I don’t believe food should be contained in the cafeteria. I think it should be brought to class — in the form of notebooks! So I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite fruit-, sugar- and treat-inspired notebooks (like the ones above from Palas Pandiras) that’ll make you (or your kids) hungry for knowledge.
Although summer’s juicy tomatoes and sweet peaches are nearly a thing of a past, fall brings with it an abundance of produce too: Welcome to the season of crisp apples, golden sweet potatoes and a myriad of squash, like kohlrabi, acorn and butternut. A bell-shaped squash with a thick skin, butternut squash shines in dishes from creamy soups and simple salads to rich purees and hearty casseroles, like Food Network Magazine’s Gnocchi with Squash and Kale (pictured above).
The beauty of this one-pan supper is that it starts with store-bought potato gnocchi, which means that the dish can be on the table in as few as 35 minutes. After sauteing the squash in a buttery mixture with garlic and sage, add the kale and gnocchi, then top with a blanket of nutty Parmesan cheese and finish in the broiler for a cheesy, comforting family-friendly dinner ideal for busy weeknights. Since this pan moves from the stove to the broiler, be sure to start with an oven-safe pan.
For the Cutthroat Kitchen judges to be wowed by a dish in front of them, the offering must be not only appealing to the eyes and tastes, but it must be at least somewhere reminiscent of the classic rendition of the challenge dish. When it comes to crispy rice treats — those gooey, marshmallow-laced desserts mixed with rice cereal — the need for a crispy element is baked right into the name, so it’s no surprise that when Alton Brown auctioned off a sabotage that would threaten that crunchy texture, chefs had every reason to be concerned.
Instead of cooking with true crisp rice cereal, one competitor would be forced to work with soggy, milk-soaked cereal. How could he or she resurrect the crispy texture from such a limp state? Is it even fair to ask a chef to make crispy rice treats with mushy cereal? It turns out that it is indeed possible to turn out a solid finished dish, as the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team tested this sabotage before Alton opened it up for auction.
Packing a school lunch has a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be so hard — and the results can be very sweet. Here are a few of my favorite gadgets that easily make all the difference between a so-so lunch that comes home half-eaten and a special little treat kids can’t resist.
1. Bento Boxes: It’s simple to pack a balanced lunch when you have several compartments to fill with something different. Planet Box is the most-expensive line, but with a stainless-steel box that comes in a cushy (and customizable) case, it’s hard to beat. Our favorite plastic (and more affordable) version is EasyLunchboxes, which are BPA-free and also come with cooler bags in every shade of the rainbow.
2. Our Favorite Water Bottles: Oh, the leaky water bottles. If I could have a refund for all the sippy cups, water bottles and novelty glasses we’ve bought for our brood, college would be paid for already. Along the way I’ve figured it out. This is the only kind of water bottle we’ll buy going forward: The Bubba bottle is made of stainless steel, isn’t overpriced, is dishwasher-safe and hasn’t leaked a drop yet.
On this week’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the teams headed to St. Louis. Right away Tyler Florence had the rookies start on their Speed Bump challenge, which would have them earning their seed money for a change. In a surprise twist, Tyler visited each truck to do some quality control and found everyone’s dishes were lacking. The next day he sent the teams out on a Truck Stop cooking challenge, the reward of which had the potential to save one team from elimination. Unfortunately it didn’t play out that way. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the latest team cut from the race.
Let’s face it: Fall is almost here. And while warm weather will be missed, the addition of apple and pumpkin back into our repertoire is more than welcome. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is a comforting rice pudding made with 2-percent milk and sweetened with honey for a satisfying treat that won’t weigh you down.
For more fall-focused recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Seasonal: Fall board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Rice Pudding
Affordable immersion circulators, which allow home chefs to participate in the restaurant-friendly sous vide method of cooking, have really caught on the last couple of years. Sure, these circulators can whip up a perfect piece of meat or fish, but can they go online? They sure couldn’t, until now. Finally, sous vide machines have gone social (?!)
Introducing the newest edition of the Nomiku, an immersion circulator with full wi-fi functionality. Why on Earth would you want that? Well, to Facebook stalk the sous vide machines you went to high school with, of course. In actuality, it brings some neat functionality to the mix. Nomiku 2.0 lets you control the machine via any web-connected device, which means you can actually use your phone to cook stuff while you are not at home. Also, you can ‘download’ heat and time information from other machines to copy a tasty something they managed to pull off. Pretty cool.
If you’ve ever had your sandwich or leftover pasta stolen from the company fridge by some scoundrel without a scrap of morals or shred of sympathy for your growling stomach, you’ll want to check out this hilarious series of photos telling the episodic, presumably satirical story of an office sandwich stealer and his hapless, hungry victim, posted on CollegeHumor.com.
Initially, the Internet seemed unsure that the epic exchange of notes hadn’t actually happened, but one commenter did a fine job summing up the most-likely verdict: “Fake, yet based in reality, which helps make it funny.”