Portable Labor Day Picnic Favorites (That Taste Even Better Outside)

by in Holidays, Recipes, September 1st, 2016

Italian Combo and Broccoli Rabe Pressed HeroThe days that can entail plans for a picnic are numbered, and Labor Day might be your last opportunity for a true eat-outside affair this year. End the summer season the right way with our tips for how to plan the perfect picnic, plus our full lineup of picnic-perfect recipes.

If you haven’t gone for one of our brand-new Brick-Pressed Sandwiches just yet, what are you waiting for? The impressively jam-packed sandwiches, like this Italian Combo and Broccoli Rabe Pressed Hero number (pictured above), rely on the force of gravity, which helps load as many ingredients as humanly possible into one sandwich — and they might just be the feed-a-crowd element your picnics have been missing.

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Back-to-School Season Made Simple: A Week’s Worth of Dinners Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

by in Family, Recipes, September 1st, 2016

Skillet Chicken and RavioliWith new routines moving at full tilt, somehow the first weeks of school suddenly feel busier than the rest of the year. These five quick weeknight meals will ease you into the transition and, with any luck, provide a few leftovers to pack into lunches the next day too.

Skillet Chicken and Ravioli
I love hearty recipes like this one, which combines two kid-friendly favorites in one easy dish. Want to save even more time? Dice up a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself.

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“I Literally Chose Poorly” — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, August 31st, 2016

On the set of Camp Cutthroat 2: Alton’s Revenge, the sabotage situation proved to be a mixed bag for judge Antonia Lofaso. While she did find herself stuck in Alton Brown‘s Big Foot, a boot that she shared with the host, she won the opportunity to better her challenge fate after she bested the host in an impromptu rock-paper-scissors face-off. It was up to her to decide which animal-inspired cutting tool he would work with to prep a chopped salad, and ultimately she gave him the cat-claw gloves; the host saddled her with the bird beak. And almost immediately she realized the severity of the eviliciousness before her.

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How to Cook the Perfect Pot of Quinoa

by in How-to, Shows, August 31st, 2016

quinoaBy Angela Carlos

This week on Chopped Teen Tournament, we saw four young cooks compete for the chance to move on to the grand finale. You could feel the pressure rising as they used their experiences, both inside and outside the kitchen, to inspire their dishes. In Round 1, it wasn’t immediately clear what the teenage cooks were going to come up with using saucisson en croute (a fancy pig in a blanket), quinoa, white harissa and seaweed salad, but they figured it out, and Lyanna and Thomas even received a special nod from the judges for their restaurant-quality plating styles.

Quinoa has become increasingly popular over the last few years, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest food to cook. As we saw, not all of the competitors were able to cook their quinoa to the judges’ satisfaction. Like rice, quinoa requires some know-how if you want to achieve that tender, fluffy (not mushy) texture.

Here’s how to cook quinoa

Cutthroat Kitchen Gets Downright Spooky This Fall with All-New Tournament of Terror

by in Shows, August 31st, 2016

Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of TerrorOn any given day, Cutthroat Kitchen is a scary place for chefs to be. It’s full of unforeseen pitfalls, like diabolical sabotages, not to mention an evilicious host who has no qualms about unleashing horror upon the competitors. But beginning next month, things will get a lot more frightening in the Cutthroat arena, as Alton Brown is set to kick off Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of Terror.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10|9c, fearless chefs will come together for a five-part celebration of all things spooktacular. In true Cutthroat fashion, there will be no shortage of startling sabotages, but this time the focus will be on Halloween-themed cooking and challenges. Think witches, mummies and ghosts — and their usual tricks and treats, of course. A total of 16 chefs will face off over four preliminary heats, then it’s on to the grand finale, when the winners of those early rounds will return for an anything-can-happen final showdown.

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8 Clever Recipes That Will Help You Empty Your Pantry

by in Recipes, August 31st, 2016

Mexican BakeFall provides another one of the year’s natural reset buttons. Long summer days end, school begins and we somehow start to notice everything in our lives that could use sprucing up — and we suggest you start with your pantry. Even though shelf-stable cans, jars, boxes and bags can last a long time, it feels good to empty things out and start fresh (plus, you’ll be proud of yourself for finally cashing in on all those two-for-one deals that grabbed your attention at the grocery store). These easy meal ideas will get you on your way to more a organized kitchen in no time.

Mexican Bean Rice and Corn (above)

Inspired by chilaquiles, this dish is the perfect “use up whatever you’ve got” dinner. With ingredients like tortilla chips, canned black beans, canned corn, canned tomatoes and rice, you might not even have to shop at all to make it
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3 of a Kind: Chef-Driven Breweries

by in Restaurants, August 31st, 2016

Arts District3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Beer has long been the post-shift drink of choice for chefs, but it’s rarely been the front-runner for pairing with the food in their restaurants. That’s changing as chefs are experimenting with culinary brewing, focusing on the flavors and aromatics of the suds to pair with the specific cuisines that they serve. Seasonal produce, bold spices and pantry items are all fair game when it comes to seeking the perfect balance for a brew.

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One-on-One with the Chopped Teen Tournament, Battle 2 Winner

by in Shows, August 30th, 2016

Samantha and LyannaChopped has returned with a third season of the popular five-part Teen Tournament. In tonight’s second round, four teens entered the prestigious kitchen to try their chances at decoding the mystery baskets. Even advanced practice cannot prepare a chef for the added pressure and time constraints of the competition. And the key to unlocking the ingredients isn’t always obvious from the get-go. The teens took the challenge in stride, bringing their raw talent to battle with the hopes of earning one of four spots in the finale. From that final showdown, only one will emerge victorious as the winner of $25,000.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Part 2 Winner

How Pink Lemonade Got Its Color

by in News, August 30th, 2016

How Pink Lemonade Got Its ColorNothing quenches your thirst quite like a tall, icy glass of lemonade on a hot day. And somehow it feels even more delicious and treatlike when that lemonade is pink. It’s not that pink lemonade tastes different — at least, not usually. Still, something about its gently blushing, sky-at-sunrise hue makes every sip just a bit more special.

But did you ever pause to wonder how pink lemonade came to be? After all, lemon juice — even the juice from pink lemons, which do exist — is not pink.

The history-minded people at Smithsonian magazine have recently recounted the tale of pink lemonade’s origins. Or should we say “tales”? Because there are two different versions of how pink lemonade originally got its color — and they both involve the circus.

A brief timeline, with dates plucked from the Smithsonian article:

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Saving Summer Produce

by in In Season, August 30th, 2016

Refrigerator PicklesPeaches, berries, corn, zucchini…our favorite flavors of summer are oh-so-fleeting. Find the best ways to carry them into fall and beyond with these techniques for preserving, freezing, pickling and more.

Freezing
Nothing tastes as good as a peach, raspberry or squash picked at the height of its season. Plus, that’s generally when produce is at its cheapest too. So it’s worth a little prep work to have frozen summer produce to use  in cooler months.

Fruit
Start by washing and thoroughly drying fruit. Berries can be frozen whole, but you’ll want to slice and remove the pit of peaches, nectarines, plums and other stone fruits. Once the fruit is cleaned and prepped, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer so the pieces aren’t touching, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid (a few hours, or overnight), and then transfer to a freezer bag. (Yes, you could skip this last step and throw all your sliced peaches into one big bag, but then it would freeze together into a big brick instead of individual pieces.) Read more

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