Make-and-Take Picnic Desserts — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, June 5th, 2014

Make-and-Take Picnic DessertsThe need for a roster of packable desserts is real in the summer months, especially when the name of the game is outdoor eating. When the dinner grub is covered at a friend’s backyard barbecue or your picnic menu is missing that last sweet course, you need something that you can move from point A to point B with limited spillage and fuss. That means ice cream sundaes and other temperamental desserts are out, and Food Network’s go-to make-and-take treats are totally in.

Food Network Magazine’s Blackberry Summer Pudding Cake (pictured above) may not look transport-friendly, but fear not. After pouring juice over it, carry this classic British dessert in its container to your final destination and remove it just before serving.

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Dig In This Father’s Day with Food-Inspired Cards for Dad

by in Product Reviews, June 5th, 2014

Dig In this Father's Day with Food-Inspired Cards for DadWe’ve all heard that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” right? That means there’s a good chance that your dad (or husband or grandfather) likes to be behind the barbecue — or he at least likes eating whatever comes off said grill. We’ve rounded up a few cards for the food-loving father, to go perfectly with that new set of grill tools or that six-pack of beer you got him. Dig in.

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Restaurant Revisited: Saving Grace at Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli

by in Shows, June 4th, 2014

Robert Irvine“We just got ourselves in way over our heads,” Grace Tutak said of her and her husband, Eddie, both owners of Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli. The financial ambiguity of the restaurant and the significant debt they’re facing had put a strain on their marriage, and they were in dire need of Robert Irvine‘s help. “Ed and Grace are both responsible for the failure of the restaurant,” Robert admitted, and together with his Restaurant: Impossible team, he overhauled Grace’s Place and attempted to repair Grace and Eddie’s relationship in order to give their business a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Grace and find out how her eatery is doing today.

Sales at Grace’s Place have remained steady since the show, and Grace says that “the customers love the new decor.”

Customers were sorry to see some of their beloved dishes had been taken off the menu, so the list of offerings now features some of its original items, plus plates that Robert created. Still being featured are the French Dip, Muffalatta Sub, Fresh-Cut Fries, Cinnamon Bun Sundae and the Minestrone Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, according to Grace.

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Best 5 Macaroni Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, June 4th, 2014

Old-Fashioned Macaroni SaladFrom picnics and graduation parties to weekend cookouts and the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, summer’s all about leisurely get-togethers, and for those you need simple, tried-and-true dishes you’re sure will feed a crowd. Burgers, hot dogs and barbecue are go-to main dishes, but when the focus is on traditional sides, macaroni salad reigns supreme. This easy-to-fix favorite is a crowd-pleasing classic, and it can be prepared ahead of time and served when guests arrive. Check out Food Network’s top-five macaroni salad recipes below to find next-level renditions from Rachael, Guy, the Neelys and more Food Network chefs, then browse more side dish selections ideal for grilling season.

5. Bacon and Egg Macaroni Salad — Rachael starts with balsamic vinaigrette-topped macaroni and adds crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs and pimentos for welcome texture and added flavor.

4. Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham — Ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, this go-to picnic favorite features a classic ingredient combo — peas and ham — and the flavors are combined with a tangy mustard-sour cream topping.

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Move Over, Croutons: Fattoush Has the Salad Topping Spotlight

by in Recipes, Shows, June 4th, 2014

Fattoush SaladFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient lavash. When this pita-like Middle Eastern bread is crisped up in the oven, it makes a great addition to salad, taking the place of croutons. The Italians have panzanella, a bread salad, but in Middle Eastern cuisine there’s fattoush, a salad made with flatbread. But in this Faux-toush Salad with Lavash, there’s a lot less of the bread and more of the lettuce for a modern spin on the recipe. And there’s grilled chicken breast to round everything out. This would make a healthy lunch to take to the office, or even a light dinner. You’ll definitely find exotic flavors in this dish with honey, lemon and sumac.

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How to Win Summer: Beer Can Chickens Doing Yoga (Kind of. It’s a Stretch.)

by in Recipes, June 4th, 2014

Beer Can Chicken RecipesWhile on photo shoots, I’ve bumped into a beer can chicken or two. But I’ve never actually cooked one at home. I am, therefore, somewhat of a grill-season fraud. Last summer “beer can chicken” (with and without hyphens for any of you copy gurus who are wondering) was Googled tens of thousands of times. But not at my house. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with having a beer out back. But every time I see the resulting pictures of beer can chicken — chickens standing or sitting awkwardly and ridiculously on domestic cans or even imports — as if waiting for someone to hand them beers, toes pointing, flailing, kicking or squatting — I can’t help but laugh at how odd they look, and I move on to chops, steak or salmon. Their accoutrements, spice rubs, glazes and flurries of herbs, help doll them up. Yet a beer can chicken’s crossed legs, uncrossed legs, stretching arms and stoic stance don’t make me hungry; they make me think, randomly, of yoga. See above for a visual reference, wherein a stately beer can chicken looks to be moving toward seated meditation, a pensive, quieting pose that conjures warm breezes and calm waters — and a generous spice rub.

Still, there’s a smart reason such food images are shot the way they are. If the food stylist platters the meat or carves the bird, then the picture doesn’t sell the “why” of the recipe: the beer. Placing the chicken on a can of beer allows air to circulate around the bird and hence gives it crisp skin all over, a major plus, and devotees of the Cult of Beer Can Chicken claim the results are juicy and more flavorful. You can insert a debate on beer brand here, folks. (And then go ahead and argue, as Mr. “Meathead” did two years ago on Huffington Post, about whether the method is good anyway.) In the meantime, I am not waiting for New Year’s this year for resolutions: I resolve to win summer. And that starts with stretching into Sun Salutation, getting past chicken poses, crossing the road to get to a six-pack and grilling beer can chicken. After all, what could be bad about drinking a little beer and cooking out? Namastasty.

Check out my top 5 favorite beer can chicken poses, after the jump.

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Healthier Hospital Food, Cookies by the Book and Bottle Delivery by Drone

by in News, June 4th, 2014

Healthier Hospital FoodHealthy Foods to Help You Heal: Just the thought of hospital food can make a person feel a little sick, but there’s a movement underway to change that. Hospitals are increasingly rethinking their menus, abandoning those salty (but otherwise tasteless) broths, quivering cubes of gelatin and beige foods, and instead they’re embracing healthier fare like fresh fruits and vegetables and sustainable, locally grown foods. “Good food can help speed the healing process, and hospitals can be really good models,” Lucia Sayre, co-executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility, tells U.S. News. What’s more, adds dietitian Susan Levin, who works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, providing healthy foods on those trays is “probably the best opportunity in educating the patient in how not to return.” [U.S. News]

Eat Your Words: Summer reading season is just around the corner. And if you’re looking for a literary snack to sustain yourself as you stretch out with a good novel by the pool or on the beach, you might consider whipping up a batch of book-worthy cookies. The website Book Riot has assembled a collection of literary cookie cutters — in the shapes of open and closed books, favorite literary characters, and beloved writers — that will make you want to reach for your cookie recipes and set to baking. Because the only thing more delicious than devouring a good book is doing it with a plate of fresh-baked cookies at arm’s reach. [Book Riot]

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