Two Food-Centric Films to Factor Into Your Memorial Day Movie Plans

by in News, May 24th, 2014

Hollywood CupcakesMemorial Day means more than picnics and barbecues — especially if it rains. For a lot of families, it also means hitting the multiplex together to take in a movie.

Fortunately for foodies this year, when you take that break from grilling burgers and whipping up potato salad and head to the cinema, you don’t have to leave your culinary preocupations behind.

Jon Favreau’s Chef, an indie ensemble comedy in which the director stars alongside Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Emjay Anthony and others, tells the story of a Los Angeles chef and divorced dad who loses his restaurant gig churning out uninspiring dishes. He launches a food truck, which brings him back in touch with his culinary promise and estranged family.

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Sweet Heat BBQ Ribs — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, May 23rd, 2014

If there is any one point that marks the beginning of the backyard barbecue season, it has to be Memorial Day. The official start of summer may be the solstice on June 21, but summer really starts Memorial Day weekend. It’s the kickoff of afternoons spent tending burgers and ribs on the grill, enjoying lazy picnics in the park — before it gets too hot — and supper under the stars. Food just tastes better when served outdoors on a beautiful evening. Our senses are alive and we are more engaged. On my deck I have the very same picnic table my mother’s family used when I was a child. It essentially serves as our dining room table in the spring and early summer. Dining alfresco is one of the true joys of the season. Add a slab of ribs and you’ve got summer front and center. Read more

Sweet and Sticky Pork Ribs — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 23rd, 2014

Sweet and Sticky Pork Ribs - The WeekenderMemorial Day weekend is upon us and with it, the unofficial start to the summer season. Pull out the bathing suits, unearth the citronella candles and light the grill, for it is time to celebrate warm weather and long days.

Because grilling is so deeply associated with this time of year, those of us without outdoor space can sometimes end up feeling just a little bit left out of the fun. So as a longtime apartment dweller, I’ve developed a handful of techniques to compensate for my lack of porch, patio or yard. If you’re in similar straits, hopefully these tricks will help you cope.

The first thing to do is get yourself a grill pan. It’s nice on the stovetop (though if you don’t have good ventilation, you might set off your smoke detector), but I find that it’s even better when used in the oven. I will often roast a butterflied chicken on a grill pan in the oven in order to get some nice crosshatched marks on my bird.

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Gwyneth’s Kids Scarf Fries, Ellen’s Pizza Guy Realizes Dream and More

by in News, May 23rd, 2014

French FriesFry! Be free! Gwyneth Paltrow’s estranged husband, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, has sparked tabloid titters for taking the couple’s kids, Apple, 10, and Moses, 8, to a fast food restaurant, Reddi Chick, in Santa Monica, Calif., where they were reportedly spotted devouring piles of fries and sucking down soda. The kids “were shoveling handfuls of fries into their mouths,” a witness told In Touch Weekly. “It was like they’d never eaten anything so good in their lives!” Gwyneth, who wasn’t there, has, of course, famously touted the benefits of her kids’ gluten-free, low-carb diet. But you know what they say: When the goop founder is away, her gooplets will play. Or something like that. [In Touch]

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Bobby Talks Pet Peeves, the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always Make and Cooking vs. On-Camera Skills

by , May 23rd, 2014

Bobby Flay Talks Pet Peeves and the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always MakeEarlier this week Giada dished on her fellow judges and behind-the-scenes moments (read the interview here.) Now we’re asking Bobby Flay about his time on Star, what it’s like to be a judge, what mistakes he’s tired of seeing and if he could have survived the show as a contestant.

Star Talk: What are you excited for this season on Star?
Bobby Flay: This is the 10th season of Food Network Star, and every season the most-exciting thing to me is meeting the new finalists — people who have a chance to be the next Star on Food Network. So as excited as they are, I’m excited to see who they are just as much.

Star Talk: From the first season until now, what has changed?
BF: I feel like every season the finalists get better and savvier than the last. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they get to watch the seasons prior and they become students of the sort. It’s definitely a game. It’s a game until you actually get the job. That’s the way it works. I take my role of a judge very seriously. In a way, we’re mentoring people, as well, we’re not just saying yes or no. We’re trying to give advice, but I want to add somebody to the roster of Food Network who is going to strengthen the network as a whole. I think of it as adding a new player to our team to make it better.

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What to Watch: A Special Guy’s Grocery Games Grilling Episode and Grill Masters on Iron Chef America

by in Shows, May 23rd, 2014

Iron Chef America Grill MastersGet out the grill this weekend as Food Network gears up for the summer season with brand-new episodes, including grilling specials of your favorite competition shows.

On Saturday watch all-new episodes of The Pioneer Woman, Farmhouse Rules and The Kitchen. Nancy’s cooking an All-American welcome-home dinner for her nephew. Then the co-hosts on The Kitchen offer up weeknight shortcuts plus summer picnicking ideas. On Sunday, Damaris cooks light and healthy dishes on Southern at Heart. And on Guy’s Big Bite, Guy gets together with Chef Jonathan Waxman to cook some Italian favorites.

In the evening on Sunday, the chef contestants on Guy’s Grocery Games get grilling in the grocery store. Afterward, tune in for a special Grill Masters episode of Iron Chef America as Team U.S.A. faces off with Team Australia. Keep watching for a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, in which the ultimate grilling suit is unveiled, and then watch a new episode of Kitchen Casino.

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Throw a Memorial Day Picnic

by in Holidays, May 22nd, 2014

Memorial Day PicnicThough for some Memorial Day can mean an excuse to sleep in before hitting a blowout sale, the real fans of this holiday are all about the food. Weather permitting, it’s best spent lounging outside with a spread, celebrating the inaugural days of summer. This Memorial Day, lay out your gingham blankets and cook up picnic-ready recipes that master the art of make-and-take. This holiday is all about outdoor eating, and we’ve got just the menu.

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Scent Marketing and Champagne Science

by in News, May 22nd, 2014

Scent Marketing and Champagne ScienceThe Sweet Smell of Success: Those smells that waft out of Cinnabon and other aromatic food and retail establishments are no accident. They’re actually a deliberate attempt to draw customers in — and there’s a name for the thinking behind them: scent marketing. “The battle for noses is getting intense,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Restaurants are adjusting recipes to make aromas more concentrated and pleasant.” They’re also enlisting other scent strategies: For instance, Cinnabon puts its ovens near the front of the store to maximize the smell of fresh-baked buns; moving them to the back, as an experiment, “significantly” lowered sales. That’s nothing to sniff at. [The Wall Street Journal]

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Melissa’s Top 10 Supermarket Savings Strategies

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 22nd, 2014

Melissa's Top 10 Supermarket Saving Strategies1. Grab the smallest cart available: Studies have shown that grocery stores can do one simple thing that will result in you unwittingly spending more money — put out bigger grocery carts. So use this information to your advantage and always select the smallest cart available. And if only one size is offered, then either use the hand held basket (if possible), or make your cart visually “smaller” by filling it up with inexpensive produce first, before hitting the rest of the store.

2. Buy meat when it’s a loss leader: Imagine a world in which all your meat was 50 percent off (or more!) — it’s doable if you shop the loss leaders. Every week in major grocery store chains, there is usually one beef, one chicken and one pork cut on sale for 50 to 75 percent off its normal price. The objective of a loss leader is to get shoppers in the door of a supermarket, and though the store may take a hit on this one item, they know that you will also likely buy the rest of your groceries while you’re in the store (and make up the cost). I like to stock up on a few packages of these loss-leader meat items because meat freezes so beautifully. Then you always have a stock of various meats at the ready for diverse and cost-effective family dinners. (Wine is also sometimes a loss leader.)

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