What to Watch: Movie Night Party Snacks on Daphne Dishes and the Season Premiere of Food Network Star

by in Shows, June 5th, 2015

Food Network StarAs you gear up for the summer months, you may notice your calendar filling up with barbecues, potlucks and parties — all of which call for some delicious food. This weekend, tune in and watch some of your favorite stars and get menu ideas for your next backyard get-together. On Saturday, join the cast of The Kitchen as they make must-have meals. Dishes like Crispy Personal Pita Pizzas and Strawberry Smash cocktail are both tasty and party-friendly, ideal to share with friends. On Sunday, Giada De Laurentiis creates a fusion of Japanese and Italian food with dishes like Asian Mushroom Risotto. Then, catch up with Daphne Brogdon as she prepares a fun menu for her outdoor movie theater party and with Damaris Phillips as she makes her Pecan-Crusted Stuffed Chicken.

On Sunday night, channel your competitive spirit and get ready for three hours of back-to-back competition. First, there’s an all-new Triple G: Redemption, where competitors get a second chance to cook for the grand prize. Next, watch the premiere of Food Network Star and see the 12 contestants take on their first challenge to create an introductory video and make their signature dish for their mentors and the judges. Finish the night off with an all-new Cutthroat Kitchen — you know Alton will be throwing the most evilicious of curveballs.

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Homemade LEGO-Shaped Gummies Are Snackable and Stackable

by in News, June 4th, 2015

Homemade LEGO-Shaped Gummies Are Snackable and StackableKids like LEGOs — and they like gummies. So do many adults. If you’re looking for something to make with the kids this summer, consider these LEGO-brick-shaped gummy candies from YouTuber Grant Thompson, who posts videos under the handle The King of Random.

Thompson writes that his homemade LEGO gummies can be made in “massive” quantities and are both “snack-able” and “stackable.” His method — which you can watch play out in the above video — is derived from an Instructable posted by SFHandyman, but Thompson says he toyed with the recipe in order to tailor the texture and flavor to his taste.

“I’ve kept experimenting off and on for the last four years, using my kids and wife for feedback,” he explains. “They gobble them up no matter what variations I use, but I’ve finally settled on 1/2 cup of very cold water, 1/4 cup of corn syrup, 2 packets of unflavored gelatin and 1 pack of Jell-O.”

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The 6 Essential Chicken Recipes of Summer — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, June 4th, 2015

Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue SauceHot dogs and burgers may be the poster children of summer eating, but there’s another unassuming protein that packs a punch during the warm-weather months: chicken. But we don’t mean just any chicken. Summer is the time when this white meat truly shines, since it can come every which way: grilled, fried, barbecued and more. These six must-make chicken recipes belong on your summer bucket list.

1. Beer Can Chicken

If you’ve ever made beer can chicken, you know that this technique results in the most game-changing, moist chicken ever. For Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue Sauce, simply sit a whole chicken on top of an open beer can and set it on the grill over indirect heat. The can holds the chicken up inside the grill, so it cooks extra-juicy and tender.

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Serve Your Dishes on a Stick

by in Recipes, June 4th, 2015

Skip the hassle of serving ware at your next outdoor event by serving all of your favorite dishes like stuffed mushrooms and strawberry shortcake on a stick. You’ll get all of your favorite flavors with way less cleanup, thanks to single-serving skewers that guests can take and tote as they mingle.

Stuffed-Mushroom Skewers

Stuffed mushrooms are an all-time favorite appetizer, and these skewered bites are ready in just 30 minutes. Slide them onto a skewer and pop them on the grill for your next outdoor gathering. For a zesty spinoff, try substituting fresh chorizo and cilantro for the sausage and parsley.

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Millennials Are Big on Cocktails and Wine, but Beer Not So Much

by in Drinks, News, June 3rd, 2015

Millennials Are Big on Cocktails and Wine, but Beer Not So MuchCare for a cocktail? Perhaps a glass of wine? Way to drink like a millennial!

Millennials are increasingly turning to wine and spirits and turning their backs on beer, Business Insider reports, citing a Morgan Stanley industry analysis.

Between 2012 and 2015 alone, those who said beer was their “favorite alcoholic beverage” declined from 29 percent to 26.8 percent overall — and from 33 percent to 27.4 percent among millennials, according to Morgan Stanley’s research.

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No Matter Your BBQ Menu, You’ll Want to Make These Smoky Baked Beans Too

by in Recipes, June 3rd, 2015

The Ultimate Baked BeansBurgers, hot dogs and ribs often steal the show at summertime cookouts, but side dishes are not to be forgotten. From creamy macaroni salads to vinegar-spiked potato salads and simply grilled vegetables, these accompanying plates help round out the meal, but perhaps no side dish screams true ‘cue quite like baked beans. Tender, hearty and oftentimes a tad bit sweet, baked beans are a Southern specialty and surely worthy of a place on your outdoor buffet. Read on below to get both classic and creative takes on this seasonal staple from Food Network stars like The Pioneer Woman and Trisha Yearwood.

5. Quick and Easy Baked Beans — For guaranteed ease and simplicity, Ree Drummond starts with a few cans of baked beans to make this big-batch recipe, which can be conveniently prepped in a single pan. She boosts the flavor with smoky fried bacon, then stirs in additional ingredients, like fresh peppers and barbecue sauce, for next-level taste.

4. Mama Neely’s Baked Beans — “Once you make these beans, there is no going back,” Pay Neely says. “If you want to put your own spin on it, you can use kidney beans instead of pork and beans, but I say my mama’s way is best.”

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Pasta with Butter and Peas for the Kids, and a Veggie-Packed Primavera for You

by in Family, Recipes, June 3rd, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Pasta PrimaveraIf you’re not a fan of pasta, there may be something wrong with you. Just kidding. You’re still a good person.

But really, how could you not like pasta? You know, don’t even tell me if you don’t. I don’t think my heart could take it. I feel like we’re in a good place in our relationship, and I can’t rightly handle any deal breakers. I have to wash my hair today; that’s already too much for me.

Anyway, what we have here is a ridiiiiiculous pasta primavera, but super-stripped down on the front end for your babes. I included some peas in the kid-friendly recipe. Ya know, color! And health or whatever.

The mature version is loaded with veggies, a bit of dry white wine, a little bit and a lot of butter, tons of good Parmesan and a heavy hand of fresh herbs. You may cry. Just keeping adding cheese at the end and I’m sure you will.

As a matter of fact, I’m tearing up right now.

I may need a moment. Or more pasta?

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Maestros of Spice — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, June 2nd, 2015


Things got spicy on tonight’s episode of Chopped, with all of the baskets packing some heat — including dessert. While most would be hesitant to make something sweet from a basket full of fiery foods, the Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy and Maneet Chauhan — handled it flawlessly, using some very out-of-the-box combinations after the episode ended. On an all-new Chopped After Hours, they try their hand at the dessert round with chile pepper honey, devil’s food tres leches cake, pink lemons and canary melon.

“You’ve got to make sure you taste your ingredients before you cook with them,” Marc says as he coughs from the heat of the chile pepper honey. When Ted points out that he can assure Marc the canary melon is not hot and will offer some relief, Marc doubts his assurance, saying, “Well, maybe — you know — in the Chopped basket they might have infused the hot in here somehow. They might have put, like, a syringe in here!”

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Cooking with Kids: Adventures in Strawberry Shortcake Making, Plus a Simple Recipe

by in Family, Recipes, June 2nd, 2015

Strawberry ShortcakeI like to cook with my 8-year-old. It’s way more fun than room cleaning and other required household activities. Recently, I decided to bring our pastime into her third-grade class and make strawberry shortcakes with them. I was nervous. I have stage fright. Also, though I have made this dish dozens of times, I have no prior experience doing it with the help of 19 small friends. (Hats off to all teachers in the land, by the way.)

I figured that strawberry shortcakes would be a good teaching dish; most kids like this springy dessert, making it does not require tons of technical skill, and the recipe has three parts to keep kids engaged. To make it easier, I chose the simplest cream biscuit recipe I knew, and measured out the ingredients ahead of time. (I sliced the berries too, because that’s time-consuming and a little boring.)

The primary reason to show kids how to make this is that someday our kids will be old enough to cook by themselves, and if they know how to make strawberry shortcakes, they might make some for us. Don’t I want that to happen? Yes, I do.

Here’s what you need to make strawberry shortcake with your own group of kids. Below, I am including a prep list, an equipment checklist and the recipe. Scale it up for every 12 kids you want to feed. It is possible, with some extra preparation, to sneak in other skills, like addition, multiplication, division and fractions, and how to read and follow instructions. Use the shopping list and class plan to help simplify the work. Use the checklist to pack and to plan, and the class itself will go pretty smoothly. As it turns out, this third-grade class was a friendly audience. They were curious and helpful, and loved eating their work.

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