Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Food Network Star Mentors?

by , May 17th, 2014

Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton BrownNo strangers to Food Network, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are culinary superstars — and just the kind of icons that the Food Network Star finalists are hoping to become. To achieve such a level of fame both in the kitchen and on...

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Classic Southern Macaroni and Cheese — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, May 16th, 2014

Classic Southern Macaroni and CheeseFrom the familiar blue box to gourmet eight-cheese combinations, we can’t seem to get enough of mac and cheese. It may be the be all and end all of down-home comfort food. It’s rich, flavorful and satisfying — friendly and familiar but never dull. It’s a great, classic choice for dinner parties and a vegetarian dish that leaves even the carnivores contented. Almost everyone loves it. Creamy and cheesy, there simply aren’t many foods more comforting than homemade macaroni and cheese.

There are two primary formulas for making all-American macaroni and cheese: the bechamel or custard method. Bechamel is a white sauce made by stirring heated milk into a butter-flour roux. This white sauce can be thin, thick or somewhere in the middle. The thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of butter and flour to milk and varies according to what you are using it for: for example, thin for soup, medium-bodied for casseroles such as mac and cheese, and thick for souffles. The medium white sauce is probably the most common. The proportions for a thin sauce are 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk, a medium sauce uses 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour, and a very thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each. Bechamel is a very useful sauce in the kitchen, far beyond mac and cheese.

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Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf — The Weekender

by in Recipes, May 16th, 2014

Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf - The WeekenderI know that by springtime most people think that we should be done with casseroles and one-pot dishes. But even in May there is occasionally a chilly, dreary day where nothing quite fills the bill like a good casserole.

One such dish that I like a lot this time of year is Rachael Ray’s Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf. It’s light, bright from the lemon juice, and comforting.

It’s also a handy one to have in your repertoire, because it’s one of those dishes that can be either more or less intensive, depending on how much time and commitment you want to invest. You can either poach a chicken for the meat and broth, or you can pick up a fully cooked grocery-store bird and use a bit of boxed stock. Both ways work and will result in a delicious Weekender.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a New Nikon D3300

by in Contests, Food Network Magazine, May 16th, 2014

Enter for a Chance to Win a New Nikon D3300Enter for a Chance to Win a New Nikon D3300

Whether it’s to post on Instagram, send in a text or share on a blog, people love to take pictures of their food. The deliciousness of the dish, however, doesn’t always come through in the actual photo. A mediocre photo can make a tasty and brag-worthy dish look average or even unappealing. Ree Drummond knows this firsthand.

Fans know Ree for her beautiful food photography, but when she first started her blog, The Pioneer Woman, in 2006, she had no previous experience using a camera. She shared her top tips for taking a good food photo with Food Network Magazine, along with some of her early shots to show home cooks what not to do.

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A Picnic-Basket Breakthrough, Deep Thoughts During Lunch and Lego-Friendly Shot Glasses

by in News, May 16th, 2014

A Picnic-Basket BreakthroughWheely Convenient: Picnicking is great, but figuring out how to transport your sumptuous spread to the perfect spot can rank right up there with bugs as a buzz-killing complicating factor. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just ferry it all there on your bike? Enter (on two wheels) the Kickstarter-funded, Dutch-designed Fietsklik, a detachable, foldable recycled-plastic crate that snaps onto the back of your bike. The crate is big enough to transport up to 24 bottles of beer or 25 pounds of groceries. Who’s bringing the blanket? [Fietsklik via Food Republic]

Spicing Up Your Lunch Bag: Would you like your burrito with a side of deep thoughts? Chipotle believes you would. The Mexican restaurant chain is launching a “Cultivating Thought” initiative, tapping best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer to bring illuminating quotes to its bags and cups. The two-minute essays and nuggets of wisdom from 10 writers – from Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison and George Saunders to Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman – will create “a small pocket of thoughtfulness right in the middle of the busy day,” Jonathan said. “We will never have a perfect world,” read the words of experimental psychologist Steven Pinker on one bag, “but it’s not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one.” Food for thought. [BusinessWire]

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by , May 16th, 2014

pickles

In this week’s news: A buzzkill study related to red wine emerges; a documentary suggests not all calories are created equal; and food dyes appear in unexpected places (et tu, pickles?).

Glass Half Empty, But Cheers Anyway
In 2006, Harvard sci...

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What to Watch: Nancy Fuller’s Leftover Strategies and the Finale of America’s Best Cook with Guest Judge Bobby Flay

by in Shows, May 16th, 2014

Bobby Flay and Ted AllenThis Saturday Food Network has all-new episodes from Ree Drummond, Nancy Fuller and The Kitchen. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree prepares a meal for the cowboys on the farm. Then on Farmhouse Rules, while her husband, David is out of the house, Nancy reinvents leftovers from the day before. Later on The Kitchen, the hosts show off some fun new uses for kitchen tools and they answer questions on The Kitchen Helpline.

On Sunday Damaris Phillips helps a friend plan a romantic dinner on Southern at Heart. Then Giada De Laurentiis runs through her favorite recipes, creating mini versions of them on Giada at Home. And Guy Fieri is cooking up his favorite spicy bar snacks on Guy’s Big Bite.

On Sunday evening, tune into four hours of competition, starting with a new episode of Guy’s Grocery Games followed by the finale of America’s Best Cook with guest judge Bobby Flay. Afterward tune in for a new Cutthroat Kitchen and Kitchen Casino.

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Star-a-Day: Sarah Penrod

by , May 16th, 2014

Sarah PenrodSarah Penrod, 30, is a born-and-bred Texan who comes from a family of entertainers. She’s been performing for her whole life and also has serious culinary chops, as she now owns her own business. This feisty chef has worked with celebrities and athletes, and she always keeps things entertaining in the kitchen. Read on below to hear from Sarah, and learn about her style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.

Describe your cooking style or culinary point of view — in one sentence, if you can.
Sarah: The concept is that we’re all so busy, and we’re losing the source of love and joy and passion in our lives, and that’s our relationship with our partner. And I want to bring that back to you by teaching you how to do these awesome date nights, and I’m the perfect person to ’cause I’ve been a private chef to celebrities and professional athletes. I have to do some really cool stuff visually, and I think that I’m the perfect person to do date night ’cause I’m madly in love with my husband.

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A Whole Week of No-Cook Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 15th, 2014

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

When it comes to favorite sides, FN Dish is on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s work of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.

Day 1: Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.

Day 2: Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.

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5 Must-Haves for a Healthy Summer Fridge

by , May 15th, 2014

5 Must-Haves for a Healthy Summer FridgeI know the 4th of July will be here in what feels like minutes. What better time, then, to “summer-ize” my fridge? I want to keep things lean, light and healthier in the summer, and by stocking my fridge (and freezer!) now, I’ll be ...

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