Tag: Melissa d’Arabian

Summertime and the Sipping Is Easy

by in Food Network Chef, July 18th, 2013

Spa Tea by Melissa d'ArabianI grew up in Tucson, Ariz., and summertime meant one thing: drinking sun tea. My mom constantly had a huge jar of water with teabags sitting on the hot concrete in our backyard, blinding sun beating down on the teabags. She was a purist: She brewed it so strong the tannic acid was mouth-puckering and she drank it unsweetened, without even a slice of lemon. I would drink the tea with only a few ice cubes to cut the taste, sitting alongside my mom, just treasuring our time alone together, two ladies sipping tea on a hot summer day.

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve developed my own palate for unsweetened flavored waters (which is what tea is really, right?). I love water with a hint of flavor because it refreshes without being boring. Plus as a bonus, flavored waters make me feel like I’m at a spa — for a lot less.

Try it yourself: Throw a few pieces of fruit and maybe some fresh herbs into a pitcher and add water. (By the way, if you make a lot of spa water, buy a handy pitcher with a steeping basket attached. Just load the basket with fruit and herbs, and fill the pitcher with water.)

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VOTE: Star vs. Chopped Grilled Fish Showdown

by in Recipes, Shows, July 14th, 2013

Grilled Fish ShowdownWe challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.

At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?

This week, Melissa d’Arabian and Marcus Samuelsson are serving up fresh, fuss-free grilled fish dishes. Whose makes the cut for your grill-out menu? Cast your votes below!

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Food, Family and the Fourth

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, July 4th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian's 4th of JulyIt’s the 4th of July! My community goes all out: huge hometown parade of marching bands, meticulously made floats carrying with local kids and war veterans, fun runs, open-air concerts, barbecues and picnics, and of course, fireworks. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, so this suits me perfectly. Quite frankly though, I haven’t always been such a 4th-o-phile (I just made that up). For years, I enjoyed Independence Day as much as any other barbecue with friends — with the added bonus of a wink to my status as an American — a relatively small blip on my special-event radar.

Then I moved out of the country. The first 4th of July I spent living away from the United States, I was in Greece (did you think I would say France?). I was 21 and was working on a Greek cruise ship for my first job out of college. Afloat in the Mediterranean, I was the only American member of the cruise staff (ask me some day about my gig dancing the Sirtaki to the bouzouki in the Greek folkloric show and then posing in full costume with passengers while cruise photographers snapped souvenir photos; if you took a Mediterranean cruise in the early ’90s, check your photo albums for a blonde wearing a festive outfit made primarily of gold coins).

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VOTE: Star vs. Chopped Summer Side Showdown

by in Recipes, Shows, June 23rd, 2013

Star vs. Chopped Summer Side ShowdownWe challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.

At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?

This week, Chopped judge and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against Star Season 5 winner Melissa d’Arabian in a battle of classic summer sides: coleslaw vs. potato salad. Whose will show up on your picnic table? Cast your votes below!

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Picnic Perfection

by in Food Network Chef, June 20th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian's Picnic PerfectionIt’s summertime and we are blessed with days filled with trips to the beach or museums to meet up with friends, and we’re usually grabbing something to-go on our way to the destination. Every Sunday evening, everyone in our community in Coronado, Calif., loads their kids and a picnic into their red Radio Flyer wagon and heads to Concert in the Park. So when many of you lamented the challenges of packing a summer picnic, I heard you. The ant’s time as the biggest picnic woe is long gone — now we worry about packing healthy, delicious food that our kids will actually eat, while keeping the food in a temperature-safe zone, without spending too much time. Is that too much to ask? No. So here are four tips to help get you there:

1. Start with the protein
The protein is the trickiest part of the meal because it often involves meat, which can be a challenge to keep in a safe temperature zone. My secret picnic weapon: non-meat protein. And by this, 99 percent of the time, I mean quinoa. Make a quinoa salad, subbing quinoa for rice, pasta or other grains. It is full of protein, fiber and complex carbs, and it will probably work in your favorite recipe (for inspiration, try my Quinoa Tabouli). Quinoa can be served chilled or at room temperature, making it my perfect picnic protein. My second non-meat protein insider secret: Use white beans and whole-grain pasta to make any pasta salad you like. Try a salad made with roasted veggies, feta and vinaigrette.

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Piccata, Paella and Other Secrets to 10 Years of Marriage

by in Food Network Chef, June 6th, 2013

Melissa and Philippe d'Arabian's WeddingToday is my wedding anniversary. It all started with my 4-Step Chicken Piccata, the first dish I ever cooked for Philippe (I made it with veal and served it on a bed of sauteed spinach). And it culminated in a crusty paella, a d’Arabian family tradition, served alfresco on a June evening a couple of years later to about a hundred of our friends and family who had traveled to our wedding in the village where Philippe grew up.

Since we had so many tourists visiting from as far as Hawaii, our wedding stretched into a two-week vacation, filled with meals, toasts and sightseeing that started in Paris and made its way south to Aix-en-Provence. By the time our actual wedding arrived, it seemed as though our guests had become a community, connected by something more than just being on our short list of special people in our lives. One of my favorite snapshots caught by a guest is of my (American) stepmother talking animatedly with Philippe’s (French) grandfather, both heads are thrown back in laughter, totally understanding one another, even though neither spoke a word of the other’s language.

Our wedding incorporated both of our cultures: We recited our vows in French and English, and we had a classic tiered American wedding cake as well as a French croquembouche (an impressively tall cone of cream puffs held together by spun caramelized sugar). We were married by a priest and a pastor in small stone church at the top of a hill, surrounded by the people who matter most to us. The whole experience is etched in my heart as the just-right start to my life as a d’Arabian.

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VOTE: Star vs. Chopped Cocktail Showdown

by in Recipes, Shows, June 2nd, 2013

Fruity Cooler ShowdownWe challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.

At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?

This week, we’re toasting the start of June with a pair of refreshing, fruity cocktails. Whose will you shake up for your next summer party? Cast your votes below!

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Week One, Take One — How France Has Inspired Me

by in Food Network Chef, May 23rd, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian in Paris, FranceLast week FN Dish announced that Melissa d’Arabian would be joining the roster of writers. Starting today, she’ll be answering fan questions, as well as sharing her own experiences as a working mom raising four young girls.

First, thank you for the incredible response via Twitter, Instagram, email and here on FN Dish — and for all of your questions. I’m eager to dive in:

Several of you asked about living in France, like Dawn and Linda T., and how that influenced me. As some of my fans know, I moved to Paris for my job (I worked in finance for Disney), and I was scheduled to stay 18 months. I met Philippe, fell in love, married him and stayed for four years. (Which leads me to share some quick advice: When you are single and in your 30s, be careful to only to travel to places you like because you never know when suddenly you’ll find yourself in love and having to stay there.) Lucky for me, I adore France, so I’m quite pleased to have it permanently etched into my life as a Franco-American-bicultural-bilingual family.

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Enter for a Chance to Win an Autographed Copy of Melissa’s Ten Dollar Dinners

by in Contests, May 18th, 2013

Melissa d'Arabian's Ten Dollar DinnersThis past Tuesday, FN Dish announced that Melissa d’Arabian will be the newest Food Network star to join the FN Dish roster of writers, tackling everything from budget-friendly meals and ideas to sharing her own experiences as a working mom raising four young girls. Food, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, parenting ideas — come back every other Thursday to read Melissa’s posts.

To celebrate her new column, we’re giving away five autographed copies of Melissa’s first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners. It’s packed with fresh meals — more specifically, 140 mouthwatering recipes, like Caprese Tartlets, Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup, Grilled Two-Cheese Burgers and a Classic Apple Tart — for any night of the week.

You can order a copy right now, but we’d like to give you a chance to win one that Melissa has autographed. All you have to do is comment on this post by telling us which one of her recipes is your favorite and why (you must include the URL — find a list of Melissa’s recipes here). We’re giving away five signed copies of her cookbook to randomly selected and very lucky commenters.

Read official rules before entering

A Letter From Melissa, Plus Ask Your Questions

by in Family, Food Network Chef, May 14th, 2013

Melissa d'ArabianDear Food Network Fan,

In the four years I’ve been part of the Food Network family, I’ve been lucky to share paths with so many of you — whether on TV, through social media, when meeting you in person at events and book signings (or the grocery store, airport, etc.). And now I’m excited to tell you that I will be joining FN Dish as a regular contributor! I’ll be answering your questions, writing about my experiences and giving you insights into my life as a working mom raising four young girls in San Diego. Food, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, parenting ideas — the possibilities are endless.

So let’s start the party. My first post next week will be answering fan questions. Is there something you’re dying to know? Ask your question in the comment section below or click here to email me, and I’ll pick a handful to answer next week.

I’ll see you here every other Thursday on FN Dish.

Xxoo,
Melissa d'Arabian