Tag: Kirsten

Muffin Mania and Pancake Art

by in View All Posts, May 27th, 2009


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was really excited to put together our online Breakfast feature. After the pancake explosion I created for Mother’s Day, I tried to focus mostly on bacon and eggs for this one. But the carb-lover inside me couldn’t resist adding French toast and sticky buns. (I love to watch Bobby struggle with baking in Throwdown: Sticky Buns)

And, of course, I added muffin recipes. Muffins are a great grab-and-go breakfast treat, and they usually freeze well, so they can be a cheap, healthy, home-made frozen pastry. Ina’s Blueberry Muffins look like the most-loved on FoodNetwork.com, but Sunny’s Sunny Morning Muffins caught my eye.

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Summer Salad and Alton’s Sangria

by in View All Posts, May 13th, 2009


Our new Memorial Day feature is all about getting summer started with classic picnic foods, burgers, hot dogs, and, yes, sangria. I decided to test out the main featured recipe, Aida’s Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad (how could I resist?!) from the Food Network Magazine.

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A Mother’s Day Make-Ahead

by in View All Posts, April 15th, 2009

Someone recently asked me what one cookbook I would take with me to a desert island. Even though I’m having a great time cooking my way through my newest cookbooks, Giada’s Everyday Pasta and Mario’s Molto Italiano (I love Italian food!), the first cookbook that popped into my head was The Pancake Handbook. For me, there’s no better way to begin a weekend morning than with a stack of hot pancakes. That’s why I couldn’t resist adding a pancake carousel to our Mother’s Day feature – I tracked down the best Food Network pancake recipes to include in this fancy click-through module. But there was one pancake recipe in particular that caught my eye (or rather my stomach)…

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Top 10 Most Outrageous Recipes + Fool-Your-Friends Cake

by in View All Posts, April 1st, 2009


Fool-Your-Friends Cake

In honor of April Fools Day, I compiled a list of recipes that make everyone on the Web team chuckle (and/or grimace) whenever we run into them online. Which Food Network chef do you think scores highest in the ridiculous recipe contest? Hint: Her names starts with a “P” and should rhyme with “butter.”

Food Network’s Top 10 Most Outrageous Recipes

1. Fried Butter Balls – Paula – When someone first mentioned Paula’s fried butter recipe to me I thought it was a good joke. I couldn’t believe it when I actually ran into the recipe online!

2. Swamp Water – Sandra

3. The Heavyset Cheese Ball – Paula

4. “Fat Darrell” Sandwich – Paula

5. The Lady’s Brunch Burger – Paula – It may not sound like much, but trust me. . . click on the recipe.

6. Seared Frogs Legs Casserole – Robert Irvine

7. Baked Potato Ice Cream – Sandra

8. Get Yo’ Man Chicken – Neelys

9. “Is it Really Better than Sex?” Cake – Paula

10. Trompe L’oeil Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower, with Poached Tomatoes (“Fool the Eye” savory foods made to look like Chocolate layer cake, vanilla ice cream, and cherries jubilee) – Robert Irvine

Longest recipe title I’ve run across (30 words):
Go Oregonian! Oregon Style Pork Chops with Pinot Noir and Cranberries, Oregon Hash with Wild Mushrooms, Greens, Beets, Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese, Charred Whole Grain Bread with Butter and Chives – Rachael Ray

Most outrageous video clip:
Alton making a Pancake Cake with Avocado Frosting
If you dare, find the recipe here.

Honorable Mention (#11):
Mama Neely’s “Sock It To Me” Cake

Everyone on the Web team is excited about Food Network Challenge: Last Cake Standing – premiering this Sunday, 8 pm/7c, six pastry chefs battle for $50K, the largest prize in Challenge history, etc. – so we decided to wrap all of our best cake recipes up into a super cake-tacular feature package.

Searching our site for cake content had one major side effect – an unquenchable craving for moist crumbs and sweet frosting! I gave in and made the absolute easiest cake on the page, courtesy of Mama Neely. I’m calling it my “Fool-Your-Friends Cake” since it uses a cake mix but tastes completely and deliciously home made.

Spring fever? Check out our great Easter desserts and exciting new exclusive cupcake recipes from the Food Network Kitchens.

- Kirsten, Web Editor

5 Dollar (or Less) Dinners

by in View All Posts, March 18th, 2009

I’m not sure exactly how much money I spend on groceries every week/month/year, but I do know I’d like to spend less. As I worked on our Good Food For Less feature, I focused on obviously “low cost” recipes – vegetarian, tuna casserole, leftover transformations – but I decided to try a few for myself, curious to see how the groceries would add up.

For me, under $10 per person would be a savings compared to eating out (the cost of a meal at my favorite burger and fries spot). But I decided a truly “budget” meal should ring in at no more than $5 per person. I crossed my fingers, made a grocery list and went shopping.

Aida’s Pan-Roasted Chicken with Oranges and Rosemary
Chicken thighs – $4.95
Chicken drumsticks – $2.12
Orange – $0.50 / 2 = $0.25
Rosemary – on my window sill (although I used a lot less than the recipe suggests, because picking sprigs off my pet plant is somewhat painful)

Total spent = $7.32 / 4 servings = $1.83 per serving

Success!! I was amazed!! I made it a meal with a simple arugula salad and roasted spiced-up potatoes the first night. Then I decided to spruce up leftover night by making the simplest risotto recipe I could find (plus, adding some kale that was hiding in the back of my fridge). It was amazing.

I was hooked! I had to try another.


The Neelys’ Sloppy Joes (recipe halved)
1 pound (90 percent lean) ground beef – $4.00
BBQ sauce – $2.49 / 4 = $0.62
Tomato sauce – $0.32
Tomato paste – $0.50 / 4 = $0.13
Green pepper – $1.37 / 2 = $0.69
Red pepper – $1.32 /2 = $0.66
Buns – $3.19 / 6 = $0.53 x 3 = $1.60

Total spent: $8.02 / 2 = $4.01 per serving

I was surprised that the sloppy joes cost more than twice as much as the chicken, but they were still within my $5 budget, and the halved recipe really made two huge servings (1/2 pound of meat per person!). As a low cost side dish, I cut up some sweet potatoes, tossed them in oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted them to make baked sweet potato fries.

Just adding up a few recipe receipts has made me much more cost-conscious at the grocery store. I think I’m going to keep working my way through this feature. Wish me luck with the slow cooker recipes and Rachael’s tuna casserole!

- Kirsten, Web Editor

“Real” Mac and Cheese

by in View All Posts, March 4th, 2009

On a recent snowy evening, the Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese recipe from our Cheese Guide beckoned. Okay, confession time: My normal mac and cheese comes in a box with a packet of powdered cheese. But this recipe is the real deal – you make a creamy béchamel sauce, fold in two cheeses and the pasta, and then bake until it’s hot and bubbly. It’s deceptively simple and it tastes amazing!

So what the heck is a “Croque Monsieur?” I had to look it up. It’s a French ham and cheese sandwich that’s either toasted or dipped in egg and sautéed in butter. This mac and cheese is a playful twist, using the traditional Gruyere cheese and sliced ham. And, for my favorite part, a bread and egg mixture forms a savory bread-pudding-like crust over the top.

For a more calorie-conscious version of Mac and Cheese, check out Ellie’s made-over recipe, part of our Monthly Meal Makeover features. You can also find tips for slimming down this classic dish from HealthyEats.com. Or you can just do what I did: Serve the ooey-gooey full-fat version with a side salad.

- Kirsten, Web Editor

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

by in View All Posts, February 18th, 2009


I met Alex Guarnaschelli from The Cooking Loft at a recent Food Network event, and I was amazed by how warm, personable and funny she is. When she breaks out her deadpan punch-lines, she seems more like a stand-up comic than a chef.
More Alex dish and tasty meatloaf here.

Eating Healthy = (Coffee) Cakewalk

by in View All Posts, February 4th, 2009

Since I work on FoodNetwork.com’s healthy features: Winter Ideas from Eating Well, Easy Meals, Good Deals , 30 Days of Healthy Recipes, and Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day, I love the idea of eating healthy. As I also like balance in these recipes, I seem to gravitate to Ellie Krieger’s choices. Good for you but still taste great, which is why they always sneak onto my “to-make” list.

Confession — my biggest weakness is sweets. I love to bake — cookies and cupcakes every day if I had time! I’m not afraid to use obscene amounts of cream, butter and sugar.
Sweets lie ahead. Read more.