Whether you’re hosting an elegant dinner party, a holiday gathering or just an afternoon tailgate, no get-together is complete without an appetizer spread. Skip the usual tray of veggies and ranch, and opt for quick and easy homemade selections that will leave your guests comfortably satisfied until the main meal. Our top five appetizer recipes below offer traditional and unique versions of your favorite pre-dinner eats that are ready in a flash.
5. Ina’s Savory Palmiers — Ina saves time by using store-bought puff pastry to make these pesto-packed snacks.
4. Giada’s Fried Ravioli — Light, crispy and perfectly cheesy, Giada’s eat-with-your-hands ravioli are best dunked in warm marinara sauce.
Get the top three recipes »
Finally — a way to enjoy agave without the hangover!
That’s right: Agave nectar, the current darling of the alternative sweetener world, is made from the same plant that is used to produce tequila. And it goes down so much easier (squeeze of lime and dash of salt are optional).
But let’s start with some basics. Agave nectar (sometimes called agave syrup) is an amber liquid that resembles honey, but has a cleaner, sweeter, even fruitier flavor. Not long ago it was mostly unheard of in the U.S., existing primarily in the backwaters of the natural foods world.
In recent years, it has evolved into a booming $200 million industry. Suddenly, it’s being used in everything from ketchup and barbecue sauce to baked goods and ice cream. And don’t even get me started about the cocktail scene.
Agave-Barbecue Roasted Chicken »
Fill your pasta bowl with crunchy broccoli, grated cheese and chunks of potatoes.
Get the recipe: Bow-Tie Pasta With Broccoli and Potatoes
Browse more of Food Network’s comfort food recipes.
Alex Guarnaschelli will be featured at the 11th Annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience October 20-23 in Kohler, Wis. The event offers a weekend of wine seminars, demonstrations, book signings and delicious tastings from a lineup of regional and national chefs and restaurateurs. Chef Guarnaschelli will also be among those competing for the title of Next Iron Chef starting October 30.
Duff Goldman is getting everyone in the mood for Halloween. During a recent appearance on CBS’s The Talk, Duff showed Sharon Osbourne how to make Halloween cupcakes and unveiled a zombie-head cake in the likeness of her rock star husband, Ozzy. Watch the video on AOL Video.
Find out what Aarón and Ted are up to »
There’s nothing better than a heaping helping of potatoes; whether they’re Yukon Gold, russet or fingerling is entirely up to you. The hearty vegetable sometimes gets a bad rap, but potatoes are actually low in sodium, high in potassium and an important source of complex carbohydrates and vitamins C and B-6.
Make the most of this year’s potato harvest by mixing them with other rich ingredients and baking ‘em in a casserole dish. Easy to put together and full of flavor, a casserole makes for a great make-ahead meal that requires hardly any prep.
Whip up Emeril’s Twice Baked Potato Casserole for a buttery, cheesy mashed mix. The key is adding butter, sour cream, heavy cream and seasonings to the potato flesh once they’ve gone through one round of baking in the oven.
More potato recipes from family & friends »
Homemade soup in under an hour? Yes, please. This recipe will warm your tummy in no time.
Get the recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Browse more of Food Network’s butternut squash recipes.
You won’t find me wearing a bowtie or a tweedy jacket. I don’t speak with a lilting English accent or raise a pinky when I drink. In other words, I don’t look like the prototypical wine expert. This is good news for you, because I don’t get special treatment in restaurants; in fact, you might say I have a front-row seat to the nerve center of wine anxiety. The idea that we’re supposed to make the right choice from a long list of foreign names, years and prices — and do so in the stolen moments of glancing down at a wine list — is a game for Don Quixote.
Assuming that your server or sommelier seems informed, here are three ways to stack the deck in your favor by ordering wine with just one sentence.
Three ways to order wine »
It’s official: Now’s the time to bust out the slow cooker (if you haven’t already). Food Network recently asked Facebook fans to fill in the blank: “I can’t wait to cook ________ in my slow cooker.” Most of you said you’d cook everything in a Crock-Pot if you could, but out of the 2,000 plus comments of fall favorites, a few meaty dishes really get you excited.
For dry-rubbed pulled pork that’s finger-lickin’ good and brined in molasses, look no further than Alton’s Pulled Pork. Kept at a slow simmer for 12 hours, this dish doesn’t need any extra sides or fixings.
Make it a sandwich when you try Bobby’s Pulled Pork Sandwich With Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce and Green Onion Slaw. Taken from his pulled pork Throwdown, Bobby proves this recipe is the real deal. Delicate drizzles of sauce are the key to keeping everything super moist.
More slow-cooked favorites »
Home cooks and Thanksgiving dinner guests have another reason to be thankful this year. Ted Allen, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Melissa d’Arabian, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray will come together to answer some of the toughest questions about holiday meal making on Thanksgiving Live!, a two-hour call-in show hosted by Turkey master Alton Brown on Nov. 20 from 12 pm to 2 pm.
From solutions to dry turkey and lumpy gravy to Food Network stars demonstrating helpful tips and delicious recipes, experts will be on hand to address perennial problems.
Do you have a question you need answered? Leave your question in the comment section below, and then tune in to FoodNetwork.com on Nov. 20 from 12 pm to 2 pm to see if your question has been answered.
After the on-air broadcast concludes, the cast will sit down to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast they prepared during the show, and the online streaming video will continue with post-show coverage. Each guest will contribute a signature dish — covering everything from starters to desserts — and Alton will carve the turkey.
Do you want to be on Thanksgiving Live! on Food Network?
We are soliciting Skype viewers and callers throughout the country who would like to be part of our show: Sunday, November 20, 12 pm to 2pm EST.
Email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org and a Thanksgiving Live! Producer may contact you for more information:
Home telephone number
Your Thanksgiving question
Quick to make and endlessly versatile, tacos are an easy weeknight pick the whole family will enjoy. These spinach-stuffed tacos are packed with good-for-you leafy greens, smooth and creamy ricotta cheese and spicy salsa verde. For an extra punch of protein and a burst of color, add rinsed and drained black beans and chopped fresh tomatoes.
Serve along with Food Network Magazine’s hearty Curried Brown Rice Pilaf with crunchy almonds and chewy raisins.
Get the recipe: Ricotta-Spinach Tacos from Food Network Magazine.
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.