The All-Star Academy Mentors Talk Competitive Strategy — and Some Serious Smack

by in Shows, February 25th, 2015

All-Star Academy mentorsWhen it comes to competition shows, everyone’s got an angle, a competitive strategy in hopes of winning. On All-Star Academy, premiering Sunday, Mar. 1 at 9|8c, each of the mentors has his or her own way of approaching the competition. As culinary instructors, they have different methods for teaching the mentees as they lead them through the many difficult cooking challenges, which test the home cooks’ resolve in order to find the single best one in the nation.

FN Dish recently caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon to find out their competition strategies, how they think they’re going to win and what sets them apart from their fellow mentors — and they didn’t hold back with their answers.

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Beyond the Veggie Platter: Best 5 Cauliflower Recipes

by in Recipes, February 25th, 2015

Cauliflower GratinMuch like simply grilled chicken and the classic hamburger, cauliflower is a culinary blank canvas that can be paired with myriad other flavors and textures, like creamy cheeses, bold spices and tangy hot sauce, depending on what you’re craving and what ingredients you happen to have on hand. The beauty of cauliflower is that this vegetable can stand to be cooked at high temperatures and it maintains its sturdy consistency even when crumbled, so it can even be turned into something new altogether, like a pizza crust. Check out Food Network’s top-five new twists on cauliflower to get must-try recipe ideas from Katie Lee, Guy Fieri, Ina Garten and more of your favorite chefs.

5. Cauliflower Pizza Crust — There’s no dough required to make Katie’s easy cauliflower-based pizza crust. She simply processes the vegetable until it’s fine, then adds eggs and a duo of cheese for moisture before shaping into a traditional circle and baking.

4. Cauliflower-Onion Linguini — Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s healthy pasta delivers on both taste and texture, thanks to a sweet sauce of toasted onions, fresh basil and plenty of tender cauliflower. For a bite of welcome crunch, fry the onions with panko breadcrumbs and finish the dish with a sprinkle of pine nuts.

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Men and Women May Like Spicy Foods for Different Reasons

by in Recipes, February 25th, 2015

Chili PeppersHere’s something to file away for future first dates: If you’re out in a restaurant and your date orders something spicy, he or she may be a risk-taker.

The link between spicy foods and risk-taking, established by researchers at Penn State University, is interesting in and of itself, but here’s an added twist: The personality traits behind that craving for capsaicin – feel the burn! – may be somewhat different in men than in women.

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Is Chocolate and Peanut Butter the Best Flavor Combination in the World? Probably.

by in Recipes, February 25th, 2015

Chocolate and Peanut ButterPeanut butter and jelly are always linked, but really, chocolate is peanut butter’s best partner. Was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup the first example of this classic pairing? Maybe. This article says that a farmer named H.B. Reese, employed by Hershey’s, invented peanut butter cups, aka “penny cups” in 1928, so it’s possible we have H.B. to thank for this winning combination. Regardless of the history, whenever chocolate and peanut butter are together, you’ll have the best dessert ever. When a craving hits, you can take the easy route and sprinkle a spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips and pop it in your mouth, or you can make one of these treats.

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One of These Things Is Not Like the Other — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, February 24th, 2015


Late-night cravings can be pretty weird sometimes, especially when it comes to the types of foods eaten in succession, or even all at once. That was exactly the theme of tonight’s Chopped episode in which the competitors found themselves cooking with mystery baskets full of late-night combinations. And after the episode, the judges — Geoffrey Zakarian, Scott Conant and Maneet Chauhan — face the dessert round in an all-new Chopped After Hours, cooking with a rice and cheese burrito, chocolate milk, whipped cream and apple pie.

“I hate to admit this, but I love these apple pies,” confesses Scott, for what Ted Allen explains is “not the kind your grandma used to make but the kind you might get at a convenience store.” Geoffrey pokes fun at the comment, saying, “I actually got all these things at the gas station on the way here.” Ted underlines the difficulty they might have working with processed foods. But Geoffrey isn’t fazed, as he explains “that any of these foods will taste better with some alcohol.”

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5 Ways to Make Sweet Potatoes Even Sweeter for Kids

by in Family, Recipes, February 24th, 2015

Honey Roasted Sweet PotatoesOK, I’ve got to be honest: Sweet potatoes have been hit or miss in our house with my brood of four kids under 6 years old. But because I’m a determined mom with healthy-eating habits in sight (which is not quite the same thing as a glutton for punishment), I just kept cooking sweet potatoes. By now I’ve made them so many ways that we’ve come up recipes that work every time, and I want to share them with you.

1. Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Ellie Krieger’s combination of olive oil, lemon juice and honey — the trifecta of our kids’ most-beloved flavors — turns a pan of peeled sweet potatoes into a side dish little ones love.

2. Sweet Potato & Walnut Muffins
These muffins are not what you think. The batter starts with raw sweet potatoes and walnuts (or almonds or pecans — whatever you like) that you crush in the food processor before adding all the other ingredients without dirtying another bowl. The result is a protein-rich batch of delicious muffins that just happens to be full of veggies.

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Celebrate the New Kids Baking Champion with a Cake — Cook Along with the Winner

by in Recipes, Shows, February 24th, 2015

Rainbow Cake“Bake your cake and eat it too” was basically what the kids were told by Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli in the finale of Kids Baking Championship. The kids would be making cakes they would want to enjoy at the winner’s party. Interestingly, three of the four remaining young bakers ended up going with lemon cakes to impress Valerie, who happens to love lemon treats. In the end, though, one cake was clearly ahead of the rest, and that cake earned its baker $10,000 in prize money and the title of Kids Baking Champion.

Whether you’re a lover of lemon cakes, too — or any cakes, for that matter — now’s your chance to try your hand at crowd-pleasing celebration cakes at home. We’ve got recipes that appeal to everyone’s taste buds, including chocolate cake, classic yellow cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, carrot cake and more.

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The Insider’s Take on Kids Baking Championship — Duff’s Recap of the Finale

by in Shows, February 24th, 2015

Duff GoldmanMan, what a journey, huh? These kids have shown their mettle and really impressed the world with how much they know and understand about baking. I loved the final challenge on Kids Baking Championship, because, yeah, I know a lot about cooking and baking, but cake decorating is kind of my thing. I was so stoked to see what these kids could do, because I know from working with so many kids over the years, kids love to decorate cakes! Well, most kids — Natalie didn’t seem too thrilled about the prospect.

The thing about cakes is that they are a commitment. You have to work on this one thing for a long time, and when you do, there are more things that can go wrong and trip you up. There more ways to fail with a decorated cake than, say, a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The stakes here are real high, this for the win, but even more important, the winner of this challenge got their cake on my website, and I don’t sell just any old cake; I’m looking for a cake that is going to wow my customers.

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The 10 Best Bites of the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 23rd, 2015

The 10 Best Bites of the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival wrapped up mere hours ago with an over-the-top tasting at The Best of the Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards, and while the FN Dish team packed in more fried, glazed, grilled and cheesed dishes in four short days than we thought possible, we’re already craving just a few more bites of our very favorite dishes from the weekend. Relive top moments from all the marquee events, and look back at our 10 most-memorable sweet and savory selects from the festival.

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