Food Network Staffer Diary: Here’s What Happened When I Ate Like an Astronaut for 3 Days

by in Community, February 7th, 2017

Food Network Staffer Diary: Here's What Happened When I Ate Like an Astronaut for 3 DaysDay 1: To Infinity and Beyond

The possibility of (and even need for) space travel for us regular human beings doesn’t seem so far fetched nowadays. With the rise of climate change, space tourism, the potential human colonization of Mars and the beginnings of space commercialization, the black night sky no longer feels so untouchable.

Not to mention, we have — especially in recent years — produced a trove of movies about surviving against impossible odds in the vast, open unknown. And that is why, dear friends, in the event that any of us get launched into space for whatever reason, I have subjected myself to the astronaut’s diet here on our great Earth, so you know what to expect if you find yourself trying to chow down in microgravity.

How do astronauts eat?

NASA compares eating in space to “going camping for more than a week with several of your close friends.” Here’s what that means: “You would make sure you have plenty of food and the gear to cook and eat it with. The food would have to be stored properly and be nonperishable to avoid spoilage. After finishing your meal, or at the end of your camping trip, you would then stow all your gear and dispose of your trash properly just before the ride home. Astronauts basically do the same thing when they go to space,” NASA notes.

While some foods can be eaten as is, like brownies or fruit (but only within the first couple days of launch), a large portion of an astronaut’s diet consists of freeze-dried food, aka food that can sit in a container for pretty much ever. To eat, all you have to do is add water.

Freezing and removing water from foods that are basically ready to eat not only grants them an incredibly long shelf life, but it also keeps meals lightweight, which is why freeze-dried foods are perfect for travel and minimizing storage weight when you are trying to launch a space shuttle.

While I couldn’t get the exact food they eat aboard the International Space Station (ISS), I did acquire a whole lot of freeze-dried camping food.

After all, I am pretty much camping. In space. On Earth.

Here we go.

Read more

11 Ways to Make Potatoes the Star of Your Meal

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2017

Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom RaguInexpensive, easy to store and totally reliable in the flavor department, potatoes are hard to beat. From go-to breakfast plates to appetizers, entrees and side dishes, check out these surefire recipes for staple spuds.

Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragu (pictured above)
Light and pillowy, potato-based gnocchi take the place of noodles in this hearty Italian dinner. Get the step-by-step how-to from Food Network Magazine.

Read more

5 Globally-Inspired Ways to Build a Grain Bowl

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2017

When it comes to building a good grain bowl, you might find that any difficulty is less about cooking and more about actually putting the dish together. Whether you’re starting with a mishmash of leftovers or a fully stocked fridge and pantry, think of the bowl as a culinary collage – it helps to have a theme. So for your next attempt, try taking inspiration from your favorite cuisines. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Mexican Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Start your morning with this savory breakfast bowl for a protein and fiber boost to your day. A tangy dressing of Greek yogurt, lime juice and cilantro helps tie in the flavors and textures of the avocado, black beans, salsa, radishes and quinoa.

Read more

Chefs’ Picks: Aperitifs

by in Restaurants, February 5th, 2017

Sbagliato Cocktail
By Brad Japhe

Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

Though the ritual of the pre-dinner drink is quite common in France, Italy and other parts of Europe, aperitifs have largely been underappreciated in America. However, these oft-overlooked beverages are growing in popularity here. A classic pre-dinner drink should be light (meaning slightly lower in alcohol content) with a flavor profile designed to stimulate appetite. Often an aperitif involves effervescence; sometimes bittering agents. The term can refer to an aromatized wine on its own, or a cocktail including it as an ingredient. Read on to find out which picks the pros recommend for sipping before supper (or brunch). Read more

Countdown to the Big Game: Best Cheesy Starters

by in Recipes, February 5th, 2017

If you’re going the cheesy app route for your Super Bowl party, make it count. Wedges on a cheese board might do for a dinner party, but for game day, cheese deserves something extra – whether it’s melted down, fried or stuffed in a popper. Here are the best bites to get started on with hours to go until game time.

Blue Cheese and Bacon Truffles
With a velvety cream cheese and Gorgonzola base, bits of crispy bacon and a crunchy pretzel exterior, these two-bite truffles are the total package. Get the cheese mixture ready in the morning and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

Read more

3 Flavorful Ways to Transform Your Coffee Game

by in Recipes, Shows, February 4th, 2017

3 Flavorful Ways to Transform Your Coffee GameStep 1: Wake up. Step 2: Drink coffee. If that’s how your mornings usually go, you’re surely not alone. But for many, coffee is more than just a 6 a.m. pick-me-up; it’s also an after-dinner treat, often enjoyed both at home and when dining out. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a trio of dressed-up coffees, each of them ideal for evening sipping. Read on below for spiced, spiked and iced variations on the cups of joe you know and love.

Read more

Countdown to the Big Game: Dessert Dips to Sweeten Your Super Bowl Party

by in Entertaining, Recipes, View All Posts, February 4th, 2017

Skillet SmoresSure, everyone loves a hearty buffalo chicken dip, but don’t forget about the sweet stuff on Sunday. These dessert dips are total game changers and keep the party going all the way to the two-minute warning. Take them out during the fourth quarter when tensions are running high. Read more

Why Beer Belongs in Your Food, Not Just Your Glass

by in Recipes, February 3rd, 2017

Can o' Beer CakeIf the word “six-pack” doesn’t conjure an image of chiseled abs, but rather a cardboard carton tailor-made for carrying frosty bottles of ice-cold beer, then you are on the same page as we are. Now, you might call us crazy, but we think that real-deal beer lovers don’t just drink a frothy beer straight from the can. Even if pouring one out for a recipe feels wrong, sacrificing one of your six brings hoppy, bubbly qualities of the brewery-bred beverage into some of your favorite foods.

Beer belongs in cake.

When you stir some beer into cake batter, a little magic happens. Take this Can o’ Beer Cake. Beer’s innately bitter and floral notes cut the sometimes-cloying sweetness of all that sugar and frosting, so you get a more complex, ultra-tender finished product. Once you get a load of this slice, browse the beauty of our five other beautiful beer cakes.

Read more

What to Watch: Re-creating Restaurant Favorites and a Valentine’s Day Dessert on Worst Cooks

by in Shows, February 3rd, 2017

The Kitchen
Curl up on the couch this weekend and get all the latest recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs. On Saturday morning, Ree Drummond is making some family-favorite dishes like her Butternut Mac and Cheese, and she’s making three dishes using Ready-to-Go Chili Packets. Then, the co-hosts of The Kitchen are sharing tips and tricks for making some of your favorite restaurant dishes at home, and on Sunday, Giada De Laurentiis is making snacks to enjoy while watching some of her friends’ homemade movies.

On Sunday evening, it’s Valentine’s Day at Boot Camp, and the Worst Cooks recruits are making romantic date meals for Anne and Rachael. Then, everything is left to chance during a Food Pyramid frenzy on TripleG.

Read more

Countdown to the Big Game: Hearty Mains for Half-Time

by in Entertaining, Recipes, View All Posts, February 3rd, 2017

Appetizers, chips and beer don’t have to the be only stars of your Super Bowl party spread. Skipping the main dish seems tempting, but seriously — an hours-long party cannot survive on dip alone. By the time the second quarter ends, your guests will start nosing around for a dish that’s a little more hearty. Add one of these savory mains to your buffet this year.

Cheeseburger Pizza (above)

Mash-up dishes are all the rage right now, but our cheeseburger-meets-pizza dish isn’t gimmicky — it’s just majorly delicious.

Read more