All Posts By Allison Milam

Game-Changing Shortcut Dinners

by in Recipes, March 26th, 2014

30-Minute Coq Au Vin

In life, we don’t always recommend you cut corners. But, hey, in the kitchen? Now that’s a different story. Feast your eyes on some of the best kitchen shortcuts to grace mankind — and we’re not talkin’ sliced bread or the can opener. Thanks to some handy store-bought ingredients, restaurant-worthy dishes known for toil and trouble are ready in no time. Here are three of our favorites:

30-Minute Coq au Vin —This classic French dish typically takes hours on end to prepare. Thing is, dinner needed to be on the table a half-hour ago. Don’t go giving up on the craving though, because at a supermarket near you, juicy rotisserie chickens are already rotating to plump perfection. Take one home, get a red wine sauce simmering— think bacon, mushrooms and frozen (plus pre-peeled!) pearl onions — and slip in pieces of chicken when no one’s looking. Read more

How to Make Banana Pudding Tiramisu

by in How-to, Recipes, March 25th, 2014

How to Make Banana Pudding TiramisuTraditional banana pudding and Italian tiramisu may hail from drastically different places — compare an Italian trattoria to the kitchen of your Southern grandmother — but, trust us, these two go together without a hitch. Maybe it’s the layering, maybe it’s that inspired combination of coffee, bananas and cream. All we know is that with a comforting dessert mash-up like Banana Pudding Tiramisu, there’s never been a more pressing reason to whip out those trifle dishes.

Check out a step-by-step how-to for this banana and espresso cream bliss. Assemble yours the night before for the best results.

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10 Peanut Butter Pairings — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 20th, 2014

10 Peanut Butter PairingsWith an acronym that works more like a pet name, the PB element of the classic PB&J gets us through any kind of day, from the years on the playground to a hurried office lunch. But the infamous sandwich is just a jumping-off point for this beloved condiment. With its buttery consistency, it also has no problem melting away into our favorite desserts, giving everything it meets an intense nuttiness that nothing else could pull off. Grab your favorite jar — or churn out your own Homemade Peanut Butter (it’s easier than you’d think!) — and run with these endless peanut butter combinations.

1. PB & Jelly: This heck of a pairing is worthy of so much more than white bread. Ina’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars bake the fruity and nutty spreads together into crumb-topped treats, while creamy Miniature Peanut Butter and Jelly Pies come with a graham cracker crust.

2. PB & Chocolate: This classic combo comes wrapped up in candy bars so often for a reason. Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies are the second easiest way to get your fix.

3. PB & Cereal: It’s not just the kiddos who are beggin’ for a little peanut butter in their breakfasts. Whip up gooey Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats later in the day instead.

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10 Potato Picks — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 13th, 2014

roasted potatoesWould a burger be complete without crispy, salty fries dunked in ketchup? Would your mother’s meatloaf hit the same spot without buttery mashed potatoes? How about your Sunday brunch? Where would it be without a heaping plate of hash browns? Solid potato recipes are the most dog-eared pages of your cookbooks and recipe collections for a reason. The versatility of a simple spud is astounding, and every rendering still manages to pin down a familiar homemade flavor. In the name of everything comforting and good, this week is all about our favorite tried-and-true potato recipes.

1. French-Fried — What better place to start than America’s favorite? Ree’s Perfect French Fries are blissfully golden and crispy.

2. Oven-Fried — Not down for the deep-fry oil dunk? Stick wedges in the oven for addictive Oven-Fried Potatoes.

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Homemade Pizza Comfort by the Slice — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, March 6th, 2014

Comforting Homemade Pizza RecipesWhen it comes to comfort food, big bowls of mac and cheese, beef stew and lasagna are bound to come to mind. Now that it’s March, your idea of comfort could use a little update. This week, we’re thinking pizza — and not as a delivery backup plan. Whether you use store-bought dough or make your own, slice into cheesy homemade pizzas baked in your very own oven.

Before we completely ditch tried-and-true comfort food favorites, check out two mash-ups with a fun pizza spin. Instead of piling it all on crust, Creamy Pizza Macaroni and Cheese loads marinara sauce and heaps of cheese over classic elbow macaroni. You may call it a pizza “pie,” but Giada’s Pizza Pot Pies takes it to a whole new level, combining marinara, chicken and mozzarella under a pizza dough crust.

Start the day with Ree’s Breakfast Pizza. A wake-up call of freshly cracked eggs, hash browns and crispy bacon are even better with a golden pizza crust.

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Cookie Comfort — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 27th, 2014

Cookie ComfortEvery stage of the cookie-baking process — from licking the batter to succumbing to seconds — is therapeutic. Just as soon as you slide them from the pan, any kind of work-, traffic- or weather-induced woe will meet its end. But let’s be realistic; cookie comfort isn’t one-size-fits-all. You may need to bake up some solid recipes for old-school classics, or try your hand at new creations you might not have considered. All that’s left is a non-negotiable glass of cold milk, since cookies are simply better when they’re dunked.

The Classics
A no-fail recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies is vital for any baker. Consider this easy, versatile dough a jumping-off place; whatever you add beyond chocolate chips is up to you. For those who prefer these classics with a crunch, Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies are baked until just brown around the edges.

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10 Grown-Up Grilled Cheeses — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 20th, 2014

10 Grown-Up Grilled Cheese RecipesRemember when grilled cheese meant nothing more than bread, cheese and butter? It turns out that’s all just a starting point for this cheesy hand held favorite. Before taking out the panini press or heating up a skillet, help your grilled cheeses grow up by stacking them high with all kinds of fun add-ins. With just a little creativity, grilled cheese can mature into a cheesy meal worthy of lunch or dinner. And, when it comes to comfort food, few things in this world can compare.

1. Perfected — For the Barefoot Contessa, the Ultimate Grilled Cheese means layering thick slices of smoky bacon, multiple types of cheese and even a swipe of Dijon on sourdough.

2. Wide Open — Assembled on a crusty halved baguette, this Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese by Food Network Magazine is so good it doesn’t even need that top layer of bread.

3. Smoky Spin — Pack all of the flavors of chile relleno, a Mexican favorite, into Roasted Poblano and Mushroom Grilled Cheese. With a noted smokiness for chipotle peppers, this sandwich has all the vibes of the traditional dish.

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DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine’s Day — Comfort Food Feast

by in Holidays, February 13th, 2014

DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's DayIt’s February 13. Whether you’re a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife — or even a good friend — you have just enough time to plan something special for Valentine’s Day. No, we’re not suggesting a last-minute swing by the convenience store for one of those cardboard, heart-shaped chocolate boxes moments before the big date. Instead, show your love by baking up decadent chocolate desserts in your own kitchen. These heart warmingly homemade chocolate-centric recipes come to you just in the nick of time, working as a romantic treat for two or an irresistible dessert for a troupe of sweet-toothed singles.

A fudgy brownie is a no-brainer, but Ina Garten’s Brownie Tart (pictured above) cuts down on flour so that it’s extra rich and chocolatey. She deepens the flavor of chocolate by adding coffee granules, making the whole house smell like brownies.

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Winning Chicken Dinners — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2014

Winning Chicken DinnersChicken got its crown as the darling of the dinner table for a reason. It’s lean, versatile and easy to cook, and it also lays the foundation for some of our favorite comforting recipes. Your mother’s chicken noodle fixes you up like nothing over the counter ever could, and a spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili proves that comfort foods don’t have to be dull. Whether you’re cutting into a full chicken, nibbling it by the wing or taking in tender shreds with a spoon, these comforting chicken recipes are stick-to-your-ribs good.

This time, what’s comforting is what’s crunchy. Pat and Gina’s Oven-Fried Chicken skips the deep-fry dunk for a lighter dose of home-cooked goodness — without forsaking that vital crispy exterior. For another oven-baked main, Ina’s bright Lemon Chicken Breasts are boneless, but she keeps the skin intact for added flavor.

When it comes to comfort, a big bowl of soup is the name of the game. For some, a steaming bowl of Matzo Ball Soup or Ree’s Chicken and Noodles is a weekly necessity. For others, Southern-style recipes like Sunny’s Easy Chicken and Dumplings bring it all home.

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Super Sliders — Comfort Food Feast

by in Entertaining, January 30th, 2014

Triple Pork Sliders for the Big GameEven with boatloads of nachos, nonstop chicken wings and all the guacamole you can sink your chips into, there’s one game-day dish that a football fan — or commercial aficionado — can’t live without. It’s a little sandwich we like to call the slider. Champion of the happy hour menu and bite-size rendering of a national favorite, these wee sandwiches are a mandatory competitor in your big-game spread.

To keep it simple, kick it off with Ina Garten’s classic beef sliders. With only the kiss of a grill, these mini burgers don’t need a fancy sauce — just that obligatory squeeze of ketchup. If sauce is what you’re after, Bobby Flay’s Sliders with Chipotle Mayonnaise are finished with a semi-homemade swipe of smokiness.

How can the Neelys’ Triple Pork Sliders (pictured above) pack in three types of pork, you ask? Each little sandwich features ground pork, fresh Mexican chorizo and crisp, smoky bacon. Now that’s a combo worthy of a championship.

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