Prep for Holiday Pie Season with These 4 Tips (and a New Recipe)

by in Books, November 8th, 2016

Art of the PieThe chill in the air can mean only one thing: It’s pie season. If you’re a pie veteran, someone who rolls up his or her sleeves and pulls on an apron enthusiastically each fall, we’ve got the perfect book for you. And if you’re a pie rookie, someone who shudders at the thought of crusts crumbling and fillings overflowing, we’ve got the perfect book for you too. They’re one in the same: Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott.

Art of the Pie is full of tips that are as simple to implement as they are effective in taking your pies to the next level. It features all the classics you’d expect to find (Blueberry Pie, Quintessential Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue and Pumpkin Pie, to name a few) as well as some new and some forgotten dishes, like a Shaker Lemon Pie, Chess Pie, and rhubarb paired with spices and berries and custard — oh, my! McDermott is a veteran at coaxing the best out of pie bakers (experienced and novice alike) at Pie Cottage, the studio where she teaches the recipes and techniques featured in Art of the Pie. Our favorite bites of advice are below, as is McDermott’s recipe for Cranberry Pie (pictured above) for you to try at home.

Here are our picks for the best of McDermott’s pie-making tips:

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8 Celebration-Worthy Stuffings for Your Thanksgiving Feast

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 8th, 2016

Second perhaps only to the centerpiece turkey, stuffings and dressings are some of the most-craved and comforting dishes on your Thanksgiving table. Whether you stuff your bird or not, these bread-based casseroles are both simple to prepare and versatile enough that you can suit them to your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand. A classic stuffing will often include diced apples, onions and celery, but rich ingredients like mushrooms, diced squash, chorizo and even crab meat do wonders to dress up a bread bake. Here are a few celebration-worthy stuffings that you’ll want to add to your Thanksgiving menu.

Cornbread Stuffing
Every Thanksgiving, Katie Lee pays homage to her Southern grandmother’s homemade stuffing recipe, which makes excellent use of leftover cornbread. Katie’s version includes a few updates — the most important of which is her earthy herb butter for sauteing the onions and celery. If you have any extra, try rubbing it on your turkey before roasting; it’s divine.

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How to Save on Your Grocery Bills

by in News, November 7th, 2016

How to Save on Your Grocery BillsEven if you’ve taken the time to make a food budget (and if you have, here’s to you!), all that careful planning can get knocked sideways in an instant. You order in on a whim. (You’re busy!) You splurge on a pricey treat. (You deserve it!) You cave to the pressure to spend to save. (Who has time to do math?)

Money magazine has just pegged a few “food budget busters” and how to guard against them. They are …

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Beyond the Turkey: All About Wine on Thanksgiving, According to Alex Guarnaschelli

by in Drinks, Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 7th, 2016

Alex GuarnaschelliWith so much focus on executing the all-important turkey, mashed potatoes and casseroles, it’s often easy to overlook what comes next on Thanksgiving, after the prep work is done: the actual eating of the turkey, potatoes and casseroles, of course. With eating comes drinking, especially around the holidays, and just as you invested time in planning an epic feast, so too can you find an extra-special wine to round out the meal. Recently we caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli at an event in New York City in which she partnered with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wines to showcase her secrets for transforming turkey-day leftovers with Woodbridge wines. The Iron Chef and Chopped judge was quick to point out that there are no hard-and-fast rules for both drinking and cooking with wine.

“You write a rule book and then we just break it,” she said of pairing wine with Thanksgiving dinner. “Turkey’s one of those things. In a way, I would almost say you could do a platter of the white meat and a little bit of stuffing and some green bean casserole, and have a nice, crisp Chardonnay. Then you could go in the other direction: Take some of the dark meat, some cranberry sauce, some stuffing and have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon,” she explained, adding that there are possibilities for personal preference. “Depending on how you lay out your plate, you could really drink either.”

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One Recipe, Two Meals: French Bread Pizzas

by in Family, Recipes, November 7th, 2016

One Recipe, Two Meals: French Bread PizzaHave you ever thought about taking a huge ol’ loaf of French bread, slicing it up into eight mini halves, and turning them into the most-delish batch of kid-friendly pizzas and adult-friendly pizzas ever? (That was the longest sentence ever.)

Well, here you go! It’s ridiculously simple, especially the kid version. We’ve got your favorite jarred pizza sauce, mini pepperoni and shredded mozzarella. That’s all. It’s like kid-utopia food.

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Lorraine Pascale on Winning Worst Bakers in America with Recruit Carla Johnson

by in Shows, November 7th, 2016

Carla and LorraineAll season long on Worst Bakers in America, we’ve seen the friendly rivalry develop between longtime friends Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale. Each mentor came into the finale thinking he or she could win the bragging rights. But in reality there would be but one winner, and it was Lorraine and her Red Team recruit Carla. Gamblers may not have put their money on this pair to win, but that just goes to show that the underdog sometimes gets her way, as Lorraine points out herself.

FN Dish caught up with the winning mentor after the finale to chat about what it took for her to win with Carla, and find out what she has to say to sore loser Duff.

Get the Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview with the Winner of Worst Bakers in America

by in Shows, November 6th, 2016

Lorraine and CarlaSix weeks ago, 12 wannabe bakers signed up to be whipped into shape on Worst Bakers in America. After difficult pie-making, cake-baking, doughnut-frying and wedding-topper-decorating challenges, among others, two bakers proved to their mentors that they could fight to the finish. On the Blue Team, Samantha rose to the top with her attention to detail; on the Red Team, Carla bolted forward with her fantastic flavors. All that separated the two from winning $25,000 was one last baking challenge for a panel of sweets experts. FN Dish has the interview with the winning baker.

Hear from the Winner

Chefs’ Picks: Thanksgiving Sides

by in Restaurants, November 6th, 2016

Creamed Kale
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

The turkey may take center stage on the Thanksgiving table, but it’s the sides that ultimately steal the show. Today, chefs and home cooks are stepping away from ho-hum dishes such as bland mashed potatoes and soggy green beans. Taking their place are inspired sides that sing with spice and unexpected flavors, making for a truly festive meal. Read more

The Best Ways to Stress-Eat Through Election Night

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 6th, 2016

Every other day of the year, we aim for moderation and mindfulness in our diets. But all bets are off on November 8 — when what many consider to be the most-contentious presidential election in our nation’s history takes place — and we inevitably stress-eat while the results torturously crawl in and the fate of our country is decided. No matter which candidate you plan to check on your ballot, our collective election-night anxiety will be off the charts this Tuesday. So here’s our stress-eating strategy to help you make it through this beautiful (yet totally insane!) thing called the American democratic process, and Election Night 2016.

Soothe frayed nerves by starting your night off with a patriotic Firecracker Shot (pictured above), made with layers of booze-infused red and blue gelatin and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 6th, 2016

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa VerdeThis just in: Tacos can be healthy — while still tasting good. Yes, really. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to save a few calories, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is proof of that. These top-rated shrimp tacos get their craveable bold flavor from a blanket of chipotle powder atop the seafood, which turns tender after just a few minutes on the grill. Skip the usually heavy toppings like cheese and sour cream, and opt for fresh picks instead. This avocado-tomatillo salsa, laced with fresh jalapeno, is just the burst of bright, cool taste and creamy texture to balance the tortilla-wrapped shrimp.

For more lightened-up recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde