The Pioneer Woman Talks to Fans on Facebook

by in Community, Food Network Chef, August 29th, 2011

pioneer woman ree drummond
Last Thursday, Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman, dropped by a Food Network Facebook chat. If you missed it, here are some of the highlights:

Jennifer Waters: What is the best way to season a cast-iron skillet?
RD: Jennifer, I have always generously smeared the skillets with shortening. I then heat them for a long time in the oven. But lately, I’ve been cheating and getting the pre-seasoned Lodge pans. They’re amazing.

Nova Wick: How does it feel to transfer from blogging on the Internet, where you interact and talk to your fans, to getting your own show?
RD: Nova, it’s all been such a gradual thing. I love blogging the most; I feel like it’s my core. But the show gives me a chance to show a slightly different view/perspective than my still photos and (sometimes weird) writing. To answer your question, it has felt very natural.

More from Ree Drummond »

Meet Troy Johnson, Host of Crave

by in Food Network Chef, August 29th, 2011

troy johnson crave
I nearly gave up on writing a few years ago. Mostly because my apartment smelled like a lot of things, none of which were money. And I don’t need a fancy car that has massaging seats and offers life advice while parallel parking itself. But my retirement “nest egg” consisted of a few surfboards, quality cookware and a wall of weird indie-rock CDs.

I’d done reasonably well as a music journalist, hosting a TV show and writing for rock magazines. I published a book that was supposed to sell millions and lead to much laughing and crying on Oprah’s furniture. She must have lost my phone number.

I needed to make a change.

So I took a job at a magazine writing about food. I was hesitant at first. But then food and I fell hard for each other.

Four years later, I was in deep. That’s when I saw a blog post: “Host wanted for new TV show on Food Network.”

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Garden Varieties — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2011

couscous
Embrace the final days of summer with this garden-fresh, veggie-packed plate, complete with tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus and bell peppers — all laced with a balsamic-Dijon marinade and grilled. Toasted pearl-shaped couscous makes this a hearty weeknight meal.

Serve a bowl of Food Network’s Magazine’s Charred Tomato Gazpacho as a simple side to cool you off on the last of these hot, humid nights.

Get the recipe: Bobby’s Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad With Grilled Summer Vegetables

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2011

tomato mozzarella and basil salad
Ina takes a classic salad and seasons it perfectly with good olive oil, salt and pepper. For an eye-catching presentation, purchase tomatoes in yellow, orange and green hues.

Get the recipe: Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

Browse more of Food Network’s Labor Day recipes.

An Intro to Canning and Blueberry Jam

by in How-to, Recipes, August 26th, 2011

blueberry jam
When it comes to canning, blueberries were my gateway fruit. During my childhood, I helped my mom make jam with the berries from our annual picking trip. Later, blueberry jam was the first thing I ever canned on my own (though I did call my parents for guidance at least seven times during the making of that initial batch). Spiced with a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest, it tastes like home.

The beauty of blueberry jam is that it sets you up for success. Blueberries contain a lot of natural pectin, so even if you mash and measure imperfectly, nine times out of 10, you’ll still wind up with something spreadable and quite delicious.

What’s more, preparing blueberries for jamming is shockingly easy. All they need is a quick rinse, a careful once-over to remove any stems (don’t throw away the mushy berries, they work just fine in jam) and a thorough smashing. I find it quite satisfying to just plunge my hands in and start squashing. A potato masher is an acceptable substitute if you don’t like to get your hands covered in blueberry goo.

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Coffee: Some Like it Hot

by in Community, August 26th, 2011

hot coffee
We asked, you answered. Food Network recently posed the question: “Iced coffee or hot coffee?” to Facebook fans and the response was overwhelming. More than 3,000 fans cast votes in Battle Coffee. It was a close one, but a majority preferred a piping-hot cup of joe.

Instead of making a morning coffee run, try Alton’s tips at home for a perfect True Brew every time. Once you’ve got that down, add some heavy cream, brown sugar and Irish whiskey for an Original Irish Coffee treat. Or try Giada’s version of Spiked Coffee with Kahlua and dark creme de cacoa.

To spruce up your java with fall flavors, make Paula’s Caramel Cinnamon Latte. Stir with a cinnamon stick for extra seasoning. Top Ree’s Dulce de Leche Coffee with grated chocolate and whipped cream for an after-dinner drink so decadent you’ll think it’s dessert.

Bounties of Basil

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2011


Bright, fragrant and practically singing with quintessential summertime flavor, fresh basil can transform your dish from common and plain to exciting and extra special.  This in-season herb is most traditionally featured in Italian pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza and served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. However, the possibilities for using these smooth green leaves are simply endless. Pick up a bunch today and try our creative and unique recipes highlighting basil’s classic flavor.

Food.com adds a kick to basic burgers with its recipe for Basil Parmesan Hamburgers, made with sweet basil, salty Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Grill to a juicy medium temperature, and top with roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions for a decadent barbecue favorite.

More basil recipes after the jump »

Garlic, Lemon and Herb Rubbed Chicken — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2011

garlic lemon and herb chicken thighs
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and for dinner this weekend, we’re ditching the barbecue sauce and marinating chicken in fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal on the grill, purchase chicken legs — they’ll also cook up faster. While the total cook time for these babies is more than two hours, that is inactive time — time that the chicken is soaking up the flavor of the marinade in the refrigerator. Once the chicken is placed on the grill, dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Get the recipes »

World Series of Poker — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 25th, 2011

coconut cupcakes
Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.

What a thrill it was to have world champion poker player Annie Duke as a guest judge this week. She is one smart lady — and a cupcake lover, to boot. In round one, the contestants were dealt the same hand of ingredients, but each team ended up with very different results. Tina’s black truffle “gamble” paid off for the most part, although the black truffle flavor was a bit lacking. Robin and Patric both used the same flavors of strawberry, balsamic and cheese. Robin’s cupcake lacked mascarpone flavor and though I loved Patric’s creation, Florian was not a fan of the watery strawberries, which he believed would quickly result in a soggy cupcake. Sandy ultimately had to go.

Get the winning recipe »

Honeycomb — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, August 25th, 2011

honeycomb brie english muffin
It’s time to think beyond the bear bottle. Because honey comes in way more forms than just plastic squirt bottles. My favorite? Honey in the comb, pure and simple.

And yes, the comb is totally safe to eat. People have been keeping bees — and eating the honeycomb — for several thousand years. But first, some honey 101. No, honey is not bee spit. But bee saliva does play a role.

When bees gather nectar from flowers, it is stored in a honey sac inside their bodies. During storage, the bee’s saliva mixes with the nectar, which (shocker!) is made mostly from sugar. Enzymes in the saliva convert those sugars into honey.

The honeycomb comes into play when the bee gets back to the hive. The comb itself — a network of hexagonal cylinders — is made from waxy secretions of worker bees. As these cylinders are filled with honey, they are capped with yet another layer of wax.

The bees do all this to create food for themselves. In fact, for every pound of honey gathered by people, the bees make and consume another eight.

Six delicious ways to use honeycomb »