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Operation Garden

by in View All Posts, March 25th, 2009

It’s that time of year and I cannot help being excited to get outside and play in the dirt!  Last year I was a little too ambitious and started my garden way too early, alas, it taught me patience, and I’m applying that lesson now. 

I’ve started my seedlings at home on my porch and am growing oregano, parsley, basil, thyme, pumpkins, heirloom tomatoes, squash, and garden beans!  I can happily report that they are growing strong and will hopefully be fruitful.  I’m also sharing a piece of my small yard with my good friends so that they can cultivate the earth as well.  It’s a wonderful excuse to have friends over for harvesting parties and BBQ’s!

I’ve also tried to plant some herbs here at my FN desk… as of now I still have 2 big pots of dirt.  Perhaps I’ll give it another try next week.  It would be a shame to go all summer infront of this window without anything green to stare back at me.

What are you planting this year?

Cheers!

Kendra, Operation Foodie

Do you spy what I spy?

by in View All Posts, March 24th, 2009

I must confess: I took a vacation this weekend, and still thought about work. You see, I went down to Austin, Texas for a friend’s wedding, and while perusing through a neat art gallery there called Yard Dog Art, I happened to do a double take on these interesting pieces for sale by former Austinite, Mike Miller.

When we shot the Food Network Tour video, I remember noticing this same art from Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real set, and here they were again creeping up in my vacation (perhaps to remind me to get back to the office?). Can you spy the art I’m talking about behind Sunny? I’ll give you a clue: It’s right above the big, red arrow I pasted on the image:

When I first looked at these pieces on Sunny’s set, I even remember saying to myself, “Oh that art is neat,” but I had no idea the history behind the pieces….until now!

Continue reading about Sunny’s set art.

Every day can be FRYday

by in View All Posts, March 23rd, 2009

Being a northern gal, I don’t have any family fried chicken recipes passed down to me, so I’ve never had the impetus to make it at home. But when I saw Sunny Anderson make her Cider-Brined Fried Chicken on Cooking For Real, I knew I had to try it. Naturally Sunny makes everything she cooks sound delectable, but I could tell this recipe was going to be special.

Coincidentally, I also happened to have the Emerilware by T-fal Deep Fryer in my kitchen, a sample that the vendor had sent about two years ago and one which, I’ll sheepishly admit, I hadn’t ever used. (I’ll also sheepishly admit that I’m somewhat afraid of deep frying things because of the high potential for disaster, even though I know the Emerilware fryer makes it virtually foolproof.) Sunny’s recipe has glowing reviews on our site, and Emeril’s fryer is one of the most popular products in the Food Network Store, so I decided that these two were a match made in heaven, and that it was time to kill two birds with one stone and inaugurate the fryer by testing out the fried chicken recipe.

Continue for Emily’s frying results.

Special Guest Star

by in View All Posts, March 19th, 2009

He may not be your idea of a Food Network star, but I can bet that when he makes his debut alongside his human companion, Claire Robinson, on the new series 5 Ingredient Fix, he will be taking the food world by storm.  Ladies and gentleman, introducing…Newman the Wonder Dog!!!

This little French bulldog is the special guest for a French-inspired meal on Claire’s upcoming new series, which focuses on recipes that require only 5 ingredients or fewer.  Check back here on The FN Dish, March 30, for a sneak peek at Claire and the new show, then tune in starting Saturday, April 4 at 9:30am/8:30c for the premiere….If you listen closely you might even hear some doggie snoring in the background!

~ Fay, Programming

I worry about this too

by in View All Posts, March 19th, 2009

A worker at a Whole Foods store claims he was fired over a tuna sandwich. The store’s calling it theft, he’s calling it salvaging something from the trash. My major tuna sandwich worry, though? Is that my boss‘s well-documented antipathy for canned tuna (in any form) will someday meet my love for the Amy’s Bread tuna melt, and, well, boom.

Still away, still eating my bodyweight in bread, still slacking on regular posting, but back next week, I swear.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

5 Dollar (or Less) Dinners

by in View All Posts, March 18th, 2009

I’m not sure exactly how much money I spend on groceries every week/month/year, but I do know I’d like to spend less. As I worked on our Good Food For Less feature, I focused on obviously “low cost” recipes – vegetarian, tuna casserole, leftover transformations – but I decided to try a few for myself, curious to see how the groceries would add up.

For me, under $10 per person would be a savings compared to eating out (the cost of a meal at my favorite burger and fries spot). But I decided a truly “budget” meal should ring in at no more than $5 per person. I crossed my fingers, made a grocery list and went shopping.

Aida’s Pan-Roasted Chicken with Oranges and Rosemary
Chicken thighs – $4.95
Chicken drumsticks – $2.12
Orange – $0.50 / 2 = $0.25
Rosemary – on my window sill (although I used a lot less than the recipe suggests, because picking sprigs off my pet plant is somewhat painful)

Total spent = $7.32 / 4 servings = $1.83 per serving

Success!! I was amazed!! I made it a meal with a simple arugula salad and roasted spiced-up potatoes the first night. Then I decided to spruce up leftover night by making the simplest risotto recipe I could find (plus, adding some kale that was hiding in the back of my fridge). It was amazing.

I was hooked! I had to try another.


The Neelys’ Sloppy Joes (recipe halved)
1 pound (90 percent lean) ground beef – $4.00
BBQ sauce – $2.49 / 4 = $0.62
Tomato sauce – $0.32
Tomato paste – $0.50 / 4 = $0.13
Green pepper – $1.37 / 2 = $0.69
Red pepper – $1.32 /2 = $0.66
Buns – $3.19 / 6 = $0.53 x 3 = $1.60

Total spent: $8.02 / 2 = $4.01 per serving

I was surprised that the sloppy joes cost more than twice as much as the chicken, but they were still within my $5 budget, and the halved recipe really made two huge servings (1/2 pound of meat per person!). As a low cost side dish, I cut up some sweet potatoes, tossed them in oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted them to make baked sweet potato fries.

Just adding up a few recipe receipts has made me much more cost-conscious at the grocery store. I think I’m going to keep working my way through this feature. Wish me luck with the slow cooker recipes and Rachael’s tuna casserole!

- Kirsten, Web Editor

We see green!

by in View All Posts, March 17th, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Most New Yorkers are showing their Irish spirit by marching through the streets of the city and sampling beer & food from various pubs. The FN team is here and enjoying a Green Bagel & Irish Soda Bread Breakfast put together by our Employee Activities Committee – so we are all very excited!

In honor of today, here are some traditional foods to try:

1. COLCANNON – Mashed potatoes with onions and greens. Get creative – my favorite combination includes red skin potatoes (mashed with skins), sauteed kale & onion, and a bit of garlic.
2. BOXTY – A mixture of raw and cooked potatoes.
3. IRISH STEW – This particular recipe from our FN Test Kitchen inclues lamb and goat cheese.
4. CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE – Paula Deen’s fast and delicious recipe.
5. CURACH – An Irish dessert consisting of toasted oats, whiskey, raspberries, and whipped cream (how can you go wrong?!).

What are you cooking up for St. Patrick’s Day?

I hope you have a fabulous day!
Kendra, Operation Foodie

Counting Coins

by in View All Posts, March 16th, 2009


These days, we’re all scrounging around our couch cushions for nickel and dimes. So how considerate of Oprah to feature Tyler Florence and Iron Chef Cat Cora showing easy, tasty and budget saving home made meals for us to watch, while we pat down the sofa! You can catch a rerun of the segment here.

In case you missed it — there were three family interventions, if you will.  Being the guilty, quick-fix TV dinner girl over here, I tended to relate to the first family, who ate almost entirely from the freezer to the microwave!  Once the chefs demonstrated the whole slow cooking thing that’s been all the rage lately, I started to consider dusting off that crock pot hand me down (thank you cutey pa tootey Tyler Florence). Check out both Tyler’s family favorite recipes, as well as Cat’s complete 7-day menu, which includes a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes for all under $150.

Oprah’s not the only day time gal teaching us how to save some dough while watching dvr-ed shows. Sandra Lee just finished taping her first 13 episodes of Sandra’s Money Saving Meals which premieres on May 10th (2 days before SC’s B-day, in case your curious). We did get some behind the scenes on Ms. Lee, so keep a lookey-loo out for that video on here. Let me just say, even with the dollar scrimping, her plates don’t make any color cuts.

Tell me dear readers what is your “recession budgeting” tips for tasty meals? We’re all in this together and as much as I’m loving my slow cooker, it’s uh, a bit slow. Let me know. Heres to keeping it real and hot!

Yours truly,
Secretary Confidential