How to Host a Cardboard & Kraft Paper Birthday Party

by in Entertaining, September 3rd, 2014

How to Host a Cardboard and Kraft Paper Birthday Partyby Camille Styles, photography by Melanie Grizzel

Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and by basing the party around a cookie-decorating activity, so kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.

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Manhattan’s First Denny’s Features a $300 Grand Slam

by , September 3rd, 2014

The residents of New York City have been waiting with bated breath to get their very own Denny’s and now their long, solemn wait is over. The Financial District now houses a franchise of the mostly-edible diner chain, with a few fancy, NYC twists.

The decor of this Manhattan Denny’s takes a cue from its neighbors, eschewing the traditional color scheme for that workers-stopped-in-the-middle-of-building-it steampunk look that is de rigueur these days. There is also a fully-stocked bar and pricier menu options. Speaking of pricier menu options. you can also get yourself a $300 iteration of their famous Grand Slam breakfast, which comes with two entrees, a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon and, of course, a high five from the bartender (really.)

So, if you ever find yourself in the Big Apple and want to avoid the city’s thousands of unique food options, hit up this Denny’s!

Back-to-School Meal Planning

by in Family, September 3rd, 2014

Back to School Meal PlanningLast week signaled back to school for families in some parts of the country, and it starts this week here in New York. Watching my friends post first-day-of-school photos reminds me of the 180-degree turn it’ll mean for our schedules. No more sleeping in and eating breakfast at noon. Instead of sitting down to dinner at 8pm, that’s when I’ll be tucking the kids into bed. One thing back to school doesn’t have to mean, though, is back to takeout. With some smart planning, we’ll be enjoying the same home cooking, just a little earlier than our lazy days of summer.

Prep School: Set yourself up for success on busy weeknights by having vegetables ready to use. You can chop or slice onions and leave them in sealed containers one to two days advance. When I have a recipe that calls for only half an onion, I immediately chop the other half and store it in the freezer in a zip-top bag. Then I can just toss it into the skillet when I’m ready to use it (no need to thaw it first). The same goes for garlic. Chop a whole head and spoon it into mini ice cube trays. Just pop out what you need when you’re ready to get cooking (no need to thaw it first).

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Chatting with the Chopped Ultimate Champions: Amateurs, Part 2 Winner

by in Shows, September 2nd, 2014

Elda and Keith, Amateur Champs on Chopped Ultimate ChampionsFor the first time on Chopped, professionals and amateur cooks will go head-to-head at the end of the five-part Ultimate Champions tournament. But they’ve all competed on Chopped before: They’ve tasted what it feels like to win, and they’re hungry for more. On tonight’s second round, four amateur home cooks battled to determine which one would move on to the grand finale, where there’s a chance to win the largest prize in the show’s history: $50,000, with a brand-new car to top it all off. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner from Part 2.

Read the interview with the winner

Feast Your Eyes on These Sushi Socks

by in News, September 2nd, 2014

Sushi SocksRooting around in your sock drawer probably doesn’t make you hungry, but it might if you stocked it with socks that look like sushi.

Yup. Feast your eyes on Sushi Socks. Rolled up, they look remarkably like giant versions of the stuff your local sushi restaurant would present to you on a platter. (Deluxe, natch.) Unrolled, they’re a bit more like sashimi.

Tokyo Otaku Mode Premium Shop, which sells the Japan-manufactured polyester-cotton-blend socks for $5.39 a pair and $28.99 for a six-pair set and ships internationally, touts them as “comfortable and durable,” noting, for those as particular about their socks as they are about their raw fish, that the “sushi detail is knitted into the sock with colored thread instead of being printed.”

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7 Peanut Butter for Lunch Recipes

by in Recipes, September 2nd, 2014

Peanut Butter for Lunch
It’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next three weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.

Here are ways you can sneak a little peanut butter into your midday meal: lunch. And don’t forget to check out last week’s breakfast post here.

1. Instead of a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, try it with a touch of peanut butter with Bobby Flay‘s Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Butter recipe (pictured above).

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Uniquely Austin Eats — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 2nd, 2014

Let There Be Bacon Burger on The Great Food Truck RaceThis week on The Great Food Truck Race the food truck rookies found themselves moving from the Southwest into the heart of Texas. Because Austin is known for “keeping it weird,” Tyler Florence decided to pull some interesting tricks on the teams. On Day One he had them partner up, which produced some odd pairing, e.g., Let There Be Bacon and Middle Feast. Later all the teams moved to a dating event, where they had to work their charms on selling food to singles, which had some mixed results. And in one final eccentric challenge, Tyler instituted a Truck Stop truck swap. You can imagine how weird that was for the teams.

In the end, many of the teams found it difficult selling in Austin, just because they were competing against some of the best restaurants and established food trucks in the country. And Austin has got a little bit of everything in that regard: tacos, barbecue, comforting classics, international specialties and more. Find out all that Austin has to offer.

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Beat the Afterschool Slump with Kid-Friendly Snacks

by in View All Posts, September 2nd, 2014

Sweet and Saltines

The end of summer is a big deal for kids. If your young ones have already gone back to school, they’re transitioning from camp and family vacations to rowdy rides on the school bus, binders filled with homework and snacks before soccer practice. If they haven’t gone back yet, those days are coming up fast. This school year, ease their back-to-school shift with easy kid-friendly snacks. These recipes for kid-friendly midday refueling will satisfy and re-energize your kids while still leaving room for dinner. Here are some wholesome, homemade Food Network favorites:

Salty square crackers are suited to so much more than out-of-the-box snacking. Take it from Trisha, who drizzles saltines with butter, brown sugar and chocolate for Sweet and Saltines (pictured above), reaching that perfect cross between salty and sweet. Hey, it’s a whole lot better than passing kids a candy bar.

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