Archive for October 2010

Next Iron Chef: Caramel 101

by in Shows, October 29th, 2010

 

Caramel was Chef Duskie Estes’ downfall this week on The Next Iron Chef (as you can tell just by looking at her attempt at a caramel apple, below). Here’s how to have it not be yours.

When Chef Estes couldn't get her caramel to heat up properly on the grill, she tried sticking the pot in the fryer. Not a good idea.

Caramel is made by heating sugar until all of the inherent moisture evaporates and the molecules break down and re-form. It’s a tricky process, but it’s not hard to do once you have the basics down:

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The Sweetest, Spookiest Cupcakes

by in News, October 29th, 2010
Chocolate-Stout Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, decorated with sanding sugar and gummy candy. Photo: Michael Buffardi

Just as important as the question, “What are you dressing up as for Halloween?” is “What are you dressing your cupcakes up as for Halloween?” Take a break from your last-minute Halloween prep and get inspired by some of the best-dressed Halloween cupcakes out there.

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Next Iron Chef: Catching Up With Jose Garces

by in Shows, October 29th, 2010

Chef Jose Garces's winning moment on Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef

Chef Jose Garces won Season 2 of The Next Iron Chef, and this Sunday he’ll join the judges’ panel to critique the efforts of our current rivals. We caught up with the newest Iron Chef about being in the rivals’ shoes just one year ago and what he’s been up to since his big win.

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Witches’ Brew: 5 Spooktacular Halloween Drinks

by in View All Posts, October 29th, 2010
Claire Robinson - Dark and Spooky Cocktail Recipe
Claire Robinson's Dark and Spooky - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is almost upon us! Whether you plan on trick-or-treating with the kids or celebrating with more experienced Halloweeners, these frightfully festive drinks will get every ghost and goblin in the spirit.

Try these Halloween cocktails – if you dare….

Creative Caramel Apples

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2010
Making Caramel Apples
A fresh caramel apple taking a spin through the toppings bar

I became addicted to caramel apples while visiting my parents’ fall festival, Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, last weekend. In three days, I ate more caramel apples than I care to admit: for breakfast, for late-night snacks and just for fun! Nothing satisfies cravings for sweets better than crisp, juicy apples dipped in luscious, buttery caramel. It’s the perfect Halloween treat.

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VIP Cocktail Hour With Melissa and Aarti

by in Behind the Scenes, Events, October 28th, 2010
Aarti Sequeira and Melissa d'Arabian, the past two winners of The Next Food Network Star

Fans who took advantage of the VIP travel package for the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival earlier this month were treated to a special VIP tour of the Food Network Kitchens and a cocktail party with two of Food Network’s brightest stars, Melissa d’Arabian and Aarti Sequeira. Read more

Cooking for Vegetarian Guests

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2010
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from FoodNetwork.com

Not sure what to make when a vegetarian guest comes for dinner? Don’t panic. If you’re trying to please a diverse group of eaters, these vegetarian-friendly recipes are sure to bring everyone to the table.

Break the ice with flavors of cranberry and orange in Emeril’s Red Rooster cocktails from CookingChanneltv.com. And show off your creativity with a colorful Vegan Antipasti of fresh vegetables with marinated mushrooms.

As a main course, “meaty” walnuts provide contrast to the tart cherries in Ellie Krieger’s Wheat Berry Salad. Add a bowl of Squash Soup With Caramelized Apple Croutons and you have a perfectly easy weeknight meal.

On a chilly evening, this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from Aida Mollencamp is the ultimate comfort food—creamy mashed potatoes baked over a bed of flavorful vegetables and gravy.

For a no-fuss dessert, try this sweet No-Bake Berry Frost Pie from Food2.com, which can be served chilled or as a frozen treat. Feeling sneaky? Our Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Food.com replaces the usual cream and eggs with tofu, but maintains the same great taste and texture of your old favorite.

Read more about vegetarian and vegan diets.

Claire’s New Cookbook: 240 Pages of 5 Ingredient Fixes

by in View All Posts, October 27th, 2010
On the cover of Claire's new cookbook, she's shopping at one of her favorite spots: NYC's Union Square Greenmarket

Our own Claire Robinson has a new cookbook out this month, and it’s 240 pages of the fresh, simple fare you love from her Food Network show, 5 Ingredient Fix. Claire shot the cover photo at one of her favorite places on Earth: New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket, where you can often find her roaming around, getting inspired and selecting the ingredients for her recipes.

5 Ingredient Fix in print makes a great holiday gift for a novice cook, a busy mom or anyone who doesn’t want to lug home dozens of groceries just to make one meal.

Claire is all about simplifying food without sacrificing flavor. Think it’s impossible to bake with just five ingredients? Claire did too, she tells us, when she first started shooting 5 Ingredient Fix. But recipes like her Millionaire’s Shortbread (featured in the cookbook) will prove that it can be done—with delicious results.

What else will you find in the book? Party-worthy recipes and tons of ideas for weeknight dinners—think updated comfort food like Cheesy Penne and Buttermilk Pecan Chicken.

Buy Claire’s book and tune in for new episodes of 5 Ingredient Fix on Sundays at 10:30am/9:30c.

Fall Fest: Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

by in ALL SNAP SHORTCODE, View All Posts, October 27th, 2010

pepitas popcorn balls
We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

While you’re carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween, hold onto the gook and make your own homemade stash of roasted pumpkin seeds. They’ll last for about a week tightly sealed, or you can keep them in the freezer for a month.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is simple with Alton by your side. See how he does it:
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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, October 26th, 2010
Halloween Has Tricks, But, Historically Speaking, Few Treats

The Candy Land Before Time: Turns out candy and Halloween haven’t always been BFFs; in fact, bite-sized sugary treats were only doled out after coins, nuts, seasonal fruits, cookies and a slew of other trinkets until about 1950. Read up on their rocky road to a love that’s good and plenty. [The Atlantic]

Redesigning the Vending Machine: In order to plop out those healthy fruits and veggies, vending machines are getting a makeover. The new vending vats support two temperature zones, feature a landing pad (or “retrieval bin”) for bruise-inclined bananas, and some of its produce will come in special packaging to seal in freshness. [Wall Street Journal]

A Very Large Toast Portrait, Indeed: The world’s most enormous toast mosaic has been created, and it’s comprised of a mere 9,852 slices of bread. U.K.-based Laura Hadland recruited 40 friends and 9 toasters for the 32’x42’ portrait of her mum-in-law, Sandra Whitfield. “It was certainly a massive shock,” Whitfield gushed to the Daily Mail of her 50th birthday present. “I love toast, but it feels very strange seeing my face made out of it.” [dailymail.co.uk]

New Blog Fave: Underhill Lounge Shaken, stirred, up, with a twist – no matter how you like your cocktail, there’s a smart one awaiting you at this blog. While some posts start out with a warning (“dangerous cocktail geekery ahead!”), we wager all the sips featured here will go down smooth. [underhill-lounge.flannestad.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

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