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The Pigs of the Sea

The Pigs of the Sea

Spicy Asian Seafood

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Mulberry Madness!

Mulberry Madness!

Dave DeWitt Goes Foraging

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Sausage Spectacular!

Sausage Spectacular!

Hot Links from Mike Stines

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Cinco de Mayo in Italy

Cinco de Mayo in Italy

Mexitalian Cooking!

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Part 3: Hardening-Off and Transplanting

Part 3: Hardening-Off and Transplanting

The Next Step in Your Chile Pepper Garden

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Sizzling Seafood, Part One

Sizzling Seafood, Part One

Mike Spices Up the Sea

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Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

Mike Stines on Wieners

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  • Meet Charles Tanqueray: History in a Bottle 29 May 2015 | 5:24 am

    Gin mastermind Charles Tanqueray can be a mysterious player in the world of liquor. Nearly 200 years after he crafted one of the world’s most lasting booze brands, there are few details about Charles that follow his green barrel-shaped bottles around the world. In a phone interview, Tanqueray’s current Master Distiller Tom Nichol gave me some insight into the legendary man. Continue reading →

  • Chicken Wings with Asian Glaze 28 May 2015 | 4:56 pm

    I’m a big fan of chicken wings but not so much Buffalo-style wings so I thought I’d get creative for an upcoming cookout and add some sweet and spicy Asian-style glaze to steamed and baked chicken wings. (Of course, the wings could be deep-fried but deep frying is time-consuming and tends to get expensive unless you’re doing a bunch of wings or frying other things.) Continue reading →

  • Hot News 28 May 2015 | 3:24 am

    Ghost peppers and rock music. That's this week's Hot News. It's short, but sweet. Happy National Hamburger Day. Continue reading →

  • Red Boats – Spicy stuffed peppers 24 May 2015 | 3:40 pm

    Stuffed chiles and peppers are among our favorites and new recipes with us often arise from ingredients that are right there - must still away - like last week before a trip. Sometimes this really great creations coming out, like here in our "Red boats" - long pepper with an upbeat potato and cheese filling. Highly recommended for your enjoyment! Continue reading →

  • Meet Jack Daniel: History in a Bottle 22 May 2015 | 7:00 pm

    It occurred to me recently that outside of the iconic square bottle with the black label marked “Old No. 7,” most guys don’t know a lot about Jack Daniel. Like many other distillers, particularly those in the age before multi-billion dollar liquor conglomerates, Jack is a fascinating guy to learn about. Continue reading →






  • 7 Dishes FoodNetwork.com Staffers Are Fired Up to Grill 29 May 2015 | 1:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Memorial Day has come and gone, and now it’s officially summer, aka grilling season for us food obsessives. We’ve got countless amazing reasons to fire up your grill and win summer, but to narrow the field, here are personal recipe picks from FoodNetwork.com staffers. Behold the decadent burgers, in-season sides, fresh seafood and even grilled desserts that we’re most excited to make (and devour) this summer.

    “My top priority this summer: Marc Murphy’s burger recipe. Take a look and you’ll understand why. The special sauce calls for roasted garlic, mayo, ketchup and vodka. If you’re skeptical about the alcohol part (as I was at first), let me remind you of how amazing vodka sauce is. I’m confident the same magic happens here. And because I love to bake (and am admittedly drawn to more complicated recipes), I can’t wait to make a batch of the cheddar-black pepper buns. I usually can’t stop myself from topping each patty with a slice (or three) of cheese, but I think these cheesy buns will be quite enough.”
    – Lauren Miyashiro, Magazine Online Coordinator

    “Corn is one of those distinctly summery foods that you could eat year-round (frozen or imported), but it tastes so much better off a freshly husked ear. Apartment dwelling forces us to boil corn more often than we’re able to grill it, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a grill in someone’s backyard (charcoal, preferably). Those slightly charred, sweet kernels are the perfect canvas for flavored butters, zesty sauces and ample spice. But my favorite preparation is elote (Mexican-style street corn), slathered in mayo, citrus juices, chili powder and plenty of cheese.”
    – Lindsay Damast, Editor

    “I’m a huge fan of grilled staples like steaks and burgers, but this summer I want to try out more shrimp recipes. The first one on my list is this scampi from Bobby Flay, finished with an amped-up version of classic herb butter. It’ll be great for entertaining, because the whole recipe is done on the grill — even the sauce!”
    – Ricky Smith, Programming Coordinator

    “The hustle-and-bustle atmosphere, the countless museums, the vibrant restaurant scene — there are millions of reasons to love living in New York City. But a lack of private outdoor space may not be one of them. I live in an apartment building, which means that my ‘front porch’ is a chunk of sidewalk shared with hundreds of other people, and there’s no backyard to speak of, so there’s surely no place for a grill. Or a picnic table. Or even a single lounge chair. But that doesn’t stop me from indulging in the smoky flavor of barbecue I crave this time of year. I just opt for this recipe from Tyler Florence for moist, saucy ribs. They are made entirely in the oven, and they turn out fall-off-the-bone tender. Every. Single. Time. And when it comes to flavor, Tyler’s homemade barbecue sauce is full of sweet and savory, sticky ingredients that do not disappointment. Barbecue with a city view. I’ll take it.”
    – Maria Russo, Editor

    “I love a grilled pizza — not just because they’re delicious, but because of the double take people do when you tell them what’s for dinner. “Pizza … on the grill?! Heck yeah!” It’s a conversation piece; it’s a showstopper. And it’s such an easy dinner. I keep some prepared dough from my local market on hand throughout the season and get a busy weeknight dinner done with a fridge-raider pie made of mozzarella, olives and tomatoes. Come Sunday Funday, though, nothing beats an evening on the patio with friends, beers and a few rounds of dough loaded up with tons of meat and veggies.”
    – Patrick Decker, Digital Content Manager

    Several of our editors are drooling over this impressive burger:

    “When it comes to cooking, my husband is a typical dude: Grilling is his specialty. He makes a mean classic backyard burger, but this summer I’m requesting that he up the ante with this cheese-stuffed version from Trisha Yearwood. Since he’s a Southerner who introduced me to his beloved pimento cheese years ago, I know which of Trisha’s cheese suggestions he’ll pick for his patty (blue cheese for me, please!). Once the burgers are stuffed, we’ll serve the extra pimento cheese spread with crackers and veggies to get the cookout started.”
    – Sara Levine, Senior Editor

    “No matter the season, I’m all for a good cheeseburger. If I’m getting really serious about it, as I most likely am as the weather heats up, I prefer to follow Trisha’s method for her Cheese-Stuffed Burgers. Rather than laying a slice of cheese over the top, it’s all about forming the meat around a core of cheese. Once you fire it all up on a hot grill, you get the most ooey-gooey burgers of all, which jives perfectly with a well-charred exterior and juicy center. Since I live in an itty-bitty apartment without a grill here in New York City, I get my cheese-stuffed burger fix with the Juicy Lucy at Whitman’s in the East Village. It tides me over just fine.”
    – Allison Milam, Associate Editor

    “My favorite summer dinners are grilled from start to finish, including an unexpectedly smoky dessert for the finale. I love grilling peaches and toasting s’mores, but the dessert I’ve waited all year to eat is slices of honey-glazed pineapple crowned with massive, melty scoops of vanilla ice cream and coconut sorbet.”
    – Erin Hartigan, Programming Manager

    Find 500+ ways to win summer at FoodNetwork.com’s Grilling Central

  • Confetti Monkey Bread, Because Everything Is Better with Sprinkles 29 May 2015 | 10:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Confetti Monkey BreadIf you love monkey bread as much as I do, you are not going to want to miss this delicious from-scratch recipe. Imagine the delight and awe of a birthday boy or girl waking up to this delicious and beautiful treat.

    You can make this from-scratch monkey bread in the morning or the night before, but if you are planning on making it the morning, be sure to get up early or plan on having it for brunch. When making bread from scratch there is a proofing period in addition to the baking, and this can add considerable time to the process.

    If you read through the recipe, one thing you may have noticed is that I used cinnamon extract (commonly found in most grocery stores) in place of cinnamon. This was purely for aesthetic purposes, as I wanted to create a beautifully light and colorful monkey bread. If you are not opposed to a dark brown confetti bread, feel free to omit the extract and substitute 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.

    Confetti Monkey BreadConfetti Monkey Bread

    Dough

    5 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 120 degrees F)
    1 1/4 cups warm whole milk (105 degrees F to 120 degrees F)
    1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
    2 large eggs, beaten and at room temperature
    1 cup rainbow jimmies, plus extra for garnish

    Coating

    3/4 cup unsalted butter
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon cinnamon extract
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Cream Cheese Glaze
    3 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Pour flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of stand mixer with dough attachment.

    Add in the yeast and turn on lowest speed for 30 seconds to evenly distribute.

    Add warm water, melted butter and eggs to the flour/yeast mixture all at once. Beat on low to medium speed until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

    Add in sprinkles and mix for 30 more seconds, or until mostly distributed.

    Remove dough from mixer, shape it into a ball with your hands and place it in a greased bowl that is at least twice as large as the ball of dough.

    Turn the dough over once to grease the entire surface.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let it rise until doubled in size. (You can also place in the refrigerator overnight.)

    Make the Coating

    Melt butter in a medium bowl. Add in granulated sugar and extracts. Set aside.

    Generously spray the bottom and sides of a Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Punch the dough down by pushing your fist into the center and then start pulling the edges into the center.

    Pull apart dough into small pieces about an inch across. Roll in your hands to create smooth, uniform dough balls.

    Place one layer of dough balls into Bundt pan, then pour one-third of the melted butter mixture over.

    Repeat this process twice more or until you have used all the dough and butter mixture.

    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover with foil if the top browns too quickly.

    While monkey bread is cooking, prepare glaze.

    Glaze

    Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla, and mix until fully incorporated. If glaze seems too thick, add more milk. If glaze seems too runny, add in a bit more powdered sugar. You are looking for a gravy-like consistency where the glaze will fall over the sides of the monkey bread but not spill off completely.

    Remove monkey bread from oven.

    Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then invert onto serving plate.

    Whisk glaze briefly, then pour over monkey bread. Garnish with more sprinkles.Confetti Monkey Bread

  • What to Watch: A Weekend of Grilling and a Wedding Cake Finale on Spring Baking Championship 29 May 2015 | 7:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Spring BakingIt’s time to pull out the grill and get cooking, and this weekend on Food Network it’s all about grilling. Friday night watch a grilling episode of Triple D as Guy Fieri visits Los Angeles and Las Vegas, followed by a new episode of American Diner Revival. Then on Saturday morning, Ree Drummond makes grilled dessert pizzas for the kids, Trisha Yearwood is grilling with her family and the cast of The Kitchen heads outdoors for a backyard cookout. The grilling continues on Sunday as Damaris Phillips hosts a family bash and Nancy Fuller heads to the races.

    Sunday night on Triple G, four pitmasters go head-to-head in grilling games. Then catch the finale of Spring Baking Championship to find out who wins the $50,000 with their most-creative wedding cake. Cap off the evening with Cutthroat Kitchen, where one chef might end up getting grilled.

    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Griddles and Vittles

    This trip, Guy Fieri’s headed west for barbecue and beyond. In Los Angeles, there’s a food-court gem grilling up homemade chorizo and a Yucatan turkey special. Then, in Las Vegas, two funky joints are firing up the grill and slinging dishes that’ll have you licking your chops … and your fingers.

    Friday 10|9c

    American Diner Revival: From Bland to Glam

    Longtime friends Ben, Brian and Mike bought the Johnny Cakes diner in Nyack, N.Y., to save it from extinction, but now someone needs to help save them. Renovation expert Ty Pennington and Chef Amanda Freitag have their hands full with rocking booths, boring burgers and an all-around dull presentation, but with only 32 hours, will they be able to do everything that’s needed to give the guys the surprise of a lifetime?

    Friday 10:30|9:30c

    The Pioneer Woman: The Middles

    Ree Drummond celebrates her middle children, Paige and Bryce, with three snapshots of food and fun over a week while the other kids are away. She’s making their favorite food, starting with Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup. There’s speedy, creamy Bow-Tie Skillet Alfredo with chicken, and build-your-own Grilled Fruit Pizzas with a cookie base, cream cheese frosting and indoor-grilled glossy fruit.

    Saturday 10a|9c

    Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Family Grilling and Chilling

    Trisha’s brother-in-law and his wife are coming over to share some favorite family grilling recipes, like Mike’s Pork Candy, Mary’s Baked Beans, grilled In-the-Husk Corn on the Cob, and Trisha’s Grilled Pineapple served with ice cream and a warm apricot sauce.

    Saturday 10:30a|9:30c

    The Kitchen: Backyard Cookout

    Fire up the grill for a delicious chicken with Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe and then see how to doctor up store-bought barbecue sauce. Geoffrey Zakarian shows how to grill a lobster, and Katie Lee has a colorful quinoa side salad. Plus, tips to set up the perfect barbecue buffet, grill trends, answers to your most-common grilling questions, and a Tequila Sunrise recipe.

    Saturday 11a|10c

    Southern at Heart: Phillips Family Grilltacular

    Damaris Phillips invites her family over for a grilling feast potluck. She starts with a spicy banana pepper-and-jalapeno compote that’s slathered over a beautiful grilled pork tenderloin. With the grill lit up, she uses it to bring smoky, caramelized goodness to her grilled succotash pasta salad, and even cherries and oranges are grilled for her out-of-this-world grilled old fashioned cocktail.

    Sunday 12|11c

    Farmhouse Rules: Hudson 500, International Farmway

    Nothing gives Nancy Fuller a greater thrill than putting the pedal to the metal in her farm truck, so she’s grilling up a race-themed menu for her family before they head out to the racetrack. She’s making grilled barbecue chicken sandwiches, grilled fruit and vegetable kebabs, Victory Lap Nachos, and for dessert, a Chocolate and Vanilla Checkered Flag Cake.

    Sunday 12:30|11:30c

    Guy’s Grocery Games: Thrillin’ Grillin’

    Experienced chefs from all over the country are fired up about making their best grilled dish — until Guy Fieri informs them they can only use ingredients that begin with A, B or G, for “Always Be Grilling.” Next, chefs must incorporate tamarind paste into their meaty madness. The final two chefs go head-to-head with their family-favorite recipes as the store closes around them in a fast-paced grill-off!

    Sunday 8|7c

    Spring Baking Championship: Wedding Season

    In the epic finale, the three remaining bakers first take on a wedding dessert bar challenge. For their final main heat, it’s all about creating a wedding cake that truly deserves to be the centerpiece of the big day. The baker who can impress the judges with the most-spectacular wedding cake will become the Spring Baking Champion and take home $50,000!

    Sunday 9|8c

    Cutthroat Kitchen: Grill or Be Grilled

    Four chefs are fired up to be named Cutthroat’s grill master. One chef makes a dish that almost tastes like chicken. Then somebody feels the heat while tied to a rotisserie. Finally, burgers are made as never before.

    Sunday 10|9c

  • From the Network’s Point of View: Susie Fogelson on 11 Seasons of Star Power and Culinary POVs 29 May 2015 | 6:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Susie FogelsonMuch like Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson are no strangers to the inner workings of Food Network Star. These Food Network executives know well what to look for as they discern glimmers of Star power among the hopefuls, and each year it’s up to them to sit with the mentors on the Selection Committee and represent the network as it recruits its newest personality. Just in time for next weekend’s Season 11 premiere, on Sunday, June 7 at 9|8c, Star Talk chatted with both Bob and Susie to learn more about what their roles at Food Network look like beyond the Selection Committee and get their takes on what skills contestants ought to have before beginning this ultimate job interview.

    Read on below to get the dish from Susie and learn her take on the all-important culinary POV, then click here for an exclusive interview with Bob.

    Tell us about what you do. What does a typical day look like for you?
    Susie Fogelson: I’m a pretty typical working mom. My goal every morning is to have my kids (and myself) fed, dressed and out the door by 8:30 a.m. We’re successful most of the time. I drop them off at school and then go to our lovely office in the Chelsea Market, where I’m typically in meetings from the moment I arrive until it’s time to go home and have dinner with my family. It’s a hectic, whirlwind of a schedule, but I love what I do.

    What’s the best part of your job as Selection Committee member with Bob?
    SF: It’s funny, Bob’s office is so close to mine, but we’re so busy we rarely see each other more than a couple of times a week. So the best part of being on the show with Bob is having the pleasure of his company all day, every day.

    Aside from stellar camera skills and solid cooking chops, what are three skills you think a Food Network Star must have before beginning this journey?
    SF: Confidence, passion, and the ability to think and move fast on his or her feet.

    How do you think the series has evolved from its earliest days?
    SF: I think Food Network Star’s been pretty successful because there’s been a consistent strategy all these years; the bones have remained the same. What has evolved is the caliber of the contestants. As food TV has exploded, the contestants have become more sophisticated, and they keep getting better and better.

    Culinary POV — it’s an oft-mentioned term on this show, and for good reason. Can you talk a bit about why it’s so crucial that each finalist has one, and a strong one at that?
    SF: Your culinary point of view is another way of saying what makes you unique as a brand. It’s knowing what you’re truly passionate about, what you’re good at and what you can do that no one else can in quite the same way. As a brand, there’s a promise made to consistently deliver excellence at what you do. If you’re truly passionate, if it’s in your DNA, the audience will pick up on that.

    So much is made of all things a finalist must do to be successful in this job. But what about the things they should be sure not to do?
    SF: Over-rehearsing is the biggest one. It’s best to come in organized and prepared but not memorized. If you’re too rehearsed, you’ll lack that spark that comes with spontaneity. I’d also recommend not wearing high heels in the kitchen — just seems dangerous!

    All these years later, what’s been your greatest lesson learned about what it takes to find a Food Network Star?
    SF: Having a winning personality is great, but what’s truly important is having a depth of knowledge and a curiosity about food. It’s always compelling to watch people who are fascinated by what they do.

  • May the Best Cake Win: Bakers to Battle for $10,000 in a New Series 28 May 2015 | 1:31 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    In the new series Cake Wars, premiering Monday, June 29th at 8|7c, four expert bakers aim to win their jaw-dropping cake a spot at a major party or special event. With Jonathan Bennett hosting, each of the bakers will bake one-of-a-kind creations with the hopes of impressing well-known pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel, Fonuts co-owner Waylynn Lucas and some very special guest judges. Each week, only one contestant will take the cake to headline the main event, and take home the sweet grand prize of $10,000.

    Each of the bakers will compete in two rounds during the competition. In the first, they will be given a surprise ingredient that they must incorporate into the recipe. And in the second, they must make a cake that contains three special features that match the event’s theme. In both rounds, their skills will be tested as they race to get dessert on the table before time runs out. At the end of the second round, they will be judged on taste and presentation, but only one baker will seize the sweet grand prize.

    The events that will feature these over-the-top cakes are themed for The Simpsons, DC Comics, Nintendo’s Mario Maker, Hello Kitty, LEGO®, Girl Scouts, The Knot Dream Wedding, and the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Don’t miss all of the sweet action!

    Go behind the scenes of Cake Wars at FoodNetwork.com/CakeWars for photo galleries and show highlights, as well as join the conversation on Twitter using #CakeWars.

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