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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Enter Round 1 of the Chopped at Home Challenge Before It’s Too Late

by in Shows, February 23rd, 2015

Chopped at Home Round 1Chopped fans, if you haven’t heard already, you have a chance to cook like an actual Chopped competitor and appear on TV. All you have to do is enter the Chopped at Home Challenge. Enter a recipe using a set mystery basket of ingredients for a chance to compete in the Chopped kitchen at Food Network headquarters. The winner will receive $10,000, just like a real Chopped champion.

Get the Details and Find Out How to Enter

Mexican Egg Tacos with Potatoes — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 23rd, 2015

Mexican Egg Tacos with PotatoesMeaty tacos without the meat? That’s indeed possible, and it’s exactly what you get when you swap out traditional fillings like ground beef and grilled chicken for vegetarian-friendly options, such as protein-packed tofu or hearty veggies like potatoes or peppers and onions. Best of all, meatless tacos are still full of the authentic taco tastes and textures you crave.

In Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Mexican Egg Tacos with Potatoes (pictured above), these breakfast — or breakfast-for-dinner — beauties get their heft from a filling pairing of roasted Yukon golds and scrambled eggs, both boldly flavored with such spicy picks as chili powder and a poblano pepper. Try adding a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg mixture for even more welcome heat, and serve a rustic, fresh tomato-cilantro salsa on the side of these easy-to-make tacos to round out the meal. Food Network Magazine suggests warming the tortillas before piling on the filling, to make sure they boast a signature toasty taste.

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QUIZ: Which All-Star Academy Mentor Are You?

by in Shows, February 23rd, 2015

All-Star AcademyOn the new show All-Star Academy, premiering Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c, Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon mentor teams of home cooks to find the nation’s single best cook, who will leave a champion and $50,000 richer. These mentors are known for their rival personalities, competitiveness and talent — traits that they will look for in the cooks when choosing their teams in the premiere episode.

Take the Quiz Now

Southern Comfort Comes to South Beach at Trisha Yearwood’s Down-Home Brunch

by in Events, February 23rd, 2015

Trisha's Southern Kitchen BrunchWhile Miami may indeed be in the southern United States, its cuisine is known more for its hearty Cuban flavors and just-caught seafood than any comfort-food influences from down-home states like Tennessee or Georgia. That all changed this weekend when Trisha Yearwood was in town to host her Southern Kitchen Brunch at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. In an elegant ballroom at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Trisha and other chefs from Florida, New York City and beyond came together to dish out the best of what the true South has to offer, like savory chicken and waffles, fluffy biscuits, and rich and creamy grits.

Three big-city chefs from the Midwest and Northeast brought fried chicken to the party: Chef Art Smith from Chicago’s Table 52, as well as Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth from New York City’s Root & Bone. While Chef Smith’s Southern-style fried chicken was served with his thick Saw Mill Gravy, the Root & Bone team featured its chicken (pictured above) atop a fluffy cheddar waffle with bright pickles.

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A Transformative Potato Chip Experience — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 22nd, 2015

A competition like Cutthroat Kitchen can surely be a transformative undertaking for the chef contestants, as they’re almost always pushed beyond their culinary comfort zones. But their ingredients, too, are often forced to become something they’re usually not in order to satisfy a challenge — that’s where Testing the Sabotages comes in. Before Alton Brown could auction off a test to, say, turn potato chip crumbs into gnocchi, as he did on tonight’s all-new episode, the Cutthroat culinary crew had to attempt the conversion firsthand to make sure it was both possible and fair within the time limits.

Just minutes into starting his test, food stylist Hugo Sanchez struggled to work with the gnocchi dough, and he admitted, “The chips in it are preventing it from binding as a normal dough would. It’s actually turning out to be a bigger deal than I expected.” Nevertheless, he soon managed to roll the dough into a log and lob off bite-size dumplings, and in the spirit of evilicious cooking, he said, “It may not taste like gnocchi, but it’s going to look like gnocchi.” Sure enough, after a quick boil and pan-fry, he served up a simple yet presentable gnocchi offering, though he wondered if chefs could use their imagination to create an even better rendition. “It’s definitely something you can play with,” Hugo noted. “Maybe some bacon, some sour cream — call it a baked potato gnocchi.”

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Frost by Numbers — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 22nd, 2015

Frost by Numbers: How to Make Frosting ColorsSo, you’ve baked the cake and now it’s time to frost it. While you could opt for the traditional white or chocolate variety, a special occasion — or, perhaps, just a chilly snow day — calls for a pop of color. That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in.

Thanks to Food Network Magazine’s handy guide to DIY frosting colors, it’s now possible to tint your topping with more than just the usual red, yellow, green and blue dyes. Follow the easy system to know just how many drops of coloring it takes to turn out an entire rainbow of frosting colors, including Orange Soda (bright orange), Bubble Gum (hot pink) and Grasshopper Pie (a cool mint green).

For more baking inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Details: Frost by Numbers: How to Make Frosting Colors from Food Network Magazine

Barbecue 2.0: Guy Fieri Brings Meatopia to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 22nd, 2015

Guy FieriOn day three of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, after back-to-back nights of indulgent alfresco feasting and over-the-top burgering, hungry fans wanted more, and for that, they turned to Guy Fieri. The host of Triple D and Guy’s Grocery Games isn’t known for doing anything on a small scale, and last night’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution was no exception, as he hosted this 30-plus-chef extravaganza that for the first time combined The Q, a longtime festival favorite, with Meatopia, a festival all its own, to create an all-new party at South Beach. From sticky ribs and tender pulled pork to hearty rib-eye steaks, moist brisket, and even veal, lamb and chicken hearts, the competing chefs at this all-out meat brawl brought their best bites in the hopes of taking home the Judges’ Choice trophy or the Fan-Favorite Winner guitar.

As Blues Traveler was jamming on stage, the crowds lined up on the beach at each station to sample the dozens of beefy dishes on display last night, and after a few hours of indulging — and, perhaps, the expected meat sweats — Guy proclaimed The Cecil the judges’ pick of the night. Chef JJ Johnson’s BBQ oxtails, bathed in a spicy tamarind sauce, earned him a whopping $1,000 check and a flame-wrapped trophy.

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How Many Licks to the Center of a Lollipop? The Answer, Revealed

by in News, February 21st, 2015

LollipopsYou know the old commercial: How many times would you have to lick a lollipop in order to reach the coveted center of a Tootsie Pop? One, two, (crunch) three? Although it ended with the wistful assertion that “the world may never know,” science has finally provided an answer: about 1,000.

Cleverly avoiding the vexing issue of the premature bite, researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Florida State University immersed hard candy in a water current, formulated a theory for how flows cause dissolving and shrinking, and made a few calculations to come up with their lollipop-lick estimate.

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