Chatting with Guest Judges Jamele Hill and Jaymee Sire | Star Blog

Chatting with Guest Judges Jamele Hill and Jaymee Sire | Star Blog The Food Network Star competition has narrowed to just four remaining hopefuls, which means that this week, with just a few challenges left until the finale, the pressure will be on the competitors to deliver Star-worthy performances every step of the way. In addition to Bobby and Giada, two perfect-for-the-job judges will be on hand Sunday night to help evaluate finalists’ presentations. ESPN’s Jamele Hill and guest Jaymee Sire, who’s set to be the floor reporter on the upcoming series Iron Chef Showdown, will join the Up Your Game Day Star Challenge, featuring a series of shared segments and culinary demos. To be successful in a livelike setting, the rivals must execute on multiple tasks at once, and no one knows the demands of that more than game-day enthusiasts Jamele and Jaymee. We caught up with them on set to get their take on the challenges ahead, their advice to guarantee game-day success and their own tailgating traditions at home.
Tell me a little bit about how food plays a role on game-day.Jaymee Sire: I think food is the one thing that everybody can rally around. Everybody has their different team or their different players, but everybody can agree that you need good food on game day, and you need to fuel up, especially if you’re going to be drinking. It’s definitely something that everybody can rally around.Jamele Hill: In a way, a game-day food is more challenging, because you’re taking fairly basic things and you have to find a way to make them special. Of course, at any game-day party — nachos. OK, basic dish, but what kind of nachos? How will your nachos be different? Will there be seven layers? Will there be three? Will there be no layers? You have to take some of the most-basic things and figure out a way to make them special, and the worst thing you can have, especially when people are trying to have a specific sports experience, is have a dish that bombs. If you have the dish that bombs that just chilling on the table that nobody’s eating, that’s so awkward.
What advice do you have for the remaining finalists?JS: Continue doing what you’re doing. Be yourself. Make sure to let that personality shine, because that’s what we’re watching. That’s why we come back. We have a lot of stuff to digest, so one thing I would say is take one or two things at a time and really work on that, and once you get that down, then you can move on to the next thing.JH: One tip, to piggy back off Jaymee’s point, is certainly something I have kept in mind as I’ve progressed in my TV career — you get good at TV when you get better at being you. When you get better at being you on TV, you’re striking gold right there. Just remember, whatever are your quirks or the things that make you unique, don’t feel like you have to hide them to fit into television.
We know that you’re both big fans of food and Food Network. What’s it like for you to be judging this week? How excited are you?JS: I’m like a kid in a candy store. I’m nerding out for sure. This is super fun.JH: This is a great experience. It’s kind of hard to put into words as you’re going through it, because there’s a part of you that can’t believe you’re actually here. For as long as I’ve watched Food Network, as long as I’ve watched Bobby Flay and Giada, it is going to be so weird to be sitting at the judges’ table, like: “Oh my god. I’m actually going to be on Food Network as a judge.” It just exceedes all expectations, and even just from a TV standpoint, it is really insightful to see how they do things.
What makes a successful game-day dish?JS: I think you have to have something that’s going to appeal to everybody, something that’s very accessible. … That’s why I think sliders are really good or deviled eggs, because you can take one. I’m the kind of person who, if I go out to dinner, I want everybody to share their food. I want to have a little bit of everything, so I think having stuff that is a little bit more shareable or mini — I think mini is always a good idea for game day, because then you can have lots of bites.JH: People have to remember, especially when you’re watching sporting events, the entire theme of it is to have an experience. It’s usually a community built around sports, so if you have food that more or less inspires community, I think it adds and accentuates the event itself. I definitely am with you, Jaymee. Having small things that you can nibble and dip in and out, food that you can visit then revisit, go back for seconds. Let’s be real. Most sporting events are long. So, you need to have something that’s going to withstand two and a half, three hours, and that’s why nachos work and sushi doesn’t. You don’t want the sushi that’s been sitting out for three hours.
What does game-day look like for you guys?JH: Game day’s probably not pretty in the sense that I’m in some old sweatpants …JS: I was going to say, I’m in sweats and there isn’t any makeup on, because we’re so used to being “on.” Sometimes I just like to watch by myself, in the comfort of my own home.JH: I think that’s the part that would probably surprise most sports fans or most viewers. I tend to watch a lot of sports by myself. Finally, I’m like: “Oh, I’ve got five minutes of peace. Let me sit down and watch it there.” I went to Michigan State, so if there’s a big Michigan State game on, I’m there in my most-comfortable clothes, I’ve got my favorite salsa, some Tostitos scoops. People swear they’re endorsing me or something, but I love those things. I’m just chilling. It’s very, very laid back and casual. I also like watching games by myself, because I tend to swear a lot, and I don’t want to scare anybody that I’m with. So, I’m just like, “You know what, I’m not mature enough to watch games with other people.” With teams that are not my team, I can do that, but those that are my teams, I need to watch that just by myself.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen people make when it comes to tailgating?JS: You have to go to the basics and not try to be too fancy, because at the end of the day, people just want to eat and have a good time and socialize. I think if you’re trying to get too fancy or do too much, you could have a fail there.JH: I agree with you, Jaymee. You staying that reminds me of when I went to a tailgate and they had shrimp cocktail, and that was a huge mistake. Picking the wrong food, especially mixing it with the wrong kind of weather, can just nullify a tailgate. Don’t break out the chili in September. Wait until November when we’re deeper into football season.
Tune in to Food Network Star on Sunday at 9|8c.
Hear from Jamele Hill and Jaymee Sire about their upcoming appearance on Food Network Star, Season 13.


12 Polished Oregon Pinot Noir Wines | Tasting Highlights | News & Features | Wine Spectator

12 Polished Oregon Pinot Noir Wines | Tasting Highlights | News & Features | Wine Spectator
Kent Derek Studio
Oregon Pinot pioneer Adelsheim was founded in 1971.

Scores and tasting notes for Oregon Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, including the Chehalem Mountains and Yamhill-Carlton District subzons, reviewed by Wine Spectator senior editor Tim Fish.

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New reviews of 2014 and 2015 reds from Willamette Valley


13 No-Bake Dessert Recipes for a Cool Summer Kitchen

13 No-Bake Dessert Recipes for a Cool Summer Kitchen

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, Nila Jones, María del Mar Sacasa]
We’ve been having a bit of a heat wave here in Los Angeles, and when the thermometer shoots into the 90s I can hardly bring myself to turn on the stove, much less fire up the oven. Fortunately, we’ve got a solid repertoire of no-bake, no-cook desserts that are refreshing to eat and mercifully cool to make. If you’re struggling with the heat or just want some easy, delicious sweets, check out 13 of our favorite no-bake desserts, from a 5-minute fruit mousse and cheesecake several ways to a chocolate cake you can make using only a microwave.

Light and Easy 5-Minute Fruit Mousse

[Photograph: Nila Jones]
This dessert isn’t just no-bake, it’s also incredibly simple. It takes barely five minutes to make this mousse—all you have to do is whip up frozen fruit, sugar, and egg whites in a food processor until smooth and fluffy. We used raspberries here, but you can go with whatever fruit you’d like.
Get the recipe for Light and Easy 5-Minute Fruit Mousse »
Summer Strawberry Pie

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

We love the rich, jammy flavor of a baked strawberry pie, but leaving the oven off is the way to go if you want to keep the strawberries as fresh-tasting as possible. Our no-bake strawberry pie fills a graham cracker crust with strawberries two ways: blended into a purée and macerated in sugar.
Get the recipe for Summer Strawberry Pie »
Easy Icebox Strawberry Shortcake

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]
Our 5-ingredient strawberry shortcake recipe makes baking biscuits super easy, but this recipe makes things even easier by replacing the biscuits with graham crackers. To make the dessert we layer the crackers with whipped cream and a mixture of strawberries and orange juice before refrigerating overnight.
Get the recipe for Easy Icebox Strawberry Shortcake »
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]
In my opinion, no-bake cheesecakes have just about the best ratio of work to deliciousness around. It only takes 20 minutes of work to make this festive dessert, which packs a filling of cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, confectioners’ sugar, and whipped cream into a graham cracker crust. A layer of apple jam (warming it up in the microwave doesn’t count as cooking, right?) and whole fresh strawberries provide the finishing touches.
Get the recipe for No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake »
Strawberry Sorbet

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]
Our simple strawberry sorbet is made with just four ingredients: strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt. The citrus brightens up the berries and the salt makes the flavors pop. The recipe is easy to scale—just be sure to use 1/4 cup of sugar for every 2 cups of strawberry purée.
Get the recipe for Strawberry Sorbet »
The Best Strawberry Ice Cream

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]
Most ice creams are made with an egg custard, but that much richness overpowers the flavor of fresh strawberries. We use half and half and corn syrup instead, which stay out of the way of the purée of perfectly ripe uncooked strawberries. Just as the ice cream is about to finish churning, we add in little chunks of strawberry macerated in sugar and booze.
Get the recipe for The Best Strawberry Ice Cream »

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]
Like I said, I’m a huge believer in no-bake cheesecakes. This basic recipe uses a subtly sweet filling of cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. You can use a traditional graham cracker crust, but aromatic Biscoff are even better. Try serving the cake with a variety of fresh fruit.
Get the recipe for Easy No-Bake Cheesecake »
No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]
The basic no-bake cheesecake technique is easy to adapt to make your own. This version gives the dessert a triple dose of chocolate—we mix melted bittersweet chocolate into the filling, replace the graham crackers in the crust with chocolate wafers, and dust the cheesecake with cocoa powder.
Get the recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake »
No-Bake Chocolate-Nutella “Cheesecake” Verrines

[Photograph: Nila Jones]
Essentially a mini chocolate cheesecake in a glass, this party-friendly dessert is made with a crushed Oreo crust and two different cheesecake fillings. The first filling is flavored with pure chocolate and the other is made with Nutella. You can use your imagination garnishing the cheesecakes, but I’d recommend whipped cream, crushed Oreos, and toasted hazelnuts.
Get the recipe for No-Bake Chocolate-Nutella “Cheesecake” Verrines »
30-Minute Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]
When we were figuring out how to make our strawberry ice cream, we turned to Philly-style ice cream for inspiration. Because it doesn’t have any eggs it stays light and fluffy and has a strong, clean dairy flavor. Without the eggs it turns icy fast, so plan on eating the whole batch the day you make it.
Get the recipe for 30-Minute Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream »
Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

[Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]
This no-bake pie is all about the juxtaposition of sweet and salty—the crust is made of crushed pretzels and the filling is a mix of vanilla ice cream and peanut butter. We top the pie with more peanut butter and a sprinkling of crushed pretzels or salted peanuts before freezing and serving.
Get the recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie »
Better Than Snickers Milkshake

[Photograph: Autumn Giles]
If I were stuck with one kind of dessert for the rest of my life, I’d give serious consideration to rich, thick, refreshing milkshakes. I love a classic chocolate or vanilla shake, but when I want something more special I break out this recipe. The milkshake gets all the flavors of a Snickers bar from caramel ice cream, peanut butter, chopped peanuts, and cocoa powder.
Get the recipe for the Better Than Snickers Milkshake »
Microwave Rocky Road Sponge Cakes

[Photograph: Ideas in Food]
If you’re on board for the idea that microwaving isn’t really cooking, check out this sponge cake made with whipped egg whites, sugar, flour, chocolate, walnuts, bourbon, and more. We blend mini marshmallows into the batter to give the cake that classic Rocky Road flavor and to lighten the crumb.
Get the recipe for Microwave Rocky Road Sponge Cakes »
We’ve got a solid repertoire of no-bake, no-cook desserts that are refreshing to eat and mercifully cool to make, as these 13 recipes show.


Wine news July 27, 2017

Wine news July 27, 2017
The Smithsonian on the Mexican American wine revolution. “Amelia Ceja was 12. It was 1967, and she had just immigrated to the Napa Valley from Jalisco, Mexico.” 
Metal Injection on Ozzy Osbourne wine. “It seems to be a bit of a joke that Ozzy Osbourne would release a wine considering he’s a recovering alcoholic, but the release actually makes sense.”
The Boston Globe on how Total Wine has won a legal challenge on discount pricing. “A Boston judge has ruled that Massachusetts alcohol retailers can legally sell booze at deep discounts when they order it in bulk, rebutting state regulators who said the practice can violate a state law that prohibits selling alcohol at less than cost.”
Decanter on the wines billionaire superyacht owners are buying. “Summer 2017 in the Med, and it’s Champagne and rosé that account for at least 50% of requests. Italian wine is next. The names that keep coming up are Bollinger rosé, Cristal, Moët Ice, Domaine d’Ott, Garrus.”
Vogue says visit Rioja, Spain. “With so much on offer, it’s a bit surprising, then, that La Rioja isn’t an American tourist destination on par with Bordeaux or Tuscany—though, as so often happens with under-the-radar gems, that may soon change.”
The Drinks Business reports on Rabobank’s report that US exports to the EU fell double digits.  “However there was good news for France, which saw volume exports rising 5.9% in the first quarter of 2017 with a 14.7% rise in value sales. This highlighted an increase in the average price of around 8%, it said, although the average price of wine to the UK rose by 10.6% per Litre.”

Wine news July 27, 2017Wine news July 27, 2017Wine news July 27, 2017


Sinfire Apple Cinnamon Whisky

Sinfire Apple Cinnamon WhiskySinfire Cinnamon Whisky, a brand of Hood River Distillers Inc., expanded its offerings with the introduction of Sinfire Apple Cinnamon Whisky. The authentic whisky is made with natural apple cinnamon flavor and finished with glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood in Oregon, the company says. The 35 percent alcohol-by-volume whisky is packaged in 750-ml bottles that have a suggested retail price of $15.99 nationwide.
Hood River Distillers Inc., Hood River, Ore.Telephone: 541/386-1588Internet: www.hrdspirits.comDistribution: National 

Sinfire Cinnamon Whisky, a brand of Hood River Distillers Inc., expanded its offerings with the introduction of Sinfire Apple Cinnamon Whisky. 


Apple-Spinach Chicken

Apple-Spinach Chicken

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove to plate, and keep warm.

  • Add next 4 ingredients (through apple slices) to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Return chicken and juices to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  • Add spinach to pan, and toss until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve hot.

  • Andrea’s wine pick: The chicken’s zesty mustard and apple flavors call for a bone-dry Alsace Riesling. Look for Leon Beyer 2004 (around $17).

    Adding fruit, like apples, to a main dish is a good way to sweeten it up and give it extra nutrients like fiber and vitamin C.


    Italian Zucchini Casserole

    Italian Zucchini Casserole Nutritional Facts

    3/4 cup: 174 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 576mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.

    Compliments crop up as fast as zucchini vines when folks sample this casserole. Even those who generally don’t like zucchini find they enjoy it in this savory side dish. —Kimberly Speta, Kennedy, New York