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  • Cool Coasters From PopsQtool 28 Sep 2014 | 1:09 pm

    I’ve written about the multi-function six-in-one grilling tool from PopsQtool. For $50 you get everything you need…a spatula, fork, knife, grate cleaner, tong and bottle opener. I have one and use it all the time. But what’s really neat is the company also makes laser cut coasters that can be adorned with your BBQ team logo or whatever you’d like on them (aside from sports team logos). Continue reading →

  • Can Beer Make You Smarter? 27 Sep 2014 | 2:42 am

    Apparently, beer is great for writer's block if you're a young mouse. At least, according to a recent scientific study, anyway. Continue reading →

  • Beer: New Mexico Does What It Does Best; Green Chile in Everything 23 Sep 2014 | 7:13 pm

    In the light of last month’s Burn Blog story about Stone’s “beers that burn,” I searched for other options in the world of chile beers, and found one just over the mountains in the east, from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company in Moriarty, New Mexico. Continue reading →

  • Will Mechanical Harvesting Save New Mexico’s Chiles? 22 Sep 2014 | 7:22 pm

    Recently, a device named the “Moses 1010″ rambled through a chile field near Las Cruces, pulling peppers and leaves in a row along the way. The machine is Israeli inventor Elad Etgar's invention. He conducted the harvest demo and named the machine after his late father. Continue reading →

  • Welcome to Smoked Pumpkin Season 21 Sep 2014 | 1:46 pm

    "It's the mooost wonderful tiiime of the yeeeear..." That's what plays in my head when the first sugar pumpkins land in stores each Fall. Not because retailers drop the Christmas hammer too early. No, my mood turns to thoughts of those pumpkins heating low and slow inside my smoker. Continue reading →

  • Don’t Blame Yourself (Too Much) for Those Midnight Snack Attacks 1 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Don't Blame Yourself for Those Midnight Snack AttacksDo you crave healthy stuff like yogurt and fresh fruit in the morning and then, as the day wears on, hanker for greasy, fatty, sugary foods like french fries and cookies at midnight? It might help your mood (if not your calorie count) to know that you are not alone.

    Data collected by the consumer technology and wearable device company Jawbone indicates that most people start the day focused on eating dairy, fruit and grains. Then, as the hours creep by, our desire for those foods declines, and our interest in foods rich in oils, fats and sugars rises. Those less-healthy cravings hit a bump at about 4pm (“Snack Time!” Jawbone’s number crunchers note) and rise precipitously after 8pm, peaking between about midnight and 4am before declining in time for breakfast the next day.

    Other studies suggest that these late-night junk-food cravings may have a biological basis — that we may actually need the energy boost from high-cal foods late at night, to help our bodies stay awake and active at an hour when they are wired for sleep, the Atlantic notes. The blood-sugar boost may be needed to compensate for our bodies’ natural nighttime decrease in the level of the hormone cortisol, which helps signal that it’s time to catch some z’s.

    Or it may be that when we’re tired, at the end of the day, our defenses are down and we are more likely to give in to temptation. (Fatigue can decrease the hormone that signals satiation and increases the one that signals hunger.) The magazine cites one 2012 study that found the brain’s reward centers actually lit up more in response to pictures of junk food than healthy food when people were deprived of sleep, whereas when they were well-rested, their brains responded to images healthy and unhealthy foods essentially the same way.

    Whatever the reason, research indicates that, when you break out the cake and chips at midnight, you may be doing something your body is hardwired to do. Will that help you when you step on the scale the next morning? Perhaps not, but it may help you put down the chip bag and reach for your pillow instead.

  • From Contender to Champion: Get to Know Gibson, RvG Kids: Cook-Off Winner and Host of The Jersey Shore Kid 1 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Gibson on The Jersey Shore KidWinning Season 2 of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off for Gibson was pretty amazing, to say the least. This talented 12-year-old blew the competition away with his final presentation and a dish that won him high praise from the judges, including Curtis Stone, one of Gibson’s culinary idols. FN Dish chatted with Gibson at Alstede Farms, the setting for one of his three videos (you can read that interview here). There we talked about all that led to his winning his own Web series and what it was like competing.

    But there was so much to talk about that it was impossible to cut the subject off at just his time on RvG: Kids and The Jersey Shore Kid. We wanted to find more about out how this young chef got into cooking in the first place, where his inspiration came from as a kid who began dabbling in recipes at age 7, and what keeps him still in the kitchen to this day — not to mention his dreams for the future as a chef.

    FN Dish: So now that you’ve won, who’s going to cook dinner?
    Gibson: Um, me — still. Sometimes I ask my mom for a break and she’s like, “You’ve won. You’re cooking every night.”

    So, basically, you can’t get out of dinner ever again.
    Basically. There’s no excuse “I don’t feel like it.” There’s no excuse. She’s like, “You won, and there are no more excuses after that.”

    What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in the kitchen that you’re willing to admit to?
    Oh no! This happened recently. We sometimes rent out a house in the summer, and the grill isn’t in the best shape. So I’m barbecuing burgers. We have company over and they want to see me cook. I’m like, “Sure.” I go to flip the burgers, and I open the lid and fire erupts and black smoke comes out. I’m like “Dad, something’s wrong!” We had to fire-extinguish the whole grill. I’m like, “Well, option No. 2, takeout!” But it was scary, because I’ve never had something set on fire.

    What’s your favorite kitchen tool?
    Well, after the show I have to say the meat mallet, because that was hysterical. It was in the third episode. I just remember all the parents laughing when I had to beat that huge piece of lamb. That was fun. I loved using that. And even though it’s fun to use, it’s a very good kitchen tool. That is my favorite. And also just squirt bottles. They make everything a lot easier to plate.

    That’s a very Guy thing, isn’t it?
    It is a very Guy thing!

    How did you get started cooking? What got you interested in the first place?
    My mom doesn’t cook a lot, if any. So I started cooking when I was 7. From the ages of 4 to 7, I didn’t care really what I was eating. I just wanted food. Then at 7 I started really paying attention to what was in my food. What is my food? I was like, “My mom doesn’t cook and I want to start cooking a home-cooked meal, and the big meals that she should be cooking.” So I picked it up. I started watching Food Network as much as possible, and I just ran with that. I started getting interested. I started going with really simple recipes. And then I just started cooking and it’s been a roller coaster. And here I am now!

    Who was the person you looked up to when you started cooking, whether it’s a TV personality or not — you don’t have to say Guy. Who was your hero in the kitchen?
    That’s a hard question. The answer — to be honest — I would probably just have to say Guy, just because when I saw him the first time, he reminded me so much of my dad, because he likes tattoos and rock ‘n’ roll and guitars. He reminded me of my dad …. My dad doesn’t cook a lot either — he does some grilling. [Guy]‘s like the dad that cooks. He was like my cooking dad almost …. He was just really my quote unquote cooking godfather ….

    Watch an Episode of The Jersey Shore kid Below

  • Holiday Baking Turns Into a Sweet Battleground on the New Series Holiday Baking Championship 1 Oct 2014 | 10:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Holiday Baking ChampionshipWhen it comes to the holidays, baking has become an integral part of the tradition of celebration. But in Food Network’s new series, it’s turning into downright competition.

    In Holiday Baking Championship, premiering Sunday, Nov. 9 at 9|8c, eight home bakers will get the chance to show off their sweet skills and holiday traditions as they compete for the grand prize of $50,000 and the title of Holiday Baking Champion. Whether they’re baking cookies, pies, fruitcakes or gingerbread houses, these bakers represent the best of the best when it comes to creating holiday sweets that can stand up to this festive competition, hosted by Bobby Deen, and the serious judging from a panel of experts: Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Lorraine Pascale.

    Each week’s challenges will narrow down the field of bakers until just one remains to claim the championship title. Holiday baking just got a lot more competitive.

    In each of six episodes, competitors will tackle holiday dessert battles that will gauge their skills and creativity under pressure. Will they be able to make over the misunderstood fruitcake? Can they create anything but a pie out of store-bought pie crust? Will they be able to translate their favorite holiday memory into dessert? These are just a sample of all the challenges that you can expect to see on Holiday Baking Championship.

    And the holiday baking fun doesn’t stop there. Each week fans can tune in online to watch judge Duff, in a Web-exclusive video series, bake fantasy creations based on each episode’s theme.

    Visit FoodNetwork.com/BakingChampionship for recipes, videos and behind-the-scenes photos, plus join the baking banter on Twitter using #BakingChampionship.
    Take Our Poll

  • The Chef’s Take: Kabocha Squash Soup from The Fat Radish 1 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Fat Radish CookbookThe Fat Radish, which opened in 2010, is one of those perfect New York City restaurants. The uncomplicated, slightly British, vegetable-focused menu traces the seasons with local as its mantra. The design is that effortless combination of reclaimed barnyard and weathered industrial chic. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. And the folks in the seats all look as though they might have just walked off the set of Girls. All the pieces come together courtesy of owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, self-taught cooks who are passionate about good ingredients, great design, and feeding guests well.

    Their new book, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, takes you through a year of vegetable-focused eating, with one hundred recipes from the restaurant’s constantly evolving menu, including carrot and avocado salad with hijiki and crispy kale, grilled whole fish with spicy grape salsa, peach ceviche with raw fluke, and this impossibly creamy, vegan Kabocha squash soup (recipe below).

    “Whole foods feature big in our cooking,” said Winser. “Part of our philosophy is all about sourcing the best seasonal produce you can, and using those ingredients in a simple way. It’s a wonderful reminder about how diverse the seasons are. I can’t wait for fall and am craving the new produce that will be available.”

    Kabocha Soup

    Kabocha Squash SoupServes 6

    One 3-pound kabocha squash
    Coarse salt
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, finely diced
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    3 cups vegetable stock
    1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
    1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
    Small handful chopped chives

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    Cut the kabocha in half and scoop out and discard the seeds and the stringy

    flesh inside. Wrap the cleaned squash in aluminum foil and place in the oven.

    Roast until softened, about an hour. Set the squash aside.

    Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, turmeric, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring now and then, until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer while you prepare the squash.

    Peel off and discard the skin from half of the roasted squash and add the flesh to the soup. Use an immersion blender to puree. Season to taste with salt.

    Cut the remaining half of roasted squash into wedges and place them in the soup.

    Serve the soup hot, garnishing each serving with toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of chives.

    © The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries: Putting Vegetables at the Center of the Plate by Ben Towill and Phil Winser, Rizzoli New York, 2014.

    Photos: Nicole Franzen

    Andrea Strong is a freelance writer whose work often appears in Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She’s probably best known as the creator of The Strong Buzz, her food blog about New York City restaurants. She lives in Queens with her two kids, her husband and her big appetite.

  • Do You Know Your Knives? [INFOGRAPHIC] 1 Oct 2014 | 7:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Cutthroat Kitchen Knife

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