Five Restaurant Menu Tricks (and How to Avoid Falling for Them)

by in News, August 8th, 2014

Five Restaurant Menu Tricks (and How to Avoid Falling for Them)Restaurants can be risky business ventures — just look at how frequently they come and go. So to make sure their eatery isn’t just another flash in the pan, some restaurateurs employ a few subtle tricks to get diners, once seated, to more readily part with their cash.

There’s the “free” salty snack (chips and salsa, anyone?) placed on your table before the meal to increase your thirst and compel you to order more pricey drinks. And then there’s the way your server painstakingly describes every ingredient in the evening’s specials, but declines to mention the price, knowing you may be too embarrassed to ask. And there’s the way your wine glass keeps getting topped off, so that you get to the bottom of the bottle halfway through your meal and may feel inclined to order another one.

But the stealthiest strategy of all may be the sly tweaks made to restaurant menus to get you to fork over more moolah than you may have intended. Recently The Guardian noted a few such tricks.

Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by , August 8th, 2014

frosting
In this week’s news: School bake-sale restrictions spark a tempest in a muffin tin; homemade yogurt is whey better than the store-bought kind; and veganism gets a high-profile new cheerleader.

Bake-Sale Ban: Half-Baked?
Ah, the beauty of the s...

Read more

What to Watch: Shop the Farmers’ Market with Bobby and Tune In to the Finale of Food Network Star

by in Shows, August 8th, 2014

What to Watch: Shop the Farmers' Market with Bobby and Tune In to the Finale of Food Network StarThis weekend on Food Network, the stars of your favorite shows are showing you how to make the most of the warm weather with barbecue specials and inventive summer snacks.

First, join Ree as she takes you through her favorite comfort-food recipes on The Pioneer Woman. After, join the hosts of The Kitchen as they prepare some warm-weather snacks for any occasion.

Then, on Sunday, Ina busts out the grill on Barefoot Contessa, showing you that summer is far from over. Bobby takes to the farmers’ market to create big flavors with fresh ingredients on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. Finally, tune in for three hours of competition with new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen, and the season finale of Food Network Star.

Read more

Thirsty Thursday: Cucumber-Jalapeño Margarita

by , August 7th, 2014


It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Margaritas — a staple summer beverage if there ever was one — are just meant to combat the hot, sticky dog days of summer. While a classic margarita is perfectly delicious in itself, there is also so much potential for adding other exciting flavors.

Take, for example, this Cucumber-Jalapeño Margarita. The traditional fresh lime juice and silver tequila are mixed with savory slices of cucumber and fiery halved jalapeños. The intensity of the spiciness is up to you: the longer it sits and chills, the spicier it becomes. Perhaps this is what it means to fight fire with fire.

Bottoms up, folks!

Read more

The Secret to Grilling the Perfect Steak: Lava

by in News, August 7th, 2014

The Secret to Grilling the Perfect Steak: LavaWhen you’ve cooked steak using lightning (verdict: “tasted good though a little metallic”), built walk-in gin and tonic clouds (one blogger called them a “drunkard’s dream“), turned the roof of a high-end London department store into a boating lake with a waterfall and a “float-up bar,” and pushed jelly way, way past its previous limits, what do you do for an encore?

If you’re Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, you make a meaty meal over 2,100 degree F molten rock. In June, London-based Bompas & Parr, who describe themselves as “Jellymongers and Architectural Foodsmiths,” traveled to upstate New York to team up with Syracuse University art professor and lava expert Robert Wysocki to “see what happens when super-heated liquid rock meets an icy crevasse and a 10-oz rib eye” — and recorded and consumed the results.

Read more

Take a Fried Chicken Road Trip

by in Restaurants, August 7th, 2014

Take a Fried Chicken Road Trip Fried chicken is tempting all year long, but our cravings for it intensify in the summer. Something about digging into juicy, crispy chicken with our hands, preferably while sipping a cold beer or lemonade, just puts us in a summer state of mind. You don’t need to be outside on a picnic blanket eating Grandma’s homemade chicken to achieve this. Once a Southern specialty, fried chicken has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country. Chefs from Philly to San Francisco are brining, buttermilk-soaking, boldly spicing and frying it up, with winning results. Here’s where you’ll find FoodNetwork.com editors’ favorites. Whether they’re served with cream gravy and collards or Sriracha and kimchi, these birds all have one thing in common: They’re downright irresistible.

Check out the full gallery and let us know your favorite spots for a fried chicken fix in the comments below!

Read more

10 New Ways to Do Up Potato Salad — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, August 7th, 2014

Potato Salads

Some would say that a plate of smoky beef brisket or a home-grilled burger can’t be taken seriously without a scoop of potato salad — and rightfully so. When it comes to this creamy, satisfying side, tender potatoes are just the starting point, laying the foundation for all kinds of dressings and add-ins. This week, spread out a picnic blanket and dive into potato salads that have never seen the inside of a deli container.

1. Keep It Classic and Cold: A classic American potato salad is barbecue’s best mate for a reason. Alton Brown’s Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad (bottom right) is the classic recipe you’d expect at your cookout, and it’s taken down to a science in true Alton style.

2. Choose a Baked Potato: Rather than bringing your spuds down to a boil the traditional way, Alex Guarnaschelli makes her Baked Potato Salad by sliding Yukon golds into the oven. Packed with herbs (don’t throw away those stems!), her version is best enjoyed at a beach picnic.

Read more

Mini Bites and Mains with Giada

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, August 7th, 2014

Mini Bites and Mains with Giada De LaurentiisGiada De Laurentiis knows a thing or two about entertaining for a crowd. “I’m always trying to find things that are easy for people to eat, because it’s really difficult to hold a plate and try and cut things because it gets all over you, so I try to make things you can just pick up in two or three bites,” says Giada. Here, she reveals her favorite cocktail party staples, as well as larger versions of the same treat for those extravagant, sit-down dinners.

Read more