Lola Granola Bars — The Weekender

by in Recipes, December 7th, 2012

Lola Granola Bars - The WeekenderWhen I worked full-time in an office, I both looked forward to and dreaded the weeks leading up to the holidays. The excitement came from knowing that soon I’d be on vacation, spending time with my family, far away from the office. The dread came from the fact that, soon, the break room would feature an ever-replenishing array of candies, cookies and treats from co-workers and vendors.

As a girl with an insatiable sweet tooth, this end-of-year extravaganza of sugary morsels was deadly for my long-standing goal to eat reasonably. Every time I walked into the room to fill my water bottle or make a cup of tea, I’d take a cookie or two back to my desk with me. While I never obeyed this solution unfalteringly, I did find that if I kept some better snacking options in my desk drawer, I’d have more success at avoiding the minefield of treats in the kitchen.

If you’re faced with regular access to an equally tempting holiday treat table, here’s my advice: make granola bars. Homemade granola bars are far better than the ones you buy at the store because you know exactly what’s in them, you can customize them to your liking, and you get a heck of a lot more bang for your buck.

Before you start toasting your oats, read these tips

Jeff Mauro’s PB and J Blondie — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2012

PB & J Blondie
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Leave it to the Sandwich King to take what’s perhaps the ultimate American sandwich – the PB & J – and turn it into a deliciously sweet dessert. Instead of using actual peanut butter to guarantee a nutty taste, Jeff adds peanut butter chips and crushed roasted peanuts to the buttery batter, and he opts for fruit preserves in place of jams or jellies. Depending on what your family’s favorite taste is, top the batter with raspberry, strawberry or grape preserves and use a knife to achieve a swirly effect before baking these blondies.

Get Jeff’s PB and J Blondie recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Host your best cookie swap yet with these easy party ideas

What to Watch: Restaurant: Impossible Gives Back for the Holidays

by in Shows, December 6th, 2012

Robert Irvine Holiday ImpossibleIn a special holiday episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine takes on one of his biggest missions to date. In the spirit of giving back, Robert travels to Joplin, Mo., to revitalize a Boys & Girls Club that served as a safe house after one of the deadliest tornadoes ever hit the town.

Robert’s challenge has two parts. First, he must transform the club into a space that’s inviting for kids and adults alike — all in only three days. Second, Robert must cook a thank-you dinner for 1,000 volunteers in just five hours — luckily he has help from Chef Michael Chiarello and the Dinner: Impossible crew. With a $30,000 budget, this mission will transform not only the club, but the lives of the people who were affected by the natural disaster.

Tune in: Sunday, December 9 at 10pm/9c

Click here to make a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, then read how you can help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Reinvented: Latkes 5 Ways

by in Holidays, December 6th, 2012

Reinvented: Latkes 5 WaysHere in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them in three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

We’re adding the fun back into our latkes this Hanukkah. There’s nothing wrong with the classic version, but try adding these novel mix-ins and toppings to your family recipe. They’re so good, you might just find yourself making them year-round.

First, start with the classic version

The Next Iron Chef Secret Ingredient Bracket Challenge Winner Is …

by in Shows, December 6th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Secret Ingredient Bracket Challenge WinnerIn this bracket challenge, you voted for the secret ingredient you thought was the hardest to work with in the past four seasons of The Next Iron Chef. In Round 1, you had to narrow down eight ingredients to four. In Round 2, you had to choose the two finalists. In the Finals, you chose the winner.

Click to find out what secret ingredient won

Family-Friendly Hannukah Fare

by , December 6th, 2012

potato pancakes
Hanukkah has always been one of my favorite holidays. Baked goodies, chocolate coins, and 8 days of gifts—what’s not to like during this festival of lights? As an RD and mom, I want to teach my kids healthy eating habits even on holidays (no nee...

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Bobby Flay’s Triple Chocolate Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 6th, 2012

Triple Chocolate Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Chocolate lovers, beware: these over-the-top treats are packed with a sinfully decadent combination of bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and a duo of white and semisweet chocolate chips. For a crunchy bite amongst the smooth chocolate, Bobby adds a cup of chopped toasted pecans to the mixture before baking. Although this recipe calls for a few teaspoons of espresso powder, the cookies won’t take on a coffee taste; the espresso simply enhances the richness of the chocolate without adding flavor.

Get Bobby’s Triple Chocolate Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Learn how to decorate cookies like the pros

Restaurant Revisited: Bronk’s Bar and Grill

by in Shows, December 5th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleFacing the imminent closure of their 11-year-old restaurant, Bronk’s Bar and Grill, husband and wife owners, Erik and Tracy Brunkow, turned to Robert Irvine for help in saving their business. This Lake City, Minn., eatery had been serving dishes made mostly from frozen food in an out-of-date, unadorned space, but thanks to Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team, it reopened with a fresh menu and vibrant decor to match. We checked in with Erik a few months after the transformation to see how Bronk’s is doing now.

Immediately after the renovation, sales at Bronk’s grew significantly, doubling during weekdays and tripling on weekends. Erik says that customers have come from near and far to see and taste the changes, and everyone is wowed by the updated decor. “They say it’s brighter, fresher and more open,” he explains. “People are noticing our tin ceiling all of a sudden, which was there originally.”

Bronk’s is still serving the updated menu exclusively, and Erik notes that they’re using only fresh, never-frozen ingredients. He adds that the specialty sauces that Robert created have been extremely well-received by diners. “People want us to bottle them and sell them at the store.”

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