Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Convenience Store Foods for 3 Days

by in Behind the Scenes, December 21st, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Convenience Store Foods for 3 DaysEating on the go can be a real struggle. Healthy eating on the go can feel virtually impossible.

I consider myself an above-average eater when it comes to incorporating healthy foods into my diet. I am an avid supporter of all things Brussels sprout and make a mean oven-baked salmon. But when it comes to making quick, convenient decisions, I’m definitely one to reach for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Fine, two bags.

When you pop into a convenience store only minutes before the last train home takes off, you have mere seconds to make a game-time decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’ll reach for the Sour Patch Watermelon candy. You’ll tell yourself it’s a fine choice — you’re “in a rush,” and there’s simply no time to sift through 7-Eleven looking for real options. But … what if there was?

I posted up in a 7-Eleven for 41 minutes of my life to see if “healthy eats” actually exist in convenience stores. I entered the 7-Eleven located only two blocks away from my apartment on a Sunday morning at 9:46 a.m. There were approximately four other people “shopping” in the store, and I grabbed a shopping basket to start my search. The store had a total of three shopping baskets, none of which were being utilized by any of the other customers. After taking my first lap around the joint, I became very aware of how bizarre the edible options at these stores are. I expected to see chips, I expected to see nuts and I definitely expected to see candy. But canned tuna was … a questionable surprise. In that moment, staring at a rather large supply of canned fish, I knew I had underestimated this establishment.

While the store had a relatively wide range of foods, there was a deflating lack of legitimate options. I almost dropped dead when I saw they still carry Lunchables but was extremely disheartened to realize they sold only the “Turkey & Cheddar with Crackers” variety. (Everyone knows Lunchables pizza is the move.)

Lunchables aside, there were some relatively healthy options at my disposal. Greek yogurt, oatmeal and cereal were all seemingly normal breakfast choices. Premade fruit salads, hummus and pretzels, protein bars and “skinny popcorn” would make do for snacks. Finding produce to make legitimate meals, on the other hand, was going to be a real challenge. This was going to require some really questionable creativity.

I was surprised to see 7-Eleven sells deli meat in addition to some very simple premade salads. I tossed both in my basket with plans to make a more sophisticated concoction on my own, along with a bag of crunchy roasted chickpeas to use as a salad topping. I then threw a dozen eggs and a low-fat cheese stick in the basket, figuring I could use both to make an omelet for dinner one night.

I checked out of 7-Eleven with four angry, confused customers (all of which were probably buying only one bag of Doritos) waiting in line behind me. It was officially time to make convenience a lifestyle.

Here’s what my three-day diet looked like.

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3 of a Kind: Holiday Cocktails

by in Restaurants, December 21st, 2016

The Bad Santa Cocktail from Westbound
By Natalie B. Compton

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

With the holiday season in full swing, bars across America are creating festive vibes with whimsical winter cocktails. The temperatures are dropping, making it the perfect time for eggnogs, mulled wines and punches. Beyond those warming staples, bartenders are getting creative with their wintry concoctions by pulling in innovative ingredients and putting together playful presentations. Here are a few places to sip spirits merrily. Read more

These ‘Bacon & Eggs’ Kicks Are Like Breakfast for Your Feet

by in News, December 20th, 2016

These 'Bacon & Eggs' Kicks Are Like Breakfast for Your FeetPutting your feet into a couple of fried eggs with a side of crispy bacon in the morning doesn’t sound as good as eating those things — at least at first. But a new pair of breakfast-inspired sneakers may just change our minds about that.

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5 Super-Fun Ways to Win the Holidays

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 19th, 2016

The holiday season is, of course, very much about the traditions we look forward to each year. But every tradition was new once upon a time — so why not add to your family’s repertoire this year? There’s still plenty of time to wow everybody with something totally new, fun and delicious.

Champagne Hacks (above)

Make your annual bubbly toast a little extra special with these cool bar tricks. We’ll show you how to chill a bottle of the sparkling stuff super-fast, use fruit as ice cubes, and doll up flute rims for the festive occasion.

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This Record-Setting Ice Cream Cone Has 121 Scoops

by in News, December 19th, 2016

This Record-Setting Ice Cream Cone Has 121 ScoopsOne hundred and twenty-one scoops of yummy ice cream piled on a cone and ready for gleeful consumption may seem like a gelato lover’s unrealizable fantasy. But thanks to the fast scooping, artful packing and impressive balancing skills of an Italian man named Dimitri Panciera, that dream is now a reality. A Guinness World Record-setting reality, that is.

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Exclusive Interview with the Season 3 Holiday Baking Champion

by in Shows, December 19th, 2016

Shawne, Cheryl and JasonSeven weeks ago, nine bakers entered the Holiday Baking Championship with the hopes of leaving with the coveted title and the $50,000 grand prize. With every passing week, the challenges got harder and harder, and the competition got cut down one by one, until just three bakers remained to compete in the finale: Shawne, Cheryl and Jason. A holiday-themed cake Main Heat determined who would be crowned the winner. Find out which baker’s life was changed forever and read the exclusive interview.

Spoiler Alert: Find Out Who Won

Eggnog Monte Cristos — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 18th, 2016

Eggnog Monte CristosWhere there’s a holiday party there’s almost certainly eggnog, and we can be sure that with just a week until Christmas, seasonal soirees are in full swing. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week puts that sweet, creamy drink to good use — beyond sipping, of course. Since eggnog has a custardlike texture, it’s used as the dipping liquid to gently moisten the turkey-ham-cheese sandwiches before they’re cooked. The indulgent flavor of the eggnog delivers a savory-sweet richness, which pairs well with tart cranberry sauce on the side.

For more hearty recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Monte Cristos from Food Network Magazine

Chefs’ Picks: Edible and Drinkable Holiday Gifts

by in Restaurants, December 18th, 2016

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

There’s a lot of stress when it comes to gifting at the holidays, but professional chefs are not the type to buckle under pressure. Many infuse their presents with an ultra-personal touch by using their culinary talents to create the gifts themselves. These edible (and drinkable) presents range from beyond-basic baked goods (standard sugar cookies need not apply) to a hot sauce so in demand that it’s now offered right in the creator’s restaurant. Here’s what chefs across the country are fermenting, infusing and baking for friends and family — and even some lucky customers. Read more

DIY Food Gifts for Everyone on Your List

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 17th, 2016

Mom always said homemade gifts were the best gifts, right? You don’t have to be a professional baker or an expert crafter to knock it out of the park with these edible presents, and they’re easy on the wallet to boot. Some are even simple enough for kids to help make, and participating in the process will make them more excited about holiday gift-giving (not just receiving!). Forget fruitcake and truffles – these unique ideas are full of thought and flavor.

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POLL: How Do You Like Your Tacos?

by in Polls, December 17th, 2016

TacosIf your favorite day of the week is #TacoTuesday, this poll is for you! Food Network Magazine wants to know how Food Network fans enjoy their favorite tacos. Share your opinion on fillings, toppings — even timing! (But really, is there ever a wrong time to eat a taco?) Then pick up a future issue of the magazine to see how your answers stack up against others’.

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