Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.
Pageantry was mixed with Middle Eastern tastes in this week’s Miss USA-themed Cupcake Wars episode. Paying homage to the Lebanese heritage of the reigning Miss USA, our contestants were faced with the challenge of incorporating Middle Eastern flavors into their cupcakes. Three of the four contestants chose pistachios as an ingredient, which at first seems like a great choice, but due to a time crunch, it’s not. Baking with pistachios is extremely difficult as their flavor is very delicate and tricky to emphasize. Both Autumn’s pistachio and orange marmalade cupcake and Teresa’s carrot cupcake blended with spiced pistachios had difficulty accenting the exotic flavors. Brady’s creation had all the makings of a great cupcake with a moist cake and creamy frosting, but he fell short bringing out the flavor of the most delicate ingredient, rosewater. Seda clearly had an advantage being familiar baking with rosewater and pistachios — her cupcake was perfect.
The seventh season of Food Network Star is in full swing and the writers on the Star blog are dishing. Last week, the five remaining Food Network Star contestants got roasted by some of the industry’s funniest comedians. If you missed the episode, catch up with this recap or watch the latest exit interview. This Sunday, eliminated finalists return to help the final four in head-to-head Iron Chef battles.
With four contestants left and the season finale of Food Network Star just right around the corner on August 14, we thought it would be appropriate to give away five signed copies of Food Network Star: The Official Insider’s Guide, your all-access, behind-the-scenes pass to Food Network’s highest-rated series ever.
Food Network Star: The Official Insider’s Guide to America’s Hottest Food Show brings you all the drama of seasons one through seven — plus winning recipes like Guy’s Chipotle Pasta and Melissa’s Skirt Steak Tostadas — along with candid photographs, revealing bios, trivia and insider stories about the contestants and celebrity chef judges like Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen and more.
Imagine an everything bagel with cream cheese and salty lox. Now, imagine it for dinner. Rachael Ray takes this popular breakfast treat and transforms it into one of her famous burgers. Salmon patties are seasoned with poppy and sesame seeds and topped with a tangy cream cheese sauce made with scallions and fresh lemon juice.
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.
The aromatherapy of summer is the sweet perfume of a fired-up grill, accompanied by wine that complements whatever happens to be sizzling and smoking above the coals.
If burgers or steaks are your ‘cue of choice, you’ll never go wrong with a rich, fruit-forward red, preferably one with hints of smoke to match the food’s flavor and a tinge of oaky sweetness to flatter the meat’s marinade. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and simple versions of Cabernet Sauvignon get the job done with aplomb, often with a slightly dry sensation that pairs so well with the protein and fats of red meat. If the weather is as sweltering as your grill, don’t hesitate to make these reds more refreshing by giving them 10 or so minutes of refrigerator time.
It’s week four of our season-long garden party, Summer Fest 2011, where we welcome food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we’ve delved into cucumbers and peaches. This week we’re getting creative with cherries.
What tastes better than sweet, crisp cherries plump with juice at the peak of the summer season? Sweet, crisp cherries in a warm, delicious pie, of course. Bing cherries range in color from a deep crimson to almost black, and their firm flesh makes for a perfect pie filling. Add a bit of quick-cooking tapioca to thicken the mixture, and you’re all set to pour it into an all-butter pie crust like the Food Network Magazine version above.
Just six simple ingredients are all you need for this garden-fresh pizza that’s made directly on the grill and ready in just 20 minutes. Bobby uses fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil on top of store-bought pizza dough to save some time.
Editor’s Note: In addition to buying dough at your supermarket, you can also visit your favorite local pizzeria and ask them for a round of their pizza dough.
In my house, the first rule of mealtime is there are no rules. Provided the options are healthful and balanced, what matters most importantly is that my husband and daughters leave the table feeling satisfied and excited for the next meal. Keeping an open mind when thinking about dinnertime also takes a lot of stress out of cooking from scratch, and gives the feeling that my options are limitless.
Another safety net to help with dinnertime is my pantry. Stocked with a mix of home-canned and store-bought ingredients, I can create a dinner menu based on how much time I have available: canned beans for quick and easy meals, cooked-from-scratch beans when time is more generous. Here are five of my favorite pantry essentials:
Dry Pasta: Get the kids involved when loading up the pantry with this ingredient. I’m amazed at how my oldest daughter turns her nose up to spaghetti, but goes crazy for bow ties. Even though the taste is the same, I’ve learned shape really matters to kids. Try this recipe:Ravioli With Creamy Tomato Sauce
Celebrate this cool holiday with an inventive ice cream sandwich fromFood Network Magazine. Whether you like it slightly salty, super sweet or a mix of both, you’re sure to find a version that will satisfy your taste buds. Choose from salted caramels with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream or put a sweet spin on your morning coffee and a doughnut. You can even embrace your inner-child with a PB&J made of graham crackers, peanut butter, raspberry jam, and a dollop of black raspberry ice cream.