Food Network Commits to Build Ten Food Gardens

Food Network Press Release:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (April 26, 2011)– Cultivating communities across the country, Food Network and cable monopoly Comcast will create new Good Food Gardens in cooperation with Boys & Girls Clubs in 10 communities this weekend.  Construction takes place April 30 in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Comcast Cares Day, in which thousands of Comcast employees, their families and friends volunteer to make a positive impact in neighborhoods across the country.
“Good Food Gardens addresses a serious health problem in our country by teaching children and their families about gardening and encouraging them to adopt healthier eating habits,” said Brooke Johnson, Food Network president.
Food Network
Volunteers representing Food Network and Comcast will build out Good Food Gardens at Boys & Girls Clubs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Chicago, Houston, St. Paul, Minn., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and Knoxville, Tenn., as part of 2011 Comcast Cares Day. Food Network talent will participate with cable monopoly Comcast and Food Network representatives in several locations.
Each Good Food Gardens site is developed from the ground up. The program, a joint effort of by Food Network, Share Our Strength and Teich Garden Systems, fashions educational gardens that offer children and community volunteers a fun, hands-on gardening experience. The mission of Good Food Gardens is to educate families on the importance of fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods, key ingredients to ending childhood hunger.
“Good Food Gardens reinforces one of Food Network’s core goals: to raise awareness of childhood hunger and promote healthy eating,” said Johnson. “Comcast, through its Comcast Cares Day, will bring together volunteers to work cooperatively to create new gardens in a natural and fun way.”
Food Network has underwritten the creation of more than 30 Good Food Gardens across the country. Garden locations are determined based on community need, level of local advocacy and the extent to which the garden can improve the overall neighborhood.

New Recipe: Bama Baked Beans

Bama Baked Beans

Boston is famous for their Baked Beans and though they are good they hardly stand up to my hug-worthy Bama Baked Beans.  These beans will make a ridiculous side dish for your next BBQ or pool party but they are hearty (and meaty) enough to stand alone as an entree.  They feature crispy bacon lardons, ground beef and strips of bacon as garnish.  You know if bacon is used as a garnish it’s gotta be good.

Recipe: Bama Baked Beans

Bama Baked BeansIngredients

  • 3/4 lb. bacon, diced (lardons)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (28 ounce) can baked beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can baked beans
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 6 TBL packed brown sugar
  • 4 – 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tsp BBQ rub or Cajun seasoning or to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees (American).
  2. Render bacon lardons in a large skillet over medium-low heat until very crispy adding the onion for the last 3 to 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the bacon mix and reserve.
  3. In the same pan (wiped free of excess grease) cook the ground beef, seasoned to taste with BBQ rub and a dash of cinnamon, until done. Drain most of the liquid and add 2 TBL brown sugar then stir until dissolved. Add the bacon mix and stir to mix. Fold in the baked beans, mustard, 3 TBL brown sugar and another dash of cinnamon.
  4. In a 9 inch square baking dish spread the last TBL of brown sugar. Pour in the bean mixture. Lightly season the top of the bean mix with BBQ rub then top with slices of bacon.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes in the preheated oven or until the bacon is crisp and the beans are bubbling hot.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Bama Baked BeansVariations

Try substituting maple syrup for some of the brown sugar. Finely diced bell pepper will add a fresh flavor punch and a burst of color.

This recipe is worthy of inclusion on Denny’s new Baconalia menu which features all kinds of bacon-centric grub like Bacon Flapjacks, Bacon Meatloaf or the Maple Bacon Sundae.  In fact this entire post was created as part of the Denny’s/Foodbuzz BACONALIA challenge and is an entry for a chance to win some Denny’s swag.  So there.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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