All Posts By Allison Milam

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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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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