VOTE: Give a Cupcake Wars Baker a Second Chance

by in Polls, Shows, September 7th, 2012

Cupcake Wars Fan Vote

Fans of Cupcake Wars are in for a sweet treat: Viewers now have an unprecedented opportunity to cast an episode of Cupcake Wars with four returning challengers.

Meet the contenders:

  • Alisha Nuttall from Cravings in Pleasant Grove, Utah, appeared with her twin sister, Angela, and wowed the judges with an adventurous pizza cupcake.
  • Brandon Arnovick is a Cupcake Wars veteran appearing in not one but two prior episodes. His big flavors and fun personality charmed judges and fans alike.
  • Doron Peterson is a three-peat contender, looking to make the fourth time the charm. She’s known for her explosive creativity with cupcake flavors, which is no small feat for a vegan baker.

Continue reading about the contenders

Spicy Turkey Lollipops — The Weekender

by in Recipes, September 7th, 2012

spicy turkey lollipops
Every home cook has her backup, never-fail dinnertime ingredient. When in doubt, my mom sautés chicken tenders in olive oil with a bit of garlic and serves them on top of salad. My younger sister relies on sweet potatoes and cans of black beans to save the day when kitchen inspiration is scarce. Me? I’m good as long as there’s a pound of ground turkey in the freezer.

When I want something super-easy, I make turkey burgers with chopped onion and frozen peas stirred in (who doesn’t like a burger that also contains a serving of veggies?). If I have a little more time to play with, I mince up a carrot and a bit of onion in the food processor, stir it into the turkey with an egg and some smashed stale crackers (something we always seem to have on hand) and bake it in a loaf pan. Nights when I feel like I need some meditative kitchen time, I make turkey meatballs and cook them up in a batch of vegetable-laden broth.

All those applications are solid weeknight cooking. Sometimes, however, I’d like to be able to dress up my ground turkey and make it a little more presentable for guests and far-flung family members who find their way to my table on occasion. Just as I was pondering inventing my own company-worthy ground turkey dish, I spotted Melissa d’Arabian’s Spicy Turkey Lollipops.

Before you start rolling your meatballs, read these tips

Catch Some of Your Favorite Food Network Stars at Meatopia This Weekend

by in Events, September 6th, 2012

meatopiaAre you a self-proclaimed carnivore? Do you have (or aspire to have) the butcher’s pork diagram tattooed on your arm? Then mark your calendar for Meatopia, an all-day event of meat, drink and music that will take place on September 8 at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. As Iron Chef Marc Forgione so eloquently told us, “It’s a cool party where chefs get creative with all sorts of animals and animal parts.”

It’s also a great way to see some of your favorite Food Network chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli and Pat LaFrieda, Jr., as well as Iron Chef Forgione. “Meatopia is the event that unabashedly celebrates meat and embraces the idea of using the whole animal in the process. I’m looking forward to working with a community of chefs and cooking more duck than I ever have in my life,” says Alex. Cooking Channel stars Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar will also be in attendance serving Pizza al Carpaccio made with certified Piedmontese beef.

Tickets are still available — to buy visit Meatopia.org. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to the Armed Force Foundation (AFF), whose mission it is to assist service members and their families in need.

Frights and Bragging Rights at “Stake” on Halloween Wars

by in Shows, September 6th, 2012

halloween wars logo
Halloween Wars returns for a second season on Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT with five new teams, each consisting of a pumpkin-carving artist, a cake decorator and a candy craftsman, battling it out over the course of four episodes to create the ultimate Halloween-themed display that will feature heart-pounding creations. One team will be eliminated each week by the judging panel, made up of renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and award-winning special effects, makeup artist and horror movie actor/director Tom Savini. The last team standing will wind the grand prize of $50,000. Hosted by Justin Willman (Cupcake Wars), each episode will also have a rotating guest judge that is no stranger to scary situations: Shawnee Smith (Saw, Anger Management), Rutina Wesley (True Blood), Chaske Spencer (the Twilight saga) and Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries).

Premiering Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT
Evil Clowns: In the first of four battles, five teams, each made up of a pumpkin-carving expert, cake artist and candy craftsman, must combine their talents to create the most terrifying clown imaginable. At the end of the battle, one team will be eliminated.
Special guest judge: Shawnee Smith

Read more

Don’t Stop Grilling: Pat LaFrieda, Jr. Says There’s Great Barbecue Beyond Labor Day

by in How-to, September 6th, 2012

beef and pork ribs
We firmly believe that grilling season doesn’t have an expiration date, yet so many of us cover our barbecues and smokers once a chill hits the air. We’re not alone in feeling this way. The “Magician of Meat,” Pat LaFrieda, Jr., also agrees with us. We caught up with him and asked him about grilling beyond Labor Day and if there are any differences you need to be aware of.

Just like wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no, are there similar rules with barbecue?
If you pack up your grill for the winter after Labor Day, you are no longer a member of the LaFrieda family. Grill all winter — the colder it is, the more you will appreciate the food coming off the grill.

Is it true that food takes longer to barbecue in cooler weather? Why?
It’s not completely true. If you heat up the grill a few minutes earlier than usual you’ll be good to go.

Make it the year of barbecue

Restaurant Revisited: Frankie’s

by in Shows, September 5th, 2012

Robert Irvine at Frankie's on Restaurant: Impossible

When Robert Irvine visited Frankie’s in Three Rivers, Mich., he found a dusty, outdated restaurant with dangerous levels of food safety and a kitchen stocked with more microwaves than pots and pans. After meeting owners Jay Woehrmyer and Tina Wyman, however, he realized that poor management and a lack of leadership were their biggest problems. Robert had just two days to turn around this 13-year-old restaurant and attempt to fix Jay and Tina’s failing partnership. We checked in with Jay and Tina to find out how they and Frankie’s are doing a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible experience.

Since Robert left, sales at Frankie’s have risen 39 percent, and Jay and Tina report that the makeover is attracting new customers. Both count the new open layout of the restaurant among their favorite parts of the decor.

Keep reading