Cream Cheese — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, September 3rd, 2012

iron chef america battle cream cheese
It would be hard to disagree with anyone who argued that the spiritual home for a dollop of cream cheese is on a toasted bagel, in my case accompanied by an equally large spoonful of crunchy peanut butter.

As I hope the Iron Chef and his challenger proved during their exciting battle, however, this fresh, tangy cheese is far more versatile than some people might imagine and is definitely worth keeping on hand as a refrigerator basic.

What is cream cheese?
Cream cheese is a soft, fresh unripened cheese that is made from a combination of milk and heavy cream and by definition must contain at least 33 percent milk fats and less than 55 percent moisture.

It is one of the most popular cheeses in the United States and the most recent research I could find from 2008 reports that the average American consumes a little over 2.5 pounds of cream cheese every year.

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Eating Meat-Free When Others Are Not — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, September 3rd, 2012

Baked Creamed Corn With Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos
Since today is Labor Day and the unofficial end of grilling season, it’s likely that platters of ribs, hot dogs or burgers will find their way to your picnic table. So how do you maintain a meatless meal when friends and family around you are indulging in meaty main dishes? There are indeed ways to keep your Labor Day menu flavorful, hearty and deliciously meat-free that don’t include eating around the chunks of chicken in the pasta salad or nibbling on fruit and carrot sticks all afternoon.

If you’re attending a backyard bash and the host has requested you bring a dish to share, reach for your favorite meatless one. The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Creamed Corn With Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos (pictured above) is a five-star recipe from Food Network Magazine that feeds a crowd and can be made with just a handful of ingredients. This potluck-friendly classic is loaded with vegetables and pairs well with traditional cookout fare and meatless items alike.

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Pizza Mike’s Says Goodbye — The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, September 2nd, 2012

nonna's kitchenette and pizza mike's

The third season of The Great Food Truck Race took the remaining six trucks to Amarillo, Texas, this week, and while the contestants are starting to learn the ropes of the food truck industry, they weren’t without newbie difficulties this challenge. With a grand prize of $50,000 on the line and the chance to keep their truck, each team tries to pull out all their tricks to stay in the game, but ultimately one truck must go each week. Every Sunday night, FN Dish will bring you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Food Truck contestants to get the boot.

There’s no doubt Pizza Mike’s is used to hardship: Mike’s restaurant career ended three years ago with a fire that destroyed his restaurant completely. But that didn’t stop him. Along with friends Pat and Gino, Mike battled through challenges on his food truck, and Pizza Mike’s even secured second-place spots two weeks in a row. Even though they had to hand their keys back to Tyler this week, this team has much to be proud of and many lessons to take back with them.

Read the interview

Maple Toast Sticks — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, September 2nd, 2012

maple toast sticks
If you’re looking for a super-fast way to start the day, try a breakfast dish like this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: Food Network Magazine‘s Maple Toast Sticks. Cut one slice of Texas toast into sticks. Mix one tablespoon each melted butter and maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and vanilla. Brush on the bread and toast in the oven.

For more recipes that are sure to kick-start your morning off right, visit Food Network’s Let’s Rise & Shine board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Maple Toast Sticks

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

by in Uncategorized, September 2nd, 2012

bananas in bowl
Do pesky fruit flies hover around your fresh produce? Find out how you can get them out of your kitchen.

Fruit Flies 101
Adult fruit flies (Drosiphila melanogaster) range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters, have red eyes and tan or brownish body. The...

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Baking in the Clouds

by in How-to, September 1st, 2012

high altitude baking
Living at sea level, I’ve never given much thought to recipe adjustments needed when baking at higher elevations. A dear friend of mine (a seasoned pastry chef), Tweeted that she was nervous about baking in the clouds — it was a cry for help. I was happy to chime in and give her thin-air solutions.

First things first: Boiling water temperature is not universal. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F. At 10,000 feet above sea level, it drops to 195 degrees F. Go figure.

If we understand why cakes fall during cooling, fixing the problem becomes easy.

Follow me: the higher up you go, air pressure decreases, which causes leavening agents in baked goods to react too quickly. Liquids also tend to evaporate at a quicker rate. This causes cakes to fall and be dry.

Find out how to make the perfect high-altitude cake

Labor Day Recipes for a Crowd

by in Entertaining, Holidays, September 1st, 2012

Kansas City Style Pork Ribs
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Saturday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread is guaranteed to feed a crowd.

If this Labor Day weekend suddenly finds you cooking for a houseful of guests, fear not. We have everything you need to pull off an effortless, enjoyable backyard bash that’s brimming with top-notch dishes. Best of all, our no-fail recipes are a cinch to make, so you can be sure that you, the host, will have as much fun at your party as your guests.

Perhaps the most important part of any summertime soiree is the cocktails, and when it comes to entertaining a crowd, simplicity is key. Now isn’t the time to show off your mixology skills with made-to-order specialty drinks. Instead reach for big-batch cocktails that lend themselves to easy pouring, like Food Network Magazine‘s Red Sangria or Bobby’s White Peach Cocktail. If your guest list includes kids, prepare a pitcher of alcohol-free Mint Limeade, so that they can enjoy frosty glasses, too. Check out Food Network’s roundup of Pitcher-Friendly Drinks for more simple drink ideas.

Get the menu

The Great Food Truck Race Caption It — This Way to Food

by in Shows, August 31st, 2012

Coast of Atlanta on The Great Food Truck Race
The Great Food Truck Race cruises into its third week this Sunday, which means by now the teams have become more comfortable in their trucks and are finally starting to think and sell like professional food truck operators. But although the teams have learned to properly price their menus, cook in small spaces and work with local ingredients, some are still struggling to find the best way to publicize themselves and track down optimal parking spaces. Should trucks pair up with one another to increase their visibility, or should they try to monopolize an entire area on their own? Can they afford to settle for an out-of-the-way location if they have absolutely top-notch food? The remaining six teams are likely asking themselves these questions and more as they prepare for another weekend of selling in Amarillo, Texas.

No matter her team’s location, Coast of Atlanta’s Tawanaca has taken the opportunity to advertise into her own hands, resorting to a rustic cardboard sign and sidewalk promotion to lure potential customers to her truck. Has her team fallen victim to the Curse of the Bad Parking Spot and been forced to turn to alternative methods of marketing? Is her handmade advertisement a way to compete with nearby trucks? What else could the teams be doing to better their businesses?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to find out which team goes home next, we’re challenging you, Food Truck fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this on-the-street moment in the comments below.

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