts, November 10th, 2010
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Mixed with cheese and cream, Brussels Sprouts Gratin makes an irresistible Thanksgiving side dish.

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.

Thinking about adding Brussels sprouts to your Thanksgiving feast, but scared some guests may wrinkle their noses at the mere mention? Try this easy-to-love, cheese-topped Brussels Sprouts Gratin from Food Network Magazine. Melty and oozy, it’s an easy way to ease doubters into loving this dreaded veg.

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Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Chocolate Almond Torte

by in View All Posts, November 9th, 2010
A little dark rum spices up this dark chocolate torte for chilly holiday nights.

Here at FoodNetwork.com we’re all for eating dessert first, which is why we’re sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving Dessert recipes with you each day this week. We’ve already given a shout out to Paula’s perfectly classic Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie, but if the chocolate lovers out there are looking for something sweet to sink their teeth into, check out this Chocolate-Almond Torte. Sliced nuts, fresh orange zest and a hint of dark rum spice up the flavors without distracting from the main attraction: just-sweet-enough dark chocolate cake.

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, View All Posts, November 9th, 2010
New York State’s New First Lady of Food: Sandra Lee

Sandra Lee is ‘First Lady’ of Food: With the election of her longtime companion, Andrew Cuomo, to the governorship of New York, Food Network’s own Sandra Lee has become New York’s First Lady of Food. AM New York imagines what the victory celebration might have looked like, including this lasagna and a tasty doughnut tree. [AmNY.com]

Chicken-Powered Cars: Tyson chicken factories are turning chicken fat into diesel fuel for cars, trucks and possibly airplanes. And you thought chickens couldn’t fly. [wsj.com]

Pumpkins are Flying in Delaware: This weekend marked the 25th Annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest in Delaware. Participants competed with a variety of air cannons, catapults, human-powered devices and other launching mechanisms to see which could throw a pumpkin the farthest. [Delawareonline.tv]

San Francisco bans Happy Meals: In an effort to curb childhood obesity, the city of San Francisco has voted to ban kids meals that are sold with toys unless they conform to a set of nutritional guidelines. Will healthier meals make happier kids? Tell us what you think. [LATimes.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.

Thanksgiving Dessert of the Day: Paula’s Sweet Potato Pie

by in View All Posts, November 8th, 2010

Give Paula's pie an extra dose of Southern comfort by subbing in bourbon for the vanilla extract.

We’re kicking off a week of Thanksgiving desserts here on FoodNetwork.com and figured we’d start wtih a good old Southern classic, y’all. Paula’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie is a mouthwatering addition to the Thanksgiving dessert spread, no matter where you live. Make (or buy) your pie crust now and freeze it — Paula’s filling and picture-perfect meringue topping come together easily and quickly when you’re getting ready for your feast.

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.

Massive Burritos and $175 Burgers: Tom Pizzica Talks Outrageous Food

by in View All Posts, November 5th, 2010

This burrito may look intense, but it's nothing compared to the six-footer Tom will sample on tonight's episode of Outrageous Food.

You probably recognize him as the funny-guy runner-up from Season 6 of The Next Food Network Star, but Tom Pizzica is back on Food Network in a big way. To celebrate tonight’s premiere of Outrageous Food (10 pm/9c), we chatted with Tom about his new gig, his favorite on and off-camera memories from Star and even the menu from his recent wedding.

You got a first glimpse of the show along with fans during last week’s sneak peek, featuring a 105-pound burger. Where’d you watch?
I was in Minnesota with the production company. We had a big party, and my mom came, which was really nice. Seeing the show was as much fun as I thought it was going to be, it comes off as fun as it was to film. It’s going to be awesome—a fun way to spend a Friday night.

Of all the cities you visited, what were your top three favorites and why?
I really enjoyed Minneapolis, a great town. It’s just a nice little city. It kind of looks brand new but it’s not. It’s got a cool little downtown, fun little bars and the people are really nice. I’d never been to Chicago before and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a great food city and I finally had my first real deep dish, which was fantastic. And I gotta say, New York was fantastic. It was my first shoot, after the Next Food Network Star finale aired, and my first time being in New York as a kind of a “star.” I had a lot of nerves going on, but everything worked out well.

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Bringing Home The Bacon

by in View All Posts, November 4th, 2010
Bacon-Jalapeño Stuffing from FoodNetwork.com

Almost everyone loves bacon, whether you call it American pork-belly, Canadian bacon, French lardons, or Italian pancetta. In twelfth century England, couples who could last more than a year without arguing were awarded a side of bacon—an enviable prize that lead to the phrase “bringing home the bacon.” Be the hero of your dinner table with some of our favorite bacon recipes.

Emeril’s classic Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Almonds are simple to prepare and make an elegant starter for an evening of holiday entertaining. Warm cheese, sweet fruit and crispy pork meld in a satisfying way that your guests will remember for many holidays to come.

For a lighter take on bacon, give the traditional stuffed potato a healthy makeover with Ellie Krieger’s Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Cream from The Cooking Channel. Savory Canadian bacon creates a crunchy topping for the garlicky avocado cream.

Spice up your Thanksgiving table with a savory Bacon-Jalapeño Stuffing. This cornbread dressing with bacon and cheese should please even the pickiest eaters in your family.

For an easy weeknight dinner, nothing beats Bacon and Lentil Soup from Food2.com. Versatile soups like this are a great way to use up small amounts of leftover meat or vegetables. Make a big batch tonight and have it for lunch tomorrow.

And for a truly different sort of treat, there are Maple Bacon Cupcakes from Food.com. Minced bacon is folded into a sweet batter that also includes bacon drippings, topped off with maple syrup-infused frosting. Is it breakfast, dessert or something in between? You decide.

Fall Fest: Root Veggie Sides to Try

by in View All Posts, November 3rd, 2010
Glazed Carrots and Turnips
This year, try a new Thansgiving side, like Glazed Carrots and Turnips.

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.

Thanksgiving is all about traditions – roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, grandma’s pumpkin pie – but don’t be afraid to add new life to the traditional feast with a few new stand-out sides. (Here are 50+ if you want to start browsing now!) For a little something different, reach for one of these three often overlooked root veggies – turnips, rutabagas and parsnips – in season and oh so tasty.

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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.