No-Bake Desserts — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Recipes, July 31st, 2013

Frozen Peanut Butter BitesI sometimes question my own sanity when I crank the oven to bake pies, cakes and cookies during the summer. When the temperatures reach record-breaking highs, though, as we happen to be experiencing here in New York City, even I come to my senses. That doesn’t mean I give up on cooking from scratch, or on sweets — life is too short to skip dessert.

Sliced fruit or berries macerated — chef-speak for marinated — along with sugar, are perfect paired with fresh whipped cream. Ice pops are an easy go-to summer dessert, too. I recently made watermelon ones reminiscent of Jolly Rancher candies. Cherry Slushies are another favorite of mine and require no chilling time. You simply puree cherry conserves with ice cubes in a blender. What are your favorite ways to stay cool and still indulge?

Try these no-bake recipes

Host-Turned-Competitor Ted Allen Joins the Battle — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, July 30th, 2013


Although he’s overseen hundreds of rounds of Chopped, Ted had never before cooked in the kitchen, and he didn’t know the experiences of manipulating mystery ingredients, running through the pantry or competing against the clock firsthand. Until tonight, that is. In his first foray into battle against the Chopping Block, Ted went head-to-head-to-head with Marc and Maneet in an After Hours competition, while Chris filled his hosting shoes for the day. Ted and the judges watched three chef-competitors attempt a basket of crab legs, sweet vermouth, green asparagus and Mexican wedding cookies, before they, too, tried their hands at those ingredients with only 30 minutes on the clock.

Ted may have been the rookie contestant in the kitchen, but that didn’t stop him from tackling an ambitious dish of crab cakes, especially since the crab was frozen at the start of the battle. He quickly boiled it, making the meat easier to work with, before getting started on a vermouth vinaigrette. As is often the case among the chefs, he faced a potentially damning problem with just minutes left to cook, when his vinaigrette broke in the blender. Per the advice of peer and guest host Chris, however, Ted remade the mixture, and in the end, “it totally made the dish,” according to Chris.

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Diet 101: The Fast Diet

by , July 30th, 2013

cottage cheese

This diet became all the rage after it aired on the BBC during the 2012 London Olympics, and The Fast Diet book has become a best-seller. But is frequent fasting the healthiest way to lose weight, stay healthy and live longer?

Overview
The authors ...

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You Asked Food Network Stars

by in Food Network Magazine, July 30th, 2013

JulyAugust 2013 cover

Food Network stars answer your burning questions in the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine.

Sunny, what is the perfect rub for slow-roasted pork butt and ribs?
John R. Verdensky via Facebook

The butt, or shoulder, is my favorite thing to slow-roast. Pork accepts flavor really well, so it’s fun to tailor the seasoning blend to your meal. The easiest is my grandma’s recipe, which is just Old Bay, sweet paprika, garlic and onion powder. I also like pumpkin pie spice blends or curry blends with plenty of salt and pepper. For ribs, I’m a daughter of the Carolinas, so I lean toward vinegar in my sauce. Or try rubbing the ribs with a blend of chili powder, lime juice and honey.
—Sunny Anderson

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Spinach Salad with Sweet Shapes

by in Family, July 30th, 2013

Kid-Friendly Spinach SaladMy kids don’t like salad. In fact, every time they see lettuce, or fresh herbs for that matter, on anything, I hear the same thing from the pink booster seat section of the dining room: “Salad!? I don’t like salad!” But if you’re trying to get kids to eat (and at some point enjoy) fresh and healthy foods, it’s all about repetition — sometimes with a twist. I bought these Japanese vegetable cutters online for less than four bucks, and they’ve been worth their weight in gold. Here, simple carrots and cucumbers get a new look in seconds — and make this spinach salad suddenly appealing.

I’m no fool; I know a star-shaped carrot will get you only so far, but I’m just trying to get the kids engaged. Pique their interests. If it takes a heart or a star to pull off a spinach salad for the under-five set, I’m in.

Summer Fruit Pie and Tart Recipes — The Only Reason to Turn on Your Oven This Season

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2013

Fruit CrostataThere aren’t many reasons to turn on the oven during summer, especially in the middle of a heat wave. But if there ever was a reason, it would be to bake a seasonal fruit pie or tart. Summer is the time to bake with beautiful fruits like blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries, strawberries, plums and more because that’s when these fruits are in their prime.

FN Dish has put together a great selection of 10 pie and tart recipes to bake this summer, along with tips for making the best pie yet. If you can take the heat for a couple of hours (with the a/c turned on high), then make one of these amazing pies.

Get the Recipes and the Most Important Things to Know About Pie

Giada’s Quick Pasta with Spinach Sauce — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2013

Penne with Spinach SauceNo matter if you’re preparing a lean vegetarian dinner or a hearty beefy entree, cooking on Monday nights needs to be easy and fast. With summer camp schedules, after-work commitments and various errands, the first day of the week isn’t the time to experiment with complicated meals. Instead, reach for tried-and-true recipes — those that require hardly any prep time.

Giada’s Penne with Spinach Sauce (pictured above) is one such dinner, ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The secret to her fuss-free dinner is relying on a no-cook sauce to dress the noodles. After whirling garlic, goat cheese and cream cheese in a food processor, she adds nutrient-rich spinach to create a tangy, smooth puree, which she mixes with whole baby spinach leaves and uses to top just-cooked penne. Be sure to save some of the pasta water when draining the noodles; you can use the starchy liquid to loosen the sauce. Before serving, season the pasta and finish with a sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese. Click the play button on the video below to watch Giada made this go-to dinner.

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How Often Should You Eat?

by , July 29th, 2013

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Many experts recommend eating small meals frequently throughout the day. However, a new school of thought has emerged that recommends eating larger, less frequent meals. So how often should you be eating?

Eating Smaller, Frequent Meals
The Theory: N...

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