3 of a Kind: Vegan Cheese Boards

by in Restaurants, August 3rd, 2016

Cheese Plate from Crossroads Kitchen
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Long perceived by many as a bland imitator of its dairy-based cousin, vegan cheese is being recast in a far more savory light by innovative chefs across the country. Their creative endeavors in the kitchen are upping the plant-based-cheese game at grocery stores and top restaurants alike. Read on to get the rundown on three spots churning out vegan cheese boards that could easily be mistaken for real-deal dairy.

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Chatting with Donal Skehan, a Mentor on the Brand-New Food Network Star Kids

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 3rd, 2016

Food Network Star KidsFresh off a game-changing Season 12 of Food Network Star, Tregaye Fraser joined the Food Network family as an on-fleek chef with an uncanny ability to entertain. But that doesn’t mean the search for Star power has ended. In fact, the journey is set to continue this month when Donal Skehan and Tia Mowry team up to discover the next budding culinary talent — a young talent, that is. On Food Network Star Kids, the mentors will ask pintsize cooks to not only strut their kitchen chops but also shine on camera, just as an adult Food Network Star needs to be able to do.

Recently we checked in with Donal to get his take on what it’s like working with kids and the joint culinary-camera challenges he and Tia have in store for the finalists. Check out his exclusive interview below for a preview of the season and learn more about Donal.

Just like Food Network Star proper, this competition is special in that it asks kids to not just cook well but to also present and perform well. Do you think one part is trickier to master than the other?
Donal Skehan: It’s a tricky one because, like, obviously, to be a cook you have to have incredible skills to make people enjoy your food, that’s — I think sometimes I believe it’s something you’re kind of born with. Either you can do it or, I mean, you can learn it, but I think it’s something that you know if you have it in your heart and it’s something that that’s the place that you cook from, I think that’s something really cliché, but it is, and it’s true, though. And I do think that side of it is such an important part to have because you can teach most things, but if you don’t kind of have it from the outset, it’s going to be very hard to kind of create. So I think in this competition you do, but as soon as people start cooking you see who’s a natural cook and who’s someone who has learned it as a skill. Both can be very good, but you do see it more out there than ever before.

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How to Survive the Dog Days of Summer

by in Recipes, August 3rd, 2016

Slow-Cooker Pork TacosThe summer heat is peaking, and it’s getting harder to keep things cool in the kitchen. When you can’t bear to turn your oven on, look for other cooking methods to avoid eating raw at every meal (although, we do love a hearty dinner salad). Just when you think you’ve run out of creative juice, here are four techniques that make meal planning during the dog days of summer a breeze. Read more

One-on-One with the Chopped Grill Masters Grand Champion

by in Shows, August 2nd, 2016

Sophina and DanielTonight Chopped Grill Masters found its Grand Champion! Four chefs who won the preliminary rounds came back for one last battle in the Napa Valley, sweating over hot grills to create the best dishes of their lives. The competition was so close that the judges had to take into account every single detail. Surprisingly, the most-lauded chefs were knocked out in the initial two rounds, leaving an underdog vs. a fine-dining chef. In the final round, both turned out desserts that earned them high marks and applause, but as the rules go, the judges had to consider every round. The one who cooked the best three courses left not only with the Grand Champion title, but also with a whopping $50,000 grand prize. Hear from the Chopped Grill Masters Grand Champion now.

Read the interview with the winner

Frosting-Filled Croissants Are Now a Thing

by in News, August 2nd, 2016

Frosting-Filled Croissants Are Now a ThingAttention, treat-loving thrill seekers: The latest dessert-like breakfast food (or breakfast-food-like dessert) to pick up the Cronut’s freaky food-mash-up mantle is the frosting-filled croissant. (It really needs a catchy name: Perhaps the froissant?)

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Eat Like You’re at the Olympics: 10 Brazilian Foods to Make at Home

by in Recipes, August 2nd, 2016

Pao de QueijoHey, not many of us can actually make it to the Olympics (either as a world-renowned athlete or otherwise), but we can sure eat like we’re there. In honor of the upcoming opening ceremonies and all of the games to follow, take a culinary trip to Rio by cooking up some Brazilian mainstays right at home.

Sold at bakeries across Brazil, Pao de Queijo have the consistency of cheesy dough balls, and they’re a staple in Brazil. With a name that translates as “cheese bread,” these gluten-free morsels are eaten as part of a traditional breakfast or as a snack. Eat them by themselves or split them open and use them like buns for your favorite slider fixings.

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One Recipe, Two Ways: Spice-Rubbed Chicken

by in Family, Recipes, August 2nd, 2016

One Recipe, Two Ways: Spice-Rubbed ChickenI’m going crazy over this recipe. Mostly because it’s perfect for summer suppers when you don’t really want to overthink it. Or spend too much time in the kitchen. Or have too much to clean up. This meal hits the summer nail on the summer head.

So, we’re spicing some chicken cubes, but going a milder route for your kiddies. Just some Italian seasoning mixed with a little bit of garlic powder and a pinch of salt. It’s basically perfect. Tossed in a pan until browned on both sides. Done. Serve it with buttery corn on the cob. Even more done. Don’t you love this already?

And for you — gosh, it gets so good. You’ll start the same way you did for your kiddos, but then you’ll add cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne. Almost can’t deal with the greatness here. Toss it back in the pan to get some browning, and serve it with corn on the cob (add hot sauce!) and a crisp green salad. And a little bit of lemon. Gah.

It’s so simple and so summery and so freaking tasty you’ll lose your mind. I want to make it again but maybe put it on top of some silky lemony pasta!

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Fig-uring Out Fresh Figs: What to Buy, How to Store and the Best Ways to Enjoy

by in Shows, August 2nd, 2016

figsBy Angela Carlos

This week’s episode of Guy’s Grocery Games was a real blast from the past. Four competitors from Food Network Star, Season 2 arrived in Flavortown ready for their 10-year reunion and the chance to compete against each other for a $20,000 shopping spree. As with all reunions, there was a certain amount of reminiscing that went on, even within the games themselves.

For Game 1 Guy asked his friends to make a Five Star Dish that would represent who they are, with one catch. In an homage to the competitors’ first challenge on Food Network Star, each dish had to include five items: wine, pork, steak, shrimp and onion.

Then came the figs. Reggie Southerland made a surprise appearance midway through game one with his favorite ingredient. The sweet addition threw a wrench into the contestants’ culinary plans. But they made do, tossing the dried figs into their sauces and demi-glace to add a little sweetness to their savory main courses.

Watching the chefs work with the surprise ingredient got us thinking about how we like to use figs in the kitchen. Read more

Have You Heard of These Uncommon Summer Berries?

by in In Season, August 2nd, 2016

Photo: jatrax/Getty Images

Part of what makes summer so dreamy is the fleeting harvest period for sweet, plump berries. Come winter, all we’re left with are memories of the fruity, bubbling-hot pies that lined our picnic tabletops just a few short months ago. Needless to say, we’re getting our fill of the season’s gems while the opportunity lasts. We’re also branching into new territory, moving beyond basic strawberries and blueberries, and we’re liking what we’re finding: Earthy marionberries, tangy tayberries, tart gooseberries and other whimsically-named fruits that you maybe haven’t tried yet but will instantly change the way you approach summer meals once you have a taste. We can’t guarantee you’ll see them in your local grocery store, but these five uncommon summer berries are worth searching high and low to find.

Marionberries (above)

A native Oregonian, this plump summer jewel is a cross between two different varieties of blackberry and is often referred to as the “Cabernet of Blackberries” for its rich flavor. If you live outside of the Pacific Northwest, you may have a hard time getting your hands on marionberries. But when you do, your first move should be to make a pie, crumble or fresh batch of scones.

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16 Things You Didn’t Know About Tregaye Fraser, Food Network’s Newest Star

by , August 2nd, 2016

Food Network StarYou know Tregaye Fraser as the newest member of the Food Network family, and you're surely familiar with her work as the self-described "queen of food fusion on fleek." But did you know that her favorite TV show is Power and that she likes to munch o...

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