by Joseph Erdos in Shows, May 14th, 2014
by Allison Milam in Family, May 14th, 2014
Home cooks from across the country came to compete in America’s Best Cook. In the premiere, 16 contestants fought to gain only eight spots, two cooks per regional team. Now after five weeks of cooking battles, the competition has been halved to the final four. These very talented home cooks have shown they’re the best, but there can be only one winner.
In the finale, round by round, one home cook will be eliminated until the single best home cook is named the winner and awarded the $50,000 prize. You’ll have to watch this Sunday at 9|8c to find out who wins. But until then, show your support for your favorite competitor in the America’s Best Cook Fan Vote.
Vote and Get a Sneak Peek of the Finale
by Amy Reiter in News, May 14th, 2014
If you’re raising some budding scholars or you’re studying the day away yourself, you can bet all eyes are on the calendar these last few days before summer. And amidst all the final exams and projects, even the most focused student is bound to get hungry. When you need brain power the strength of jet fuel to get through a tricky finals season, look no further than Food Network’s healthy snack recipes. Just in time for college finals season, these wholesome, easy bites definitely beat a trip to the vending machine.
It’s no secret that bananas and peanut butter are a power-packed match made in heaven. Banana Dippers (pictured above) are dunked in granola or trail mix for added crunch.
by Kitty Greenwald, May 14th, 2014
Berry Cute Bunny: Why has this 33-second video of a fluffy gray-and-white bunny eating raspberries racked up nearly 9 million page views (as of this writing) since being posted on Friday? We guess you’ll have to ask the millions of people who have watched it and shared it — and watched and shared it again. Maybe it’s the way the raspberries make the bunny look like it’s wearing lipstick? Or just because the bunny is so cute? (Though, really, it’s no burrito-eating hamster.) Who knows? But there are plenty of worse ways to spend 33 seconds. [YouTube]
Mmm … Mollusks with Maple Syrup: You love your kids. But do you love them enough to make them pancakes in the shape of cephalopods? (Do you even know what cephalopods are? Here.) Nathan Shields does. The Washington-state-based illustrator and math teacher who’s “on leave to be a professional dad” says he “began entertaining my kids with silly pancakes while we were living in Saipan.” He shares images of his remarkable pancakes every week on his blog, Saipancakes.com. Recent themes include sharks, Star Wars creatures, bunnies and Zach Galifianakis (pictured between two ferns). Of the squids, cuttlefish and other critters in this current batch, Nathan muses, “Nothing says ‘good morning’ like a plateful of delicious tentacles.” Indeed. [Saipancakes.com via Laughing Squid]
by Maria Russo, May 14th, 2014
“Vegetarians want the vegetarian option not to feel like an afterthought,” says Daniel Holzman. “And so the question was how can we celebrate vegetables and make something really delicious.” This question was particularly per...
by Jonathan Milder in Books, Drinks, May 13th, 2014
Nicole Gaffney, 29, isn’t just another personal chef — her magnetic personality and innate culinary talent set her apart from the crowd. She grew up cooking with her Sicilian grandparents and comes from a family of commercial fishermen, and her “coastal cuisine” take on food is heavily influenced by her family and growing up in a seaside town. Read on below to hear from Nicole, and learn about her style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.
What are you most looking forward to in this experience?
Nicole: Learning. Yeah. I’m really looking forward to learning. Just with the other competitors alone, I think there’s so much each of us can take away from the other person — not just in terms of cooking knowledge, because there’s a ton of stuff to be learned there, but just about life in general and TV presence. This whole experience — the things that we can take away from the judges and the mentors … I feel like what I’m going to know when this is all said and done versus what I knew going into it is going to be monumental.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, May 13th, 2014
Whether you’re planning a cocktail party or just desire a good, strong drink, it’s nice to have a solid cocktail book to turn to. Here are three Food Network Kitchen favorites that’ll serve you in good stead in times of need.
The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff (2002)
From the man widely credited with reviving interest in classic (pre-Prohibition) American cocktails. Dale educates, instructs and amuses in equal turn here. All bases are covered: Techniques are lavishly illustrated; spirits are usefully broken down and brands recommended; and cocktails are typologically organized, their histories winningly recounted. Since its publication, The Craft of the Cocktail has become a bible for bartenders professional and amateur alike. It remains essential.
by Amy Chaplin, May 13th, 2014
While turkey usually takes center stage come Thanksgiving, this family-friendly meat is worthy of a starring role all year long, as it’s surprisingly simple to prepare — especially when it’s not being roasted whole for a holiday — and endlessly versatile. Just like chicken, turkey is a culinary blank canvas that pairs well with nearly all flavors and ingredients, and there’s no shortage of ways to prepare it, from fried to sauteed to simmered. To get new ideas for using this go-to protein, check out Food Network’s top-five easy-to-do turkey dinner recipes from the Neelys, Tyler, Ina and more chefs.
5. Turkey and Quinoa Salad — A complete meal in a bowl, this good-for-you salad boasts fluffy toasted quinoa, herbed turkey cutlets and a colorful combination of tomatoes and cucumbers.
4. Turkey Sausage and Peppers — The key to this recipe lies in the two-part cooking process for the sausages. After broiling them until golden brown, simmer them in a bold saute of peppers, fennel and tomatoes until juicy, and finish with fragrant basil.
by Amy Reiter in News, May 13th, 2014
Packed with fava beans, fresh herbs and peas, this salad will bring spring to the table in an instant. Mint, dill and scallions complement the ever-so-slightly-sweet flavor of the brown-rice vinegar seasoning, creating a bright and refreshing marina...
by Maria Russo, May 13th, 2014
The Carrot, Not the Stick: Plenty of parents have been known to offer their kids rewards for behaving well while eating out. Far less frequently are the parents spontaneously rewarded for their kids’ good restaurant behavior. But Redditor looseONtheGoose writes that, after “Mother’s Day brunch … with our one year old daughter” at Carino Japanese Bistro, in Calgary, Canada, the family received a surprise on its check: The restaurant had deducted $5 as a discount for “Well Behaved Kids.” “This should be a thing at every restaurant worldwide,” one commenter opined. Hear, hear! [Reddit]
Sriracha State Swap? Texas is continuing its effort to get Huy Fong Foods to relocate its sriracha factory from Irwindale, Calif., where residents have complained that its chili-pepper aroma is making their eyes water and itch, to the Lone Star State. A bipartisan “sriracha delegation” of Texas lawmakers has traveled to the hot-sauce maker’s California factory this week to meet with the company’s officials. “It’s obviously early and preliminary to suggest that they’re going to take that next step, but at least they’re open to considering it,” State Rep. Jason Villalba told the Texas Tribune. “This is a serious endeavor.” The company’s owner, David Tran, recently told NPR he doesn’t intend to close the California factory, but might open another site in another locale. [Texas Tribune, NPR]
Luca Della Casa, 38, was born in Italy and is an adventurous, rugged outdoorsman with a passion for food. He worked his way up from dishwasher to executive chef, and he is determined to bring people together around a table to share food, Italian style. Read on below to hear from Luca, and learn about his style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.
Describe your cooking style or culinary point of view — in one sentence, if you can.
Luca: My point in my culinary view is what I learned from my grandma. That means very simple recipes, a good knife and the freshest ingredients. That makes the most-amazing meal.
How did you prepare for the competition?
Luca: Well, yes. I went to see some old seasons of the show. I was aware of the show and I saw episodes of it, but I didn’t know it perfectly, so I thought I better go back and see everything they do, what they ask them to do. And so that’s what I did, and try to put my thoughts together.