Culinary competitions are heating up on The Food Network as it begins its winter season in January.
On Guy Fieri's show, Guy's Grocery Games, which premieres at 8 p.m. Jan. 5, chefs are challenged to:
■ Make their best dish using only the produce and condiments aisle.
■ Make an Italian feast using only canned food.
■ Find a way to make tacos without tortillas, taco seasoning or ground beef.
■ Make a sandwich using only frozen food ingredients.
We like Fieri's idea of making a sandwich using only frozen food ingredients and want to see whether our readers were up to the challenge. The person who creates the most appetizing sandwich, using only frozen food ingredients, will receive a packet of cookbooks including Jamie Deen's Good Food; Bold, a Cookbook of Big Flavors by Susanna Hoffman and Victoria Wise; and Southern Fried by James Villas.
Send your recipes before Jan. 9 to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Sharon Thompson, Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508.
Tea master on tap
Author and tea blender Bruce Richardson of Perryville will sign copies of his 14th book, A Social History of Tea, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Hunt Candies, 213 Walton Avenue.
Richardson serves as tea master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and is contributing editor for TeaTime magazine. His latest book looks at tea's influence on British and American culture and commerce during the past 400 years.
Richardson's Danville-based company, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas, recently shipped 115 pounds of China tea to Boston where, on Monday, it was tossed overboard as part of Boston's 240th anniversary re- enactment of the tea party. Go to Elmwoodinn.com.
Richardson also will be at Woodford Reserve's Ultimate Tea Party on Jan. 25.
Guests will tour the historic distillery at 6:30 p.m., followed by a tea tasting and cocktails with Richardson and chef-in- residence Ouita Michel in the Dryer House. Chef de cuisine Nat Henton will serve a multicourse tea-inspired dinner. Tickets are $60. Call (859) 879-1953 or email Catering@ b-f.com.
An app for substitutions
While cooking and baking for the holiday activities, cooks sometimes forget an ingredient while shopping. Now there's an app for smartphones and tablets that offers all the different ways you can swap ingredients if you are missing something or want to use something else.
The Food Substitutes app has more than 100 foods and 230 substitutes. Along with the substitute possibilities, there is a food details tab that gives you background information for that food and possible tips, hints, nutritional info and practical experience from the test kitchen.
Some of the substitutes are marked as "healthier" to give you an idea of how to cut some calories, fat or other harmful substances from your diet. You can even add your own additions. Cost is 99 cents.