You might consider your meat cravings satisfied, because on last night’s episode of Top 5 Restaurants, Food Network traveled from coast to coast to discover America’s best steaks. Hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian revealed these juicy, meaty and, in some cases, fatty meats to you in a countdown. Find out below which restaurants made the cut, and read about the succulent steak that topped the list.
Artist Jacqueline Poirier has dubbed herself “the crazy plate lady,” but what’s really crazy is how realistic her porcelain plate images are, meticulously depicting everything from favorite foods like burgers (with all the fixings), doughnuts, ice cream cones, juicy steaks and pizza pies to skylines, shorelines and sunsets to cute doggies to celebrities of all manner. (She has said she takes inspiration from all sorts of places and tries “not to pigeon-hole” herself when it comes to subject matter.)
Paging through Poirier’s Instagram feed, where she showcases her work, you’ll spot Ryan Gosling, Bette Midler, Snoop Dogg, the Golden Girls and many more. Here’s Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy. There’s David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. Morgan Freeman and Al Pacino have each bought plates featuring their own image.
For the second time in the show’s history, Chopped headed out of the studio and into the great outdoors for Grill Masters. The cast traded in their dress shoes and city blacks for boots and overalls — well, almost! Production moved the entire crew to Queens County Farm on the outskirts of New York City to tape the special grilling tournament, premiering July 14 at 10|9c. FN Dish caught up with host Ted Allen to chat about the challenges the location posed as well as the challenges the competitors will face.
“We’re a studio show, for the most part, and you forget how easy you have it shooting indoors,” says Ted, referring to the fact that Chopped tapes at Food Network headquarters in New York City, which is a whole lot comfier than roughing it in the Tucson desert like the cast and crew did for the previous Grill Masters season — just think sand everywhere. For Season 2 everything still had to happen outdoors, and even though a more convenient location was chosen, it didn’t mean it would be that much easier — there was still the chance of inclement weather, among other uncontrollable factors.
Since basil is in season right now, it’s no wonder that it’s often the go-to herb to feature in pesto, but it’s surely not the only something green that can star in this quick-fix sauce. Spinach, parsley, broccoli and even arugula can take its place — arugula, for example, standing in to create the base of the sauce used atop Food Network Magazine’s easy pizza (pictured above).
Thanks to a ready-to-go prebaked pizza crust, this Arugula Pesto Pizza with Zucchini comes together simply and in a hurry. Once you’ve prepped the pesto — the arugula adds a peppery punch, while capers and garlic offer welcome bite — and sliced the mozzarella and zucchini, it all comes down to assembly. Just before baking, sprinkle some nutty Parmesan atop the pie and drizzle on fruity extra virgin olive oil. After only a few minutes in the oven, the cheese will turn gooey and the crust golden.
Love Bites, Hard: Turf and Surf, Tough and Stuff, and the Opportunity of a Lifetime — Jeff’s Star Reportby Jeff Mauro, July 6th, 2015
While all rounds of Cutthroat Kitchen are full of hilarious eviliciousness, tonight’s all-new episode took the funny to another level when Alton Brown, ever the sabotage ringleader, revealed that the entire show was dedicated to clowning around. From a ring-of-fire sabotage to themed eats like corn dogs and funnel cake to judge Simon Majumdar‘s over-the-top clown getup —complete with a round red nose, of course — the name of the game was fun at the circus, though perhaps some of the magic of the spectacle was lost on the four chefs who were dealt challenge upon challenge.
In Round 1’s corn dog assignment, Alton auctioned off a tray of concession-stand goodies that one chef had to use in order to make the dish. Corn dogs may seem simple, as they’re made of just two components — the corn-flavored batter and the hot dog — but with ingredients like candy, popcorn and cotton candy, this corn dog test would prove to be anything but ordinary. That’s where the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew comes in.
Butter sculptures — big, beautiful and carefully kept cool to beat the summer heat — are a staple and a highlight of many a state fair, churning up all kinds of nostalgic feelings in the masses who admire them.
But did you ever wonder about the history and mechanics behind those elaborate butter tableaux? NPR’s The Salt blog recently filled its readers in. Here are a few key facts to know about butter sculpture, gleaned from its report:
1. Edible sculptures of people and animals trace their origins at least as far back as medieval times, when royalty included them in elaborate feasts.
2. The person credited with bringing butter sculpture to regular folk in America was an Arkansas housewife named Caroline Brooks. Rather than simply churning milk into butter and molding or stamping it into bricks, as was the norm, she sculpted it into a butter portrait of a young woman. The result of her efforts, called Dreaming Iolanthe, was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and was widely considered a thing of remarkable and unique beauty.
Toasty marshmallows, melted chocolate and crisp graham crackers — what more could you want in a dessert? In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, your childhood campfire favorite is transformed into a decadent four-tiered cake. Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Basic Chocolate Cake becomes the perfect base for the oozing filling, which is made easy with store-bought marshmallow cream and buttery, toasted graham cracker crumbs. Layer the cooled cakes with the filling, and then top with ganache.
For more dessert recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: S’mores Cake (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine
I love summer vacation, don’t you?
But you know what I don’t love? Getting out of my routine, especially my healthy routines, such as eating well and working out. At home, I know exactly when I will go to the gym, who I will see there (my workout buddies — hi, Heather and Julie!) and what I will eat when I get home. I don’t have to think about it or waste any energy figuring out how to make that all happen; that’s one of the great benefits of setting up solid routines to support our life goals.
So what happens when I go on vacation? When I am out of my normal routine, and faced with an unfamiliar environment and a list of to-do’s (albeit fun ones!) that involve not just me but my family, too, I can easily find myself going days or even a couple of weeks without following my normal healthy-eating and workout routines. Sometimes, I actually am quite happy to embrace the indulgence and enjoy a little “time off.” Who wants to go to New York City and not enjoy its amazing restaurants?
For these times, I have created a “bare minimum” plan — things that I can do pretty much no matter where, no matter what — that will keep me at least a little on track while still allowing me to let go of the workout guilt and enjoy time off from the routine. Because vacation should be fun and guilt-free, right?
You ready? This is what I do when I am letting loose, and it’s totally doable: