Cooking with Kids: Adventures in Guacamole Making, Plus a Simple Recipe

by in Family, Recipes, June 23rd, 2015

Cooking with Kids: Adventures in Guacamole Making, Plus a Simple RecipeI taught my daughter’s third-grade class how to make good guacamole. It was my second time working with classroom 3B, this time not in the art room but on a diminutive desk in the classroom itself. On this knee-high rectangle of beechwood-colored Formica with a scooped out slot for a pencil at the top, I was able to use skills gained long ago interning at a doll-size garde manger station, elbows pinned to my sides.

When kids came into their classroom, they found tortillas, knives and avocado halves on their tables, and the other ingredients were ready on mine. It smelled like onions and cilantro. Passing teachers poked their heads in to see why. I worked fast to outpace the kids’ hunger, questions and strong desire to get avocado goo on their sleeves. Eventually I guided my 19 cooks to a high-five-inducing guacamole (with a side of chips).

First I told them the safe and polite way to handle their plastic knives (by the handle, always cutting away from your body, the other hand’s fingers curled under, etc.). Then we cut up tortillas to make chips. They are studying fractions, so there was a lot of debate. Some tables chose eighths for more chips, some went with sixths for bigger chips, and others chose straight strips for the sake of innovation. We tossed them in a bowl with oil and salt, layered them on sheet pans and popped them into the oven down the hall in the art room. Then we moved on to the main attraction.

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Meet, Greet and Eat with Your Favorite Chefs at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, News, June 23rd, 2015

Meet, Greet and Eat with Your Favorite Chefs at the New York City Wine & Food FestivalThough summer’s just begun, it’s not too soon to start planning an autumn getaway — especially when the promise of your favorite chefs is right before you. For the eighth year in a row, the most-famed names in the culinary world are set to come together for a weekend-long celebration of all things food and drink at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. This year more than 500 chefs will be in attendance at nearly 100 events, kicking off in Manhattan on Thursday, October 15.

From the now-infamous battle of beef at the annual Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachael Ray to Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian Feast, presented by Ronzoni, and Geoffrey Zakarian’s Saturday morning brunch, you’re invited to join these chefs and others for walk-around tastings, intimate seated dinners, late-night bashes and wake-up-worthy brunches alike.

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s BBQ: Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, June 23rd, 2015

BarbecueIn this episode of Top 5 Restaurants, Food Network found the best of the best in American barbecue. Hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian revealed the sticky, saucy and bold-spiced meat that dominated this week’s list. Keep reading to find out which mouthwatering barbecue smoked the rest.

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Would You Take Driving Directions from Colonel Sanders?

by in News, June 22nd, 2015

Would You Take Driving Directions from Colonel Sanders?Does your GPS sound like chicken? Now it can sound like KFC mascot Colonel Sanders.

In yet another move aimed at resurrecting its corporate mascot and late founder, Col. Harland Sanders, who kicked the bucket (sorry) in 1980 at age 90, KFC has teamed up with social navigation and traffic app Waze to lend Sanders’ voice to users’ navigation systems.

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Giada’s Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 22nd, 2015

Artichoke and Tomato PanzanellaGrills don’t need to be reserved just for burgers and hot dogs this summer. Give ingredients like fruit and veggies a quick char, and you’ll find that salads and side dishes get a delicious bonus in texture and flavor. In Giada De Laurentiis’ Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella (pictured above), she grills up bread and artichokes — hearty ingredients that will make a meatless salad satisfying — as the stars of her Italian dish.

Perhaps the best part about this salad is that it’s ready to eat in just 16 minutes. Take Giada’s lead and use whole-wheat bread or any day-old variety that you have on hand. The “staleness” will actually give the salad a nice additional crunch. First, drizzle the cubed bread and frozen artichokes with olive oil and grill until golden brown. Giada adds tomatoes, black olives and basil for extra freshness and a beautiful contrast in color. The final layer: a simple vinaigrette. Whisk together extra virgin olive oil with white wine vinegar and then toss with the salad mixture until combined.

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“This Is a Make-or-Break Moment” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, June 21st, 2015

“You want your flour, you want your leavener and a little bit of salt.” Those three things are what Cutthroat Kitchen food stylist Jamie Peterson says are needed in order to concoct the usual dry-ingredient mixture for waffle batter. On tonight’s all-new episode, one chef was forced to make waffles not with these traditional ingredients but with a platter of junk food, including butter crackers, gummy candies and potato chips; sure enough, those three items weren’t guaranteed. Before Alton Brown could auction off this diabolical challenge to the competitors, the culinary team had to test it, and what Jamie found was shocking.

Tackling the flour component was easy enough for Jamie — just grinding the butter cookies with butter powder. But making a leavener is far trickier. “I’m going to take the egg white powder and reconstitute it into egg whites, and then try to whip it into a meringue to make it become the leavening agent we need,” he explained. “This is a make-or-break moment.” Sure enough, it worked, and he achieved stiff peaks after just a bit of whisking. “You’re a waffle! I made you from nothing,” Jamie jokingly and excitedly told the waffle after lifting the top of the waffle machine to reveal an ideally formed waffle. He took a bite and was quick to boast, “First of all, that’s delicious.”

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6 Ways to Fill Up on Watermelon

by in Recipes, June 21st, 2015

Watermelon Breakfast PopsNothing says summer like biting into a ripe, juicy slice of watermelon, particularly when it’s fresh off the rind. Though the purists may say there’s no better way to eat watermelon, we’d argue that it’s time to get your fill of this in-season fruit by incorporating it into all of your meals. Consider this your personal watermelon bucket list: six recipes for anytime of day.

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