All Posts By Emily Lee

Say Buenos Dias with Our Best Mexican Breakfast Recipes

by in Recipes, April 29th, 2017

For me and most of the people I know, celebrating Cinco de Mayo has always involved a quick after-work injection of Mexican food straight to the belly. Tacos dispensed from beloved neighborhood food trucks, salty chips and big batches of “guac” mashed table-side at local Oaxacan restaurants — even a good-old fast-food burrito dressed in silver foil are all distinct possibilities. But this year at Food Network, we’re excited to start a new Cinco de Mayo tradition. Here’s a hint: It involves waking up early.

Hold the groans and just imagine the cheesy, eggy delights you might expect to find on the breakfast table — now imagine them dressed in Mexican flavors, like zingy salsas, juicy pico de gallo, freshly torn cilantro leaves, a runny egg, crumbled cotija or queso fresco … I could go on and on. But without further ado, here are a few of our favorite Mexican breakfast dishes that make rolling out of bed totally worth it. And if you really can’t bear the thought of waking up, it’s perfectly fine to enjoy these dishes for lunch or dinner, too!

Mexican Breakfast Burrito

Here’s a peppery, vegetarian take on an enduring favorite. Skip the basic Mexican cheese blends you’ll find at the supermarket and try to get your hands on some Oaxaca cheese instead; it has a similar texture to mozzarella and melts beautifully.

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10 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home

by in Community, April 21st, 2017

Is it just me, or does Earth Day have a way of making people feel fundamentally bad about themselves? It’s like January 1st all over again, except this time it’s not my holiday belly I’m scrutinizing — it’s my plastic consumption, or my less-than-conscientious water usage. (I’m not one for long showers, but I am guilty of sometimes letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth.) Just like with New Year’s resolutions, I set myself up for failure by raising the bar for improvement too impossibly high. This will be the year I start walking to work every day! This will be the year I always remember my reusable bags at the grocery store! But alas, walking isn’t possible in all weather, and trips to the grocery store are often spontaneous — and I don’t always have a trio of large canvas totes on hand. The real irony is that I probably laid out one of my elaborate energy-saving schemes while munching on a lightly bruised apple, destined for the trash after just six or seven bites.

We all want an A for effort, but reducing one’s carbon footprint goes well beyond tossing plastic to-go cups in the correct bin. I know that now, after reading how 40 percent of all food in America goes to waste — and specifically, to our landfills. It seems unreal; you wouldn’t slave over a gorgeous meal only to dump 40 percent of it into the trash. (You wouldn’t dream of running your shower for two hours either, but that’s how much water goes into making a pound of cheese.) What’s more is that this waste adds up to $162 billion in unnecessary water, energy and production costs each year. Much as I would love to blame it all on restaurants and large corporations, the hard truth is that it’s individual consumers like you and me who throw out 20 percent of the food we buy, which translates to nearly 300 pounds of food per year! Don’t believe it? Just ask Anthony Bourdain, the most-influential voice of the current food waste conversation.

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7 Spins on Scalloped Potatoes to Try This Easter

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 14th, 2017

It’s nearly impossible to disappoint with scalloped potatoes considering the dish, like all gratins, is built on a foundation of cheese, cheese and more cheese. Most importantly, it makes an excellent companion to hearty mains, like roast chicken, lamb, pork tenderloin and ham. But despite its versatility and first-rate sidekick potential, scalloped potatoes — in all of their creamy extravagance — appear on our tables just a handful of times throughout the year: On Thanksgiving, sometimes on Christmas, and maybe again on Easter. Luckily for us, Easter is coming right up, so treat yourself and your guests to this classic potato side by choosing from one of our many holiday-worthy recipes.

Extra Cheesy
The chefs in Food Network Kitchen make this decadent side dish by layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream and mozzarella, Asiago and raclette cheeses. For that mouthwatering golden-brown crust, top the dish with Parmesan cheese and bake until bubbly.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: How a Trendy New Cooking Gadget Helped Change My Mind About Steak

by in Community, Product Reviews, April 8th, 2017

For the life of her, my grandmother could never understand why I wasn’t head over heels in love with steak when she, and so many of her generation, came to embrace it as the official dish of the American dream. The daughter of Italian immigrants and the first woman in her family to attend college, beef was more than sustenance for her; it was a luxury. And the fact that she could supply it on her dinner table nearly every night of the week was proof of her success.

This conviction prevailed throughout my childhood, when our dinner table featured a steady rotation of meatloaf, peppers stuffed with ground beef, spaghetti and meatballs, and tough cuts of steak. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful — because we certainly never went hungry. But I always dreaded the steak: large, grayish-brown slabs that took more than a little bit of elbow grease to slog your knife through. (Grandma feared food poisoning more than anything, so every meal she served was treated to a rigorous blast under the broiler.) “Why haven’t you touched your steak?” No one at the table was ever moved by my reasoning.

“Raising cattle takes a big toll on the environment.”

“Red meat is bad for your heart.”

“I don’t like the taste.”

Surrounded by carnivores, I longed to be left in peace with my starchy rice, soft dinner rolls and steamed broccoli.

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7 Ree Drummond Recipes You Won’t Want to Miss This Spring

by in Recipes, April 5th, 2017

Revered by her fans as their one-stop source for all things meaty and cheesy, The Pioneer Woman‘s simple approach to wholesome, family-style cooking has secured her place as one of the heavy hitters in Food Network’s arsenal of most-saved recipes. If you haven’t already, be sure to bookmark Ree’s 5-star Perfect Pot Roast and Twice-Baked Potatoes for next year’s frigid winter nights — and in the meantime, you can move her collection of celebratory spring recipes to the top of your must-cook-now list.

Though big-batch comfort food is her specialty, Ree applies her casual, home-style cooking methods to vibrant spring produce, too. From eggy frittatas studded with chopped asparagus to fluffy golden cake layered with fresh strawberries, here are a few of her best dishes to try this season.

Pasta Primavera
You can feed a party of 8 with Ree’s vibrant primavera — a medley of spring vegetables tossed with al dente fettuccine and a garlicky Parmesan sauce.

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5 Fresh Pasta Dishes Showcasing Spring Peas

by in Recipes, March 30th, 2017

After a long produce slump, vibrant spring vegetables are finally back at the marketplace. The one seasonal gem we’re most-eager to cook with? It’s not trendy and elusive ramps — and it’s not pop culture’s darling avocados either. Yes, that’s right: We are giving peas a chance. (You knew that was coming.)

But seriously, guys. Tender and earthy with a subtle hint of sweetness (especially when softened in butter), this versatile veg is one of our favorites for a reason: It makes an A+ companion to any and all varieties of pasta. And in most cases, if you can’t get your hands on fresh peas, using frozen is perfectly fine.

From long and luxurious fettuccine to petite and plump orzo, here are a few of our favorite pasta-and-pea pairings to try out this spring.

Pasta, Pesto and Peas (pictured at top)
Ina Garten fortifies humble basil pesto with the addition of spring peas and a little bit of spinach, too, when creating this beautiful yet simple pasta dinner.

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We’re All Obsessed With Pink Right Now: Here’s How to Cook (and Decorate) With It

by in Recipes, March 22nd, 2017

Look around — pink is everywhere right now, and once you notice it, you won’t be able to stop. A quick stroll down a busy street can quickly turn into a parade of delicate pastel shades and even more arresting tones of bubblegum. New York Magazine’s fascinating dive into the color proves it’s true: Pink is in our clothes, our restaurants, our homes and our pop culture. But it’s not just any old pink; it’s millennial pink, a light, soft shade that includes variations on salmon, cotton candy, flamingo, Champagne and more. It’s so prevalent today that it’s named for the generation that’s obsessed with Instagramming it.

With countless storefront displays, websites and products awash in the playful hue, nobody is immune to the craze. Of course, we wanted to get in on the fun, too! Here’s how we imagine millennial pink can take over your kitchens — in both recipes from Food Network and decor ideas from our friends at HGTV.

Birthday Cake with Hot-Pink Butter Icing (pictured at top)
Ina Garten recommends using 14 drops of pink food coloring — no more, no less — to achieve the perfect shade of rose petal when preparing her indulgent pink buttercream.

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For the Win: The Best March Madness Eats

by in Recipes, Restaurants, March 15th, 2017

The annual NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament kicked off yesterday, which means college basketball fans around the nation will gather over the next month to cheer on their bracket picks. If that includes you, then tune in for our very-important PSA:

When hosting or attending a viewing party, please remember to supply more than hard pretzels and beer.

Whether you’re taking bets on the Final Four or have no investment in the games whatsoever, you’re destined to get into the spirit of things when the party snacks are on point. These eight schools are predicted to have a statistical edge in this year’s tournament, so while you monitor their progress, you can also set a celebratory mood with the universities’ local food treasures. If you aren’t able to savor Arizona’s incredible tacos or Kentucky’s excellent barbecue directly from the source, then check out a few of our crowd-pleasing recipes that are sure to complete any March Madness party.

Villanova
Villanova students benefit not only from a first-rate basketball team but from proximity to some of Philadelphia’s best cheesesteaks, including legendary local joint John’s Roast Pork. Of course, we’re always in support of the DIY option, and when it comes to homemade cheesesteaks, there’s none better than Dave Lieberman’s Fontina-loaded creation (pictured at top).

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A Brownie for Every Mood

by in Recipes, March 2nd, 2017

People tend to have strong opinions on what separates a good brownie from a damn good brownie. Is it a soft, gooey center? A dash of espresso powder — to really make the chocolate sing? Maybe it’s the density of the corner pieces, prized for their thick and chocolatey crust. Sometimes our opinions change depending on our mood, and when it comes to selecting the right recipe for a particular moment, timing and setting are everything. So, whether you’re rushing to assemble dessert for your best friend’s dinner party or just sitting around at home with chocolate on your mind, you’re guaranteed to find a brownie that suits your needs somewhere on this shortlist.

The On-the-Go Brownies
Looking for a dessert that can survive a couple of hours in your lunch bag? Many will emerge from their packaging dry and crumbly by afternoon, but Trisha Yearwood’s marbled creation certainly won’t. The toothsome top layer of cream cheese pairs perfectly with the dense, fudgy base.

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Our Most-Comforting Potato Recipes to Curl Up with This Weekend

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2017

Mid-February is about that time when our dedication to New Year’s food resolutions begins to wane. Instead of feeling guilty and hypercritical, let’s just declare this weekend a time for indulgence – and loose-fitting pants. Before we know it, the season of salads and cold summer soups will be upon us, so it’s wise to fill up on wintertime pleasures while we can. Here at Food Network, we’re craving potatoes, no matter the form. Fried, baked or blended into soup, we’re gearing up to celebrate spuds in all of their carb-laden, stick-to-your-ribs glory. From twice-baked potatoes stuffed with bacon and sour cream to crispy-crunchy fries seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, here are a few of our most-comforting recipes. Go ahead – you deserve it.

The Classic
Trisha Yearwood takes the humble baked potato to new heights by combining the soft, starchy flesh with cheddar and sour cream, baking it twice and topping it with bacon. “I learned the hard way not to wrap the potatoes in foil before baking,” Trisha says. “It softens the shells and they will fall apart. Baking them unwrapped makes the shells stronger for scooping out the potato flesh later.”

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