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by in Community, November 23rd, 2013


Hoppy Thanksgiving

by in Food Network Magazine, November 22nd, 2013

The Most-Purchased Thanksgiving ItemsPop quiz: What are the top-five grocery items sold during the week of Thanksgiving, excluding turkey? The obvious — milk, eggs and butter — are top-sellers year-round, including Thanksgiving week, but we were surprised that beer came in fifth across the country, beating out canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce. The fourth most popular item? That depends on which side of the country you’re on: East Coasters buy record amounts of cream cheese, while those in the West are big on packaged fried onions.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

Winter Slaw — The Weekender

by in Holidays, November 22nd, 2013

Winter Slaw - The WeekenderIn my family, having a salad on the Thanksgiving table is a controversial issue. My mother, an avowed vegetable enthusiast, lobbies for it every year. My dad is firmly attached to tradition and so had long been entirely opposed to the presence of raw greenery.

He thinks that the menu should remain unchanged and the side dishes should be limited to stuffing, mashed potatoes, pureed winter squash, buttered green beans and a quivering log of canned cranberry jelly. The issue is made harder by the fact that he is the designated holiday cook in our household and so much of the prep falls to him.

In recent years, my mom and I have had some success in convincing my dad of the merits of a hearty autumnal salad as an addition (not a replacement) to the holiday table. He has reluctantly conceded, provided we select a salad that maintains a sense of seasonal integrity.

And so, during the last few years, I’ve dreamed up an array of salads and relish-like concoctions that satisfy a hunger for raw, crunchy things. For this year’s salad, I have my sights set on Tyler Florence’s recipe for Winter Slaw.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

15 Things You Didn’t Know You Need to Know for Thanksgiving

by in Holidays, How-to, November 22nd, 2013

Thanksgiving is less than one week away. You’ve got your essentials covered and your guest list set, but here are 15 things you didn’t know you need to know for Turkey Day.

#1. How to Make a Thanksgiving Stuffing Cake
Yep, that’s just what it sounds like: Stuffing baked in a Bundt pan, iced with mashed potatoes, drizzled with cranberry sauce and garnished with fried onions for an entirely new Thanksgiving side dish experience. Get the recipe and watch Food Network Kitchens show you how it’s done.

Keep reading for more tips

You Can Eat the Apple Core, Really + the Best Burger Buns of 2013

by in Community, News, November 22nd, 2013

ApplesThe Atlantic: Rethink throwing away the core of your next apple. News is that it’s perfectly fine to eat.

The Salt: Not just for brewing that morning cup of joe anymore, you can steam, poach and grill with your coffeemaker. A retired photographer in Oregon creates and sends recipes for home-cooked coffeemaker meals to her nephew deployed in Afghanistan.

BurgerBusiness: For burger enthusiasts, 2013 was the year of the bun. Here’s a recap of this year’s craziest trends, including the infamous ramen burger.

Slate: Is Nebraska the new foodie destination? For a truly authentic farm-to-table experience, the Cornhusker State may be the next spot to check out.

Eatocracy: Find out why you shouldn’t panic about the Butterball shortage.

What to Watch: Trisha Cooks with Kelly Clarkson, Thanksgiving Live and Square Dancing on Farmhouse Rules

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2013

Trisha and KellyThis weekend, Food Network has all the fun, starting in the kitchen. On Saturday morning, watch as Kelly Clarkson stops by from her busy tour to cook — and sing — with Trisha. Then tune in to Food Network’s yearly tradition, Thanksgiving Live! Ina, Alton, Bobby and Giada will be on call, live, answering viewers’ questions while cooking up a holiday dinner. Then in the evening watch a special aquarium-themed episode of Cupcake Wars.

On Sunday Morning, Guy plans an Indian menu for his family inspired by tandoori-style cooking. Then Damaris shows a soldier how to cook a special meal for his wife. On Farmhouse Rules, Nancy Fuller hosts a square dance in her barn with local food to feed her neighborhood friends. And finally in the evening, watch all-new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games and Restaurant Express.

Read About the Shows

BBQ vs. Chops: Which Restaurant Divided Concept Did You Like Better?

by in Shows, November 21st, 2013

Restaurant DividedFor Phil and Robin Schmidt, the struggling business at Phamous Phil’s BBQ & Grille didn’t just lead to an inability to pay bills; it created a significant amount of tension in their marriage as well. These husband-and-wife owners run the nearly four-year-old eatery in Collegeville, Pa., but after accruing $140,000 of debt, they decided to welcome Rocco DiSpirito and his Restaurant Divided team to the restaurant in the hopes of jump-starting profitability once and for all. They both realized the need for change, although Robin’s idea for pursuing a chop house concept in place of the barbecue menu didn’t appeal to Phil, who was committed to his smoky offerings.

Before Rocco could attempt to salvage Phamous Phil’s, and ultimately Phil and Robin’s marriage, he divided it, separating the space into two restaurants — a made-over Phamous Phil’s run by Phil himself and Robin’s Chop Shop, complete with mahogany-clad walls — for only one night of service. He worked with both teams to create deliciously approachable menus, and when the eateries opened to local diners and critics alike, both Phil and Robin managed to dish out crowd-pleasing plates. After examining the restaurants’ likelihoods of success, he ultimately reopened the business as Phamous Phil’s, as it offered the greatest opportunity for lasting viability.

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Photos: Food Network Kitchens Prepare for Thanksgiving Live

by in Shows, November 21st, 2013

Food Network KitchensMuch like you’re probably spending the week preparing for next Thursday’s Turkey Day feast, so too has Food Network Kitchens been pulling out all of the stops to get ready for the third-annual Thanksgiving Live, airing Saturday at 12pm EST. This year’s all-star bash will include returning stars Bobby, Giada and Alton, plus first-time Thanksgiving Live guest Ina. But before these Thanksgiving pros take over Food Network Kitchens to answer your questions, it’s up to the team in the kitchens to buy each and every ingredient needed for the chefs’ dishes — as well as to gather the utensils, pans and serving pieces needed to prepare them — and transform the test kitchens into a seasonal space worthy of a holiday celebration.

FN Dish headed to Food Network Kitchens to get the first look at the preparations going on behind the scenes, and what we found was no fewer than six knife blocks, dozens of pots and pans in every imaginable size and shape, and both wooden and plastic cutting boards, plus specialized tools to help Bobby, Giada, Alton and Ina prepare their dishes with ease. Check out these insider snapshots to take a peek inside Food Network Kitchens and find out what you can expect to see on TV come Saturday at 12pm EST.

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5 Ways to Include the Kids in Holiday Meals

by in Family, Holidays, November 21st, 2013

5 Ways to Include the Kids in Holiday MealsI don’t want to scare you, but Thanksgiving is one week from today. Until now, I have purposely ignored all the too-early holiday decorations put out by overeager stores. I don’t mean to be a Scrooge. I just don’t want to get sick of the holidays because I love them so dearly. So I systematically turn my cart down another aisle anytime I catch even the tiniest glimpse of a twinkling light or bit of tinsel when I’m shopping. (Am I alone in shielding my fall from winter so vociferously?) My point is: If you do the same, this is your official alert to wake up and smell the pumpkin pie. It’s officially the holiday season.

Some readers have already been asking me about family traditions: Who does the cooking? How do I include my kids? Since my head is out of the sand and I’m fully embracing the season, I thought today would be a great time to answer those questions with some tips and ideas on how to include the kiddos in the holiday cooking (and eating!). And given that I have a couple of pickier eaters in my brood, I’m throwing in some extra pointers on that front too.

Get my top five ways to include the kids in holiday meals