30 Years at Ballymaloe — Off the Shelf

by in Books, January 9th, 2015

30 Years of Ballymaloe“Irish food is many things nowadays,” Darina Allen said when we spoke with her about her new cookbook, 30 Years at Ballymaloe. “There are, of course, the traditional dishes that many people associated with Irish food, like bacon and cabbage, Irish stew, soda bread — all, of course, delicious when well-made. However, this image of Irish food doesn’t in any way reflect the vibrant Irish food scene at present.” Allen has been a presence at the Ballymaloe Cookery School since it was established in 1983. 30 Years at Ballymaloe tells the history of the school through the Irish dishes students learn to prepare there. The recipes might surprise you, though. They range from obvious Irish favorites like Mother’s Sweet White Scones (recipe after the link for you to try at home) to local-ingredient-driven dishes, including recipes for everything from curry, poultry, seafood and even Irish charcuterie. The recipes are simple but enticing; the food photography is gorgeous and engrossing.

You might be surprised (and delighted, of course) to find in the pages of 30 Years at Ballymaloe a deep emphasis on locally sourced Irish produce and ingredients. “We have wonderful produce and raw materials in Ireland,” Allen told us. “We can grow grass like nowhere else in the world. So many of our best foods come from our grass, beef, lamb, dairy products, farmhouse cheese.” And 30 years later, it’s that ingredient-centric focus that still makes the Ballymaloe Cookery School so appealing to students. “Students now come from all over the world to the Ballymaloe Cookery School because the cookery school is in the center of a 100-acre organic farm and gardens.” As you flip through the pages of the book, the images pull you in: big stone barns, rolling hills dotted with sun-soaked cattle, gardens so lush you can hardly believe they’re real. It’s easy to let your imagination wander through Allen’s anecdotes about the Irish countryside and her relationships with fellow growers and vendors, but at the end of the day you always end up back at the table, stomach rumbling for some delicious food. And the recipes in the book certainly do not fall short in that arena. You’ll want to cook dishes like the Wild Garlic Custards, the Hot Buttered Oysters and the Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro and Cashew Pesto again and again.

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The Best of Eviliciousness: Fans’ Favorite Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, January 9th, 2015

Best of Eviliciousness: Fan' Favorite Sabotages to Befall Cutthroat Kitchen CompetitorsThere are culinary competitions, and there’s Cutthroat Kitchen, where no one and nothing is safe. Thanks to master of eviliciousness Alton Brown and his devious fondness for a little — or a lot — of well-meaning kitchen sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen competitors have come face to face with canned whole chickens, mincemeat pork chops and coffee grounds turned compost pile, not to mention oddball tools and prep stations (think potato mashers for hands and a mini worktable suspended atop a bunk bed).

Just recently BuzzFeed showcased its picks of the most-jaw-dropping sabotages to ever enter the Cutthroat arena, looking back on that time one chef sourced all of her ingredients from a gumball machine and the day another was forced to make breakfast in a bed.

In the spirit of embracing all thing hilariously heinous, Food Network fans, too, have picked their favorite diabolical challenges to befall the competitors. From warped crepe pans and camping stoves to steaming mussels with a laundry steamer, it’s the best of eviliciousness in our fans’ roundup of top Cutthroat sabotages. Click the photo below to begin the photo gallery of those wow-worthy challenges.

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Superfood Breakfasts to Start the Day Right

by in Recipes, January 9th, 2015

Turn your first meal of the day into a nutrient-filled first bite with a few superfood ingredient combinations.

1. Goji berries are a tangy-tart source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Combine them with strawberries to create a fruity topping for your favorite cereal.

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What to Watch: Winter Comforts and Family Competition

by in Shows, January 9th, 2015

Guy's Grocery GamesStart the weekend off with an array of comforting recipes: First, Ree Drummond has hot soups that hit the spot. The cast of The Kitchen is doing up brunch with tips, recipes and cocktails. Giada De Laurentiis is all about festive desserts to impress guests. Guy Fieri’s making Italian coastal cuisine that’s refreshing and comforting. And Daphne Brogdon is whipping up classic comfort food for a friend.

On Sunday night, take a seat for three hours of competition beginning with an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games: Family Style in which teams of brothers and sisters work together. Next, the Boot Camp recruits on Worst Cooks in America are playing a game of Family Food in order to gain an advantage in the cooking challenge. And chefs are in for torture as they must contend with sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen, including one involving cooking tacos on a tiki torch.

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A Chili Cheese Dog Pizza with a French Fry Crust? This Guy Went There

by in News, January 8th, 2015

French Fry Crust PizzaPity the poor pizza crust. Recently, snack food mash-up fans have cheered attempts to replace it with everything from Doritos to potato chips. Now a guy named JP Lambiase, who posts weekly videos to YouTube under the handle HellthyJunkFood — “not to be confused with healthy,” he warns — has has created a pizza crust made out of french fries.

He did it in response to a plea issued via YouTube: “JP I want you to make a French Fries pizza and you might think what do I mean well its like a regular pizza but you don’t use any dough just fries on the bottom,” someone named thejoman wrote. The request ended with a heartrending final word: “please.”

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Breakfast PLTs — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 8th, 2015

Breakfast PLTsI am always grateful when the calendar flips to a new year. It means a less-cluttered schedule, a break from the heavy eating of the holidays, and a chance to initiate a new habit or two.

For most people, the goals they set this time of year have to do with diets, exercise and self-improvement. And while those are all admirable endeavors, my January hopes tend to revolve around activities designed to bring more fun into my life.

That’s why I’m declaring that 2015 will be the year of brunch party. To my mind, it’s a nearly perfect way to entertain. It’s a kid-friendly time of day (an increasingly important element). A homemade brunch is almost more affordable than going out (even when you spring for smoked salmon). And it’s easy enough to adapt to nearly every food allergy and aversion (a reality of our times).

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5 Hearty Casseroles Ready to Warm You Up — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 8th, 2015

Ree's Chicken SpaghettiToday kicks off the very first week of the annual Comfort Food Feast series. If you’re bundled in sweaters and scarves like many of us, can you think of a better way to greet January than with the comfort of a hot casserole? This week, serve your family hearty, crowd-pleasing casserole recipes that are just what the dead of winter calls for.

A heaping plate of cheesy spaghetti would be comforting on its own, but Ree Drummond’s Chicken Spaghetti is a baked pasta dish that leaves the oven nice and bubbly. Strewn with tender morsels of chicken and made even creamier with mushroom sauce, Ree’s dish is fixed with broken pieces of spaghetti so it’s extra-easy to eat.

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Fan Favorites: Your Picks for the Best. Pizza. Ever.

by in Shows, January 8th, 2015

Best. Pizza. Ever.Just this week your favorite Food Network chefs and stars came together for a mouthwatering hour dedicated to perhaps the ultimate in cheesy comfort food: pizza. As they highlighted their picks for the most-crave-worthy creations on Best. Pizza. Ever., FN Dish asked fans: When it comes to the top slices to savor, what’s your favorite? From tried-and-true pies with cheese and pepperoni to next-level creations, readers responded in droves on FN Dish and on Food Network’s Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages with their selections for the best-of-the-best pizza near them. Even Ludacris, who lives in Atlanta, joined his hometown’s mayor, Kasim Reed, in taking to Twitter to show support for Atlanta’s Antico Pizza Napoletana, much beloved by Aarón Sánchez as well.

Read on below to see Ludacris’ tweet and get a snapshot of fans’ pizza picks; it turns out that Seattle and Texas locals are especially proud of their pies. Then, browse all of the pies featured on Best. Pizza. Ever. and learn where to find them.

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Serena Williams Fills Her Hopman Cup — with Espresso

by in News, January 7th, 2015

Tennis Balls and Coffee BeansThat coffee craving can find you anywhere — even on the tennis court.

Those of us who are hopelessly addicted to drinking coffee have all probably found ourselves, at one time or another, in the middle of our workday, thinking, “Without a cup of coffee right now, I simply cannot go on.”

But while most of us can probably walk to the office kitchen or pop out to the coffee shop around the corner to satisfy our urgent java jones, Williams had to get an official to sign off when, midmatch against Italy’s Flavia Pannetta at the Hopman Cup in Australia, she made a desperate plea for a double shot of caffeine.

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Caption It: Worst Cooks in America, the Game Show

by in Shows, January 7th, 2015

Worst Cooks Family FoodOn Sunday’s upcoming episode of Worst Cooks in America, the remaining 12 Boot Camp recruits will be put to the test, but it won’t be in a way anyone has seen before. Enter Family Food, a game show geared at testing recruits’ food IQ.

In this sneak peek photo, one member of the Blue Team and one member of the Red Team are quizzed with a question. The one who buzzes in first can take a jab at the answer, which in this case has caught mentors Tyler and Anne off-guard, as Tyler is left in stiches and Anne’s left awestruck. Can you guess what was said that was so funny for the mentors?

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