Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, October 3rd, 2014

Somewhere along the way when women were being “liberated” from the kitchen, processed and convenience foods became dinner du jour. One-pot casseroles became a go-to for many busy moms and families. One of my favorites growing up was Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole. What’s not to love? It’s filling chicken and rice with creamy gravy, topped with cheese. It’s real down-home comfort.

Most often this indulgent casserole is made with frozen broccoli and a couple of familiar red-and-white cans of cream of mushroom soup. This version is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. It takes just a smidgen more time, but the results are absolutely extraordinary. I’m pretty adamant that down-home comfort can be made without bags and boxes. The truth of the matter is that all too often those shortcuts aren’t really timesavers and they are packed with salt and food additives. I personally really like recipes with ingredients that you can pronounce and don’t need a degree in chemistry to decipher. That gives me a very deep, satisfying feeling of comfort.

Read more

Five Secret Cooking Oils of Sub-Saharan Africa

by , October 3rd, 2014

 

Nara Seeds

Thoughts of travel in Africa may conjure images of lions and elephants, or safaris seeking photographic trophies or even hidden treasures. True, this is all on offer, but for the culinary adventurer there are different kinds of quests to be had — especially when looking for ingredients to cook with. On a recent safari in Namibia, I “discovered” a rare oil derived from the endemic !nara plant (pronounced with a click sound followed by “na-ra”), which adds a unique, fruity and nutty flavor to meats and vegetables. It’s one of several “secret” oils found all around the continent if you look hard enough.

Read more

Homemade Decadence — Off the Shelf

by in Books, October 3rd, 2014

Homemade Decadence - Off the ShelfJoy Wilson (of Joy the Baker) is back with a new cookbook, Homemade Decadence. Joy’s signature spunk and personality are all but effervescent in this newest collection of recipes.

The book separates the recipes into Brunch, Cookies, Brownies and Bars, Pies, Crumbles and Cobblers, Layer Cakes, Cupcakes and Skillet Cakes, and Ice Cream Social. The recipes are a mix of classic favorites and new spins on tried-and-true dishes. Mix up your next brunch with Hawaiian Sweet Pineapple Breakfast Rolls or keep things simple with Vanilla Sugar Donuts; you can’t go wrong either way. Tickle your sweet tooth with something new, like Buttered Popcorn Crispy Treats, or stick with something more familiar, like the Classic Lemon Bar. Or maybe you want something a little more refined, like the Peach, Brie and Dark Chocolate S’mores.

Read more

What to Watch: Get in the Halloween Spirit This Weekend with Triple G, Halloween Wars and Cutthroat Kitchen

by in Shows, October 3rd, 2014

Triple G: Aisle of TerrorOctober is bursting onto the scene, which means familiar fall festivities aren’t far behind, including Halloween and cold-weather comforts. Food Network has been creatively cooking up programming to match, with one part tricky competition and one part tempting treats. Celebrate the start of the new month appropriately with a thrilling Halloween-episode run of Guy’s Grocery Games, Halloween Wars and Cutthroat Kitchen. You’re in for a night of suspense, as not every chef will make it out of the competitions alive.

It’s not all ghoulish programming, though. You can catch Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, The Kitchen and Farmhouse Rules for a more reserved round of weekend entertainment. Trisha’s throwing a tea party, The Kitchen is serving up yummy comfort-food delights and Farmhouse Rules is going au naturel, using homegrown ingredients.

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: All Things Miniature
Join Trisha and her friend Glenda for a tea party. In keeping with the theme, Trisha makes a meal of miniature dishes, including: Creamy Asparagus Soup, Mini Egg Salad Sandwiches, Mini Stuffed Peppers and Mini Monkey Bread Muffins.
Saturday 10:30a|9c

Read more

Thai Government Builds Robot to Judge Quality of Food

by , October 3rd, 2014

Thai food robot

Everyone knows that a zombie apocalypse will never happen. Some kind of virus that turns us into unstoppable, and hungry, killing machines? Yeah right. A robot apocalypse, however, is absolutely within the realm of possibility. Introducing a robot that knows if food tastes good or not, brought to you by the Thai government.

The Thai Delicious Committee recently unveiled the robot as insurance against crappy Thai food. Essentially, they send the robot around the world to make sure nobody is screwing up any of their national dishes. This nameless, unfeeling robot is outfitted with a bevy of sensors that analyze the chemical signatures of a variety of Thai staples. It then awards the dish a score of 1 to 100. If it falls below 80, the robot sends the offending chef on a ‘vacation.’ OK, that last part is made up. They just get a bad score.

Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by , October 3rd, 2014

null
In this week’s news: Scientists give us the skinny on apples; olive oil earns another hearty endorsement; and local farms and organic research get some green.

One Good Apple …
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. That may be true – a...

Read more

10-Minute Cake Decorating with Supermarket Staples

by in How-to, October 2nd, 2014

Decorating a cake can be super-easy and stress-free, so celebrate life’s special occasions, no matter how small, with a festive decorated cake. No need for piping bags and sugar flowers: All of these ideas can be done in minutes using supermarket staples, and they’re as much fun to make as they are to eat. Use them as a jumping-off point to pique your imagination and to discover easy cake decorating ideas from your own supermarket aisles. Read more

Hungry Games Poll: Which Food Do You Most Crave?

by in Shows, October 2nd, 2014

Richard Blais on Hungry GamesWhen it comes to cravings, many of us can attest that they’re hard to control, whether it’s a slice of your favorite cheese pizza or a pint of that luscious ice cream. When cravings call, many of us cave in. Others, well, maybe they’re able to resist, but cravings come and go whether you can control them or not. FN dish wants to know which food you crave the most often.

In the new series Hungry Games, premiering Monday, Oct. 20 at 8|7c, host Richard Blais delves into what makes us crave certain foods more than others, why we crave foods to begin with, what makes us want more, and what turns us off from other foods. The six-episode series covers six types of foods that people often crave: ice cream, pizza, burgers, diner food, bar food and barbecue. So which one do you crave the most?

Watch a sneak peek of Hungry Games on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 10|9c.

Vote in the Hungry Games Poll

Reasons to Reconsider Cauliflower — Fall Fest

by in In Season, October 2nd, 2014

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce

Before you relegate your next head of cauliflower to side dish status once again, reconsider this in-season veggie for its unconventionally substantial uses. From standing proudly as a main dish to acting as your next party-friendly appetizer, cauliflower is capable of some serious dish power. Let us list the ways:

  • Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce: Even if you’re accustomed to nibbling chicken wings off the bone, think of cauliflower florets as yet another way to get your weekly intake of spicy Buffalo sauce. Dip this healthier game-time alternative into homemade blue cheese sauce for the full package.

Read more