Meet Baker Damiano Carrara, Competing in Spring Baking Championship

by in Shows, April 20th, 2015

Damiano CarraraEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

Get to Know Damiano Carrara

The Pioneer Woman’s Easy Greek Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 20th, 2015

Easy Greek SaladThe key to a satisfying salad is balance, of flavor and of texture, and with her go-to recipe for Easy Greek Salad (pictured above), The Pioneer Woman hits that mark — and in only 20 speedy minutes.

When it comes to toppings, Ree looks to chopped cucumbers and juicy tomatoes to provide bright, cool tastes alongside fresh romaine, while crumbly feta promises welcome richness and subtle tang, and for a salty bite, she folds in briny Kalamata olives ahead of adding the vinaigrette. Follow her lead and whisk a pinch of sugar into the dressing; this will help mellow the otherwise bold flavors of the red wine vinegar and garlic. Just before serving, reach for a bit more feta, and add a final squeeze of lemon juice to wake up the salad with refreshing brightness.

Read more

3 Ways to Have More Fun in the Kitchen, According to Rachael Ray

by in Food Network Chef, April 20th, 2015

Rachael RayNo matter how hectic the day has been or how spent you may feel come dinnertime, meals still need to get on the table, and for those times when you’re left uninspired, Rachael Ray has a few tips for not just cooking food but relishing that experience in the kitchen too. At her live demo during this winter’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Rachael explained to a packed audience that the key to enjoying cooking involves both a relaxed state of mind and preparation. Read on below to hear what she had to say.

“Get yourself in a good mood somehow,” Rachael said. For some, that may involve music, and for others, a glass of wine may do the trick. “You can also get way ahead,” she suggested, explaining that on days when you’re not pressed for time, invest the effort in preparing a few make-ahead dishes, so that you’ll have them when you need them.

Read more

An Exclusive Interview with the Winner of All-Star Academy

by in Shows, April 20th, 2015

Vanessa, Michael, Joseph and BobbyEight weeks ago 10 home cooks entered All-Star Academy with hopes of making it to the end and leaving as the winner of the $50,000 grand prize. After many hard-fought battles, having faced numerous culinary curveballs, maniacal mash-ups and more, one person has come out on top as the winner. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner.

Spoiler Alert: Find Out Who Won

“‘Cause It’s Science” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, April 19th, 2015

As is the nature of the Cutthroat Kitchen beast, the situation inside the battle arena is constantly changing: Ingredients get swapped, chefs move from one station to another, and tools come and go. Aside from Alton Brown‘s evilicious smile, there’s little competitors can count on, thanks to the diabolical sabotages the host doles out. But on tonight’s all-new episode — the first of five heats in the Evilicious tournament — there was one challenge in particular that made at least one element of the battle predictable.

In Round 3’s pound cake challenge, Alton revealed a chemistry set that, while ominous, offered a few opportunities, which food stylist Chelsey found out as she tried her hand at cake baking with the kit during the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages. The challenge would force a competitor to use only the tools within the set — beakers, stirrers, test tubes, a hot plate and a Bunsen burner, among other items — to make a pound cake, and although Chelsey found herself working hard to properly mix the cake batter, she took comfort in the hot plate. “The bottom is cooked,” she said as she flipped her petri-dish cake, “hopefully it will do the same thing on the other side … ’cause it’s science and it does that.” Sure enough, after only a few minutes, the opposite side of the cake was indeed browned; Chelsey said the treat she flipped out of the dish “cuts beautifully,” is “cooked all the way through” and “is delicious.

Read more

Charcoal Cocktails Light Up the Drink Scene

by in Drinks, News, April 19th, 2015

CharcoalIt’s just about outdoor-barbecue season. Time to stock up on charcoal for your grill. And while you’re at it, you may want to get some extra briquettes for cocktail hour. Wait, what?

Yes, friends. Charcoal — black, bitter and smoky — is apparently the new “it” cocktail ingredient. And it’s not just a matter of look and taste.

Read more

Meet Baker Chris Taylor, Competing in Spring Baking Championship

by in Shows, April 19th, 2015

Chris TaylorEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

Get to Know Chris Taylor

Ina’s Birthday Sheet Cake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, April 19th, 2015

Birthday Sheet CakeThough Ina Garten’s candy-topped cake is ideal for birthday bashes, you can indeed look to this sweet-tooth-satisfying treat even when there’s no celebration in sight. Ina pairs a moist, rich vanilla cake and a thick blanket of fluffy chocolate frosting on top to pack a one-two punch of flavor in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Perhaps best of all, she bakes and frosts the cake right in a single sheet pan, so there’s no need to transfer, frost and assemble multiple layers.

For more wow-worthy desserts, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Birthday Sheet Cake (pictured above)

Meet Baker Andy Chlebana, Competing in Spring Baking Championship

by in Shows, April 18th, 2015

Andy ChlebanaEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

Get to Know Andy Chlebana

Beyond the Muffin Tin: 2 New Ways to Transform Cornbread

by in Recipes, April 18th, 2015

2 New Ways to Transform Corn BreadA classic cornbread recipe is a must-have in any kitchen, but once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to dress up the usual fare and set your sights on next-level interpretations. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro introduced two fresh spins on this tried-and-true favorite, both savory and satisfying dishes that go beyond the ordinary comfort food.

Part casserole and part bread, Sunny’s Tex-Mex Spoonbread boasts layer upon layer of flavor: first buttery browned chorizo, then a loose grits-style cornmeal mixture made light and fluffy thanks to a few whipped eggs. To make sure there’s plenty of texture in her spoonbread, Sunny adds a handful of corn kernels to the cornmeal batter, plus a duo of gooey cheeses for over-the-top richness. After baking in the oven, this big-batch dish turns out golden brown along the edges and fully set in the middle.

Read more