Tag: Melissa d’Arabian

Get to Know Guy’s Grocery Games Judge Melissa d’Arabian

by in Shows, September 1st, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianAs the winner of the fifth season of The Next Food Network Star, Melissa d’Arabian went on to host Ten Dollar Dinners on Food Network and Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping on Cooking Channel. She’s also authored two cookbooks, most recently Supermarket Healthy. And on FoodNetwork.com she’s hosted the Web series The Picky Eaters Project, which aims to make family mealtime planning easier. This television host, author and busy mom of four also serves as a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. Find out what’s Melissa’s go-to guilty-pleasure food, what she loves to pick up at the supermarket and more.

Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Melissa on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

Do you prefer shopping in a small market or in a supermarket?
Melissa d’Arabian: I love small markets if I’m in Paris and there are tons of them around! Otherwise, I am quite happy in a large supermarket.

Do you prefer self-checkout, online ordering or a real person?
MD: Real person.

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5 Coffee Hacks to Make Your Mornings Easier and More Flavorful

by in Drinks, Food Network Chef, August 26th, 2015

5 Coffee Hacks to Make Your Mornings Easier and More FlavorfulAs I type, I am surrounded by a sea of binders and lined papers, high-top shoes, low-top ankle boots, trendy-again ’70s stretchy hipster pants and crisply colored backpacks smelling of factory nylon. Just removing the tags from all this loot makes me feel like taking a nap.

’Tis the season of coffee. (Did I really just say “’tis the season?” It’s not even Labor Day! I think I even outpaced Costco there!) Coffee and autumn go hand in hand in our household. Any time an alarm clock jolts me out of sleep, I want the jolt of caffeine shortly thereafter. My husband makes the coffee as part of our nightly routine, setting the timer for exactly 15 minutes before I wake up, so that I walk downstairs and into the kitchen at the perfect moment, when the machine is gurgling and spattering lightly as it confirms that all the water is gone from the chamber and the machine can finally, confidently turn itself off, while a final few drops of coffee plop gently into the full pot. It’s the glorious announcement of another day full of possibility.

I am a coffee fan (I don’t say “snob” because I find that loosely translates into people who don’t like Starbucks), so I like my coffee exactly right: no sugar and about two tablespoons of half-and-half, or a quarter-cup of milk (but, in that case, heated). Quite simply, the day doesn’t begin without coffee for me. I love the routine, the smell, the warmth and, of course, the caffeine (although I only drink half-caf so I can have two cups without feeling jittery). And all this coffeepot experience has taught me a few little tricks — some coffee hacks, if you will.

1. Mom’s trick to improve cheap coffee:

Growing up, we were incredibly poor, and my mom bought the cheapest coffee she could find at the grocery store. But, no matter, she insisted, because a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon in the filter along with the coffee elevated bargain beans to gourmet status. Well, almost. But this trick did get me through the lean college and graduate school days pretty darned well.

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Greetings from France, Where It’s All About Aperitifs: How to Host Your Own French Appetizer Hour

by in Food Network Chef, July 25th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianI’m writing this from the (hot) countryside of the Provence region of France, where my family spends a few weeks a year at my in-laws’ house. Our girls love seeing their grandparents, and we spend long, lazy days swimming in the pool (mostly out of necessity, to be up-front — it’s so hot!), catching up with our French family and with friends Philippe and I have known for years, long before any of us had the kids who now count each other among their extended family.

The South of France is famous for doing summer right, especially when it comes to food. We only half-joke that by the time we spend a few hours eating one meal, we barely have time to clean up and start prepping for the next one. Food brings people together, and no one knows this more innately than the French, in my experience.

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How to Indulge on Vacation Without Losing Sight of Healthy Habits: Melissa’s Bare-Minimum Plan

by in Food Network Chef, July 5th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianI love summer vacation, don’t you?

But you know what I don’t love? Getting out of my routine, especially my healthy routines, such as eating well and working out. At home, I know exactly when I will go to the gym, who I will see there (my workout buddies — hi, Heather and Julie!) and what I will eat when I get home. I don’t have to think about it or waste any energy figuring out how to make that all happen; that’s one of the great benefits of setting up solid routines to support our life goals.

So what happens when I go on vacation? When I am out of my normal routine, and faced with an unfamiliar environment and a list of to-do’s (albeit fun ones!) that involve not just me but my family, too, I can easily find myself going days or even a couple of weeks without following my normal healthy-eating and workout routines. Sometimes, I actually am quite happy to embrace the indulgence and enjoy a little “time off.” Who wants to go to New York City and not enjoy its amazing restaurants?

For these times, I have created a “bare minimum” plan — things that I can do pretty much no matter where, no matter what — that will keep me at least a little on track while still allowing me to let go of the workout guilt and enjoy time off from the routine. Because vacation should be fun and guilt-free, right?

You ready? This is what I do when I am letting loose, and it’s totally doable:

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Lettuce Wraps: An Easy Formula for Leftovers

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, May 23rd, 2015

Turkey Lettuce WrapsThe lettuce wrap has been having a good few years. Lately it seems like every menu features some sort of deliciously spicy chicken or tofu filling tucked into a cool crunchy leaf of lettuce that you roll up like a burrito and eat. Even I’m on #TeamLettuceWrap, as evidenced by this recipe for Turkey Lettuce Wraps (pictured above) from Ten Dollar Dinners!

And in the summer? Lettuce wraps are far more than just a tasty low-carb treat — they can be your catchall leftover repurposing strategy. Simply follow my easy formula for lettuce wrap bliss:

Protein + shredded veggie + something crunchy + sauce

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Smarter Supermarket Shopping Guaranteed with Melissa’s Easy Tips

by in Food Network Chef, May 18th, 2015

Given your work commitments, the kids’ activities and the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road, it can seem like a feat simply making it to the supermarket at all, let alone enjoying the experience and feeling prepared for family meals — and checking out under budget. That’s where Melissa d’Arabian comes in. The host of Ten Dollar Dinners and the Web-exclusive Picky Eaters Project just launched the all-new Web series Smart Carts: Winning the Supermarket, devoted to making your experience at the grocery store simpler and more strategic with just a few good-to-know tricks for conquering the aisles no matter where you shop.

Over the course of eight videos, Melissa shares her tried-and-true secrets for saving time and money at the market, including ways to know when is best to bulk shop and how to get the job done in a hurry. Click the play button on the video above to watch the first of her all-new videos, then read on below to pick up Melissa’s supermarket savvy with six of her top tips.

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Melissa’s Summer Dinner Formula, Plus 12 Fresh Recipes

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, May 9th, 2015

Melissa d'ArabianIn the winter months, I love nothing more than tucking into a warm meaty stew or sliding a butter knife through succulent tender braised roasts. I create my meals around the protein — sometimes relegating the sides to a secondary consideration, sticking to tried-and-true standbys most weeknights. If I am trying out a new flavor in the kitchen, it isn’t usually in the veggies.

I realize that as the weather warms up, there is a subtle shift to my cooking: I create my meals around the vegetables and keep the proteins uber-simple, usually just tossing them on the grill and then slicing to serve on a small platter, almost as a side to the veggie stars. The vegetables become my canvas for improvisation. Sometime around April or May, I start bulking up my veggie purchases, and I find myself browsing the local farmers market, or even just the supermarket produce aisle. Last week at dinner, my nephew Jack commented on the plethora of veggie dishes I served — I served three, but they were full recipes, not just the quick steamy work of a microwave. (I feel compelled to add that he even gave my sauteed cabbage a 55 on a scale of 1 to 10, which is something for cabbage and a 10-year-old.)

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Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: Melissa d’Arabian’s Perfect San Diego Day

by in Food Network Chef, Restaurants, April 26th, 2015

If you had to plan your perfect day of eating, where would you go?

That’s the question we pose to Food Network stars and guests on the new Web series Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Wonder where Melissa d’Arabian gets her morning fuel in San Diego? Or which Los Angeles restaurants could make tough-as-nails critic Simon Majumdar smile? This new series reveals perfect meals from coast to coast.

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Why I Work to Feed Hungry Children in America, Plus an All-American Meatloaf

by in Food Network Chef, April 18th, 2015

Melissa d'Arabian and FamilyI spent most of my week in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, supporting No Kid Hungry’s efforts to feed our nation’s children. I attended the No Kid Hungry Summit alongside thought leaders, corporations, foundation heads and some of the best chefs nationwide. I joined forces with many of them to spend a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with our legislators, and I hosted two Taste of the Nation events in D.C. and Charlotte. Phew! As I type, I’m sipping a strong cup of coffee (after a 3 a.m. wake-up call!), sitting on a plane headed home to San Diego.

Why would I spend nearly a week away from my family and take that kind of time off from my “regular” work?

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Family Brunch with the d’Arabians and an Easy Easter Menu

by in Food Network Chef, April 4th, 2015

Ten Dollar DinnersIt’s Easter week, so we are loading up the minivan with the kids and heading out to spend the holiday with family. One of the great pleasures of my life is turning around from the front passenger seat of our minivan and seeing all four of my kids sitting in their seats, all buckled and excited for whatever adventure awaits the d’Arabians. Something about that view, even if they are just watching the DVD player that I swore I would never use when I bought the car, reminds me that at my core, the identity in life that brings me the most joy is that of being the mom of this family.

One of my favorite episodes of Ten Dollar Dinners is the one where my kids cooked with me. We made brunch: baked eggs with chorizo, a healthy smoothie and chocolate veggie pancakes. Valentine and Charlotte helped me cook (wow, they look young to me now in that episode!), while Margaux, Oceane and Philippe joined us to eat at the end of the episode. (It was the only time that gorgeous dining room table that our prop stylist had found at vintage shop was ever featured in an episode!) That was a real glimpse into what our family is like around the table, which is how I probably picture my family the most. The only unnatural part of that brunch (other than the cameras!) was the fact that we had to ask Philippe to speak in English to the girls for the purposes of TV. In real life, he speaks to them only in French. (In fact, for years the girls thought he didn’t know how to speak English! But that’s a story for another day.) If you listen closely, you can actually hear Oceane slip up and reply to Philippe in French in the last few seconds of the show.

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