Bill Rancic Dishes Out Gaming Strategy for Competing on Kitchen Casino

by in Shows, April 3rd, 2014

Bill RancicWhen it comes to gambling, there’s more to it than luck. Strategy plays an important part in how a game is won or lost, whereas cooking — especially competitively — requires skill. These two traits are necessary for contestants if they wish to excel in Food Network’s new series Kitchen Casino, which premieres Monday, April 7 at 9|8c. Only those chefs who can balance both have the opportunity to win the jackpot.

FN Dish recently caught up with Bill Rancic, the host of Kitchen Casino, to talk about the show, what’s expected of the contestants and what he thinks are the tools they need to succeed in this unique competition.

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Prince Harry Serves Chicken, Ozzy Issues Warning and Peeps Doughnuts

by in News, April 3rd, 2014

Peeps DoughnutsChicken a la Prince: What does a handsome prince serve when he gets together with his mates? If you are expecting Champagne and lobster, caviar and gold-flecked chocolates, you’ll be royally disappointed. At a “private little get-together” at his members-only London club on Monday night, Prince Harry served his rugby pals a humble, peasant-worthy meal of chicken and fries, albeit washed down with a nice white wine. Maybe the fries were flecked with gold? [Entertertainmentwise]

And Speaking of Princes: Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Baltimore-based brewers of Ozzy beer, a Belgian-style pale ale. Ozzy beer comes in cans featuring a fist with O, Z, Z and Y tattooed below the knuckles — much like Ozzy’s own hand tattoo. Also pictured: a bat, an animal the Black Sabbath singer once famously bit the head off during a concert. According to the The Baltimore Sun, despite the letter, the beer was still for sale as of last week — and orders had increased. [The Baltimore Sun]

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Regional Foods Face-Off — America’s Best Cook Bracket Challenge, Round 1

by in Shows, April 3rd, 2014

Round 1 Bracket ChallengeAmong the many things that define the United States, foods are at the top of that list. And every region has its specialty, whether it is lobster rolls from the East, chili from the North, shrimp and grits from the South or tacos from the West. On the new series America’s Best Cook, premiering on Sunday, April 13 at 9|8c, home cooks from the four corners of the country have come to Food Network headquarters to be mentored by FN chefs and battle it out for a chance at winning the title of America’s Best Cook.

To coincide with the show, FN Dish has launched the Regional Foods Face-Off, a bracket challenge in which you, the fans, can vote for your favorite regional food. The editors have narrowed it down to four famous dishes from each of the regions, but after four rounds of voting, only one dish will come out on top. Round 1 is now closed. Vote in Round 2.

Click Here to Vote in Round 1 Now

Crepe Night: Gluten-Free Edition

by in Uncategorized, April 3rd, 2014

Crepe Night: Gluten-Free EditionOne of our favorite special-treat meals is crepe night. We whip up a few batches of crepes and make an entire meal of them, starting with savory ham-and-Gruyere crepes (perhaps topped with a fried egg, called a “complete” crepe in French)...

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Pantry Clean-Out Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 3rd, 2014

Pantry Clean-Out SidesSpring cleaning can mean a lot of things. It can mean finally sifting through that shoe collection of yours (you can do it!), scrubbing down the bathroom or giving the stove a much-needed deep clean. And for many of us, it can also mean tackling the pantry. If yours is stocked with boxes of pasta, bags of grains, cans galore and who even knows what else, consider the start of April prime time to start going through it all. With these easy weeknight side-dish recipes, you can put forgotten pantry treasures to use before the expiration date hits.

You might be accustomed to poppin’ a bottle of root beer open and taking a swig, but Aarti Sequeira’s Root Beer Baked Beans for Food Network Magazine uses the spicy-sweet soda to add a real kick to canned cannellini beans.

As long as you have a little can of tomato paste, spices and one of our favorite pantry staples on board, Food Network Magazine’s Tomato-Ginger Couscous is good to go. Not only is it super quick, but it also can pair with nearly anything.

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Cakes for Any Occasion

by in Entertaining, Recipes, April 3rd, 2014

Crowd-Pleasing CakesWe shove frosting in our soul mates’ faces on our wedding days and sing over flaming cakes on birthdays. No matter how many tiers are stacked or candles are lit, there’s something innately celebratory about a slice of homemade cake. And, as far as we’re concerned, there are so many reasons — both official and unofficial — to get together and party. Feast your eyes on our loveliest, fluffiest, most crowd-pleasing cakes, each fit for today’s special occasion. If you can’t think of a reason to celebrate, we can think of a few excuses.

Birthday Party – It’s on a person’s birthday that they definitively decide: chocolate or vanilla? Luckily, we have both covered. Bake the boxed version of Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake from scratch this time, sprinkling in some color. And, if you have a constant hankering for chocolate, you won’t be able to wait another year for Ree’s Big Chocolate Birthday Cake.

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Support Your Favorite Celebrity Competitor — Chopped Tournament of Stars Fan Vote

by in Shows, April 3rd, 2014

CompetitorsAfter four tumultuous rounds, four celebrity competitors have emerged as the best in their class and will move onto the Chopped Tournament of Stars finale. Star athletes, Rachael vs. Guy veterans, comedians and actors have competed and shown that any one of them can cook transformative meals out of mystery baskets. But only one will walk away the champion and winner of $50,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Who will it be? Watch the finale on Sunday, April 6 at 9|8c to find out. But until then, fans, here’s your chance to show your support in the fan vote.

Vote now

Restaurant Revisited: Ungratifying at gratifi kitchen + bar

by in Shows, April 2nd, 2014

Kevin Strickland and Robert IrvineIn Houston, the dangerously dirty kitchen at gratifi kitchen + bar was just one of the major issues with which Robert Irvine was to contend during his latest Restaurant: Impossible mission. The eatery’s owner, Kevin Strickland, was notably arrogant and struggled to work well with his employees — and Robert. It took the Restaurant: Impossible team two days and $10,000 to overhaul gratifi kitchen + bar and transform Kevin’s brashness before they would ultimate relaunch the business. FN Dish has the first exclusive interview with Kevin since filming wrapped; read on below to hear from him and find out how gratifi is doing today.

“Most customers, whether new or old, think it is fantastic,” Kevin says of the interior overhaul on gratifi. He and his employees are pleased with the update as well, he says, adding of staff, “They see that it is a much nicer restaurant and they dress appropriately for it.” He adds, “The bar is 10 times better. It’s not only beautiful but now functions like a real bar.

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A Modern Take on Chicken and Waffles

by in Recipes, Shows, April 2nd, 2014

Chicken and WafflesFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient of quick-cooking grits. When you’re in a pinch, a box of grits comes in handy for a fast, creamy side dish, but in this case the grits are used for something entirely different. In this Butter-Roasted Chicken with Grit Waffles recipe, the grits add a nice crunch to waffles. And instead of frying the chicken, as is done traditionally with chicken and waffles, this recipe features roasted dark meat with a bit of sweetness and a kick. Your family will be excited to try this modern version of the classic Southern comfort food dish.

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Nifty Google Food Trick, Free Coffee and Communal Tables — Yea or Nay?

by in News, April 2nd, 2014

Free CoffeeWho Needs Privacy? Whether you adore eating with strangers or abhor it, communal tables that compel you to do just that are increasingly common in restaurants. They’ve come “full circle from the utilitarian cafeteria to the gourmet dining room and back to mainstream casual fast food restaurants and cafes,” writes Adee Braun in The Atlantic. Restaurant owners like them because they allow for more diners and create a sense of shared energy. But, warns Adee, “Diners and drinkers will only tolerate being squished around a table with strangers if they can choose from this menu of situations: a) if booze is involved, b) if there is interesting food to entertain them or c) if it’s entirely acceptable to ignore their tablemates.” What do you think about sharing elbow space with strangers in restaurants? [The Atlantic]

Search Trick Helps You Compare and Contrast: Want to compare apples and oranges, or pasta and rice, or ice cream and chocolate chip cookies? Google has a search feature that lets you do side-by-side comparisons of the calories, carbs and sugars in, as well as other nutritional information about, almost any two foods you type in preceded by “compare” and separated by “and” — or in some cases, without the “compare” and simply separated by “vs.” A Redditor discovered the nifty search trick and shared the news a few weeks ago, prompting one commenter to remark that celery vs. cake yields no chart. If you have to ask. [Reddit via NPR's The Salt]

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