Punched Up! Colorful Potatoes Kids Love

by in Family, June 5th, 2013

Colorful Potatoes Kids LoveFrench fries aside, my kids don’t exactly clamor for potatoes. I’ve made them all sorts of ways: oven-roasted fries, mashed with kale and Parmesan cheese, smashed with Greek yogurt, steamed with butter and herbs — and while those options have all had their ups and downs, this technique is the one that brought actual squeals to the table.

The trick was a simple bag of colored potatoes along with a set of vegetable cutters. Together they produced a giggle fest of interest before our girls even tried the potatoes. Before I even baked them. What color will the potato be inside? Will there be stars or hearts? Can I mix them up in the oil?

For roasted potatoes, my favorite way to go is extra-virgin olive oil, garlic pushed through the press, salt and a couple rounds of pepper out of the grinder. Dump all that along with the potatoes right onto a baking sheet, mix with bare hands, spread out and roast at 425 degrees F for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the potato pieces. Flip them once along the way.

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Wedding Gift on a Budget: Spoon Bouquet

by in Entertaining, June 4th, 2013

Wedding Gift on a Budget: Spoon BouquetWhether it’s for a bridal shower or a wedding, the perfect gift is as fulfilling for the bride as it can be for you. But as we embark on the big wedding season of the year, there’s an endless amount of items to choose from when looking for a gift you know the bride and groom will use in their kitchen.

One of my favorites to give is a spoon and spatula bouquet. Wrapped up in lots of beautiful ribbons, you can turn a really fun idea into tons of well-priced utensils the newly married couple can enjoy using to cook meal after meal for a lifetime.

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Buy Frozen Brown Rice

by in Food Network Magazine, June 4th, 2013

frozen brown riceHot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

One of our favorite new supermarket finds is frozen brown rice. It’s fully cooked and ready to use: You can add it straight from the freezer to soups, stews and stir-fries and saving about 45 minutes of cooking time.

(Photograph by Julia Cawley/Studio D)

Picture Cook: A Different Approach to Home Cooking

by in Books, June 3rd, 2013

Picture CookThere’s no right or wrong way to learn how to cook. Some people are more logical and some are more visual. For the latter group, traditional cookbooks can be a bit intimidating, which is exactly where Katie Shelly drew her inspiration for her upcoming cookbook, Picture Cook.

Katie doesn’t credit herself with particular culinary intuition or talent. She learned to cook through experimenting and focuses on making “food that is tasty and does the job.” Composed of 50 recipe “blueprints,” her book covers snacktime to dinnertime with illustrated ingredients and steps. Her hope is that home cooks will find the drawings straightforward and easy to improvise.

Do you dive into a recipe right away or watch Ina or Alton make it first? If you’re a person who learns by seeing, perhaps recipe drawings are just the inspiration you need in the kitchen. Let us know what you think — what works for you?

To learn more about Picture Cook, head over to NPR’s food blog, The Salt.

One-on-One With the First Star Contestant to Go Home

by , June 3rd, 2013

Food Network Star Episode 1 EvaluationEleven episodes, 12 contestants, countless challenges and only one ultimate dream come true. Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton will take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network’s next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk’s exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Star Kitchen.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the first finalist to go home.

Daniela Perez-Reyes, from the very beginning, proved she had the smile, charm and culinary chops to be on Food Network Star, but her journey was short-lived.

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Barbecued Tofu — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 3rd, 2013

Barbecued TofuHot dogs, sticky ribs and juicy cheeseburgers take center stage during grilling season, and if you don’t eat meat, it can feel like your only options at a cookout are the side salads and veggie toppings for the dogs and burgers. Instead of tucking into another plate of macaroni salad and shredded lettuce, try hearty, seasonal main dishes that go beyond grilled vegetables. Summertime favorites like veggie burgers, cheesy pizza and gazpacho are classic picks that are deliciously meat-free but still seasonal and ideal for outdoor entertaining.

In this recipe for Barbecued Tofu, medium-firm tofu is the meaty protein of the dish, a big-batch pick that can feed a crowd. Tofu often gets a bad rap because of its tendency for blandness, but that’s often only the case when it’s prepared and served on its own, with no additional flavors or ingredients. Here, the diced tofu is cooked in a pan on the grill alongside fresh garlic, peppers and onions, so there’s no opportunity for lack of taste; the smoky, charred flavor of the grill, the bold garlic and the sweet vegetables work together to turn the tofu into a full-flavored bite. Plus, because the tofu is further sauteed with barbecue sauce before serving, it absorbs the sweet, tangy taste of the condiment and becomes transformed inside and out. Save time in the kitchen by relying on store-bought barbecue sauce to make this meal in a flash — just be sure to pick up a bottle you know your family enjoys, as it will be predominant on the plate.

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Parmesan Truffle Fries

by , June 3rd, 2013

It seems “truffle fries” are super trendy these days. No surprise, they’re downright amazing – crisp, golden-brown French fries with hints of earthy truffle oil. Problem is, they ARE French fries after all, which means they dish ...

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