“This is not a restaurant!”
That’s what my mother used to say when either I or my brother dared to complain, question or even take too long to go through our dinner plate.
Don’t get me wrong — food in my house has always been good if not excellent, farm to table and as clean as it gets; but there are always a few food items in the life of a child that are able to make him or her shiver and possibly hate whoever dared to cook and serve them.
For me it was mushrooms and artichokes, and I’ve got stories for both.
I was around 7 or 8 years old and I remember that moment as if it was yesterday: It was about 3 p.m., I was on a school trip to the River Po region in northern Italy, and we had been walking all day and could not find a place to eat, as everybody was already home for their siesta. Our teacher finally found an open restaurant, or better, a restaurant that was closing down but not just yet. She convinced the chef to prepare “whatever he wanted” for a class of 25 hungry kids: “All right then,” he replied, “but the only thing I can make you is a risotto!”
Continue Reading How Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos Get Their Kids to Eat Healthy
When it comes to food disasters at a picnic, ants are the least of your worries. Leaving food in the hot sun can present a food safety hazard. But these simple tips can help you feast alfresco with no fear.
Cool it: When you’re packing perishable food, including potato and pasta salads, poached salmon or cheese, it’s important to keep it as cold as it is in the fridge. That means packing it all in a cooler well-stocked with ice packs. Use a separate cooler for food and drinks, since drinks coolers tend to get opened more frequently, warming it up.
Continue Reading Food Safety at Your Summer Picnic
Ron's Roadside BBQ
Ann Arbor is home to more than 300 restaurants — and that’s only within city limits. Aside from being home to the University of Michigan, this Midwestern city has a flourishing culinary scene that will be just one of the many reasons Americans will be visiting here on their next family vacation.
Grange Kitchen & Bar
I loved my experience at Grange Kitchen and Bar. Brandon Johns takes pride in knowing where the restaurant’s ingredients come from. This restaurant is his baby, and he’s gotten his family and friends involved in running it. I imagine this place will be a staple in Ann Arbor for years to come.
Zingerman’s is an institution in Ann Arbor. Their deli and creamery are legendary. Chef Alex Young founded the Roadhouse and is a James Beard Award-winning Chef. I had an amazing time in their kitchen and encourage everyone to try their fried chicken mac ‘n’ cheese and those chocolate-covered biscuits!
Ron’s Roadside BBQ
Ron started off catering with his father in Ann Arbor before moving to France to classically train. Afterward, he took his expertise to New York City and worked for Ina Garten before returning home. This place may be off the beaten path, but Ron’s barbecue comes from all of his experiences, and I can guarantee it’s some of the best food you’ll ever have.
Continue Reading G. Garvin’s Ann Arbor Travel Tips
Netflix’s favorite inmates are back tonight for a second slammer stint. Though the focus is Litchfield, weekly meals and smuggled snacks have practically become minor cast members — Red starves Piper after she insults her food — and provides necessary comfort — Nichols tells Alex, “There’s always hope tomorrow’ll be taco night.”
Since Netflix drops all of season two tonight, we know binge watching and eating may ensue. As you enter this new
life sentence chapter, flash back to last season with these show-inspired recipes perfect for the all-night viewing party. Take a swig of your screwdriver, pop a cheese puff, and go willingly into this acceptable form of confinement.
Continue Reading Better than Prison Food: Party Bites for Orange Is the New Black
Growing up I had plenty of chances to camp, and when I say “camp” I mean for real: small tent, heavy backpack, dehydrated foods, rain cover and minimal underwear changes!
When my brother and I were young, my father would have us spend the summer roughing it on his small army raft: We would leave Fiesole, Italy, with a car loaded with luggage and our power raft on a trailer bed. My father would drive us to whatever place he and my mother had picked for our summer vacation, and the fun would begin. We always had a home-base minimal rental apartment to store luggage, keep some groceries, and eventually rest here and there, but the real vacation was exploring the coast with the raft. My father would seek the most-isolated beaches; we would spend the day fishing and eventually land the raft at shore, make a campfire and cook our prey. We would sleep under the stars and wake up to the sound of the shore — it was the ultimate adventure for me and my brother.
Continue Reading Why Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos Think You Should Go Camping This Summer
Oh, how the time flies: Today, Cooking Channel turns 4 (!!), and it’s wild to think how much we’ve grown over the last several years. We launched in 2010 as a network (and website) filled with passionate Food People seeking to explore the unconventional, dig into global cuisines and uncover hidden gems. And now that we’re past our toddler years, we can look back on our bounty of new shows and stars, Web-original video series, growing recipe library, and unique food and lifestyle stories, knowing we’ve done just that.
And yet we’ve only scratched the surface. This year, we launched our Adventures in Cooking package: a collection of fun weekend cooking projects for the curious cooks and food geeks who dominate the Food People sector. (We’re talking fermenting kimchi, making bacon from scratch and crafting some seriously creative cakes.) We dug into Dumplings Around the World in honor of the Olympics, made magic fairy dust out of pizza and pastrami (OK, spice mixes that taste just like pizza and pastrami), mashed up your favorite comfort foods and gave you the most epic game plan, ever, for your Super Bowl or game-day party. Speaking of parties: We continue to share the best tips, decorating ideas and recipes for all your entertaining needs. From a last-minute holiday cocktail party to a casual Mediterranean summer fete, our Party in Five series has you covered.
Continue Reading Happy 4th Birthday, Cooking Channel!
What were you doing when you were fifteen years old? Maybe you were smoking cigarettes and complaining about the opposite sex. Maybe you were reading Catcher in the Rye and getting annoyed at phonies. Maybe you were still watching cartoons. You probably weren’t creating world class cuisine in New York City. Flynn McGarry, who is fifteen, just did exactly that.
McGarry has been operating a pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles called Eureka for the past year. He just brought his grub to the West Village in NYC, selling out 100 seats a night. The chef has never been formally trained, but that didn’t stop him from serving up glazed green mussels with Thai curry, grilled scallop with Champagne-fermented turnips and, of course, langoustine tartare served with an emulsion made from the head of said crustacean. The pop-up was a huge success and word is he’ll be back in September.
Also, to answer the question everybody is thinking, McGarry chooses the the wine pairings by smelling them, being as how it is illegal for a fifteen year old to imbibe.
On Road Trip with G. Garvin (tune in tomorrow, 5/21, at 9pm for the Season 3 premiere), host Gerry (“G.”) Garvin travels the country finding the best Southern cuisine — in and outside of the American South. But when he’s off the clock and not on the road, G. prefers to spend time at home in Atlanta, where he loves preparing intimate meals for friends and family. In his book Dining In, G. shares that love of entertaining with readers, showing them how simple tricks can be employed to give easy recipes a bit of a gourmet edge.
To G., difficult does not necessarily mean better, and ambiance, plating skills and the wine you serve alongside your meal are deemed equally important. He shares his tips on mastering these hosting skills in the book’s introduction before diving into his approachable recipes that are chaptered by ingredient type (pasta, chicken, meats, seafood), cooking styles (braises, grilling) and some niche passions (gourmet sandwiches, oodles of desserts). G. arms readers with more than 150 recipes to prove to them that preparing a special meal at home can be more rewarding — and more celebratory — than eating at any restaurant. Likewise, everyday meals (such as the simply prepared fish tacos featured above) can be prepared in under 30 minutes, trumping takeout and letting fresh ingredients shine through.
Continue Reading Signed Cookbook Giveaway: G. Garvin’s Dining In
Fiber’s not the sexiest nutrient, conjuring images, as it does, of Metamucil and heavy bran muffins. But there are plenty of exciting ways to get fiber in your diet, and good reasons to do so. It’s filling, it lowers your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and it helps keep you regular — sexy, no?
Continue Reading How to Get all the Fiber You Need Each Day
Moms are the toughest cookies out there. They manage to do everything and still have time to hang with the kids. How does she do it? No one really knows, but it starts with a cup of coffee. In honor of all the superhero moms running on coffee and love alone, I bring you coffee-filled recipes that are sure to please.
A few of these recipes call of instant espresso powder, which is a type of quick-dissolving coffee crystals. Check your grocery store; they’re often in the coffee section in little glass jars. Instant espresso is richer and darker than instant coffee, but you can use the coffee in a pinch — just add 1 1/2 times the amount of espresso called for.
This Mother’s Day treat your mom to something special, but first make sure she’s caffeinated.
- Turn your kitchen into a French bistro with Laura Calder’s Coffee Eclairs (filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a coffee glaze.) Get crazy with your eclairs and fill them with Coffee Pastry Cream instead.
- The dieting mom’s delight: Coffee Angel Food Cake (pictured above) with sweet coffee glaze.
- It’s a dessert and a cocktail at the same time, Giada’s Mexican Coffee is a drink your multitasking mom would be proud of.
- Take the ultimate combo of Coffee and Doughnuts to the next level. This doughnut dough proofs twice for ultra light texture, just be sure to start this project a few hours before you want to eat.
- So your mom’s more into savory? Singaporean Coffee Ribs are the way to go. Marinated and then fried, these ribs are tossed in a coffee-oyster sauce glaze and finished with some ground cinnamon. Nom.
Continue Reading 25 Ways to Use Coffee for Mother’s Day