All Posts By Allison Milam

The New Age of Casseroles — Comfort Food Feast

by in Entertaining, Recipes, January 23rd, 2014

Sloppy Joe Macaroni CasseroleThe casserole doesn’t necessarily have the most-fashionable rep around. (Tuna casserole, we’re lookin’ at you.) But don’t let that misconception hold you back. The modern casserole really is a one-dish wonder, one that comes nice and bubbly from the oven. It can take you from oven to table with no effort at all. And when you’re buried under scarves and sweaters, the thought of easy-to-access comfort food should warm you on its very own.

Classic lasagna may be the most-popular Italian one-dish wonder, but just consider it a starting point. Trisha fixes her vegan Black Bean Lasagna by layering black beans, homemade tofu ricotta and fire-roasted tomatoes between sheets of lasagna noodles.

Many casseroles come with a base of rice, but Rachael’s Make-Ahead Paella Casserole is definitely the most vibrant. For a one-pan dose of Spanish comfort, Rachael simmers rice in an infusion of saffron before joining it with chicken, chorizo, fish and even shrimp.

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10 Ways to Make Mac and Cheese — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 16th, 2014

10 Ways to Make Mac and CheeseFor a dish that requires just the two ingredients of its namesake, there are so many ways you can make mac and cheese happen. It can be stirred on the stove or baked till golden, donning breadcrumbs or done au naturel, filled with extras or made just with cheese, plain and simple. No matter your method, a meal of mac and cheese is sure to bring comfort.

1.Classic: With elbow macaroni, crispy breadcrumbs and the obligatory spike of powdered mustard, Alton’s top-rated Baked Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is probably the most iconic of them all.

2. Seasonal: For a dose of seasonal comfort, Rachael’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a different kind of creamy with just a touch of sweetness.

3. Spicy: Just because good ol’ mac is comforting on its own doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little kick every now and then. Sunny’s Spicy Macaroni and Cheese is spiked with cayenne pepper and pepper jack cheese.

4. Easy: Nothing’s quite as heartening as knowing that dinner is taken care of. Whip out your slow cooker for Trisha’s Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, which takes only 10 minutes of prep before coasting towards dinnertime.

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Wake Up to Breakfast — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 9th, 2014

Wake Up to BreakfastIn the early morning hours, there’s nothing better than cracking an egg into a sizzling hot pan. Unless, that is, breakfast is fixed before you even throw off the covers. Whether you’re looking for a prework meal that beats cereal or a lazy Sunday-morning brunch, these make-ahead breakfast recipes are comforting, easy and perfect for any kind of frosty morning. All you need is some foresight — and maybe a good casserole dish.

Even at the start of the day, some like it sweet. And since French toast generally gets better the longer it soaks, it works as the perfect make-ahead casserole. Do more than add maple syrup with creations like Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Whipped Cream and Strawberries, a decadent recipe best made with day-old challah bread. Or look to a Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole that’s crunchy on the top but creamy and fluffy on the inside.

With raisins, brown sugar and a hint of rosemary, Alton’s Overnight Monkey Bread melds together for hours on end. Just stick it in the oven when the alarm goes off for a rich morning meal.

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No-Brainer Holiday Sides — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, December 19th, 2013

Christmas Stuffing with BaconTying bows on those last few holiday gifts (or – who are we kidding? – the first few) can be stressful enough as we near closer and closer to Christmas. Luckily, there’s one thing you can be sure about by the time you finish reading: your roster of holiday sides. As we start the final countdown to December 25, use this recipe roundup to brainstorm comforting, seasonal side dishes for your family’s festive holiday dinner.

We won’t argue with you – traditional mashed potatoes are a holiday mainstay. But for something a bit different, Anne Burrell’s Chestnut-Potato Puree for Food Network Magazine comes along with a nutty finish. They may not be roasted on an open fire, but cooking the chestnuts with the potatoes allows for the nuts’ innate sweetness to shine through. Or, switch out potatoes for Sunny’s Holiday Parsnip Puree, which hits the table with a sharper aftertaste and a pinch of nutmeg.

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When Broccoli Meets Cheddar — Fall Fest

by in In Season, December 12th, 2013

When Broccoli Meets Cheddar - Fall FestBacon and eggs. Milk and cookies. Some things just go hand in hand. Broccoli and cheddar? Now that is a union of epic proportions. Luckily, there are many ways for you to indulge your broccoli-cheddar fixation, especially now that this favorite winter veggie is perfectly in season. With this trusty recipe list on your side, you have every reason to witness this fated pairing on your plate this week.

1. Perhaps the most-iconic display of broccoli and cheddar together is eaten with a spoon. Food Network Magazine’s Almost-Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is creamy and rich, best when served restaurant style in a crusty bread bowl. For those hoping for something a little less heavy, Healthified Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is your saving grace.

2. Say goodbye to your strolls down the brisk freezer section. Make homemade Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets, like these by Food Network Magazine, by folding fresh broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese into store-bought French bread dough. No microwave required.

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Comforting Winter Squash Sides — Fall Fest

by in In Season, December 5th, 2013

Saffron Risotto with Butternut SquashThe most-decadent holiday of the year may have passed us by, but that doesn’t mean we’re nixing comfort foods on these cold, wintry days. Some needs just can’t be put on hold for diets or cleanses, especially when you’re swaddled in sweaters and huddled for warmth. That’s why, this week, FN Dish is adding seasonal winter squash — a most-satisfying, sweet and adaptable piece of produce — to the grocery cart.

At the market, keep your eyes peeled for winter squash varieties like butternut, delicate, acorn, kabocha and spaghetti squashes. Follow FN Dish’s lead and cook up winter squash creations that are inventive, filling and seasonal. Whether it’s your first squash of the season or you already have leftovers in the fridge, these recipes are family favorites in the making.

Before you do anything else, learn how to break kabocha and butternut squashes down with Food Network Magazine. That way, there’s nothing preventing you from making Squash Gratin, a two-squash side that’s nice and velvety under its crispy, cheesy crust.

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10 Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, November 27th, 2013

Open-Faced Thanksgiving Leftover SandwichFast-forward to tomorrow, when you’ll be ladling heaps of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce on your plate. Try as we might, your fridge is likely to be stacked to the brim with Thanksgiving leftovers, no matter how many rounds you and your guests enjoy. Rather than simply serving Thanksgiving on repeat — again and again and again — reinvent your favorite sides with recipes that won’t leave a drop to waste.

Start with the classic Open-Faced Thanksgiving Sandwich, the timeless stacking of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Chances are, you’ll whip one of these up before bedtime tomorrow.

Even the biggest meal of the year will leave you hungry the next morning. Crack a few eggs and load up Food Network Magazine’s Extra-Veggie Frittata with your leftover sides, like stuffing, seasonal broccoli, cauliflower and more.

The decadence of the holidays is only just beginning. Keep things light with a Turkey Waldorf Salad laden with shredded leftover turkey, crisp in-season apples and red grapes.

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10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, In Season, November 21st, 2013

10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides - Fall FestA lot of our Thanksgiving traditions come canned — the pumpkin puree for your pie, the start of your favorite cranberry sauce and those curly fried onions for your green bean casserole. These time-honored ingredients get this most-anticipated meal on the table year after year. As the holiday draws near, however, give some serious thanks by stocking your table with show-stopping produce-loving sides.

As you start assembling those grocery lists of yours, mix and match these 10 killer dishes — each with a veggie focus — for a Thanksgiving spread your family will reproduce for years to come.

1. Mushrooms: We may eat our mushrooms year-round, but Ina’s Mushroom-Leek Bread Pudding celebrates this ingredient in a preparation reminiscent of classic Thanksgiving stuffing.

2. Squash: Food Network Magazine’s Lemon-Maple Squash are curvy and sophisticated, working as an elegant addition to the other casserole-leaning sides.

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Thanksgiving’s Finest Brussels Sprouts Sides — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, In Season, November 14th, 2013

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and CranberriesYou likely have your Thanksgiving menu set. For all we know, it was set in stone years ago, probably when your all-knowing elders were in charge. The turkey part of Turkey Day is a no-brainer, but the sides are like a puzzle. You’ll serve the usual contenders — fluffy mashed potatoes with a puddle of gravy, Grandma’s sweet potato casserole (marshmallows and all) — but you’ll need something else to balance out all that richness.

This year, as your family gathers around the dinner table for yet another Thanksgiving meal, look to another veggie that’s at the top of every restaurant menu and grocery list: Brussels sprouts. We like ours cooked right — caramelized and tender at every layer. As you draft up your preliminary rounds of potential recipes, keep in-season Brussels sprouts at the top of your list.

Turkey Day is known for chaos. Ease things up and simply drizzle halved sprouts with olive oil for basic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Food Network Magazine. And with just one small addition, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon take on a smoky saltiness, perfect for the big Thanksgiving meal or any night of the week.

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Comforting Cauliflower — Fall Fest

by in In Season, November 7th, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower RisottoIt’s November, and for all we know, you’re already knee-deep in beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken noodle soup. We get it. Fall means comfort: stews so tender the meat is falling off the bone and casseroles so cozy you get knocked into a nap at the last bite.

Here’s the thing: Comfort food doesn’t need to be synonymous with meat. Believe it or not, even the most unassuming veggies have the power to cure us of all our woes. Leave it to cauliflower — and these recipes — to bring you all kinds of comfort this season.

Stir a pot of risotto to sultry completion, this time with roasted cauliflower florets and sliced almonds adding that extra crunch. Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Cauliflower Risotto (pictured above) can work as a rich main dish, or as a smaller side.

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