How to Brighten Up Your Summer Party Punch

by in How-to, View All Posts, August 14th, 2014

Here’s a fun (and probably healthier) way to use mini doughnut molds. To get through these dog days of August, make pretty individual ice rings to cool down and brighten up glasses of punch at summer parties. Read more

Returning Chopped Champions Compete in First-Ever Ultimate Champions Tournament

by in Shows, August 14th, 2014

Chopped Ultimate Champions CompetingAn all-new tournament comes to Chopped, which will test a group of top former champions in a high-stakes battle. What makes this competition so interesting is that groups of professional chefs, amateur home cooks, heroes and celebrities will be competing. But the playing field is completely leveled when it comes to the Chopped kitchen, where anything can come out of those mystery baskets, oftentimes confounding the most-consummate professional. The winners of the four preliminary rounds will go on to the grand finale, where only one competitor will walk away as the grand champion and the winner of the biggest prize in Chopped history, $50,000 and a brand-new car.

Find out the rounds and who will be competing

This Birthday Cupcake Cost $900

by in News, August 14th, 2014

This Birthday Cupcake Cost $900There are all sorts of ways to show your love. One customer at Toronto’s Le Dolci bakery showed it with a $900 cupcake, presenting it to his wife in honor of her 40th birthday. Talk about sweet!

The extravagant confection was made to order, featuring some of the wife’s favorite foods and flavors. The bakery worked closely with the customer in order to get the finished product just right. The result? A gilded masterpiece featuring Kona Blue Mountain Coffee in the chocolate buttercream, sea salt from Camargue, France, organic cane sugar, Valrhona cocoa powder and Tahitian vanilla beans. The pastry cream was made with Krug Collection Brut champagne ($500-$1,500 a bottle, depending on the vintage), Rosewood Estates honey and an essence of Tahitian vanilla beans.

The butter in the frosting wasn’t just a stick from the supermarket, of course, but rather Normandy butter “made by a historic French butter cooperative,” Le Dolci owner Lisa Sanguedolce tells FN Dish. It was combined with 70 percent Amedei Italian-made chocolate, which, she says, “delivers undertones of honey, caramel, lavender, vanilla, banana and orange blossom.”

Read more

Take Out Your Blender for 10 Refreshing Summer Soups — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, August 14th, 2014

10 Refreshing Summer SoupsWe would never, in good conscience, recommend that you stand within 50 feet of a bowl of hot soup during the summer months. Sometimes we wouldn’t even suggest you kick on the stove at all. But that doesn’t mean the soup category is off-limits altogether. This summer, it’s all about cold soups — and we’re not just talking about trusty gazpacho, either. Use the month of August as a time for experimentation, and transform 10 types of summer produce into cool, refreshing summer soups.

1. Avocado: Creamy without cream, Chilled Avocado Soup (pictured above) is the most luxuriously velvety blend to meet your spoon, with ingredients reminiscent of guacamole, like cilantro, chiles and citrus.

2. Cucumber: Make your summer soups cool as a cucumber, with two recipes that play off the vegetable’s ultra-refreshing qualities. Chilled Cucumber Soup by Food Network Magazine incorporates yellow tomatoes and yellow peppers, while Chilled Creamy Cucumber Soup gets extra body from a helping of plain yogurt.

Read more

OpenTable App Now Lets You Pay For Dinner by Phone

by , August 14th, 2014

It has become increasingly clear in the last several years that when techies refer to an app or gadget as “changing the world,” what they really mean is that it “saves you a few seconds.” Par for the course with this new feature just unveiled for popular reservation booking app OpenTable.

The feature allows you to actually pay your bill using the app, so you can dine and dash without actually, you know, dining and dashing. The service is currently only available at 25 eateries around New York City and a handful in San Francisco, but the company promises 20 more cities will be added by the end of the year.

So now you can stop waiting around for the check after eating, and get into the night away from friends and family as quickly as humanly possible. Yes!

Alton Talks a Year of Cutthroat Kitchen and Keeping His Evilicious Edge

by in Shows, August 14th, 2014

Alton BrownIn just one year, Cutthroat Kitchen fans have watched as hopeful chefs have donned souffle suits, stooped inside mini kitchens and spun the Wheel of Heat, all in the name of sabotage — and at the hands of Alton Brown. The no-nonsense host is no stranger to the ruthless challenges that befall competitors round after round; after all, he’s doled out and auctioned off every single one. FN Dish caught up with Alton recently to learn his thoughts on a year of contests and get his advice for approaching infamous sabotages.

Cutthroat Kitchen recently celebrated its first on-air birthday, and it’s getting set to air its fifth season soon. Why do you think the show is so popular?
Alton Brown: It’s a game; it’s an actual game. People love games. And it’s a kind of game where anything can happen — and often does. And I think people like that too. That’s it. It’s a game; people like games. Sabotage is fun. It’s fun to see what is going to come out of that shelf later.

Read more

Restaurant Revisited — Golf: Impossible at Pomona Golf and Country Club

by in Shows, August 13th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Pomona Golf and Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., Robert Irvine had to contend not only with a 45-year-old joint golf course and clubhouse but also family friction amongst the owners, sisters Andy Truitt and Pam Grenda, and their cousin, Bruce Ritchie. The trio was facing losses after having failed to attract a fresher audience, and it was up to Robert to reimagine the establishment’s futures. Read on below to hear from Andy and find out how Pomona Golf and Country Club is doing today, a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible transformation.

“Business is slowly picking up,” says Andy. “We’ve had three dinners averaging 25 people.” She adds that they “using the patio” and customers have taken well to the golf carts.

Read more

Hump Day Snack: Individual Whole-Peach Pies

by , August 13th, 2014

peach pieThe only thing undesirable about peach pie is having to share it with other people. Enter this beautiful single-serve whole-peach pie to save the day. The recipe starts with very ripe, halved peaches and sweetens the deal with a spoonful of straight-from-the-farm honeycomb (or just regular honey) right in the center cavity of the fruit. Place the two halves together and completely wrap the whole fruit with pie crust. Sprinkle on turbinado sugar for texture, cut small slits on top, then place the pastry-wrapped peaches into muffin tins to bake until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla frozen yogurt, and everything will be just peachy!

Read more

Coffee-Making Alarm Clock Starts Your Morning Right

by in News, August 13th, 2014

Coffee-Making Alarm Clock Starts Your Morning RightYour alarm clock gets the credit (or perhaps the disdain) for waking you up, but for many of us, it’s really that first cup of coffee that does the heavy eyelid lifting. A new product from British designer Josh Renouf, a recent graduate from Nottingham Trent University, aims to combine clock and coffee in one handy, attractively designed device that wakes you up to the soothing rumble of ball bearings working to boil water using induction heating and the rich smell of coffee — one cup, just for you, freshly brewed right on your bedside table.

The Barisieur — a name Renouf hopes will evoke both “your own personal barista” and coffee that will please the most-particular coffee connoisseur — won’t be available for purchase until early next year (with an estimated retail price of about $420), but it is already making a splash in the press. Sounding somewhat overwhelmed by the surge of interest, Renouf found time to answer a few of our burning coffee/alarm clock questions via email.*

Read more