A Trivet Is No Trivial Matter

by in Entertaining, Holidays, October 6th, 2012

felt trivets
Even the most delicious cuisine is enhanced by presentation. Think of it as a backdrop, a stage set that brings your feast to life. What I bring to the party is everything but the food itself. I’ve always been fascinated by how food is presented on tables and settings of all types. In this new weekly column, I’ll be sharing my favorite design snippets and scenarios, based on my adventures as a Food Network designer and an avid connoisseur of style and design. So feel free to indulge here, but with your eyes only.

Think of these as essential presentation elements. The collectible trivet, from the most basic to the highly embellished, protects your counter and table surfaces from heat damage.

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Waffles for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

by in Recipes, October 5th, 2012

pumpkin waffles
Think beyond the typical breakfast waffle and try to incorporate sweet and savory flavors to take waffles beyond breakfast and into lunch and dinner. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top five waffle recipes, each light, crispy and a cinch to prepare.

5. Pumpkin Waffles With Maple Walnut Apples – For a true taste of fall, top homemade pumpkin waffles with a warm, maple-apple-walnut topping.

4. Gingerbread Waffles – Craving the classic gingerbread aromatic scent that often accompanies with the holidays? Rachael’s easy recipe will have these waffles on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Get the top three waffle recipes

What to Watch This Weekend: Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson and Halloween Wars

by in Shows, October 5th, 2012

home made in america with sunny anderson
Beginning this Saturday, October 6, you can watch Sunny Anderson embark upon a new journey in her second show, Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson. Follow Sunny as she travels through Baton Rouge, La., Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas and New York tasting delicious home-cooked creations as she moves across the country. Sunny demonstrates that there is more to food besides preparation and flavor — there is also a story. Throughout the season Sunny will not only try the most-celebrated recipes in the cities she visits, but she will also meet the cooks behind the creations. These cooks will share their inspirational stories and also their own secrets and tips. Tune in to this daytime series at 9:30am ET/PT on October 6 so that you can be a part of the journey.

Get the recipes from the most recent episode of Home Made in America.

Keep reading about Halloween Wars

Spice of the Month: Cumin

by in Uncategorized, October 5th, 2012

cumin
Cumin is earthy, smoky and downright toasty. This sensational spice is a must-have for fall cooking.

Cumin Basics
Dating back to the Old Testament, this ancient spice is a relative of parsley (but you’d never know it by the flavor). Tiny slivered ...

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Cast-Iron Skillet Focaccia — The Weekender

by in Recipes, October 5th, 2012

cast iron skillet focaccia
I bought my first cast-iron skillet in my early twenties. I didn’t have much of a budget for cookware in those days and all the advice I read said that cast iron was the best bang for my buck. All I really knew is that I didn’t want to deal with flimsy, peeling, nonstick pans anymore.

I was initially a little nervous about introducing cast iron into my kitchen, because I’d grown up with a mother who hated cast iron with a passion. She thought it was too heavy, fussy to care for and entirely unsanitary (because you’re not supposed to scrub it with soap. My mother is a firm believer in the power of a good, sudsy scour).

When my parents got married, she actually got rid of my dad’s beloved collection of cast-iron skillets. Forty-two years later, those long-gone skillets continue to be one of the few bones of contention in their marriage.

With this history, it’s understandable that I was uneasy about my own cast-iron purchase. Turns out my anxiety was entirely unwarranted. I fell hard for that first skillet, so much so that I added several others to my kitchen in short order. If my husband tossed out my skillets, I do believe it would be grounds for divorce.

Before you heat your skillet, read these tips

On The Blogs: Apple Season and the First Lady’s Winning Cookie

by in Community, October 5th, 2012

applesHuffington Post: In a close race, Michelle Obama is the winner of Family Circle’s presidential cookie contest. Which sweet treat would get your vote: the first lady’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies or Ann Romney’s M&M Cookies?

Grist: Does the microwave zap vegetables of their nutritional goodness? Not as much as you may think.

CNBC: The world’s most-expensive wine ever sold directly from a winery goes on sale for $168.00 a bottle. What meal would you pair with such a pricey Cabernet Sauvignon?

Slate: Not sure what kind of apple to use for a recipe? Use this illustrated flow chart to help you decide.

SF Gate: Milk chocolate can be just as flavorful and sophisticated as darker varieties. No wonder Americans prefer it three-to-one.

After-School Snack Solutions — School Days

by in Recipes, October 4th, 2012

Hummus Trio
Back to SchoolSchool is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week this fall FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.

It’s 4 p.m. and your child has just walked in the door from school. He’s hungry — really hungry — because he ate lunch hours ago. What do you feed him? It needs to be satisfying, of course, but not so filling that he won’t want to eat dinner. Instead of reaching for bags of salty chips and sugar-laden drinks, prepare for him a healthful after-school snack.

The Hummus Trio from Food Network Kitchens (pictured above) takes only 10 minutes to make and is a good-for-you alternative to creamy, cheesy chip dips. Made with just blended chickpeas, tahini and fresh lemon juice, the top bowl of hummus is a light and smooth no-fail classic. The bottom two bowls are dressed-up versions of the original, one featuring nutrient-rich spinach and soft artichoke hearts, the other pine nuts and sweet peppers. This snack in particular is ideal to offer if you’re feeding kids of different ages or with various tastes, as almost everyone will find their favorite flavor. Serve the hummus with crispy pita wedges, pretzel sticks and fresh vegetables, and watch your kids enjoy easy, delicious dunking.

Keep reading for more after-school recipes

Enter for a Chance to Win Chic Shelf Paper for Your Kitchen

by in Contests, October 4th, 2012

chic shelf paperIf you’re looking for an easy, quick way to add subtle elegance or a splash of color to your kitchen, look no further than Chic Shelf Paper. This high-quality shelf paper comes in more than 300 patterns and can be cut to fit the measurements for any project, so you can be sure to find the perfect style and size for your kitchen.

You can buy your own Chic Shelf Paper for 15% off with the exclusive Food Network coupon code: FNWFIFTEENOFF, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win a roll personalized to your style and size specifications. To enter: Tell us one of your best kitchen decorating tips in the comments. We’re giving away one gift certificate valued at $74, good for one large 24” roll and two gift certificates valued at $41 each, good for one small 12” roll to three lucky, randomly selected commenters.

Read official rules before entering