Embrace the Freezer Aisle: 3 Frozen Foods to Always Have on Hand

by in Recipes, March 20th, 2015

Frozen FoodsIf you love home cooking but think you don’t have time for it on busy weeknights, guess again. The solution is simpler than you think: your supermarket’s frozen food aisle.

Veggies: Most vegetables are quickly blanched (plunged into boiling water, then immersed in cold water to stop the cooking process) before being frozen. The reason for this step is to stop the enzymes from breaking down, which results in loss of flavor, color and texture. So those bags of frozen veggies are comparable to their fresh counterparts, and in some cases, they’re a better choice if the vegetable you’re craving isn’t in season.

Pizza Dough: This is another staple in my house. You can stock up on your favorite brand from the supermarket, or make a few batches and store it in zip-top bags. All it needs is a little advance planning to thaw in the fridge overnight, and you’re ready for a quick weeknight meal. These doughnuts from Giada De Laurentiis, while not quite dinner, are on my to-make list too.

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All-Star Academy: The Competition Continues in Food Network Kitchen

by in Recipes, Shows, March 20th, 2015

If you’re like some of us in Food Network Kitchen, then competition shows make your heart race right along with the contestants! That was the case this past Sunday, during the third episode of All-Star Academy, when Alex Guarnaschelli’s and Bobby Flay’s teams went head-to-head in a sweet-turns-savory cook-off. Who else wanted to hide behind a couch cushion when Ted Allen revealed the elimination challenge was cooking with marshmallows in a savory dish? Read more

What to Watch: A Sweet Start with The Pioneer Woman and Cooking Tips and Tricks from the Cast of The Kitchen

by in Shows, March 20th, 2015

The Pioneer Woman's Raspberry FoolDon’t miss great recipes, tips and tricks this weekend on Food Network. Tune in Saturday morning for a sweet start on The Pioneer Woman as Ree Drummond shares quick and easy desserts the whole family will enjoy. Next, on The Kitchen, the cast has a lineup of pantry staple recipes, freezer fixes, and unique ways to use your kitchen leftovers. On Sunday, join Nancy Fuller and her bowling team for a pre-tournament brunch of Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast, Sausage and Bacon Hash, Berry Granola Parfait and a special punch.

On Sunday night, sit back and enjoy three hours of competition filled with new obstacles and challenges on Guy’s Grocery Games, All-Star Academy and Cutthroat Kitchen starting at 8|7c.

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You Spend Less of Your Money on Groceries Than Your Grandma Did

by in News, March 19th, 2015

You Spend Less of Your Money on Groceries Than Your Grandma DidWhen you look at your grocery bills, you may feel like you’re blowing the bank on food, but guess what? Americans today actually spend less money on food than they did in 1960.

According to a chart recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average share of per capita income spent on food in U.S. households in 2013 was 9.9 percent, up a teensy bit from 2007, when it was 9.6 percent, but dramatically lower than the 17.5 percent spent in 1960.

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The Brisket Buzz: It’s All About That Bark, About That Bark

by in Events, March 19th, 2015

Brisket with Pickled Carrots and DaikonBy Jacob Schiffman, culinary purchasing manager, Food Network Kitchen

On the evening of Monday, March 16, Food Network Kitchen entered the 5th annual Brisket King NYC competition. A few hundred giddy patrons were able to taste some of the best briskets, which ranged in style from smoked and cured to downright innovative. There were 13 players fighting for the crown, and everyone put their best brisket forward. Below are three of my most-noteworthy bites of the night.

Richmond Flores of Food Network Kitchen created and served a beautiful brisket, which he first marinated and rubbed in a fermented black bean “love mixture” and then oak-smoked for 14 hours. He served it over a lemongrass-scented jasmine rice topped with pickled carrot-daikon with a crunch of fried shallot. Delicious umami flavor and soft, slightly tacky texture, to say the least.

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10 Ways to Revolutionize Your Brownie Intake — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 19th, 2015

Knock-You-Naked BrowniesA pan of freshly baked brownies can do a lot of things. It can round out a bake sale, satiate a soccer team or finish off a dinner party just right. It can ease a breakup, make a movie night complete or work as the base for a crazy-good ice cream sundae. But, in the end, a good brownie doesn’t need anything to be the best dessert ever; it can shine without a glass of milk whether it’s cut from the corner or the gooey center of the pan. In the spirit of brownie obsession, run down the line of the top 10 ways you can make your next batch disappear from the pan.

1. Go for store-bought cake mix — and then go absolutely crazy.

Ree Drummond’s Knock-You-Naked Brownies (pictured above) may start with a box of German chocolate cake mix, but you DIY-or-bust folks would be silly to let that stop you. With evaporated milk and caramel candies, Ree makes a decadent caramel sauce to drizzle over her first layer of batter, which she also tops with chocolate chips.

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Sheet Pan Suppers: A Quick-Fix Cooking Method to Try Tonight

by in Books, March 19th, 2015

Chicken and Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce“Cooking on a sheet pan, letting your oven do most of the work, will put a great meal on the table and give you time to enjoy your life. And isn’t that pretty much what it’s all about?” Molly Gilbert asks in her new cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers. No matter what your family wants for dinner (or breakfast or lunch), the answer might be found in the kitchen tool you once used only to bake cookies: the humble sheet pan.

Gilbert’s technique is simple and straightforward: Use good ingredients to make delicious yet simple meals, like Quick Chicken and Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe after the link for you to try at home) or the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta Pasta. But sheet pan recipes can branch out beyond dinner to include small bites and snacks (like Spicy Cheese Biscuits and Crispy Roasted Potatoes), meat-free meals (like Hearty Ratatouille with Goat Cheese and Portobello Cap Pizzas with Garlic Knots), and even brunch dishes (like Fresh Brioche Cinnamon Rolls, pictured below).

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Restaurant Revisited: WhaBah Steakhouse

by in Shows, March 18th, 2015

Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s not every day on Restaurant: Impossible that Robert Irvine visits a 4,000-square-foot restaurant — let alone one that used to enjoy profits of more than $1 million. On tonight’s all-new Season 11 premiere, Robert and his team traveled to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on their most-massive mission to date at WhaBah Steakhouse, a part-restaurant, part-music venue that, despite its early success, was facing serious losses. With limited time to work, Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew had to not only re-inspire Donnie “Perky” Perruquet but also transform his enormous establishment. Read on below to hear from Perky’s daughter, Nicole Schwarzkopf, and find out how WhaBah Steakhouse is faring today.

Although WhaBah Steakhouse was packed immediately after filming, business has since slowed, though Schwarzkopf notes of the updated decor, “We love, love, love the clean, fresh new look, and the bar and tables.”

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7 Essential Snacks for a March Madness Viewing Party

by in Entertaining, March 18th, 2015

pimento cheeseMarch Madness is officially upon us. With round two of the games starting tomorrow, brackets are being finalized. Watching the games at the bar can be, well, madness. Crowded and rowdy with passionate (and loud) sports fan, bars are fun but overwhelming — an experience better left to students with their school pride on the line. Instead of pushing your way up to the bar for an expensive pint, gather your buddies for a viewing party at your place. It guarantees you a comfy seat on the couch, and it’s a total game changer in terms of snacking — soggy nachos and flavorless wings are disqualified.

Here are seven better-than-bar-food snacks to make for the big tournament:

University of Kentucky is entering the tournament undefeated. Honor the team’s success with a Southern snack staple: pimento cheese. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Wildcats, this spicy cheese spread (fittingly nicknamed Southern caviar) is winning grub for everyone — bitter Arkansas Razorback fans included. Follow Sunny Anderson’s recipe (pictured above), then serve it with bread for a ridiculously easy snack.

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Is McKale Headed for the Golden Arches?

by in News, March 18th, 2015

KaleForget the fries. Would you like McKale Chips with that? If anyone needed further proof that “it” food green kale has gone mainstream, here it is: McDonald’s is reportedly considering putting it on the menu.

In a report last week, restaurant analysts at the Wall Street firm Janney Capital Markets said their industry sources assert that “McDonald’s U.S. plans to roll out kale as an ingredient” – possibly in salads or a smoothie – “in its restaurants at some point in the not-too-distant future.” Perhaps next year.

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