Sip Your Way Through Summer — Summer Soiree
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Summer may not be the only time for drinking, but it is most definitely, absolutely and the best time. Outdoor barbecues are met with a cold beer. Afternoons on the porch are complete with spiked lemonade. A day spent shading yourself by the pool necessitates a frozen margarita just as much as your favorite pair of sunnies. This week, check out Food Network’s complete guide to summer drinking, and get a rundown of the most-thirst-quenching sips of the season. Hey, even if you’re attached to a blaring AC unit all summer long, you could probably use a cold one.
Sangria is best fixed by the pitcher. Depending on what kind of vino you’re into, Rachael Ray’s White Sangria — complete with ripe peaches, green apples and raspberries — is crisp and refreshing. If you typically go for red, Bobby Flay’s Red Wine Sangria is deepened with brandy, triple sec and pomegranate juice, before orange and apple slices, blackberries and pomegranate seeds are stirred in. Prepare both recipes ahead so the ingredients have time to meld together.
Before you even begin to sweat, fix yourself something so cool it’s in the name. Try a Cucumber-Pineapple Tequila Cooler (bottom right) that capitalizes on cucumbers’ innate refreshing qualities in every sip. For those who dig a cocktail with a little zing, Giada De Laurentiis’ Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler blends ice-cold beer and fresh peaches with real ginger. And if the heat needs to be kicked out of you, The Cherry-Chipotle Cooler blends Bing cherry puree, lemon juice, chipotle puree and more for a cross between tangy and powerfully spicy.
Bobby knows how to mix a good mojito. His recipe for Mojito Limeade comes with a welcomed shock of citrus, while his Frozen Mojito (top left) hinges on crushed ice for extra refreshment.
Even if you’re not taking your sips in a tropical locale, a taste of the tropics is the best way to cool you down. With pineapple, grenadine and tequila involved, you won’t be able to resist a glass of Tropical Temptation (bottom left). That is, unless you’re stirring up Ted Allen’s tropical twist on a classic dark rum-based cocktail: his Passion Fruit Hurricane (top right).
If drinking isn’t totally your thing, or you want to include the little ones, Giada’s Virgin Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis and Ree Drummond’s Virgin Mango Margaritas work as ideal stand-ins. They might lack in alcohol, but they don’t lack in refreshment.
More summer cocktail recipes from friends and family:
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Strawberry-Mint Bellinis
The Lemon Bowl: Raspberry-Ginger Bellini
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: White Peach Sangria
The Heritage Cook: Refreshing Lime Coolers
The Cultural Dish: Pimm’s Cup
Virtually Homemade: Frozen Lime Margaritas with a Sangria Swirl
Weelicious: Strawberry Lemonade
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Strawberry Gimlets with Homemade Strawberry Vodka
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumber and Sage Cocktail
Red or Green: Frozen Tri-Melon Cocktail
Dishing With Divya: Caipirinha
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Cantaloupe Lillet Sparkler
Poet in the Pantry: Pirate’s Booty Call
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Watermelon Malibu Surf
Sweet Life Bake: Boozy Affogato
Devour: 5 Boozy Summer Coolers
Domesticate Me: Blueberry Mojito Royale
Haute Apple Pie: Classic Mojito
Daily*Dishin: Blackberry Rum Shrub
Taste With The Eyes: Korean Soju Kimbap Bloody Mary
FN Dish: Sip Your Way Through Summer (Recipes)
Beyond Ketchup: 5 Transforming Toppers Kids Can’t Resist
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Ever tried to serve your kids something new? I write a blog about cooking for kids — about cooking one dinner, about raising kids who appreciate real food, about trying again when it doesn’t work out — so we eat a lot of new stuff around here. And when our group of four little ones (all under the age of 6) are skeptical about my latest culinary experiment, I try to bridge the gap with familiar, and beloved, flavors. No, the kids don’t all like the same things, but there are a few universally loved flavors. These are my heavy hitters, the MVPs of the kitchen and our best flavor ambassadors.
Fresh Lemon: Squeezing lemon on anything instantly makes my kids intrigued. Does it work for fish? Yes, of course, but there’s also roasted potato wedges and steak. Even greens like sauteed spinach, Swiss chard and kale are wonderful with a splash of juicy citrus. Plus, squeezing the juice is fun for the kids to do themselves.
Parmesan Cheese: Three of our four kids were born in Rome, and many of their earliest meals included a freshly grated chunk of cheese. Now that we’re in the United States, we still try to get the good stuff, a block of real Parmigiano-Reggiano, when we can. The preshredded stuff works, too (and it’s certainly less expensive), but the benefit of the good stuff is that you use less. It takes only a scant layer of this creamy, nutty, salty cheese to totally transform anything, from basic pasta to roasted broccoli to any casserole, any night.
Cinnamon: We bake a lot of good-for-you-muffins and quick breads, always looking for ways to pack in more nutrition while limiting sugar. That’s where cinnamon comes in. Whenever I reduce sugar, I add cinnamon for tons of flavor. It also works beautifully over applesauce, in chili (just a pinch), and of course over any kind of toast or bagel (right over a schmear of butter).
Dill Pickles: Most kids love crunchy and salty dill pickles. That’s why I put them in all kinds of dishes from egg salad to grilled cheese sandwiches (pictured above from Food Network Magazine) to turkey roll-ups.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Here’s another Italian favorite. I’ll drizzle olive oil over anything that’ll stand still — and then I’ll stand back while the kids devour it. Sometimes I just tell them that I used olive oil in a recipe and — sold! Our current summertime favorite is zucchini sauteed in olive oil with a little salt. But like Parmesan cheese, it also works wonders when poured over any rice or noodle dish, and don’t forget how easy it is to round out dinner with a bowl of cherry tomatoes drizzled in extra virgin olive oil, plus freshly torn basil and salt.
Charity Curley Mathews is a former executive at HGTV.com and MarthaStewart.com turned family food blogger, an editorial strategy consultant and a mother of four. She’s a contributor to The Huffington Post and the founder of Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe.
Restaurant Revisited: Culture Clash at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
“This is tasteless,” Robert Irvine said of the tableful of dishes he sampled at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe in Atlanta. It turns out that the restaurant’s bland food was just one in a series of problems he and his Restaurant: Impossible team discovered on their latest mission. The uninspired decor was appalling to Robert and guests alike, and the staff struggled to work well with owner Jaliwa Owuo. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert overhauled the menu at Marie’s and reopened the eatery with a design that would be welcoming for all. Read on below to hear from Jaliwa and find out how her restaurant is doing today.
“We have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue” since filming ended, Jaliwa explains, noting that “the tipping has increased by 90 percent.”
Jaliwa says that she “learned an awful lot from Chef Robert” and has taken the time since the transformation to start “adding new dishes, releasing old ones and pricing according to his formula.” She notes that she’s no longer micromanaging her back-of-the-house employees, and she explains, “I have allowed my kitchen staff to do what they can do.”
There have been some changes in staff at Marie’s, and several of Jaliwa’s children are no longer working at the restaurant. “Takuma did not stay. He is doing his own thing. … Majidah is back in Ohio. Ndola and Asha only come for lunch from time to time, and I am fine with that,” says Jaliwa. She adds, “My relationship with my children is great.”
The greater Atlanta community is “trickling in” to Marie’s, but Jaliwa adds, “We are working on a guerilla campaign to introduce the restaurant to the community.”
In terms of Jaliwa’s newfound outlook, she explains, “My spirit is up; I am appreciating my quality of life again.” She adds that she now “love[s] entering the restaurant” and explains, “I am thankful to Chef Robert and his support team for all they did.”
More from Restaurant Revisited:
The Fork Diner (July 23)
Portu-Greek Cafe (June 11)
Grace’s Place Bagels and Deli (June 4)
Bama Q (May 28)
Cave Inn BBQ (May 21)
Bumbinos Italian Ristorante (April 30)
Bryant’s Seafood World (April 23)
Urban Roots (April 9)
gratifi kitchen + bar (April 2)
Mama Della’s N.Y. City Pizzeria (March 26)
Pasión Latin Fusion (March 19)
Tootie’s Texas BBQ (March 12)
Mill Creek BBQ Restaurant (March 5)
Estrada’s Restaurant (February 5)
Hillbillies Restaurant (January 29)
Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill (January 15)
Heather’s Country Kitchen (January 1)
Goombazz Big City Eatzz (December 18)
LBI Pancake House (December 8)
Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company (December 8)
Mike La Susa’s Italian Restaurant (December 4)
Seven (November 27)
Georgia Boy Cafe (November 20)
Coach Lamp Restaurant & Pub (November 13)
The Windsor 75 (November 6)
Ducky’s Family Restaurant (October 30)
Mama Campisi’s Restaurant (October 23)
Aponte’s Pizzeria (August 25)
Try a Hearty Breakfast-Inspired Skillet for Dinner Tonight
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
On this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient turnips. In order to create a hearty and quick weeknight dinner that the whole family will love, the chefs decided to roast turnips and top them with eggs to create a filling breakfast-inspired skillet in this Roasted Baby Turnips with Miso Butter and Fried Eggs recipe. The recipe also makes great use of the turnip greens to bump up its nutritional factor and includes miso for a pop of umami. This dish is a satisfying and comforting twist on eggs and hash that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
First, preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
Toss the baby potatoes, onions and turnips with two tablespoons of vegetable oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and place in the oven until the vegetables are golden-brown and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the miso butter by adding butter, miso, garlic, ginger and half the scallion greens in a bowl and stirring until combined.
Thickly slice the remaining turnip greens and stems into 1/2 inch pieces.
Stir the turnip greens and scallion whites in the pan with the roasted vegetables until just wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the miso butter to the pan and coat the vegetables. Return the skillet to the oven to keep it warm while the eggs are being prepared.
Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Crack 4 to 6 eggs in a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites start to set, 2 to 3 minutes, and then cover with a lid and continue cooking until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve, top the roasted vegetables with the fried eggs and garnish with the remaining sliced scallions.
Get the recipe: Roasted Baby Turnips with Miso Butter and Fried Eggs
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients from an episode, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
Hot or Cold Shrimp: Which Do You Prefer?
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Food Network Magazine wants to know which side you’re on. Vote in the poll below and tell FN Dish whether you prefer hot shrimp or cold shrimp.