High Tea and Afternoon Tea Are Not the Same Thing

by in News, July 13th, 2015

High Tea and Afternoon Tea Are Not the Same Thing We Americans are notoriously clueless about the finer points of English tea. Just ask British royal biographer Hugo Vicker, who once struggled to school Stephen Colbert in proper tea-drinking etiquette — to memorably hilarious effect.

Trusting, perhaps, that the rest of us are slightly better students than the hysterically hapless Mr. Colbert, NPR’s The Salt blog tells us, in a recent post, how to tell our high tea from our afternoon tea from our elevenses, as well as what, exactly, we should do with our pinkies when we sip our tea. (Tuck them in! Sticking them out is not proper; it’s pretentious.)

Here’s the deal:

Elevenses: This late-morning work break (analogous, perhaps, to our morning coffee break here in the States) generally occurs at 11 a.m. (thus the name) and involves hot tea or coffee and a light snack, like a muffin, scone or biscuit. Even though the tradition probably didn’t start until sometime in the 20th century, elevenses is now considered an essential element of British culture.

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Bobby’s Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 13th, 2015

Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer VegetablesCurbing your meat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put away the grill. In Bobby Flay’s recipe for Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables (pictured above), he chars up seasonal veggies that make this salad both colorful and satisfying. Plus, pearly Israeli couscous makes for a delicious and hearty alternative to mixed greens.

Just as he would when grilling a piece of meat, Bobby makes a marinade to flavor and tenderize the vegetables. He whisks together balsamic vinegar, garlic and Dijon mustard, and then tosses half of this vinaigrette with zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Following his lead, allow the veggies to sit and soak up the flavors for 15 minutes, and then grill until just cooked through. Next, toast the couscous with olive oil to bring out its natural flavor. Cook the couscous until al dente and toss with the bite-sized grilled vegetables. Finally, toss the salad with the remaining vinaigrette, and garnish with fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley.

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“You Mock Me!” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, July 12th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen judge since the earliest days of the series, Antonia Lofaso surely knows the ins and outs of the competition. But on tonight’s all-new episode, she proved just how much of an expert she is in the world of master sabotage. “Round 3: blondies. And our very first one was this interesting brownie pan,” Alton Brown said to her during the host’s After-Show while introducing her to the pan. He was about to explain the intricacies of the sabotage but didn’t manage to finish his thought — “Whoever got stuck with this had to do all of their mixing” — as Antonia simply cut him off, knowing exactly what he was about to say. “Mixing and prepping inside of the container!” she said, much to Alton’s chagrin. “You mock me!” he joked with her.

She was somewhat certain that “we always do this for cakes,” and indeed similar vessels have made appearances for past baking rounds. But Alton noted: “We don’t need new ideas when the ideas we have work. Maybe we just need judges that aren’t so pointing out of that.” They laughed about their exchange, and sure enough, Antonia was able to discern which of the two remaining chefs received this challenge for his blondies.

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Now You Can Enjoy Your Ice Cream in a J-Shaped Cone

by in News, July 12th, 2015

Now You Can Enjoy Your Ice Cream in a J-Shaped ConeEvery ice cream lover knows cones come in just a handful of shapes. You got your pointy sugar cone, you got your flat-bottomed safety cone, you got your fancy-pants premium waffle cone, and there are always going to be those who prefer a cup. But now you have a new option: a cone in the shape of the letter J.

The J-shaped cone, which made its debut in 2013 in Philippine malls, where it is known as “Jipangyi,” is currently a major craze in South Korea, Grub Street reports. It has now made the leap to America, delighting and perhaps embarrassing novelty-seeking ice cream eaters in New York City, where it is being sold (for a modest $4 per cone) via the Play J ice cream truck.

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Watermelon Slushies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, July 12th, 2015

Watermelon SlushiesWatermelon gets a fun frozen makeover — and stars as the only ingredient — in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Simply blend fresh, seedless watermelon until smooth, then freeze in a shallow airtight container. Let it thaw slightly, then lightly smash the watermelon with a fork. Spoon it into cups to create Food Network Magazine’s light and healthy picnic-ready sweet treat.

For more summer recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Seasonal: Summer! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Watermelon Slushies (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine

No-Glass Sundaes: 9 Better Ways to Eat Ice Cream

by in Recipes, July 12th, 2015

We’re all familiar with the classic ice cream sundae, the kind you might devour at an old-fashioned soda fountain. It’s a decadent yet straightforward equation: one or more scoops of ice cream + some variety of sauce or syrup + whipped cream + a glistening maraschino cherry on top. You’ll often find a sprinkling of chopped nuts, seasonal fruit or sprinkles thrown in too. All of this comes served in a glass sundae cup with a long spoon for mess-free fun. But the next time you’re hosting a party, take the traditional sundae to the next level by ditching your glass cup in favor of a brownie, cookie, shortbread or cake base. Here are a few clever ideas to help you make the most of ice cream and your favorite baked goods the next time a sweets craving strikes.

Waffled Brownie Sundae (pictured at top)
Now this is a sundae fit for a special occasion. Baking the brownie batter in a waffle iron cuts your baking time in half and eliminates cooling time altogether. Plus, all of the waffle’s nooks and crannies will catch whatever sweet sauces and toppings you choose for decorating. For the best results, pile ice cream and toppings onto these cakey brownies hot off the press.

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It’s Island Time: How to Make the Ultimate Summer Cocktail

by in Drinks, July 11th, 2015

If a beach escape isn’t in the cards this summer, ramp up the tropical factor with some island-themed snacks and perhaps a tiki cocktail, to take advantage of the warm weather. The tiki masters behind Chicago’s popular Three Dots and a Dash shake up to 2,000 rum-centric drinks on a typical night.

Beverage director Diane Corcoran oversees the menu of fruity, potent and often flaming combinations, including the classic Mai Tai, the coconut-based Painkiller and the smoky-sweet, summer-ready Bikinis After Dark (recipe below).

“The key to great tiki cocktails is keeping it balanced,” she says. “Use fresh juices — pineapple, lemon and lime — and get flavors from things that aren’t syrup. You can use a lot of fresh fruit and purees without added sugar to get that fruit flavor.”

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