Brian Boitano Answers Your Questions!

by in View All Posts, August 21st, 2009

brian_boitano_for_web3Brian Boitano’s new show, What Would Brian Boitano Make? premieres this Sunday! He was just in town on a media blitz, and we caught up with him for a quick chat. As promised, we asked your burning questions.

FN DISH: Everyone knows you as a skater. Why the jump to a cooking show?

BB: Before the Olympics I was on a strict regimen with a limited diet. I always dreamed of what I would make and what I would eat after the Olympics. After I won, I started having friends over and entertaining a lot, and it just grew from there. I’m actually very lucky because food and skating are my two loves. I’m still skating full time and juggling that with a show is ideal.
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Too Hot to Cook?

by in View All Posts, August 11th, 2009

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August is No-Cook Month on FoodNetwork.com, and we worked hard to find 31 recipes that don’t require any heat to prepare. (We didn’t want it to turn into 31 days of tuna sandwiches.) But, with a lot of surfing around, we ended up with a nice selection of gazpachos, salads and sandwiches, mixed in with some great side dishes and no-cook desserts (check out Paula’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding).

claire-robinson_med_medMy favorite no-cook option is always a salad, and one of my favorite new shows on Food Network is Claire Robinson’s 5 Ingredient Fix. Luckily, Claire actually did a No-Cook Dinner episode of her show recently, so I put together Claire’s Antipasti Chopped Salad for a quick, light dinner. It was fantastic!
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Why We Love: Summer!

by in View All Posts, July 28th, 2009

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Food-wise, this is absolutely the best time of year. If a day goes by in July or August, and I realize I haven’t eaten sweet corn and/or tomatoes, I think of it as an opportunity lost. These foods drive me crazy! I love them, I crave them, and they’re only in season for the blink of an eye.

Yes, I know, grocery store magic makes corn and tomatoes available all year, but they only taste like they’re supposed to taste when you eat them straight from the farmers’ market. As a former farm stand worker, here are a few insider market tips:

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Battle Chicken Breast

by in View All Posts, June 9th, 2009

symon-iron-chefMichael Symon once said in an episode of Dinner Impossible, “If it doesn’t have skin or bones, it doesn’t have flavor.” In a tough, do or die situation, he refused to use skinless, boneless chicken breasts. He called my go-to meat of choice “flavorless.” I was stunned by the insight. Could he be right?

bobby-grillingEnter fellow Iron Chef, Bobby Flay – king of burgers, master of the grill, man of the spice rack. . . Could one of Bobby’s recipes prove Symon wrong? Armed with eight Indian-ish spices and Bobby’s Tandoori Spiced Chicken Breast recipe, I was hopeful.

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Muffin Mania and Pancake Art

by in View All Posts, May 27th, 2009


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was really excited to put together our online Breakfast feature. After the pancake explosion I created for Mother’s Day, I tried to focus mostly on bacon and eggs for this one. But the carb-lover inside me couldn’t resist adding French toast and sticky buns. (I love to watch Bobby struggle with baking in Throwdown: Sticky Buns)

And, of course, I added muffin recipes. Muffins are a great grab-and-go breakfast treat, and they usually freeze well, so they can be a cheap, healthy, home-made frozen pastry. Ina’s Blueberry Muffins look like the most-loved on FoodNetwork.com, but Sunny’s Sunny Morning Muffins caught my eye.

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Summer Salad and Alton’s Sangria

by in View All Posts, May 13th, 2009


Our new Memorial Day feature is all about getting summer started with classic picnic foods, burgers, hot dogs, and, yes, sangria. I decided to test out the main featured recipe, Aida’s Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad (how could I resist?!) from the Food Network Magazine.

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Summer Content Explosion!

by in View All Posts, April 29th, 2009


When content from the Food Network Magazine comes in, it always feels like Christmas. (The magazine editors even sent a CD of the June/July content downtown to the Chelsea office by messenger service this time – my personal NYC Santa!) With that precious CD came an explosion of recipes, images and stories that we had been anticipating for months, and we rushed to get it all up online in record time.

So here it is: The recipes, the Summer Drinks Slideshow, He Made She Made, the magazine home page. . . But best of all are the burgers.

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A Mother’s Day Make-Ahead

by in View All Posts, April 15th, 2009

Someone recently asked me what one cookbook I would take with me to a desert island. Even though I’m having a great time cooking my way through my newest cookbooks, Giada’s Everyday Pasta and Mario’s Molto Italiano (I love Italian food!), the first cookbook that popped into my head was The Pancake Handbook. For me, there’s no better way to begin a weekend morning than with a stack of hot pancakes. That’s why I couldn’t resist adding a pancake carousel to our Mother’s Day feature – I tracked down the best Food Network pancake recipes to include in this fancy click-through module. But there was one pancake recipe in particular that caught my eye (or rather my stomach)…

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Top 10 Most Outrageous Recipes + Fool-Your-Friends Cake

by in View All Posts, April 1st, 2009


Fool-Your-Friends Cake

In honor of April Fools Day, I compiled a list of recipes that make everyone on the Web team chuckle (and/or grimace) whenever we run into them online. Which Food Network chef do you think scores highest in the ridiculous recipe contest? Hint: Her names starts with a “P” and should rhyme with “butter.”

Food Network’s Top 10 Most Outrageous Recipes

1. Fried Butter Balls – Paula – When someone first mentioned Paula’s fried butter recipe to me I thought it was a good joke. I couldn’t believe it when I actually ran into the recipe online!

2. Swamp Water – Sandra

3. The Heavyset Cheese Ball – Paula

4. “Fat Darrell” Sandwich – Paula

5. The Lady’s Brunch Burger – Paula – It may not sound like much, but trust me. . . click on the recipe.

6. Seared Frogs Legs Casserole – Robert Irvine

7. Baked Potato Ice Cream – Sandra

8. Get Yo’ Man Chicken – Neelys

9. “Is it Really Better than Sex?” Cake – Paula

10. Trompe L’oeil Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower, with Poached Tomatoes (“Fool the Eye” savory foods made to look like Chocolate layer cake, vanilla ice cream, and cherries jubilee) – Robert Irvine

Longest recipe title I’ve run across (30 words):
Go Oregonian! Oregon Style Pork Chops with Pinot Noir and Cranberries, Oregon Hash with Wild Mushrooms, Greens, Beets, Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese, Charred Whole Grain Bread with Butter and Chives – Rachael Ray

Most outrageous video clip:
Alton making a Pancake Cake with Avocado Frosting
If you dare, find the recipe here.

Honorable Mention (#11):
Mama Neely’s “Sock It To Me” Cake

Everyone on the Web team is excited about Food Network Challenge: Last Cake Standing – premiering this Sunday, 8 pm/7c, six pastry chefs battle for $50K, the largest prize in Challenge history, etc. – so we decided to wrap all of our best cake recipes up into a super cake-tacular feature package.

Searching our site for cake content had one major side effect – an unquenchable craving for moist crumbs and sweet frosting! I gave in and made the absolute easiest cake on the page, courtesy of Mama Neely. I’m calling it my “Fool-Your-Friends Cake” since it uses a cake mix but tastes completely and deliciously home made.

Spring fever? Check out our great Easter desserts and exciting new exclusive cupcake recipes from the Food Network Kitchens.

- Kirsten, Web Editor

5 Dollar (or Less) Dinners

by in View All Posts, March 18th, 2009

I’m not sure exactly how much money I spend on groceries every week/month/year, but I do know I’d like to spend less. As I worked on our Good Food For Less feature, I focused on obviously “low cost” recipes – vegetarian, tuna casserole, leftover transformations – but I decided to try a few for myself, curious to see how the groceries would add up.

For me, under $10 per person would be a savings compared to eating out (the cost of a meal at my favorite burger and fries spot). But I decided a truly “budget” meal should ring in at no more than $5 per person. I crossed my fingers, made a grocery list and went shopping.

Aida’s Pan-Roasted Chicken with Oranges and Rosemary
Chicken thighs – $4.95
Chicken drumsticks – $2.12
Orange – $0.50 / 2 = $0.25
Rosemary – on my window sill (although I used a lot less than the recipe suggests, because picking sprigs off my pet plant is somewhat painful)

Total spent = $7.32 / 4 servings = $1.83 per serving

Success!! I was amazed!! I made it a meal with a simple arugula salad and roasted spiced-up potatoes the first night. Then I decided to spruce up leftover night by making the simplest risotto recipe I could find (plus, adding some kale that was hiding in the back of my fridge). It was amazing.

I was hooked! I had to try another.


The Neelys’ Sloppy Joes (recipe halved)
1 pound (90 percent lean) ground beef – $4.00
BBQ sauce – $2.49 / 4 = $0.62
Tomato sauce – $0.32
Tomato paste – $0.50 / 4 = $0.13
Green pepper – $1.37 / 2 = $0.69
Red pepper – $1.32 /2 = $0.66
Buns – $3.19 / 6 = $0.53 x 3 = $1.60

Total spent: $8.02 / 2 = $4.01 per serving

I was surprised that the sloppy joes cost more than twice as much as the chicken, but they were still within my $5 budget, and the halved recipe really made two huge servings (1/2 pound of meat per person!). As a low cost side dish, I cut up some sweet potatoes, tossed them in oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted them to make baked sweet potato fries.

Just adding up a few recipe receipts has made me much more cost-conscious at the grocery store. I think I’m going to keep working my way through this feature. Wish me luck with the slow cooker recipes and Rachael’s tuna casserole!

- Kirsten, Web Editor