One-on-One with the Latest Food Network Star Finalist to Go Home

by , July 12th, 2015
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Food Network StarIt's the nature of the Food Network Star beast that even though no matter how badly finalists want to achieve their dreams of stardom, ultimately only one can win the coveted title, and with that, 11 finalists will be going home. Every week Star Talk...

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Now You Can Enjoy Your Ice Cream in a J-Shaped Cone

by in News, July 12th, 2015

Now You Can Enjoy Your Ice Cream in a J-Shaped ConeEvery ice cream lover knows cones come in just a handful of shapes. You got your pointy sugar cone, you got your flat-bottomed safety cone, you got your fancy-pants premium waffle cone, and there are always going to be those who prefer a cup. But now you have a new option: a cone in the shape of the letter J.

The J-shaped cone, which made its debut in 2013 in Philippine malls, where it is known as “Jipangyi,” is currently a major craze in South Korea, Grub Street reports. It has now made the leap to America, delighting and perhaps embarrassing novelty-seeking ice cream eaters in New York City, where it is being sold (for a modest $4 per cone) via the Play J ice cream truck.

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Watermelon Slushies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, July 12th, 2015

Watermelon SlushiesWatermelon gets a fun frozen makeover — and stars as the only ingredient — in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Simply blend fresh, seedless watermelon until smooth, then freeze in a shallow airtight container. Let it thaw slightly, then lightly smash the watermelon with a fork. Spoon it into cups to create Food Network Magazine’s light and healthy picnic-ready sweet treat.

For more summer recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Seasonal: Summer! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Watermelon Slushies (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine

No-Glass Sundaes: 9 Better Ways to Eat Ice Cream

by in Recipes, July 12th, 2015

We’re all familiar with the classic ice cream sundae, the kind you might devour at an old-fashioned soda fountain. It’s a decadent yet straightforward equation: one or more scoops of ice cream + some variety of sauce or syrup + whipped cream + a glistening maraschino cherry on top. You’ll often find a sprinkling of chopped nuts, seasonal fruit or sprinkles thrown in too. All of this comes served in a glass sundae cup with a long spoon for mess-free fun. But the next time you’re hosting a party, take the traditional sundae to the next level by ditching your glass cup in favor of a brownie, cookie, shortbread or cake base. Here are a few clever ideas to help you make the most of ice cream and your favorite baked goods the next time a sweets craving strikes.

Waffled Brownie Sundae (pictured at top)
Now this is a sundae fit for a special occasion. Baking the brownie batter in a waffle iron cuts your baking time in half and eliminates cooling time altogether. Plus, all of the waffle’s nooks and crannies will catch whatever sweet sauces and toppings you choose for decorating. For the best results, pile ice cream and toppings onto these cakey brownies hot off the press.

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It’s Island Time: How to Make the Ultimate Summer Cocktail

by in Drinks, July 11th, 2015

If a beach escape isn’t in the cards this summer, ramp up the tropical factor with some island-themed snacks and perhaps a tiki cocktail, to take advantage of the warm weather. The tiki masters behind Chicago’s popular Three Dots and a Dash shake up to 2,000 rum-centric drinks on a typical night.

Beverage director Diane Corcoran oversees the menu of fruity, potent and often flaming combinations, including the classic Mai Tai, the coconut-based Painkiller and the smoky-sweet, summer-ready Bikinis After Dark (recipe below).

“The key to great tiki cocktails is keeping it balanced,” she says. “Use fresh juices — pineapple, lemon and lime — and get flavors from things that aren’t syrup. You can use a lot of fresh fruit and purees without added sugar to get that fruit flavor.”

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Yogurt Liqueur Is Now an Actual Thing

by in News, July 11th, 2015

Yogurt Liqueur Is Now an Actual ThingYou can enjoy your yogurt straight up or frozen, and now, you are cordially informed, you can enjoy it as a liqueur.

Dutch distiller Bols, which makes spirits like gin and vodka, as well as liqueurs in a staggering variety of flavors, from Sour Apple to Sea Buckthorn, Blueberry, Banana, Butterscotch and beyond, has now brought the world a “Natural Yogurt” liqueur.

Made from yogurt both “real” and “fresh,” Bols Yogurt Liqueur is said to combine a “sweet and sour taste” with a “rich and smooth texture.” It needs no refrigeration (which is perhaps a little unsettling) and may be served straight up, on ice or mixed with fruit, juice, soft drinks or other liqueurs in a creamy cocktail.

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5 Cocktails That Were Made for Muddling

by in Drinks, July 11th, 2015

What’s the best way to get the most flavor out of your cocktail? Muddling. The gentle mashing and combining of fruits with other ingredients will help to release fresh flavors and encourage a mingling of your base and spirit. In fact, it may be even more important than shaking or stirring when it comes to creating the perfect summer cocktail. Be careful not to over-muddle when working with delicate herbs such as mint and basil (which will become bitter) or delicate fruits that may benefit from larger pieces (for color and for visual appeal). Rosemary, lemon, limes and sturdier ingredients will be able to stand a heavy muddling. Whether you choose to use a wood, plastic or metal muddler, it’s the ultimate tool to craft these summer cocktails.

Pineapple-Raspberry Rum Refresher (pictured above)

Skip soda water or tonic and use coconut water for your summer cocktail. Melissa D’Arabian gently muddles frozen raspberries before topping with coconut water, pineapple juice and rum. Stir gently and serve with sprigs of mint.

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Bakers’ Dozens: All the Baked Fruit Desserts

by in Recipes, July 10th, 2015

Throughout our culinary history, people have baked fruit in one form of vessel or another. Lots of versions, many contestants and several commonalities: fresh or frozen fruit; some sort of sugar, whether it’s light brown, dark brown, muscovado sugar or molasses, or even honey. Add butter plus some sort of flour and there you have it.

Start with the most common of all baked desserts, the classic cobbler. Many say the cobbler is simply a pie without the crust. Well, that is partially correct. A true cobbler is topped off with individually dropped biscuits. The biscuits are made with heavy cream, adding a real rich flavor and tenderness to the biscuit. Did you know the baked biscuits on top of the cobblers were said to look similar to the cobblestone streets of Boston or Philadelphia? Philly girl here, don’t forget.

Now for the variations:

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Spike It: Peach Bellini Party Shots

by in Drinks, July 10th, 2015

Peach Bellini Party ShotsMy brother recently tied the knot, which meant lots of parties and prep beforehand. A few months ago, I got to plan a super-fun bachelorette party for my now sister-in-law, and the individual strawberry champagne gelatin shots that one of the girls brought were the hit of the night.

Not only were the shots adorable and fun, but they tasted delicious. And she kept telling me how simple they were! I begged for the recipe. For the party, she used mini plastic cups and sealed them with plastic lids for easy transporting and consumption in a hotel room. I could not even wait to make my own version of these!

I’m rather nutty about Bellinis — give me all the Prosecco and all the fruit. I adore trying new combos, and last year I even made a Bellini bar, which has been an easy go-to at parties these days.

For the party shots, I stuck to a classic, the peach Bellini. And since we were serving these at home, I made them in a baking dish, but they would definitely work in the single-portion cups if you’d like to take them to a party. These are my new favorite party trick, and they couldn’t be better for summer, now that peaches are finally in season.

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Your Weekend Cooldown: Frozen Peanut Butter Bites

by in Recipes, July 10th, 2015

Frozen Peanut Butter BitesWelcome to the sticky, sweltering dog days of summer. If the season’s heat has you bogged down, take refuge in a chilled treat this weekend: these easy-to-make, eat-with-your-hands Frozen Peanut Butter Bites (pictured above). Made with only four pantry ingredients, the Neelys’ sweet-tooth-satisfying dessert celebrates the perhaps most-beloved of all flavor combos: peanut butter and chocolate. And maybe the best part of this recipe is that there’s no need to turn on the oven.

Get the Recipe: Frozen Peanut Butter Bites