How to Dress Up Latkes for Hanukkah

by in Holidays, December 23rd, 2016

Applesauce and sour cream are the traditional accoutrements for latkes. Some load their potato pancakes up with both toppings, while others have strong feelings about one over the other. (I’m Team Applesauce, all the way.) However, this Hanukkah, don’t feel constrained by these standard-bearers. Latkes are just fried potatoes, after all, so they’re basically a blank canvas of crispy deliciousness. Pick any of our top latke recipes and try a new topping this year. Read more

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas on These Food Blogs

by in Community, Holidays, December 22nd, 2016

Wreath Cookies

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent most of December with your eyes glazing over, dragging item after item to your virtual shopping cart and crossing your fingers that all the gifts would arrive in time. That said, you can’t blame us for taking a break here and there to ogle some of the cutest holiday treats in the blogosphere — no shipping fee required.

Some people have holiday wreaths nailed to their doors, but Alana Jones-Mann set out to spread festive cheer in the baking department. Her adorable, green-as-can-be Wreath Cookies (pictured above) are all about leafy texture, and packing them up in little boxes makes for a cute, edible gift.

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Professional Bakers to Battle Fakers in Blind Cook-Offs on Brand-New Series

by in Shows, December 22nd, 2016

Bakers vs. FakersSo, your cupcakes are the talk of the neighborhood potluck, and your cheesecake has been described as “legendary.” Does that mean your amateur baking chops could carry you in a competition versus the pros? Perhaps. On the all-new upcoming series Bakers vs. Fakers, professional pastry chefs will be all but equalized as they face off against home bakers in a series of battles — blind battles, that is.

Premiering Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10|9c, Bakers vs. Fakers will bring together pros and Joes, but since the identities of all competitors will be hidden, the judges will evaluate the competitors’ offerings with no knowledge of their experience — or lack thereof. It’s up to the contestants to keep up with host Buddy Valastro’s demands in back-to-back challenges and attempt to convince the panel of their professional techniques, even if they’re fibbing along the way.

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This Candle Will Make Your House Smell Like Fried Chicken

by in News, December 22nd, 2016

This Candle Will Make Your House Smell Like Fried ChickenScented candles that smell like vanilla or rose petals, pine needles or apple pie, lavender or luxury perfumes are for chumps. A candle that releases the aroma of fried chicken? That’s a candle a fried-food lover can really warm up to. And now, thanks to the chicken-centric KFC powers that be, it is, yes, a thing that exists.

KFC New Zealand recently offered up a limited-edition KFC Scented Candle (complete with Colonel Sanders’ smiling face on it) on Instagram as a reward to lucky contest winners. To enter, KFC Scented Candle cravers had to share ideas for KFC merchandise by commenting on KFCNZ’s Instagram account.

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Food Network Kitchen Foretells the Trends to Look For in 2017

by in News, December 21st, 2016

Merriam-Webster may have just selected “surreal” as the 2016 word of the year, but the forward-thinking Food Network Kitchen team says the key word for the culinary world in 2017 – the taste of the year to come – is “surprise.”

“Whether it’s hidden flavors or textures, jolting temperature shifts or cultural crossovers, surprise is poised to be the flavor of the moment. This plays to our sense of adventure and toys with our expectations,” the team writes in its 2017 food-trend forecast. “It charts a new direction in novelty: a move beyond the mash-up to something both more subtle and exciting. Surprise plays it close to the vest, offering one thing to the eye or the mind, and another to the palate.”

“Surprise” could mean a collection of candies hidden inside a piñata-like cake and other “inventive fillings,” or it could mean taking something you’d expect to be sweet and making it savory (or vice versa), such as “savory funnel cakes” or “fish sauce caramel.” It could be combining the tastes of different cultures in unexpected ways (tofu Caprese!) or unusual mass-market efforts like Green Giant’s “cauliflower rice.”

Here are some other food trends the Food Network Kitchen prognosticators foresee in 2017 (and just for snicks, here are last year’s predictions): Read more

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Convenience Store Foods for 3 Days

by in Behind the Scenes, December 21st, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Convenience Store Foods for 3 DaysEating on the go can be a real struggle. Healthy eating on the go can feel virtually impossible.

I consider myself an above-average eater when it comes to incorporating healthy foods into my diet. I am an avid supporter of all things Brussels sprout and make a mean oven-baked salmon. But when it comes to making quick, convenient decisions, I’m definitely one to reach for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Fine, two bags.

When you pop into a convenience store only minutes before the last train home takes off, you have mere seconds to make a game-time decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’ll reach for the Sour Patch Watermelon candy. You’ll tell yourself it’s a fine choice — you’re “in a rush,” and there’s simply no time to sift through 7-Eleven looking for real options. But … what if there was?

I posted up in a 7-Eleven for 41 minutes of my life to see if “healthy eats” actually exist in convenience stores. I entered the 7-Eleven located only two blocks away from my apartment on a Sunday morning at 9:46 a.m. There were approximately four other people “shopping” in the store, and I grabbed a shopping basket to start my search. The store had a total of three shopping baskets, none of which were being utilized by any of the other customers. After taking my first lap around the joint, I became very aware of how bizarre the edible options at these stores are. I expected to see chips, I expected to see nuts and I definitely expected to see candy. But canned tuna was … a questionable surprise. In that moment, staring at a rather large supply of canned fish, I knew I had underestimated this establishment.

While the store had a relatively wide range of foods, there was a deflating lack of legitimate options. I almost dropped dead when I saw they still carry Lunchables but was extremely disheartened to realize they sold only the “Turkey & Cheddar with Crackers” variety. (Everyone knows Lunchables pizza is the move.)

Lunchables aside, there were some relatively healthy options at my disposal. Greek yogurt, oatmeal and cereal were all seemingly normal breakfast choices. Premade fruit salads, hummus and pretzels, protein bars and “skinny popcorn” would make do for snacks. Finding produce to make legitimate meals, on the other hand, was going to be a real challenge. This was going to require some really questionable creativity.

I was surprised to see 7-Eleven sells deli meat in addition to some very simple premade salads. I tossed both in my basket with plans to make a more sophisticated concoction on my own, along with a bag of crunchy roasted chickpeas to use as a salad topping. I then threw a dozen eggs and a low-fat cheese stick in the basket, figuring I could use both to make an omelet for dinner one night.

I checked out of 7-Eleven with four angry, confused customers (all of which were probably buying only one bag of Doritos) waiting in line behind me. It was officially time to make convenience a lifestyle.

Here’s what my three-day diet looked like.

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3 of a Kind: Holiday Cocktails

by in Restaurants, December 21st, 2016

The Bad Santa Cocktail from Westbound
By Natalie B. Compton

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

With the holiday season in full swing, bars across America are creating festive vibes with whimsical winter cocktails. The temperatures are dropping, making it the perfect time for eggnogs, mulled wines and punches. Beyond those warming staples, bartenders are getting creative with their wintry concoctions by pulling in innovative ingredients and putting together playful presentations. Here are a few places to sip spirits merrily. Read more

These ‘Bacon & Eggs’ Kicks Are Like Breakfast for Your Feet

by in News, December 20th, 2016

These 'Bacon & Eggs' Kicks Are Like Breakfast for Your FeetPutting your feet into a couple of fried eggs with a side of crispy bacon in the morning doesn’t sound as good as eating those things — at least at first. But a new pair of breakfast-inspired sneakers may just change our minds about that.

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5 Super-Fun Ways to Win the Holidays

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 19th, 2016

The holiday season is, of course, very much about the traditions we look forward to each year. But every tradition was new once upon a time — so why not add to your family’s repertoire this year? There’s still plenty of time to wow everybody with something totally new, fun and delicious.

Champagne Hacks (above)

Make your annual bubbly toast a little extra special with these cool bar tricks. We’ll show you how to chill a bottle of the sparkling stuff super-fast, use fruit as ice cubes, and doll up flute rims for the festive occasion.

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This Record-Setting Ice Cream Cone Has 121 Scoops

by in News, December 19th, 2016

This Record-Setting Ice Cream Cone Has 121 ScoopsOne hundred and twenty-one scoops of yummy ice cream piled on a cone and ready for gleeful consumption may seem like a gelato lover’s unrealizable fantasy. But thanks to the fast scooping, artful packing and impressive balancing skills of an Italian man named Dimitri Panciera, that dream is now a reality. A Guinness World Record-setting reality, that is.

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