50 Punch Recipes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, Drinks, May 11th, 2014

50 Punch Recipes from Food Network Magazine - Pin of the WeekBig-batch drink recipes are great for entertaining — especially as the weather gets warmer. This week’s Most Popular Pin(s) of the Week comes from Food Network Magazine and its endless list of punch possibilities. Here’s a tip for warmer-weather drinking: Keep the ice on the side (not in the punch bowl) so it doesn’t water down your drink.

For more entertaining recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: 50 Punch Ideas from Food Network Magazine

Star-a-Day: Lenny McNab

by in Uncategorized, May 11th, 2014

Lenny McNabLenny McNab, 42, is a one-of-a-kind gourmet cowboy with over-the-top confidence and culinary skills. He trained in Germany and is now the executive chef at a hunting ranch. With his signature hat, belt buckle and boots, you can’t miss Lenny in a cr...

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Mother’s Day Portraits: Baby-and-Mom Produce

by in Family, Holidays, May 10th, 2014

It’s almost Mother’s Day: the day to appreciate motherhood even more than we do on other, ordinary days. Who cares that the holiday was invented by a greeting card company? Moms rock, and we love them.

Moms make us think of babies, and babies are cute. They’re just designed that way. We like to look at them. We like to talk about them using teeny voices. Baby fruits and vegetables are basically our two favorite things rolled up into one: Babies plus Food.

On this special day we wanted to send out some love to the hardworking vegetable and fruit moms for giving birth to them. First up (above): baby ghanoush.

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The Top 5 Most-Intimidating Ingredients to Cook — America’s Best Cook

by in Shows, May 10th, 2014

Episode 5On the next episode of America’s Best Cook, the remaining five chefs must take on the challenge of cooking one of the top five most-intimidating ingredients, considered so by professional chefs. The challenge will test their adaptability and ability to work with some unfamiliar and difficult items. Luckily, the home cooks have mentors waiting in the wings to help them out. If only cooking at home were just like that when you needed guidance, with Tyler, Alex, Michael or Cat just an SOS button away.

For this challenge, the “deadly” ingredients are Arborio rice, quail, baby octopus, scallops in their shell and chicken livers. And at the end of the cooking, the home cooks will be judged by Chef Marcel Vigneron, who is known for taking big risks in the competitive kitchen. Will the home cooks flourish or falter? Which ingredient will get the better of them?

Watch a Sneak Peek and Vote on the Ingredients

Serve Mom Breakfast in Bed on Mother’s Day

by in Holidays, May 10th, 2014

Serve Mom Breakfast in Bed on Mother's DayBefore Mom even rolls out of bed on Mother’s Day, show her you care with a cheery breakfast-in-bed spread. With this easy option, the egg whippers, pancake flippers and table setters in your life — aka the kids — can lend a hand without waking Mom.

If Mom has so much grace she can balance a plate of pancakes with maple syrup in bed, you should undoubtedly flip some of Trisha Yearwood’s blueberry pancakes. Whether from a box or made totally from scratch, a short stack is sure to start Mom’s day off right. Or, let the kids dip thick slices of brioche or challah in a sweet egg mixture for the Perfect French Toast.

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Star-a-Day: Kenny Lao

by in Uncategorized, May 10th, 2014

Kenny LaoKenny Lao, 36, grew up making Chinese dumplings with his mom, and his passion for that signature dish led to the creation of his fast-casual restaurant business. He wants to take the intimidation out of cooking and share how to make food that is simp...

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State Snack Attack: N.Y. Senate’s Yogurt Battle Yields Yuks

by in News, May 9th, 2014

NY Senate's Yogurt Battle Yields YuksDoes your state have an “official state snack?” Utah has Jell-O. (The state’s residents consume more of it per capita than any other state in the U.S., The Wire notes.) In South Carolina, it’s boiled peanuts, a “truly Southern delicacy.” In Texas, tortilla chips and salsa have been so honored for their popularity and proud tradition. Illinois adopted popcorn as its official snack in 2003.

Now New York is taking steps toward designating its own official state snack: yogurt. On Tuesday, members of the New York State Senate engaged in a spirited, comically protracted debate over the spoon-able fermented dairy product’s worthiness to wear the “state stack” mantle.

Given that yogurt production is big business in upstate New York and that the state is now, as the bill notes, “the number one processor of yogurt in the country,” you might expect it have slid smoothly through the Senate. In fact, after the bill, initiated by a class of fourth-graders (awww), was introduced for a vote by its sponsor, State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, things got a little messy.

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Make-Ahead Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, May 9th, 2014

While working on my first cookbook, I got into a squabble with my editor over a recipe title. I had created a grits casserole recipe called “Funeral Grits,” and my Harvard-educated, California-residing editor was appalled. She said no one would want to cook something associated with a funeral. I countered her argument, noting that a bowl of grits after a funeral would evoke comfort, not sorrow.

Who wouldn’t want a bowl of creamy, comforting grits when feeling sad? Comfort food means safety, satisfaction and simplicity. Grits are easy to prepare, can be a main meal or a side dish, will hold for hours in a low oven and reheat wonderfully as leftovers, even in the microwave. I’m suggesting this Grits Casserole for Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch. It’s easy enough that Dad can help the kids make it the day before or that morning. And, worst-case scenario, if the lady of the house has to cook her own Mother’s Day Grits Casserole, it can be made ahead by her too! Read more