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  • Chiles Reach Africa: An Excerpt from Dave DeWitt’s New Food History Book, Precious Cargo: How Foods from the Americas Changed the World 24 Jul 2014 | 10:02 pm

    The most likely scenario for the introduction and spread of chile peppers into Africa south of the Sahara is as follows. Varieties of Capsicum annuum and chinense were introduced into all West and East African Portuguese ports during the 40 years between 1493 and 1533, with the introduction into West Africa logically preceding that of East Africa. The chiles were first grown in small garden plots in coastal towns by the Portuguese settlers and later by the Africans. Continue reading →

  • Dave DeWitt’s Book Tour Dates Set 23 Jul 2014 | 1:47 pm

    I'll be on the road to four locations in Texas in August to perform cooking demonstrations for one of two of my latest books, Dishing Up New Mexico, at four Central Market Cooking School locations. I'll be in Dallas (August 11), Ft. Worth (August 12), Austin (August 13), and Houston (August 14). While in Houston, I will be making appearances around the city and particularly at the iBurn hot shop. Continue reading →

  • Garden Bounty: 3 Spicy and Chilled Summer Soups We Love 22 Jul 2014 | 7:32 pm

    I guess I don’t need to tell you that these soups are refreshing to serve during hot summer days and you don’t need to turn on the stove. But I do need to tell you that fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden or farmer’s market make the most flavorful soups, and also that your food processor and/or blender will get quite a workout. Continue reading →

  • Hot Monkey Pepper Vodka 21 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm

    Guarding the northeast post at Distillery Row is New Deal Distillery, home to 4 vodkas, 2 gins, and 2 liqueurs. One vodka is a perfect fit for us here at the Burn! Blog, and you’ll know right away by its name: Hot Monkey Vodka, the star of New Deal’s line because it won a Gold Medal for flavored vodkas at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Olympics of distilled spirits. Continue reading →

  • Only One Week Left for the Scovie Early Bird Special! 21 Jul 2014 | 1:08 pm

    There's just a little over a week left to take advantage of the Early Bird Special with a discount of $10 per entry. The Special ends July 30. So, if you're planning to enter more than one product into our 19th annual Scovie Awards Competition, now is the time to act. Continue reading →

  • Creamed Corn with Bacon — Down-Home Comfort 25 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Creamed Corn with BaconWhen I was a little girl, my grandfather had a large garden down by the Savannah River. It was situated between the river itself and a stand of trees. There was an old homestead, really an old, rundown fish shack with an ancient rusty pump for water. The soil was deep black, soft and fine-grained, a result of the years of silt washing downstream through the river basin. My sister and I would play alongside the garden or fish in the river while my grandfather worked in the field. There is something magical to me about a field of corn. Some varieties loom high, reaching into the blue summer sky. The rows are tight and the long, ribbonlike leaves blow in the wind, creating a seemingly impenetrable fortress.

    I was scared to death of the cornfield when I was a child. And, truth be told, I’m not in a hurry to get into a patch of corn as an adult. My grandmother scared the mess out of me telling me not to go into the corn as a child. She’d admonish, “Don’t go in there; you might get on a snake.” For those of you that might chuckle at that fear, I only add that my home state of Georgia is also home to all five deadly poisonous snakes in North America, and that riverside gardens seem to be an especially hospitable habitat for them.

    My grandfather would harvest the corn and bring it up from the river in great burlap sacks. We’d ride up the hill, and once we were home, he would empty a mountain of corn under the carport. When corn comes in, it comes in a deluge! It would be all hands on deck to shuck it. The women of the family would take it inside to wash away the silks, cut the corn kernels off the cob and then scrape the milky juice from the spent cobs with the back of their knife. The majority of the corn was bagged to freeze and later enjoy throughout the year, but there was always a simmering skillet of creamed corn at every meal when the corn was at peak season. And, while creamed corn is a wonderful treat at Thanksgiving, there is simply nothing like farm-fresh corn just picked, shucked and creamed in a matter of hours. Candy doesn’t taste as sweet. My grandmother always cooked it with a bit of bacon or bacon grease that created the perfect marriage of sweet and salty.

    Creamed corn in the summertime is more than a side dish to me. It’s down-home comfort in the best of ways. It feeds both my heart and my stomach.

    Bon Appétit, Y’all!

    Get the Recipe: Creamed Corn with Bacon

    Georgia-born, French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. A Southern food authority, she is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, among others. Follow her continuing exploits at VirginiaWillis.com.

  • Juice — Off the Shelf 25 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Juice - Off the Shelf CookbookThere are countless ways to enjoy summer produce, and FN Dish has touched on a lot of them in Off the Shelf (I’m looking at you, Corn and Zucchini Fritters and Peach Jam with Sriracha). One that we haven’t addressed yet is juicing, and that’s because until this week the right book hadn’t come along. Juice by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores and Hayden Slater (founders of the Pressed Juicery) came out this week and it’s the book you’ve been waiting for if you’ve ever been curious about layering fresh juice into your weekly food routine.

    The three entrepreneurs love their juice drinks, and their excitement for what they do shines through each page of the book. Never before has juicing looked more delectable; the flavor combinations they present are so tempting you almost feel like you’re getting away with something when you enjoy them. This book stands apart because it explains the technical side of juicing in simple, inviting language no matter how much or how little experience you have with the process. You can start at the beginning and build your juicing regimen from scratch, or hop in at the middle with Juice’s huge selection of bright, enticing flavor combinations and suggestions. The recipe sections are broken down into chapters on greens, roots and citrus, and each section contains a wide selection of recipes and flavor combinations for you to try. It also has chapters on nut milks, sweet sips, savory and spicy juices, smoothies, flavored waters and elixirs, and more.

    If you’re new to the concept of juicing (like I was) the book answers all your startup questions: What tools do I need? What’s the difference between this juicer and that juicer? How do I select and prepare the produce for juicing? How do I balance flavors? If you’re more familiar with the process of juicing, the book contains great information about safely trying a juice cleanse, but you certainly don’t have to cleanse to get your money’s worth from the book. It’s worth it just for the Pineapple, Beet, Pear and Ginger Juice recipe, or the Spicy Tomato, Greens and Fennel Juice recipe (below). Wherever you fall on the juicing-experience spectrum, this is the book for you if you’ve ever wanted to expand your knowledge about making juice from scratch at home. Click here to order yours today.

    Spicy Tomato, Greens and Fennel JuiceSpicy Tomato, Greens and Fennel 
    This tomato-based juice might sound a little bit like a V8, but we guarantee that this one is better for you, better tasting and more natural. While we don’t recommend that you eat tomatoes if you’re doing a cleanse, tomatoes do have a lot of health benefits. Rich in lycopene, a carotenoid pig¬ment, tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. And in terms of phytonutrients, you can’t do much better than tomatoes. They are incred¬ibly antioxidant rich, which protects the cardiovascular system; they’ve been shown to regulate fat in the blood; and they are known for reducing the risk of heart disease. These are all great qualities for keeping your heart in tip-top shape.

    Makes 1 to 2 (16-ounce) servings

    2 large tomatoes
    Handful of spinach
    2 or 3 celery stalks, to taste
    1/2 small fennel bulb, plus a few of the fronds
    2 cloves garlic
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Reprinted with permission from Juice by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores & Hayden Slater (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Photo Credit: Anaïs & Dax.

  • Guy Reveals 8 Techniques to Survive Guy’s Grocery Games 25 Jul 2014 | 8:45 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Guy Reveals 8 Techniques to Survive Guy's Grocery GamesGuy’s Grocery Games: the only show where chefs have the supermarket to themselves, have to cook in it and have the chance to win some serious dough. “During the first season of the show, when chefs walked in the door, you’d hear, ‘Well, now what do we do?’” Guy shared. “But since most have seen the show, they understand how it progresses,” he continued. But even though they think they know the game now, many still make the same mistakes. And the competition is only getting fiercer.

    With that said, FN Dish asked Guy to share eight ways (from his point of view) to survive Guy’s Grocery Games:

    1. Don’t over-portion.

    2. Don’t add a frivolous garnish.

    3. Use more acid.

    4. Make sure to check your seasoning — the dish probably needs more.

    5. Don’t make a dish that competes against itself (meaning don’t make two or three items).

    6. Make sure the temperature of the proteins is correct — under or over is a fatal flaw.

    7. Less is more (see strategy No. 5).

    8. Use your imagination. Don’t rely on the defining term of what the dish is. Don’t play it safe.

    Let Guy take you around the set of Grocery Games — click play on the video below to go behind the scenes with him.

  • Make Your Own Banana-Chocolate Protein Bar 25 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    protein bars
    One sure way to avoid the highly processed add-ins found in many protein bars is to turn out a batch using your own ingredients and a boost of protein powder. A word on that front: You’ll want a protein powder low in added and artificial sweeteners. Whey, which is dairy-based, is one good option, but there are multiple types of powders on the market (some decent, some less than — so it’s wise to take a close look at ingredients).

    Banana Chocolate-Chip Protein Bars
    Makes 12 bars

    ½ cup honey
    ½ cup almond butter
    ½ cup boxed coconut milk
    ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup rolled oats
    2 cups crisp brown rice cereal
    ½ cup sliced almonds
    ½ cup dried banana chips, roughly chopped
    ½ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt

    Nonstick cooking spray

    Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, almond butter, coconut milk, protein powder, canola oil and vanilla. Stir and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, almonds, banana chips, ¼ cup chocolate chips and salt; toss well. 

Pour warm honey mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir gently with a spatula until well combined.

    Transfer to baking dish, cover with parchment paper and press firmly into dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars or squares.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving:Calories: 194; Total Fat: 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 23 grams; Sugars: 14 grams; Protein: 7 grams; Sodium: 59 milligrams; Cholesterol: 2 milligrams; Fiber: 2 grams

    Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

  • What to Watch: Easy As Pie on Barefoot Contessa and Bobby Grills a Vegetarian Menu 25 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    From indulgent vacation recipes to healthy twists on old favorites, Food Network has you covered this weekend.

    First, join Ree Drummond as she fixes up some manly recipes for her boys on The Pioneer Woman on Saturday. Next, join the gang on The Kitchen as they take you on a vacation right in your own home with tropical meal and cocktail ideas.

    On Sunday, learn the art of pie-making with Ina Garten on a new season of Barefoot Contessa, then find out how to pack a nutritional punch in your favorite dishes with Bobby Flay on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. The fun continues on Sunday night, with three whole hours of competition shows – tune in to new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen.

    The Pioneer Woman: Man Cave

    The boys and their friends are fixing up a man cave on the ranch, and Ree’s feeding them during the remodeling. There are Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis for lunch, then Steak Fingers with Gravy alongside a Mini Chopped Salad and Crazy Brownies for dinner.
    Saturday 10a|9c

    The Kitchen: The Staycation Show

    Jeff Mauro kicks off the staycation show with an island-inspired Jerk Chicken. The crew showcases global gadgets they’ve collected from their culinary travels. Geoffrey Zakarian makes his luxurious, buttery, Lobster Roll recipes, and Katie Lee creates DIY spa treatments with ingredients from your kitchen. Sunny Anderson throws an easy DIY Korean BBQ party, and Geoffrey caps off the staycation with a refreshing Strawberry-Ginger Daiquiri.
    Saturday 11a|10c

    Barefoot Contessa: Easy As Pie

    Baking and blooms are on the menu as Ina shares the secrets of pie making with her friend Michael in exchange for some floristry magic. There are Raspberry Corn Muffins to welcome him to the barn, then Ina shows him how to make foolproof pie crust, a fabulous Fresh Blueberry Pie and a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Then from flour to flowers, it’s over to Michael’s where he shows Ina the secrets of a show-stopping table centerpiece.
    Sunday 10a|9c

    Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics – Veggie Delight

    Chef Bobby offers simple steps for creating a healthy, vegetarian-style menu that packs flavor. First, he creates a Portobello “Pizza” Nicoise, reimagining pizza as a meaty portobello mushroom with Mediterranean toppings. Next he showcases one of his favorite shortcuts for flavorful dressings, with his White Chicory Salad with Apricot Dressing and Grilled Whole Wheat Pita Croutons recipe. Bobby also has a healthier version of a fruity and creamy dessert – Strawberry-Rhubarb Greek Yogurt Fool – and a spin on a Vodka and Orange cocktail.
    Sunday 11a|10c

    Guy’s Grocery Games: Around the World in Three Carts

    In Game 1, take a trip around the world as the chefs create an international dish using items found only in the Clearance Carts. Next, the chefs set out to make a delicious dessert, but Guy surprises them with a savory Red Light Special. In the final game, the chefs try to make their best dish in the letter-limiting challenge, ABC. Whichever chef uses his or her spelling and culinary skills the best will go on to play for $20,000 in the Shopping Spree.
    Sunday 8|7c

    Food Network Star: Rachael Ray Show

    Testing their abilities to think on their feet and react to any situation thrown at them, the finalists are tasked with solving a culinary problem for a Rachael Ray viewer. They must each create a dish that addresses the viewer’s problem, and then perform a demo of the dish on The Rachael Ray Show. The Selection Committee watches the action backstage and determines who will continue forward.
    Sunday 9|8c

    Cutthroat Kitchen: I Like My Peppers Pulverized

    It’s tough to smoke out the competition when forced to use a cigar cutter to make a Cubano sandwich. Then two chefs get up close and personal when stuffed like peppers into a very confined workspace. Finally, one chef must make a tiramisu using coffee filters and stirrers as his or her only tools.
    Sunday 10|9c

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