Finish Summer Strong with Labor Day Cookout Classics

by in Holidays, August 26th, 2014

Labor Day Cookout ClassicsCome Monday in honor of Labor Day, you’ll be swapping your briefcases, lunchboxes and break-your-shoulder bags for picnic baskets and beach totes. Instead of moseying through the cafeteria or eating from Tupperware at your desk, this day off demands a spread that’s ideal for outdoor eating. Set up a menu that screams day off and works for picnics, porches, backyard parties or anything without four walls. Here are the recipes you simply can’t end summer without:

Dress up shredded chicken or turkey with celery, mayo and onions for Chicken or Turkey Salad Sandwiches. Fold in apple, fennel or radish if you’re looking for a more exciting crunch.

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Go Southwestern and Beyond in Tucson — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, August 26th, 2014

huevos rancheros on The Great Food Truck RaceThe second stop in The Great Food Truck Race brought the rookies to Tucson. Many of the trucks thought that going from Southern California to the Southwest meant it would be an easy transition, but that wasn’t the case for everyone. Those who took the opportunity to adapt to local tastes found the best customer response, resulting in top sales. And Tyler’s Truck Stop challenge had the teams all selling a Sonoran hot dog, which proved to be one of the best ways of testing the teams’ marketing abilities. In the end, the team from SoCal came in first place, proving that they could make a comeback from last week.

Whether you’re looking for Southwestern favorites like burgers, Sonoran hot dogs or modern Mexican cuisine, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include a few surprises like Jamaican stew and a Philly favorite.

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5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled Meat

by in How-to, August 25th, 2014

5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled MeatGrilling meat is a pretty basic concept. It’s grilling meat well that gets more complicated — but not much, once you commit these meat commandments to memory.

By Teri Tsang Barrett

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What the Stars Will Eat on Emmy Night

by in News, August 25th, 2014

Hollywood CupcakesWhat will the stars and suits behind Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men and the other Emmy-nominated shows be dining on at the 2014 Emmy Awards Governors Ball on Monday night after the big ceremony?

Winners will celebrate, and those without statuettes will compensate with a sumptuous three-course meal featuring local seasonal vegetables and a fresh take on meat and potatoes. The food selections will highlight a variety of hues in keeping with the evening’s theme: a “Kaleidoscope of Color.”

The 3,800 assembled guests will start with a Grilled Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad featuring little gem lettuce, candy-striped figs, Burrata cheese, Vidalia onions, a honey-lemon vinaigrette and toasted Marcona almonds, all seasoned with fleur de sel, peppermint and basil.

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Easy Pasta with No-Cook Sauce — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 25th, 2014

Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa CrudaAside from boiling a pot of water for noodles, pasta doesn’t necessarily require the heat of the stove or oven, as sauces can come together with little more than some stirring or blending. And during the dog days of summer like these, that’s indeed welcome news, on account of the scorching temperatures outside. While pesto may be the most-common no-cook sauce, tomato sauces, too, can be served raw, especially at this time of year when tomatoes are at their ripest — and sweetest.

Melissa d’Arabian lets seasonal tomatoes shine in her recipe for light and fresh Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda (pictured above). The star of this fuss-free supper is a simple yet bold combination of seeded tomatoes, briny olives, salty capers and fragrant mint; after incorporating these go-to ingredients with bright orange zest and olive oil, let their flavors marry for a bit, then top them with just-cooked noodles. The heat of the pasta will gently cook the salsa-like tomato mixture to create a warm, satisfying plate, finished with grated Parmesan for added flavor.

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In Search of the Healthiest Dish on the Menu? Help Is On the Way.

by , August 25th, 2014

chalkboard menu

You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.

Health-aware food marketing experts want to help, basically by using the things restaurants do to manipulate diners into ordering high-profit menu items for the greater good — or at least to boost our collective good health. In a study recently published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cornell University professor Brian Wansink (the man credited with the 100-calorie snack pack) and co-author Katie Love found that people eating in restaurants tend to order descriptively named menu items more frequently than those with bland names. Renaming “seafood fillet” something like “Succulent Italian Seafood Fillet,” for example, boosted sales 28 percent.

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New App Foodmento Just May be the Holy Grail of Restaurant-based Time Wasting

by , August 25th, 2014

As you can probably tell by looking at all of the downward facing heads at any restaurant, food-based apps are kind of a big deal. You can snap pics of food and put it on your Instagram. You can offer scathing reviews of your not-so-favorite eateries on Yelp. You can let the whole world know you are about to consume a double cheeseburger on Foursquare. Until now, there has not been a single app that let you do all of these things. Introducing Foodmento.

Foodmento, a name which is going for ‘nostalgia’ but ends up just hitting ‘mint,’ is your all-in-one food-based smartphone app. First of all, it is dish based, meaning that you use the application to search for a particular dish. You can then find the best of said dish in your area. You can also check out the best rated dishes at a particular restaurant, which thankfully will take the guess work out of that whole deciding thing (overrated.) There is location-based social networking, just like Foursquare. There is also a heavy social component, with the app letting you know if a friend has tried out the same stuff you have. It’s pretty cool, even though society may have already hit critical mass with this stuff.

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6 Breakfast Picnic Ideas

by in Family, August 25th, 2014

6 Breakfast Picnic IdeasWhat better way to savor the last days of sunshine than packing up a breakfast picnic? There are two ways to do it: Go old school with a blanket in the yard, or head to the patio. Either way, just pack a thermos of coffee, another full of milk (doing double duty as a beverage for the kids, plus creamer for the java), then bring your breakfast out on a tray — it’s easier to handle than a basket. Now take your pick: We’ve got muffins, eggs and more, each of them to go.

1. Baked Scrambled Eggs (pictured above): You don’t need a bug-shaped pan to pull this off, but it’s sure fun. Beaten eggs plus milk and the toppings of your choice (cheese, ham, tomatoes and more) go into the oven for a sturdy egg dish that’s just as good at room (or outdoor) temperature as it is hot.

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“The Cute Factor” — Testing the Sabotages

by in Shows, August 24th, 2014

The mini kitchen is no stranger to Cutthroat Kitchen, as chefs have been asked to work in kid-size constraints challenge after challenge. But on tonight’s all-new episode, Alton Brown unveiled a different tiny tool capable of doling out similar great trials during the Round 3 chocolate cake test: the toy stand mixer. Would this kid-friendly apparatus consisting of little more than a short, hand-powered wooden whisk and a shallow plastic bowl be enough to serve as a chef’s sole means of mixing? After all, to make chocolate cake, a competitor would need to be able to incorporate both wet and dry ingredients.

Before Alton auctioned off this doozy of a sabotage, Cutthroat Kitchen’s culinary team tested on the mixer to make sure it was indeed possible to execute within the contest, and Chelsea, a food stylist on set, wondered, “Does the cute factor, you think, count as extra points for this challenge?”

Click the play button on the video above to see the test in action, and learn how the mixer earned an “approved” rating.

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