Though for some Memorial Day can mean an excuse to sleep in before hitting a blowout sale, the real fans of this holiday are all about the food. Weather permitting, it’s best spent lounging outside with a spread, celebrating the inaugural days of summer. This Memorial Day, lay out your gingham blankets and cook up picnic-ready recipes that master the art of make-and-take. This holiday is all about outdoor eating, and we’ve got just the menu.
The Sweet Smell of Success: Those smells that waft out of Cinnabon and other aromatic food and retail establishments are no accident. They’re actually a deliberate attempt to draw customers in — and there’s a name for the thinking behind them: scent marketing. “The battle for noses is getting intense,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Restaurants are adjusting recipes to make aromas more concentrated and pleasant.” They’re also enlisting other scent strategies: For instance, Cinnabon puts its ovens near the front of the store to maximize the smell of fresh-baked buns; moving them to the back, as an experiment, “significantly” lowered sales. That’s nothing to sniff at. [The Wall Street Journal]
1. Grab the smallest cart available: Studies have shown that grocery stores can do one simple thing that will result in you unwittingly spending more money — put out bigger grocery carts. So use this information to your advantage and always select the smallest cart available. And if only one size is offered, then either use the hand held basket (if possible), or make your cart visually “smaller” by filling it up with inexpensive produce first, before hitting the rest of the store.
2. Buy meat when it’s a loss leader: Imagine a world in which all your meat was 50 percent off (or more!) — it’s doable if you shop the loss leaders. Every week in major grocery store chains, there is usually one beef, one chicken and one pork cut on sale for 50 to 75 percent off its normal price. The objective of a loss leader is to get shoppers in the door of a supermarket, and though the store may take a hit on this one item, they know that you will also likely buy the rest of your groceries while you’re in the store (and make up the cost). I like to stock up on a few packages of these loss-leader meat items because meat freezes so beautifully. Then you always have a stock of various meats at the ready for diverse and cost-effective family dinners. (Wine is also sometimes a loss leader.)
We love a wholesome and hearty breakfast to begin our days, and this granola has four different whole grains in it, so it is exactly that! It’s a great breakfast (or snack) for summer, paired with berries and yogurt. We jokingly call this gran...
Brunch and farmers markets: When it comes to weekend events, they’re right up there with sleeping in. FN Dish recently caught up with the chef/owner of The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City, and asked about his strategies for shopping farmers markets and hosting a weekend brunch.
FN Dish: What are your top tips for navigating a farmers market?
Geoffrey Zakarian: First things first: Don’t buy anything for the first half-hour. See what you see. Ask for samples of everything. Then sit down for a minute and have a coffee and write down what you’re going to buy. Don’t be manic — everybody buys way too much. They get excited, they buy this and then say: “Why did I do that? This chocolate looks better, but I just bought this chocolate!” Just take a deep breath.
FN Dish: You’re hosting a brunch at your house. What do you make?
GZ: I make a roast with a bunch of vegetable side dishes that are all cooked together in one pan. Then I make a garden salad and maybe some cheese and salumi — done.
FN Dish: What’s your go-to brunch drink?
GZ: At brunch, I like rosé champagne. Bloody Marys are great, but if you start on Bloody Marys and then you want to have wine or champagne later, you’re just going to get trashed. So it’s best to start with rosé champagne; you can do champagne for the rest of the evening.
Just when fans likely thought that Robert Irvine had seen it all after nearly eight seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this week he opened the doors to a themed restaurant for the first time. Cave Inn BBQ, located in Winter Garden, Fla., offered a prehistoric ambiance, complete with pictures of dinosaurs and fake rocks in the dining room and a menu of hearty, meaty plates. While Robert was taken aback by Cave Inn’s display, he couldn’t convince owner Buzz Klavans to abandon his business’ theme, and ultimately Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew continued the theme during the transformation. After just two days and with a $10,000 budget, the Stone Age-inspired restaurant reopened, reinvigorated with a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Buzz to find out how this business is doing today.
“Revenue has risen about 10 to 18 percent,” Buzz says. “I’m doing my best to follow all of Robert’s advice — some things are easier said than done, especially regarding [the] back of house — but we’re trying.”
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient almond butter. Traditionally a satay is made with peanut butter, but the chefs wanted to prove that almond butter makes a great substitution, with a slightly nuttier, richer flavor. In this Almond Chicken Satay recipe, the almond butter gets combined with coconut milk to create a tasty sauce for seared chicken breast, snap peas and rice noodles. Try this unique take on the classic Thai dish for dinner tonight.
Turducken Gets Official Recognition — Pho Sure! Foodies and linguists alike will be interested to learn that among the 150 words to be added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary in 2014, you’ll find “freegan,” “pho,” “pepita,” “poutine” and “turducken,” alongside non-food-related neologisms like “crowdfunding,” “hashtag” and “selfie.” Also to be included is “catfish” in its new sense: “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.” So, no, not the same thing as what you might eat blackened. [Time]
Who’re You Calling the “Second City”? The prestigious James Beard Awards, which have been distributed in a gala ceremony in New York City since their inception 24 years ago, will move to Chicago for their 25th anniversary next year. James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro explained that Chicago, which she called a “great” culinary city, had extended a “very appealing offer to host the show.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Susan said, had provided “passionate support” and had demonstrated himself to be as “a true believer in the importance of culinary tourism.” [The New York Times]
With Memorial Day around the corner and grill season afoot, these rosemary-skewered swordfish kebabs are just the ticket. Not only are they light and richly flavored, but they also come together in a snap.
Don’t let the unfussy preparation, wh...