An “Ugly” Beauty Contest: Which Dessert Is Ugliest?

by in Food Network Magazine, Polls, June 10th, 2015

apple frittersBehold the apple fritter: deep-fried dough laced with cinnamon-sugar and fresh apples. These fritters might not be the most photogenic of desserts but they draw loyal customers to the bakeries and donut shops that make them best, teaching us all not judge a dessert by its cracks and crevices. (The more nooks and crannies there are, the more it can soak up the glaze.)

Food Network Magazine wants to know which fritter you think is the most cosmetically challenged (aka ugly). Vote in our ugly beauty contest, then look for the winner in an upcoming issue of the magazine. Images of each of the contestants are below.

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Worst Cooks in America Is Back, This Time with Culinarily Challenged Celebrities Taking on Boot Camp

by in Shows, June 10th, 2015

Anne and RachaelThis week Food Network kicked off production on the upcoming series Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition. Anne Burrell is back to serve as coach for the Red Team, with Rachael Ray signing on as coach for the Blue Team. The two will lead and mentor teams of celebrities, who are in serious need of some cooking chops. Boot Camp won’t be any easier because they’re famous!

These kitchen disasters will have to prove themselves contenders by cooking their way through challenges geared to testing their skills, growing their confidence and turning them into good cooks. The grand prize of $50,000 for charity will be awarded to the celebrity who has made the most improvement over the six-episode run of the competition.

Find Out Who’s Competing

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Meat Straw

by in News, June 10th, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Meat StrawYou probably think of straws as being made of one thing: plastic. But these days they could just as well be made of cookies, medical-grade stainless steel, pretty printed card-stock paper or meat.

A meat straw? Why, yes. You can now sip your drinks through straws made out of coiled bacon or a meat-pork blend, The Wall Street Journal recently noted in a story about unusual-straw options.

Some bars and restaurants make their own. Others, the Journal noted, just order up some meat straws made from a mixture of pork and beef from Benny’s Original Meat Straws. (At first, Benny’s straws were made only of beef, but their inventor, Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, added the pork to improve the texture.)

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Picnic Picks for Dad’s Special Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, June 10th, 2015

Don’t be late to the game: Father’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning a thoughtful meal to impress your favorite guy. If he’d rather be outside and your home lacks outdoor space, then pack up the spread and take it to the park for a picnic. You’re guaranteed to win him over with a hearty main, a classic drink and an indulgent dessert. Find out how to put a picnic-friendly spin on some timeless recipes that Dad is sure to love.

Barbecue Pulled Pork (pictured above)
Spending Father’s Day in a hot kitchen is no picnic, so choose a main dish that’s quick and easy. This aromatic batch of pulled pork requires only 20 minutes of prep work, and your Dutch oven (or slow cooker) will take care of the rest. Treat the pork to a variety of sweet and spicy seasonings, like brown sugar and chili powder, then let it cook up in a flavorful bath of chicken broth and tangy apple cider vinegar. When building the sandwiches, throw in a crunchy element by topping each with Dad’s favorite slaw.

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Why Swiss Cheese Has Fewer Holes Than It Used To

by in News, June 9th, 2015

Swiss CheeseHoley Swiss cheese? These days, not so much. If you’ve been wondering why your Swiss cheese — your Emmentaler or Appenzeller — has fewer of its iconic “eyes,” agricultural researchers in Switzerland have finally brought you your answer: Blame cleanliness.

As far back as 1917, scientists were considering the holes in Swiss cheese and concluding that they were formed by bacteria that produced carbon dioxide, according to Agroscope, the Swiss government’s agricultural research institute. Researchers didn’t know much, however, about what the bacteria were and how they got there in the first place.

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Dining Out with Kids? Follow These 6 Tips So Others Don’t Dislike You

by in Family, Restaurants, June 9th, 2015

Dining Out with Kids? Follow These 6 Tips So Others Don't Dislike YouThree of our four small kids were born in Italy, where eating out is practically the national pastime. That meant toting our tots to a lot of restaurants. Here are the tricks we learned along the way — and still use for our group that now includes one baby, a toddler, a preschooler and even a kindergartener.

1. Take a “Fun Pack.” Our oldest daughter was a toddler when she started filling up a bag she called her “Fun Pack” for restaurants. Whatever she could fit in, went: toys, dolls, sunglasses. I also brought crayons and a coloring book, which weren’t automatically handed out in Rome. She may spend only a few minutes with each thing, but she’ll have enough stuff to explore during the meal to stay occupied.

2. Go early. This was a bit of a moot point in Europe, where dinner typically isn’t served until 8 p.m., but boy have we used it ever since we moved to the U.S. We are out the door by 4:30 p.m., trying to arrive at 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. The kids don’t get overly hungry, and the restaurant will likely be less busy.

3. Practice restaurant manners. For toddlers and preschoolers, role-playing ahead of time makes all the difference. (We did this before flying on planes too.) We physically sit at the table and explain what will happen at the restaurant. We tell them that a waiter will arrive to ask questions, there are menus, there is no getting up from the table unless you need to go potty — tell them whatever your family rules are. And we ask silly questions: “Any climbing under the table?” Which gives the kids a chance to yell, “No!” Yelling at home? Good. Yelling at the restaurant? Bad. Hence the dry run.

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Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About Summer Desserts

by in Community, Shows, June 9th, 2015

Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About Summer DessertsThere’s nothing quite like a scoop — or two or three — of ice cream to cool you down during the steamy months of summer. On yesterday’s all-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, Curtis Stone showed off the over-the-top ice cream sundae he grabs in Santa Monica, Calif., a chocolate- and caramel-laced beauty topped off with chopped brownies and slivered almonds for welcome crunch.

Recently Food Network asked you to tell us about your best-ever summer desserts, and in true superfan fashion, you delivered in droves, not just writing back but also showing photos of sweet-tooth-satisfying treats that range from cool treats like Curtis’ to a cupcake-inspired take on a campfire classic. When it comes to all thing sugar, frosting and sprinkles, there’s no denying you all know how to indulge. Keep scrolling below to see of FN Dish’s favorite selections.

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