Restaurant Revisited: Bene Pizza and Pasta

by in Shows, February 18th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s brother versus brother at Bene Pizza and Pasta, a 13-year-old business in Omaha, Neb., run by Jon and Bobby Lanphier and their mother, Ginger Lanphier. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team not only to overhaul the interior of the eatery and improve upon the dreary arcade, but also to mend the siblings’ relationship, which had weakened over the years as a result of increasing financial strain on the company. Read on below to hear from Ginger and find out how she and her sons are doing at Bene Pizza and Pasta a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible transformation.

Comparing this December to last December, “business was up 20 percent,” Ginger reveals. “The arcade does well when we are busy. We have talked to customers and are convinced that it brings customers in because it differentiates us from other pizza restaurants.”

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Enter for a Chance to Win a Duff Goldman Fondant Tool Kit

by in Contests, February 18th, 2015

Duff GiveawayStart baking and decorating cakes like the pros with Duff Goldman’s fondant tools. This giveaway package has everything you need to create fun and professional-looking cakes at home, in your kitchen. The kit includes easy-to-use tools such as the Duff Goldman Fondant RollerWhite FondantFondant SmootherFondant Cutter SetFlower and Dot Texture Tiles and a Set of Electric Color Gels that will help boost your desserts to the next level. Get inspiration for your sweet creations every week from watching the cake-decorating masters on Duff Till DawnThursdays at 10:30|9:30c.

To buy the fondant tools, you can visit the Food Network Store or enter for a chance to win below. To enter, let us know in the comments: What kind of cake would you make using fondant? The contest starts at 3 p.m. EST today and ends Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. EST.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Best 5 Potato Recipes

by in Recipes, February 18th, 2015

When it comes to simple side dishes, no vegetable takes the cake quite like potatoes; they’re easy to make in a hurry, endlessly comforting and sure to please even the pickiest eaters at the table. While a classic baked spud is a go-to preparation, a bit of mashing, slicing and dicing, plus indulgent additions like butter and cream, will transform the humble potato into a hearty staple. And no one knows that better than The Pioneer Woman, who has more than a few potato picks in her ranch recipe arsenal. Read on below to get Ree Drummond’s top-five takes on potatoes, including a cheesy twice-baked version and scalloped beauties studded with ham.

5. Perfect Potato Salad — Packed with sweet pickles, hard-boiled eggs and fresh dill, Ree’s easy potato salad features a mix of mayonnaise and mustard for extra tang. Follow her lead and mash the spuds to achieve a fluffy base.

4. Scalloped Potatoes and Ham — “The thinner the better,” Ree says of slicing the potatoes for her big-batch casserole. She layers these fine spuds with chopped ham, a thick, buttery onion sauce and plenty of gooey Monterey Jack cheese to create a stick-to-your-ribs side.

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Join Us at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 18th, 2015

2015 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalIt’s that time of year when cabin fever has hit, and surely there’s no better remedy than a few days of sun, sand and celebration at the 14th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Beginning tomorrow, your favorite Food Network chefs will come together in Miami for a jam-packed weekend of all-star events, including late-night tastings, intimate dinners and culinary demos, while mixing and mingling with fans.

If you’re not a local Floridian, you can still keep up with the action at SOBEWFF. FN Dish editors will be at the festival all weekend long, attending premiere events with Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray, and munching on the best bites up for grabs. And best of all, you’re invited to check out our insider coverage of what’s going down. Keep coming back here for daily reports on the top moments and the most craveworthy dishes and drinks.

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How to Turn 1 Roasted Chicken Into 3 Family Dinners

by in Recipes, February 17th, 2015

Easy Lemon Roasted Chicken with Carrots & PotatoesAs a mom of four small kids, I love dinners you can cook once, then use again in a new way later in the week. I call them “2 Dinners in 1,” but today I’m sharing how to be a suppertime overachiever. No two dinners here. Nope, this strategy is a bona fide three-in-one timesaver. After roasting a classic chicken and vegetables, you’ll serve chicken breasts and some of those veggies for a family-friendly meal. Dinner two will be legs and thighs in a simple casserole, and finally on night three, you’ll put leftovers to work in a whole delicious stock. Here’s your game plan for making it work.

Dinner #1: Easy Lemon Roasted Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes (pictured above)

  • Use the largest bird you can find, then slather a quickie vinaigrette — I like olive oil, thyme, fresh lemon juice and zest, plus salt and pepper — on both the chicken and vegetables. Be sure to double the amount of vegetables, so you’re cooking another dinner’s worth of carrots and potatoes (plus any other vegetables you like, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and so on), and cook them on a separate baking sheet. And if you don’t have enough lemon vinaigrette for the second pan, just use olive oil with salt and pepper.
  • Cut up the breasts for dinner, using Alton Brown’s method for carving a turkey, and remove each breast in one large piece before dicing it up to serve. (P.S. Ina Garten does this for chicken too.)
  • Serve just the chicken breast and roasted vegetables with a nice loaf of crusty bread and soft salted butter. Reserve everything else — and I do mean everything, including the bones!

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These 5 Vegetarian Recipes Prove Comfort Food Doesn’t Need Meat

by in Recipes, February 17th, 2015

You know the classics: chicken pot pie, chicken Parmesan … and the meaty list of comfort food favorites goes on. So what’s a vegetarian to do in the depths of winter when there’s no end of snowstorms in sight? These recipes are hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

1. Chickless Pot Pie (pictured above)

Trisha Yearwood’s vegetarian take on chicken pot pie is easy to make, thanks to store-bought pie crust and a whole host of veggies you might already have on hand. Plus, if you’re looking to avoid dairy, you’ll be glad to know this recipe swaps in almond milk in place of traditional dairy.

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What Makes Popcorn Go ‘Pop’?

by in News, February 17th, 2015

PopcornHere are a few of the things most of us know about popcorn:

1. We love the way it tastes and smells.
2. We especially love it while we’re watching a movie.
3. Sometimes, when we’re feeling decadent, we like it with butter.
4. Other times, when we’re feeling more virtuous, we enjoy it more or less straight up.
5. There’s nothing quite so distinctive as the sound it makes when it pops.

Here’s one thing you probably didn’t know: why it makes that distinctive popping sound when it pops.

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The Wonderful World of Puffs — Cook Along with Kids Baking Championship

by in Recipes, Shows, February 17th, 2015

Sweet PuffsMixed reactions would best describe the kids when they heard they would have to bake treats featuring pate a choux in Episode 3 of Kids Baking Championship. Some revealed they hated the dough, whereas others were excited to be taking on something they loved. It’s safe to say most of us viewers were wondering how these kids even knew about the French pastry dough used to make cream puffs (profiteroles), cheese puffs (gougères) and éclairs, among other treats (including the towering croquembouche).

The kids went about the challenge and created some of the most-impressive baked goods. The judges’ criteria came down to mostly flavor profiles — although there was the occasional issue of too large versus too small a puff.

If you’re up for a challenge, and if you consider yourself as advanced as these kids, here are some recipes to get you started baking with pate a choux, including sweet and savory renditions, just as was asked of the kid bakers. See how well you can survive the challenge at home. And if you happen to produce some “ungainly” results, as Duff Goldman commented, eat the evidence!

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The Insider’s Take on Kids Baking Championship — Duff’s Recap of Episode 3

by in Shows, February 17th, 2015

Duff GoldmanCream puffs and éclairs! This was a tough challenge on Kids Baking Championship. I didn’t learn how to make pate a choux until I was at least 19 or 20. Natalie saw all these treats and she was freaked out! I knew Hollis was going to be excited; she made killer pate a choux bagels in the last challenge, Dessert Imposters, and I think she had a mental edge over everyone else. I was really stoked for Annika too. She had what I think was the toughest challenge when she had to make sushi. Burgers, pizza, spaghetti — these are all items I would choose to make in a competition before I would attempt sushi, which is much more colorful and complex. She came in second to last in that episode, and she was mad!

Annika was super confident about pate a choux and that’s good to see. Jackson was feeling really good as well. He knows this dough and is ready to bake! The fact that so many of these kids understood such a difficult and complex pastry is mind-blowing, and after the competition, I called my mom and asked her why she didn’t have me making pate a choux when I was 11. She said I wasn’t ready for it. Wait until she sees this episode. She’s going to eat her words (and not my éclairs!).

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5 Unexpected Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make in Your Slow Cooker

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2015

Slow-Cooker Overnight OatmealYou know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.

Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal (pictured above). Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.

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