For 20 seasons of Chopped, viewers have seen numerous winning chefs walk away with $10,000, a few grand tournament champions leave with $50,000 and many chefs walk the hallway of disappointment after being chopped on national television. And the Chopped judges have witnessed all these happenings in front of and behind the cameras. Now they share their most-memorable moments from the series, which goes into its 20th season this month.
Peace, love, understanding — and cake? If you’re baking for a Jerry Garcia fan, a preschooler who adores arts and crafts, or just someone who likes colorful surprises, you may find inspiration in this super-cool psychedelic, rainbow tie-dye cake with an unexpected twist, created for Tablespoon.com by Hungry Happenings blogger Beth Jackson Klosterboer. (Beth credits this tie-dye Peace Cake by Sandra Denneler, of Handmade Charlotte, as inspiration.)
The list of ingredients is pretty simple: four boxes of pound cake mix (it’s less susceptible to air bubbles than regular cake mix), eggs, butter, milk, neon food coloring, 28 ounces of fondant in whatever colors appeal to you, and store-bought frosting. And you’ll need two 6-inch x 6-inch x 2-inch baking pans, and a fair number of disposable pastry or Ziploc bags. (For the full tutorial, click here.)
These days, instead of taking coffee hot with cream and sugar, most take it with ice cubes. This week and beyond, stick a straw into refreshing, family-friendly summer sips that revitalize any day spent picnicking on the beach, lounging on the patio or eating in the backyard with the whole clan.
Stir together The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Homemade Lemonade, which achieves a perfect sweet-and-sour bliss point that you can get only from fresh lemon juice and homemade simple syrup. For a fruitier take, add a bag of frozen raspberries and stir. Pour either in a pitcher and you’ll be one step closer to having the most-popular lemonade stand on the block.
Instead of chugging from the soda fountain, make your own sparkling drink at home. Fix Bobby’s Raspberry Ginger Ale by blending chopped fresh ginger, sugar, ice-cold club soda and ripe, juicy raspberries.
A study published earlier this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that skipping breakfast doesn’t affect weight loss in dieters. But if you think the findings offer permission to skip breakfast, think again.
If your recipe calls for a fancy ingredient, don’t skip the recipe, simply swap the costly item for another less expensive alternative. Our supermarket expert Nicole Cherie Jones chatted with Beth Moncel, author of Budget Bytes, Gabi Moskowitz of brokeassgourmet.com, Carrie Robinson of thefrugalfoodiemama.com and Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet, to find out how you can save hundreds of dollars at the grocery store and still nail recipes that call for pricey ingredients.
1. Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms are pricey at $5 to $8 per ounce, and they’re also elusive. Save up to 95 percent with baby bella (cremini) mushrooms that register at only 38 cents per ounce.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient squid. While squid is traditionally deep-fried in breadcrumbs to lock in its natural flavor, this stir-fried version makes use of sweet and tangy ingredients like soy sauce, molasses, lime and ginger to bump up the flavor. Served over chilled rice noodles, this take is a refreshing departure from the heavier classic, making it a cooling retreat for summer dining. Read more
This month Food Network is airing the 20th season of Chopped. To mark this momentous occasion, FN Dish is giving viewers the chance to see what the show looked like in its very first taped episode. Over the years the set has been updated and the basket ingredients have definitely gotten much more varied, but what hasn’t changed is the format of the show — a testament to its success.
This week the Star Salvation finalists must put signature spins on childhood snacks before presenting them to the judges (in just 25 minutes). Here’s the kicker: In addition to regular judges Geoffrey and Damaris, Star Salvation added one child who knows all about food competitions. Brandon Scawthorn, the winner of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, is no stranger to the network, and he’s an ace at Web series, hosting his own, called Cooking in the Fast Lane. This challenge was an easy task for him: “For me growing up, crepes was one of my favorites,” Brandon says of his go-to snack.
Star Talk caught up with Brandon on the set of Star Salvation to talk about his experience. Read below for his interview and click play on the video below to watch his episode.
Star Talk: What was it like being a part of Star Salvation?
Brandon Scawthorn: This is so exciting. First I won Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, now I’m here as a judge — it’s just amazing.