A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and Thin

by in News, September 11th, 2015

A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and ThinThose of us who have only ever thought of flour tortillas as ultra-skinny discs, with little to nothing in the way of puff, have apparently been missing out on a whole other variety: thick, bready flour tortillas, a New Mexico regional specialty.

Author Tracie McMillan writes, on NPR’s The Salt, about the moment when, during a visit to a New Mexico restaurant, she first encountered and instantly flipped for these “thick, charmingly floppy tortillas, dotted with browned bubbles and closer in thickness to pancakes than the wan, flaccid discs” she — and the rest of us — are used to tossing in our carts at the local grocery.

Why, she wonders, had the “magic” thick tortillas — rendered puffy thanks to baking powder, perfect for soaking up regional stews, yet nearly impossible to find on the East Coast — never caught on, while the thin ones became ubiquitous? McMillan uncovers a few reasons:

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What to Watch: The Kitchen’s Back-to-School Snacks and Valerie’s Best Bets for Entertaining

by in Shows, September 11th, 2015

Relax this weekend with your favorite chefs as they prepare tasty appetizers, back-to-school snacks and more. On Saturday, Ree Drummond is throwing a prairie picnic for her friends with tender Chicken Milanese and a boozy Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake. Next, Nancy Fuller and her friend Kardea Brown share soul food secrets with crawfish pie and biscuits with bacon butter. After that, the co-hosts of The Kitchen have easy back-to-school snack ideas and some fun tips on how to stay organized during the school year. Then, Valerie Bertinelli hosts a girls’ night in with her book club and lots of shareable treats.

On Sunday morning, Giada De Laurentiis and her Aunt Raffy prepare an old family recipe, Sartu di Riso, inspired by Giada’s grandparents’ honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast. Then, on Sunday night, Guy Fieri challenges four all-star chefs to multiple cart swaps during Musical Carts on Guy’s Grocery Games as they compete for charity. Next, a steak-eating contest determines the seed money for the next round of The Great Food Truck Race, and things get romantic as two chefs get hitched on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Pro Football Player-Turned-Food Network Star Eddie Jackson Gets Set for BBQ Blitz

by in Shows, September 10th, 2015

Eddie JacksonFor 11 weeks, Houston’s Eddie Jackson wowed Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis with his bold, creative takes on classic Caribbean fare, as well as his ease and warmth on camera. Now, after successfully pitching a pilot to the network and earning the coveted title of Food Network Star, this former NFL player is off to shine a light on two of his longtime passions: barbecue and friendly competition.

In his upcoming series, BBQ Blitz, premiering Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:30|9:30c, Eddie will head to cities across the country and challenge three chef legends each to a face-off of touchdown proportions. Eddie will be on hand to oversee the battles, and he’ll catch up with the competitors about what makes their ‘cue the hottest of them all as these smokers, grillers and fire fanatics compete for bragging rights as the best-ever BBQ chef — and a whopping $5,000 prize.

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5 Individual Desserts in 30 Minutes or Less

by in Recipes, September 10th, 2015

Fall is here and time is precious, especially if you’re adjusting to a hectic back-to-school schedule. But that doesn’t mean your sweet tooth has stopped demanding gratification in the form of luxurious homemade desserts. You may not have time for the from-scratch cake, tart or pie recipes that your family swooned over during the unhurried summer months, but using common pantry ingredients (and a few store-bought items here and there) will easily cut down time spent in the kitchen so you and your family can still enjoy a sweet reward at the end of a busy day. Here are five dreamy desserts that come together in individual cups, glasses or ramekins for quick assembly and convenient cleanup.

Chocolate Creme Brulee
Food Network Kitchen has mastered the art of shortcut creme brulee with the help of one secret ingredient: store-bought pudding. Simply spoon some prepared chocolate pudding into your ramekins, then sprinkle each with a heaping spoonful of turbinado sugar. Caramelize the sugar with your kitchen torch, and you’ll have a rich and creamy brulee in just 10 minutes.

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A Whole Week’s Worth of Back-to-School Lunches — Fall Fest

by in Recipes, September 10th, 2015

Ryder's Turkey ChiliIt’s that time of year again, folks. Get back in the swing of the school year by tricking out your kids’ lunchboxes with colorful, tasty recipes for every day of the week. These easy-to-make, take-to-school lunch ideas can take you from Monday through Friday, and they’re sure to take the cafeteria by storm.


Fill a thermos with Guy Fieri’s hearty, satisfying turkey chili recipe (pictured above). A single batch can easily feed two kids for the better part of a week — plus, chili is as freezer-friendly as it gets.

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Q&A with Competitor Dean Cain — Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition

by in Shows, September 10th, 2015

Dean CainSeason 7 of Worst Cooks in America is a little bit more star-studded, as seven recruits from Tinseltown are joining the ranks of the culinarily challenged. Like in previous seasons, the recruits will be split into teams, but this time their coaches will be Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray. For one of these stars, getting through all six weeks of trying challenges will mean $50,000 for his or her charity and bragging rights for the star’s mentor.

Many an actor has portrayed Superman on both the big and small screens, and to join that rank is an honor. Dean Cain is one of those men, best known for starring on Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman. His other credits include Burn Notice, Mulaney and the Perfect Husband on television, and Vendetta, The Broken Hearts Club and Out of Time in film. This isn’t Dean’s first foray into reality TV, as he’s previously competed on NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes. He also hosted and produced Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on TBS. Currently he stars in the VH1 series Hit the Floor, and he’ll soon be appearing on CBS’ Supergirl.

Although he’s not a superman in the kitchen, Dean is eager to learn the much-needed skills that Boot Camp has to offer. Get to know a bit more about him and tune in for the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9|8c.

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Cheesy Breakfast Sandwich Edition (for You and for the Kids)

by in Family, Recipes, September 10th, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Cheesy Breakfast Sandwich Edition (for You and for the Kids)I’m totally the type of person who goes to bed excited about her morning coffee and breakfast. I’m sure this psychotic enthusiasm warrants some sort of therapy, but whatever. Mornings are my FAVORITE. The air is still. The streets are calm. My baby gremlins have yet to emerge from their caves.

Aside from the coffee buzz I satisfactorily achieve by 6:20 a.m., I can almost guarantee that my breakfasts are better than yours. Don’t be mad! But it’s true.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say I eat this exact breakfast sandwich nearly every. Single. Morning. I may switch out the spinach for kale, the red onions for sliced mushrooms, the sun-dried tomatoes for fresh garden Romas, but the principle is the same: runny yolks, melty cheese, all in my face.

And I’ve made a painfully simple version for your kids. We take out the fancy-pants adult toppings, and simply scramble up some fluffy eggs, place them on a toasted English muffin and top them with a mountain of cheddar.

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How to Overcome Bright Bug Juice — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, September 9th, 2015

For the first-ever Camp Cutthroat tournament finale, you can be sure that host Alton Brown held nothing back in the name of diabolical sabotages — not even a pitcher of bright-red trout soaked in an eye-catching, crimson-colored bug juice (read: fruit punch). Chef Monterey, who was saddled with this doozy of a challenge, chose not to cook around the sweet flavor, but rather to embrace it with ingredients that complemented that taste. She did not, however, make enough amends for the sugars, and the trout’s skin stuck to the grates of the grill during cooking, and its flesh ultimately turned red.

According to to Alton and judge Antonia Lofaso, this fate didn’t have to befall Chef Monterey, as they explained during the After-Show. “Had Chef Monterey actually cooked the skin properly, it would have looked less red and probably a little bit more brown,” Antonia told Alton, who added his own idea for how to avoid the stuck skin altogether. “With the added sugar that that soaked up, she had to put a lot more oil on it to keep it from sticking, and she did not do that,” Alton said. “And so she lost the skin to the grill.” But, Antonia adds, even with the torn skin and lackluster appearance of the fish, there were ways to dress up the dish. “She also had a really beautiful salad, and I felt like had she put the salad on top of the fish, I may not have noticed it so much,” Antonia admitted. “I mean, this was just a giant red fish on a plate.”

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Your Cereal Is Getting a Subtler Look

by in News, September 9th, 2015

Your Cereal Is Getting a Subtler LookGet ready for a more subdued look in your cereal bowl — or on your fast-food tray. As food companies reformulate their products to eliminate artificial dyes, in response to consumer demand, they’ve been looking for natural alternatives. But coloring derived from fruits, vegetables and spices — ingredients like beets or carrots — has its limits in terms of vividness.

General Mills, which announced in June that it would eliminate artificial colors in the 40 percent of its cereals that still contain them, has warned that when its reformulated cereals hit shelves this year, the red pieces in Trix, which will now get their hues from radishes and strawberries, will not look the same. The popular cereal’s blue and green pieces will be missing altogether.

“We haven’t been able to get that same vibrant color,” Kate Gallager, General Mills cereal developer, told the Chicago Tribune.

Other changes to expect, thanks to the movement away from synthetic colors and toward natural hues?
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Patricia Heaton to Host Friends and Family for Parties on All-New Series

by in Shows, September 9th, 2015

Patricia HeatonWhile you may know Patricia Heaton for her roles as Debra Barone, the comedian’s wife living across the street from her in-laws on Everybody Loves Raymond, and Indiana mom Frankie Heck on The Middle, what you may not know about this celebrated actress is that on her days away from the set, she’s all about entertaining. From party planning and decor setup to menu ideas for crowd-pleasing eats and drinks, Patricia knows just what it takes to entertain without a hassle, and in her all-new series, Patricia Heaton Parties, she’ll show you how.

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 24 at 12|11c, Patricia will dish on the ins and outs of throwing low-key bashes, like casual girls’ nights, and welcoming holiday gatherings alike — and even invite you into her house for her own celebrations. You can be sure that the food at Patricia’s parties is fresh, craveable fare that’s easy to eat.

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