As temperatures begin to warm with the turn to spring, the competition in the kitchen heats up as eight of the country’s most-talented bakers compete on Food Network’s new series Spring Baking Championship, premiering Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c. Bobby Deen hosts this sweet competition, in which contestants attempt to rise to the occasion with their springtime treats and win a sweet spot in the hearts of judges Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Lorraine Pascale. Only one winner will take home the grand prize of $50,000 and the title of Spring Baking Champion.
Whether you grew up finding smushed PB&Js in your lunchbox or you’ve graduated to enjoying Jeff Mauro’s next-level version (it’s fried!) as a grownup, there’s no denying that peanut butter and jelly are simply better together. But that doesn’t mean the only way to enjoy these fan-favorite spreads is by slathering them on two slices of spread. From layered dessert bars and filled cupcakes to cool, creamy milkshakes, read on below for seven of the ultimate ways to mash up PB&J.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (pictured above): Ina smoothes a sweet jam (she opts for raspberry, but you can use any flavor) atop a buttery peanut butter crust before finishing the bars with third and fourth layers: creamy peanut butter frosting and chopped nuts for welcome crunch.
Though it just so happens that many sabotages lead Cutthroat Kitchen chefs to turn out inferior dishes, thanks to the oddball ingredients and haphazard tools, each challenge is — believe it or not — designed to ensure that the competitors have what they need to succeed. That’s where Testing the Sabotages comes in; before a sabotage is sold at auction, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew must attempt it behind the scenes to ensure that it is indeed fair for contestants.
In the latest test, on a spicy-tuna sushi swap-out during a tuna melt challenge, it turned out that this challenge not only allowed for a successful tuna melt, but ultimately set the scene for creating a sandwich far superior to the original. Food stylist Hugo Sanchez hollowed out sushi rolls to excavate the seafood inside, and after he combined the fish with a bit of mayo, plus fresh green and purple onions, and then mounded the mixture with cheese between slices of bread, the resulting dish turned out “better than a regular tuna melt,” he proclaimed. “It’s got a little spice, which I normally wouldn’t have added.”
When it comes to finishing touches on a plate, there’s not much that doesn’t benefit from an egg on top, including this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Without an egg, France’s version of a specialty ham-and-cheese sandwich is a simple croquet monsieur, but when dressed up with golden, runny egg, this richly indulgent sandwich layered with indulgent, creamy bechamel sauce becomes an over-the-top beauty called a croque madame. Follow Alex Guarnaschelli’s lead and opt for Gruyère cheese to add a rich, nutty taste to the sandwich.
For more ways to celebrate the everyday egg, check out Food Network’s Put an Egg on It board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Croque Madame Sandwich (pictured above)
Why is snack mix so addicting? Filled with a variety of crunchy goodies, each handful is slightly different, making it hard to stop at just one. You keep digging in with the hopes of scooping up your favorite bites. Whether you make your own snack mix or buy it at the store, pretzels, chips, cereal and nuts are all popular ingredients. The question becomes whether you opt for the more traditional garlicky seasoning or the sugary version, which will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Food Network Magazine wants to know which side you’re on. Vote in the poll below and tell FN Dish whether you prefer sweet or savory snack mix.
St. Patrick’s Day revelers are known for wearing green, covering themselves in shamrocks and celebrating to excess. And if there’s one thing an excessive celebration requires, it’s sustenance. When planning the meal for a group gathering, keep the theme of the day going by making an entirely green feast, from start to finish.
Though you’ll probably want to save dessert until the end, a showstopping cake (prepared in advance and waiting for you at home) like this Green Velvet Layer Cake (above) is absolutely essential. Green food coloring turns the layered cake into a stunning emerald centerpiece that’s topped with fluffy buttercream frosting.
Food can bring back so many different memories from childhood — family meals around the dinner table, weeknight dishwasher duties, Mom’s failed attempt at homemade sushi — but it’s hard to beat the comforting tastes and memories that come with a slice of meatloaf. Let’s face it: Meatloaf is basically a giant meatball, and no one is mad about that. Juicy ground meat and soft veggies only get better with a big dollop of that classic, sweet sauce. But just like every other classic dinner, there are tons of new spins on the original recipe, like vegetable-packed versions and even meatloaf muffins. Read on for some new ideas on how to take this hearty classic to the next level.
Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (pictured above)
There’s bacon on top — need we say more? If the bacon doesn’t sell it, the tomato relish will. It’s got all of the classic flavors of a meatloaf sauce, but with some fresh ingredients and great texture. Everything comes together for a sweet, salty, tangy feast.
Along with a celebration of all things Irish, St. Patrick’s Day brings with it a buffet of celebratory eats and drinks, from meaty corned beef and tender cabbage to rich chocolate-stout cupcakes and bright-green beer. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts said “top o’ the morning” with a St. Paddy’s Day roundup of the best bites and sips ideal for an Irish-themed celebration. For Jeff Mauro, that meant transforming corned beef and cabbage into next-level Irish Egg Rolls, while in true It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere fashion, Geoffrey Zakarian created Irish Creme with Stout.
FN Dish wants to know, as you gear up for Tuesday’s St. Paddy’s Day bash, what are dish are you most looking forward to eating? Are you all about silky mashed spuds, or do you crave the hearty taste of corned beef? Will you seek out the greenest beer you can find, or are you all about themed sweet treats like these shamrock cupcakes? Cast your vote in the poll below to share your top pick, then browse all of the recipes from today’s brand-new episode.
Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day better than green, mint-flavored milk, which is likely the idea behind TruMoo’s bright-hued Naturally Flavored Mint Vanilla milk. MMMmmm, minty fresh … milk.
The 1 percent low-fat milk, available as a limited-edition flavor, isn’t quite as decadent as it sounds. According to the label, which features a jaunty leprechaun hat and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the flavored milk contains no high-fructose corn syrup and 130 calories per serving. TruMoo — a Dean Foods brand whose signature product is low-fat, low-sugar, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free chocolate milk targeted to health-minded families — also boasts that the green milk contains “8 essential nutrients.” So there’s that.
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the most-major holiday, but it is such fun for that very reason: The pressure is OFF. If you’ve got kids who want to party, it’s all about rainbows, hints of Irish fare made kid-friendly and food in every shade of green.
Fun Food Activities
- Instead of goodie bags, we invite our guests to make a little treat to take home. Just be sure to have zip-top, cellophane bags or paper plates available for easier transport.
- For very small kids, these Shamrock Shortbread Cookies get a hint of green from a very nutritious source (yes, spinach). Plus the rolling method is easy enough for toddlers to do.
- Bigger kids will get a huge kick out of assembling Individual Layered Rainbow Cakes; just bake each color ahead of time and let them do the rest.