The Soda Fountain — Off the Shelf

by in Books, August 15th, 2014

The Soda Fountain CookbookOpening The Soda Fountain by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman is like taking a step back in American culinary history. The book takes you on a fascinating tour of the American soda fountain, a traditional establishment that has roots far deeper than a lot of the cola drinkers and ice cream lovers of today realize. It hits the mark of being “a slice of history with a double scoop of how-to.”

The Soda Fountain is divided into two primary sections, Stories and Recipes. The Stories chapters take you through the evolution of the soda fountain as an American culinary institution, from its first days as a pharmacy staple (yes, you read that right) through its Golden Age and into the Great Depression, right on to its second coming in small shops around the country. The stories are fun and charming, featuring tales of jazz and Prohibition. You get the sense as you flip through the pages that Giasullo and Freeman love and respect American food history as much as they appreciate a well-made ice cream float.

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World’s First Cruise for Chocoholics About to Set Sail

by , August 15th, 2014

Themed cruises have become something of a trend as of late. Ever wanted to hang out with the guy from Sugar Ray? There’s a cruise for that. Want to explore the open sea with an openly naked body? There’s a cruise for that. Now, finally, there is a cruise with the dessert fiend in mind. Introducing the world’s first chocolate-themed cruise.

Chocolate Journeys is being brought to us via a partnership between Princess Cruises and Norman Love Confections — and both companies have pulled out all the stops. Voyagers receive a chocolate pop when they board the ship, an endless supply of chocolate desserts, chocolate cocktails, lessons on how to cook with chocolate and, of course, a chocolate spa. That’s right. You can bathe in chocolate.

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What to Watch: Kid-Friendly Menus with Giada and the Season Premiere of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off

by in Shows, August 15th, 2014

Rachael vs. GuyIt’s a kid-friendly extravaganza this weekend on Food Network, with shows to appeal to kids of all ages, including burgeoning young chefs.

First, join Ree Drummond on The Pioneer Woman as she prepares a feast for her boys before she leaves for a trip. Next, learn how to cook with your kids from The Kitchen co-hosts.

On Sunday, Ina Garten’s planning a cheese-themed menu on Barefoot Contessa and Giada De Laurentiis is creating several recipes for her daughter, Jade, and her friends. Bobby Flay elevates standard burgers and milkshakes on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. Next, tune into all-new competition with the season premieres of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off and The Great Food Truck Race, and a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.

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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.”

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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.

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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!