Why I Work to Feed Hungry Children in America, Plus an All-American Meatloaf

by in Food Network Chef, April 18th, 2015

Melissa d'Arabian and FamilyI spent most of my week in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, supporting No Kid Hungry’s efforts to feed our nation’s children. I attended the No Kid Hungry Summit alongside thought leaders, corporations, foundation heads and some of the best chefs nationwide. I joined forces with many of them to spend a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with our legislators, and I hosted two Taste of the Nation events in D.C. and Charlotte. Phew! As I type, I’m sipping a strong cup of coffee (after a 3 a.m. wake-up call!), sitting on a plane headed home to San Diego.

Why would I spend nearly a week away from my family and take that kind of time off from my “regular” work?

Read more

This New Machine Puts Fizzy Cocktails at Your Fingertips

by in News, April 17th, 2015

SodaStream MIXIf cocktails are delicious and fizzy drinks are delicious, then it stands to reason that fizzy cocktails are delicious. That may be the thinking behind the recent enthusiasm for carbonated cocktails and a new wave in home carbonation systems that render effervescent any beverage, including those of the alcoholic variety.

Perlage offers a superfancy (and pricey) professional cocktail bottling system, targeted at the hospitality industry, and a less expensive system and kit for consumers to use in the home. And now SodaStream is introducing a version of its popular seltzer maker designed to “carbonate any and all liquids, from pure fruit juices to alcoholic beverages.” (Apparently people have been employing their soda makers for this off-label use for a while now anyway.)

Read more

What to Watch: Fun Party Snacks on Southern At Heart and the Season Finale of All-Star Academy

by in Shows, April 17th, 2015

All-Star AcademyGet ready for delicious recipes and thrilling competition this weekend on Food Network. On Saturday, tune in for episodes of The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and The Kitchen. First up, watch Ree Drummond as she shares her all-time favorite dishes through the years and today. Next, join Trisha Yearwood for a fun and satisfying breakfast with her friends featuring Bacon Waffles with Maple Syrup, a Cinnamon Cereal Cocktail and more. Then, the hosts of The Kitchen are giving a how-to on growing produce from kitchen scraps and an assortment of dry and wet flavored rubs.

On Sunday, keep cooking with new episodes of Giada at Home, Southern at Heart and Farmhouse Rules for great steak dishes, fancy party bites and a celebratory Italian spread. At night, don’t miss the intense competition, starting with Guy’s Grocery Games. Then, at 9|8c, watch the season finale of All-Star Academy to find out which of the home cooks triumphs and wins the $50,000 prize. Lastly, Alton Brown has creative and challenging obstacles in store for a set of competitors on a new Cutthroat Kitchen.

Read more

Rainbow Tarts: A Fun and Colorful Cooking Guide

by in Books, April 16th, 2015

Strawberry TartFew things get a true food lover’s blood pumping like the return of ripe, vibrant spring produce to supermarket shelves and farmers markets. As strawberries start to creep back into their lush glory, the mind wanders to one of the kitchen’s simple pleasures: the tart. Simplicity doesn’t have to mean flat flavor, though, as evidenced in Emilie Guelpa’s Strawberry Sugar Tarts from her cookbook Rainbow Tarts (recipe below for you to try at home).

Guelpa’s approach to tarts is simple and clean but stunningly beautiful. The book is written and assembled with a designer’s eye, featuring beautifully represented flavor combinations leaping off the page and tickling your hunger for more. The recipes are easy to make, pairing a base dough with a color topping and then a white topping. The book offers recipes for four different types of base dough (chocolate shortcrust, salted hazelnut, shortcrust and salted Parmesan) and then four different kinds of white cream toppings (chantilly, Italian meringue, French meringue and panna cotta), plus an assortment of other white topping options (like shredded coconut, rice pudding, mascarpone and more).

The real artistry comes to life when she plays with flavors, pairing everything from peas with bacon to beets with goat cheese. There’s a fantastic balance of sweet and savory ideas, ranging from orange with chantilly to beef with aioli. The flavor possibilities are as fun as they are endless, and Guelpa includes a culinary palette section that will leave you inspired to dream up flavor combinations of your own that fit your fancy long after you’ve tried all 50 recipes in the book.

Read more

5 Quirky Grain Switch-Ups You Gotta Try — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 16th, 2015

Healthy Farro Fried Amazing grains, how sweet the sound! (That is how the song goes … right?) Either way, there’s no denying the awesome powers of whole grains. Beyond the obvious health benefits of swapping them in for pasta, white rice and more, using grains as a nourishing alternative brings a welcome quirkiness to your go-to side dishes.

1. Take the rice out of your fried rice by using farro instead.

The glory of digging fried rice out of a takeout container could never be fully replaced, but making a good grain swap is a sure way to keep things interesting. Look to farro, an Italian grain of wheat that’s satisfyingly tender and chewy, for Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” (pictured above) that ups the texture of the classic Asian staple.

Read more

Enter to Win a Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Prize Pack

by in Contests, Shows, April 16th, 2015

Enter to Win a Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Prize PackFor the first time ever, on Sunday night, 16 of the most-diabolical chefs to ever compete in a Cutthroat Kitchen battle will return to the arena for a second round of sabotages in the brand-new tournament, Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious. Over the course of five weeks, these unforgettable contestants will bid high and risk big, all in the name of hilariously trying challenges, but ultimately one will take home up to a whopping $75,000 and the fierce title of Evilicious Champion.

Just in time for Sunday’s premiere (at 10|9c), FN Dish is giving fans the chance to show their spirit for sabotage in the form of all-new #Evilicious gear. From T-shirts and mugs to journals and cutting boards, the Food Network Store is chock-full of #Evilicious-branded products ideal for superfans to strut their diabolical sides. You can shop the Food Network Store now and buy these products, but FN Dish is giving two lucky, randomly selected fans the chance to win a selection of several items. One winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one mug, one computer mousepad and one black T-shirt (size L), and the other winner will receive an #Evilicious prize pack containing one black baseball cap, one black notebook and one horizontal glass cutting board (knife not included), all with #Evilicious proudly displayed. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling us which of these sabotages is your favorite (find them all here).

So, tell us: Which of these Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages is your favorite? (Find them all here.)

Read more

The Spaghetti and Meatballwich Is a Wish Come True

by in News, April 15th, 2015

Spaghetti and MeatballwichRamen burger, shmamen burger. The Carving Board, a Southern California sandwich place with locations in Tarzana, Hollywood and West Los Angeles, has just put an Italian-comfort-food twist on the trendy noodle-bun-with-meat-in-the-middle hand-held meal.

Ladies and gents, feast your eyes on (if geography doesn’t allow you to treat your taste buds to) the Spaghetti and Meatballwich.

Read more

All-Star Academy Fan Vote: Support Your Favorite Home Cook

by in Shows, April 15th, 2015

August, Vanessa and Joseph on All-Star AcademyIt’s been seven weeks leading up to the finale on Sunday, April 19 at 9|8c. Ten home cooks from around the country entered All-Star Academy with the goal of leaving victorious and $50,000 richer. In the premiere only eight competitors were chosen for four teams led by mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon. And each week one home cook was eliminated, leaving just one per team.

But with the elimination of Team Curtis this past Sunday, there are only three home cooks left in the competition. Who will win? You’ll have to find out by tuning in, but until then support your favorite by voting for them in the fan poll.

Vote Now

Bakers’ Dozens: Perfect Crumb Cake

by in How-to, Recipes, April 15th, 2015

Leaving a trail of crumbs helps you find your way.

I joked as a kid that I would need to leave a trail of crumbs into the kitchen so my mom could find her way. She would swear she couldn’t find it. After all, she wanted to turn our kitchen into a library. No one in my family baked. We all had a passion for sweets. The only sweet things baked in my house were brownies from my Easy-Bake Oven. I had zero kitchen training.

My first real attempt at baking started with a classic coffee cake. Read more