When it comes to serving food, presentation may not be everything — there’s taste to consider, after all — but studies have shown it can have a surprisingly big impact on how the foods we prepare are perceived. When we cook and plate to please the eye, as it happens, we also please the palete.
This week’s news that Red Lobster, in order “to be seen as a purveyor of quality seafood,” would stack food “higher on plates, as is the style at fancier restaurants,” as the Associated Press put it, brings that point home. Whether arranging the same food — fish, rice and vegetables — vertically, rather than spread out on the plate, will boost the seafood chain’s bottom line remains to be seen. Still, you may find in it the impetus to experiment with your own meal presentation.
Summer may not be the only time for drinking, but it is most definitely, absolutely and the best time. Outdoor barbecues are met with a cold beer. Afternoons on the porch are complete with spiked lemonade. A day spent shading yourself by the pool necessitates a frozen margarita just as much as your favorite pair of sunnies. This week, check out Food Network’s complete guide to summer drinking, and get a rundown of the most-thirst-quenching sips of the season. Hey, even if you’re attached to a blaring AC unit all summer long, you could probably use a cold one.
Sangria is best fixed by the pitcher. Depending on what kind of vino you’re into, Rachael Ray’s White Sangria — complete with ripe peaches, green apples and raspberries — is crisp and refreshing. If you typically go for red, Bobby Flay’s Red Wine Sangria is deepened with brandy, triple sec and pomegranate juice, before orange and apple slices, blackberries and pomegranate seeds are stirred in. Prepare both recipes ahead so the ingredients have time to meld together.
Ever tried to serve your kids something new? I write a blog about cooking for kids — about cooking one dinner, about raising kids who appreciate real food, about trying again when it doesn’t work out — so we eat a lot of new stuff around here. And when our group of four little ones (all under the age of 6) are skeptical about my latest culinary experiment, I try to bridge the gap with familiar, and beloved, flavors. No, the kids don’t all like the same things, but there are a few universally loved flavors. These are my heavy hitters, the MVPs of the kitchen and our best flavor ambassadors.
Fresh Lemon: Squeezing lemon on anything instantly makes my kids intrigued. Does it work for fish? Yes, of course, but there’s also roasted potato wedges and steak. Even greens like sauteed spinach, Swiss chard and kale are wonderful with a splash of juicy citrus. Plus, squeezing the juice is fun for the kids to do themselves.
“This is tasteless,” Robert Irvine said of the tableful of dishes he sampled at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe in Atlanta. It turns out that the restaurant’s bland food was just one in a series of problems he and his Restaurant: Impossible team discovered on their latest mission. The uninspired decor was appalling to Robert and guests alike, and the staff struggled to work well with owner Jaliwa Owuo. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert overhauled the menu at Marie’s and reopened the eatery with a design that would be welcoming for all. Read on below to hear from Jaliwa and find out how her restaurant is doing today.
“We have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue” since filming ended, Jaliwa explains, noting that “the tipping has increased by 90 percent.”
Few can resist the appeal of a luscious, hulking slice of cheesecake. But it can seem daunting in summer heat. Luckily, you can join today’s celebration of National Cheesecake Day with a creamy confection that also combines the flavors of summer by the campfire: S’mores Cheesecake. Graham crackers are key in both sweet treats, and this dessert takes cues from traditional cheesecake with a simple butter-and-graham-cracker-crumb crust that extends just barely up the sides of the cake. But where it really channels the ooey-gooey, richness of s’mores is in the filling. Made with cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, special dark cocoa and hot fudge, the cheesecake’s core has an intense chocolate flavor and a melty texture. With marshmallows baked inside and blanketed on the top, the finished cheesecake has a fire-toasted look and a thick, creamy center.
On this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient turnips. In order to create a hearty and quick weeknight dinner that the whole family will love, the chefs decided to roast turnips and top them with eggs to create a filling breakfast-inspired skillet in this Roasted Baby Turnips with Miso Butter and Fried Eggs recipe. The recipe also makes great use of the turnip greens to bump up its nutritional factor and includes miso for a pop of umami. This dish is a satisfying and comforting twist on eggs and hash that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
While you can usually find stone fruits at the grocery store year-round, they don't compare to the plump, in-season local beauties that arrive in late summer. These sweet, juicy peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries have ideal flavor and ...
Unless it’s Key lime, I can easily pass pie by, even if my disinterest in crusts and cobblers containing apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin or (shudder) mincemeat deeply offends my pie-baking mother-in-law. So if you’re serving pie a la mode, just hand me the a la mode, please. But if there’s cake, feel free to give me the biggest piece — and then another.
I am a cake person.
It turns out the world may fall into two distinct groups: pie people and cake people. Recently, representatives from both camps squared off in a battle over bragging rights on Vox.com: “Is cake the great American dessert? Or is it pie?” the site wondered.