3 of a Kind: Kombucha Cocktails

by in Restaurants, September 30th, 2015

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

Part fermented potion, part hippie-joke punchline, kombucha existed long before yogis and hipsters caught on to it. The ancient beverage — made with fermented tea, sugar and scoby, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast — has now started popping up on cocktail menus. It’s beloved by bartenders who combine it with juice, beer and spirits to create thoroughly modern cocktails.

Marco Polo, Betony, New York
At Betony, kombucha is made with a scoby that is four or five years old. Inspired by the explorer of the same name, the Marco Polo is a tour of the world: The drink combines refreshingly sour tea (which originated in China) with bittersweet amaro from Italy and an IPA representing India. The drink is garnished with cucumber and is great as an aperitif. Kombucha is also served with a variety of seasonal ingredients, such as cranberry, tobacco or chamomile.

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Q&A with Halloween Baking Championship Judge Carla Hall

by in Shows, September 29th, 2015

Carla HallOn 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 becoming a chef, Carla was on the path to becoming an accountant, until traveling awakened her passion for cooking. She’s appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars, and currently is a co-host on ABC’s chat-and-chew daytime show, The Chew. She recently opened Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant in Nashville.

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Banana Snack Cake with Coconut, Chocolate and Pecan Streusel — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, September 29th, 2015

You know what drives me nuts? Bananas. Have you noticed how a whole bunch of bananas will always become ready to eat on the same day? I fight a losing battle with my bananas every week. I want to eat one every day. But it never works out that way. Inevitably I end up having to down five ripe ones in one afternoon. I’ve tried to rip apart bunches of varying ripeness and assemble the perfect hybrid bunch at the store. But I don’t think supermarkets condone that kind of behavior. And I’m a timid rule breaker.

Thankfully, the overripe banana is the baker’s best friend. Unlike wilted lettuce and mealy apples, squishy brown bananas make for fabulous baked goods. I keep them in a big plastic bag in the freezer, adding super-soft specimens weekly. They can hang out there for months, just waiting for their opportunity to shine.

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Scarlett Can Really Cook: Get to Know the Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off Winner

by in Shows, September 29th, 2015

Scarlett, winner of Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-OffYou’ve probably never seen an 11-year-old with better knife skills than Scarlett. Self-taught, this little culinarian was inspired by Food Network and the internet to get cooking because she just wasn’t getting the kind of food she wanted at home. Now after winning Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, she’s gone on to film her own Web series, This Cali Kid Can Cook. But she’s not resting on her laurels. She’s recently been staging at restaurants in Los Angeles, perfecting her craft before she moves on to her next adventure, which may be culinary school or business school.

FN Dish caught up with Scarlett on the set of her Web series to chat about her cooking inspirations, her favorite dishes to cook and the effect of her winning the series.

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You’re Never Too Old for Cereal Treats

by in Family, Recipes, September 29th, 2015

The magical combination of cereal, marshmallows and butter is nostalgic for many of us, but that doesn’t mean cereal treats should be reserved for the kids. And why stick to just one kind of crispy rice cereal, cut into boring old squares? Get creative in the cereal aisle and try out different shapes, molds and clusters. The possibilities for these timeless crowd-pleasers are limitless, and they’re still one of the easiest no-bake treats around. Read more

How to Make Ghoulish Goodies and Creepy Cupcake Toppers — Halloween Baking Championship [INFOGRAPHIC]

by in Shows, September 29th, 2015

Halloween Baking Championship

10 Recipes Every Guy Fieri Fan Should Master

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, September 29th, 2015

10 Recipes Every Guy Fieri Fan Should MasterFollow Guy Fieri into one of the hundreds of restaurants he features on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and you’ll find him taking a massive bite of all-American eats — think burgers, hot dogs and pancakes. As a winner of one of the earliest seasons of Food Network Star, Guy wows fans with his rockin’ dishes on Guy’s Big Bite and the outrageous challenges he gives contestants on Triple G. We’ve rounded up some of Guy’s biggest and boldest dishes, from his bacon-studded macaroni and cheese to Italian-style nachos.

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One-on-One with the Winner of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off

by in Shows, September 28th, 2015

Scarlett wins Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-OffAfter 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.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won.

Q&A with Halloween Baking Championship Judge Ron Ben-Israel

by in Shows, September 28th, 2015

Ron Ben-IsraelOn 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.

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Where Did the Pumpkin in Your Pie Come From?

by in News, September 28th, 2015

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.)

Here are a few takeaways from the paper’s pumpkin-parsing post: Read more