Pantry Clean-Out Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 3rd, 2014

Pantry Clean-Out SidesSpring cleaning can mean a lot of things. It can mean finally sifting through that shoe collection of yours (you can do it!), scrubbing down the bathroom or giving the stove a much-needed deep clean. And for many of us, it can also mean tackling the pantry. If yours is stocked with boxes of pasta, bags of grains, cans galore and who even knows what else, consider the start of April prime time to start going through it all. With these easy weeknight side-dish recipes, you can put forgotten pantry treasures to use before the expiration date hits.

You might be accustomed to poppin’ a bottle of root beer open and taking a swig, but Aarti Sequeira’s Root Beer Baked Beans for Food Network Magazine uses the spicy-sweet soda to add a real kick to canned cannellini beans.

As long as you have a little can of tomato paste, spices and one of our favorite pantry staples on board, Food Network Magazine’s Tomato-Ginger Couscous is good to go. Not only is it super quick, but it also can pair with nearly anything.

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Cakes for Any Occasion

by in Entertaining, Recipes, April 3rd, 2014

Crowd-Pleasing CakesWe shove frosting in our soul mates’ faces on our wedding days and sing over flaming cakes on birthdays. No matter how many tiers are stacked or candles are lit, there’s something innately celebratory about a slice of homemade cake. And, as far as we’re concerned, there are so many reasons — both official and unofficial — to get together and party. Feast your eyes on our loveliest, fluffiest, most crowd-pleasing cakes, each fit for today’s special occasion. If you can’t think of a reason to celebrate, we can think of a few excuses.

Birthday Party – It’s on a person’s birthday that they definitively decide: chocolate or vanilla? Luckily, we have both covered. Bake the boxed version of Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake from scratch this time, sprinkling in some color. And, if you have a constant hankering for chocolate, you won’t be able to wait another year for Ree’s Big Chocolate Birthday Cake.

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Support Your Favorite Celebrity Competitor — Chopped Tournament of Stars Fan Vote

by in Shows, April 3rd, 2014

CompetitorsAfter four tumultuous rounds, four celebrity competitors have emerged as the best in their class and will move onto the Chopped Tournament of Stars finale. Star athletes, Rachael vs. Guy veterans, comedians and actors have competed and shown that any one of them can cook transformative meals out of mystery baskets. But only one will walk away the champion and winner of $50,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Who will it be? Watch the finale on Sunday, April 6 at 9|8c to find out. But until then, fans, here’s your chance to show your support in the fan vote.

Vote now

Restaurant Revisited: Ungratifying at gratifi kitchen + bar

by in Shows, April 2nd, 2014

Kevin Strickland and Robert IrvineIn Houston, the dangerously dirty kitchen at gratifi kitchen + bar was just one of the major issues with which Robert Irvine was to contend during his latest Restaurant: Impossible mission. The eatery’s owner, Kevin Strickland, was notably arrogant and struggled to work well with his employees — and Robert. It took the Restaurant: Impossible team two days and $10,000 to overhaul gratifi kitchen + bar and transform Kevin’s brashness before they would ultimate relaunch the business. FN Dish has the first exclusive interview with Kevin since filming wrapped; read on below to hear from him and find out how gratifi is doing today.

“Most customers, whether new or old, think it is fantastic,” Kevin says of the interior overhaul on gratifi. He and his employees are pleased with the update as well, he says, adding of staff, “They see that it is a much nicer restaurant and they dress appropriately for it.” He adds, “The bar is 10 times better. It’s not only beautiful but now functions like a real bar.

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A Modern Take on Chicken and Waffles

by in Recipes, Shows, April 2nd, 2014

Chicken and WafflesFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient of quick-cooking grits. When you’re in a pinch, a box of grits comes in handy for a fast, creamy side dish, but in this case the grits are used for something entirely different. In this Butter-Roasted Chicken with Grit Waffles recipe, the grits add a nice crunch to waffles. And instead of frying the chicken, as is done traditionally with chicken and waffles, this recipe features roasted dark meat with a bit of sweetness and a kick. Your family will be excited to try this modern version of the classic Southern comfort food dish.

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Nifty Google Food Trick, Free Coffee and Communal Tables — Yea or Nay?

by in News, April 2nd, 2014

Free CoffeeWho Needs Privacy? Whether you adore eating with strangers or abhor it, communal tables that compel you to do just that are increasingly common in restaurants. They’ve come “full circle from the utilitarian cafeteria to the gourmet dining room and back to mainstream casual fast food restaurants and cafes,” writes Adee Braun in The Atlantic. Restaurant owners like them because they allow for more diners and create a sense of shared energy. But, warns Adee, “Diners and drinkers will only tolerate being squished around a table with strangers if they can choose from this menu of situations: a) if booze is involved, b) if there is interesting food to entertain them or c) if it’s entirely acceptable to ignore their tablemates.” What do you think about sharing elbow space with strangers in restaurants? [The Atlantic]

Search Trick Helps You Compare and Contrast: Want to compare apples and oranges, or pasta and rice, or ice cream and chocolate chip cookies? Google has a search feature that lets you do side-by-side comparisons of the calories, carbs and sugars in, as well as other nutritional information about, almost any two foods you type in preceded by “compare” and separated by “and” — or in some cases, without the “compare” and simply separated by “vs.” A Redditor discovered the nifty search trick and shared the news a few weeks ago, prompting one commenter to remark that celery vs. cake yields no chart. If you have to ask. [Reddit via NPR's The Salt]

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Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Kitchen Casino

by in Shows, April 2nd, 2014

Chef RouletteIn Kitchen Casino, premiering Monday, April 7 at 9|8c, four chefs must not only know how to cook, but also how to play the game. The set of the show features a slot machine, poker table and oversized roulette wheel on which the chefs cook. From a platform above the competition space, two judges watch the chefs play the casino-themed games, doled out by host Bill Rancic. The set truly feels like a casino right out of Las Vegas in the ’60s. Get an exclusive tour below, and watch the premiere this coming Monday.

Get the Insider’s Tour

Food Network “Lights It Up Blue” for Autism Today

by in Events, April 2nd, 2014

Food Network Notice something different on Food Network this morning? Today, Food Network and Cooking Channel are participating in the Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue campaign, an annual global initiative that raises awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. That means we’re taking our logos you see on television and turning them blue for a day.

Autism Awareness Day has partners in 100 cities across North America and 40 countries around the world — and they’ll all turn iconic landmarks blue for the day (like New York City’s Empire State Building), as well as colleges, hotels, sporting venues, museums and bridges.

Food Network invites you to Light It Up Blue today: find out how here.