All Posts By Melanie Rehak

10 Tips for Dining (or Not) With Picky Eaters

by in How-to, September 23rd, 2011

picky eaters
As a veteran mother of a picky eater who’s now five and a half, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to navigate the dinner table without either giving in to his demands or failing to nourish him properly. At certain points over the years I’ve left the table in order to take a deep breath in the other room, left the table to lie down on my bed for a moment in a quiet place where no one is saying “Yuck!” over and over and again while waving his napkin in the air, and left the table to work on the book I ended up writing about, yes, my picky eater and my own love of food and cooking. In fact, sometimes excusing yourself is the best way to deal with it. When it’s not, here’s a list of tips that I’ve discovered — through a lot of trial and error, needless to say — that make mealtime as painless as possible.

Get Melanie’s ten tips for picky eaters »

12 Days of Cookies: Facebook Fan Cookie

by in Holidays, December 11th, 2010
3-in-1 Sugar Cookies
These 3-in-1 Sugar Cookies from Food Network Kitchens are our Facebook fans' pick.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

You can roll them, you can slice them, you can cut them in at least a zillion ways with cookie cutters or even a knife. And once you have your shapes, 3-in-1 Sugar Cookies, made extra sweet by the addition of orange zest, are the ideal vehicle for the really important stuff: the icing. Frost them in as many Royal Icing colors as you care to make, then use sanding sugar and other decorations to create a cast of thousands for the holidays.

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12 Days of Cookies: Guy’s Craisy Oatmeal Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2010
Craisy Oatmeal Cookies
Don't miss Guy's off-the-hook Craisy Oatmeal Cookies.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Channel your inner Fieri with this recipe for Guy’s Craisy Oatmeal Cookies. Dried cranberries replace the usual raisins, coconut adds some extra chewiness, and chopped rosemary gives them a totally unexpected Italian edge. If you like rosemary in meat or pasta dishes, you’ll be amazed by the depth it adds here. The unique combination of flavors will explode in your mouth with every bite.

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12 Days of Cookies: Marcela’s Polvorones

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2010
Polvorones: Ground Walnut Cookies
Marcela's Ground Walnut Cookies will melt in your mouth.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

These crumbly, buttery walnut cookies are named for the Spanish word for powder, which, according to Marcela Valladolid, is what they turn into the minute you bite into one. They’re traditionally Mexican wedding cookies, but she ate her mother’s Polvorones at Christmastime every year growing up, dipped in hot chocolate. Once you’ve sampled your first batch, you’ll probably find yourself looking for other excuses to make them, too.

Get Marcela’s recipe and check out dozens and dozens of batches in 12 Days of Cookies for more sweet ideas. Then tell us what you’re baking.

Melanie Rehak, author of Eating for Beginners, has been baking cookies since she was old enough to climb onto the kitchen stool. She and her family are partial to Zimtsterne—cinnamon stars—for the holidays, but love cookies of all kinds all year long.

12 Days of Cookies: Alton’s Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2010
Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Alton's Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies are festive and fabulous treats.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

You won’t be able to help feeling jolly when you get a look at Alton Brown’s Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies. These sweet swirls of peppermint and chocolate dough, jazzed up with bits of candy cane for extra zip, look like something straight from the elves’ workshop. All they’re missing is the ribbon and wrap (and maybe a few sleigh bells!).

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12 Days of Cookies: Melissa’s Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2010
Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread
Celebrate with Melissa's Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Ten Dollar Dinners host Melissa d’Arabian is giving jewels to her fans. In a way. Melissa topped her holiday cookies this year with dried cranberries, orange marmalade and chocolate chips, and the Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread cookies that result are as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat. The cookies themselves are crisp, buttery basics, brought together in baking alchemy: butter, flour and sugar. They’re easy to make, and the fruit-and-nut topping is simple to stir together. Set the cookies, decorated in holiday finery, on a candlelit table, where they’ll glisten like little treasures.

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12 Days of Cookies: Sunny’s PB and J Thumbprints

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 6th, 2010

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

You’ll never look at peanut butter and jelly the same way after trying Sunny Anderson’s thumbprint cookies. Ingredients that might seem humble become festive when you make a peanut butter cookie dough, roll each ball in sugar for a sparkly effect, then add a dollop of strawberry preserves in the center before baking. Just like that, a staple of childhood lunches is transformed into a grown-up dessert.

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12 Days of Cookies: Sandra’s Raspberry Cake Bars

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 5th, 2010

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Turn ready-made sugar cookie dough into a dessert fit for anybody who graces your doorstep this season. Just add raspberry jam, lemon extract and chopped pecans, and voila — Sandra Lee’s Raspberry Cake Bars! Personally I think they’d be just as good for breakfast — especially if I can snag the corner piece.

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12 Days of Cookies: Claire’s Turtle Graham Bars

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 4th, 2010
Turtle Graham Bars
Claire's salty-sweet graham bars are an easy and delicious five-ingredient treat.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Turtles are a true American classic, and they’re even better in Claire Robinson’s bar form with a graham cracker crust to hold them together. Melted dark chocolate poured over a toffee made of pecans, sugar and butter on top of the crackers make Turtle Graham Bars a multi-layered delight. For a little bit of subtlety, sprinkle flaky sea salt on them either before or after cutting.

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12 Days of Cookies: Giada’s Lemon Ricotta Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2010
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Giada's light and citrusy cookies are made with fresh ricotta.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Think of these as a friendly holiday squeeze from Giada De Laurentiis. A batch of her light and citrusy Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze offers enough cookies for an easygoing finish to an indulgent meal as well as a delightful chilly-afternoon snack with a steaming cup of tea.

Nodding to her love and expertise in all things Italian, Giada stirs up a mixture of ricotta cheese that includes both lemon juice and zest to give the cookies a seasonally bright, delicate flavor. They’re finished with a glossy sugar glaze, also spritzed with lemon. Pucker up!

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