Cold Brew & Beyond: 5 Coffee Trends to Look for This Summer

by in News, June 26th, 2015

Whether you rely on a big chain or a neighborhood cafe for your daily dose of caffeine, by now you’ve noticed that cold brewed coffee is getting a lot of attention — and for good reason. Unlike traditional iced coffee, which is made by brewing hot coffee at double strength and pouring it over ice, cold brew is steeped for a long time — up to 14 hours, if you wish — at room temperature. The result? A balanced and distinctively smooth cup of joe that’s both chocolatey and low in acidity.

Recently, this barista-approved method has inspired a number of innovative and experimental renditions of summer’s quintessential pick-me-up, like coffee-flavored sodas and beers, and plenty of regional twists on the basic cold brew recipe of ground coffee plus cold water. So the next time a caffeine craving strikes, reach for one of these five trendy takes on the thirst-quenching beverage.

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What to Watch: Festive Party Bites on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and a 4th of July Cookout on Food Network Star

by in Shows, June 26th, 2015

Food Network StarWhen it comes to showing someone how much you care about them, a home-cooked meal can be just the right gesture. This weekend, tune in for all-new recipes and episodes on Food Network, where stars like Ree Drummond and Trisha Yearwood cook for their family and friends. On Saturday morning, catch up with Ree as she makes Breakfast Biscuits for her husband and son, who are working on the ranch. Next, join the birthday celebration at Trisha’s house, where she and her friend Glenda are making fun finger foods like Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars for their costume party. On Sunday morning, Daphne Brogdon takes you around the world with an internationally inspired menu that features sticky ribs with a homemade banana sauce and a soba noodle salad.

The competition heats up on Sunday night, first with a summer celebration on Triple G. Watch the chefs channel their creativity as they turn cherry pie ingredients into a chicken dinner worthy of a $20,000 prize. Next, jump-start your patriotic festivities with Food Network Star, where the finalists cook for a 4th of July cookout. The weekend wouldn’t be complete without a few evilicious challenges from Alton — don’t miss an all-new Cutthroat Kitchen at 10|9c.

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Japan Can Now Dine at a Super Mario Bros. Cafe

by in News, June 25th, 2015

Japan Can Now Dine at a Super Mario Bros. CafeBelieve it or not, it has been 30 years since Nintendo released the seminal video game Super Mario Bros. in Japan, in 1985. The game came to North America the next year, but Japan is getting a jump on celebrating Mario’s big three-O — and Tower Records Japan (a throwback concept in itself) is taking full advantage of its head start.

To mark the occasion, the retail music chain’s three Tokyo locations — in the city’s Shibuya, Omotesando and Ebisu districts — are launching a limited-time-only Super Mario Bros. pop-up cafe, featuring a panoply of character-themed dishes. You got your Blooper’s Squid Ink Pasta, Banana Block Tira Misu, Mario Latte and Underwater Stage Drink. Or you can dig into a Super Star Rice Omelet, Ground Stage Waffle, Mario Latte and Piranha Plant Soda.

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7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, June 25th, 2015

Mesa Grill's Southwestern Potato SaladWhen you’re cooking a spread in the name of summer, you better bet a side of potato salad will make the cut. For your next cookout or backyard bash, load up on our favorite takes on this American great. Each of these summery recipes comes with an edge that separates it from the rest.

1. Make it spicy.

Potato salad is even better when you counter its creamy vibes with the heat of chipotle pepper puree and cayenne. Bobby Flay shares Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad (pictured above), which strikes a perfect balance of cool creaminess and Southwestern spice.

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Chill Out with Hand-Held Frozen Treats

by in Recipes, June 25th, 2015

Attempting to eat with a fork while balancing a drink in one hand and a plate in another is a universal party buzzkill. At summer cookouts, we tend to avoid silverware and go hand-held — think burgers, hot dogs, grilled wings and corn on the cob. So why not keep your party sweets utensil-free too? The ice cream cone is the quintessential hand-held frozen treat, but that involves scooping to order. Here are five cool desserts that you can make ahead, then freeze and forget. Just grab ‘em straight from the freezer for the finale of your 4th of July bash or any weekend gathering. Read more

Pucker Up: 9 Lemonades to Cool Off with This Summer

by in Drinks, June 24th, 2015

We’ve all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Before you cue the eye rolls, let me clarify: I’m not preaching a life motto. I’m preaching the splendor of lemonade — sweet-tart, thirst-quenching lemonade. Chilled with ice and freshly squeezed, it completes every summer picnic, barbecue or block party. Escape the summer heat with the refreshing beverage in its many forms — classic, fruit filled, slushy and more — with these simple recipes.

Classic
Since we’re on a roll with the cliches, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Equal parts sweet and tart, Ree Drummond’s Perfect Homemade Lemonade (pictured at top) is your go-to lemonade for picnics, cookouts and more. The tried-and-true combination of sugar, water and freshly squeezed lemon juice is simple yet timeless — and guaranteed to please any crowd.

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Let the Taco Texting Begin: The Taco Emoji Is Now a Reality

by in News, June 24th, 2015

Let the Taco Texting Begin: The Taco Emoji Is Now a RealityLadies and gentlemen, now, when you text your friends, you can spice things up with a little taco flavah.

Yes, after months of serious petitioning (not to mention abject begging and pleading and full-on demanding) from nimble-fingered Mexican-food fans, Unicode Consortium, which oversees the release of “picture characters” known as “emoji” and plans to add only about 60 new images per year, has elected to include a taco emoji in its new lineup, approved as part of Unicode 8.

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