Buy These Fruits Now and Preserve Them for Later

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2015

As summer winds down, the thought of no longer seeing local strawberries and stone fruits is already making me yearn for another month of warm weather and seasonal produce. But not all is lost! You can buy fresh fruit now and preserve the produce with recipes for easy jams and preserves. Don’t be afraid to do it yourself: Canning jam is easy enough and means you can be eating summer fruit long past their market-fresh appearances.

Easy Strawberry Jam (pictured above)
Ina Garten loves to use big pieces of hulled, fresh strawberries in her jam, so she cuts the berries only in half. She adds superfine sugar (which melts really quickly), but if you can’t find it, you can blend your own in the food processor. Orange-flavored liqueur will bring out the sweetness of the strawberries, and a chopped green apple will help thicken the jam; a few blueberries will add depth of flavor and create a great deep-red color. The mixture will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks. But if you want to store it for longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Read more

Beat the Heat with Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks

by in Books, Drinks, August 8th, 2015

Punch Bowls and Pitcher DrinksAs the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).

Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:

  • The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
  • Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
  • Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
  • Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.

Read more

Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Trail Mix ‘n’ Match — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, August 8th, 2015

Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Trail Mix 'n' Match — Infographic

Why Your Cupcake Might Not Taste as Sweet as Mine

by in News, August 8th, 2015

Why Your Cupcake Might Not Taste as Sweet as MineYou love to eat sweet things: yummy cakes, delicious candy bars and sometimes, maybe, on special occasions, crazy-decadent combinations of both. But did you ever stop to wonder if these things taste the same way to the person sitting across the table from you, digging in with – wait, is that equal gusto?

The answer — surprising or not — may be no. A recent study conducted by sensory scientists, and led by Danielle Reed at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, has determined that some people are more sensitive not only to bitter compounds, but to sweetness as well.

Read more

6 New Ways to Top Grilled Pizza

by in Recipes, August 7th, 2015

Sure, pizza delivery is convenient, and it saves you the hassle of heating up your oven in the summertime. But it can also be costly, especially after you factor in tax and tip, and offers limited topping options to boot. The best solution? Turn your outdoor grill into a pizza oven. There will be no sweltering-hot kitchen to endure, no unnecessary expenses and, best of all, you’ll have full control over your sauce and toppings. Everything from eggs to fish to fresh vegetables or fruit can grace the top of freshly rolled-out dough. Here are some ideas to help you cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert using nothing more than your grill, some pizza dough and a handful of balanced, meal-worthy toppings.

The Good Morning Pizza
While no one can deny the beauty of a garlicky pie topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil, that might not be the most-appealing assemblage of toppings first thing in the morning. This Grilled Breakfast Pizza with Sausage (pictured at top) takes just 5 minutes of prep and will fuel your morning with stick-to-your-ribs Southern flavors. Simply top the flatbreads with savory sausage gravy, eggs and sliced scallions.

Read more

What to Eat in Sacramento: A Dining Guide to Casual and Elegant Eats

by in Restaurants, August 7th, 2015

While Los Angeles, with its big-city glitz and glamour, may be full of famed dining destinations, Southern California is surely not the only part of the Golden State where you can find sought-after cuisine. In Northern California, the city of Sacramento has been known to offer both dressed-up hot spots and laid-back eateries, specializing in everything from Korean BBQ and Vietnamese favorites to fresh oysters. Recently, Seonkyoung Longest, the winner of Restaurant Express, set off with her husband to find the best bites Sacramento has to offer, as the pair recently moved to the city. They took viewers along as they sampled craveable classics and creative finds alike.

Click the play button above to see Seonkyoung’s picks for casual eats in Sacramento, then check out the best bets for elegant meals.

Read more

Caption It: The Director’s in the House

by , August 7th, 2015
  • Comments Off

Rachael Ray on Food Network StarIt was just 10 weeks ago when 12 hopeful finalists took their first steps into the culinary spotlight in Food Star Kitchen, full of dreams and anticipation — and anxiety over what the future held. Now, just one week before the finale, there are onl...

Read more

What to Watch: Ina and Celebrity Friends on Barefoot in L.A., and the Premiere of Valerie’s Home Cooking

by in Shows, August 7th, 2015

Ina Garten and Jennifer GarnerKick back this weekend and tune in to Food Network for new recipes and some competition fun. On Saturday morning, catch up with Ree Drummond for her daughter’s graduation party, for which Ree prepares a steak and shrimp taco bar plus a variety of delicious fixings. Then, Ina Garten heads to Los Angeles to cook with Jennifer Garner and have a master class with Wolfgang Puck. Next, watch the premiere of Valerie’s Home Cooking, where Valerie Bertinelli hosts her Hot in Cleveland co-stars for a lunch featuring each of their favorite dishes.

On Sunday morning, Giada De Laurentiis and her Aunt Raffy first visit the town where Giada’s great-grandparents once owned a pasta factory and then return home to make dishes like Fusilli with Fresh Pomodoro. Then, Daphne Brogdon hosts a fancy dinner party and serves up Porterhouse Steaks with Creamy Leek Sauce and Maple Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream. You won’t want to miss the all-new competitions on Sunday night, when contestants face a shoptacle course on Triple G and Food Network finalists make the dish of their lifetime. End your weekend with Alton’s evilicious challenges on Cutthroat Kitchen at 10|9c.

Read more

Camp Cutthroat Culinary Competency Quiz: Mixology Skills

by in Shows, August 6th, 2015

Camp Cutthroat Culinary Competency Quiz: Mixology SkillsIt’s hot, it’s late, it’s summer — nothing quenches your thirst at times like these quite like a refreshing cocktail, and the same holds true for the competitors who are set to spend a session at Alton Brown’s evilicious Camp Cutthroat. Just in time for the first session of Camp, on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 9|8c, FN Dish wants to know: How much of a cocktail connoisseur are you? From mixed spirits and fruity sippers to essential bar equipment and common drink garnishes, concocting winning cocktails takes more than just a shaking up a few kinds of liquor. Test your mixology savvy by taking this quiz to find out if you’re a Beverage Beginner, a Competent Cocktailer or a Mix Master.

Read more

An All-in-One Chicken Dinner — Party of Two

by in Recipes, August 6th, 2015

An All-in-One Chicken DinnerMost nights at our house, my husband and I come home from work and are completely stumped by what to make for dinner. We want something hearty and flavorful, yet easy and quick because we’re tired and, let’s face it, we just want to sit down and enjoy what we have left of the evening. I’m sure you can relate, right? Finding recipes that fit the bill — and won’t saddle us with piles of leftovers — is a huge feat. But believe it or not, it’s not impossible. I’ve got the ultimate chicken dinner made just for two right here.

This lemon-and-herb chicken dish is a trifecta of everything you and your other half need for a well-balanced meal. You’ve got the protein, the veggie and the starch — all on your plate! The best part of all? It really does come together in no time. While you have the potatoes roasting, you work on the chicken and asparagus. The dish is practically done by the time the potatoes are ready, and you can sit down to a fulfilling meal that doesn’t suck the energy out of you. Now you and yours can go enjoy the evening with full bellies. Grab the recipe below, then check out more Party of Two recipes.

Get the recipe