Cereal, Snacks and the “Sugar Game”: What They Mean to My Family

by in Family, Food Network Chef, March 7th, 2015

Cereal, Snacks and the My daughters had been begging me to buy a particular box of cereal for the month of March. In our house, cereal is either healthy enough to be considered a breakfast item (by virtue of low sugar and high protein and fiber), or it is a dessert treat that we buy once a month. This box of cereal was the “dessert” cereal for the month of March. I brought the cereal home today, and the girls cheered with excitement, knowing that dessert tonight would be a bowl of crispy chocolate cereal in cold creamy milk.

I returned to work back in my office. Suddenly I heard a soft knock and saw the eyes of my 7-year-old Margaux peeking through the cracked door. I knew it was important. I stopped my typing and invited Margaux in, with her earnest, somber face. In her little hands, she held the box of chocolate cereal. “Mom, I just checked, and this cereal has 13 grams of sugar. I don’t think it’s very healthy at all.” She was conflicted — a gift of being a reader and being incapable of unseeing what she had read on the label. What followed was a conversation about our health, making balanced choices and reading labels. We brainstormed some options that would enable her to enjoy the cereal sometimes, but without feeling bad about it. (Simply not eating this cereal again, however, was not on the table for Margaux.) We talked about maybe buying a treat cereal less often — perhaps every six weeks — and making the servings a little smaller in order to reduce the sugar. She suggested maybe skipping the piece of candy she is allowed at the movies next time to balance out the sugar. (I don’t hold high hopes for her making good on that one, if I’m honest.)

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What Not to Do: Party-Planning Edition

by in Entertaining, March 7th, 2015

What Not to Do: Party-Planning EditionIt’s party time on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, and for a very good reason: Marcela Valladolid is getting ready to welcome her second son, and the cast celebrated the occasion by gifting her with treats, presents and plenty of well wishes at a baby shower. Before they surprised Marcela, the group dished on the most-pleasing plates for a crowd, plus a few go-to party favors, like Rosemary Thyme Salt and Sunny’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce, which would surely wow your guests.

FN Dish was on the set as the cast took part in Marcela’s baby bash, and in the spirit of throwing successful parties, we asked the co-hosts to share their ultimate entertaining advice and to reveal their picks for what not to do the next time you get set to host or attend a party. Read on below to get top tips from all five chefs.

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Beyond Banana Bread: New Ways to Use This All-Purpose Fruit

by in Family, Recipes, March 7th, 2015


Bananas are one of the most-versatile ingredients out there. Of course ripe bananas make a satisfying snack all on their own (even better with some peanut butter). They’re a key smoothie element and a favorite topping for hot or cold cereal, and once they’re speckled and overripe, banana bread comes calling. But that’s just a slice of what bananas can do. Food Network Kitchen used bananas plus two other simple ingredients in five genius recipes that transform the all-purpose fruit into entirely new dishes. Watch the video to see how to make these ridiculously simple and fun banana treats. Read more

Perfectly Round Egg Fetches More Than $700 on eBay

by in News, March 6th, 2015

EggsWhen someone says something is “egg-shaped” you don’t usually imagine that it’s perfectly round. You also might not imagine someone would pay more than $700 for a remarkably spherical egg.

Apparently Kim Broughton, owner of a hen — since renamed Ping Pong, for obvious reasons — that produced a perfectly spherical egg on Feb. 17, never imagined it either. The British 44-year-old told the BBC she was about to crack the egg open to use in her pancake batter when a friend told her not to. The spherical egg, born to a Buff Orpington hen, a breed that has been called the “Scarlett Johansson of the chicken world,” was, the friend said, “one in a billion.” So Broughton decided to offer the egg up for auction on eBay, where it fetched £480, which works out to about $731. Nope, not chicken feed!

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6 Iconic Southern Ingredients Lightened Up, Y’all

by in Books, Recipes, March 6th, 2015

Across the country in recent years there’s been a renaissance of all things Southern, and chefs everywhere from New York City to Portland are offering Southern dishes in their restaurants, cafes and food trucks. Some are more successful than others. Topping grits with pimiento cheese or coating chicken in red velvet crumbs doesn’t make something Southern. Yes, there is a lot of Southern food that is fried, but Southern food is about more than just fried chicken and fatback. Traditionally, Southern cooking was actually a vegetable-based cuisine. We have nearly a 12-month growing season in most of the South. This is the fertile land of peaches, green beans, tomatoes, okra and corn. My newest cookbook celebrates the healthy and wholesome side of Southern cooking. Here, I am sharing with you a handful of iconic Southern ingredients and delicious ways to use them, from my newest cookbook, Lighten Up, Y’all! Read more

What to Watch: A Special Celebration with The Kitchen and Fun-Packed Competition

by in Shows, March 6th, 2015

The Kitchen castThis Saturday on Food Network, join the cast of The Kitchen as they surprise their co-host Marcela Valladolid with a baby shower and share helpful party-hosting tips for all kinds of festivities. On Sunday, Nancy Fuller is traveling back in time to rediscover her family history through her rulebook on Farmhouse Rules. Watch as she shares stories with her grandchildren and  cooks up a traditional family dinner starting with a ham souffle, baked beans and French pickles and finishing off with sweet molasses cookies with a marshmallow frosting.

On Sunday night, don’t miss out on all the fun — stay tuned to catch the competition lineup starting with Guy’s Grocery Games at 8|7c. Then, on a new episode of All-Star Academy, the pressure is on for the remaining eight home cooks as they cook to impress their guest judge, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. And finally, stick around to see what tricks Alton has up his sleeve for the contenders on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Alton Brown to Host the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards

by in Food Network Chef, News, March 5th, 2015

Alton BrownOn May 4, Alton BrownCutthroat Kitchen’s master of eviliciousness, will take on the master of ceremonies duties as the host of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards, a prestigious awards ceremony that is the culinary’s world’s answer to the Oscars. After being held in New York for 24 years, the event will take place in Chicago this year at the city’s appropriately sumptuous Civic Opera House, home of its Lyric Opera. It will be Alton’s second stint hosting the awards; he previously hosted in 2012. Alton is also a repeat James Beard Foundation Award winner, most recently honored as Outstanding Television Host – for his work on Good Eats — in 2011.

You can find a full list of this year’s restaurant- and chef-award semifinalists here. The foundation will announce the final nominees in these categories, as well as the nominations for its book, journalism, broadcast media and restaurant design awards, on Tuesday, March 24. The annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, to be held in New York on April 24, will be hosted by Carla Hall, of ABC’s The Chew.”

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Skip Takeout and Make These Spicy Recipes at Home

by in Recipes, March 5th, 2015

No need to order takeout when it’s easier — and cheaper — to make your own. Thinking Thai? Try my take on Curry Mee. Translation? Asian comfort food in a bowl. My recipe for coconut chicken noodle soup spiced with curry will soothe your Thai cravings — and you’ll have dinner ready in less time than it takes to wait for the doorbell to ring. Mexican sound good tonight? My spicy chipotle shrimp with arroz verde is so good you may never dream of ordering in again.

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Classic vs. Creative: Your Pick of Top Chicken Comfort Foods — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 5th, 2015

Chicken Pot PieYou may think of plastic-wrapped trays of chicken breasts as the most-boring item in your supermarket’s refrigerated section, but perhaps that view is on the stunted side. This week we’re running down the line of our favorite chicken comfort foods, pitting classic recipes against new creative takes. With fresh spins on chicken pot pie, chicken piccata and more, it’s safe to say that good ol’ chicken breast has a whole lot more to offer than you might think.

1. Chicken Pot Pie
Classic Comfort: Odds are, you’ve plunged a spoon into a dough-topped chicken pot pie to scoop up the decadent, creamy chicken-and-veggie filling. Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie (pictured above) is the most-classic recipe of them all, complete with a from-scratch pastry dough topping that comes out of the oven golden.

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5 Essentials to Guarantee Not-Sad Desk Lunches

by in How-to, March 5th, 2015

5 Essentials to Guarantee Not-Sad Desk LunchesDining at your desk can feel sad — like eating Thanksgiving dinner with plastic utensils. (The food may be delicious, but the circumstances make it less so.) But there is a way to make eating last night’s leftovers actually pleasant — and I’m not talking about investing in one of those annoying bento lunchboxes that never have enough room for the main part of the meal. Over the years, I’ve come up with five essentials that bring dignity to lunch at work. Here’s what I always have on hand.

1. A Low, Wide White Ceramic Bowl: White because most food — even a baked potato — looks good against it. Low because it can work for salads, soups, grains or a piece of chicken. And ceramic because it can go in the microwave (cold leftovers just invite depression).

2. Real Cutlery (i.e., a stainless steel fork and spoon): They don’t have to match, so grab those oddball orphaned pieces from your silverware drawer and put them to good use. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s also a scientifically proven fact that nothing (other than North Carolina barbecue served in a Styrofoam container) should ever be eaten with a flimsy plastic fork.

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