Banana Snack Cake with Coconut, Chocolate and Pecan Streusel — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, September 29th, 2015

You know what drives me nuts? Bananas. Have you noticed how a whole bunch of bananas will always become ready to eat on the same day? I fight a losing battle with my bananas every week. I want to eat one every day. But it never works out that way. Inevitably I end up having to down five ripe ones in one afternoon. I’ve tried to rip apart bunches of varying ripeness and assemble the perfect hybrid bunch at the store. But I don’t think supermarkets condone that kind of behavior. And I’m a timid rule breaker.

Thankfully, the overripe banana is the baker’s best friend. Unlike wilted lettuce and mealy apples, squishy brown bananas make for fabulous baked goods. I keep them in a big plastic bag in the freezer, adding super-soft specimens weekly. They can hang out there for months, just waiting for their opportunity to shine.

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Scarlett Can Really Cook: Get to Know the Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off Winner

by in Shows, September 29th, 2015

Scarlett, winner of Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-OffYou’ve probably never seen an 11-year-old with better knife skills than Scarlett. Self-taught, this little culinarian was inspired by Food Network and the internet to get cooking because she just wasn’t getting the kind of food she wanted at home. Now after winning Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, she’s gone on to film her own Web series, This Cali Kid Can Cook. But she’s not resting on her laurels. She’s recently been staging at restaurants in Los Angeles, perfecting her craft before she moves on to her next adventure, which may be culinary school or business school.

FN Dish caught up with Scarlett on the set of her Web series to chat about her cooking inspirations, her favorite dishes to cook and the effect of her winning the series.

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You’re Never Too Old for Cereal Treats

by in Family, Recipes, September 29th, 2015

The magical combination of cereal, marshmallows and butter is nostalgic for many of us, but that doesn’t mean cereal treats should be reserved for the kids. And why stick to just one kind of crispy rice cereal, cut into boring old squares? Get creative in the cereal aisle and try out different shapes, molds and clusters. The possibilities for these timeless crowd-pleasers are limitless, and they’re still one of the easiest no-bake treats around. Read more

How to Make Ghoulish Goodies and Creepy Cupcake Toppers — Halloween Baking Championship [INFOGRAPHIC]

by in Shows, September 29th, 2015

Halloween Baking Championship

10 Recipes Every Guy Fieri Fan Should Master

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, September 29th, 2015

10 Recipes Every Guy Fieri Fan Should MasterFollow Guy Fieri into one of the hundreds of restaurants he features on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and you’ll find him taking a massive bite of all-American eats — think burgers, hot dogs and pancakes. As a winner of one of the earliest seasons of Food Network Star, Guy wows fans with his rockin’ dishes on Guy’s Big Bite and the outrageous challenges he gives contestants on Triple G. We’ve rounded up some of Guy’s biggest and boldest dishes, from his bacon-studded macaroni and cheese to Italian-style nachos.

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One-on-One with the Winner of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off

by in Shows, September 28th, 2015

Scarlett wins Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-OffAfter six weeks of challenges that would have been tough even for an adult chef, one kid chef rose to the top on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. Chris, Chandler and Scarlett made it to the action-packed finale, where each had to cook a meal that summed up their Web series’ concept, and then present that dish to a panel of judges — in this case, Chopped judges. All three kids did a phenomenal job, but one in particular showed confidence and poise and cooked a dish that got the judges’ highest praise. Hear from the winner.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won.

Q&A with Halloween Baking Championship Judge Ron Ben-Israel

by in Shows, September 28th, 2015

Ron Ben-IsraelOn the new show Halloween Baking Championship, expect to be blown away by some of the extremely creepy creations the bakers make, but even more than that, be ready for probably the scariest panel of judges you will ever see, and a host who’s not afraid to deliver some deadly news to eliminated bakers. Judges Carla Hall, Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard will be dishing out critiques, while Richard Blais will be sending home those bakers who don’t meet the spooktacular criteria of the $25,000 competition show. Before you tune in for the premiere on Monday, October 5 at 9|8c, get to know each of them a little better.

Before finding the world of baking, Ron had a 15-year career as a modern dancer. After working pastry apprenticeships in Canada and France, he made his way to New York City, where he opened his couture cake shop. Ron has hosted Sweet Genius on Food Network and judged Cake Wars.

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Where Did the Pumpkin in Your Pie Come From?

by in News, September 28th, 2015

It’s pumpkin season — time to pick up a few big orange beauties at your local grocery store, farmers market, farm or roadside stand, carve them into scary (or goofy) jack-o’-lanterns, pop in some candles and show off your creativity to the whole neighborhood. It’s also the time of year we enjoy making from-scratch pumpkin pie, fresh pumpkin puree and pumpkin bread with real shredded pumpkin.

Still, though we love them, most of us take our gourds for granted. To remedy that, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog took a look at where America’s pumpkins come from, crunching numbers from the U.S. Agricultural Census as if they were fresh roasted pumpkin seeds. (Yum.)

Here are a few takeaways from the paper’s pumpkin-parsing post: Read more

Giada’s Farro and Kale Salad — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 28th, 2015

Farro and Kale SaladKale salads are on menus everywhere these everywhere these days — and for good reason. This hearty green is packed with good-for-you nutrients and plays well with other flavors and textures, making it a go-to salad base, since it will be complemented by the other ingredients you add.

While everyday salads of just kale and dressing are a good place to start, in her recipe for Farro and Kale Salad Giada De Laurentiis dresses up the greens — she opts for the Tuscan variety of kale — with Italian-inspired tastes to create an easy yet elegant salad that’s satisfying enough to enjoy for dinner. Chopped walnuts add a welcome crunchy texture, while farro, an Italian grain like wheat, and dried cherries add a chewy bite. Mix up a citrus-laced vinaigrette to round out the flavors, and just before serving add crumbled goat cheese; you won’t want to pass up that creamy tang.

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Take a Break from Pumpkin Spice Everything with Maple-Flavored Treats

by in Recipes, September 28th, 2015

You had a good run, pumpkin spice, but now it’s time to step aside. This fall, maple is making a serious comeback — in our baked goods and in our hearts. It’s not that we ever forgot about the rich, dark sweetener. But with the rising demand for white-sugar alternatives, pure maple syrup is in the limelight like never before. Keep an eye out for a maple resurgence at local bakeries and cafes this fall, and find out which type of maple syrup you prefer (since there are a few) by experimenting with different syrup grades at home. Although maple is lovely all year round, it’s definitely best in comforting fall dishes. It plays well with other seasonal flavors — apple-maple and maple-cinnamon being classic combinations — but it also complements foods more commonly associated with savory dishes, like bacon or rosemary. Here are a few maple-flavored treats you won’t want to miss as colder weather settles in.

Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes (pictured at top)
Few food unions are as holy as the marriage between maple syrup and bacon. With Food Network Magazine’s breakfast-inspired cupcakes, you get to experience these sweet and savory elements in perfect harmony. When choosing your maple syrup, remember: The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the flavor — so if you want your cupcakes to deliver a robust maple punch, go for a medium or dark amber syrup.

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