Keep Cool with Watermelon Cocktails

by in Drinks, July 19th, 2014

Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.

Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
Watermelon Mai Tai

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New Spins on a Pantry Staple: 5 Uses for Soy Sauce

by in Recipes, July 19th, 2014

Soy-da Glazed Pulled PorkWhile you may reach for soy sauce only when making — or opening up the delivery containers of — Asian-inspired dishes, this deliciously salty condiment can also be a shining ingredient in other kinds of plates, as The Kitchen co-hosts explained on this morning’s all-new episode. Read on below to get the cast’s top recipes for soy sauce-based greens, salad, pulled pork and more.

The sweetness of the orange soda is balanced by the savory soy sauce and the subtle heat of crushed red pepper in Jeff Mauro’s Soy-Da Glazed Pulled Pork (pictured above). He waits until the bone-in pork shoulder has been roasting for a few hours before adding the glaze (so the sugars don’t burn in the oven).

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Summer Slow-Cooking: How to Bake Without Heating Up the House

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, July 19th, 2014

How to Bake Without Heating Up the HouseWho doesn’t love coming home to the aromas of a slow cooker filled with bubbling chili, steaming chicken and dumplings, or hearty beef stew on a cold day? The slow cooker is a staple for the busy person’s winter menu rotation. But come Memorial Day, many of us tuck the slow cooker away in the garage on top of a carton of wool mittens and mothballs, not to be seen before the first chill of Halloween.

I want to change that, one household at a time. I’d like to make the case for slow-cooking in summer. In fact, I think it is the most-underused companion to your summer outdoor barbecue.

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The Milkman Returneth (Glass Bottles, Bow Tie and All)

by in News, July 18th, 2014

The Milkman Is Back (Glass Bottles, Bowtie and All)Do you remember the good old days — back before supermarkets and shopping centers swept into the suburbs and milk was routinely pasteurized, homogenized and contained in plastic — when the milkman, dressed in his crisp white uniform, used to come in his truck or horse-drawn wagon, glass bottles clanking, and a set fresh daily supply of dairy on your doorstep?

Yeah, me neither. But even those who are too young to have had personal experience with the family milkman may feel nostalgic about the simplicity and the directness of the farm-to-table connection his cap-and-bow-tie-wearing image evokes. That collective sentimentality, as well as an interest in buying local, a commitment to quality and the lure of time-saving convenience, is the driving force behind a new (old) trend: the return of the milkman.

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Spiced Okra and Tomatoes — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, July 18th, 2014

Spiced Okra and TomatoesI am an okra missionary. I love okra. Okra lovers passionately love okra in all manners of being. Boiled, fried, steamed, grilled, broiled, pickled, raw, whole, sliced, julienned — you name it, okra lovers love okra. Those who hate it think it’s slimy, gooey and gummy. In my opinion, they haven’t met the right okra.

Okra is perhaps most famous as a common ingredient in the classic Louisiana dish, gumbo. (Okra helps thicken Creole gumbo; the other choice for thickening gumbo is file, or sassafras powder.) It has a long history in Louisiana, as it was popular with the French colonists and thrives in the moist heat.

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Olives, Lemons & Za’atar — Off the Shelf

by in Books, July 18th, 2014

Olives, Lemons & Za'atar

Rawia Bishara’s new cookbook, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar, keeps the family in mind. Like so many home cooks I know, it’s clear through Bishara’s stories and recipes that her food comes from a place of love for feeding family.

Though the finished dishes are foreign and exotic, they ring with notes of familiarity. She builds flavors using ingredients you already know and love (and probably already have in your pantry) as the foundation, then dresses them with a Middle Eastern finish you can’t resist.

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What to Watch: A New Season of Barefoot Contessa and Chef-Civilian Pairs on Iron Chef America

by in Shows, July 18th, 2014

Iron Chef
This weekend on Food Network, there are celebrations aplenty as your favorite stars share their tried-and-tested party recipes.

On Saturday, join Ree Drummond as she plans a huge engagement party for a friend featuring mouthwatering recipes on The Pioneer Woman. Next, the hosts of The Kitchen are creating fresh recipes with in-season summer produce. Later that night, check out a new episode of Iron Chef America in which Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto are paired with actor Anthony Anderson and food writer Simon Majumdar for the ultimate bar food battle.

On Sunday, Ina Garten returns with an all-new cocktail-themed episode of Barefoot Contessa, and Bobby is going global with a fresh new take on tacos on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. Next, get ready for battles galore as the competition heats up on new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen.

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