How to Make Desserts Sparkle Like It’s the 4th of July

by in Holidays, June 30th, 2015

Sprinkles elevate an everyday dessert like this simple chocolate mousse into something special. Glittery red cinnamon sugar and vanilla mini marshmallow bits add a kick of flavor, while the subtle color of these pretty blue jimmies comes from natural dyes. So sprinkle without abandon and make even everyday celebrations sparkle like it’s the 4th of July.

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6 Kid-Tested Zucchini Dishes for Summer

by in Family, Recipes, June 30th, 2015

Zucchini Ribbon PastaIf you’re a gardener, or you’ve been to the grocery store and seen it on sale, you know the zucchini has officially arrived. We have a ton of the stuff popping up in our small garden beds every day, which means we’re eating a ton of the stuff every day. These are my favorite kid-tested zucchini recipes, offering enough variety to keep everyone eating the good stuff all summer long.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta: Long tendrils of zucchini combined with tender fettuccine noodles are the base of Ellie Krieger’s lightened-up Italian meal (pictured above). But it’s the garlic, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top that make it truly mouthwatering.

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From the Competition to Your Kitchen: 1-Ingredient Marinades

by , June 30th, 2015
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From the Competition to Your Kitchen: 1-Ingredient MarinadesThe competition moved outdoors this week for a 4th of July cookout. And after the teams unexpectedly had their groceries swapped, we saw which contestants could really think on their feet. We loved that Michelle quickly decided to marinate her chicke...

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Cheesy, Saucy and Downright Delicious Pizza on Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, June 30th, 2015

Top PizzaIn last night’s episode of Top 5 Restaurants, hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian revealed the eateries around the country that are slicing up the best pizza. Food Network has you covered when it comes to pizza, from deep dish and meat lover’s to seafood topped and cheesy, caramelized crusts. Take a look below to find out why these pies are a slice above the rest.

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10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should Follow

by in Community, News, June 29th, 2015

10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should FollowAs a social-media-savvy Food Network fan, you probably follow the Instagram feeds of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis — not to mention Guy Fieri, Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, Trisha Yearwood and Food Network — living vicariously through engagingly captioned pictures of their delicious meals, beautiful families and peripatetic travels. But who else should food lovers be following on Instagram?

April Bloomfield
British-born Bloomfield, chef and co-owner of two Michelin-star-awarded New York restaurants, The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, shares images of proud animals (pigs, cows, roosters) and fresh produce straight from the farm, along with delicious-looking dishes both in progress and beautifully plated.

Ashley Rodriguez
The name behind the popular blog Not Without Salt, Ashley takes her bright, crisp food photos to Instagram @ashrod. Look for fresh, simple fare like roasted artichokes and green salads, as well as indulgent treats and scenes from her day-to-day finds.

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Beef Quesadillas for the Kids and Street Tacos for You

by in Family, Recipes, June 29th, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Beef Quesadillas for the Kids and Street Tacos for YouIt’s hard to go through life without an unabashed obsession for tacos, am I right? It’s tacos, for crying out loud. Tiny carb canoes with seasoned meat, maybe a fruit here, a veggie there, a sprinkling of delicious cheese, and a burst of fresh lime juice or maybe even a delightful salsa or sauce. I mean, tacos.

I kept these particular tacos on the street side, with simple seasoned grass-fed beef (regular beef is fine!), fresh onion and cilantro, and a bit of crumbled queso fresco, but I added a creamy side with cubed avocado and mango. Mmmm mmm. What makes these most street-y, though, is the use of corn tortillas, especially when you lightly char each one over an open flame on your stovetop — oooooooWEEEE. They’re so amazing. So street-y. I like street-y. That came out wrong.

If your little ones aren’t yet into seasoned, street tacos, I pause toward the beginning of the recipe and slide a little of the beef into tortillas with melty cheddar cheese for some quick quesadillas. Boom. Errrrrone’s happy.

Get street-y! Err, you know what I mean.

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Giada’s Caponata Picnic Sandwiches — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2015

Caponata Picnic SandwichesIf there’s one activity that epitomizes summer, it’s packing a picnic and enjoying the outdoors. And what better time to plan a beautiful meal outside than on the Fourth of July? For a quick and portable meal this Independence Day, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Caponata Picnic Sandwiches (pictured above). You can dig into these sandwiches — made in under an hour — utensil-free.

Staying true to its classic Sicilian flavor profile, this caponata features eggplant, celery, red pepper and onion. Giada sautes the veggies in olive oil until they’re slightly tender, then combines them with diced tomatoes, oregano and raisins. After the mixture simmers for 20 minutes, add red wine vinegar, sugar and capers for a sweet-and-salty element, known in a caponata. The end result: a flavorful relish that becomes the ultimate condiment for this sandwich. Grill ciabatta bread cut-side down until golden, then rub with fresh garlic. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese for richness, and finally, top with the caponata and another piece of bread. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap for a picnic-ready meal.

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Debunking Myths: How to Grill the Ungrillable

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2015

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetable Spaghetti Foil PackIf you think of your grill as basically a big oven with a lid, you can cook just about anything on it — providing you have the right vessel. In the spirit of the hungry camper craving a fresh-baked brownie in the middle of the forest, here are nine “ungrillable” items that are great prepared over hot coals. (For the secret to the brownies, see below.)

Spaghetti with Sauce: Skip the unwieldy pot of boiling water and seal up fresh tomatoes, eggplant, dry pasta and some water in a packet of heavy-duty foil, place on the grill and voila! A hearty sauced spaghetti with a deep simmered taste. Get the recipe here.

French Toast: Buttered nonstick foil is the secret here. Use it to wrap 2 slices of eggy soaked bread, arranging the pieces side by side (not stacked). Grill over medium-high heat with the top down, flipping once after 5 minutes. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand for drizzling. Get the full recipe here.

Brownies: Fill a metal (not glass, please) pan with batter, place over an unlit burner on a grill prepared for medium-high heat, cover and bake; check for doneness often.

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Happy Birthday, America! The Death of a Rib Eye, Lessons in Japanese and the Dials of Doom

by , June 29th, 2015
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Food Network StarMy favorite personal moment from Food Network Star, Season 7 was during the Fourth of July celebration (check out a photo). It was held on a horse farm in the hills of Malibu, and it was hot, windy and packed with a hungry audience. These conditions,...

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“The Most-Spectacular Thing That We’ve Ever Done Here” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 28th, 2015

While surely all Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are designed for a bit of shock-and-awe factor, perhaps no single challenge delivered as much wow-worthy reaction as the brand-new dollhouse that was rolled out — literally — for tonight’s Round 3 oatmeal cookie battle. For host Alton Brown, this is quite simply “the most-spectacular thing that we’ve ever done here on Cutthroat Kitchen,” he said to guest judge Susan Feniger during the After-Show.

He explained that in this at once oversize and miniature house, one chef not only had to prep all of the cookie ingredients, but also cook them in there by way of the mini kitchen. “This was like a miniature kitchen dropped into the middle of hell,” Alton told Susan, adding that in true evilicious fashion, this sabotage wasn’t just what met the eye.

Aubrey, who works on the show’s team bringing the sabotages to life, explained that this house featured “some challenging ways for the chef to have to use the kitchen.” Think hanging through wall cutouts to reach the kitchen and crawling along stairs to get to the bathroom, where Chef Demarco, who was gifted this unprecedented challenge, chose to use the shower basin as a mixing bowl. “Our Cutthroat Kitchen workshop wasn’t big enough to build the whole thing in one piece, so we had to build [the house] in two separate pieces,” Aubrey explained, “and then when we rolled it into stage, we could actually put the roof on.”

Check out more photos below to see inside the dollhouse and get an up-close look at what this sabotage entailed.

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