Hump Day Snack: Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes

by , October 22nd, 2014

Zombie CupcakesHave you eaten your quota of fun-sized candy bars yet? While there’s still plenty of time before October 31st, there’s no harm in getting in the spook-tacular mood early with these Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes. They’re also ideal for a Walking Dead zombie party. The skulls, eyeballs and gooey brains that sit on top of the cupcakes start with a simple red velvet cake, broken down into crumbs and mixed with enough frosting to bind them together into cake eyeballs, brains and skulls. Dip them in white chocolate and go wild creating the brains and guts. Your friends won’t believe their eye(ball)s!

For more creepy creations to jumpstart your Halloween celebrations, check out these bone-chilling recipes from Cooking Channel:

Spicy Foods That’ll Make You Scream (Just in Time for Halloween)

by in Recipes, October 22nd, 2014

This month the only thing scarier than those spooky Halloween decorations your neighbors put out every year is the thought of your mouth on fire. There are the brave few who subject their taste buds to peppers of all kinds and those who need more palatable levels of spice. No matter your preference, these recipes might have you reaching for a glass of milk once you’re done (and yes, that really works!).

1. Giada De Laurentiis’ Spicy Mint Beef (pictured above)

Thanks to the heat of two to three Thai chiles (such as prik kee noo) or serrano chiles, Giada’s skillet stir-fry is not for the faint of heart. Stir in whole fresh mint leaves before serving to balance the fiery kick.

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Trick-or-Treating Ideas Beyond Candy

by , October 22nd, 2014

jack o lanterns

Before you buy industrial-size bags of candy bars and make yours the most popular house in the neighborhood come Halloween, pause for a minute. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course there’s the issue that we as Americans eat too much sugar and face an obesity epidemic. We’ve heard plenty about that. But also more important than ever is the issue of deadly food allergies. That’s why FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween: Offer something that’s not candy (or food) and paint your pumpkin teal so savvy (and food-sensitive) trick-or-treaters can know which houses are safe.

Lest you fear getting TP’ed for your treats, the alternatives to candy don’t have to just be raisins and toothbrushes. Here are a few cooler ways to sidestep candy.

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Spring Break in Miami: Tickets on Sale Now for the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 22nd, 2014

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThough the chill of fall air might be welcome relief now after a stifling summer, come February you’ll have likely turned a cold shoulder to the frigid temperatures and be ready to warm up in the sun. Enter: The South Beach Wine & Food Festival. For four days, you can escape the slush and snow and join your favorite Food Network stars and chefs for a long weekend at the beach celebrating all things eats and drinks.

2015 will mark the 14th year of SOBEWFF, and this year’s events, running from Feb. 19 through Feb. 22 in Miami, are expected to be bigger than ever. Favorites like Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine and Anne Burrell will be on hand to host walk-around tastings, elegant sit-down dinners, late-night parties and interactive meals alike, all while mingling with fans and enjoying the flavors of Florida.

Tickets are on sale now — buy yours today to guarantee your spot at marquee events like Burger Bash, The Q, Medianoches & Mixology, and more. Here are some of the events where you can find your favorite chefs.

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Portable Espresso Maker Delivers a Shot of Caffeine with a Few Quick Pumps

by in News, October 22nd, 2014

MinipressoYou’re sitting in your office, your car, a hotel room or the middle of nowhere, or you’re on a biking or camping trip — or heck, you’re just lounging around at home — and you crave an espresso, bigtime, but you’re too far from a fancy machine to make you one. What do you do?

A startup industrial design firm in Hong Kong, Wacaco, is now offering a new way to answer that question: a small, hand-powered portable espresso machine that allows people to “pull their own drink on the go,” the Minipresso.

According to the Minipresso website, the cleverly designed DIY machine extracts at 116 psi, which, the site says, “is exactly the pressure produced by traditional piston-driven espresso machines.” Temperature has also been carefully considered. “Minipresso produces at ambient condition (75 degrees F), an espresso at perfect temperature (152 degrees F in cup) with a nice compact and persistent crema on top,” the machine’s makers maintain.

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Alton Brown, the Master of Eviliciousness, Dishes on Halloween

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 22nd, 2014

Alton BrownWhen it comes to dishing out culinary evils, no one does it quite like the host of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown. Now in its fifth season, Cutthroat is known for no-nonsense sabotages befalling even those contestants already in the thick of kitchen struggles, and on the recent Halloween-themed episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the situation turned even scarier with ghostly challenges. FN Dish recently checked in with Alton to learn his candy must-have on Halloween, plus his best idea for next-level pumpkin carvings. Read on below to hear from the host in an exclusive interview, then catch Alton in costume on his Halloween After-Show.

What’s your favorite candy?
Alton Brown: Milk Duds

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America’s Best Burrito? You Be the Judge

by in News, October 21st, 2014

BurritoOn the flour-tortilla-wrapped face of it, finding America’s best burrito sounds like an impossible quest. For starters, how, given all the burrito-serving restaurants across the United States, do you taste all possible winners? And how, given the myriad permutations of burritos — the sheer volume and variety of techniques and fillings and flavors — do you compare different prospects? And then, how exactly can you quantify which is the best?

You’d have to be full of beans and un poco loco to even try such a thing, right?

Well, we don’t want to pass any judgments, but the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight.com recently flung itself full-force at the challenge, biting into burritos and crunching numbers — as only the site founded by statistician Nate Silver can — to arrive at a quantifiable winner.

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Dinner Rush! Creamy Rigatoni with Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

by , October 21st, 2014

Move over, pumpkin spice latte — you’re not the only squash-themed edible that deserves the seasonal spotlight. Let’s clear a path for good ol’ reliable butternut. Is it the sexiest squash at the market? Hardly. But what it lacks in front-porch decor appeal it more than makes up for with a cute name and remarkable versatility.

This time of year, butternut squash really is everywhere. You can pick one up whole or already cubed up in the produce section. They’re also hiding out in a lesser-known location: the freezer case. Frozen squash will save a ton of prep time, whether you buy it cubed or pureed. While the recipe below makes fantastic use of the whole squash, buy yourself a little extra and toss it in with soups, stews or your breakfast hash. You’ll be doing your dinner plate a vitamin-boosting favor and helping out an underdog.

Now, step out into that spotlight, butternut squash. You deserve it.

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