Better Beets — Summer Fest

by in In Season, September 5th, 2012

salt roasted beet carpaccio salad
We’re teaming up with food and garden bloggers and our friends at HGTV Gardens to host Summer Fest 2012, a season-long garden party. In coming weeks, we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Today we’re exploring beets.

Now that we’ve rolled fresh into September, the in-season stud of your next grocery loot is, inarguably, the beet. The root veggie may almost exclusively come canned, but it will arrive in no such packaging this time around. We mean it — spiky can openers and shiny cylinders are banned from your shopping bag from now through October. We’re talking fresh ones — and only fresh ones.

If you plan on growing your own beets, be sure to check out HGTV Gardens for great tips like getting an annual soil test to determine if you’re missing any nutrients or micronutrients. Beets are sensitive and grow irregularly in the soil if you have a boron deficiency.

But what does it mean for a beet to be fresh? To start, the colors can range from the quintessential deep magenta to vibrant gold, white and everything in between. Not only that, but going can-free ensures that BPA and other chemicals don’t weasel their way into your sweet, pristine beets. In the end, the biggest perk is pretty clear: Everything is simply better fresh.

More beet recipes from family and friends

Win These Baked Nut Chips!

by , September 5th, 2012

nut crisps
There’s a new chip on the block, and it’s made from whole-grain rice and almonds. Change up your chip and dip routine with Blue Diamond Baked Nut Chips in Nacho, Sour Cream & Chive and Sea Salt flavors. They’re packed with enou...

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September Food Festivals

by in Events, September 5th, 2012

grapes
It’s beginning to cool — at least it should be — from coast to coast. And we don’t just mean temperatures — this month’s food festivals are some of the coolest around.

Ayden Collard Festival, Ayden, N.C., Sept. 6–9: The world is stuffed with bitter greens, but none is more dear to Southerners than the collard. And for four days, the leafy vegetable will sprout from all points in this tiny Carolina burg. Accompanying collard greens will be grown men in miniature cars — what food festival parade would do without them?  — a horseshoe tournament, line dancers and scads of other tightly packed entertainment. The eating contest will crown a male and female victor, the cook-off will test Southern cred and the carnival rides will turn you green. Gospel singing will season everything. What’s not to love about such a family-friendly fair?

Read about more food festivals

Road Trip: The Best Things Bobby, Guy and Beau MacMillan Ever Ate in Texas

by in Shows, September 4th, 2012

on the road texas restaurants
Go big or go home. This week, contestants of The Great Food Truck Race found themselves deep in the heart of Texas — Amarillo to be exact. The remaining food trucks cruised into town and were greeted by Tyler Florence and their first challenge: Prepare ballpark fare for hordes of hungry fans after an Amarillo minor league baseball game. One thing is for sure: Texans sure know good food when they see it.

For the next couple of weeks, we’re following the Food Trucks city by city with our guide of the best eats, compiled by the On the Road app and website. Today we’re exploring the best that Texas has to offer from all over: Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Come back next week for our picks in Arkansas.

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Eat Like a Food Network Chef This Football Season

by in News, September 4th, 2012

2012 food network football stadium menu
While some will be mourning the loss of summer Fridays and lamenting the return of early wake-up times to get the kids to school, so many others are rejoicing over the start of football season — afternoons spent on the sofas with friends and family over some of sports’ best rivalries and always hearty comfort foods. If you’re headed to the stadium, check out Food Network’s all-new lineup straight from the chefs at Food Network Kitchens.

Seven NFL stadiums are serving up delicious offerings like sloppy joes, hot hogs, brisket sandwiches and mac and cheese. The signature sloppy joes are a drool-worthy combination of ground beef and slab bacon chunks with slow-cooked tomatoes topped with shredded pepper jack cheese and fried onions. Want potato chips on top of that, too? There are more than 10 toppings available for the sloppy joe sandwich so you can build your own. The hot dogs are topped with baked beans, mustard and corn chips. Don’t forget to snag a locally inspired version in each stadium.

VOTE: Which stadium menu is your favorite?

Bake Pizza in a Flash

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, September 4th, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Keep pocketless pitas on hand to use for quick weeknight pizzas, like Food Network Magazine did for these Philly Cheesesteak Pizzas (pictured above). They’re easy to customize, so everyone will be happy. Just arrange the pitas on a baking sheet, cover with toppings and cheese, and broil until the cheese melts. You can keep leftover pitas in the freezer — just warm them under the broiler before adding toppings.

Cream Cheese — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, September 3rd, 2012

iron chef america battle cream cheese
It would be hard to disagree with anyone who argued that the spiritual home for a dollop of cream cheese is on a toasted bagel, in my case accompanied by an equally large spoonful of crunchy peanut butter.

As I hope the Iron Chef and his challenger proved during their exciting battle, however, this fresh, tangy cheese is far more versatile than some people might imagine and is definitely worth keeping on hand as a refrigerator basic.

What is cream cheese?
Cream cheese is a soft, fresh unripened cheese that is made from a combination of milk and heavy cream and by definition must contain at least 33 percent milk fats and less than 55 percent moisture.

It is one of the most popular cheeses in the United States and the most recent research I could find from 2008 reports that the average American consumes a little over 2.5 pounds of cream cheese every year.

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Eating Meat-Free When Others Are Not — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, September 3rd, 2012

Baked Creamed Corn With Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos
Since today is Labor Day and the unofficial end of grilling season, it’s likely that platters of ribs, hot dogs or burgers will find their way to your picnic table. So how do you maintain a meatless meal when friends and family around you are indulging in meaty main dishes? There are indeed ways to keep your Labor Day menu flavorful, hearty and deliciously meat-free that don’t include eating around the chunks of chicken in the pasta salad or nibbling on fruit and carrot sticks all afternoon.

If you’re attending a backyard bash and the host has requested you bring a dish to share, reach for your favorite meatless one. The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Creamed Corn With Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos (pictured above) is a five-star recipe from Food Network Magazine that feeds a crowd and can be made with just a handful of ingredients. This potluck-friendly classic is loaded with vegetables and pairs well with traditional cookout fare and meatless items alike.

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