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Please Do Not Touch!

by in View All Posts, May 22nd, 2009

I’ll admit. I occasionally nibble at the Whole Foods buffet before paying, you know, to test out my options. And of course, my hands find their way into many a platter here at FN, which might be a bit on the restricted side. But when my handy little camera caught this warning: Ultimate Recipe Showdown Pantry. Please Do Not Touch!, I knew better than to pick, but not even a few exclamation points can keep SC from prodding for answers.

What did I find out? The test kitchens are in the midst of testing recipes for the new series, as the sign indicated, Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Apparently thousands of submissions came in from all over the country, and now the FN recipe testers have to narrow each category (comfort foods, hot & spicy, desserts, etc..) down to just 4 contestants for each show. By the looks of the pantry (dark chocolate chips, boxes of brown sugar, molasses, cupcake tins…), I think they’re in the middle of testing for the desserts episode. Maybe they need help taste testing? I’m available!

Here’s to Eating Well!

Yours Truly,
Secretary Confidential

Food & Finance: Summer Entertaining

by in View All Posts, May 21st, 2009

We are just one day short of Memorial Day weekend (Hooray!), and I’m sure that many of you are thinking about breaking out the barbecue to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Do you think that this year’s budget limits the menu to hot dogs and potato chips?

Well, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on those tried and true backyard favorites, but you’ll be happy to hear that you can provide an entertaining menu to satisfy all palates without blowing through your budget. Being a Food Network insider has allowed me to gather the best tips for feeding a crowd economically and deliciously.

CONTINUE READING

Bobby and Rachael Debate

by in View All Posts, May 20th, 2009

Did anyone catch this mornings Rachael Ray Show? Rachael invited Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Rocco DiSpirito, and Adam Perry Lang to have a round table chat on summer entertaining.

My favorite part was seeing Bobby and Rachael debate over burger patties. Not sure who won the debate, as both Rachael and Bobby stuck to their guns, but I’m curious to hear your guys’ take on the dispute. This is the disagreement:

Bobby Flay puts nothing INSIDE his burger patty. No chopped onions, no garlic, no bell pepper, not even salt and pepper. He liberally puts salt and pepper outside the patty, but nothing inside. (Here are Bobby’s perfect burger rules).

Rachael Ray likes to mix every ingredient combination possible in her burger patties: from worcestershire sauce to fennel seed to chipotles, and of course, salt and pepper.

Bobby’s argument: When Bobby wants a burger, he wants a burger….not meatloaf.

What side are you on?

-Rachael

Isothiocyanates ahoy!

by in View All Posts, May 20th, 2009

So my pal Robert, last heard from here, rears his way-smarter-than-me head again in the pages of Gourmet, this time about how I commandeered his house, backpack full of Greenmarket rhubarb in tow, to make mustard last weekend. I just want to make clear: at no point during said kitchen commandeering did I use the word “isothiocyanates,” hence the way-smarter-than-me-ness, but hey, at least I know what they are now.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Sadly, in our era, we're stuck with the Magic Bullet.

by in View All Posts, May 19th, 2009

Anthropologists and palentologists from the Universities of Bordeaux (of all places) and Witwatersrand have come up with evidence that ancient humans may have used bone tools to make smoothies.

This is fairly heartening; I’ve always felt that there had to be some sort of biological smoothie-compulsion at work here, as I’ve never met a single person who actively enjoys smoothies. [via]

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Once, Twice, Three Times a Logo

by in View All Posts, May 18th, 2009

Everyday in these hallowed halls, I walk past our logo, encompassed in our fabulous new graphics look. The colors and textures of the logo you see that accompany Food Network shows on TV, or on print campaigns (like billboards or on taxi’s) are all created by my department – Creative Services. Toot, toot.

Then one day it hit me like a crème pie filled with hand whipped lemon meringue, what’s up with the logo?! Where has it been over the years, and why did it go there?

CONTINUE READING

You Are What You Eat

by in View All Posts, May 18th, 2009

My boyfriend just sent me this Good Magazine gallery of people’s fridge contents, sorted by occupation, age, and details. We’re most similar to the Journalist/Designer/School Teacher household, since always have fresh produce everywhere, protein, leftovers everywhere (because he eats 24/7), and lots of knick-knacks on the top shelf and the door. The rest of the list is pretty entertaining, especially the connection between jobs and fridges — check out the bartender’s fridge!

Danielle LaRosa, Assistant Culinary Producer

Follow My Fork – On Set

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, May 15th, 2009

Above is my second installment of Follow My Fork. If you did not catch the first vlog, check it out here.

Today, my nose and fork led me to the set of spirited, bright-haired Anne Burrell‘s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. There, I tracked down intern Ian, resident expert on everything edible – like Kabocha (a Japanese squash). He let me nibble on some Squash Bread Pudding (who knew squash could be so worldly!). Also, I got to try some delicious skate, a fish- a not so nice name but a tasty treat. You’ll be able to see this fare when it airs on Anne’s show this fall.

Until next week. Here’s to Eating Well!

Yours Truly,
Secretary Confidential

Paula Deen on Tofu

by in View All Posts, May 15th, 2009


NPR quizzed Paula Deen on tofu a few weeks ago, and if you haven’t heard the segment yet….you should. When the Butter Queen was a guest on NPR’s quiz show, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!“, she played the “Not My Job” quiz. And if anything is not Paula’s job….it’s tofu.

When you have 11 minutes and 2 seconds to spare, take a listen to the entire interview and quiz here. But if you can’t find the time, here’s a cheat sheet of my favorite moments to fast forward to:

At 1:03 into the segment:
Paula tells us which recipe of hers should have the disclaimer, “Only one serving per lifetime.”

At 3:25 into the segment:
Find out how Paula deep fries an ottoman.

At 6:30 into the segment:
Paula answers three questions about tofu.

-Rachael