Arugula Pesto Pizza with Zucchini — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 6th, 2015

Arugula Pesto Pizza with ZucchiniSince basil is in season right now, it’s no wonder that it’s often the go-to herb to feature in pesto, but it’s surely not the only something green that can star in this quick-fix sauce. Spinach, parsley, broccoli and even arugula can take its place — arugula, for example, standing in to create the base of the sauce used atop Food Network Magazine’s easy pizza (pictured above).

Thanks to a ready-to-go prebaked pizza crust, this Arugula Pesto Pizza with Zucchini comes together simply and in a hurry. Once you’ve prepped the pesto — the arugula adds a peppery punch, while capers and garlic offer welcome bite — and sliced the mozzarella and zucchini, it all comes down to assembly. Just before baking, sprinkle some nutty Parmesan atop the pie and drizzle on fruity extra virgin olive oil. After only a few minutes in the oven, the cheese will turn gooey and the crust golden.

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Love Bites, Hard: Turf and Surf, Tough and Stuff, and the Opportunity of a Lifetime — Jeff’s Star Report

by , July 6th, 2015
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Food Network StarWe start this episode Rosa-less, and I’m feeling a little bummed by the absence of her bubbliness. What we start out with instead is each finalist's favorite ingredients, ominously plated right in front of them. Right off the bat, I’m calling she...

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“I Would Buy This at Any Fair” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, July 5th, 2015

While all rounds of Cutthroat Kitchen are full of hilarious eviliciousness, tonight’s all-new episode took the funny to another level when Alton Brown, ever the sabotage ringleader, revealed that the entire show was dedicated to clowning around. From a ring-of-fire sabotage to themed eats like corn dogs and funnel cake to judge Simon Majumdar‘s over-the-top clown getup —complete with a round red nose, of course — the name of the game was fun at the circus, though perhaps some of the magic of the spectacle was lost on the four chefs who were dealt challenge upon challenge.

In Round 1’s corn dog assignment, Alton auctioned off a tray of concession-stand goodies that one chef had to use in order to make the dish. Corn dogs may seem simple, as they’re made of just two components — the corn-flavored batter and the hot dog — but with ingredients like candy, popcorn and cotton candy, this corn dog test would prove to be anything but ordinary. That’s where the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew comes in.

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

by , July 5th, 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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The Truth About Butter Sculptures

by in News, July 5th, 2015

ButterButter sculptures — big, beautiful and carefully kept cool to beat the summer heat — are a staple and a highlight of many a state fair, churning up all kinds of nostalgic feelings in the masses who admire them.

But did you ever wonder about the history and mechanics behind those elaborate butter tableaux? NPR’s The Salt blog recently filled its readers in. Here are a few key facts to know about butter sculpture, gleaned from its report:

1. Edible sculptures of people and animals trace their origins at least as far back as medieval times, when royalty included them in elaborate feasts.

2. The person credited with bringing butter sculpture to regular folk in America was an Arkansas housewife named Caroline Brooks. Rather than simply churning milk into butter and molding or stamping it into bricks, as was the norm, she sculpted it into a butter portrait of a young woman. The result of her efforts, called Dreaming Iolanthe, was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and was widely considered a thing of remarkable and unique beauty.

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S’mores Cake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, July 5th, 2015

S'mores CakeToasty marshmallows, melted chocolate and crisp graham crackers — what more could you want in a dessert? In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, your childhood campfire favorite is transformed into a decadent four-tiered cake. Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Basic Chocolate Cake becomes the perfect base for the oozing filling, which is made easy with store-bought marshmallow cream and buttery, toasted graham cracker crumbs. Layer the cooled cakes with the filling, and then top with ganache.

For more dessert recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: S’mores Cake (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine

How to Indulge on Vacation Without Losing Sight of Healthy Habits: Melissa’s Bare-Minimum Plan

by in Food Network Chef, July 5th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianI love summer vacation, don’t you?

But you know what I don’t love? Getting out of my routine, especially my healthy routines, such as eating well and working out. At home, I know exactly when I will go to the gym, who I will see there (my workout buddies — hi, Heather and Julie!) and what I will eat when I get home. I don’t have to think about it or waste any energy figuring out how to make that all happen; that’s one of the great benefits of setting up solid routines to support our life goals.

So what happens when I go on vacation? When I am out of my normal routine, and faced with an unfamiliar environment and a list of to-do’s (albeit fun ones!) that involve not just me but my family, too, I can easily find myself going days or even a couple of weeks without following my normal healthy-eating and workout routines. Sometimes, I actually am quite happy to embrace the indulgence and enjoy a little “time off.” Who wants to go to New York City and not enjoy its amazing restaurants?

For these times, I have created a “bare minimum” plan — things that I can do pretty much no matter where, no matter what — that will keep me at least a little on track while still allowing me to let go of the workout guilt and enjoy time off from the routine. Because vacation should be fun and guilt-free, right?

You ready? This is what I do when I am letting loose, and it’s totally doable:

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Now There’s a Restaurant Dedicated to Ranch Dressing

by in News, Restaurants, July 4th, 2015

Ranch DressingThere are two kinds of Americans: those who like ranch dressing (like, on everything!) and those who frankly fail to understand the appeal. A new St. Louis restaurant is designed exclusively for those who fall into the first category, taking the ubiquitous creamy condiment and rendering it even more so.

Twisted Ranch restaurant will soon swing open its doors in St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood, offering diners a menu that includes 18 different flavors of ranch dressing — including garlic, horseradish, smoked paprika, tzatziki, cheesy bacon, chipotle and Thai — and features ranch dressing as an ingredient in essentially every single thing on the menu (except dessert, thank goodness).

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We’re Bringing Mac Back This Summer: 5 Best Macaroni Salad Recipes

by in Recipes, July 4th, 2015

Old-Fashioned Macaroni SaladMemorable because of the creamy mayonnaise-based dressing and mix-ins like hard-boiled eggs, smoky ham and crunchy celery, macaroni salad is a popular summer potluck pick, and many recipes can be made with just a few pantry staples and served in under 30 minutes. Browse below for twists on the traditional recipes, like the Neelys’, which adds pimento peppers, and one that uses mild cheddar cheese. Bring one of these macaroni salads to your next backyard get-together and you might notice that it’s finished before the meat even comes off the grill.

 Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad — For a true “down-home” side dish, try the Neelys’ take on macaroni salad (pictured above). They combine the classic ingredients, like freshly hard-boiled eggs, ham steak and mayonnaise, with pimento peppers for a Southern kick and pickle relish for a bit of unexpected sweetness. You’ll have to be patient to dig into this creamy salad, because the Neelys suggest refrigerating it for two hours, which allows the flavors to fully meld.

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Your Ultimate Summer Party Menu, Delivered

by in Recipes, Shows, July 4th, 2015

Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni SaladThe key to enjoyable summer entertaining is to keep the party simple, from the ingredients you shop for to the dishes and drinks you serve. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast came together to create the ultimate, one-stop guide for seasonal bashes, featuring recipes for crowd-pleasing dips, a bold chicken dinner and, because “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” of course, a fruity cocktail from Geoffrey Zakarian.

Since most summer soirees take place outside, perhaps around the pool or picnic table, keep the appetizer spread easily accessible with a trio of dips. Jeff Mauro’s Strawberry and Mango Guacamole comes together with just a handful of ingredients, letting the fresh fruit complement the spicy jalapeno add-in. For a classic mayonnaise-based option, stick with Geoffrey’s 20-minute Bacon and Egg Dip, a play on classic deviled eggs. In her Roasted Garlic and Frozen Veggie Dip, Sunny Anderson adds the warm flavor of roasted garlic to a cream cheese-laced mixture of processed vegetables for rich results.

When it comes to the main course, chicken is a perennial people-pleaser, and Katie Lee’s all-in-one recipe for Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni Salad (pictured above) is a must-try pick. To guarantee bold flavor in the meat, she seasons the chicken with a mixture of chili powder and garlic powder before grilling it until juicy and slathering it in barbecue sauce. The macaroni salad celebrates the traditional flavors of the beloved dish, which includes a tangy, sweet dressing spiked with yellow mustard and a pinch of sugar.

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