Cooking With Wood Planks

by , July 28th, 2012

cedar planked salmon
Cedar and other wood-plank cooking is probably one of the oldest “new” food trends around. It’s a technique that was used by the Northwest Native Americans to roast fish, meats and fowl. Nowadays, adventurous chefs can choose between baking an...

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3 Days to Open: Licari’s

by in Shows, July 27th, 2012

licari's 3 days to open with bobby flay
When Bobby Flay arrived at Gionni’s dream restaurant, Licari’s in Grand Rapids, Mich.,  just three days before the opening, he was almost positive they weren’t going to make it. Along with his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the restaurant, they invested everything — their house, sanity and marriage — but they were in the red, owing money to contractors and vendors, all while emptying their retirement fund and borrowing money from their parents.

Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the husband and wife team fix these four crucial issues: Lisa’s unestablished role, poor food quality, a disorganized kitchen and unleashing the secret recipes from Gionni’s mom.

On opening day, Gionni said “he closed a chapter, but opened a new one.” Are things still running smoothly? How are Gionni and Lisa handling their new venture together as a couple? We checked in with Licari’s six weeks later to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

Click here to watch the video

Coconut Lime Cake — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Recipes, July 27th, 2012

coconut lime cake
For the last 10 years of their life, my grandparents ate at the same restaurant nearly every night. It was located across the street from their apartment building and served as the de facto dining room for many of their neighbors as well. My grandmother liked it because the waitresses all knew her by name and would bring her a glass of iced tea the moment she sat down. My grandfather kept going back because it appealed to his frugal side.

When you ordered off the dinner menu, in addition to being served your entrée, you also got bread, a cup of soup, a salad, two sides, dessert and coffee. All told, it was enough food for two or even three meals and Grandpa Sid saw that as a great bargain.

Each night, they’d eat their soups and salads, poke at the entrée and sides a bit and then move on to the real showpiece of the meal: dessert. Little Pete’s always had at least a dozen pies, cakes, custards and pastries on offer, along with four flavors of ice cream. When I was young, I thought it was paradise.

Before you start sifting flour, read these tips

Plan Your Party, Serve the Right Amount of Food

by in Entertaining, July 27th, 2012

summer party table
One of the most stressful parts of planning a party is deciding how much food to buy and make. You don’t want the food to run out too quickly and have lingering hungry guests, but you also don’t want your fridge to be teeming with leftovers. We took popular summer parties — like a barbecue or a cocktail hour — and broke them down into every element to help you determine, from drinks to condiments, exactly how much of everything you need to buy for the perfect shindig.

Rules to Plan By
Each adult will consume 1 pound of food total; children, about 1/2 pound. The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet.

Guests will always eat — and drink — more at night than during the day.

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Garden Fresh: Best 5 Homemade Salsas

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2012

grilled corn salsa
In many homes, jarred salsas are a must-have refrigerator staple — they’re convenient, tasty and an easy pre-dinner party snack. But they’re also expensive and laden with sodium and preservatives. This week, instead of reaching for grocery-store salsa, prepare a batch of the homemade variety instead. From-scratch salsas are more flavorful and just as easy to make, plus they boast the best of summer’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Check out Food Network’s top five homemade salsa recipes below and serve them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, atop simply grilled chicken or seafood, or with authentic Mexican tacos , burritos and more.

5. Grilled Corn Salsa – To prepare this five-star salsa (pictured above), grill in-season corn and tomatoes until tender and cooked, then finish with onions, a drizzle of vinegar and fresh basil.

4. Salsa Fresca – Before serving, Tyler lets his cilantro-laced salsa stand for 15 minutes, so that its light, bright flavors can marry.

Get the top three recipes

On the Blogs: Yogurt Bars, Cocoagraphs and Pop-Up Grocery Stores

by in Community, July 26th, 2012

greek yogurtAssociated Press: The Greek yogurt craze continues to go strong, with top yogurt makers opening “yogurt bars” in New York City.

Healthland: Pop-up grocery stores may help solve the problem of “food deserts.”

Bon Appétit: It’s all about portion control — and using a colorful plate for dinner just may be the key to your success.

 

Laughing Squid: Obsessed with Instagram? Now you can turn all your favorite filtered snapshots into chocolates aka “cocoagraphs.”

NY Times: What are your Olympic athletes eating this summer? While most people worry about too many calories, they “have the unusual problem of having to work hard to keep weight on.”

Effortless and Elegant Summer Table Centerpieces

by in Entertaining, July 26th, 2012

beach themed table
Summer centerpieces are a great way to add simple elegance to your table. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just sitting down with your family for a meal, the perfect centerpiece can do a lot to enhance the whole experience. Plus, finding table decorations doesn’t necessarily require breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways to create amazing centerpieces using items you can probably find around the house. Here are a few of Food Network’s favorite ideas for tasteful and effortless summer decor.

Beach-Themed Table
If you live near the beach, search for different-shaped shells (this is a great activity to do with the kids) and place them in a nautical-themed pot in the center of your table. If you are far from a beach and no one in your family is a shell collector, shells are inexpensive to buy at craft or design stores. For an added touch, try gluing individual shells on each of your napkin holders.

Get more summer table centerpieces