Tag Archives: Food Network

3 Lobster BLTS displayed on a plate diagonally cut

Ina Garten’s Lobster BLT Uses This One Ingredient to Elevate A Classic Sandwich


The Barefoot Contessa knows how to turn any dish into a main event – like this elevated Lobster BLT with avocado where she whips up a quick sauce with mayo, ketchup and pickle relish for an updated version of a classic sandwich.

3 Lobster BLTS displayed on a plate diagonally cut

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Summer Entertaining Recipes

Lobster BLT

Active Time: 20 minutes plus assembly time
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

4 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon
½ cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s
¼ cup ketchup, such as Heinz
1 Tbsp sweet relish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted and peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
8 (½ -inch-thick) slices good bakery white bread, lightly toasted (see Cook’s Note)
4 large Bibb, Boston, or butter lettuce leaves
4 (¼ -inch-thick) ripe red tomato slices (1 large tomato)
½ pound cooked lobster meat, sliced (see Cook’s Note)

Related: Ina Garten’s Easiest Weeknight Meals

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon on the rack in a single layer. Roast the bacon for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, for the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper in a medium bowl and set aside. Slice the avocados crosswise ¼ -inch thick, place the slices in a bowl with the lemon juice, toss gently, and set aside.

Related: Dinner Etiquette Tips That Would Make Ina Garten Proud

3. To assemble, place 4 slices of toast on a board and slather them generously with the dressing. On each sandwich, place first a lettuce leaf, then a layer of avocado, then a slice of tomato. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cut a slice of bacon in half and place both halves on the tomato. Top with a quarter of the lobster. Generously spread more sauce on the remaining 4 slices of toast and place them, sauce side down, on the sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Related: Ina Garten’s Quick Recipes Using Store-Bought Ingredients

Cook’s Note: To toast the bread in the oven, arrange the slices on a sheet pan and place in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. If you buy cooked lobsters, two (1 ¼ lbs) lobsters will yield ½ lb of lobster meat.

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics  and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Close-up of a a plate of beef bourguignon

Watch The Kitchen’s Jeff Mauro Make the Most Tender Short Rib Bourguignon


This classic French beef stew is braised in red wine and beef stock, typically flavored with carrots, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni. Jeff Mauro’s chef’s kiss? A splash of cognac. 

 

Short Rib Bourguignon Over Creamy Polenta

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 4-5 

Ingredients

Short Rib Bourguignon:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz slab bacon, rind removed, cut into lardons
4 lbs bone-in English cut beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 2-inch chunks
8 shallots, peeled and halved, leaving root end intact
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
3 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
¼  cup cognac
Bouquet garni (10 parsley stems, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, tied together with kitchen twine)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Creamy Polenta:
4 cups milk, plus more as needed
1 cup cornmeal
½  teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Reserve the rendered fat in the Dutch oven.

3. Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In the same Dutch oven, working in batches, brown the short ribs in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, then remove to a plate and set aside. Remove all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the Dutch oven.

4. To the Dutch oven with the reserved fat, add the carrots and shallots. Cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until slightly darker, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Remove about half of the carrots and shallots, and reserve.

5. To the Dutch oven, add the wine, beef broth, cognac, short ribs and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the beef is very tender, 2 to 3 hours.

6. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

7. Bring the Dutch oven from the oven to the stovetop. Remove the bouquet garni, carrots and shallots and discard. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

8. Using a fork, in a small bowl, cream together the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and flour, using your fingers if necessary to mix well. Stir the mixture into the stew. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

9. Serve the ribs over creamy polenta along with the mushrooms and reserved carrots and shallots. Ladle some of the sauce over the top before serving.

Creamy Polenta:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the milk, then add the cornmeal gradually, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Turn the heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until the polenta is very thick, but is still creamy, 30 to 35 minutes. If the polenta becomes too thick, whisk in additional milk or water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it is the desired consistency (it should be about the consistency of porridge).

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter using a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

Tune into The Kitchen to see new episodes. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

I Tried Ina Garten’s (The Barefoot Contessa’s) Engagement Chicken

If you can’t seem to scroll through social media without seeing proposal pictures and engagement announcements, you’re not alone.

For couples who are talking about marriage, there’s a pretty good chance your significant other might pop the question someone soon. According to Wedding Wire, forty percent of marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. 

And if you’d like to speed up the proposal process, the might be a recipe that can help you.  The secret weapon?  Ina Garten’s Engagement Roast Chicken.

A whole roasted chicken on a vintage plate

Why is it Called Engagement Roast Chicken?

Legend has it that in the 1980s, a fashion editor at a magazine shared Ina Garten’s lemon and garlic roast chicken recipe with her assistant. The assistant made the dish for her boyfriend, and he proposed a few weeks later. The newly engaged assistant shared it with three more of her colleagues, who also got proposed not long after making the roast chicken dish.

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Chicken Recipes

A close up of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry holding hands in their engagement photo

Meghan Markle and Engagement Roast Chicken

The myth of this chicken recipe made headlines again in 2018 when it became the centre of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement story. Prince Harry told the BBC how the proposal happened during “just a standard typical night for us.”  According to Markle, the two were roasting chicken when he got down on one knee and popped the question. 

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

And since the Duke and Duchess are known to raise their own chickens (who could ever forget the shot of their chicken coop named  “Archie’s Chik Inn” during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey?) we think it’s a sentimental part of the story for the couple, as well.

Emily Blunt and husband John Krasinski

Meghan and Harry aren’t the only A-listers to find their happily ever after making the famous engagement roast chicken. As reported by CNN, Emily Blunt also spoke up about Ina Garten’s iconic roast chicken in a 2021 in an iHeartMedia podcast interview, saying that it’s the recipe that helped her win John Krasinski’s heart. “Oh my God, it’s divine,” said Blunt. “It’s really sticky and yummy.”

The ingredients to make engagement roast chicken

My Tips for Making Ina Garten’s Famous Engagement Roast Chicken

1) Add Lots of Herbs
I recommend adding thyme and rosemary to the dish, which will add extra flavour to the recipe. 

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Party Dinner Recipes to Impress Guests

2) Use a Meat Thermometer
Yes, I’ve been living without a meat thermometer for this long! Purchasing a digital meat thermometer gave me the confidence that the chicken was cooked perfectly.

3) Chicken Broth is Just Fine
I know homemade chicken stock tastes much better, but premade chicken broth worked well for me. Sorry, Ina!

A closeup of the engagement roast chicken sauce

4) The Sauce is the Best Part
The wine, garlic, butter, and natural juice of the chicken makes for a mouthwatering sauce that is by far the highlight of the dish.

5) Make This Recipe For Your Third Date
Cooking roast chicken for a third date is a great way to impress any potential partner. I find that seeing how a person acts in the kitchen is actually a great insight into how they are as a partner, and what they bring  (or don’t bring) for a side dish or a dessert tells a lot about an individual’s personality. The best part of all? You don’t need to watch the chicken so closely, giving you some extra quality time together.

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Sunday Night Suppers

I Made The Barefoot Contessa’s Engagement Chicken

As someone with both a crush on Prince Harry and John Krasinski, I couldn’t help but wonder: Could Ina Garten’s engagement chicken recipe work for me, too?

Believe it or not, I was able to make the famous engagement chicken without messing it up. And I have to admit, I was really proud of myself (and no tears!).

While the chance of me getting engaged anytime soon is as likely as becoming a NASA astronaut, roasting a whole chicken is actually a lot of fun. The aromatics of the garlic, onions, and extra sprigs of rosemary makes your home smell like a dream. 

Unless you really don’t know your oven settings, I don’t see how this is a meal you can mess up, even if you’re really nervous. I also love how the recipe is easy to memorize, and the ingredients are all staples you likely already have in your kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for a love like Ina and Jeffery, who have been married for fifty-two years, or you just want to impress your date who may look a Prince Harry in your eyes, engagement chicken is must-try dish for every beginner chef and hostess.

Watch the video


For more inspiring recipes, watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Images Courtesy of Getty Images and Angela Serednicki. 

Close-up of Arty Holiday Bread , as seen on The Pioneer Woman, Season 26.

Colourful and Fragrant, The Pioneer Woman’s Arty Holiday Bread is What the Holidays are All About


This store-bought frozen bread dough makes the perfect base for this arty bread that plays on a version of a focaccia. Topped with veggies and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese, it’s not only pretty but makes prepping for the holidays that much easier! 

Close-up of Arty Holiday Bread , as seen on The Pioneer Woman, Season 26.

Arty Holiday Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes  (includes rising time)
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. frozen white bread dough, thawed
½ cup red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup olives, pitted
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
2 tsp flaky sea salt
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan 

Directions

1. Oil a quarter sheet pan with 1 Tbsp of the oil and stretch out the bread dough to the edges. Allow the dough to rest and rise for 15 minutes.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Holiday Recipes

2. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

3. Brush the surface of the bread with another Tbsp of the olive oil. Decorate the bread with the tomatoes, olives, sage and rosemary, pressing them into the bread. Brush on the remaining olive oil; this will make it shiny and stop the vegetables burning. Sprinkle on the salt and Parmesan.

4. Bake until it is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Easiest Holiday Appetizers

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond.

Watch  The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

The winner of this year's Holiday Baking Championship

This Year’s Holiday Baking Championship Winner May Be The Most Inspiring Yet

When Adam Monette stepped into the Holiday Baking Championship kitchen, his love of the holidays was pretty obvious. This is, after all, the guy whose father keeps his Christmas tree up year-round. But Adam wasn’t just passionate, he was also able to execute week after week.

From somehow whipping up an impressive Ambrosia salad (and does anyone actually like Ambrosia salad?) to impressing the judges out of the gate with his pumpkin-butter filled donuts, it seemed like this competition was Adam’s to lose.

Thankfully, the St. Albans, Vermont native kept it together and pulled off the big W on Monday night’s supersized finale to take his place among the Holiday Baking Championship winners. Oh, and did we mention he also gets a cool $25,000 for beating out 11 other contestants over these past eight weeks?

In honour of Adam’s sweet, sweet victory, we wanted to dig in and take a look back at his inspiring journey.

He comes from humble roots

 

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Growing up, making time to sit down together and breaking bread was important to Adam’s family. They specifically loved cooking and eating dishes inspired by French-Canadian cuisine (like Tourtiere), and they learned how to make meals stretch so that everyone could enjoy. “There were always lots of mouths to feed,” he previously told the Saint Albans Messenger. “The food was humble, but always very, very good.”

He did this competition for his wife and daughters

 

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Adam frequently talked about his wife and kids on the show, and explained how he was really doing this for them (he actually hates seeing himself on camera!). So we thought it was beyond sweet that he not only baked his final cake in his daughters’ honour (they love peanut butter and chocolate), but he also added their names to the final “present-cake” décor.

He stayed calm and cool under pressure

Everyone knows this is a show that loves to throw extra challenges at the contestants, yet Adam never really seemed to stumble… much. If he was stressing you couldn’t ever really tell, except for maybe that brief moment in the finale where he took a giant gulp of sparkling wine before accepting the dessert charcuterie challenge. Staying calm, cool and collected tends to get you far in life, and it’s a trait that we definitely appreciate when it comes to being a chef in a hot kitchen.

He just really enjoyed the experience

 

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A post shared by Adam Monette (@chefamonet)

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, Adam’s love for baking definitely shone through, to the point where we can’t help but be pumped for the guy. “If you love to bake, it’s a dream come true,” Monette previously told the Messenger about how cool doing the show was. “You’ve got an unlimited pantry, so as long as you keep it under the guidelines, you can make whatever you want, and that’s so fun.”

But he also showed us exactly how to get his aggression out

 

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A post shared by Adam Monette (@chefamonet)

Look, sometimes things get stressful, and you need to find an outlet. But with tight timelines, the cameras watching and a big job at hand, it’s not like the contestants can just go pound it out at the gym or take a relaxing walk. So Adam took his stress out in more creative ways, like enthusiastically stabbing a fork into shortbread to create air holes, or beating certain batters by hand. Cathartic, right?

Of course his top-notch stirring skills definitely helped

 

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We’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate Adam’s multitasking skills. There are only about a billion components that go into making most of these desserts, and the fact that he was always able to stay on top of everything is downright impressive. From double-fisting those wooden spoons and churning out multiple stovetop sauces at once, to baking and butter-creaming at the same time, Adam’s process is very much streamlined.

He kept his eye on the prize

 

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Was Adam’s game perfect? Of course not. He too had some stumbles along the way, but he didn’t let that deter him. In each episode he came up with a game plan, executed that plan to the best of his ability, and pivoted when necessary. Like in the finale, when he ran out of butter cream? Rather than stressing, he knew the only thing to do was to make more, even if it put him behind. Or when host Jesse Palmer told the contestants they had to incorporate lights into their cakes? No big deal. What “present-cake” is complete without a light show anyway?

Offscreen, he works with kids

Adam Monette and Jesse Palmer

We love that by the end of the series, Adam was throwing the dad jokes right back at Jesse. Well as it turns out, Adam has had a bit of experience perfecting his own version of that craft as a culinary instructor at the Northwest Career & Technical Center in Vermont. There, young students get a taste of culinary training under Adam’s watchful eye, learning everything from knife skills to how to manage a restaurant. No wonder Adam is so good at multitasking!

Adam knows this show inspires others who speak through food

 

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Adam might not have applied to be on the show himself (he was nominated by a former student), but he acknowledges that it’s a really special thing to do. “It’s one of those shows that touches a lot of families, and I think that’s what’s really cool and special,” he explained to the Messenger. “It’s very communal. Everybody gets together and they watch it, they share something and you know, it’s a real positive experience.”

You can’t help but be pumped for this guy’s win

No matter which contestant you were initially rooting for, it’s hard not to be happy for Adam after seeing how focused and passionate he was throughout this entire experience. Not only is it inspiring, but it just makes us happy.

“Oh my god, I can’t believe it. I’ve never won anything in my life,” Adam said after learning he is the next Holiday Baking Championship winner. “I can’t wait to tell my wife and my daughters, I know they’re going to be proud of me and that means everything. This is going to be the best Christmas they’ve ever had.”

Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Holiday decor in Team Buddy's bakery, as seen on Buddy vs Duff Holiday, Season 4.

The Winner of Buddy vs. Duff Holiday is… Plus the 5 Best Moments!

The friendly rivalry between these west and east coast bakers takes on a new sweetness in this season of Buddy vs. Duff Holiday: both Buddy Valastro (Carlo’s Bakery) and Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes) are playing for a  $25,000 donation to their favourite charity (Buddy chooses Toys for Tots and Duff picks Off Their Plate).

Host Buddy Valastro checks in with Team Duff before working on their "Nutcracker"-themed cake, as seen on Buddy vs Duff Holiday, Season 4.

Judges Elizabeth Faulkner and Gesine Prado are in New York, and pastry chef Stephanie Boswell and chocolatier Valerie Gordon are in Los Angeles to help judge the festive creations. Although Duff’s team ends up winning 145 to 139, Buddy still gets $10,000 to donate to his charity, in the full spirit of the holidays.

Both teams pull out all the stops in this four-episode battle, trying new chemistry experiments with isomalt and poured epoxy resin, crafting goofy and realistic animals and generally having a lot of fun along the way. In the true spirit of the holidays, let’s take a look at the five best moments that embodied festive-fun (tinged with a little bit of stress).

Host Duff Goldman shaves cake for table top, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 4.

Double Take

Skating into the finale, Duff’s team leads by only one point, so the stakes are high. When Buddy proposes a winter wonderland theme, both teams immediately think of an Arctic scene with penguins and polar bears, meaning that they are both making essentially the same cake a fact that they discover mid-way through the 20-hour bake. “We’ve already started, and it’s too late to change our design, so we’ve got to go with it,” says  Buddy ruefully.  Happily, the cakes couldn’t look more different: Duff’s team plays to their strengths in sculpting with hyper-realistic looking animals and birds, while Buddy takes a more whimsical and cartoonish approach to their critters. “I don’t want to give the feeling like he’s going to start chowing down on penguins,” says Buddy’s cake artist Anna Puchalski when creating her goofy looking polar bear. “It’s the holidays, it’s not winter wonder murder.”

Moving Parts

Already hard at work making Charm City Cake’s massive five-foot polar bear, cake artists Sonny Robinson and Natalie Sideserf are challenged even further when Duff decides that the 64 square foot cake base needs more animals. The team ends up adding three seals and another bear (the more the merrier, after all).

The Carlo’s Bakery team gets ambitious with a moving bear coming out of the water with a fish in its mouth: a piece of machinery head sculptor Ralph Attanasia  has great fun testing. “It’s definitely scientific and not because it’s fun,” he jokes, as he hops onto the platform and poses in his best bear imitation. “I’ve got a fishy in my mouth!” he roars.

Related: Cake Boss Buddy Valastro is Bringing a Bakery to Toronto

Chemistry Experiments

A big part of Team Duff’s cake is the water element. Deciding that the massive cake base is too large to use isomalt, lead cake decorator Geof Manthorne plays mad scientist with poured epoxy resin. The first attempt causes a chemical reaction with the silver dust and turns into a foam monstrosity spewing a toxic cloud that requires everyone including the film crew, to evacuate the premises. Geof’s further adventures in resin actually melt the foam board, requiring the base to be constructed again. Eventually, Duff suggests that they paint the board blue and tint 20 gallons of corn syrup a similar hue before carefully pouring it on the day of construction, which results in a spectacular effect.

 

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A post shared by Duff Goldman (@duffgoldman)

Team Buddy runs into similar challenges using isomalt for the first time on such a massive scale. Buddy, along with pastry chef Chad Durkin, and pastry chef and cake artist Mauro Castano, spend a gruelling day cooking and applying 300 pounds of isomalt to the cake base (a dangerous task, as the sugar reaches 300°F and literally melts the spatula Chad is using to stir it). As more isomalt gets applied in layers, the heavier it gets and starts falling off and shattering as it cools. Eventually, through patience and a lot of repair, the base is lit from behind with flickering lights, evoking the shimmer of the northern lights.

 

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Hidden Talents

Both teams get to bust out some secret moves this season. There’s the startling reveal that Ralph was in a production of the Nutcracker when he was 16, playing the rat king. Geof, when presented with his secret Santa present of pre-lit spheres, gives a quick demonstration of his juggling prowess.  Duff also gets to play with chainsaws, showing off his ice sculpting skills he honed at the Vail Cascade Hotel. “I used to carve ice in a previous life I haven’t done this since 1999, so we’ll see,” he says.

The Gifts That Keep Giving

Although the bake days are challenging and work-filled, both teams also take a little bit of a break to share in some holiday spirit. Natalie’s secret Santa present is a full “grandpa ensemble,” complete with cane, fake eyebrows and pipe, playing on her nickname and reputation as a cranky octogenarian.

The teams also send presents across the country to cheer each other up: Duff sends a basket of crab cakes, chowder and dips that Buddy pronounces “off the charts,” while Buddy sends a care package of his wife’s Eggplant Parmesan and a bunch of pastries and cake.

Related: The Evolution of Buddy Valastro: From Cake Boss to Buddy vs. Duff

“The pastries were gone in about 15 minutes, then we heated the eggplant parmesan, which was gone in about 12 minutes. And then everybody wanted to nap, because were all full of cheese,” laughs Duff. “Well played, Buddy. Well played.”

For more fun moments, watch Buddy vs. Duff Holiday. Stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Host Buddy Valastro works on his team's "Winter Wonderland"-themed cake, as seen on Buddy vs Duff Holiday, Season 4.

Cake Boss Buddy Valastro is Bringing a Bakery to Toronto (Plus, He Shares His Fave Moments From Buddy vs. Duff Holiday)


“I’ve been literally working 18-hour days for the last month, says Buddy Valastro, AKA the Cake Boss, from the hit baking competition show Buddy vs. Duff.   “I’ve been actually sleeping in my office.” 

On the morning we caught up with Buddy, he is sitting in that office at his famed bakery in New Jersey – it’s his second interview and it’s only 9:30 AM.  The feeling with Buddy is immediately comfortable; he is friendly,  funny and down-to-earth, pulling you into the conversation as if you’ve known him personally for years.  On the show, the vibe he gives off is the same – but adds an element of toughness and perfectionism some would call having grit. Oh, did we mention that he is not shy about telling it like it is?

Host Buddy Valastro and his team, Ralph Attanasia, Mauro Castano, Anna Puchalski, Frankie Amato and Becky Blaso, as seen on Buddy vs Duff Holiday, Season 4.

Related: Watch the Holiday Season Trailer

What’s New This Season?

On this season of Buddy vs. Duff Holiday, Team Buddy and Team Duff (led by Duff Goldman) have to create seasonal-themed cakes inspired by things such as a winter wonderland, Santa’s workshop, The Nutcracker, and the Christmas cartoon classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas

While in the past seasons the cakes have been equally as impressive, the holidays add something magical to each episode, and for brief moments during the judging, you might forget that you’re looking at edible cakes. The designs are truly breathtaking!

“When you do this show, you get immersed into it and let me tell you, it’s like a month where you can think of nothing else but this,” says Buddy. “You know, I’m constantly pushing myself to come up with the most creative, insane cakes.”

And while there are lots of impressive elements to the cakes such as motorized parts and painting details, making sure that the cakes are edible is an important part of the cake-making and design process, reiterates Buddy.

“I can tell you that when I make a cake, I try to put as much cake in it as possible. There’s always going to be some structure. There’s always going to be some other side where you might have some Styrofoam. Any cake that we did on Buddy vs. Duff is at a minimum 300 pounds to 2000  pounds of cake, depending on how big it can be. For me, I want the viewer at home to always say, ‘When Buddy makes his cakes, it’s all cake,’ and  not just covered in Styrofoam or whatever.”

Related: Throwback to the First Season of Buddy vs. Duff

His Friendship With Duff

Host Duff Goldman shaves cake for table top, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 4.

It might be hard to believe, but Buddy and Duff didn’t know each other until the first season of the show when they met on set. And like any relationship, it took time to build the friendship on and off the show over the past three years. Despite how TV may make it appear on the show at times, Buddy says the two have a great friendship.

I think we both have an appreciation and respect for cake decorating and we have our respect and appreciation for ourselves, each other and our teammates. I’m sure he wants to win at the end of the day. I’m sure I want to win at the end of the day, but it’s not in a bad way.”

Working With Family 

 

 

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In this latest season, there is also a family connection – Buddy’s daughter, Sofia joins his team as a decorator. Working with his children is something Buddy says he enjoys and he hopes they follow in his footsteps if it they enjoy doing it.

“Right now, three out of my four children are in the back working and they’ve been working all the time,” says Buddy. “My son, Buddy, after he’s done with school, he drives to work and he stays because, you know, the way I act influences the people around me.

As for expanding the family business north of the border to Canada, Buddy says his new bakery is under construction in Toronto (details soon to come on Food Network Canada) and he hopes it to be open before Christmas.

Watch and stream Buddy vs. Duff Holiday and all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription. 

Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg smile at the camera on the set of Baking It

5 New Exciting Shows to Binge Watch This Winter and Beyond

When you thought Food Network Canada’s Season’s Eatings couldn’t get any better…this new roster of shows is so good, you can almost taste ’em! (Sorry, we had to do it!) From Peacock’s new holiday series Baking It to exciting new seasons of some of the best cooking competition shows like Wall of Chefs, here are all the shows you can watch on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Global TV app  or if you’re in the mood for snackable shorter bits, our Youtube channel. You can also check out Food Network Canada daily on TV with your cable package for delicious marathons that the whole family can enjoy.

Baking It

When to Watch: New series premieres November 8 at 8/9 PM ET

From the creators of the hit crafting competition show Making It and executive producer Amy Poehler comes Baking It, a six-episode holiday competition series hosted by Emmy Award-winner Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) and Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine). A celebration of the season when families and friends come together and eat baked goods, the series follows eight teams of two talented home bakers – including spouses, siblings, best friends and more – as they compete to create delicious savory and sweet treats in hopes of winning a cash prize.

Wall of Chefs

When to Watch: New series premieres January 3 at 10 ET/PT


It’s fast-paced and high stakes. Season 2 of ‘The Wall’ is back with exciting new episodes. Which home cook will be the last one standing taking home the $10,000 cash prize?

Kids Baking Championship

When to Watch: New series premieres January 3  at 9 ET

Duff Goldman and a kid contestant showing off a creation

They might be small, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen! Season 10 of Kids Baking Championship welcomes a new group of twelve talented young bakers to compete for the bragging rights and title of Kids Baking Champion!

Related: Meet the Hosts of Kids Baking Championship

Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime

When to Watch: New series premieres January 9  at 9 ET

Host Guy Fieri, as seen on Guy's Chance of a Lifetime, Season 1.

Guy Fieri’s newest show, Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime, is a reality competition unlike any other. Mixing the less glamorous elements of the restaurant industry, like marketing and front-of-house hospitality, the last competitor standing walks away with their own franchise of Fieri chain Chicken Guy.

Related: Guy’s Grocery Games

Alex vs America

When to Watch: New series premieres January 9  at 10 ET

Host Alex Guarnaschelli, as seen on Alex vs America, Season 1.

Brave and talented chefs attempt to take down Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli the most feared and accomplished competition cook in America for ultimate bragging rights and $15,000.

Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Ina Garten’s Succulent Engagement Roast Chicken is the Perfect Way to Finish a Long Week


Ina knows the ins and outs of entertaining so it’s no wonder even when it comes to a simple roast chicken recipe – it’s something special. How so, you say? This recipe is said to have inspired countless celebrity, royal and other marriage proposals. 

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Dinner Recipes to Impress Guests

Whole roast chicken in a pan with lemons around it

Engagement Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

4 to 5 lbs roasting chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons
1 whole head garlic, cut in ½  crosswise
Good olive oil
2 Spanish onions, peeled and thickly sliced
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Chicken Recipes

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Cut the lemons in quarters, place 2 quarters in the chicken along with the garlic and reserve the rest of the lemons. Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken in a small (11 by 14-inch) roasting pan. (If the pan is too large, the onions will burn.) Place the reserved lemons and the sliced onions in a large bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, and ½ tsp of pepper. Pour the mixture around the chicken in the pan.

Related: I Tried Ina Garten’s (The Barefoot Contessa’s) Engagement Chicken

3. Roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce, leaving the lemons and onions in the pan.

4. Place the pan on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Add the stock and sprinkle on the flour, stirring constantly for a minute, until the sauce thickens. Add any juices that collect under the chicken. Carve the chicken onto a platter and serve with the lemons, onions, and warm sauce.

For more inspiring recipes, watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Images courtesy of Getty Images. 

close-up of tuna noodle casserole

Garlicky and Creamy, This Tuna Noodle Casserole Is Seriously Delicious

To beat Bobby Flay on his own hit show Beat Bobby Flay, Damaris Phillips knew she had to think outside of the box and be bold. Which is why she chose a dish she knew Bobby Flay would never eat, let alone cook: “I thought there was exactly a zero percent chance that this debonair chef has ever or will ever eat a casserole famous for using canned tuna and soup… I was right. Bobby Flay makes a terrible tuna noodle casserole, but this winning recipe is delicious!” It’s no surprise that Bobby Flay decided to feature this smoky, creamy tuna noodle casserole in his book. Damaris’s take on this classic uses Gruyere cheese, loads of garlic, homemade chicken broth and smoked cheddar to wow taste buds – and win over the best of chefs, including Bobby Flay.

Pan of tuna casserole

Related: What Beats Bobby Flay? 5 Dishes That Cost Him The Win

Damaris Phillips’ Tuna Noodle Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Tuna Casserole:
Kosher salt
12 ounces campanelle pasta
3 cloves roasted garlic (recipe below), mashed to a paste
2½ cups mushroom stock
Light
chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or broth
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup medium-diced Spanish onion (about 1 medium)
½ cup medium-diced celery (about 2 stalks)
12 ounces wild mushrooms, stems discarded, caps coarsely chopped
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces smoked Gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup sour cream
10 ounces frozen peas
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley|
1 pound smoked tuna fillets in oil, flaked
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup plain fresh bread crumbs
½ cup crushed potato chips
½ cup coarsely grated smoked cheddar cheese

Related: Healthy and Easy-To-Make Casseroles From Our Favourite Food Network Canada Chefs

Roasted Garlic:
4 heads garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Tuna Casserole:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.  Add the noodles and cook for 6 minutes. Drain well, rinse with cold water, and drain well again. The noodles will be very al dente but will continue to cook as the casserole bakes.

3. Whisk together the garlic paste, mushroom stock, cream, vinegar, and soy sauce in a large bowl.

4. Melt the butter in a large (14-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and mushrooms and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the mushroom stock mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the Gruyère, sour cream, peas, and half of the parsley. Add the cooked noodles and the tuna and stir well. Season with salt and black pepper.

6. Melt the remaining butter. Combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, potato chips, and cheddar in a medium bowl. Sprinkle over the casserole.

7. Bake until the center is hot and the top is golden brown, about 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining parsley. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Directions

Roasted Garlic:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Using a serrated knife, slice off the top quarter of the garlic heads, exposing as many cloves as possible. Arrange the garlic heads, cut-side up, in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish (make sure the garlic heads sit flat).

3. Drizzle the oil over each head and season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast until lightly golden brown and soft, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.

4. From the bottom up, squeeze each head to push out the garlic cloves (peel skins from any completely enclosed cloves). Transfer the garlic and cooking oil to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Reprinted with permission from Beat Bobby Flay. Copyright © 2021 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 

 

Beat Bobby Flay: Conquer the Kitchen with 100+ Battle-Tested Recipes: A Cookbook, Amazon, $40

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Watch and stream Beat Bobby Flay and all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

 

Host Chef Bobby Flay is laser-focused during the round two cookoff as the audience looks on in awe on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 4.

What Beats Bobby Flay? 5 Dishes That Cost Him The Win

It’s a pivotal moment in each episode of Beat Bobby Flay. The chef, having bested their rival in the preliminary round, faces Bobby and declares the dish that they’ve decided will bring him down. There’s a lot of strategy involved in that one moment; the dish has to be innovative enough to impress the judges but not stray too far from tradition (a classic rookie mistake). In addition, there’s the calculation to make of what or what doesn’t fall within Bobby’s considerable wheelhouse.

Host Chef Bobby Flay is laser-focused during the round two cookoff as the audience looks on in awe on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 4.

What many competitors forget about Bobby Flay is that he has French Culinary Institute credentials, which means he’s got a grounding in the classics. Although he’s made his bones through the Southwestern flavours that have defined most of his career, Bobby can cook in a variety of styles and if he hasn’t made something before, he can reverse engineer a recipe with the best of them.

Chef Bobby Flay races to prepare a Catfish Po' Boy in Round 2 , as seen on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay, Season 4.

What, then, have aspiring hopefuls brought to the Flay arena to challenge this master in his own domain? Throughout a whopping 28 seasons, veterans with kitchen chops and newly-minted beginners have hoped to beat Bobby at his own game with their own specialty dishes. Savvy competitors generally follow one of two strategies: whipping out a highly regional secret or adapting a technique-heavy recipe to the time specifications of the competition. The following are some of the dishes that have taken Bobby Flay out on his own grounds, and some recipes in case you want to compete in the privacy of your own kitchen.

Tacos

Challenging Chef Johnny Zone races to prepare fish tacos in Round 2. Hehas chosen Fish Tacos as the dish they will both prepare challenging Bobby in his wheelhouse , as seen on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay, Season 4.

Some challengers go gunning for Bobby’s specialties, wanting to prove they can top a famous chef for bragging rights (and probably some advertising advantages). It’s no surprise, then, that contestants have taken on Bobby in tacos on four separate occasions what’s a bit of a mystery is that three out of the four went home victorious (Bobby won the shrimp taco challenge handily).

Chef Johnny Zone's Fried Fish Tacos prepared in Round 2, as seen on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay, Season 4.

Whether the fillings were meat, fried fish or marinated fish, Bobby lost on three occasions to chefs Brian Tsao, Johnny Zone and Andrew Bent, respectively.

Try it yourself with this Canadian fish tacos recipe

Soufflé

Host Bobby Flay with contender Lauren Brown, as seen on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay, Season 13.

It’s become de rigueur for chefs on cooking competitions to proclaim that they aren’t bakers in order to set expectations for their poor pastry skills. On this show, however, the guests often aim right for Bobby’s weak spot in baking, and a standard soufflé turned out to be his double downfall. Soufflés are often avoided in competition due to the need to keep all fat away from the egg whites (difficult in an open kitchen with contestants and ingredients whirling around) and the split-second timing required lest it sink from glorious puffiness to deflated sadness.

Contender Lauren Brown's Lobster Souffl?, as seen on Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay, Season 13.

Bobby lost the battle for both savoury and sweet soufflés to chefs Lauren Brown and Olivier Palazzo, both of whom whipped up a win.

Try it yourself with this  chocolate soufflé recipe

Empanadas

Contestant Aaron Rivera races to finish his beef empanada dish, as seen on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 8.

Another dish that varies widely by region of origin (they can come from countries from the Philippines to Argentina), empanadas were also a source of consternation for Bobby. He’s lost three times here as well, as different chefs went home with the victory in their pocket.

Beef empanadas were especially challenging, causing him to lose to chefs Rosana Rivera and Aaron Rivera (no relation). Bobby’s lack of prowess with making the rich, fat-based pastry an integral part of a successful empanada ultimately led him to lose.

Contestant Aaron Rivera's beef empanada dish, as seen on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 8.

Try it yourself with this Argentinian beef empanadas recipe

Napoleon

Co-Host Rowan Blanchard looks on as Contender Francois Payard makes his napoleon in Round 2 on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 10.

When it comes to the world of baking, François Payard is a fearsome competitor. The pastry chef has worked at the Parisian temple of gastronomy, La Tour D’Argent, as well as New York’s  Le Bernadin and Restaurant Daniel. Small wonder that his Napoleon conquered Bobby’s attempt at the complex, multi-levelled puff pastry and custard/almond paste creation.

Contender Francois Payard's finished dish of chocolate napoleon with chocolate chantilly and praline puffed rice in Round 2 on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Season 10.

François’ secret weapon a praline puffed rice added extra crunch and texture in contrast to the softness of the creamy filling and the flaky puff pastry and got him the win.

Try it yourself with this chocolate napoleon recipe

Gnocchi

Contender Ivana Raca races to finish her gnocchi with cream sauce dish, as seen on Beat Bobby Flay, Season 17.

Pasta has long been a nemesis for Bobby (he once got a knife stuck in a pasta roller, much to judge Sunny Anderson’s glee), and it turns out that gnocchi is no different. He lost two gnocchi battles (and won a third version where he turned to potato gnocchi instead) to Kristine Kittrell and Toronto’s own Ivana Raca.

Ivana has cooked around the world, and worked for Top Chef Canada judge Mark McEwan before becoming a partner at Ufficio and owner of Resto Boemo. She beat Bobby with her truffle gnocchi (which she promptly advertised on Facebook as “The Boho Truffle Gnoc — The Gnocchi that Beat Bobby Flay”).

Contender Ivana Raca's gnocchi with cream sauce dish, as seen on Beat Bobby Flay, Season 17.

Try it yourself with this ricotta gnocchi recipe

Tune into Beat Bobby Flay to see new episodes. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Judges on Season 8 of Halloween Baking Championship sitting at a desk, smiling at the camera in a Christmas-themed room

5 Hot New Releases To Binge on Amazon Prime This November

It’s officially the start of Season’s Eatings on Food Network, and that means the holidays are about to get a lot more delectable – on and off the screen!

Get into the gingerbread-making, cake-baking and Christmas cookie design-slaying  holiday spirit with all your favourite shows playing on your device with StackTV on Amazon Prime.

Holiday Baking Championship

When to Watch: New series premieres November 1 at 9 PM ET/PT

Judges sit on the set of Holiday Baking Championship

In the biggest season ever of Holiday Baking Championship, as 12 of the best holiday bakers in America are going after the ultimate gifts – $25,000, a spot in Food Network Magazine and the title of Holiday Baking Champion.

Related: Meet the Bakers: Halloween Baking Championship Season 8 Competitors

The Big Bake: Holiday

When to Watch: New season premieres November 1 at 8 PM ET

 

Buddy vs. Duff: Holiday

When to Watch: New season premieres on November 28 at 8 PM ET

Buddy vs Duff Holiday

Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman come together for a special competition celebrating the winter holiday season. They choose a different theme for each battle and have just 20 hours to work with their talented teams to create their finished masterpieces

Related: Cakes, Cookies or Pies? Buddy Valastro Reveals His Ultimate Holiday Treat

Christmas Cookie Challenge

When to Watch: New season premieres November 14 at 8/9 PM ET

Holiday cookies are more than mere sweets — they are gifts, mementos of childhood, and most certainly made with pride. In Christmas Cookie Challenge, five confident and daring bakers compete to prove their holiday cookie-making skills and to nab the $10,000 prize!

 



The Big Bake: Holiday is a larger-than-life baking competition series with themed episodes. And for the holidays, the bakers are bringing the magic of Christmas to life.  In the end, the most ambitious, eye-popping and delicious cake will go home with a $10,000 prize.

Related: The Big Bake Season 2: Meet the Talented Team of Bakers

Buddy vs. Duff: Holiday

When to Watch: New season premieres on November 28 at 8 PM ET

Buddy vs Duff Holiday

Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman come together for a special competition celebrating the winter holiday season. They choose a different theme for each battle and have just 20 hours to work with their talented teams to create their finished masterpieces

Related: Cakes, Cookies or Pies? Buddy Valastro Reveals His Ultimate Holiday Treat 

Christmas Cookie Challenge

When to Watch: New season premieres November 14 at 8/9 PM ET

Holiday cookies are more than mere sweets — they are gifts, mementos of childhood, and most certainly made with pride. In Christmas Cookie Challenge, five confident and daring bakers compete to prove their holiday cookie-making skills and to nab the $10,000 prize!

Related: Classic Christmas Cookie Recipes

Holiday Wars

When to Watch: New season premieres on November 7  at 9/10 PM ET

Set Detail, as seen on Holiday Wars, Season 3.

Holiday Wars returns for the biggest and tastiest season yet with nine teams of masterful cake and sugar artists. Maneet Chauhan hosts the festivities and challenges each team to create the most magical and delicious holiday-themed cakes imaginable for judges Shinmin Li and Aarti Sequeira.

Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Contestants running on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

Halloween Baking Championship Season 7: The Winner is…

It’s been a terrifying trek through this season of Halloween Baking Championship, and host John Henson greets the remaining four denizens of Camp Devil’s Food Lake while malevolently toasting marshmallows  a tip off to the contestants that this episode’s thriller challenge is a S’mores based test. The bottom two  confections will land their creators in a sudden death challenge, and the loser sent off into the night to meet their gruesome ends at the hands of the mysterious camp killer. Here is our recap of the ghoulish season finale and the reveal of who wins this season of Halloween Baking Championship.

Judges Stephanie Boswell, Zac Young and Carla Hall and Judge John Henson, on the set of Halloween Baking Championship.

Fear Itself: The Thriller Challenge

Based on the questionnaire the contestants previously filled out, John has selected their most feared ingredients. A runner up from Halloween Baking Championship from Season 6 and a surprise entry into the competition in episode 2, Renee Loranger knows what her ingredient is before she even opens the box. “It’s sauerkraut,” she bemoans. “C’mon, I can smell it”. Each camper faces their nemesis; for Megan Baker, black garlic adds a wrinkle, while Adina Schaefer is faced with her hated rosemary. Guillermo Salinas, interestingly, has a composed dish rather than ingredient: a weird and wobbly gelatin dessert. 

Renee wisely chooses to focus on the coconut-like texture of the sauerkraut, rinsing it well and adding it to a raspberry brownie with marshmallow, salted caramel and graham cracker crumble. It turns out to be a wise decision, as judge Zac Young loves the chew of the sauerkraut, but Carla Hall would prefer it chopped finer.

Guillermo Salinas on Halloween Baking Championship

As an artist and a pastry chef, Guillermo Salinas is one to watch in this competition. On his Instagram, Guillermo says his goal in life is to make delicious things, but making creative edibles is his true passion. That definitely shines through in some of the plates we’ve seen from him, from gorgeous pastries and elegant cakes, to chocolate creations and airy croissants.

Faced with a cup of jelly, Guillermo makes the fearless decision to dice it and add it to a covered bowl infused with hickory wood smoke for a hot chocolate panna cotta with smoked gelatin, graham cracker and marshmallow. Unlike the other bakers, he opts for store-bought marshmallows, which costs him points with judge Stephanie Boswell, who calls him out for hermetically sealing his dessert with an impenetrable crust. Zac also points out that he could have transformed the ingredient better, by boiling and reducing it.

Contestant Megan Baker, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7.

Megan Baker isn’t just ready to whip up those horror movie-inspired treats she’s ready to take them to the next level. As a cake artist, Megan is used to working with everything from buttercream to fondant, telling a story with each delicious offering.

Megan makes the brave but ultimately foolish decision to try for a macaron in a limited time, which does not allow for an overnight set to get the signature chewiness. Her black garlic jam macaron with salted chocolate and toasted marshmallow ends up being overbaked, and Stephanie compares its texture to an amaretti, although she praises the fermentation and acidic quality.

Contestant Adina Schaefer, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7.

As a small business owner, Adina Schaefer is used to working under pressure which will definitely give her an advantage in this competition. The cake artist runs her own shop, Sweets By Adina Marie, in California. There, she whips up custom desserts and cakes made from scratch that feature high-quality ingredients. Now, we can’t wait to see how those skills translate on the series.

Despite Adina’s profound dislike of rosemary (“it reminds me of being trapped inside a really cheap, bad Christmas candle,” she says), and burning her caramel twice during her bake, her honey rye graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, rosemary brittle and chocolate crémeux wins her the advantage for the next challenge. “I feel like we’re going to eat anger and disdain,” says Carla, taken aback by Adina’s vehemence.

Death by Pumpkins

The sudden death challenge tasks Guillermo and Megan with recreating John’s worst fear in a fresh, modern and unexpected way. A display of ugly and unsettling rotting pumpkins serves as inspiration for the two contestants, both of whom take on classic handheld desserts. Despite the judges pointing out the bitterness of Guillermo’s burnt pumpkin seed crumble, they find favour with the creativeness of the piped pumpkin-shaped cream puff with cream cheese filling, plated on a garbage can lid. Megan’s chocolate pumpkin whoopee pie with pumpkin cream cheese and candied pecan, although praised for its ethereal mousse consistency from Zac, ultimately sends her packing due to its lack of the grossness the challenge demanded.

And Then There Were Three

The remaining bakers are faced with a fiendish task for the final challenge: a towering tribute to the anonymous camp killer that has been lurking in the background for the season. The tiered or carved cake must contain a topper shaped like a brain, with a gooey filling. The five hour challenge has all the bakers scrambling to make the amount of cake necessary for 24 inches (for reference, says Guillermo, that is the height of his son. “That’s a toddler-sized cake,” he says wearily.) This challenge means that in addition to making three to four batches of cake, running between their stations, the oven and the cooling racks, the bakers have to contend with structural considerations such as the weight of the topper and the need for dowels to steady the cake layers.

As her advantage for winning the thriller challenge, Adina gets to choose between mousse, curd or gelatin as the filling for her cake’s brain decoration. She picks curd, but ultimately regrets the decision, opting to use a lighter filling for her cake topper just in case. Her devil’s food cake with malt whipped cream ganache, cherry curd, cherry jam, pecan streusel and cinnamon buttercream is inspired by John, whom she secretly suspects is the serial killer villain of the show (she adds grey tufts into the frosting to pay tribute to his hair). The piece de la resistance of her ghoulish creation, apart from disturbingly realistic stitched together human skin made out of fondant, is her decision to use agar agar and put jam in front of the brain’s lobe, so that it will weep blood when it sits (a fact that both impresses and horrifies Zac at the judging table). The softness of the curd she uses to fill the cake, however, interferes with the structural integrity and leads Carla to point out that the cake is leaning to the side.

Guillermo decides to revisit his successes of the season, making a multilayer cake decorated with a mummy, zombie, pumpkin and clown all facing off into different directions so that at least one is always staring at the viewer. His orange sponge cake with chocolate ganache, cranberry mousse and amaretto buttercream, complete with crushable white chocolate molding for the brain and cranberry and raspberry interior, incorporates fresh fruit and candied nuts in what Stephanie calls “a cacophony of flavours”.

And The Winner Is…

Although Renee has experience with the final challenge, she feels as nervous as the other competitors. Unlike Adina and Guillermo, Renee uses round cake pans rather than baking sheets to make three tiers and a smaller tier in case her cake is too short. From the start, she’s behind in her bake, rushing to get the cakes in the oven and cooled successfully. When she goes to unfold them, however, they stick to the pan and need to be scraped out (thank goodness for frosting!). Her devil’s food cake with hazelnut buttercream, hazelnut feuilletine crunch and sour cherry crunch falls afoul of other problems, too; her sour cherry jam is initially too sweet and the cake topper white chocolate shell cracks, leading her to quickly make a rather flat-looking molded substitution (“it’s not the biggest brain, but it’s a brain,” she sighs). 

Renee Loranger making a cake on Season 7 of Halloween Baking Championship

Renee wowed the judges with her design of the screaming victim on the middle layer of her cake, and the design mastery at work. “It reads like a graphic novel,” says Stephanie, admiring her adherence to the story through fondant and chocolate, as well as shiny sour cherry blood oozing from gashes carved into the cake. Ultimately, Renee takes home the $25,000 prize and a handmade wooden medal from John, proving that her return to the championship was a killer decision.

Watch Halloween Baking Championship and stream your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Close-up image of braised beef and red chilies on a plate

The Pioneer Woman’s Braised Beef and Red Chilies is the Comfort Dish You Need Right Now


Using four different types of red chilies, this braised beef with red chilies recipe is perfect on top of tacos, for a make-ahead meal or to be paired with your favourite carb for a more filling dish – any day of the week.

Related: Weeknight Dinners That Taste Even Better as Leftovers

Close-up of braised beef stew on top of a taco with cilantro

Braised Beef and Red Chilies

Prep time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 55 minutes 
Yield: 6 to 8 

Ingredients:

8 to 10 dried New Mexico chilies
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
One 4 to 5-pound chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large onion, sliced
2 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp sugar
2 bay leaves
Warm tortillas, shaved cabbage, sour cream, lime wedges and fresh cilantro, for serving 

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Tex-Mex Recipes Will Satisfy Your Cheesy, Meaty Cravings

Directions:

1. Add the chilies and garlic to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour off half the cooking liquid. Using an immersion blender, puree the peppers, garlic and remaining liquid until smooth. (Alternatively, you can use a regular blender. Be careful when blending hot or warm ingredients.)

2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chuck roast with the salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. When the oil is hot, add the meat to the Dutch oven and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes, then remove to a plate.

4. Add the tomato paste and onion to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, sugar, bay leaves and pepper puree to the pot and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot and cover. Roast until the meat is fall-apart tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours.

5. Remove the bay leaves. Shred the meat in the pot and serve on warm tortillas with shaved cabbage, sour cream, lime and cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond.

Watch  The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Food Network hosts smiling at the camera cropped side-by-side

5 New Releases to Binge on Amazon Prime This October

October on Food Network is a food lover’s paradise. Whether it’s getting scary-good baking inspiration from all of the awesome Halloween shows or tuning into new crave-worthy seasons of some returning favourites, there is something for everyone on Food Network Canada on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels. 

Dinner Impossible

When to Watch: New season premieres October 6 at 10 PM ET/PT

Robert Irvine smiling at the camera wearing sunglasses

For each seemingly impossible mission, host Robert Irvine (Restaurant Impossible) must cook an extraordinary meal, for a group of special people, using limited resources. From the California coast to the woods of Michigan, Robert is pushed to his max as he battles the elements – and the clock – to deliver a world-class meal.

Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets  

When to Watch: Premieres October 5 at 10 PM ET/PT

Alton Brown looking into the camera wearing a dark sweater with a dark background

Chopped: Alton’s Maniacal Baskets features Alton Brown (Good Eats: Reloaded) harnessing the power of his large social media following, as he joins forces with his fans to come up with maniacal ingredients that are sure to have the competitors in disbelief. The winning chef goes home with the $50,000 cash prize. Think victory will come easily in any of the battles? Not with Alton Brown in town.

Related: See More Recipes From Alton Brown

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen 

When to Watch: New season premieres October 17 at 11:30 AM ET/PT

Trisha Yearwood looking off to the distance and smiling wearing a red shirt

Whether it’s for entertaining, celebrating the holidays or just a day hanging out with her friends, country music star and best-selling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood’s recipes always have a story to tell and are fun and easy to make.

See More: Iconic Southern Comfort Food, From Cornbread to Fried Chicken

Carnival Eats 

When to Watch: New season premieres October 9 at 8 PM ET/PT

Noah Cappe is taking a bite into a hot dog and squinting

Noah Cappe is back on the road, showing off the best Hawaii has to offer, then even making a stop in Vancouver, British Columbia to visit a winter wonderland festival as he continues his quest for the best carnival eats.

Related: Watch Carnival Eats Extras Online

Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out

When to Watch: New season premieres October 30 at 10:30 AM ET/PT

Chef Michael Symon smiles into the camera holding a rack of grilled chicken

Michael Symon (BBQ Brawl, Burgers Brew and Que, Iron Chef Gauntlet) is back grilling up some of his all-time favorite dishes in this season of Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out. Michael lays out his tips and tricks for creating amazing meals in the great outdoors.

Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

tea and orange brined turkey on a serving platter

The Ultimate Guide to Turkey Cooking Times

The main event during the holidays often involves serving a perfectly juicy and succulent roast turkey to the ones you love. The last thing you want to do is present an overcooked (or worse, undercooked) bird. Even if this isn’t your first gobbler, it’s handy to have a cheat sheet on file to ensure you’re on track for dinner time. Follow the chart below for a foolproof way to roast the perfect turkey for your holiday feast every single time.

Related: The Best Leftover Turkey Recipe You’ll Ever Need (We Promise!)

Get the recipe for Tuscan Turkey Roulade

How to Roast a Basic Turkey

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large roasting pan, place thawed turkey, breast side up and tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake turkey using the chart below. Remove foil during last hour of cook time. Cook until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 170°F.

Size of Turkey Unstuffed Stuffed
10-12lbs 3 – 3 ¼ hours 3 ½–3 ¾ hours
12-16bs 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hours 3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours
16-20lbs 3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours 4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours
20-24lbs 4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours 4 ¾ – 5 ¼ hours


Related: How to Brine a Turkey and Why You Should Try It

turkey cut in half on a plate with green leaf garnish and orange slices

Get the recipe for Tea- and Orange-Brined Roasted Turkey

Top Turkey Cooking Tips

1. If using a frozen bird, ensure it’s fully defrosted before roasting.

2. Take your bird out of the fridge while the oven preheats. Juices will run clear when the turkey is done. Look at the juices running from the meat around the thigh bone.

3. If you’re using a convection oven, your bird will cook in 25 per cent less time. Take 15 minutes off each hour on the recommended times above.

4. After the turkey is removed from the oven, let it rest for minimum 30 minutes. The juices need to resettle into the meat.

Looking for more delicious inspiration? Here are the perfect side dishes to pair with your holiday turkey.

Slice of tsunami cake being taken out with a knife in the cake

Carla Hall’s Bloody Good Tsunami Cake is a Must-Make Halloween Dessert

Halloween Baking Championship judge Carla Hall knows a thing or two about scary cakes. And her pull-me-up cake recipe, AKA a cake that uses a see-through plastic sheet that you pull up to reveal an explosion of liquid icing or melting chocolate oozing down the cake, looks as scary as it sounds. Did we mention it was even more delicious? Carla recommends putting a plastic toy hatchet, meat cleaver or a dagger into the top of a cake of your choice (her recipe for a delicious red velvet cake is below), but she says buying a store-bought cake is OK too.

Tsunami Cake being cut into

Related: 16 Scary-Good Halloween Cakes and Cupcakes

Carla Hall’s Bloody Good Tsunami Cake

Prep Time: 1 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours (includes cooling and chilling)
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8-10 

Ingredients

Roasted Beet Purée:
2 large beets
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Red Velvet Cake:
2½  cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the cake pans
1½  cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
¾ cup buttermilk
½  cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 lb (454 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups white chocolate chips, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Bloody Good Tsunami Topping:
1½  cups milk
1⅓ cups heavy cream
¼ cup cornstarch
Pinch kosher salt
1¾ cups sweetened condensed milk
Red food coloring, as needed
Red sprinkles, for topping
Red sparkling sugar, for topping 

Related: 15 Creepy (and Cute) Halloween Party Food Ideas

Slice of Tsunami Cake on a plate with finger prints on it

Directions

Special equipment: two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans; an 8-inch (20 cm) cake round; a rotating cake stand; a plastic toy hatchet, meat cleaver or dagger; a large sheet of clear acetate, at least 2 inches wider and 5 inches taller than the assembled cake.

1. For the roasted beet purée: Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

 2. Place the beets in a piece of foil and season with the salt. Top with the olive oil and a splash of water, close up the foil and roast until a knife or skewer comes out with ease when inserted into the beets, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool just enough to handle.

3. Peel the beets, transfer to a blender with any remaining juices and purée, adding up to ¼ cup water if needed to get it to puree.

4. For the red velvet cake: Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Butter and flour two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds with the paddle attachment.

6. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine ½  cup of the roasted beet purée, the buttermilk, oil, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and eggs. In 2 parts, pour into the mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

7. Bake on the center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

8. For the cream cheese frosting: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract, then continue to mix until incorporated. Next, slowly add the powdered sugar, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag or Zip Top bag and snip off the end.

9. Pipe a tablespoon of frosting onto a rotating cake stand and place an 8-inch cake round on top, pressing gently to adhere. Place the first cake on the cake round and trim the dome to make flat if needed. Cut the cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Frost the top of the first layer, then place the second half on top and frost. Repeat with the remaining cake, cutting in half and stacking between layers of frosting. There should be 4 layers. Finally, frost the sides, finishing with the top.

10. For the bloody good tsunami topping: Whisk the milk, heavy cream, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture just begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the condensed milk and red food coloring (as many drops to get the color you prefer). Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming, then allow to cool completely before using.

11. To assemble the bloody good tsunami cake: cut a sheet of clear acetate that can wrap completely around the base of the cake, adding an extra 2 inches so that it can be secured with tape on the side and also making sure that the acetate is taller than the top of the cake by at least 5 inches. Wrap the acetate around the cake and tape it to form a long tube  – it should not be so tight as to squeeze against the outer layer of the cake, but still have no gaps at the top of the cake so that the topping will not seep over the edges. Gently spoon the bloody good tsunami topping over the top of the cake, then spoon an even layer of red sprinkles and sparkling sugar, about ¼ inch thick, over the topping. Plunge a plastic toy hatchet, meat cleaver or dagger into the center of the top of the cake – it should be very decorative and realistic looking for the best effect!

12. To reveal the tsunami, grasp the top of the acetate and gently pull up to loosen from the base of the cake, then continue pulling up over the top of the cake in one single motion to allow the topping to cascade over the side of the cake.

Related: Apple Poke Cake

Watch the Video:

Watch Halloween Baking Championship and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Recipe courtesy of Carla Hall.

Headshot of Ree Drummond over a close-up of her broccoli rice casserole dish

The Pioneer Woman’s Broccoli Rice Casserole is a Comforting Twist on a Classic Side

There are a few things we all crave when we’re sitting down for that iconic Thanksgiving meal: fall flavours, harvest-inspired platters and plenty of soul-warming, comforting options. With that said — as much as we can’t get enough of seasonal classics like stuffing and cranberry sauce — there’s also plenty of room at the table for new spins on savoury side dishes. Enter the queen of home-cooking comfort food, The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, and her latest perfect-for-Thanksgiving casserole recipe. 

Close-up of Best Broccoli Rice Casserole

Made from a delectable mix of long-grain rice, broccoli and a plethora of cheeses, this easy-to-prepare casserole is creamy and oh-so comforting — making it a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving (and everyday, really) dinner table.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Must-Try Casserole Recipes

Best Broccoli Rice Casserole

Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, grated
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups whole milk
4-oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
8-oz processed cheese, cubed
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar
8 cups small broccoli florets
6-oz diced pimentos, drained
2 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Ultimate Comfort Food Recipes

Directions:

 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour, dry mustard and cayenne and stir to mix it in well. Continue to cook for 1 minute.

 3. Next, add the milk, stirring constantly; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan, stirring until totally combined. Stir in the pepper, salt and paprika. Add the processed cheese, stirring until completely melted. Next, add 1 1/2 cups of the Cheddar and stir until melted. Then, fold in the broccoli and pimentos.

 4. In a large baking dish, create a base with half of the rice. Top with half of the broccoli cheese sauce. Repeat with the remaining rice, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the Cheddar evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Looking for more of The Pioneer Woman’s easy comfort-food meals to warm your dinner table? Try one of these recipes from Ree Drummond this week!

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.


Carla Hall is laughing and has a big smile on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla Hall Shares Her Favourite Moments From This Season (Plus, the Trend She Predicts for 2022)

She’s neither a fan of slasher movies nor psychological thrillers. But on this season of Halloween Baking Championship, Carla Hall says expect to see plenty of scary challenges incorporating those themes. That’s because this season, the show is playing homage to 1980’s slashers movies  both ionic, obscure and just downright freaky.

Carla Hall on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla is joined yet again by her co-judges, Pastry Chefs Stephanie Boswell and Zack Young, as well as host John Henson to help choose this season’s winner. Carla says the group’s common shared interests, such as acting and overall rapport is a huge part of why she thinks Halloween Baking Championship has been such a fan favourite all these years and why it continues to be one of the most entertaining shows.

Related: Halloween Baking Championship: Meet the Season 7 Bakers

“ I think the bakers are great, but [the cast] there is a sense of family with John and my fellow judges,” Carla says. “We just don’t keep ourselves strapped with boundaries. We really play and we get into the characters that we dress up as. And no other show has the costumes. I think the costumes every year just level up.”

Judges look at a pie on this season of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla Hall’s Highlights From Halloween Baking Championship

Speaking of levelling up, Carla says fans can expect to see bakers create some of the scariest cakes to date with the set and costumes coming in a close second! “This year, the network allowed us to get really scary [meaning] we can have skin hanging off of our faces,” said Carla.

“The fact that the setting of the show is at Camp Devil’s Food Lake, so [think] legs, scariness, spookiness, things jumping out at you you can plan on all of that. I might not be able to tell you when it’s going to happen, but just know it’s going to happen.”

Finished pie on a cake stand on display in the Halloween Baking Championship studio

What else? Maybe not as frightening, only “ugly delicious” as Carla calls them, but “you’re going to see a lot of great crusts this season.” And who doesn’t like a good crust? Carla says she’s first in line for a delicious slab of pie.

“If I had to choose between cake or pie, I would choose pie because I love fruit and I love the flakiness. I love the differences in texture with pie. I love a flaky buttery crust.”

Tips for Going Beyond Cake Decorations

Decorating a cake so it wows the judges on the show takes technical skills, artistic abilities and a load of experience, says Hall.  But her advice for home bakers aspiring to be on the show or who want to be the star in their own kitchens at home?  Take risks and go beyond focusing on just the decorations.

Related: Gorgeous Edible Cake Decorations To Elevate Any Dessert

“It’s not just about decorating, but really [bakers have to] make sure that the textures of your baked goods are great,” she says. “Understand how butter works: Do you want to use room temperature or softened butter? I mean, those are very different things. Start slowly, then go to [the] decorating and then just make sure that it’s something that you enjoy.”

Carla Hall looking at a pie on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

As for that one winning element that edges out the competition? Dare to be different.

I think white sugar is overused and I think I would like to see the bakers explore different sweeteners because it gives more interest to the baked goods. I’m thinking there’s always some kind of raspberry with chocolate. I would like to see them break out and use something that’s not so predictable.”

Related: Apple Spider Web Pops

Carla Hall’s Trend Predictions for 2022: Savoury Sweets and Spices

Using savoury spices in baked goods is something Carla says bakers on the show typically shy away from using – but not this season.

“When I think of spices, I think of cumin, cayenne and black pepper, [and] we actually forced them [the bakers] to use them. You’re going to see cinnamon, you’re going to see nutmeg, you’re going to see allspice. Those are the very traditional spices, you see those. What we challenge them to do, though, is to go beyond their comfort level and use some of these other spices.”

Wes Dills' cake, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7.

As for cake trends, Carla is glad to say goodbye to piñata cake, tsunami or pull-it-up cakes and drip cakes, and say hello to using savoury vegetables in cakes instead.

“What I think could be a trend or maybe I want this to be a trend is vegetables sweetened and turned into something else,” Carla told us. Using parsnips, or something like that in a cake, instead of carrot cake, [perhaps] celery root, the texture with celery root could be really nice. People are starting to use beets in a red velvet cake instead of the red dye because it’s natural, but the texture of beets also gives us that moist crumb.”

Related: Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Truffles for Your Next Halloween Bash

Carla Hall’s Favourite Recipes and Baking Traditions

Holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are a great time to get everyone in the family involved in creating a meal and making long-lasting traditions, says Hall. Admittedly, the former Top Chef contestant says she didn’t start baking until she was well into her twenties, but she always loved to eat especially her grandmother’s cornbread

I remember just like watching her waiting for that cornbread to be done..you would have that cast iron skillet, you put the oil in the skillet and then you pour the batter into the skillet, and I remember, the sizzle that the batter would make. And then all of the batter would be rolling up the sides of that cast iron skillet and that she would put it in the oven. And I knew in 20-minutes we’d be eating.”

She says in those early days it wasn’t about learning how to make the cornbread however, but rather for her, it was about recreating the memories surrounding the moments before she ate the cornbread that in part, inspired her baking career today. 

Watch Halloween Baking Championship Mondays at 9 PM ET/PT. Watch and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Buddy Valastro and his Carlo's Bakery team pose for a photo after winning Season 3 of Buddy vs. Duff

Buddy vs. Duff Season 3: The Best Moments

A close race right up until the very end, the third season of Buddy vs. Duff kept viewers in suspense with a completely tied score heading into the finale. Despite filming on both coasts with judges scattered across the country due to the pandemic, the rivalry was just as fierce in this East Coast/West Coast mashup. Both bakers also came into the competition changed by life circumstances: Buddy Valastro’s bowling accident that injured his dominant hand (a crucial tool for a baker) and the birth of Duff Goldman’s first child Josephine, with his wife Johnna.

Although Buddy took home the ultimate win with a 247-245 final score, the eight-episode season was filled with memorable moments from the Charm City Cakes and Carlo’s Bakery teams. Let’s take a look at a few of Season 3’s best moments.

Related: Meet the Cast of Buddy vs. Duff

A Return To The Classics: Episode 3, “Sweet Rides”

Calling back to an early challenge in Season 1, Duff suggested a rematch to redeem his team’s previously faulty hydraulics on a lowrider 64 Impala that he built with lead cake decorator Geof Manthorne. “It was a cool cake, but not our best work,” admitted Duff. This time, Duff and Geof had a team supporting them and went bigger and better with an eight-foot-long version showing off an LA bounce and working headlights and taillights. Ultimately, the car ended up losing narrowly by two points to Buddy’s fire engine red ’57 Chevy convertible, which impressed the judges with its detailed interior and stunning isomalt work.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Duff Goldman (@duffgoldman)


An Ace In The Hole: Episode 8, “Monster Matchup”

Secret weapon Laurent Branlard was a real ringer on the Carlo’s Bakery team, spinning out sugar work that wowed the judges time and time again. His glowing blown sugar spikes with a colour-changing light reflecting through them was a stunning game-changer on the team’s 20-foot long dinosaur. Not only did Laurent, an executive pastry chef, create 70 of these spikes (“I’m not going to lie —it’s pretty overwhelming,” he said), but he also found time to decorate them with disturbingly realistic lesions on the cake. “Who doesn’t dream about eating a pimple?”, he joked.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buddy Valastro (@buddyvalastro)

Mishaps: All Season

From dropped trees on Duff’s hanging gardens to a tire blow-up on Buddy’s classic car, both teams had to deal with mishaps all through the season. During the Episode 4: First We Feast episode, both teams faced challenges in construction. As the Carlo’s Bakery crew moved their massive cake slice into the final area, Buddy got to do some last-minute repair when the sprinkles on the back started falling off, leading head sculptor Ralph Attanasia to dub Buddy the “Sprinkle Boss” and reducing the team to giggles. “We actually had a little disaster of it falling down and we had to redo it. I gotta be honest with you — the second time around, I think we did it better,” Buddy told the judges.

See More: The Best Moments From Season 2 of Buddy vs. Duff

 

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A post shared by Buddy Valastro (@buddyvalastro)

On the Charm City Cakes side, homemade jelly jars made of isomalt filled with corn syrup were a great concept that had some issues with execution (trust Geof to hack a solution when the liquid springs a leak in the isomalt).

…And Machinery: All Season

Finally, who could forget the madcap machinations that occurred on both sides this season? Buddy’s love of his forklift (even executing a complicated cake flip that previously led to disaster in previous seasons) led pastry chef and cake artist Becky Blaso to comment, “Buddy always says go big or go home” when watching the mayhem. On the Charm City Cakes team, from Geof’s pivoting table belt that lifted the arms of nine-foot monster Marty to the lighting effect that animated the final cake, the team went all out to try new things. “Having the extra day gives us extra time to be extra dumb and dangerous,” observed Duff of Geof’s mad scientist lightning tube wiring.

Watch Buddy vs. Duff and stream your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.