Going For Gold for the ESPYs — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 10th, 2011

espy cupcake wars episode
Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.

In round one of Cupcake Wars ESPYs episode, we saw cupcakes packed with power foods like almonds, blueberries and even spinach, but Florian and I weren’t feeling too energized by the bakers’ efforts. Therese and Desi were too heavy-handed with the orange and almond flavors, and Rachel’s cupcakes were just plain raw. When your cupcake texture is described as “wet,” it’s not a good thing.

More behind-the-scene photos »

Bobby Flay Joins Season 3 of Worst Cooks

by in Shows, August 10th, 2011

bobby flay
Bobby Flay’s time as a judge on season seven of Food Network Star may be winding down, but season three of Worst Cooks in America is just beginning to heat up — with Flay battling it out against seasoned champ Anne Burrell.

With Anne leading one team and Bobby another, the country’s most hopeless cooks will compete for a $25,000 prize. The contestant with the best performance and progress could be you. Open casting calls are designated for later this month in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Minneapolis.

The new season is slated to premiere in February 2012.

Recipe of the Day: Paula’s Southern Baked Beans

by in Recipes, August 10th, 2011

southern baked beans
Paula tops brown sugar-spiked baked beans with bacon pieces for a weeknight side dish or potluck favorite.

Make it a complete meal by serving these smoky-sweet beans with Chili-Glazed Pork Ribs from Food Network Magazine.

Get the recipe: Southern Baked Beans

Browse more of Food Network’s side dish recipes for grilling season.

Menu Planning vs. Cooking on the Fly — Simple Scratch Suppers

by in Family, How-to, August 9th, 2011

cooking on the fly
Procrastination has been my strong suit ever since I can remember. Term papers were finished just before dawn on the day they were due. Studying for tests took place until the moment the bell rang, in an effort to cram in all I should’ve been paying attention to during the semester.

It’s quite funny, now that I’ve immersed myself in a world looming with deadlines. I’m not talking about my day job as a food writer. I’m talking about motherhood. Those in the trenches with me understand the feeling of a never-ending to-do list — laundry, homework help, cleaning, etc.

You’re wondering what any of this has to do with getting dinner on the table, right? Well, it certainly explains why I’m not a menu planner. I often give the excuse that I don’t want my “creativity” to be crowded. I say meal planning isn’t for me because I love the flexibility it offers to enjoy what I’m craving at the moment. The real reason I don’t plan our weekly meals, though, is to keep my love for cooking alive. If I planned our meals, I mean really sat down with a pen and paper, dinnertime would feel like a chore — and I already have plenty of those.

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Alex Eats: Herbs

by in How-to, August 9th, 2011

herbs
alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

“Never put parsley on green beans,” one of my mentors whispered ominously to me one night in his kitchen. A young cook at the time, I dutifully heeded his advice. Years later, I was absent-mindedly sprinkling chopped chives on some green beans when I realized it was actually chopped parsley. A chill crept up my spine. Parsley with green beans. Help! I looked around to see if anyone was watching. The coast was clear. I tasted it. Delicious. It occurred to me I had never even asked why parsley and green beans don’t make a good match. The truth is, whatever you like is all that matters.

Read her suggestions for basil, dill, sage and tarragon »

Recipe of the Day: French Toast Panini With Grilled Bananas

by in Recipes, August 9th, 2011

french toast panini with grilled bananas
Instead of topping your French toast with fruit, try sandwiching caramelized bananas between two pieces of bread to create a portable breakfast treat that has a hint of orange and is topped with real maple syrup.

Get the recipe: French Toast Panini With Grilled Bananas

Browse more of Food Network’s breakfast recipes.

Humidity and Cookies — Fix My Dish

by in How-to, August 8th, 2011

chocolate chip cookies
Twice a month, we’re giving readers a chance to ask Food Network Kitchens’ advice about an issue they’re having with a dish. They can’t reformulate a recipe for you, but they’re happy to help improve it. For example, this week’s question is directly related to the intense summer heat we’ve been having.

Question: “With all this humidity, my freshly-baked cookies got stale. How can I crisp them up again?” — Debby D.

Answer: Moisture may be good for your plants or your skin, but not for your cookies. Summer, though welcomed for the sun and fun, also brings humidity that makes your cookies limp — not so fun. Keep those cookies crisp by storing them in an airtight container. Some people toss a piece of bread in with the cookies to help absorb any excess moisture. You could also re-crisp them by baking on a wire rack in a 300 degree F oven for a few minutes.

Have a question for the Kitchens? Leave a comment below and they’ll answer a select number of them in the coming weeks.

Taco Night — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2011

tofu tacos
Take a break from meat tacos and try swapping it for crunchy cubes of tofu. Pile it into whole-wheat tortillas alongside Greek yogurt sauce and crunchy, tangy slaw for a weeknight meal that screams summer.

Pair these tacos with a tomato salad that has a hidden crunch — cheese crisps — to complete this family-friendly Meatless Monday meal.

Get the recipe: Tofu Tacos

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.

Recipe of the Day: Grilled Mac and Cheese With Pulled Pork

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2011

grilled mac and cheese with pulled pork
Three ultimate comfort foods all in one sandwich: grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese and pulled pork come together to form a cheesy pork sandwich that will be a special treat for you and your family. Don’t worry about making the pulled pork from scratch — if you have some leftover from a recent barbecue, feel free to use that or store-bought.

Get the recipe: Grilled Mac and Cheese With Pulled Pork

Browse more of Food Network’s comfort food recipes.