All Posts By Ricky Smith

6 Ways to Spice Up Pizza Night

by in Recipes, April 14th, 2015

Everyone from busy moms to college students knows the ease of grabbing a quick slice of pizza or a pie for the family. Most pizzerias have an array of classic options that never seem to get old, and all of that cheesy goodness never disappoints. While your favorite local joint’s pizza is probably hard to replicate, there are plenty of ways you can spice up pizza night from home. Read on for some out-of-the-box ideas like mini pizza muffins and warm pizza dip.

Pepperoni Pizza Pocket (pictured above)
The ultimate hand-held food becomes even more portable when you follow Jeff Mauro’s recipe for pizza pockets. Just load up premade dough rounds with pepperoni and cheese, and pop them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Jeff’s slow-simmering sauce for an unforgettable weeknight treat.

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QUIZ: Where Should You Travel for Your Next Meal?

by in Restaurants, April 1st, 2015

If you know every pasta dish at the Italian place down the street (plus the Sunday specials), it might be time to widen your taste buds’ horizons. But gone are the days when you had to travel to Europe to get authentic French cuisine and a good steak was served only at a steakhouse. Today there are tons of cities in the U.S. that boast fresh-from-the-boat seafood and burgers that will change how you thought about Dad’s grilling skills. Take the quiz below to find out which food-filled city will be your ultimate destination for dinner.

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Save Some Coffee for Cocktail Hour

by in Drinks, Recipes, March 28th, 2015

A cup before work, a cup to get through 3 p.m. — why not have a cup during happy hour? Coffee cocktails might be exactly what you need: something that melts away the stress of the day while simultaneously boosting your energy for late-night laundry. Add in some rum or chocolate, and you’ll enjoy your caffeine fix more than ever. Whether you’ve just finished a big dinner with friends or you’re spending a Friday evening in alone, these sips are sure to put a smile on your face.

Pitch-Dark Coffee Stout (pictured above)
Why not have both brews—coffee and beer—at the same time? Coffee liqueur and espresso give you a bit of a jolt while stout rounds out the richness of the drink.

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Fries to Feed Your Late-Night Cravings

by in Recipes, March 21st, 2015

After a long day (or night), few things will bring you as much joy as a big plate of crispy french fries. And while it’s easy to stop at the nearest fast-food joint, there are so many flavor-packed versions you can make in your own kitchen. Why settle for the drive-thru stuff if you can whip up your own? Think thin fries smothered with chicken and cheese, and crinkle-cuts piled high with spicy poblanos. Whatever your vice, you’re bound to find something to curb your cravings in this list of the best fry creations.

Chicken and Cheese Poutine (pictured above)
There’s something about deep-fried potatoes covered in cheese that makes all of life’s problems seem to melt away. When you add chicken and gravy — game over. This sinful treat from Food Network Magazine is ready in 30 minutes, but it probably won’t be on the table for too long. With Worcestershire sauce, peas, paprika and scallions, no flavor gets left behind.

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7 Meatloaves That (Might) Beat Grandma’s

by in Recipes, March 14th, 2015

Food can bring back so many different memories from childhood — family meals around the dinner table, weeknight dishwasher duties, Mom’s failed attempt at homemade sushi — but it’s hard to beat the comforting tastes and memories that come with a slice of meatloaf. Let’s face it: Meatloaf is basically a giant meatball, and no one is mad about that. Juicy ground meat and soft veggies only get better with a big dollop of that classic, sweet sauce. But just like every other classic dinner, there are tons of new spins on the original recipe, like vegetable-packed versions and even meatloaf muffins. Read on for some new ideas on how to take this hearty classic to the next level.

Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (pictured above)
There’s bacon on top — need we say more? If the bacon doesn’t sell it, the tomato relish will. It’s got all of the classic flavors of a meatloaf sauce, but with some fresh ingredients and great texture. Everything comes together for a sweet, salty, tangy feast.

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Enter to Win a Duff Goldman Cake and Cookie Baking Kit

by in Contests, February 4th, 2015

Duff Giveaway Baking KitExperience what it’s like to bake and decorate your creations like Duff Goldman. Put your skills to the test along with the wunderkinds of Kids Baking Championship, Mondays at 8|7c.

To buy the Duff Goldman Decorating StencilsTie-Dye Cake Mix, White Frosting and Tie-Dye Swirl Sugar Cookie Mix, you can visit the Food Network Store, or enter a comment below for a chance to win the items. To enter, let us know in the comments: What was your favorite baked treat as a kid? The contest starts at 12 p.m. EST today and ends Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m.

You may comment only once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2015 and 12 p.m. EST on Feb. 11, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the total prize is $36.96. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37932.

A Breakfast Battle to Remember — Terra’s Journey on Holiday Baking Championship

by in Shows, December 8th, 2014

Holiday Baking ChampionshipThis past Sunday on Holiday Baking Championship, the competition was all about holiday traditions. The bakers were faced with the pre-heat challenge of creating something original using the classic combination of hot chocolate and peppermint. Then, they moved on to the real challenge: creating an over-the-top holiday breakfast including three sweet treats. Although her hot chocolate cakes from the pre-heat were praised by the judges, Terra was ultimately eliminated when her cream cheese surprise went awry. But this bourbon-loving Kentucky girl brought lots of fun and flavor during her time on the show. Relive Terra’s journey in GIFs

5 Fall Recipes with Fresh Fennel

by in In Season, Recipes, October 7th, 2014

There are very few ingredients that can add to a dish what fresh fennel can add. It’s got a hint of sweetness, a nice crunch and a refreshing flavor. Known for being eaten raw as a palate cleanser at the end of a big Italian meal, it can be prepared or eaten just about any way you can imagine. Take these recipes, for example: roasted fennel in pasta, fennel salad and even a fennel slaw. Try out a few of these and before you know it you’ll be adding fennel into all kinds of things this fall.

Baked Penne with Fennel: When you think of creamy baked pasta, you don’t necessarily think of light flavors. But fennel can add the perfect soft flavor to just about anything — including this creamy baked penne. With pancetta, heavy cream and three different cheeses, the dish definitely benefits from the fennel’s subtle flavor.

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Apples, the Savory Way

by in In Season, September 27th, 2014

Even though you can get apples year-round almost everywhere, there’s still something special about your favorite variety popping up at the farmers market when fall comes around. It’s a sign that cooler nights are coming and the best time of the year for comfort food is just around the corner. The obvious first task is to bake a great apple pie — but after that, there’s plenty of time for creativity. Think perfectly roasted chicken with sweet apples, or a fresh apple and kale salad. These recipes will get you on track for endless apple creations so you can take full advantage of the fall produce.

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Apples: There’s always a reason to try a new chicken recipe, especially when it’s simple and you can pop it in the oven. The apples in this help bring out the savory flavors of the skin-on chicken thighs and the onions, while adding a subtly sweet note that is perfect for fall entertaining. But you don’t have to save it for a special occasion — this one is easy enough to be a weeknight meal.

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Spice Things Up with Creative Hummus Spreads

by in Recipes, September 11th, 2014

Hummus is one of those foods that most people enjoy and has a ton of great health benefits. Rich in protein, it can help you feel fuller longer. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in most hummus recipes, but sometimes you need to switch things up a bit — even if that means cutting the chickpeas and starting anew. These recipes have taken hummus to the next level, calling on everything from black beans to edamame, so you never get bored of the Mediterranean treat.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus: It’s definitely one of the most-loved flavors to pair with hummus, and this recipe makes it the star of the show. Guy Fieri calls for the roasted red peppers to be pureed in with the chickpeas and even adds in some chipotle pepper in adobo to kick the flavor up a few notches. It makes a great spread for sandwiches too.

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