by Mallory Viscardi in Books, July 4th, 2014
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, June 27th, 2014
A different pie for every week of the year is a concept that I can get behind. That’s the idea that drives Allison Kave’s First Prize Pies, and the book is a perfectly balanced year of pie possibility. Pie is known for its finicky nature, but Kave sets readers up for success with a thorough rundown of everything you need to make an exceptional pie, from equipment to ingredients. There are step-by-step photo guides for skills that require a little more explanation, like how to peel stone fruit for the Sugar Plum Pie and how to ace your marshmallow topping for the S’mores Pie. Kave tells you everything you need to know about assembling her pies, making this the perfect book for a home cook who hasn’t ventured too far into the land of pies from scratch.
The book’s seasonal recipes feature classics you crave like Apple-Cheddar Pie, Key Lime Pie and Pumpkin Spice Pie. But it colors outside the lines a bit, too, mixing up flavor combinations with recipes like Eggnog Cream Pie in a Gingersnap Crust, Mint Julep Cream Pie and Root Beer Float Pie. There are enough pie recipes in the book to cover each week of the year (and then some!), so you can think of it as a long-term investment in your culinary happiness. Kave balances the recipes to be practical too. There’s a vegan-friendly You-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Pie that everyone at the table will love and a no-bake Banana Split Ice Cream Pie (recipe featured below), which is perfect for the summer months when it’s just too hot to spend hours in a kitchen with your oven blazing. Even summer’s heat is no match for a pie made of ice cream. You can order your own copy of First Prize Pies here.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, June 20th, 2014
Seasonal cooking has become a household idea over the past couple of years, and it’s not hard to understand why. This rings especially true as summer heats up with lush promises of fresh produce. Admittedly, there are a lot of good seasonal-produce cookbooks that really do a spectacular job of highlighting the potential nestled within the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, but this year I’m especially taken with Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food.
Vibrant Food takes an artistic approach to building dishes around seasonal ingredients, but not in a way that makes the recipes difficult. (Usually when someone approaches food “artistically,” it can get quite complicated quite quickly. That’s not the case here.) Much to the contrary, the dishes are bright, delightful and striking both in beauty and in flavor. The vibrant colors are as well-balanced as the fresh, crisp flavors that fans of good food appreciate and expect as they eat their way through the seasons. Put simply, the book is gorgeous and the recipes are delicious.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, June 13th, 2014
The delightful thing about David Lebovitz’s writing is his ability to make even the most-intimidating foreign cuisine seem approachable and familiar. French cuisine can be overwhelming, especially for home cooks. It’s renowned for its heritage of precision, its delicate balance of flavors and its unwavering high standards for taste and presentation. That’s great for a major holiday dinner, but who has time for fussy food in the middle of the week?
My Paris Kitchen took me by surprise with how unpretentious and inviting its recipes are. Crack open the book to any page and it’s not hard to imagine David taking you calmly by the elbow and strolling you down a Parisian street and into his favorite cheese shop, where you discover how fascinating (and delicious!) seasonal cheeses can be. His style of writing is relaxed, conversational and friendly. You’re just hanging out with a friend, chatting about adding ice to wine, the virtues of a good mortar and pestle, and the miracle that is a perfectly ripe cherry tomato.
The other little something special that sets My Paris Kitchen apart is the fact that some recipes are basic and other recipes will gently guide you outside your culinary comfort zone. David’s inviting writing is almost misleading, in that you’ll be halfway through a recipe you once thought to be way beyond your skill level before you realize how simple French cooking can be if you have the right teacher. And that’s the mark of an exceptional cookbook: It doesn’t just give you better recipes; it helps you become a better cook.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, June 6th, 2014
Marisa McClellan’s newest book, Preserving by the Pint, is a love letter to small-batch preservers of all levels of experience. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at preserving but were too overwhelmed by all the details and chemistry involved, Marisa is here to help you get your feet wet. At the same time, her inspired flavor combinations are fresh and creative, perfect for experienced canners looking to change up their seasonal preserving roster. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re incredibly approachable. The chapters are organized by season, making the book easy to browse and navigate. The recipes call for small quantities of seasonal produce, which I found makes them pleasantly, almost surprisingly, affordable. Her recipes are quick and easy to put together, and they pack huge flavors into tiny containers.
Marisa captures the bright, hopeful flavors of spring, the warm, sun-kissed flavors of summer, the earthy, deep flavors of autumn and the rustic, hearty taste of winter. If you’ve ever found yourself wistfully wishing you could bottle the magic of summer sunshine, give the Peach Jam with Sriracha recipe (below) a try. One taste and you’ll agree that it’s summertime in a jar. I’m not one to wish away the summer days, but I do look forward to the cold January evening when I pull a jar of this off the shelf and treat myself to a tropical vacation with breakfast.
by Jonathan Milder in Books, Drinks, May 13th, 2014
My love for ice cream runs deep. In fact, it runs almost as deep as my love for cookbooks. Ice cream is ideal because it’s a perfect dessert all on its own, loaded up with toppings or used as a building block to make a treat that’s even more delicious. It’s this last use of ice cream that makes the new cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts by Jeni Britton Bauer so wonderful.
If you’re a home cook and you’re a little intimidated by the idea of making ice cream from scratch, Jeni has you covered. Most of her recipes skip the use of eggs in the base, which means no tricky tempering of egg yolks is required to get rich, creamy, decadent results. And the flavors are so fun. The book gives you a selection of flavors to try at home; it has everything from a basic Sweet Cream Ice Cream to a summertime classic like Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam Ice Cream, to flavors a bit more bold, like Cumin and Honey Butterscotch Ice Cream.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts doesn’t stop at ice cream, though. In fact, frozen favorites are just the beginning in this book. The title offers a wide range of dishes you can make, each with ice cream as its shining star. Readers will find recipes for cocktails, cakes, cobblers, biscuits, beignets and more. There’s even a section featuring all the ways in which you can dress the components of the book (ice cream, sauces and topping “gravels”) up into craving-inducing sundaes.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, May 1st, 2014
Whether you’re planning a cocktail party or just desire a good, strong drink, it’s nice to have a solid cocktail book to turn to. Here are three Food Network Kitchen favorites that’ll serve you in good stead in times of need.
The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff (2002)
From the man widely credited with reviving interest in classic (pre-Prohibition) American cocktails. Dale educates, instructs and amuses in equal turn here. All bases are covered: Techniques are lavishly illustrated; spirits are usefully broken down and brands recommended; and cocktails are typologically organized, their histories winningly recounted. Since its publication, The Craft of the Cocktail has become a bible for bartenders professional and amateur alike. It remains essential.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, April 7th, 2014
Just in time for warmer weather and grilling season, Guy’s taking fans outdoors and sharing recipes for meals, drinks, holidays and bashes with his new cookbook, Guy on Fire.
Guy shares his favorite tips, techniques and recipes for outdoor cooking year-round — whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, relaxing around the campfire or tailgating on game day. Stuffed with original recipes and dozens of family photos, Guy on Fire has something for everyone: palate-pleasing appetizers, cool salads, main courses for meat, fish and poultry, and desserts. Are you a novice at the grill? He also provides tips on equipment, make-ahead plans and packing advice.
You can buy a copy of Guy on Fire here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each an autographed copy of Guy on Fire, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Guy Fieri recipe (find them all here). You must include the recipe URL in your comment in order to be entered to win.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, April 1st, 2014
Amanda Rettke, FN Dish contributor and founder of the I Am Baker blog, is serving some of her most-beautiful confections yet in her first cookbook, Surprise-Inside Cakes. In Amanda’s book, there’s no such thing as an ordinary chocolate or vanilla cake with frosting (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Just like opening up a gift, the element of surprise is within each baked good, whether it be a heart, football, smiley face, stripe or house (yes, a house). Simply put, if you want to wow guests at your next gathering, make one of Amanda’s cakes.
What caught FN Dish’s eye? The entire book. Each page is more colorful than the one before, and there’s a surprise-inside design for every occasion: celebrating holidays, family, love and life events (like moving to a new home). Have a cake recipe you’ve perfected? Great. Because Amanda encourages using tried-and-true recipes, but she’s provided a few of her favorites too.
At first glance some of the cakes may seem like a challenge, but Amanda’s included step-by-step photos and instructions for each one. And be wise: Don’t start out with the most difficult design!
You can buy a copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Food Network cake recipe. You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win (find cake recipes here).
by Jonathan Milder in Books, January 15th, 2014
Sometimes looking through the fridge or pantry for last-minute dinner ideas can be daunting — almost like looking into a Chopped basket. Never again let the question, What’s for dinner? stump you. Here’s introducing The Chopped Cookbook, which features secrets for combining pantry staples to make exciting meals. Just as each basket on Chopped has many tasty possibilities, so too do the contents of your refrigerator. The creative forces in Food Network Kitchen have come up with more than 180 recipes to show readers and fans how to spin their favorite ingredients. From salad dressings and pan sauces to our market baskets that can go in many tasty directions to ideas for reinventing pasta dinners, mealtime victory is in sight for every night of the week.
To celebrate the launch of the cookbook, FoodNetwork.com is giving fans a sneak peek of the book by previewing a selection of the recipes. Click through the gallery here to get the recipes now.
You can buy a copy of The Chopped Cookbook here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of The Chopped Cookbook, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite recipe featured in The Chopped Cookbook preview (find them all here). You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win.
Whether you’re a fan of the game or just of game-day food, there’s no denying the appeal of football cuisine. For this month’s recommendations, I set out to assemble an all-star lineup of the best of Food Network Library’s tailgating cookbooks. I fast found myself slipping down a rabbit hole into a vast and unfamiliar world of community cookbooks devoted to collegiate tailgating — a world where the NCAA begins to look like one massive Junior League that’s as devoted to recipes as to pass receptions.
It was amazing how numerous these cookbooks turned out to be (ripe terrain for a collector, for sure). To name just a few: Tar Heel Tailgating (University of North Carolina), Purdue Alumnus Tailgate Recipe Cookbook, University of Texas Longhorns’ Cookbook, Teatime to Tailgates (Kansas State University), Rocky Top Saturdays (University of Tennessee) and my favorite (in title, at least) Let the Big Dawg Eat (University of Georgia).
Get Jonathan’s cookbook picks