by Sara Levine in Holidays, Restaurants, February 13th, 2015
by Lindsay Damast in Drinks, Recipes, February 13th, 2015
On most special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, my husband and I look forward to splurging on dinners out at new or favorite restaurants. But not on Valentine’s Day. One too many overpriced set menus with boring choices (“free” glass of sparkling wine included!) ruined that for us. We usually plan an elaborate menu to cook at home, but enough people have wised up to staying in on Valentine’s Day that the scene in Whole Foods can be just as bad as a “romantic restaurant.” So this year, let’s try a new game plan. Maybe a romantic dinner doesn’t have to mean an expensive fixed-price menu or hours spent toiling in the kitchen. Maybe it’s just splurging (calorically) on a favorite comfort food together, something fun that satisfies at a low price, without a reservation made weeks or months in advance — and nobody has to wash dishes. Here are five ideas for nontraditional Valentine’s Day date nights. Read more
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, February 13th, 2015
When temperatures plummet to polar lows every February, our tastes turn toward steaming escapes, namely gallons of rich hot chocolate. Those marshmallow-topped mugs are unrivaled warmers after a good romp in the snow or on wintry movie nights. For those with a daily habit, even extra-dark hot chocolate can become too tame.
Just in time for the next snowfall, the clever culinary wizards in our Food Network Kitchen devised five devilish hot-chocolate cocktails that have been spiked, spiced and garnished to keep those of us with more adventurous — or adult — palates ladling mugfuls all winter long. From a rum-and-coconut twist that will take you to the tropics (now, on a plane, please?) to a White Hot Russian that proves white chocolate won’t go down without a fight, these are decidedly not your children’s cups of cocoa. Click the play button above to watch the cocktails being made.
Watch our Food Network Kitchen make five clever hot-chocolate cocktails here and get the recipes.
by Marisa McClellan in Holidays, Recipes, February 13th, 2015
All-Star Academy is Food Network’s new show that brings out the best in home cooks in order to find the single most-talented cook in the nation. That person will walk away with the $50,000 grand prize. Led by one of four mentors, the home cooks have the chance to be molded into some fierce competition, and host Ted Allen has a bird’s-eye view of it all, from the action unfolding on set to the drama brewing behind the scenes. He recently caught up with FN Dish to reveal what viewers can except from the show, premiering on Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c.
Ted also dished on mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon, revealing their strengths and weaknesses in competition.
by Rosanna Talarico in Shows, February 13th, 2015
Valentine’s Day means something different for nearly everyone. Some people send cards. Others plan lavish meals for their sweethearts. Still others give or receive gifts of chocolate or shiny baubles. And there are always a few who boycott the holiday (and often wear black in protest).
I like to acknowledge Valentine’s Day, but I have always preferred a more homemade approach. When I was in school, I always insisted that I make individual cards for my classmates instead of buying the preprinted ones from the drugstore (heart-shaped doilies were almost always involved in my craft projects).
Later on, I’d gather up friends for a home-cooked dinner designed to celebrate our collective community. The promised cheese fondue would always draw a big crowd, regardless of whether my friends were in relationships.
by Lindsay Damast in Holidays, Recipes, February 12th, 2015
Rise and shine this Saturday morning with The Pioneer Woman and The Kitchen. First, watch Ree Drummond cook up a pancake bar and a comfort food dinner for her hardworking family. Next, the hosts of The Kitchen will be sharing their finest breakfast ideas and tips for any day of the week.
On Sunday morning, join Giada De Laurentiis for a dazzling Old Hollywood-inspired spread featuring spinoffs of dishes from famous restaurants like Chasen’s and the Tick Tock Tea Room. Then, on Sunday night, catch three hours of competition with Guy’s Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen and the season finale of Worst Cooks in America to see who will walk away with the $25,000 prize.
by Amy Reiter in News, February 12th, 2015
Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year — which means if you haven’t made a dinner reservation by now, you’re pretty much screwed. But fret not: A homemade candlelit meal is always more intimate than the prix-fixe menus and forced romance served at neighborhood restaurants. And since it’s a weekend day, you’ll have plenty of time to prep, whether it be for breakfast in bed, a lingering brunch or a multicourse dinner extravaganza.
Chocolate shares equal billing on Valentine’s Day with red roses, but most often rolled into truffles or tucked into assorted boxes of candy. But why wait till dessert (or, err, whatever time of day you happen to open your gifted sweets) to indulge in the heavenly ingredient? Incorporate chocolate into your celebratory meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner — to infuse your dishes with either sweetness or bitterness, complexity and subtle spice.
Kick-start your day with endorphin-boosting Chocolate Waffles (shown above). Mixing chocolate syrup into the waffle batter ensures consistent cocoa flavor without compromising the texture of the breakfast treats. Top them with additional chocolate syrup and red berries to give them that Valentine’s vibe. Read more
by Allison Milam in Holidays, Recipes, February 12th, 2015
The best food mash-ups are the kind that make you think, “Wait, that wasn’t already a thing?” Because it seems like they should have been there all your life.
Into that category one might place the “doughka,” a doughnut/babka hybrid recently whipped up by Fany Gerson, chef and owner of La Newyorkina, an artisanal Mexican icy-treat-and-sweeterie, and Dough, a handmade-doughnut destination, both in New York City.
by Sara Levine in In Season, Recipes, February 12th, 2015
Whether you’ve got yourself a sweetie or you’re going for a more “all my single ladies” approach, these chocolatey sweets are just what St. Valentine called for. Instead of swinging by the drugstore for a sorry box of chocolates, give your valentine handmade chocolate treats that are a sure-fire way to melt hearts.
It may be the go-to move, but there is something to be said for biting into plump, juicy Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (pictured above). Not only are these fruity treats romantic through and through, they’re also completely effortless to make. Plus, rolling each melted chocolate-dipped strawberry in crushed pretzel sticks or almonds makes for a crunchy complement that proves that opposites attract.
by Maria Russo in Shows, February 11th, 2015
These stacked salads from Food Network Kitchen prove dinnerworthy with layers of greens, seasonal vegetables, protein and crunch. Get inspired by the season (we’re currently obsessed with winter’s tasty beet-and-Brussels combo), or make a layered take on the classic wedge that’s a crowd-pleaser anytime of year. Read more
At Dog & Pony Ale House in Renton, Wash., the issue wasn’t that the food was poor — Robert Irvine, in fact, was surprisingly pleased with it — but rather that owner Kristen Fisher was mismanaging her business. This too-nice owner had all but given herself and the control of her eatery over to a select group of customers who were adamant that she make changes to the equipment and menu at Dog & Pony, and ultimately her willingness to concede and her struggles with trusting her staff led her to become buried in debt. With the help of Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team, however, Kristen learned top tips for running her restaurant, and within only two days reopened the doors at Dog & Pony, a business worthy of a second chance at success.
“For December there has been a 45 percent increase in sales,” Kristen says of the finances at her business, adding that most diners’ reviews of the updates at Dog & Pony are largely “very positive.” She explains, “We are definitely listening to all the feedback and making changes that will make all our customers happy. We have brought back some of the things that the customers loved but are keeping the menu to one page, streamlined and running specials.”