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Sizzling Seafood, Part One

Sizzling Seafood, Part One

Mike Spices Up the Sea

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Vibrant Veggie Soups for Spring

Vibrant Veggie Soups for Spring

Like Near-Vegan Minestrone

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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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Spicy Burgers on the Grill

Spicy Burgers on the Grill

Guacamole Salmon Burgers, Anyone?

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The Pigs of the Sea

The Pigs of the Sea

Spicy Asian Seafood

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  • Elevate Portable Grill: Burn! Tested 22 Apr 2015 | 3:10 pm

    I have a lot of grills and smokers – I mean really a lot. I recently received something new that I didn’t have: a portable “Elevate Grill” by PointElevate. I’ve used the throw-away kind (the one that looks like a large aluminum turkey pan that is pre-filled with charcoal) at the pond for an impromptu cookout but the Elevate Grill is a real grill with two cooking surfaces powered by a small propane tank. Continue reading →

  • Antica Pizzeria Port ‘​Alba: A Day at the World’s Oldest Pizzeria 19 Apr 2015 | 5:34 pm

    To say the least, I was excited to try the real-deal-holy-field pizza in Naples, but being the world’s oldest pizzeria, I imagined Port ‘Alba would have this proud, uppity feeling. However, I was impressed by the humility of the place. Continue reading →

  • Tequila Superpost, Part 2: What types of tequila are available? 17 Apr 2015 | 4:50 am

    Outside of the origins of tequila, which we discussed in part 1 of this series, it’s arguable that the kinds of tequila are even more critical, especially when you’re out shopping. Here are the 5 primary types of tequila that we talked about at the Fiery Foods Show. Continue reading →

  • Hot News 16 Apr 2015 | 1:25 am

    I'm still a little sore from the good squeezing I got from the IRS this year but with plenty of juice and cookies, this stone's blood flow will be back to normal real soon. Here are a couple of barbecue news bits for your reading pleasure. Continue reading →

  • Chile Chocolate Cake: Recipe 14 Apr 2015 | 2:04 am

    Over on the Super Site, Harald Zoschke recently related the tale of a trip to Italy to see old friends. While that story makes for fun reading, we just had to share this recipe from it to warm you up. Almost everyone loves chocolate cake and it's even better with some heat. Continue reading →






  • Meet Baker Sandy Hunter, Competing in Spring Baking Championship 24 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Sandy HunterEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

    Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

    After going to school for theater, Sandy Hunter (Chicago) found her real passion was baking. After earning a degree in baking and pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, she went on to work at The Art Institute of Chicago. In a few years she became the catering pastry chef there, later leaving to run a kosher bakery. For the past four years she has been at Sweet Sensations Pastry.

    What’s your first memory involving baking?
    When I was in kindergarten, I thought I could cook by mixing a bunch of different flavors of yogurt together and adding cinnamon. I thought I was a genius. As for real baking, when I was in Girl Scouts I made a pineapple upside-down cake from scratch.

    What’s the first thing you learned to bake really well? Do you still make it today?
    In junior high home-economics class we learned how to make biscuits. They weren’t good, but I loved doing it so much I would make them all the time at home in star shapes.

    What would you say is your signature baked item, one that everyone knows you for?
    Bread puddings.

    If you could bake only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Scones or bread.

    What’s your favorite ingredient or item to use in your baking?
    Fresh herbs/seasonal produce.

    What’s your favorite holiday to bake for? What do you typically make?
    Christmas. Quiche, cinnamon rolls, scones, bread pudding.

    Who is (or was) your baking mentor? What’s the No. 1 thing that person taught you?
    The owner of the bakery I currently work for, Sharin Nathan.

    When it comes to baking, how would you describe your style, your mentality?
    Rustic home style.

    If you could bake a cake for anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what would you make?
    My grandmother and nana from my dad’s side. They both cooked/ baked all their lives, and to be able to show them what I can do would be the best thing in the world. I would make a lemon meringue cake.

    What’s the biggest baking fail you’ve ever had that you’re willing to admit to? Were you able to rescue it, or did you have to start from scratch?
    I worked for a kosher bakery that used the most horrid frosting. I was the kitchen manager and tried to get the owner to change it, but she refused. I had a new girl do a large wedding cake, one I should’ve done, and it was square. She put the frosting on so thick, and I didn’t even notice it while she was working. When the delivery driver took it to the hotel, the entire side of a four-tiered square cake collapsed. I had to drive there and sit in a walk-in cooler for an hour and a half patching it up.

    In your opinion, what’s the No. 1 mistake that most home bakers make?
    [Not knowing the] simple science of ingredients.

    What are five or so tips or words of advice you’d give to beginner bakers to improve on their baking?
    1. Know the science behind leaveners.
    2. Know the acids in ingredients.
    3. Know the difference in flours.
    4. Know why French butter is different from American.
    5. Know when to chill/not to chill batter/dough before baking.
    6. Let baked items set.

    Baking Quickfire (name your favorite for each)
    Cake/cupcake: Anything lemon and strawberry or caramel
    Pie/tart: Key lime, banana cream
    Cookie: Lavender shortbread
    Quick bread: Coffee cake
    Yeast bread: French baguette or sourdough
    Pastry: Scone
    Muffin: Apple crumb
    Savory baked item: Anything with spinach

    Keep coming back to FN Dish for more on the bakers, and visit the Spring Baking Championship page for more on the new series, including behind-the-scenes galleries, episode recaps, video highlights and baking tips.

  • Coffee Breaks in Space Are Getting a Whole Lot Better 24 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Espresso MachineEuropean cafe culture has spread across the globe — and now it’s about to travel beyond it. The International Space Station is getting its own coffee bar.

    While astronauts and cosmonauts have long had to settle for instant coffee during their lengthy stays in the orbiting laboratory, now an espresso maker is rocketing their way.

    Designed by Italian Aerospace company Argotec and Italian coffee company Lavazza, the zero-gravity-tailored ISSpresso (its first three letters are the space station’s initials, natch) is roughly the shape and size of a microwave. Into it, astronauts insert a pouch of water and a capsule of espresso, then press a button marked “brew.” Before long — voila! — the machine dispenses a shot of espresso in another pouch, producing the perfect midmission pick-me-up.

    The experimental machine, which will reach a brewing temperature of 167 degrees F, will have to be strapped to the space station’s interior wall with bungee cords, Space.com reports. And to ensure the safety of the space station crew in the midst of all that coffee and steam in zero gravity, extra safety measures — steel tubing, scads of sensors — have been taken as well, according to NPR.

    The ISSpresso was delivered to the space station along with other supplies on Friday. If all goes as planned, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will soon be bellying up to the bar to enjoy the ISSpresso’s initial shot — and she won’t have to drink alone.

    “Everybody can join and can also be happy getting an espresso coffee,” Argotec managing director David Avino told NPR’s The Salt. “And this will be also a great occasion, you know, to all meet together and [have] a coffee all together on the station.”

    Aw, a double shot of togetherness — in space.

  • Our Faves of Your #FoodNetworkFaves: The Freshly Cracked Egg Edition 24 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    #FoodNetworkFaves EggsNo matter your Instagram following, your filtering prowess or your like-to-minute ratio, nothing truly proves #deliciousness like an old-fashioned, ready-set-go contest. Every other week, we’re coming your way in search of the greatest creations made in your very own kitchen. When we call out the theme on Instagram, put your cooking skills to the test by whipping up your go-to Food Network recipe, snapping a photo and tagging #FoodNetworkFaves for your chance to be featured on FN Dish!

    Last week we asked you to get cracking with the best egg dishes of all time. And the truth is, we were surprised at the sheer beauty of these egg images; we couldn’t stop squirming in our seats over the runniest egg sandwiches, most-glorious omelets and all other examples of egg-crackin’, perfectly flipped glory you sent our way. Scrolling through our feed gave way to satisfyingly eggy sandwiches, tarts, quiches, hashes and then some.

    But that’s enough talk. We are pleased to introduce this week’s #FoodNetworkFaves winners!

    Egg and Cheese Croissant SandwichOur mouths gaped at the sight of @joplinrox‘s egg and cheese croissant sandwich, with all that oozing cheese and that buttery, flaky foundation. To get your eggy croissant fix in true comfort-food form, bake a Prosciutto and Provolone Croissant Bread Pudding for early morning eating. In the meantime, we’ll just ogle at this cheesy beauty.

    Breakfast PizzaIt looks like @pam_mathewson is a ‘grammer after our own hearts. Just like our very own Breakfast Pizza recipe, her breakfast pizza comes with a sprinkling of crispy bacon and a helping of fried eggs on top. Yup, we’d take a slice of that for breakfast.

    Pork Hash with Eggs@lisaflourgirl tops off her slow-cooked kalua pork hash with rainbow chard the right way: with a sunny-side-up egg just waiting to pop on top. It looks so good, we’d take it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make your own egg-topped likeness at home with our very own Corned Beef Hash recipe.

    Ratatouille and Eggs@haleythu‘s colorful dish proves that eggs are right at home even on the most-elegant plates. Over a bed of creamy cheese polenta sits veggie-laden ratatouille, plus arugula for a peppery bite and some pickled shallots. With a Parmesan crisp and a few sprigs of basil, the egg crowning this jewel of a dish is, irrefutably, the cherry on top. If having eggs for dinner sounds like a great idea, get our best breakfast ideas that work at any hour.

    Want in on the fun? Stay tuned next week for our next Instagram call-out. Happy cooking!

  • What to Watch: Breakfast for Dinner on The Pioneer Woman and the Premiere of Spring Baking Championship 24 Apr 2015 | 7:30 am FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Spring Baking ChampionshipThis Saturday, watch Food Network for a twist on ordinary dinner, the ultimate comfort-food menu and simple, one-pan weeknight dinner recipes. Start the morning off with The Pioneer Woman as Ree Drummond makes breakfast for dinner, featuring dishes like Wild Rice Pancakes and Breakfast Quesadillas. Next up, Trisha Yearwood is serving a mouthwatering comfort-food feast on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Then, the chefs of The Kitchen are demonstrating quick and easy weeknight dinners and ways to boost the tastiness of ordinary grilled cheese.

    Tune in on Sunday morning to get more great recipes from Food Network stars with new episodes of Giada at Home, Southern at Heart and Farmhouse Rules. On Sunday night, tune in for three hours of competition that will have you on the edge of your seat. First, watch as four chefs from different regions of the United States engage in combat for culinary triumph on Guy’s Grocery Games. At 9|8c, don’t miss a very sweet season premiere of Spring Baking Championship. Watch as eight extremely gifted bakers take on spring-inspired challenges to impress the judges. Cap the night off with a fresh episode of Cutthroat Kitchen to see which chef survives Alton Brown’s mischievous obstacles.

    The Pioneer Woman: Breakfast for Dinner

    Ree Drummond’s putting a breakfast spin on four dinners, starting with sensational Sausage Kale Strata, a real make-ahead wonder. Wild Rice Pancakes get flipped to dinnertime for the girls, while the boys enjoy Breakfast Quesadillas, packed full of bacon and eggs. For Ree herself, Potato Hash with a fried egg makes a super supper.

    Saturday 10a|9c

    Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Comfort to the Max

    Trisha Yearwood brings comfort to the next level as she and her sister, Beth, cook up some of their most-indulgent comfort-food dishes, like Cornbread Salad with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing, Cowboy Lasagna and Venita’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. After the food is prepared, they change into their pajamas and hop back into bed to eat this incredible feast, creating the ultimate day of comfort.

    Saturday 10:30a|9:30c

    The Kitchen: Fresh Fix-Ins

    The gang has fast and easy weeknight meals using only one pan, and tips for making the perfect kebab with two complementing sauces. Learn two ways to bomb your grilled cheese with flavor, and find out how bad your kitchen do’s and don’ts are. Plus, get the recipe for a lemon-inspired cocktail.

    Saturday 11a|10c

    Giada at Home: Friends for Lunch

    Giada De Laurentiis’ daughter, Jade, has invited some friends over for an afterschool lunch, so Giada is whipping up a fun, kid-friendly menu with a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, Creamy Cucumber Salad and Fluffy Chocolate-Peanut Butter Sundaes.

    Sunday 10:30a|9:30c

    Southern at Heart: Bourbon, Bacon, Boots Up!

    Damaris Phillips prepares a Kentucky-inspired meal to share with her friend Nikki before the two take in all of Damaris’ favorite downtown attractions. On the menu are Bourbon BLT Baguettes topped with a Bourbon-Tomato Aioli, served up alongside a bright, flavorful Stewed Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad. For dessert, there’s a Grilled Plum and Bourbon Crisp.

    Sunday 12|11c

    Farmhouse Rules: Jam-Packed Meal

    Nancy Fuller is visiting her friend Beth to taste and pick up some of her famous jams! Then she takes them back to the kitchen to put her Farmhouse Rules to the test. Nancy uses the jams in her recipes for Sage-Rubbed Chicken with Spicy Peach Glaze, Spinach Salad, Roasted Turnips, and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Frozen Yogurt Parfait and Homemade Walnut Brittle!

    Sunday 12:30|11:30c

    Guy’s Grocery GamesBattle America!

    Chefs from four distinct American regions vie for culinary supremacy. First up, they have to turn a hometown hit into a home run while using only five ingredients. Next, it’s sink or swim when the chefs make a seafood supper using nothing but frozen food. Then, how do you prepare one protein two different ways when you can only use items from three aisles? The winning chef wins bragging rights for his region plus big bucks in the Shopping Spree worth up to $20,000.

    Sunday 8|7c

    Spring Baking Championship: Spring Bounty

    Eight of America’s best bakers are ready to prove their skills in the first two challenges of the Spring Baking Championship. First, they’ll have to make their best flower-inspired cupcake. Then, in the main heat challenge, they must use farm-fresh ingredients to win over the judges with their most-impressive upside-down cake.

    Sunday 9|8c

    Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious — Frying First Class

    Three chefs have to make a stir-fry while sitting in airline seats. Then, two chefs have to work as good neighbors to make chicken-fried steak. Finally, one chef has to shop for their cobbler ingredients blindfolded.

    Sunday 10|9c

  • Meet Baker Kristine de la Cruz, Competing in Spring Baking Championship 23 Apr 2015 | 2:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Kristine de la CruzEight bakers have entered the Spring Baking Championship for a chance to win the title and earn $50,000 in prize money. Each one brings a unique talent to the competition. Some are professional pastry chefs, while others are culinary arts instructors, competitive bakers or self-trained bakers. This new series gives them the opportunity to show their skills on national television.

    Before tuning in for the premiere on Sunday, April 26 at 9|8c, get to know the bakers. Every day leading up to the first episode we’ll be revealing a Q&A with one of the eight.

    Kristine de la Cruz (Los Angeles) is the owner of Crème Caramel LA, a Los Angeles-based dessert shop specializing in traditional recipes with a Filipino twist. This self-taught baker took her passion for baking and built a business around her favorite Filipino dessert, leche flan. She wants to spread the word on Filipino eats.

    What’s your first memory involving baking?
    Working that Easy-Bake Oven! If I recall correctly, it was one of the gifts that was stashed away in the closet to be opened at a later date. Except I tore into that thing and made what only can be described as a light bulb-heated hockey puck. Delicious!

    What’s the first thing you learned to bake really well? Do you still make it today?
    Banana bread. My mother makes the best banana bread, and I grabbed her recipe and ran (away) with it. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it in a while. [Runs to the grocery store.]

    What would you say is your signature baked item, one that everyone knows you for?
    My ube (purple yam) upside-down pie. It’s an ube custard base, topped off with a bruleed graham cracker Greek yogurt crust. It’s purpley good.

    If you could bake only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Sourdough bread rolls. Holy crap, I can eat those for every meal. Hot and with melty butter. Good Lord, that is good eating.

    What’s your favorite ingredient or item to use in your baking?
    Butter. Everything’s good/better/best with butter.

    What’s your favorite holiday to bake for? What do you typically make?
    My birthday! It’s the only day that I can bake a cake and not feel awful for wanting to eat it all by myself. Plus springtime = my birthday, so seasonal fruits and bright colors come into play.

    Who is (or was) your baking mentor? What’s the No. 1 thing that person taught you?
    My mother is my baking mentor. She’s taught me patience. If I have patience to do everything correctly the first time, I will ensure a good bake. (That and not to eat too much of the uncooked cake batter.)

    When it comes to baking, how would you describe your style, your mentality?
    I have an “art director on a budget” mentality when it comes to baking. I can be pretty creative when it comes to combinations of ingredients that are left in the pantry. If I can envision it, I can eat it!

    If you could bake a cake for anyone (alive or dead), who would it be and what would you make?
    I would bake a cake for my grandfathers. They both passed before I was born, and I’d like to think they would eat something I’ve made for them.

    What’s the biggest baking fail you’ve ever had that you’re willing to admit to? Were you able to rescue it, or did you have to start from scratch?
    I think my fail in general is that I have big dreams and aspirations in my baking and cooking, but little planning. Let’s just say that I like to own what I end up with and have been lucky thus far.

    In your opinion, what’s the No. 1 mistake that most home bakers make?
    Using incorrect pan size for cakes. If a recipe calls for a certain pan size and you use a smaller or bigger one, you have to do the calculations to ensure a good bake. It’s as easy as taking the area of the pan in the recipe and the pan you want to use and taking the percentage of the difference for the ingredients in your recipe. (This only works if you are taking weighted measures.)

    What are some words of advice you’d give to beginner bakers to improve on their baking?
    Bake from the heart. If you love what you’re baking, it’ll show through and make it even tastier.

    Baking Quickfire (name your favorite for each)
    Cake/cupcake: Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
    Pie/tart: Ube macapuno pie
    Cookie: Sugar cookie with royal icing
    Quick bread: Cheesy bacon-y biscuits
    Yeast bread: Sourdough bread rolls!
    Pastry: Cream puffs. Glorious, creamy puffs.
    Muffin: Tops. I just like the tops.
    Savory baked item: Quiche with a puff pastry crust. (Oh and what? We make those in our shop.)

    Keep coming back to FN Dish for more on the bakers, and visit the Spring Baking Championship page for more on the new series, including behind-the-scenes galleries, episode recaps, video highlights and baking tips.

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