What to Watch: Dinner in a Hurry and Creativity in Competition

by in Shows, March 1st, 2013

Ree DrummondThis weekend Food Network has a bunch of competition shows that show off the competitors’ extreme creativity. But first, learn how to put together dinner in a hurry, which also requires some creative thinking on the fly.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a situation with unexpected guests coming over for dinner, you know it’s tough to pull off a meal in such a limited amount of time. But on The Pioneer Woman, Ree can show you how she cooks up an entire meal with just a phone call’s notice.

This weekend the competition shows get innovative. On Sugar Dome, the teams must create food art inspired by the deep sea. On Cupcake Wars, four bakers are fighting for the chance to cater an event at the San Diego Zoo. The remaining recruits on Worst Cooks in America must train their palates and prove to Chefs Anne and Bobby that they can create unique flavor combinations from what they’ve learned. Then Chef Bobby Flay goes to battle on Iron Chef America against Chef Hong Thaimee.

Read about the shows

Chef Wanted: Zengo Update

by in Shows, February 28th, 2013


Chef WantedZengo is a high-volume restaurant located in New York City that’s famous for blending Latin and Asian cuisines. Restaurateur Richard Sandoval is looking for a new executive chef who can meet three criteria: understand Latin and Asian cuisines, command respect from a demanding kitchen and keep consistency in every dish. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help with the search. After two tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef David Sears.

David Sears lives in Orlando, Fla., with his Peruvian-Chinese wife, two sons and is expecting a baby on the way. Growing up in the Bahamas as the son of a parliament member, David was expected to behave a certain way but ended up rebelling and turned to a life of crime. His turning point came when he found a passion for food and cooking. He recently was going to be the executive chef of a restaurant venture, but the project fell through. Chef Sears sees the opportunity at Zengo as a way to rebound his career and be able to provide again for his family.

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Waste Not, Want Not — New Ideas for Leftovers

by in Family, Recipes, February 28th, 2013

New Ideas for LeftoversEating on a budget can be challenging, especially when trying to feed your family the best-quality food possible. Planning your grocery list wisely isn’t just about searching for sales or clipping coupons. Think about the hidden dollars and food that gets wasted — sometimes without us even realizing it. I’m talking about leftovers from recipes that once enjoyed front and center stage, only to be cast in the back of the fridge to be forgotten.

Those leftovers needn’t go to waste, even smaller portions. A few leftover meatballs may not make a complete meal for a family of four, but they’re a necessary ingredient for my Shortcut Bolognese Sauce. The sauce comes together quickly — in about the same time it takes for the water to boil and pasta to cook. Mash the meatballs and saute them with some chopped onions and olive oil in a deep skillet. Once the onions are golden, stir in some marinara sauce and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, so the meat can soak up the flavors in the sauce. With minimal effort, you’ve transformed a humble meal into a hearty one by using a few meatballs to bulk up a simple tomato sauce.

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Enter for a Chance to Win This Icing Practice Board

by in Contests, February 28th, 2013

Wilber Icing Practice Board GiveawayWhether you aspire to be a pastry chef or simply to make a fabulous cake for your child’s birthday, the deluxe practice board will give you the skills and confidence you need to frost like a pro. Choose from over 80 frosting techniques, then simply follow the instructions on the board. You can even customize the angle of the board to simulate either the top or side of a cake.

You can buy your own practice board here, or enter for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite Food Network cake recipe in the comments (you must include the URL to qualify). We’re giving away a practice board to four lucky, randomly selected commenters.

Read official rules before entering

Restaurant Revisited: Dinner Bell Restaurant

by in Shows, February 27th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible

Not long after Robert Irvine arrived at Dinner Bell Restaurant in Madison, Tenn., it was clear to him that this mission would be unlike any he had done in the past. “This has got to be the most desperate restaurant I’ve ever been to,” he reflected after meeting owner Tommy Kirkpatrick. Before its Restaurant: Impossible experience, Dinner Bell was just two days away from closing its doors, so it was up to Robert and his team to rescue the eatery from the brink of financial ruin. Despite initial tension between Robert and Tommy, who was frustrated with the acknowledgment of his failures, Dinner Bell ultimately reopened to a full house after a much-needed deep clean, a revamping of the menu and an interior overhaul. We checked in with Tommy a few months after the renovation to find out how his business is doing today.

Dinner Bell remains “very clean,” according to Tommy, who, since the renovation, has held his employees accountable to excellence in both the front and back of the house. “Kitchen staff are expected to taste the food before each shift to ensure quality and expected to keep the kitchen in clean, working order,” he tells us. The servers “definitely look more professional than they did before the show, and Tommy is “ensuring [they] are consistently wiping the tables and table bases down, and guests are greeted with personality and friendliness.”

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10 Kitchen Tools Under $10 — The Product Puree

by in Family, February 27th, 2013

10 Kitchen Tools Under $10Do you want to get serious about cooking, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right tools, especially when you’re on a budget? Setting up a well-rounded kitchen can be a daunting, not to mention expensive, task. Whether you’re a college student, newlywed or budding cook, these 10 cooking tools under $10 are a great start to upping your game in the kitchen.

1. Whisk: A whisk will come in handy when mixing batters or whisking eggs for breakfast.

2. Fine Grater and Zester: Zest adds instant flavor and color to any recipe. This tool does double-duty by grating hard cheeses like Parmesan too.

3. Swivel Peeler: Peel potatoes to be mashed, remove the tough outer skin of butternut squash and prepare carrots for your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with this gadget.

Get 7 more kitchen tools under $10

15 Takes on Biscuits — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 27th, 2013

Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits from Food Network MagazineHow many times have you clicked on the television to see a family grinning over store-bought biscuits coming fresh out of the oven? You can’t blame them; the biscuits are so hot you can pull them apart. The easy method is all well and good, but whipping up a batch from scratch is the most comforting route of all. For once, stray from your classic Southern Biscuits and tear into one of these many variations.

Consider Paula Deen the biscuit master. Her recipes for Cheese Biscuits, Sour Cream Butter Biscuits and Fried Biscuits go along with any hearty meal, and her Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits are made complete with a sweet edge.

Branch out with Food Network Magazine’s own biscuit concoctions. Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits (pictured above) and Bacon-Cheese Biscuits work wonders along a heaping bowl of chili, while Lemon-Thyme Biscuits and Dill Biscuits With Honey Butter embody the rejuvenating spirit of afternoon tea. The sweetness in Molasses Biscuits jives well with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and fresh thyme. We bet you’ve never had Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits; they’re sweetened with sugar, spiced with nutmeg and spiked with finely grated cheese.

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