Getting Creative With Cookie-Cutters, 5 Fun Uses — The Product Puree

by in Family, November 13th, 2012

New Uses for Cookie CuttersYou know all those cookie-cutters that are a jumble at the bottom of your kitchen drawer? Well, reach way down and grab a handful because we’re going to put them to good use.

Cookie-cutters are great for transforming ordinary rolled-out cookies into fun shapes, but their usefulness goes way beyond the obvious. I use cookie-cutters for a wide variety of kitchen duties and whenever I let my kids cut their food into fun shapes, they’ll eat just about anything.

Here are five ways you can use cookie-cutters to make cooking and eating a whole lot more fun:

1. Hole Foods — Use a heart, star or any shape you prefer to cut the center out of sliced bread and make an egg in the hole (try Ree Drummond’s recipe). Last week my daughter had Egg in the Dog!

2. Pancake Zoo — Place a greased cookie-cutter in a saute pan over low heat and fill it with pancake batter. Use tongs to remove the hot cookie-cutter and gently flip the pancake until it’s cooked through. I like making a pancake zoo, using a variety of animal shapes.

Three more ways you can use cookie-cutters

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VIDEO: Next Iron Chef’s First Food Fight

by in Shows, November 13th, 2012

If you’ve ever thought that the Next Iron Chef kitchen is home only to neat, orderly, proper chefs, it’s time to think again. When the cameras stopped rolling after last Sunday’s Secret Ingredient Showdown, Chefs Elizabeth Falkner, Duskie Estes and Amanda Freitag indulged in a second battle, this time a physical one. Within minutes of Alton saying “The challenge is over,” the first handfuls of food were flung and a full-fledged food fight was underway. Each of the chefs aimed for her fellow rivals and doled out the leftovers of her dish’s components, and each took the ingredient inundation in stride, becoming covered with marshmallow fluff, flour and more in a flash.

Want to see how it all went down? Click the play button on the video above to watch Chefs Falkner, Estes and Freitag go head-to-head-to-head in the ultimate Kitchen Stadium food fight, then tell us: Who do you think started the fight and which chef became the messiest?

Get behind-the-scenes food fight photos

10 Healthiest Thanksgiving Sides

by , November 13th, 2012

roasted squash
These Thanksgiving sides all have fewer than 250 calories per serving and will get the attention and admiration of everyone at your table because they’re so unbelievably delicious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Squash
Yummy slices of winter squ...

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Press Your Steak

by in Food Network Magazine, November 13th, 2012

Steak on cutting board

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Next time you cook a steak on the stovetop, place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan on top of the meat while it’s cooking. The extra weight will prevent the steak from curling around the edges and help give it an even sear. If you don’t have a heavy pan, you can use a regular one and weigh it down with a few cans of tomatoes or beans.

(Photograph by Christopher Testani)

Enter for a Chance to Win This Holiday Cupcake Decorating Kit

by in Contests, Holidays, November 12th, 2012

Holiday Cupcake Decorating Kit GiveawayStart your holiday season right with perfectly decorated cupcakes. Wilton’s cupcake decorations will spruce up your fall and holiday cupcakes with color and pizzazz. From autumn leaf sprinkles to holiday poinsettia baking cups, Wilton has everything for you to make your most-impressive cupcakes ever.

You can buy your own cupcake decorations here, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win some of your own. To enter: Tell us your favorite Food Network cupcake recipe in the comments (must include recipe URL or cupcake name from the app). We’re giving away a decorating kit, two different kinds of autumn-themed sprinkles and three sets of Christmas-themed wrappers to six lucky, randomly selected commenters.

Read official rules before entering

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A Culinary Crumble — Critical Moments

by in Shows, November 12th, 2012

Alton Brown and the White Bread Secret Ingredient ShowdownFor the next challenge, the Chairman had tasked the remaining nine chefs with re-imagining three of my favorite street foods: falafel, tacos and the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. These are all dishes that I have sampled many times and because of that, I have very definite opinions on how they should be prepared.

Chef Mehta’s decision to take falafel in an Asian direction was an inspired and delicious one. I felt that he succeeded not only in capturing the flavors of all the ingredients, but also all the textures of a terrific falafel sandwich. He was my clear winner.

Far less successful were Chef Falkner, whose plate looked like an artist’s impression of where bad pasta goes to die; Chef Estes, whose taco soup was something I have seen quite a few times before and which was overpowered by the flavor of cilantro; and Chef Freitag, whose great flavors were lost in a dish that lacked cohesion.

Keep reading and get an extended preview of the next episode

Spicy Vegetarian Chili — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 12th, 2012

Spicy Vegetarian Chili
This time of year, as the days get shorter and the weather turns chillier, few things are more comforting than a hearty, piping-hot meal that’s loaded with rich, bold flavors. A warming bowl that never disappoints, chili is a cinch to prepare and can be easily adapted to your family’s favorite tastes and ingredients.

Food Network Magazine take everyday chili to a hot new level with its one-pot Spicy Vegetarian Chili (pictured above), made with a fragrant spice mixture of chili powder, cumin and oregano and a single, spicy chipotle pepper in adobo. Fresh, seasonal vegetables and beefy pinto beans add so much heft to this thick and hearty bowl that you won’t miss the meat of a traditional turkey or chicken chili. For simple family-friendly serving, set up a chili bar with an assortment of your favorite toppings, like Cheddar cheese, fresh scallions and more, and let everyone build his or her ideal chili bowls.

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Pesto, 3 Ways

by , November 12th, 2012

cilantro pesto on chicken
Basil pesto is excellent on practically anything – chicken, fish, beef, pork, vegetables. And it’s so easy to find prepared, if you don’t have time to make it from scratch you can still enjoy it. But what about other pesto varieties? Would...

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Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, November 11th, 2012

Chef Duskie Estes and Chef Elizabeth FalknerThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home