Cream Cheese: Is It Healthy?

by , July 19th, 2013

cream cheese

Does this soft, spreadable cheese have any place in a healthy eating plan? It may depend on which kind you choose.

Yes?
Cream cheese comes in numerous forms: brick, regular, whipped, light, fat-free and Neufchatel. You can also find regular, light a...

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Caption It: Taste Tester

by , July 19th, 2013

Alton BrownFrom private chefs and culinary instructors to restaurant owners, underground chefs and James Beard Award semifinalists, this year’s cast of Star finalists boasts a long and impressive kitchen resume. They’re keenly aware of what it takes to turn out balanced and full-flavored dishes, but thanks to the pressure of cooking on camera and against the clock — for a panel of esteemed food stars, no less — some of the rivals’ offerings have proven disappointing, some even inedible. While the Selection Committee has demanded culinary excellence from day one of the competition, now nearly two months into the contest, the judges are finally starting to see consistently stellar plates.

In the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday’s all-new episode, it looks as if Alton’s come across a dish he especially likes. No need for utensils or a tasting table here: He’s gone hands first into a pot of one finalist’s offering, picking at it while looking over his shoulder with a serious side-eye. What kind of food do you think is waiting for Alton in that pan, and who do you think made this sample-worthy meal?

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What to Watch: Trisha’s Favorite Foods, Giada’s Kid-Friendly Recipes and a Star Returns to the Competition

by in Shows, July 19th, 2013

Trisha and BethThis weekend, Food Network has a bunch of new episodes that cover cooking for special occasions, for special guests and even for yourself. And if you’ve been watching Star Salvation, you know that one eliminated Food Network Star will be returning to the competition this Sunday.

First on Saturday morning, Ree is banking a few family-favorite recipes for the freezer to have on hand for later. Then, Trish and her sister Beth are cooking up all of Trisha’s favorite foods. On Barefoot Contessa, Ina is back in Brooklyn visiting a few famous eateries for inspiration in her own cooking. On Giada at Home, Giada is cooking kid-friendly recipes for her daughter’s dance class.

On Sunday morning, Jamie Deen is celebrating his brother, Bobby’s, birthday with a menu of all of Bobby’s favorite dishes. Then Bobby Flay is cooking up a Spanish barbecue menu. Come back in the evening for a new episode of Food Court Wars as two teams try to win over the citizens of their town, Wausau, Wis., with a casual diner versus a healthy food spot. Afterward on Food Network Star, the finalists are surprised to find out a former finalist returns to the show. This episode’s challenge will have them taping a food show that tests their storytelling skills. And on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert must help revitalize a 26-year-old family restaurant business that’s in desperate need of more motivated management from the family.

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Food Network Kitchens’ Cookie Challenge

by in Contests, July 18th, 2013

Food Network Kitchens' Cookie ChallengeIt’s time to momentarily set aside your plans for the beach and put on your party hats for a mini-holiday in July. As Food Network starts preparing content to ensure your holiday season is more delicious than ever this year, Food Network Kitchens are dying to know what holiday cookie you are dreaming of baking this winter.

Every holiday season, FoodNetwork.com launches a 12 Days of Cookies countdown with a different cookie recipe each day for 12 days. This year a brand-new, never-been-seen-before cookie developed by the Food Network Kitchens will also be added to the roster. Now is your chance to tell us what your dream holiday cookie would be. What kind of cookie are you dying to learn how to make this year? Or have been searching for the perfect recipe without success? If you could imagine a cookie becoming your new favorite, what would it include?

Comment below and tell us what new cookie you are dreaming of

Summertime and the Sipping Is Easy

by in Food Network Chef, July 18th, 2013

Spa Tea by Melissa d'ArabianI grew up in Tucson, Ariz., and summertime meant one thing: drinking sun tea. My mom constantly had a huge jar of water with teabags sitting on the hot concrete in our backyard, blinding sun beating down on the teabags. She was a purist: She brewed it so strong the tannic acid was mouth-puckering and she drank it unsweetened, without even a slice of lemon. I would drink the tea with only a few ice cubes to cut the taste, sitting alongside my mom, just treasuring our time alone together, two ladies sipping tea on a hot summer day.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve developed my own palate for unsweetened flavored waters (which is what tea is really, right?). I love water with a hint of flavor because it refreshes without being boring. Plus as a bonus, flavored waters make me feel like I’m at a spa — for a lot less.

Try it yourself: Throw a few pieces of fruit and maybe some fresh herbs into a pitcher and add water. (By the way, if you make a lot of spa water, buy a handy pitcher with a steeping basket attached. Just load the basket with fruit and herbs, and fill the pitcher with water.)

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Fire and Ice: How to Make Grilled Lemonade

by in Food Network Magazine, July 18th, 2013

grilled lemonadeWe’re all for throwing new things onto the grill, but we were skeptical of grilled lemonade when we heard about the trend. After trying it, we’re sold: Grilling the lemons makes the drink taste caramelized and slightly smoky. To make a pitcher, dip the cut sides of 16 halved lemons in sugar and grill until marked, about 5 minutes; let cool. Simmer 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt until dissolved; let cool. Squeeze the lemons through a strainer into a pitcher; stir in the sugar syrup, some ice and a few of the grilled lemons.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

22 Healthy Zucchini Recipes

by , July 18th, 2013

zucchini salad

It’s prime season for summer squash, and like most folks, I get all jazzed up when the zucchini harvest arrives. Here are 22 healthy ways to devour this summer goodie.

Soups, Salads, Snacks … and a Cocktail!
Zucchini is the chameleon of the prod...

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15 Fun Uses for Frozen Fruit

by , July 18th, 2013

frozen berries
Few freezers are without some type of frozen fruit. That’s a good thing because frozen fruit is incredibly nutritious (as long as it’s not packed with sugar or syrup) and endlessly versatile in both sweet and savory dishes. (And with the...

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Best 5 Summer Appetizers

by in Recipes, July 18th, 2013

GuacamoleWhen you find yourself faced with last-minute entertaining duties or you simply want to dress up your usual dinner spread with a few premeal munchies, it’s a good idea to have several seasonal appetizers at the ready in your recipe arsenal. These go-to starters ought to be just enough to tide over friends and family without weighing down their appetites, and should ultimately complement the rest of the meal. If you’ll be setting up a burger bar for dinner, for example, you may want to steer clear of sliders for a starter and opt instead for something simple like salsa and chips. Similarly, if you’re serving a seafood feast as an entree, use the appetizer course to introduce a shellfish, like New England steamers. Check out Food Network’s top-five summer appetizers below to find fresh, party-ready picks from Giada, Anne, Ellie, Rachael and Alton, then visit Food Network’s Grilling Central to see the rest of our favorite first-course dishes.

5. Beef Pops with Pineapple and Parsley Sauce — Make a simple no-cook sauce of fresh parsley, garlic and vinegar, and let it do double duty in Giada’s mini kebabs as both a marinade for the beef and a final topping on the dish.

4. Grilled Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini — Anne dresses up garlic-rubbed bread with a flavorful salsalike mixture of sauteed bacon, grilled corn and Fresno chiles to create flavorful two-bite toasts that are smoky and just slightly spicy.

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