Why I Work to Feed Hungry Children in America, Plus an All-American Meatloaf
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
I spent most of my week in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, supporting No Kid Hungry’s efforts to feed our nation’s children. I attended the No Kid Hungry Summit alongside thought leaders, corporations, foundation heads and some of the best chefs nationwide. I joined forces with many of them to spend a day on Capitol Hill, meeting with our legislators, and I hosted two Taste of the Nation events in D.C. and Charlotte. Phew! As I type, I’m sipping a strong cup of coffee (after a 3 a.m. wake-up call!), sitting on a plane headed home to San Diego.
Why would I spend nearly a week away from my family and take that kind of time off from my “regular” work?
My career is firmly centered in helping families create affordable and healthy meals, not because that’s marketable (although it is), but because families eating truly matters to me. On a personal level, I am a mom of four daughters, and nourishing them, with both my food and my parenting, is one of the most-important things I do. My kids matter to me, and I know deep in my soul that everyone’s children matter just as much. If hunger is happening to someone else’s children, then I feel it in my own heart. I am a citizen of one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and if there are children going to bed hungry tonight, then those kids are my kids too
I left my family behind this week because I myself received free lunch as a child. I know what it is like to be hungry in a classroom, and I know what it’s like to have someone care enough to notice and find a way to fill my stomach with a warm, nutritious meal — fuel that enabled me to focus, become a high-performing student with a bright future in college, and go on to graduate school and then two great careers.
It takes a lot to get me on a plane to leave my family. But as long as I work in the food industry, as long as I am a mom and as long as I live in this great country of ours, then I will work to connect kids with food. As No Kid Hungry’s co-founder Billy Shore often says, politics can be complicated, but feeding a child isn’t.
When I think back to my own childhood, one of my favorite dishes was a simple American staple: meatloaf. So today I’m sharing with you my updated version of my childhood comfort-food fave: Meatloaf with Mustard and Sour Cream Gravy.
This New Machine Puts Fizzy Cocktails at Your Fingertips
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
If cocktails are delicious and fizzy drinks are delicious, then it stands to reason that fizzy cocktails are delicious. That may be the thinking behind the recent enthusiasm for carbonated cocktails and a new wave in home carbonation systems that render effervescent any beverage, including those of the alcoholic variety.
Perlage offers a superfancy (and pricey) professional cocktail bottling system, targeted at the hospitality industry, and a less expensive system and kit for consumers to use in the home. And now SodaStream is introducing a version of its popular seltzer maker designed to “carbonate any and all liquids, from pure fruit juices to alcoholic beverages.” (Apparently people have been employing their soda makers for this off-label use for a while now anyway.)
The new SodaStream MIX, its sleek look the work of renowned designer Yves Behar, is set to debut this month at Milan Design Week 2015. Aimed at bartending pros and “sophisticated” consumers and expected to be available this summer, it will feature a color digital display panel and Bluetooth connectivity and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app.
Sounds like a real gas.
Don’t feel like waiting to have a fizzy cocktail? Here are a few sparkling wine cocktail ideas you can make right now.
Photo courtesy of @designboom
A Baker’s Guide to Pantry Problems [INFOGRAPHIC] — Spring Baking Championship
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
What to Watch: Fun Party Snacks on Southern At Heart and the Season Finale of All-Star Academy
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Get ready for delicious recipes and thrilling competition this weekend on Food Network. On Saturday, tune in for episodes of The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and The Kitchen. First up, watch Ree Drummond as she shares her all-time favorite dishes through the years and today. Next, join Trisha Yearwood for a fun and satisfying breakfast with her friends featuring Bacon Waffles with Maple Syrup, a Cinnamon Cereal Cocktail and more. Then, the hosts of The Kitchen are giving a how-to on growing produce from kitchen scraps and an assortment of dry and wet flavored rubs.
On Sunday, keep cooking with new episodes of Giada at Home, Southern at Heart and Farmhouse Rules for great steak dishes, fancy party bites and a celebratory Italian spread. At night, don’t miss the intense competition, starting with Guy’s Grocery Games. Then, at 9|8c, watch the season finale of All-Star Academy to find out which of the home cooks triumphs and wins the $50,000 prize. Lastly, Alton Brown has creative and challenging obstacles in store for a set of competitors on a new Cutthroat Kitchen.
The Pioneer Woman: Kitchen Confessional — Dinner Through the Decades
Ree Drummond is confessing all about her life on a plate, from a fabulous retro Beef Stroganoff that she loved as a child of the ’70s to the Pasta ai Quattro Formaggi that defined her student life in Los Angeles. She’s also spilling the beans on the crisp Chicken Nuggets she’s been making since becoming a mom and the fantastic Coconut Curry Shrimp that’s a real favorite today.
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Weekend Breakfast
Trisha Yearwood invites her friends Julie and Mandy over for a special weekend breakfast. Julie arrives early to help prepare the ultimate breakfast spread of Bacon Waffles with maple syrup, an Asparagus Frittata, Lemon-Blueberry Bread and a fun Cinnamon Cereal Cocktail.
The Kitchen: Spring Cooking
The hosts start off with tips on how to grill chicken breast to perfection and how to grow fresh produce from kitchen scraps. They showcase a variety of dry and wet spice rubs, and renowned baker Gesine Bullock-Prado stops by to make a delicious and easy Maple Cream Pie. Plus, a tipsy sweet tea and food fire starters for spring cookouts.
Giada at Home: The Steak House
Giada De Laurentiis visits the Belcampo Meat Company in Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market to learn about different cuts of meat. Then, Giada returns home and makes three steak dishes — Broiled Porterhouse with Salmoriglio, Flat Iron Steak with Piquillo Pepper Pesto and Skirt Steak with Asian Bruschetta — and a steakhouse cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato.
Southern at Heart: Fancy Fun Finger Foods
In order to help her bridesmaids pick their dresses, Damaris Phillips has arranged for a stylist friend to pick up a trunk load of dresses for the girls to decide among. For this trunk show, Damaris prepares fork-free party snacks, including fresh Watermelon and Feta Skewers, Baked Fingerling Potatoes with Sour Cream Butter topped with catfish caviar and Champagne Berry Chiffon.
Farmhouse Rules: David’s Surprise Party
Nancy Fuller is throwing a surprise birthday party for her husband. David loves Italian, so that’s what’s on the menu: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta and goat cheese, Spaghetti and Lamb Meatballs, Chopped Caprese Salad and Farmhouse Lemon Bars. Nothing but the best for David on his birthday!
Guy’s Grocery Games: Bold Tastes and Big Laughs
It’s a night of memorable characters and mouthwatering food in the market. Chefs have to spell check the ingredients for breakfast when Guy Fieri plays ABC. Next, competitors keep their eye on the ounces when they’re forced to weigh their steakhouse dinner. Then, our last two chefs mix luxury ingredients with low-priced fare in a funny and unforgettable finale.
All-Star Academy: The Finale
Three home cooks remain, with one last chance to win the $50,000 grand prize! The cooks must make it through three intense rounds of culinary challenges, each representing a meal in the life of your typical home cook: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, the contestants will get to cook side by side with their world-class mentors!
Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious — Canoe Jack City
Three chefs have to make fish stew in a canoe. Another chef has to make pasta carbonara in a moving mine cart. Finally, one chef has to use a chemistry set to make pound cake.
Rainbow Tarts: A Fun and Colorful Cooking Guide
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Few things get a true food lover’s blood pumping like the return of ripe, vibrant spring produce to supermarket shelves and farmers markets. As strawberries start to creep back into their lush glory, the mind wanders to one of the kitchen’s simple pleasures: the tart. Simplicity doesn’t have to mean flat flavor, though, as evidenced in Emilie Guelpa’s Strawberry Sugar Tarts from her cookbook Rainbow Tarts (recipe below for you to try at home).
Guelpa’s approach to tarts is simple and clean but stunningly beautiful. The book is written and assembled with a designer’s eye, featuring beautifully represented flavor combinations leaping off the page and tickling your hunger for more. The recipes are easy to make, pairing a base dough with a color topping and then a white topping. The book offers recipes for four different types of base dough (chocolate shortcrust, salted hazelnut, shortcrust and salted Parmesan) and then four different kinds of white cream toppings (chantilly, Italian meringue, French meringue and panna cotta), plus an assortment of other white topping options (like shredded coconut, rice pudding, mascarpone and more).
The real artistry comes to life when she plays with flavors, pairing everything from peas with bacon to beets with goat cheese. There’s a fantastic balance of sweet and savory ideas, ranging from orange with chantilly to beef with aioli. The flavor possibilities are as fun as they are endless, and Guelpa includes a culinary palette section that will leave you inspired to dream up flavor combinations of your own that fit your fancy long after you’ve tried all 50 recipes in the book.
Dig into Rainbow Tarts, bearing these helpful tips from Guelpa in mind:
1. Feel free to make your own creations using fruits, vegetables, candy — or anything else you can think of. The important thing is to combine a white base at the bottom with a (more-or-less uniform) color at the top.
2. The recipes in Rainbow Tarts are given for two tarts of approximately 4 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches (11 centimeters by 14 centimeters). If you don’t have a baking tin that is the correct size, you can use a larger tin and make an aluminum foil lining to adjust the size.
3. When cutting pastry to size, you might like to cut a piece of cardboard to use as a template (cut the pastry a little larger than the desired size, as it will shrink while cooking).
4. One tablespoon is the equivalent of four teaspoons.
5. The most important thing is to have fun! The kitchen should be a place of sharing, experimentation and relaxation.
You can order a copy of Rainbow Tarts here.
Strawberry – Sugar Tart
1 quantity Shortcrust pastry (recipe below)
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
35 grams (1 1/4 ounces) caster (superfine) sugar
A few mint leaves
15 strawberries, trimmed and halved
80 grams (2 3/4 ounces) strawberry jam
70 grams (2 1/2 ounces) icing (confectioners’) sugar
To make the base, follow the recipe for Shortcrust pastry below.
To make the white topping, mix the icing sugar with about 1 tablespoon of water (the mixture needs to be thick enough to not spread but not be too dense).
To make the color topping, combine the vinegar, sugar and a few mint leaves in a small bowl. Add the strawberries and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Spread the strawberry jam onto the upper part of the base and arrange the marinated strawberries on top. Spread the sugar icing on the lower part and decorate with a few mint leaves.
160 grams (5 1/2 ounces) flour
25 grams (1 ounce) icing (confectioners’) sugar
50 grams (1 3/4 ounces) unsalted butter, coarsely chopped into small pieces
Pinch of sea salt
1 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons milk
Line a tray with baking paper. Combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the vanilla bean lengthways, and scrape the seeds into the bowl using the tip of the knife. Add the egg and milk, and roughly combine using your hands. Tip onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and forms a ball. Add a little flour if the dough sticks. Roll the dough and cut into four 12 centimeter by 15 centimeter (4 3/4 inch by 6 inch) rectangles. Place onto the prepared tray, prick with a fork and then chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Recipes and photography from Rainbow Tarts by Emilie Guelpa. Copyright © 2014 by Emilie Guelpa. Used with permission of Hardie Grant Publishing. All rights reserved.