Market Watch: Early Apples

by in Uncategorized, September 15th, 2012

apples
It’s only mid-September but I’ve been enjoying apples for months –thanks to these early varieties.

  • Delightfully crisp Gala are super crunchy and sweet with rosy skin. They’re good for applesauce or snacking.
  • Streaked pale green and red ...

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The Great Food Truck Race Caption It: Staring Contest

by in Shows, September 14th, 2012

Nonna's Kitchenette on Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race

Come Sunday night, The Great Food Truck Race shifts into high gear as the final four food trucks cruise into Nashville, Tenn., more determined and confident than ever. There are only three weeks left in the competition, and Pop-A-Waffle, Nonna’s Kitchenette, Seoul Sausage and Momma’s Grizzly Grub must use everything they’ve learned so far to outsell their rival trucks if they want to make it out of Music City.

In the sneak-peek shot above from this weekend’s brand-new episode, it seems as though Nonna’s Kitchenette has lost some of its fire since their Truck Stop win last week. They’re no longer celebrating Randy the Razorback or reveling in their first-place earnings; instead, the New Jersey gals are sporting noticeably bleak stares, as they fixate on what’s immediately in front of them. On what are the ladies focused so intently? Are their blank expressions the result of seeing their next challenge or another crazy mystery ingredient?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to find out what’s going on, we’re challenging you, Food Truck fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Which is your favorite food truck team so far? Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

Packing Lunchboxes for Picky Eaters — School Days

by in Recipes, September 14th, 2012

Ham Pinwheels
Food Network's Back-to-School HeadquartersSchool is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week in September FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.

Earlier this week, Food Network hosted a Facebook chat with our very own Food Network Kitchens on all things back-to-school. Though questions ranged from how to fix healthy lunches to how to get out of a PB&J rut, more than a few of you asked for lunchbox picks for your decidedly picky eaters. So this week’s classroom lesson is all about feeding your fussiest eaters lunches that they’ll gobble up in no time.

The key to packing for picking eaters is variety. No kid — or grownup — wants to open his or her brown paper bag to find yet another turkey and cheese sandwich, cut in the same four squares, nestled next to another apple and juice box. If sandwiches are just about the only thing your little one will eat, try giving them made-over versions of their favorites in order to keep lunch interesting. Food Network Magazine’s Ham Pinwheels (pictured above) are five-minute sandwiches that feature deli ham and cream cheese rolled into a soft tortilla. Cut into easy-to-eat pinwheels, these wraps may offer the simple change in presentation that your child needs to be excited about new foods.

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Catch Sunny Anderson on Her New Show This Fall: Home Made in America With Sunny

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 14th, 2012

sunny andersonJoin Sunny Anderson as she hits the road to track down the unsung heroes of the American culinary world: home cooks. Sunny travels across the country to discover the inspirational stories of the people behind the recipes, while learning a few tips and tricks of her own on her show Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson premiering Saturday, October 6 at 9:30am ET/PT. Whether Sunny tastes Grandma Williams’ authentic squash pie, which is the talk of Fayetteville, N.C. or Mary’s high-demand granola recipe, these homemade recipes tell a story, and each starts in the home kitchen.

This road trip will have Sunny traveling through Baton Rouge, La., to try a shrimp bisque family recipe, Oklahoma for award-winning barbecue brisket and Texas for the best home-smoked ribs in town. One episode has Sunny exploring her own stomping grounds in Brooklyn, N.Y., to find Carmen Rodriguez, a home cook turned business owner creating buzz with her unique cupcakes.

Tune in to this six-episode daytime series: Premieres Saturday, October 6 at 9:30am ET/PT.

Banana and Cajeta Layered Crepes — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, September 14th, 2012

banana and cajeta layered crepes
When it comes to dessert, I’m not particularly inventive. On the nights when it’s just my husband and me, we stick to the simple things like a nibble of chocolate or if we’re feeling particularly virtuous, sliced apple dipped in a little peanut butter. When I have more than the two of us to satisfy, I tend to gravitate toward fruit crisps or basic brownies. No one ever complains, particularly if I serve them with vanilla ice cream.

Once in a great while, however, I feel the need to up my game a little. Such is the case for an upcoming gathering of my potluck group. We’ve taken most of the summer off from getting together, as nearly every week, someone was dashing off to a distant beach town or jetting across the country to visit family. But with the start of the new school year, people are settling back down and are free for potlucking once again.

The next dinner is this weekend, and I’ve been assigned dessert. Our hostess is from Mexico and since September 15 is Mexican Independence Day, a theme has emerged. I needed something impressive and in keeping with the rest of the meal. Enter Marcela Valladolid’s Banana and Cajeta Layered Crepes. They’re dramatic, thematic and different from anything I’ve ever brought before. I made one crepe as a trial run earlier this week, to ensure that it wouldn’t be a flop for my friends. Happily, it’s delicious and fits the bill for this potluck perfectly. Next time you need a dessert that will wow folks, I highly recommend this one. It’s a bit labor-intensive, but that just makes it perfect for The Weekender.

Before you start layering your crepes, read these tips

Popcorn: Is It Healthy?

by in Uncategorized, September 14th, 2012

popcorn
Is popcorn healthy? The answer to this question: it depends. There are so many types to choose from: kettle corn, movie popcorn, microwave, air-popped and pre-popped, flavored varieties. Some choices are definitely much healthier than others.

Yes?
A...

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On The Blogs: Healthy School Lunches, Bartering With Bacon and More

by in Community, September 14th, 2012

panko chicken nuggetsParenting: Packing a healthy lunch for your kids (and yourself) just got easier. With this interactive “Healthy Lunch Maker,” you’ll have a better idea of the nutritional value inside your child’s lunchbox.

NY Times: One man attempts to barter his way across the country with no money, just bacon.

The Atlantic: The Texas State Fair, also the largest state fair in the country, proves you can deep-fry just about anything. How do you feel about deep-fried bubble gum?

Bon Appétit: Every wonder why the combination of caramel and salt or pears with blue cheese tastes so good? There’s a science behind it.

Eater: McDonald’s will begin posting calories on all their menu boards nationwide. How much do you think this will affect people’s eating habits?

Baking in Jars

by in Recipes, September 13th, 2012

peanut butter jar pieBeing a pastry chef and working in a tight, efficient kitchen of a very busy restaurant means I must possess Ina Garten-esque organizational skills, nurture a sophisticated palate that runs the gamut between savory and sweet and, most importantly, be a neat freak. Not your run-of-the-mill-dust-around-the-mixer type, but an obsessed clean-as-you-go neat freak. Once my kitchen is clean, I’m prepared for culinary combat with my savory buddies (chefs) in my quest for absolute freshness and artistic composition.

For years, I’ve battled with storage issues of the culinary kind. Often sharing space in the walk-in cooler with steaming trays of shrimp, my savory counterparts show no mercy when I rant about how the meringue on my pies will taste of garlic and the chocolate whipped cream will have a smoky flavor due to cooling hunks of smoked pork products.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Then an aha moment occurred. Why not serve my yummy pies in jars? Number one, they would be way too cute and number two, they’d be covered and protected from all the delicious yet unwelcome flavors and aromas floating around. I’m not talking pies squished into a jar, but actually constructed in jars.

Find out how Hedy makes them

Coleslaw and Football: A Culinary Touchdown

by in Recipes, September 13th, 2012

creamy cole slaw recipe

Not just for backyard barbecues anymore, coleslaw is a crowd-pleasing side that pairs perfectly with any hearty main dish. This weekend, as you’re prepping spicy chicken wings or saucy sloppy joes to serve at your game-day tailgate, look to no-cook coleslaw to complete your menu. For a mix of classic and creative preparations, check out our top five coleslaw recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs.

5. Apple-Raisin Cole Slaw – Thanks to a flavor-packed mixture of shredded cabbage, in-season apples and a pinch of celery seeds, Sunny says that her big-batch coleslaw is “crunchy, creamy, bright and tangy.”

4. Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw – Refreshing lime juice and fragrant cilantro add light, fresh flavor to Tyler’s five-star recipe, made in just 15 quick minutes.

Get the top three coleslaw recipes