3 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox — School Days

by in Family, Recipes, September 7th, 2013

Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta SaladSchool is officially in session, which means that for the roughly nine months ahead, you’ll be facing an almost daily challenge of deciding with what lunch to send you child to school. This year, instead of finding kids’ half-eaten sandwiches and untouched celery sticks at the end of the day, guarantee a happier lunchtime — and, more importantly, full bellies — with these three easy strategies for building a better lunchbox. Check out Food Network’s suggestions, then start the conversation about your child’s favorite school lunches in the comments below.

1. Embrace Little Helpers
To improve the lunchbox-packing process, start at the beginning: the grocery shopping for lunch ingredients. Invite your kids to come to the supermarket with you and let them suggest what kinds of foods you buy. It may be as simple as asking them if they prefer apples or orange segments as the fruit of the day, deli turkey or ham on their sandwich, and carrots or cherry tomatoes as the veggie of choice, but the idea is to make kids feel included in the building of their lunches. Ultimately, if kids are invested in their food, they’re more likely to eat it. (This notion holds true come dinnertime, so if you struggle with picky eaters at supper, consider these grocery shopping trips as a means of getting kids excited about all of their meals.)

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You Asked Food Network Stars

by in Food Network Magazine, September 6th, 2013

September 2013 Food Network Magazine

Food Network stars answer your burning questions in the September 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Giada, your daughter, Jade, has such a mature palate. As the mother of an 8-month-old, I wonder if you have any advice to ensure my child will like different cuisines and not just kid stuff.
Ann Kording from Woodbridge, Va.

You can’t feed her kid stuff. As soon as she starts eating solids, you need to make her real food. Eight months is a little young because there are a lot of things she can’t eat yet, but as soon as possible she needs to eat what you eat. I grew up eating adult food with my parents, and Jade eats what we eat, too.
Giada De Laurentiis

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The Sloppy Lo — The Weekender

by in Recipes, September 6th, 2013

The Sloppy Lo - The WeekenderDuring my first few years of elementary school, my family lived in Los Angeles. Because it was almost always warm enough to eat outside, my school didn’t have a cafeteria. Instead, we just had an outdoor courtyard with plastic picnic tables and a small window through which hot lunches were dispensed.

I was mostly a brown-bag kid in those days, but occasionally, when something on the monthly menu particularly spoke to me, my parents would give me a dollar and let me buy lunch. I always asked to buy lunch on the days when they served sloppy joes.

I think part of the reason had to do with how it was served. The saucy meat came packaged in a little aluminum tray, covered tightly with foil. On top, they’d stack a waxed paper dish that held the bun and a plastic cup of applesauce or fruit cocktail. You’d go to your seat with a carton of milk, a napkin and a plastic spork to assemble your very own sandwich. I loved it.

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What to Watch This Weekend: The Premieres of Cupcake Wars and Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off

by in Shows, September 6th, 2013

RvG Kids Cook-OffThis weekend, it’s all about the competitions on Food Network. First, on Saturday, four cupcake bakers will compete to win an opportunity to cater a launch party for Jessica Alba’s new brand, The Honest Company. Then on Sunday, eight kids enter into competition, joining either Team Rachael or Team Guy, ready to cook for the chance to win a Web series. On The Great Food Truck Race, the five remaining teams race to South Dakota, where the challenges include cooking buffalo. Then tune in for the ultimate in sabotage on Cutthroat Kitchen and watch a new episode of Iron Chef America.

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Chef Wanted: The Pear Southern Bistro Update

by in Shows, September 5th, 2013

Chef Wanted chefsOn tonight’s Chef Wanted, chef/owner Rodney Worth was looking for an executive chef for his restaurant The Pear Southern Bistro in Napa, Calif. He and his wife, Natalie, own and operate six restaurants in Northern California, and handing over the reins of The Pear to another chef would allow Rodney to spend more time with their kids. Anne Burrell brought in four viable candidates for the job opportunity, but only one got the position. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winning chef.

SPOILER ALERT: Find Out Who Won

2013 Food Network Stadium Eats Touchdowns

by in News, September 5th, 2013

2013 Food Network Stadium Eats TouchdownIt’s official: Football season has arrived with the Ravens taking on the Broncos in the kickoff game tonight. From now until February, the majority of Sundays will be spent on the couch watching the games and eating ultimate comfort foods like chilis, wings and dips galore. But if you find yourself headed to the stadium, check out Food Network’s all-new concession lineup straight from the chefs at Food Network Kitchens.

Six NFL stadiums are serving up offerings like sloppy joes, hot hogs, brisket sandwiches, and mac and cheese. The signature sloppy joes are a drool-worthy combination of ground beef and slab bacon chunks with slow-cooked tomatoes topped with shredded pepper Jack cheese and fried onions. The hot dogs are topped with baked beans, mustard and corn chips. Don’t forget to snag a locally inspired menu item at each stadium.

Click here to get the menus

Suggest a Sabotage for Cutthroat Kitchen

by in Community, Shows, September 5th, 2013

Alton BrownIf you’ve ever found yourself watching Cutthroat Kitchen and imagining the next-best sabotage that could befall the competitors, now is your chance to have your ideas heard. Food Network is currently accepting submissions for upcoming challenges, and it’s up to you, Cutthroat fans, to decide with what disruptions future contestants will have to adapt. You’ve seen host Alton Brown sell the exclusive use of salt and enforce a mandate to fashion utensils out of aluminum foil, but now the network wants to know what you think he should dish out next.

Think you have the ultimate sabotage worthy of being featured on the show? Tell Food Network by tweeting your suggestion using #Evilicious or leaving a comment below, and it may appear on an upcoming episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.

Read official rules before submitting a sabotage

Enter for a Chance to Win the Weelicious Lunches Cookbook

by in Contests, September 5th, 2013

Win a Copy of the Weelicious Lunches CookbookCatherine McCord, FN Dish contributor and founder of Weelicious blog, is back for a second helping of recipes and menu ideas for time-strapped parents — this time with a focus on lunches. In Catherine’s new book, Weelicious Lunches, she offers 160 lunchbox ideas for kids of every age. You’ll never stare blankly at your fridge again.

What caught FN Dish’s eye? There’s a whole chapter on peanut butter and jelly. A whole chapter — 10 new takes on the classic combination that makes kids and adults smile, including Peanut Butter Pancake Sandwiches. Parents will also rejoice in the Weelicious Lunch Allergy Guide. Front and center, it organizes which recipes are gluten-, nut-, egg- and dairy-free. Don’t have kids? FN Dish believes this book is just as useful for adults. We don’t think anyone will argue against packing Catherine’s Silky Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Crouton Bites in a Thermos for work.

You can buy Catherine’s new cookbook here, or enter for a chance to win one now. To enter: Tell FN Dish what your back-to-school or work lunch strategy is in the comments. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected winners each a copy of the book.

Read official rules before entering