Star-a-Day: Cristie Schoen

by , May 8th, 2012

Cristie Schoen

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today we spotlight the fifth member of Team Alton, 35-year-old Cristie Schoen. Growing up in a military family, Cristie loved cooking Cajun cuisine with her dad. Now she lives in New Orleans and aspires to open a cafe of her own, serving locally grown, nutritious cuisine.

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Peaches — Iron Chef America Ingredients

by in Shows, May 7th, 2012

iron chef america battle peaches
The average American consumes nearly five pounds of peaches every year, and I can’t blame them as peaches are very possibly my favorite fruit of all. If you visited my home in Los Angeles, you would be very likely to find a large fruit bowl in my kitchen laden with quite a few different varieties along with a few samples of their smooth cousins, the nectarine.

As well as eating them raw as a healthy snack, I love to use peaches in a wide variety of both sweet and savory dishes and am always on the lookout for inspiring recipes.

If, until now, you have always thought of the peach as little more than a canned filling for pie, I hope that this week’s efforts in Kitchen Stadium will persuade you that there is far more to this humble fruit than you ever imagined. You might even be inspired to head out in search of some interesting varieties at your local farmers’ market.

What are peaches?

The fruit of the peach tree is a “drupe,” which means it has a three-layered structure of skin, flesh and a hard stone or “pit” at the center. This puts it in the same family as other fruits including plums, cherries and apricots, and also relates it to walnuts and almonds.

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Family-Style Meals — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, May 7th, 2012

macaroni and cheese
On busy weeknights, there’s just no time to fuss with intricate, individually plated meals or time-sensitive dishes. Instead, you want to reach for recipes that encourage simple, family-style eating, in which there’s a big-batch dish in the middle of the table and your family can help themselves. Check out our three rustic, wonderfully informal dinners below and let us know what you’re making for Meatless Monday tonight.

Ina’s classic, deliciously gooey Mac and Cheese (pictured above) is a five-star fan favorite with almost 700 user reviews. She prefers a combination of Gruyere and extra-sharp cheddar cheeses to form the basis of her family-friendly recipe — the rich, nutty Gruyere balances the bite of the cheddar. Before baking, she arranges sliced fresh tomatoes atop her pasta-cheese mixture and dusts it with white breadcrumbs to add a barely there crunchy texture.

Giada’s Vegetable Casserole is another family-favorite recipe that can feed a crowd. She tops a layer of hearty potatoes, carrots, yams and peppers with sweet onions, chopped zucchini and tomatoes, and bakes this healthful dish until the veggies are tender and the Parmesan cheese topping golden brown. A final sprinkle of fresh basil finishes the dish before serving.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Tea 101

by , May 7th, 2012
tea

Which tea is your favorite?

Tea is the second most popular beverage around the world, eclipsed only by water. In general, tea refers to dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant prepared by steeping in hot water. It can be served hot or cold. In th...

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Chopped All-Stars: The Final Battle

by in Shows, May 7th, 2012

Chopped Finale

Last night we watched four chefs, each with a win under his or her belt, face off in the finale of the Chopped All-Stars tournament. In the four previous rounds, Michael Symon reigned supreme among the Iron Chefs, Penny Davidi prevailed against her fellow Food Network Star alums, Jeffrey Saad bested three other globetrotting show hosts and Marcus Samuelsson out-cooked his Chopped judging cohorts. But it all came down to the final battle: Only one of these chefs would win $50,000 for their charity.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner. You can catch the full episode here.

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Star-a-Day: Kara Sigle

by , May 7th, 2012

Kara Sigle

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Team Bobby’s Kara Sigle is a 31-year-old caterer and fitness guru from Chicago. She learned to cook from her mom and likes to put a healthy spin on favorite tried-and-true dishes.

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In Season: Vidalia Onions

by , May 6th, 2012
vidalia onions

Sweet vidalia onions are in season right now.

Vidalia onions, the official state vegetable of Georgia, are only available for a limited time. Get your hands on these sweet onions while they’re in season!

What, Where & When?
During the Great...

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Star-a-Day: Linkie Marais

by , May 6th, 2012

Linkie Marais

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Twenty-eight-year-old Linkie Marais is Team Giada’s resident baking queen. Linkie grew up in South Africa and moved with her family to Mississippi at age 16. This trained pastry chef and wedding cake expert now lives in Massachusetts.

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Congratulations to Ted Allen and Chopped on James Beard Journalism Awards

by in Events, May 5th, 2012

james beard journalism awardsFriday night while guests dined on Alex Guarnaschelli’s delicious organic chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, among other tasty courses, the food industry celebrated Food Network’s very own. The awards, which were emceed by JBF award winners Michael Symon and Martha Teichner, celebrate excellence in food media. Chopped won the award for best Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location, category and Ted Allen took home the award for best Media Personality/Host, also for Chopped.

Ted thanked the 9 judges that he works with on Chopped including Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag and Scott Conant, who were also in attendance. He said, “The judges on our show are so much a part of what our show is … these are the people that make me look smart and teach me things.” After winning his second award of the night he mused, “Having one is nice but when they clink together …”

Congratulations to all of the 2012 James Beard Award nominees and winners.

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