Back-to-School Meal Planning

by in Family, September 3rd, 2014

Back to School Meal PlanningLast week signaled back to school for families in some parts of the country, and it starts this week here in New York. Watching my friends post first-day-of-school photos reminds me of the 180-degree turn it’ll mean for our schedules. No more sleeping in and eating breakfast at noon. Instead of sitting down to dinner at 8pm, that’s when I’ll be tucking the kids into bed. One thing back to school doesn’t have to mean, though, is back to takeout. With some smart planning, we’ll be enjoying the same home cooking, just a little earlier than our lazy days of summer.

Prep School: Set yourself up for success on busy weeknights by having vegetables ready to use. You can chop or slice onions and leave them in sealed containers one to two days advance. When I have a recipe that calls for only half an onion, I immediately chop the other half and store it in the freezer in a zip-top bag. Then I can just toss it into the skillet when I’m ready to use it (no need to thaw it first). The same goes for garlic. Chop a whole head and spoon it into mini ice cube trays. Just pop out what you need when you’re ready to get cooking (no need to thaw it first).

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Chatting with the Chopped Ultimate Champions: Amateurs, Part 2 Winner

by in Shows, September 2nd, 2014

Elda and Keith, Amateur Champs on Chopped Ultimate ChampionsFor the first time on Chopped, professionals and amateur cooks will go head-to-head at the end of the five-part Ultimate Champions tournament. But they’ve all competed on Chopped before: They’ve tasted what it feels like to win, and they’re hungry for more. On tonight’s second round, four amateur home cooks battled to determine which one would move on to the grand finale, where there’s a chance to win the largest prize in the show’s history: $50,000, with a brand-new car to top it all off. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner from Part 2.

Read the interview with the winner

Feast Your Eyes on These Sushi Socks

by in News, September 2nd, 2014

Sushi SocksRooting around in your sock drawer probably doesn’t make you hungry, but it might if you stocked it with socks that look like sushi.

Yup. Feast your eyes on Sushi Socks. Rolled up, they look remarkably like giant versions of the stuff your local sushi restaurant would present to you on a platter. (Deluxe, natch.) Unrolled, they’re a bit more like sashimi.

Tokyo Otaku Mode Premium Shop, which sells the Japan-manufactured polyester-cotton-blend socks for $5.39 a pair and $28.99 for a six-pair set and ships internationally, touts them as “comfortable and durable,” noting, for those as particular about their socks as they are about their raw fish, that the “sushi detail is knitted into the sock with colored thread instead of being printed.”

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7 Peanut Butter for Lunch Recipes

by in Recipes, September 2nd, 2014

Peanut Butter for Lunch
It’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next three weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.

Here are ways you can sneak a little peanut butter into your midday meal: lunch. And don’t forget to check out last week’s breakfast post here.

1. Instead of a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, try it with a touch of peanut butter with Bobby Flay‘s Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Butter recipe (pictured above).

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Uniquely Austin Eats — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, September 2nd, 2014

Let There Be Bacon Burger on The Great Food Truck RaceThis week on The Great Food Truck Race the food truck rookies found themselves moving from the Southwest into the heart of Texas. Because Austin is known for “keeping it weird,” Tyler Florence decided to pull some interesting tricks on the teams. On Day One he had them partner up, which produced some odd pairing, e.g., Let There Be Bacon and Middle Feast. Later all the teams moved to a dating event, where they had to work their charms on selling food to singles, which had some mixed results. And in one final eccentric challenge, Tyler instituted a Truck Stop truck swap. You can imagine how weird that was for the teams.

In the end, many of the teams found it difficult selling in Austin, just because they were competing against some of the best restaurants and established food trucks in the country. And Austin has got a little bit of everything in that regard: tacos, barbecue, comforting classics, international specialties and more. Find out all that Austin has to offer.

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Beat the Afterschool Slump with Kid-Friendly Snacks

by in View All Posts, September 2nd, 2014

Sweet and Saltines

The end of summer is a big deal for kids. If your young ones have already gone back to school, they’re transitioning from camp and family vacations to rowdy rides on the school bus, binders filled with homework and snacks before soccer practice. If they haven’t gone back yet, those days are coming up fast. This school year, ease their back-to-school shift with easy kid-friendly snacks. These recipes for kid-friendly midday refueling will satisfy and re-energize your kids while still leaving room for dinner. Here are some wholesome, homemade Food Network favorites:

Salty square crackers are suited to so much more than out-of-the-box snacking. Take it from Trisha, who drizzles saltines with butter, brown sugar and chocolate for Sweet and Saltines (pictured above), reaching that perfect cross between salty and sweet. Hey, it’s a whole lot better than passing kids a candy bar.

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There’s Still Time to Make Ice Cream by Kicking a Ball Around

by , September 2nd, 2014

Summer is about to give us its final, humid embrace. Just because we are approaching fall doesn’t mean we will stop eating ice cream, however. Ice cream is to be screamed for throughout the year in equal measure. Case in point? Here’s an ice cream maker that doubles as a kickball.

The appropriately named Kickball Ice Cream Maker is exactly what it purports to be. You make ice cream by filling the ball up with ingredients and then kicking it around for a while. A pint of ice cream takes twenty minutes of playtime to finish, upon which you’ll have an easy, creamy way to replace all of those calories you unfortunately burned while exercising. It’s a win/win.

If you are the type of person who loves ice cream, but hates pushing buttons, you can get one of these for your volleyball court/dessert shack by ponying up $35.

In the Kitchen With: Katie Workman

by in Books, Family, September 2nd, 2014

In the Kitchen With: Katie WorkmanFor thousands of us, fall is the real season of renewal, when back-to-school planning encompasses everything from freshly sharpened pencils to visions of easier, tastier — and saner — mealtimes. If those visions are starting to blur a couple of weeks into the new routine, take heart and meet Katie Workman. The mother of an 11- and a 14-year-old, she is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket.

The book’s frank and funny tone, elevated comfort food and down-to-earth suggestions for involving kids in the kitchen have endeared Workman to legions of fans (and helped spawn a sequel due out next summer). Last month, she stopped by Food Network Kitchen in New York’s Chelsea Market to make her Taco Night tacos and dish on late-night cooking, the one kitchen tool she can’t live without and annoying food habits all parents should avoid. Here are some questions and answers from our conversation, plus three family-friendly recipes worth incorporating into your repertoire right now. (For more on Katie’s visit, check out The One Recipe: Katie Workman’s Taco Night Tacos.)

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