All Posts In Family

50 Things to Make With Pasta Sauce

by in Family, Food Network Magazine, February 9th, 2013

50 Things to Make With Pasta SauceIt happens at least once a year — your favorite jarred tomato sauce goes on sale and you stock up — enough to feed an army sometimes. While nothing beats homemade sauce, sometimes the jarred varieties are a reliable substitute for quick weeknight dinners.

It’s certainly a must-have in the pantry, along with pasta and one of Melissa d’Arabian’s favorites — dried beans. But sometimes you can fall into a rut, using it the same ol’ way. Not anymore. Food Network Magazine has taken a household staple and provided 50 different ways to incorporate it into recipes like Spanish rice, minestrone soup and Italian meatloaf.

Looking for a way to liven up baked potatoes? Try Pizza Potatoes (No. 21). Make a deep slit in baked potatoes, then stuff with some pasta sauce, chopped pepperoni and shredded mozzarella, and bake at 400 degrees F until the cheese melts.

Browse the photo gallery for more ideas

As Quick as Delivery — Comfort Food Feast

by in Family, Recipes, January 23rd, 2013

Rachael Ray's Buffalo PizzaDitch the delivery drama and slice up a pizza of your very own. We’re not talking about taking a box from the freezer. With the help of store-bought dough (available at most grocery stores or pizzerias), these pizza recipes are as quick as ordering in. Simply stretch out the dough, don with your favorite toppings and pop it in the oven.

Sometimes a good pizza comes down to the trilogy: mozzarella, tomato and basil. Giada De Laurentiis creates the classic slice with her Pizza With Fresh Tomatoes and Basil recipe.

Rachael Ray makes a Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza (pictured above) that packs all of the heat of the finger-licking favorite. Her Mega Meatball Pizza, on the other hand, has more of that Italian flair.

Sandra Lee’s BBQ Chicken Pizza puts store-bought chicken tenders, shredded Gouda and barbecue sauce to use. On a smaller note, Pizza Pockets come loaded with turkey sausage and arugula and trade the usual large triangle for a dish perfect for parties.

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Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons — The New Girl

by in Family, Recipes, January 22nd, 2013

Easy Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese CroutonsWhile I’m not technically a rookie anymore, I often still feel like one. Don’t get me wrong — my culinary skill set improved significantly in 2012. The many hours spent whisking away in the kitchen more often than not resulted in satisfied taste-testers (luckily, my friends happily oblige to free food). But with so many techniques still to master and trendy ingredients out there to try, it’s hard not to feel a step behind.

To shake these self doubts, I go back to the basics. A challenge is good, but cooking should remain, for the most part, fun. And sometimes there’s nothing quite as enjoyable as simple comfort food.

Ina’s Easy Tomato Soup from Food Network Magazine is just as the Barefoot Contessa promises: fool-proof. It’s a recipe that I am confident in getting right each time. Prep work is minimal and cleanup is a cinch, so the whole process is relaxing. As I let everything simmer together, I could almost hear her cheery voice encouraging, “How easy is that?”

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Kid-Friendly Cheese Quesadillas — Meatless Monday

by in Family, Recipes, January 21st, 2013

Cheese Quesadillas
Just when you thought between the late nights at the office, your child’s after-school sports practices and a seemingly never-ending list of errands that you simply don’t have time to cook a from-scratch supper during the week, Paula introduces her recipe for Cheese Quesadillas (pictured above), a family-friendly dinner pick that is ready to eat in only 20 quick minutes. With just a handful of ingredients, she turns kid-approved favorites like cheddar cheese and soft tortillas into warming comfort food that can be finished with any number of Mexican-inspired toppings. If you have salsa, sour cream and guacamole left over from your big game tailgate last weekend, give those dips a second life atop the quesadillas — Paula looks to those tried-and-true favorites to complete this simple supper.

Cooking for adults or perhaps a young eater with an adventurous appetite? Try Rachael’s vegetable-packed quesadilla for another easy weeknight dinner. In her Wild Mushroom Quesadillas With Warm Black Bean Salsa, she flavors both cremini and shiitake mushrooms with fresh thyme and cooks the mixture with sharp white cheddar cheese inside tortillas until the cheese is melted and the tortillas have crisped slightly. A bold topping of warm salsa with hearty black beans, tender corn and barbecue sauce finishes this top-rated meal on a flavorful note.

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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie — Comfort Food Feast

by in Family, Recipes, January 16th, 2013

Chocolate Chip CookiesWe all get a bit territorial over our chocolate chip cookies. Some like them so crispy a discernible crunch ensues. Others like them so soft that it’s unclear whether they ever reached the oven. In the end, however, there’s no argument over this cookie’s ability to bring us back — especially when a glass of milk is involved. Preheat those ovens. It’s time for some cookies.

The recipe for classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, in reality, needs no fiddling. It’s soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Just out of the oven, the chocolate chips are so gooey they stick to your fingers.

Still, Food Network Magazine has its own take on the many faces of the chocolate chip cookie, perfect for those a bit particular about consistency. Check out its recipes for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies and even Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Get more chocolate chip cookie recipes from family and friends

The Christmas Meal: What’s Your Family’s Tradition?

by in Family, Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Holiday Dinner PartyThere’s no doubt about it that turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Maybe this year your family ate something other than turkey, like ham, but the bird really does symbolize the holiday no matter how you look at it. But what about Christmas? Is there a food symbolic of Christmas? Not really. Everyone does something different; maybe that’s what is so special about the holiday.

FN Dish wants to know, what do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Do you repeat the same turkey menu from Thanksgiving? Do you do a British-style prime rib with Yorkshire pudding? Or a Southern glazed ham with biscuits? Or a crown roast of pork or lamb? Every family has its special Christmas meal. What’s yours?

VOTE and tell us what you make on Christmas

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for Kids — The Product Puree

by in Family, Holidays, December 17th, 2012

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for KidsComing up with creative holiday gifts for kids can be a real challenge, but to my surprise, several kids I know have been asking their parents for cooking equipment this year. Why not? Half of the tools in my kitchen are better than toys in some respects. Just this morning my son turned my trussing string into rope for his crane to lift my favorite whisk.

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box idea that will keep kids excited about and engaged in cooking, here are a few things I’ll be giving this year:

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Getting Creative With Cookie-Cutters, 5 Fun Uses — The Product Puree

by in Family, November 13th, 2012

New Uses for Cookie CuttersYou know all those cookie-cutters that are a jumble at the bottom of your kitchen drawer? Well, reach way down and grab a handful because we’re going to put them to good use.

Cookie-cutters are great for transforming ordinary rolled-out cookies into fun shapes, but their usefulness goes way beyond the obvious. I use cookie-cutters for a wide variety of kitchen duties and whenever I let my kids cut their food into fun shapes, they’ll eat just about anything.

Here are five ways you can use cookie-cutters to make cooking and eating a whole lot more fun:

1. Hole Foods — Use a heart, star or any shape you prefer to cut the center out of sliced bread and make an egg in the hole (try Ree Drummond’s recipe). Last week my daughter had Egg in the Dog!

2. Pancake Zoo — Place a greased cookie-cutter in a saute pan over low heat and fill it with pancake batter. Use tongs to remove the hot cookie-cutter and gently flip the pancake until it’s cooked through. I like making a pancake zoo, using a variety of animal shapes.

Three more ways you can use cookie-cutters

Afternoon Eats for Young Athletes — School Days

by in Family, Recipes, October 20th, 2012

Peanut-Raisin Granola Bars
Back to SchoolSchool is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week this fall FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.

This week’s back-to-school lesson takes us out of the classroom and to the athletic field. So many kids are young athletes as well as full-time students, and they often go straight from school to sporting practices or games. For most, these commitments come hours after they’ve eaten lunch and demand high reserves of energy and focus for long periods of time, so it’s important that kids have munchies on hand to sustain them until supper. But it can be tough to track down munchies that are not only healthful and filling but also easily packed. On days when you know that your child will be running from one activity to the next, send off him or her with a few of Food Network’s favorite snacks for athletes, easy to eat on the go and deliciously satisfying, too.

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The Power of School Lunch

by in Family, September 18th, 2012

school lunch box
My daughter played “What food am I?” in preschool the other day. When I came to pick her up, her teacher gave me an odd look. “What happened?” I asked. “All of the kids had to describe what kind of food they were today,” she began. “Most kids said apples, celery, oranges, hamburgers, tomatoes, etc., but your daughter told us she was a mix of quinoa and gooseberries…”

Good or bad? I wondered to myself. Probably some of both.

In my mind, that definitely tells me I’m going to be “that mom,” the one whose kid constantly feels embarrassed about. And “that mom” was originally my mom: the mom who dares to be different when, among other things, it comes to packing a school lunch.

My mother lovingly packed soggy, lopsided and sometimes grease-stained paper bags carrying oddball sandwiches or various leftovers from dinner.

Delicious? Totally. Awkward to eat? Totally. Not like any of the other kids’ lunches at a time when you did not dare to be different? Totally.

What was a classic lunch for me?

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