Make Your Party Pop with Independence Day Cocktails

by in Drinks, Holidays, June 28th, 2014

While there are plenty of ways to get festive for the holiday with cakes, pies and all-American favorites, the drink department requires a bit of effort. At any July 4th party, you can probably find lemonade, iced tea and maybe some punch. But to really wow your guests, you’ll need a few of these colorfully creative cocktails.

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris
Ah, the daiquiri. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy this classic summer drink. The red portion of this version is sweetened with strawberries and watermelon, making it extra-light, while the white portion is made with coconut sorbet, giving the drink a bit of creaminess. And the blue center is made with white rum, blue passion-fruit liqueur and blue curacao, giving the drink its grown-up kick. Fireworks Daquiri

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Poll: How Do You Take Your Burger?

by in Recipes, June 28th, 2014

Katie Lee and Marcela ValladolidWith summer in full force and grilling season officially underway, The Kitchen co-hosts dedicated an entire hour on this morning’s all-new episode to perhaps the ultimate grill-friendly meal: burgers. Family-friendly and endlessly versatile, hamburgers can feed a crowd and shine both in their simplest form and when dressed up with nontraditional toppings. Katie and Marcela offered a few of their takes on classic between-the-bun creations with Shrimp Burgers with Old Bay Mayo and Grilled Chicken Burgers with Pasilla Aioli, respectively, while Geoffrey, Katie and Sunny made next-level ketchups: Guachup, Spiced Peach Ketchup and Sunny’s Homemade Ketchup.

FN Dish wants to know: When it comes to firing up the grill and searing your ultimate burger, what do you reach for? Is your favorite patty one made of chicken or fish instead of beef, or do you prepare no-meat burgers? Are you a cheese purist and prefer cheddar or American, or do you reach for tangy goat or blue cheeses? Toppings: salty like bacon, or sweet like caramelized onions?

Vote in the poll below to tell FN Dish how you take your best burger (select all that apply).

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4th of July Dips and Why I Love Them

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, June 28th, 2014

4th of July Dip Recipes and Why I Love ThemFourth of July is coming up soon, which reminds me of that time we almost set the house on fire. No, not the time my little brother got into the fireworks when we were vacationing in Nags Head in the early ’80s. I mean last year.

I’ll back up and remind us all: No one is perfect. Even a Food Network star will hit a snag in the kitchen every so often. But the savvy cook knows how to deal with these mistakes and smooth over a tiny hiccup so that no one will even notice. Overcook a roast and I’ll show you how to turn it into French dip sandwiches with lots of au jus.

But what about the bigger blunders? The ones that can’t be covered up with an extra ladle of sauce? I invite you to think about your biggest culinary mistake, ever. And now, prepare to feel better about yourself in the kitchen.

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Throw a New England-Style Clambake

by in How-to, June 28th, 2014

Throw a New England-Style ClambakeWhether you’re vacationing in New England or elsewhere, summer is the time for an authentic, sea-soaked clambake on the beach. With the right grill setup and loads of salty seaweed, this seaside feast can be reproduced on just about any sandy shore — barbecue laws permitting, of course. Head down to the water’s edge to collect the seaweed the old-fashioned way, or get it from your local fishmonger. From there, it’s all about assembly. Here’s how to build the quintessential clambake, layer by layer.

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How to Win Summer — All-New Videos

by in How-to, In Season, June 27th, 2014

Cold beers are great and all, but you’ll really raise your summer party game this weekend with these boozy ideas. Take the watermelon keg to the next level by turning it into tequila shot skewers, make summery sangria right in your cooler, and stock the ultimate DIY margarita bar with an array of citrus juices and mango puree. See how it’s done below, and check out more cool ways to win summer. Read more

Summer Succotash — Down-Home Comfort

by in In Season, Recipes, June 27th, 2014

Summer SuccotashSuccotash is essentially an all-American stir-fry. Succotash has many variants and adaptations, but by definition, nearly all contain corn and beans. Fresh vegetables are what make this recipe so special, so I gently suggest not to bother with this recipe unless you can make it with peak-of-summer produce. All the ingredients are diced about the same size, resulting in a stellar vegetable medley. I promise you will be rewarded! The key to succotash is that simple ingredients are combined with a minimum of fuss, and the results are a colorful and crisp burst of down-home comfort.

Choosing the vegetables is important. When faced with a mountain of corn at the grocery store, farmers market or produce stand, look for the silk at the top of the ear to be very dark brown, almost black. It is not unusual to see people peeling back the husks in search of ears with perfect rows of kernels. Just take a peek to make sure the ear is full and free of worm. Try to purchase corn still in the husk and keep it on until ready to cook, to keep the corn moist and sweet.

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Why Not Letting Your Kids Eat Junk Food May Backfire

by in News, June 27th, 2014

Why Not Letting Your Kids Eat Junk Food May BackfireParenting is full of “Do as I say, not as I do” moments, but few may be as obvious as the vast differences between the food choices we make for our kids and those we make for ourselves. Am I the only parent who strictly limits her kids’ access to sweets, waving away their pleas for candy and giving them fruit for dessert, only to raid the treat drawer as soon as they have been tucked in and drifted off to sleep? I’d guess not.

I’m also probably in good company in feeling guilty when I give in and agree to let my kids eat junk food, even though the salty, fatty, sugary packaged foods that strike fear into our hearts as parents are the very same foods we get nostalgic about when we think about our own childhoods.

We know we’re raising our kids in the midst of an obesity crisis and skyrocketing diabetes rates, but is it such a crime to let them enjoy a twirl of cotton candy or an ice cream cone every once in a while?

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Vibrant Food — Off the Shelf

by in Books, June 27th, 2014

Vibrant Food - Off the ShelfSeasonal cooking has become a household idea over the past couple of years, and it’s not hard to understand why. This rings especially true as summer heats up with lush promises of fresh produce. Admittedly, there are a lot of good seasonal-produce cookbooks that really do a spectacular job of highlighting the potential nestled within the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, but this year I’m especially taken with Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food.

Vibrant Food takes an artistic approach to building dishes around seasonal ingredients, but not in a way that makes the recipes difficult. (Usually when someone approaches food “artistically,” it can get quite complicated quite quickly. That’s not the case here.) Much to the contrary, the dishes are bright, delightful and striking both in beauty and in flavor. The vibrant colors are as well-balanced as the fresh, crisp flavors that fans of good food appreciate and expect as they eat their way through the seasons. Put simply, the book is gorgeous and the recipes are delicious.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Uncategorized, June 27th, 2014

french fries
In this week’s news: Restaurant chains phase out salt on the sly; the buzz on edible insects keeps growing; and doctors confess to being clueless about nutrition.

Sodium Levels? Nothing to See Here. 
Until recently, a meal of chicken, stuffin...

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