2-Ingredient Banana Cookies (and Neither Is Sugar)

by in Family, January 13th, 2014

Two Ingredient Banana CookiesI’ve seen versions of this cookie recipe online in many places, so when it was my family’s turn to bring a snack to my 4-year-old’s preschool class, we gave it a shot. What a hit! It’s the only time we’ve ever come home with an empty bowl, to my toddlers’ total dismay. They were really looking forward to eating those leftovers and I don’t blame them because there are many things to love about these cookies.

First, they’re simple. You mash up two very ripe bananas with old-fashioned oats and bake. That’s the whole technique right there. But you could also add things to your liking: walnuts, raisins, almonds, chia seeds (which we used), dried cranberries, etc. Add whatever mix-ins your kids enjoy (whatever you want them to eat more of in a perfect world). Second, they’re sugar-free. And third, they’re full of great-for-you ingredients.

We have a fresh bunch of bananas sitting on our counter right now, just waiting for a brown spot or two to appear before we whip up a new batch to keep for ourselves.

Get the full recipe for Banana Cookies at Foodlets.com.

 

Grown-Up Sabotage in a Kid-Size Kitchen — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014


From competition and available prize money to chefs’ hopes and judges’ expectations, Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t short on anything, least of all sabotage. But tonight the contest took a turn for the pintsize in Round 3, when Chef Midgley found himself cooking strawberry shortcake in a tiny kids’ kitchen, equipped with a miniscule sink, toaster oven and induction range, as well as petite utensils.

“If you can only imagine in your mind’s eye big ol’ mitts on that guy using these little-bitty tools,” Alton said to Simon after he revealed the play-size setup to the judge on his After-Show. “I probably would have cried and run off into the corner,” Simon joked of how he may have approached this challenge, as he and Alton crouched down next to it. It turns out, however, that Chef Midgley found success with this sabotage, as he completed the round on time and presented Simon with a dish superior to his rival’s balsamic-soaked plate.

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Playing with Fire — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014


When it comes to chefs working with mystery basket ingredients, the Chopped judges look for creativity and, above all, an expert incorporation of all the ingredients into one harmonious dish. And sometimes it takes a bit of playing with one’s food to achieve that, or in this case playing with fire. Facing the same dessert basket as the contestants from Chopped: Firefighter Chefs, the judges accomplished exactly that. Alex, Scott and Amanda took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with wafer sheets, lemon soda, vanilla pudding cups and a blowtorch.

On the show, the final two competitors were able to make great strides with the ingredients, but neither of them truly created a unified dish. The one whose dish was found to be the most disjointed was ultimately chopped. Alex, Scott and Amanda looked at the ingredients as an opportunity to create unique desserts and the blowtorch as an enhancer of flavor. Alex went the extra mile in using it to char a savory ingredient for her dessert, which impressed her fellow judges the most.

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Veggie Lasagna — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 12th, 2014

Squash and Spinach Lasagna - Most Popular Pin of the WeekThis week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week skips the meat — bet you won’t miss it. This vegetarian main dish is packed with vegetables (butternut squash and spinach) and gets creamy goodness from part-skim mozzarella and low-fat milk.

For more healthy everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Squash and Spinach Lasagna

The Sophomore Effort

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 12th, 2014

The Kitchen - Behind the Scenes, Episode 2by Jeff Mauro

What a blast it was watching the premiere of The Kitchen along with all of you. The twitter action was bonkers. I was up in the air on my way back from the 14th annual Mauro Mexico Family Trip (25 Mauros strong this year!). I was sad because: A) The vacation was a bit of a bummer because it rained five days straight, I lost my iPad and my mom got a terrible case of strep throat*, and B) I wasn’t able to watch the live airing of the premiere of our new show on TV. Luckily, we had in-flight Wi-Fi and I got to engage in the episode via Twitter. Overall, the response was very positive, which is always reassuring. Twittertown can be a rough and tumble joint (keep reading, you’ll see what I mean), and it is seriously not for the meek. But in this case, it seemed like the people really liked us. Phew.

Episode 2 was a blast to shoot. We hit the field energetic and, with a couple practices and a solid game under our tight belts, more confident. We had our first guest during Cookbook Club — the highly talented pastry guru, author and legitimate Chicago native Jenny McCoy (win a copy of her book now). She gave an effortless interview in which I totally blew it and forgot to ask her my favorite question ever (see photo below). Jenny then demoed some of her award-winning desserts with the girls, and GZ and I promptly got kicked off set. This gave us a bit of a “union break.” I enjoyed a necessary dose of Jersey sunshine with GZ (which I guess was highly necessary, considering I received several tweets, one claiming I look “pretty pale” and another asking “What’s with Jeff’s alabaster skin? It’s gross.”). Noted.**

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Rhyme Time with Vanilla Ice — Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

by in Shows, January 11th, 2014

Vanilla Ice Presents His DishOn Monday’s upcoming episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the celebrities must cater a cocktail party with a Hawaiian luau theme. Chopped judge Marc Murphy stops by to taste the dishes, offer his critique, and, most importantly announce the winning team and the MVP of the challenge. In this sneak peek photo from the episode, Vanilla Ice from Team Guy presents his dish for tasting, but Guy has a moment where he holds his head and Rachael giggles while she takes a sampling of the food.

Did someone say something funny or just plain corny? It is, after all, a Hawaiian-themed party, so the celebrities are taking the theme to heart with dishes that play up that fact. But Ice is also known to break out with a rhyme on the fly. Did he put a silly spin on his dish?

Before you tune in this Monday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Rachael vs. Guy fans, to write your best captions or rhymes (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Win a Signed Copy of The Kitchen’s Cookbook Club Feature, Desserts for Every Season

by in Contests, January 11th, 2014

Desserts for Every SeasonFor the first time on Saturday’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c), the co-hosts introduced fans to what will become a regular segment on the show — Cookbook Club — wherein they welcome a cookbook author to the set to check out his or her recipes and even taste some of the book’s most-tempting dishes.

Pastry chef Jenny McCoy kicked it off this week with her publication, Desserts for Every Season, a sweet-tooth-satisfying collection of easy-to-make treats. While the book boasts recipes that are grouped by seasonal ingredients and flavors, Jenny says that each how-to is approachable enough that you can swap out the fruit featured in one season’s dish for something else — whatever happens to be the freshest when you’re making it. She and Katie wasted no time in cooking up one of the book’s most-decadent recipes, Chocolate-Dried Cherry Bread Pudding — a warm, gooey dessert made with milk chocolate, a bit of orange zest and some chewy dried cherries.

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