Double-Duty Gadgets in the Kitchen

by in Shows, February 14th, 2012

erica weidner
Even though we’re only one episode into the new season of Worst Cooks in America, there’s one contestant in particular that’s caught my eye: Erica Weidner. Playing for Team Bobby, she’s quirky, ready to learn and hilarious.

For the Baseline Skill Challenge, the contestants were asked to cook a dish that would “explain who they were.” Erica, whose family has dubbed her an impractical cook, thinks she’s just resourceful. We saw this come to play when she used scissors to cut up a bell pepper. In the past, she’s also used disposable razors to peel turnips and plyers to remove giblets from a frozen chicken.

This got me thinking: What other gadgets have people used to cook up a dish in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below. The person with the most unique double-duty gadget technique will be featured in an FN Dish post next week.

5 Tips for Successful Fudge

by in Food Network Magazine, February 13th, 2012

chocolate fudge
1.    Pick the right day: Avoid making fudge on humid days. It can actually absorb the extra moisture in the air, making fudge softer.

2.    Test your thermometer: It’s important your candy thermometer is accurate. Testing this is simple: Place your thermometer in a pot of boiling water (be careful not to let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan); it should read 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. If the thermometer is off, be sure to add or subtract the difference while cooking.

3.    Use the right pan: Be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan to prevent scorching while cooking. It’s also important to use the size pan specified in the recipe.

Beware of lingering sugar and have patience »

Perfect Veggie Burgers — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 13th, 2012

Getting its considerable heft from chopped walnuts, pinto beans, barley and breadcrumbs, this veggie-packed patty is tender and moist, thanks to a splash of soy sauce, egg whites and tangy barbecue sauce. For a touch of crunch and fried indulgence, top each burger with a few crispy onion rings.

To complete this diner dinner, cook up Bobby’s Seasoned Grilled Fries, dusted with chili powder and cumin, and prepare his creamy, frothy Double Chocolate-Marshmallow Milkshake, ready in just 10 minutes.

Get the recipe: Perfect Veggie Burgers from Food Network Magazine

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Creating the Perfect Pancake: It’s Not As Easy As It Looks

by in Shows, February 13th, 2012

tiffany michelle and vinner caligiuri
On last night’s season premiere of Worst Cooks in America, we were introduced to 16 new “recruits,” each nominated by family and friends for their atrocious cooking skills. They were split into two teams: Team Anne and Team Bobby.

For their first challenge, the teams were tasked to make breakfast: pancakes, bacon and eggs. Their mentors showed them how to make their favorite version of a pancake, plus four basic ways to make eggs: poached, sunny-side up, over-easy and scrambled.

As Bobby is getting his feet wet as a first-timer on this show, he quickly realized that he couldn’t take teaching his team for granted when Vinnie Caligiuri asked him whether cinnamon sticks would melt in maple syrup when heated on the stove.

After tasting all their dishes, it was evident that making pancakes isn’t as easy as it looks. Too heavy, not cooked all the way through and forgetting flour were just some of the mistakes that both Bobby and Anne dealt with.

Have you run into these same problems at home? If you want to make super-fluffy pancakes, Anne says to fold in egg whites.

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Chocolate 5 Ways

by , February 13th, 2012

Celebrate Valentine's Day with chocolate treats morning, noon and night.

Just a touch of chocolate is all you need to remind that special someone how you feel. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy any of these scrumptious chocolate delights morning, no...

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No-Bake Valentine’s Day Desserts

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 12th, 2012

Whether or not you have elaborate Valentine’s Day plans (or a valentine) on Tuesday, it’s practically required that you indulge in a few sweet treats to mark the holiday. But what if you’d prefer to spend time with your someone special instead of baking the perfect Red Velvet Layer Cake or indulgent Molten Lava Cakes? Then rely on our quick-to-prepare, no-bake recipes to serve up a lovingly made dessert in a flash. With chocolate candies, mousse, strawberry cheesecake and more, our list of Valentine’s Day desserts is sure to please your sweetie’s sweet tooth.

A generous splash of brandy offers after-dinner decadence to Alton’s two-bite Chocolate Truffles (pictured above), made with bittersweet chocolate and cream. Gently roll these beauties in soft cocoa powder, sweet coconut or crunchy chopped nuts to add a touch of texture and flavorful elegance.

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