We all want more time. And we all want to be healthy. So when I develop a strategy that meets both goals, I get excited about sharing it with you. Today I’m sharing my roasted veggie strategy. It’s really quite simple: Bake up a tray or two of veggies on the weekend to stick in the fridge and use for recipes all week. Roasting the veggies brings out the vegetables’ natural earthy sweetness, and it makes them last for days in the refrigerator, which means you can make up a batch of veggies on Monday to use all week for recipes. You can combine veggies freely, making pretty color combinations or simply leveraging whatever happens to be in your crisper drawer. This is my favorite kind of convenience food — one I make myself.
Scalloped Potatoes. Potatoes au Gratin. Potato Cheese Casserole. Potato Cheese Bake. Many names describe this mouthwatering, golden-brown, bubbly dish of down-home comfort.
I have a friend who is a personal chef in Atlanta. She told me that she once described a possible menu dish to her customer as a casserole and her customer responded with a slightly disdainful, haughty voice, “Oh, no, our family doesn’t eat casseroles.” Duly noted, my wise friend observed. A few weeks later she thought she’d try again. She described pretty much the same dish, but this time as a gratin. The same customer replied in that same disdainful voice, “No, that’s too far too fancy, our family doesn’t eat gratins.” My friend knew her stumbling block was the language, the description, the perception, because she knew she meant the same recipe. So, going up to bat for a third time, a few weeks later still, she described the dish as a “bake.” It worked. “Oh, yes,” the customer happily replied, “that sounds lovely.”
We’ve watched as four returning champions have battled to earn a spot in the Chopped Ultimate Champions finale. One professional chef, one amateur cook, one hero cook and one celebrity have made it through. On the line is the biggest prize ever handed out on Chopped, $50,000 in cash and a new car. Each of these competitors has the potential to win, but only one will walk away the Ultimate Champion. Ahead of Tuesday’s finale at 10|9c, support your favorite competitor by voting for him or her in the fan poll.
Worst Things About Fall: school; everything is suddenly pumpkin flavored; it’s getting brisk out there.
Best Things About Fall: Oktoberfest, everything is suddenly pumpkin flavored; awesome new shows on Cooking Channel.
Here’s a peek at our fall TV lineup. Get pumped for some of the best new shows and best returning shows on Cooking Channel this fall.
Premieres September 27
Saturdays at 1:30pm ET
Zucchini are available year-round in grocery stores, but they’re at their peak right now, when you can find them fresh, local and cheap. Unlike the winter squash coming into markets in the months ahead, zucchini has edible skin and small, soft seeds. Zucchini is a good source of potassium and vitamins C and A, and it’s super low in calories — wins all around.
Zucchini are a multifunctional squash; you can fry them, saute them, use a vegetable peeler to turn zucchini into “pasta ribbons” or even munch on the raw squash. They can take the place of potatoes and pasta if you’re looking to go low-carb, but mostly they’re a delicious and easy addition to any meal. To get all of the moisture out before frying, purge a zucchini as you would an eggplant. Click here to see how to do it.
Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton is the ideal cookbook for the home cook who loves a good food story and wants to give homemade past a try. The book features recipes from the renowned Flour + Water restaurant in San Francisco, along with the history of the establishment. It perfectly captures the thought and detail that go into opening and running a restaurant, and building a seasonal menu from the ground up.
The book sings with the possibility of turning inspiration into actualized dreams, and that’s what sets it apart as a restaurant cookbook. It beckons readers to step into their kitchen with their pasta makers and do the same: Have a little culinary adventure inspired by seasonal ingredients. The prose stops just short of being whimsical, an enjoyable mix of good-humored practicality and well-timed comedy. McNaughton takes you step by step and story by story through the launch process for Flour + Water, tying details of the restaurant and menu tightly together with their local and global inspirations in the pages of the book.
As is usually the case when talking about pasta, the recipes will bowl you over with their variety and deliciousness. The majority of the storytelling takes place in the introductions of the book (there are three, each more entertaining than the last). Then it gets down to business with sections for dough and composed recipes. The dough section takes you through the heritage and science of pasta making, and features stunning photo tutorials, easy-to-follow instructions and even an email address you can message if you have questions. It covers everything from equipment to how to cook fresh pasta, and you’ll be crazy with cravings before you crack a single egg thanks to Eric Wolfinger’s immaculate photographs.
It probably seems to most of us like prices go in only one direction: up. But guess what? Though anyone feeding a family on a budget may find it hard to believe, food prices have actually gone down in the past few years. Yup, for real.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the cost of food around the world has fallen to its lowest level since September 2010. In August 2014 the FAO’s food price index declined for the fifth straight month, with every category of food — except meat — heading downward.
For millennia, mankind has gazed at the heavens and wondered why coffee cups were made from plaster and ceramic, rather than edible foodstuffs. After all, coffee and food go together pretty well, as anyone who has ever eaten a danish can tell you. Mankind can finally rest easy tonight. Here is a fully edible coffee cup.
What to Watch: Getting Fishy on The Great Food Truck Race and A Winner Is Crowned on RvG: Kids Cook-Offby Caitlyn Callegari in Shows, September 19th, 2014
Food Network is home to some good, healthy competition. And sometimes the competition is made even fiercer when there’s an ambitious element added to the mix. This may just be the case for The Great Food Truck Race and Cutthroat Kitchen this weekend. Both shows feature meals that put shellfish front and center, which can mean imminent trouble for Cutthroat contestants yet a mouthwatering delight for food truck customers. Not to be missed is an edge-of-your-seat episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, where the remaining kid contenders put together a food festival and only one leaves victorious.
Also, if you’re entertaining this weekend, be sure to catch Giada at Home and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. It’s a family affair as both Giada and Trisha invite their relatives over to dish up some delicious, down-home platters. Giada channels her Italian roots with her Aunt Raffy as they make Pizza Rustica, Pizza with Buzz and Escarole Pie. While Trisha has her nephew and his friends over to strictly do the eating, she cooks up a hearty meal of Sausage and Peppers, Garth’s Pasta Salad, Power Balls and Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies. Likewise, you can get inventive with Ree as she concocts bean-substituted burritos, tacos and burgers on The Pioneer Woman. And tune in for a special fall-themed episode of The Kitchen.
Cold Comfort for Comfort Food Fans
What’s your go-to food when you’re feeling down? Car...