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  • Island Grillstone 23 Apr 2014 | 9:43 am

    I’ve cooked on salt blocks from the Himalayans, cedar planks from the Northwest, apple wood planks from New Hampshire and a bunch of other stuff but never a piece of volcanic rock! I used it to cook steak, poultry, veggies, seafood and even pizza! Unlike a salt block, the grill stone doesn’t add any salt flavor to the food so you need to season the food before cooking. Continue reading →

  • Bloody Marys for Badasses? 18 Apr 2014 | 12:29 pm

    The arrival of spring always gets me excited about brunch: the blooming roses, the fresh fruit, eggs of various types, and of course, brunch cocktails. In one of my blog posts recently, I said something like “I prefer spicy Bloody Marys,” and apparently, this phrase triggered a response from The God of Spicy Bloody Marys: Crazy Steve. Continue reading →

  • Melissa’s Produce and The Great Chile Pepper Cookbook 15 Apr 2014 | 3:50 am

    The book should come with a warning: ‘Do not look at this book if you are hungry…’ You could start chewing on the pages! Continue reading →

  • Hell, yeah, we talk about Fight Club 12 Apr 2014 | 6:06 pm

    Hog Heaven, located adjacent to Centennial Park in downtown Nashville, is literally a hole in the wall BBQ joint. While there are a few “outdoor” tables most of the business is takeout with folks enjoying the hickory-smoked meats in the park. What makes Hog Heaven unique is they make a white barbecue sauce that is absolutely fantastic for poultry. Continue reading →

  • Spicy Chocolate Frappe 11 Apr 2014 | 5:26 pm

    One thing I love to do at the Fiery Foods Show is prowl the floor looking for new ways to combine products. This Spicy Chocolate Frappe is the best result I've ever had. It's a frozen spicy red wine concoction teaming Nectar of the Vine's Natural Chocolate Martini Frappe mix with CaJohn's Frostbite Hot Sauce and Sweet & Saucy's Chipotle Chile Fudge. All three are very tasty in their own rights. When I spliced them together, though, the results were better than I expected. Continue reading →

  • Flavortown Market Is Back and It’s Bigger Than Ever — Guy Dishes on Season 2 24 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Guy Fieri Dishes on Season 2 of Guy's Grocery GamesGuy’s bringing Flavortown Market back in an all-new season of Guy’s Grocery Games, premiering May 11 at 8|7c. Fans of the show will be excited to see returning judges Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, Troy Johnson and Catherine McCord — as well as some new faces. But that’s not all. Guy’s challenging a brand-new roster of chefs on an all-new set. That’s right — this season, Flavortown Market moves to Guy’s hometown, Santa Rosa, Calif. FN Dish recently caught up with Guy on set and asked him what viewers can expect to see this season.

    “First and foremost, this set — Flavortown Market — will knock your socks off. It has the most-eclectic and most-international profile of ingredients available,” Guy shares. “When you use the term ‘super’ in supermarket, that’s what this set is — it’s truly defining in all shapes and sizes. The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves. Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper-friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

    So what can fans expect in Season 2? “I think the biggest difference is that competitors have seen the show, so they have insight into the mechanics of it. When chefs walked in the door the first season, you’d hear, ‘Well, now what do we do?’ But since most have seen the show, they understand how it progresses,” Guy explains. “I also think a bigger profile of chefs has been made available — so the competition is even more fierce.”

    “My favorite part about this show is working with the judges. I love the judges. Having them there to laugh with and swap stories with keeps the day going. And believe it or not, I learn a ton on this show. I probably learn two to three new things every day we shoot. Like, ‘take it to the bank’ kind of things. You’ve got an enormous mix of chefs coming into the fold and sharing their expertise with viewers. When you see the chefs this season, they’re bringing their best tricks of the trade.”

    But what’s the most-rewarding element of the show? “Seeing everyday people winning money — big amounts of money — and seeing them celebrate during their moment in the sun is what gets me. This is a life-changing show for some of these contestants,” Guy says.

    In fact, Guy’s only gripe is that he wishes he got to eat on the show too. He steals bites here and there, but he doesn’t get to feast like the judges do!

    Tour the new Flavortown Market before the start of the new season by clicking the play button below.

  • This Week’s Nutrition News Feed 24 Apr 2014 | 2:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    In this week’s news: Mondays are the new January 1; “sad desk lunch” is no way to live; and salt gets a sprinkling of controversy.

    T.G.I. … Monday?
    New Year’s Day is notorious for being the time for all kinds of resolutions we know we’ll break (or simply ignore). Now, a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that we treat Monday like a weekly January first. Cue Twilight Zone music. When researchers looked at health-related Google queries from 2004 to 2012, they found a consistent spike on Mondays and Tuesdays, followed by a steady decline through the rest of the week — and finished off with a big plunge on Saturday. Enter the Monday Campaigns, an initiative put forth by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. To date, they’ve been keeping the Internet abuzz with Meatless Monday, now practiced in 31 countries worldwide. But there’s more to come, say the seize-the-Monday folks. Expect to see campaigns like Monday 2000, which encourages people to balance out their daily calorie counts, and a child-friendly Kids Cook Monday.

    Step. Away. From. Your. Desk.
    Did you know that 65 percent of Americans eat lunch at their desks or don’t take a break? Or that people who eat at their desks tend to eat more calories and snacks than those who eat out? Probably. Or you could have guessed. But don’t let that stop you from watching the hilarious new video from James Hamblin, MD, The Atlantic’s online health editor: “Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?” The title speaks for itself, and if you like the video, check out Buzzfeed’s take. They made “the most delightful MD ever” into a gif.

    Cafeterias Get Much-Needed Lunch Money
    In order to provide healthier meals, 88 percent of U.S. school districts are in need of at least one piece of kitchen equipment, and 50 percent require some kind of infrastructure change, according to a recent report from Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Last Friday, the USDA took a big step toward shrinking those numbers by awarding $25 million in grants for healthy upgrades. The money will be split evenly among state agencies, and within states, it will be divided according to highest need.

    Passing the Salt (and the Disagreement)
    Hypertension affects 67 million Americans, and two-thirds of the population over 60; it’s no wonder we’re looking at population-wide ways to solve the problem. Earlier this week, Thomas Farley, MD, the former Commissioner of Health in New York City, penned an op-ed about the problem that leaned heavily on a new British study claiming to have linked a lower salt intake to a significant decline in heart attack and stroke risk. Well-intentioned advice, to be sure. The problem? The study itself. As countless experts pointed out (many in a New York Times follow-up), the data couldn’t have told the researchers anything about what eating salt did to health. Not only was it not randomized (meaning there was no way to measure cause and effect), but it also didn’t compare salt intake with lower health risks in the same people (essentially, it compared apples to oranges). Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine recently issued a report saying that there is no scientific reason for Americans to strive to consume less than the CDC’s recommended 2,300 mg of salt a day (1,500 for those especially prone to high blood pressure). And while a 2011 JAMA study found no connection between salt and hypertension or heart disease, they did find a link going the other way (less salt, higher risk).  Notably, the CDC remains cautious on the salt question — and there’s still really no reason to bathe food in the stuff. Foods like blueberry muffins can contain higher amounts than a serving of potato chips, Farley points out.

    Sara Reistad-Long writes about science, wellness and lifestyle. She is the co-author of The Big New York Sandwich Book and can be followed on Twitter: @sarareistadlong

  • Veggie Ice Cream, Dining-Room Rug Rules and a Problem-Solving 3D-Printed Ketchup Cap 24 Apr 2014 | 1:09 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Dining-Room Rug RulesI Scream, You Scream: Vegetable-flavored ice cream? Could be terrible or terrific. Ice cream eaters in Japan will get to decide for themselves on May 12 when Haagen-Dazs Japan plans to release two new flavors — Tomato Cherry and Carrot Orange — as part of a new “Spoon Vege” series. The new varieties will contain 8.5 percent milk-fat, a little over half the usual content in Haagen-Dazs ice creams — so if you ever get the chance to try them, you can convince yourself they’re a healthy dessert choice. Just so long as they don’t try, like, broccoli-lime or spinach-kiwi next. Or, well, actually … [Rocket News 24 via UPI]

    Banish Dining-Room Floor Bareness: To rug or not to rug? That is the question we all face when we decorate our dining rooms. On the one hand, rugs are warm and homey and inviting, all things you want when you gather friends and family around a table; on the other, crumbs and spills. Apartment Therapy has entered the debate and come down solidly on the side of rugs, which, the site says, “don’t have to be an impractical choice” if you follow a few rules when making your selection. For instance? Choose something that has a low pile (it will soften dish clinks so you can better hear conversation) and a pattern (the better to hide stains), as well as something that is big enough for all the chairs to fit on and is cheap. Sounds like solid advice. [Apartment Therapy]

    Better Than Shaking Well? You know that highly unappetizing, watery stuff that comes out with the first squirt of ketchup from a squeezable bottle? No one wants that on their burger, frank or — horrors! — fries. Missouri high school students Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson, who are involved in a national STEM program called Project Lead the Way, have come up with a solution: a 3D-printed cap that separates the good stuff from the gross stuff to give you a solid squirt from the start. The teens are hoping to patent their invention and find a way to turn a profit. Paging Heinz … [Fox4kc.com via Mashable]

    In Other Food News: A proposed 2-percent tax on junk food like chips, cookies and sodas failed to pass a Navajo Nation Tribal Council vote on Tuesday, but the measure still has widespread support, and advocates have vowed to revive it. [AP] New York restaurant Bagatelle has added a $1,000 ice cream sundae to its menu; the “Mauboussin Mega Sundae” includes vanilla ice cream, Dom Perignon Rose sorbet, chocolate truffles, macarons, whipped cream, chocolate vodka sauce, “gilded brownies,” gold-leaf sprinkles and (on the side) a black steel/white gold Mauboussin ring that, on its own, retails for $530. Such a deal. [Eater NY] Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, co-founders of the band KISS, are opening a branch of their Rock & Brews restaurants in Overland Park, Kansas, on April 29; the menu features “opening acts” like chipotle chili cheese fries, “VIP” salads and “headliner” sandwiches. No word on whether you can order tongue. [Kansas City Star]

  • Food Network Star, Season 10: A Decade of Dreams 24 Apr 2014 | 12:35 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby FlayWhat do you get when you put a dozen rivals in a pressure-packed environment, surround them with famed faces from the food world and ask them to compete in three months of challenges — all in the name of scoring their ultimate job? A summer of heated culinary competition that takes contenders coast to coast.

    You heard it here first: Food Network Star is returning this June for an unprecedented season of contest, and superstar chefs Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will be at the helm as mentor-judges. As this year marks the 10th anniversary of the series, the stakes will be higher, the challenges more demanding and the dreams greater than ever as 12 eager hopefuls will put their reputations on the line in the job interview of a lifetime. Beginning in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 1 at 9|8c and continuing for 11 weeks to Las Vegas and ultimately New York City, the competition will force the finalists to go head-to-head with their rivals in Mentor and Star Challenges that test not only their cooking chops under pressure, but their on-camera know-how and innate ability to attract an audience as well.

    For a few eliminated finalists, however, the road to victory may still be within their reach — but only if they can survive Star Salvation, a Web-exclusive series on FoodNetwork.com. In celebration of the show’s 10-year run, two hopefuls from past seasons — both looking for redemption — will return in the premiere Salvation episode. Hosts of Star Salvation Geoffrey Zakarian and Food Network Star, Season 9 winner Damaris Phillips will lead ousted rivals through a multi-week test of determination, but only one hopeful will prove they’re worthy of salvation and the right to return to the on-air competition.

    This year the decision on the winner is in your hands, fans: It will be up to you to support your favorite remaining rival and vote for who you want to claim the win.

    Want to meet your potential future Star? Check out the Season 10 rivals below.

    Aryen Moore-Alston (Memphis)
    Chris Kyler (Stafford, Va.)
    Christopher Lynch (New Orleans)
    Donna Sonkin Shaw (New York City)
    Emma Frisch (Ithaca, N.Y.)
    Kenny Lao (New York City)
    Lenny McNab (De Beque, Colo.)
    Loreal Gavin (Indianapolis)
    Luca Della Casa (San Antonio)
    Nicole Gaffney (Atlantic City)
    Reuben Ruiz (Miami)
    Sarah Penrod (League City, Texas)
    Food Network Star, Season 10 Finalists
    Tune in to the premiere of Food Network Star, Season 10 on Sunday, June 1 at 9|8c.

  • Regional Foods Face-Off — America’s Best Cook Bracket Challenge, Round 3 24 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm FN Dish – Food Network Blog

    Round 3 Bracket ChallengeAmong the many things that define the United States, foods are at the top of that list. And every region has its specialty, whether it is lobster rolls from the East, chili from the North, shrimp and grits from the South or tacos from the West. On the new series America’s Best Cook, Sundays at 9|8c, home cooks from the four corners of the country have come to Food Network headquarters to be mentored by FN chefs and battle it out for a chance at winning the title of America’s Best Cook.

    To coincide with the show, FN Dish has launched the Regional Foods Face-Off, a bracket challenge in which you, the fans, can vote for your favorite regional food. The editors have narrowed it down to four famous dishes from each of the regions, but after four rounds of voting, only one dish will come out on top. We are now in Round 3 with four dishes, one from each region, facing off.

    Now it’s up to you, Food Network fans, to vote for the regional dish you think has the most merit.

    Here’s how it works:

    In Round 1, you voted on 16 dishes to narrow them down to eight.

    In Round 2, you voted on the remaining eight dishes to narrow them down to four.

    In Round 3, starting today, you get to vote on the remaining four dishes to narrow them down to two.

    And in Round 4, starting May 1, you’ll vote for one of the final two, and the winner will be announced on May 8.

    Vote below by selecting one dish from each group.
    View Poll
    View Poll

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