Sorry Alton Brown, Egg Nog is still gross

Most of the things that I see Alton Brown make seem interesting. However, egg nog, is still gross. I caught Food Network’s annual showing of his manufacturing of Egg Nog, and once again, I was intrigued. Intrigued enough, in fact to attempt having a swig of it at my office’s tree trimming party. Granted it was in a carton, and devoid of liquor, therefore not in tune with what one might consider true egg nog, but it turned me off the stuff once again.

I put this challenge out there to you all. Make some egg nog. Report back. Is it really as disgusting as it is when it comes from a carton?

For Alton’s recipe, Click Here.

 

And the winner is: Bobby Flay

Looks like the grill master won the majority of you guys over with his fancy outdoor grill set up and quick moving tongs.  42% of you, in fact, would rather have Bobby Flay over to an outdoor cookout than the other three chefs.

My fav, Alton Brown, came in a close second with 37% of the votes.  I guess a lot of you, like me, are fascinated by the brining process.  He could also make a fancy smoker with teracotta pots.  Mmmmm planter ribs.

Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee duked it out for last.  Pretty much no one wanted the ladies to BBQ.  I guess they were afraid that Rachel might set herself on fire trying to carry too many things to the grill while Sandra would be set a blaze by one of her cocktails getting too close to the flame.

Here's a re-cap of the results:


  1. Bobby Flay smoked the competition with 42% (49 votes.)

  2. Alton Brown blazed into second with 37% (43 votes.)

  3. Rachael Ray flickered into third with 16% (19 votes.)

  4. Sandra Lee's flame went out completely with only 4% (5 votes.)

 

New Poll - Which Food TV chef would you want to barbeque with?

In honor of Grillin' and Chillin' week from the Food Network, our latest poll asks you to look deep within yourselves and ask a very important question, who would you like to party with?

I'm sure when you are watching the Food Network on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you often ask yourself whether or not you'd like to be one of those people who gets to eat that food with the chef at the end of the show. 

Now is your chance to answer that question for all your friends to see.  I want to party with Alton, how 'bout you?

 

Behind the scenes of Good Eats

Alton Brown and his wacky cast of on scene characters aren't the only ones who have fun on the Good Eats set.  The off camera people get in on the act, too!  Especially the husband and wife team of Dana Popoff, producer of "Good Eats," and husband Marion Laney, who is the show's director of photography.

I came across an article by TV and Media Editor, Mike Brantley, who interviewed the couple and led to some fun insight into the behind the scenes world of food tv.  Think the cast and crew get to eat the fun food that's been cooked on the show?  Think again.  Brantley reports:

"If something gets cooked, unless we know there is not a scene afterward where we have to use the same exact-looking thing, we don't touch it," said Laney.

Bummer. 

To read more about the behind the scenes antics, click here for Brantley's full article.

 

Hot pepper tips from that hottie, Alton Brown

I have to say that one of my favorite items to cook with has to be the chili pepper.  I love any shape and kind of them.  Yesterday, Alton explored the fantastic world of chili peppers.  This was one of those episodes devoted to information as opposed to recipes.  He gave some helpful hints for all of us who like to cook with a plethora of vibrantly colored, shiny fleshed, veggies that set our mouths on fire.

How to handle hot stuff from Alton Brown:


  • Use gloves.  Anyone who's ever made salsa then tried to put their contacts in can attest to the fact that the sting of peppers stays on your hands long after handling the little guy.  Even washing doesn't help.  Use gloves, plain and simple.

  • If you eat a bit more pepper than you can swallow, take a gulp of milk.  I know you've heard this before, but Alton had an addendum to this.  Don't swallow.  The burn can be washed down your esophagus.  No one ever told me that before, but it makes sense.

  • Smaller usually means hotter. 

  • Pointier usually means hotter.  Think of the bell pepper vs. the thai chili.


This all makes sense.  Next time you feel like making salsa, keep these things in mind.  You can control the heat and the sting.  But remember, sometimes a little heat and sting can be fun.  It releases endorphins, but in moderation.

If you're looking for a spicy salsa recipe, Alton makes one in this episode.  Click here.

 

 

And the winner is: Alton Brown's quirky kitchen!

The latest poll has everyone craving Alton Brown's velcro herb canisters and extensivley labled tupperware.  I love Alton, and apparently, everyone else loves his kitchen.  I think I'd like his kitchen, too, if he came with it.

Giada De Laurentiis came in a close second with her pretty and hip kitchen.  In all honestly, I'd love to cook in her kitchen, probably more then Alton's.  It seems so lovely, but not so girly that you expect Martha Stewart to be making homemade baby food in the next room.

As for the final tally, here are all the results:


  1. Alton Brown's quirky and practical kitchen wins with 28 % of the votes.

  2. Giada De Laurentiis' pretty and hip pad comes in second with 27% of the votes.

  3. Ina Garten's clean and colonial kitchen sits comfortably in the middle with 19% of the votes.

  4. Tyler Florence's homey yet masculine digs beat a couple of others with 11% of the votes.

  5. Sandra Lee's matchy matchy cooking spot ties with Rachael Ray's funky color swatch with 7% of the votesrounding out the bottom.


Didn't see your favorite chef's kitchen on the list?  Tell me about it and why you'd love to slave over dinner in it.

 

Alton Brown's Good Eats wins a Peabody Award

According to EarthTimes.org, Good Eats has won a Peabody Award.  The 66th Annual Peabody Awards rewarded excellence in electronic media for 2006.  Good Eats won it's first Peabody Award this year.  George Foster writes, Good Eats is, "a deliriously inventive series for Food Network in which Alton Brown educates viewers about food, science, history and culture."

I think that that's pretty excellent.  As you all may or may not know, Alton is my favorite male chef on the Food Network.  I used to watch Mr. Wizard as a kid and Alton brings cooking to us in that kind of style.  Not only does he tell me how to cube a steak, but he shows me why you want to cube it by using gelatin with holes poked in it.  It's like science class meets home economics.  What could be more fun than that? 

Congrats Alton, and the rest of the Good Eats team for this wonderful honor!

 

And the winner is: Tyler Florence

With the South Beach Food Network Awards over and done with, it's now onto the more important question; which male Food Network chef is the hottest?

The winner, not surprisingly, is Tyler Florence with 46% of the votes.  Not bad for a guy who makes the "ultimate" dish.  I guess HE is the ultimate dish.  OK that was a really bad joke and I apologize.

I was a bit surprised to see that Alton Brown, perhaps my favorite male chef, came in second with 21% of the total vote.  Maybe everyone really likes all of his gadgets...I think I'll leave that one alone.

Here are all of the results:


  1. Tyler Florence  46%

  2. Alton Brown  21%

  3. Bobby Flay  13%

  4. Dave Lieberman  10%

  5. Guy Fieri  8%

  6. Duff Goldman 2%


Poor Duff brought up the rear.  Maybe his explosions are only contained within the kitchen.

Do you disagree with the poll?  If so, feel free to let me know your thoughts.

This week's poll is along the same vein.  It's time for you to weigh in on the women.  Which female chef is the sexiest?

 

Weekly recipe attempt: Good Eats

dipAre you ready for some football?  Or should I say, for a bunch of people in you living room screaming at a tv set and eating copious amounts of finger foods?  If you're not as ready as you think, or if you're still looking for the extra little item that will make them say "Wow!" without you having to put that much effort into it, then my dear friends, here is that little wow-factor for you.

Weekly recipe attempt: Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Leave it to Alton Brown to make an easy dip that most of us probably already spent lots of money purchasing pre-made in the grocery store.  I used to look at spinach dip recipes and peruse the supermarket aisles for components.  What I found was the priciness of the pieces.  If you buy fresh spinach, and the artichoke hearts in a jar, then the prices tend to add up and you would be better off buying this pre-made.

Alton, however, leads us to the frigid path of delicious, inexpensive items to make this recipe worth your while.  Go to the freezer section.  That's the secret.  It also makes things a whole lot easier.  There's less draining, less chopping, less cooking, and less use of that hard earned paycheck.  Get the chopped frozen spinach and the frozen artichoke hearts. I found these at Trader Joes, for less than two bucks each bag.  I even have enough of both left over to make a double batch.  And this dip is so good that you might want to. 

This might be a record, folks!  I'm giving this one a 10 out of 10.  It looks like it took all day to make, but it took me about ten minutes to make and tastes delicious.  If you're wondering what the little pale yellow things are in the picture, they're fat-free pretzel slims that I found at Trader Joe's as well.  Also, feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have in your fridge for and assortment of crudites.  This dip will definitley impress even the most hard core football fan.  FYI- the dip also tastes pretty good cold the next day.  It doesn't necessarily need to be served hot in my opinion.

 

Alton Brown's kindred sister

This post isn't entirely Food Network related, I have to warn you, but it is certainly entertaining and definitly pertains to the cooking world in general.  More specifically, it relates to all those darn appliances we use in our homes that could be replaced by the common multi-tasker, the knife. 

Erica Marcus, of Newsday.com, hits the nail on the head when she describes all those useless appliances that we think we need when we see them on TV, but end up loathing once we put them intopractice.  She pays omage to the multi-tasking gadget king, Alton Brown, and when she explains the uselessness of a bagel slicer:


  • I have a great bagel slicer at home ... It's called ... a knife.  If you lay the bagel on its side, insert the bread knife around its equator, and then hold the knife steady while you rotate the bagel, you will obviate the need for what Alton Brown calls "a uni-tasker" (i.e., a tool that can only perform one task).


This was a very amusing article.  I have to admit I have a few of the stupid gadgets she talks about (the "as seen on TV" mini chopper, for one) and as I read what she said about them, I was a bit embarassed and agreed with her almost whole heartedly.  If you are like me, and like to comisurate with others who buy useless kitchen products, check her article out.
 

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