Ina Garten on Her Creative Process, What Keeps Her Going and Why She Loves What She Does

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, November 19th, 2016

Ina GartenWhen you pick up an Ina Garten cookbook or watch an episode of Barefoot Contessa, you might not realize how much work goes into creating the recipes, testing them and finally proclaiming them good enough to share. All of Ina’s recipes go through a rigorous testing period until they’re perfect, as the writer and TV host explains. Even Jeffrey has to wait until a recipe’s perfect before he can get a taste!

Thinking about Ina’s life story, it may seem like a stretch of the imagination that she went from writing nuclear policy in the White House to writing cookbooks in her Long Island home, but it happened. Despite the difference in subject, both lines of work require precision. But cooking goes a bit further, as it requires that something extra — the secret ingredient, if you will. And Ina has that. She says it’s just in her DNA. The rest is history: She didn’t attend cooking school or learn from a grandmother, but she picked up skills out of necessity while running her specialty food store, Barefoot Contessa. It started out as a way to try a new career and ended up giving her her well-known moniker. Would she have it any other way? Not really.

FN Dish recently chatted with Ina about her new series, Cooking for Jeffrey, her recently released cookbook and her Washington, D.C., special. Find out more about the elegant and earthy hostess in our interview.

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Two Ways to Transform a Mashed Potato Side Dish

by in Recipes, Shows, November 19th, 2016

A Battle of the Mashed Potato Side DishesOnce you’ve settled the whole sweet-potato-versus-regular-potato debate, the next Thanksgiving side dish question you have to contend with is: flavored or not? Would you prefer to dress up a traditional recipe with bold tastes, or do you crave the comforting flavors of tradition? On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, which was devoted to a complete roster of turkey-day side dishes, the co-hosts showcased a cornucopia of ways to prepare squash, dressing and green beans — and the all-important potatoes, of course. Check out both of the new spins on spuds below, one a creatively flavored take on the usual recipe and the other a buttery mainstay with just a hint of extra-special presentation.

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8 of the Speediest Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes Ever

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, November 19th, 2016

Stuffed Dates with ProsciuttoThe appetizers you make for Thanksgiving dinner are arguably some of the trickiest to plan; after all, they kick off one of the most-important meals of the year. They should likely be more special than carrots and ranch, and they need to be hearty enough to satiate your guests, but they should not be so heavy that guests don’t want to eat that enormous meal that’s coming right up. Plus, your kitchen will likely be overrun with all manner of pots and pans on Thanksgiving, so when it comes to the hors d’oeuvres especially, the easier and faster the better. Enter: our fast-fix starter solutions. All eight of these recipes are ready to eat in 35 minutes or less, and they’re guaranteed crowd-pleasers — think cheese logs, shrimp cocktail and cheesy dip.

Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
With oven and stove space at a premium on Thanksgiving, you can be thankful that these eight-minute bites require only assembly — no cooking necessary. When it comes to the cheese, Giada De Laurentiis opts for a mix of rich goat cheese and creamy mascarpone.

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8 Breads Actually Worth Baking from Scratch for Thanksgiving (and Why)

by in Holidays, November 18th, 2016

Buttermilk Cheddar BiscuitsThere’s nothing like freshly baked bread on Thanksgiving Day — and nothing quite like the look on your guests’ faces when you tell them you baked it yourself. But, on a day that’s already packed with nonstop cooking, it’s a lot to ask to add bread-baking to your list of tasks, especially if you aren’t into the baking-your-own-bread thing year-round. That’s why we came up with a lineup of eight fresh-baked bread recipes that are actually well worth your time on Thanksgiving Day. Each one toes the line between easy and completely OMG-inducing. Here’s why.

1. Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Why They’re Actually Worth Your Time: You better bet this particular Thursday will involve all kinds of mayhem. Luckily, Ina Garten’s flaky, cheesy and top-rated biscuits are easy to prep the night ahead so that all there’s left to do is bake when it’s go time.

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7 Dishes That Will Win Friendsgiving

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 18th, 2016


By Allison Robicelli

Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones. This is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics. No one will mind if Grandma’s famous mushroom-soup casserole isn’t on the table. These new-school recipes are not only showstoppers, but they’re perfect for a potluck celebration where everyone can pitch in to create a festive dinner to remember. Read more

What to Watch: Thanksgiving Sides, Leftovers Brunch and an Unforgettable Triple G

by in Shows, November 18th, 2016

The Kitchen
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this weekend your favorite Food Network chefs are sharing some easy-to-make last-minute recipes. Thanksgiving isn’t just about turkey, so tune in to The Kitchen on Saturday morning for the Ultimate Guide to Sides, as the co-hosts will be sharing their recipes for potatoes, cornbread and, of course, a great cocktail. Then, on Sunday, Giada De Laurentiis is taking all the Thanksgiving leftovers and making a brunch featuring Crispy Turkey Bites, Sweet Potato Puffs and a Spicy Chai Latte.

On Sunday evening, Guy Fieri is welcoming some of Triple G’s most-memorable chefs back to Flavortown to compete in two challenges jam-packed with unexpected twists. Then, Thanksgiving is the theme on Holiday Baking Championship, and Grandma’s classic recipes are put to the test on Clash of the Grandmas.

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7 Sides to Guarantee Sweet Potato Satisfaction

by in Recipes, November 18th, 2016

Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Like butternut squash, cauliflower and the other bounties of fall, the orange-hued sweet potato is a versatile vegetable. It has an earthy sweetness that you can play up or down, put in casseroles or pastries, and easily pair with sugar or spice. Here are a few ways to bring out the best in sweet potato this season.

Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Make easy work of candied sweet potatoes by throwing it all in the slow cooker. Set it and forget it, for about four hours, and serve with a topping of chopped pecans.

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Trendy Makeup Cakes Are Ready for Their Close-Up

by in News, November 17th, 2016

Trendy Makeup Cakes Are Ready for Their Close-UpSome people are really into makeup. Some (maybe all?) are really into cakes. And a substantial number of people, it turns out, are really into makeup cakes.

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Stovetop vs. Oven-Baked: Battle of the Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by in Holidays, November 17th, 2016

Tyler's Scalloped Potato GratinJust one week from today, every burner on your stovetop will be aflame and your oven will be hot and ready for a day of nonstop roasting and baking. That said, the biggest meal of the year requires a certain amount of strategy for it to get on the table without any swearing (or tears) from the cook: You need to strike a balance between the number of baked dishes and the number of stovetop-cooked dishes.

Each has its advantages. On the one hand, many baked Thanksgiving sides can be prepped ahead, so that all there’s left to do is pop them in the oven on the big day. Plus, sliding them into the oven also lends a golden, crusty top to potatoes, green bean casserole and more. On the other, stovetop sides free up your oven for the main event (namely the turkey), so that you don’t need to play a game of musical chairs in that regard. In advance of the big day, we’re pitting preparations of must-have side dishes against each other so you can pick and choose at will (and cook the day away with a grand plan).

Potatoes

Oven-Baked Spuds: When paper-thin potatoes slices are baked under a blanket of herb-infused cream, they go from raw to intensely tender. And unlike sides with a consistency reminiscent of baby food, Tyler Florence’s top-rated Scalloped Potato Gratin (pictured above) comes with a signature crispy, browned crust.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Tried 7 Foods That (Supposedly) Curb Fear

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 17th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Tried 7 Foods That (Supposedly) Curb FearAllhallows’ Eve may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the horror movie trailers aren’t still everywhere. And every time one of them pops into my life, I go into flight mode. Headphones out. TV on mute. Ears covered. Eyes closed. Singing “la-la-la-la” until it’s finally over. I will do this in my home. I will do this on the treadmill. I will do this in public. I do not care. I do all this to prevent what I know will come if I don’t: looking out the shower curtain every 15 seconds, going out of my way to avoid mirrors in the dark, lying awake at night irrationally paralyzed by fear for weeks.

Did I ask for the scary-movie-trailer life? No, I did not. The scary-movie-trailer life asked for me — poor, innocent, fully grown, scaredy-cat me. I am scary movies’ easiest target. I get scared of pretty much everything. Even that rated PG-movie Enchanted — yes, the one about fairy tales coming to the real world — at one point made me jump five feet above my theater seat. The old hag was really ugly, OK?

Needless to say, I do not watch horror movies, save for a total of three in my lifetime. But if I did, all of them would get a rating of 1,000 out of 10 on the scariness scale from yours truly.

Besides making me a hilariously entertaining horror-movie buddy, this scaredy-cat quality of mine also makes me a prime test subject. For what, you ask? What use could I possibly have in the context of horror?

Well, according to Food & Life, a health-focused cookbook authored by Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon and,neuropharmacologist and acupuncturist Nadia Volf, eating certain foods can help curb fear. Yes, apparently other than just willing yourself to be unafraid of fictional monsters and demons, there is possibly another way to get through a horror flick. So I set out to test whether Robuchon and Volf’s prescribed foods could actually fight fear.

Step One: Eat said foods, and only those foods.
Step Two: Sit through one of those gosh-darned horror movies.

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