After six weeks of challenges that would have been tough even for an adult chef, one kid chef rose to the top on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. Chris, Chandler and Scarlett made it to the action-packed finale, where each had to cook a meal that summed up their Web series’ concept, and then present that dish to a panel of judges — in this case, Chopped judges. All three kids did a phenomenal job, but one in particular showed confidence and poise and cooked a dish that got the judges’ highest praise. Hear from the winner.
On the new show Halloween Baking Championship, expect to be blown away by some of the extremely creepy creations the bakers make, but even more than that, be ready for probably the scariest panel of judges you will ever see, and a host who’s not afraid to deliver some deadly news to eliminated bakers. Judges Carla Hall, Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard will be dishing out critiques, while Richard Blais will be sending home those bakers who don’t meet the spooktacular criteria of the $25,000 competition show. Before you tune in for the premiere on Monday, October 5 at 9|8c, get to know each of them a little better.
Before finding the world of baking, Ron had a 15-year career as a modern dancer. After working pastry apprenticeships in Canada and France, he made his way to New York City, where he opened his couture cake shop. Ron has hosted Sweet Genius on Food Network and judged Cake Wars.
It’s pumpkin season — time to pick up a few big orange beauties at your local grocery store, farmers market, farm or roadside stand, carve them into scary (or goofy) jack-o’-lanterns, pop in some candles and show off your creativity to the whole neighborhood. It’s also the time of year we enjoy making from-scratch pumpkin pie, fresh pumpkin puree and pumpkin bread with real shredded pumpkin.
Still, though we love them, most of us take our gourds for granted. To remedy that, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog took a look at where America’s pumpkins come from, crunching numbers from the U.S. Agricultural Census as if they were fresh roasted pumpkin seeds. (Yum.)
Kale salads are on menus everywhere these everywhere these days — and for good reason. This hearty green is packed with good-for-you nutrients and plays well with other flavors and textures, making it a go-to salad base, since it will be complemented by the other ingredients you add.
While everyday salads of just kale and dressing are a good place to start, in her recipe for Farro and Kale Salad Giada De Laurentiis dresses up the greens — she opts for the Tuscan variety of kale — with Italian-inspired tastes to create an easy yet elegant salad that’s satisfying enough to enjoy for dinner. Chopped walnuts add a welcome crunchy texture, while farro, an Italian grain like wheat, and dried cherries add a chewy bite. Mix up a citrus-laced vinaigrette to round out the flavors, and just before serving add crumbled goat cheese; you won’t want to pass up that creamy tang.
You had a good run, pumpkin spice, but now it’s time to step aside. This fall, maple is making a serious comeback — in our baked goods and in our hearts. It’s not that we ever forgot about the rich, dark sweetener. But with the rising demand for white-sugar alternatives, pure maple syrup is in the limelight like never before. Keep an eye out for a maple resurgence at local bakeries and cafes this fall, and find out which type of maple syrup you prefer (since there are a few) by experimenting with different syrup grades at home. Although maple is lovely all year round, it’s definitely best in comforting fall dishes. It plays well with other seasonal flavors — apple-maple and maple-cinnamon being classic combinations — but it also complements foods more commonly associated with savory dishes, like bacon or rosemary. Here are a few maple-flavored treats you won’t want to miss as colder weather settles in.
Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes (pictured at top)
Few food unions are as holy as the marriage between maple syrup and bacon. With Food Network Magazine’s breakfast-inspired cupcakes, you get to experience these sweet and savory elements in perfect harmony. When choosing your maple syrup, remember: The lighter the syrup, the more delicate the flavor — so if you want your cupcakes to deliver a robust maple punch, go for a medium or dark amber syrup.
3 Different Pans, 3 Very Different Toad-in-the-Hole Dishes — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotagesby Maria Russo in Shows, September 27th, 2015
While some judges demand inventive, next-level variations on a classic dish, Cutthroat Kitchen judges are indeed pleased to see chefs’ traditional takes, as one-third of the panel’s judging criteria is whether an offering is indicative of the original recipe. So then what’s so difficult about cooking in this evilicious arena? The sabotages, of course. On tonight’s brand-new episode, host Alton Brown auctioned off a trio of oddball pans that would make prepping a seemingly simple dish — a toad-in-the-hole — anything but straightforward. But before the contest, the Cutthroat culinary crew attempted to turn out this egg-in-bread breakfast treat using all three pans to make sure it was indeed doable within the allotted time.
As food stylist Jamie Peterson introduced the three pans up for testing today — the bumpy pan, the mushroom-shaped pan and the holey pan — he noted that they were collectively “horrendous pans.” And just after plopping an egg into the bread hole on the bumpy pan, he admitted, “Oh, that’s a problem.” The whites managed to ooze out from under the slice of bread and run along the valleys of the pan. The mushroom-shaped pan had no trouble heating up quickly, and once Jamie steadied the bread along its domed top, the egg was nearly fully contained to the hole. Given the multiple holes in the third pan, Jamie was sure to heat it, then turn off the flames before cooking the bread and egg to avoid torching them directly — and aside from some slippage, his technique was successful.
The Oak Bottle, billed as “the first for-home-use barrel-aging apparatus,” promises to make your “cheap or average-tasting” wine and spirits far more palatable by infusing them with an oaky flavor in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
You know those recipes you reserve for weekend-only cooking because they require multiple steps and time to develop flavor? What if you could turn out those hearty, satisfying recipes on a regular weeknight — in just 30 quick minutes? This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week promises just that. These meaty, comforting enchiladas from Food Network Magazine come together quickly thanks to a ready-to-go rotisserie chicken, but they boast all the taste of slow-cooked richness on account of the homemade tomatillo sauce. Just roll up the tortillas, blanket them with the chile-studded sauce and top them with cheese for impressive results in a hurry.
For more must-try recipes from Food Network Magazine, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook with Food Network Magazine board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas from Food Network Magazine
Peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate and peanut butter. Some things are just better together, including caramel and salt. Just a pinch of the flaky stuff transforms the sweet sauce into a rich, complex treat that’s as satisfying as it is versatile. From moist brownies and a boozy milk shake to a bread pudding and even a grilled cheese, find out how we like to celebrate this fan-favorite flavor in comforting recipes.
If you haven’t dusted off your slow cooker just yet, there’s no time like the present. With the colder temps setting in, this most-trusty kitchen device should be back in your arsenal for the coming months, for slow-cooked, pull-apart meats, as well as hands-off dinners and all other takes on low-maintenance meal prep. These are the meals that should hit your slow cooker first now that summer is over.
Just because barbecue season is ending doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the tender, smoky goodness year round. Rely on Trisha Yearwood’s Slow-Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork Barbecue in the coming months by topping bone-in pork roast with homemade barbecue sauce. Just cook it low and slow until dinnertime.