All Posts By Amanda Marsteller

On the Road: Best Mac and Cheese

by in Restaurants, February 23rd, 2014

On the Road: Mac and CheeseOoey, gooey and chock-full of melted cheeses, there’s just no dish that’s quite as comforting as macaroni and cheese during the cold winter season. The craving for a creamy bowl of mac can attack at any time, so if you find yourself on the road this month and need an instant cure, stop by one of these top spots for mac and cheese across the country. With options like old-fashioned baked casseroles and gourmet lobster mac on the menu, get ready to sink your spoon into some of the most-indulgent bowls around from these masters of macaroni.

Mad Donna’s — Nashville
With a full section of the menu devoted to Mad Macs, you know that this Music City joint must be serious about mac and cheese. There are six “mad” variations to choose from, but on Heat Seekers, Aarón Sánchez and Roger Mooking braved the most-intense mac of all, the blazing-hot habanero mac and cheese. Amplified by whole peppers and doubly spicy habanero powder, this menacing mac is topped with even more heat in the form of “hellfire crunch,” a mix of crumbled tortilla chips and habanero powder.

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Olympic Food Fights

by in Events, Recipes, February 10th, 2014

Olympic Food FightsThe 2014 Winter Olympics are officially underway in Sochi, Russia, and even if you don’t have slope-side seats, you’ll still need some cozy meals to keep you warm while you watch the snowy events unfold on television. In the spirit of international competition, we’ve rounded up the top foods from the highest-medaling countries around the world to help you plan out an Olympics-ready menu. No matter who takes home the gold medal, you can be sure that these dishes are all winners. As a tribute to the home team, start off the opening ceremonies with Bobby’s all-American Perfect Burger, a blend of ground chuck and turkey that can be cooked on the grill or in a saute pan, making it the most-versatile way to cheer on the United States.

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Vanilla Pudding, Six Ways

by in Recipes, February 5th, 2014

6 Vanilla PuddingsWhether it’s an after-school snack or a silky spoonful of dessert, vanilla pudding is always a sentimental treat that can instantly channel the flavors of childhood. To re-create this creamy comfort food from scratch, toss out the powdery boxed mix and whip up Food Network Kitchen’s old-fashioned Vanilla Pudding recipe that tastes just like Mom’s used to. Once you’ve whisked together this sweet bowl full of nostalgia, start experimenting with mix-ins to give your pudding a modern twist. From crushed cookies to ice cream-inspired candy combos, these imaginative additions only enhance the basic pudding, allowing the classic flavor to shine through.

Rocky Road PuddingYou won’t have to worry about this bowl of rocky road melting: Vanilla pudding stands in for the ice cream scoop but delivers the same classic flavors when mixed with semisweet chocolate chips, toasted walnuts and miniature marshmallows.

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5 Beer-Based Cocktails for the Big Game

by in Drinks, Recipes, January 31st, 2014

5 Beer-Based Cocktail Recipes for the Big GameWhen it comes to game-day drinks, nothing goes down easier than a bubbly beer cocktail. There are endless ways to reinvent your go-to brew, and each of these cocktails is simple to stir together and guaranteed to please even the thirstiest bunch of football fans. For the savory sippers in the house, try serving Jeff Mauro’s Michelada Supreme. It pairs dark Mexican beer with the Bloody Mary-inspired flavors of tomato and lime juice, plus generous dashes of hot sauce and fish sauce for an addictive umami effect.

Beer SangriaGive the beloved party punch a bubbly update by swapping white wine for chilled wheat beer and adding it to a blend of vodka, white grape juice and slices of your favorite fruits.

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How to Make a Party-Ready Ice Ring for the Punch Bowl

by in Entertaining, How-to, January 28th, 2014

Cosmopolitan Fizz PunchPunch is always a crowd-pleasing party drink, but keeping it chilled throughout the fun can be tricky. Individual ice cubes melt quickly and tend to water down the mix, while a large citrus-speckled ice mold stays frozen longer and imparts extra flavor to the punch. You can use any ring mold or Bundt pan to freeze the ice, which doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece. Get the party started by floating this ice ring in a big batch of Cosmopolitan Fizz Punch, which combines the cosmo — a favorite ’90s cocktail — with the classic ’50s ginger ale punch for a palate-pleasing mashup that will keep you cool as the game heats up.

Begin by layering lime and orange slices in a ring mold and scattering fresh (or frozen) cranberries in between. Then mix together 3/4 cup each cranberry juice, orange juice and water, and pour the liquid over the fruit. Freeze the ring mold until firm, about 6 hours.

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Last Bite of 2013: Top Recipes for New Year’s Eve

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 30th, 2013

Sgroppino CocktailWith a brand-new year nearly at your doorstep, you’ll need a few fresh dishes to fortify you and your guests for the New Year’s Eve festivities. To guarantee a happy start to 2014, try some of Food Network’s top recipes for New Year’s, starting with a fizzy toast, of course. Giada’s Sgroppino is a classic Italian cocktail that combines Prosecco with chilled vodka, fresh mint and a lemon sorbet float. Refreshing and full of festive sparkle, it’s a great way to cleanse guests’ palates before dinner and build excitement for the big night ahead.

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