All Posts In Family

Spatula Love — The Product Puree

by in Family, May 8th, 2013

Spatula LoveWhat’s your favorite piece of kitchen equipment? I’m not talking about your fancy stand mixer or mega-speed blender. I’m talking about the thing that time and time again assists in the smallest of kitchen tasks. For me, hands down, it’s a spatula. But the difference in all the brands on the market can make a mega-watt difference. I’ve used spatulas that heated up to the point I could almost wipe the outside coating of plastic off after it hit something hot, like soup or a sauce, so always make sure to use ones that are heat-resistant to 500 degrees F. I’ve also tried those oversized spatulas that should be used only when trying to mix 50 gallons of cookie dough in an industrial kitchen.

And how about getting the remaining mustard or ketchup out of a jar or bottle? It says there’s 9 to 15 ounces inside, but I would guarantee you toss out a good 2 ounces each time because it’s so challenging to figure a way to get the remaining spoonfuls out.

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Macaroni and Cheese Made Even More Kid-Friendly

by in Family, May 5th, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese Made Even More Kid-FriendlyIf you have picky eaters, try updating a classic that most kids can’t get enough of. They’ll have a built-in veggie and you’ll eat a meal in peace (probably). Update your favorite mac and cheese recipe by adding 3 cups of chopped cauliflower or grated carrots to the pasta water when there’s still about 3 minutes left to cook. Continue with the remainder of the recipe, adding an extra 1/2 cup of milk to the cheese sauce so everything stays nice and moist. Note: Cauliflower works especially well for anyone going through a “white food-only” phase (and if you are, I hear you).

Keep going? Crumble 1/2 cup of extra-firm tofu or mashed white beans into the pasta as you mix it together with the cheese sauce. Instant protein, undetected.

But if presentation is what inspires your brood, as it often does from the booster seats here, try individually baked ramekins. Or save time by scooping this creamy goodness into little dipping bowls and stacking them on top of each child’s plate. Who knew invisible veggies could be so cute?

Start with these basic mac and cheese recipes

Tacos, Nachos and Churros: Go-To Recipes for a Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo

by in Family, Holidays, May 4th, 2013

Tacos Carne AsadaWhile some elements of Cinco de Mayo — the spicy salsas, spiked margaritas and too-green guacamole among them — may be no match for little ones and their picky palates, others like soft-shelled tacos, cheesy nachos and sweet churros are go-to bites that are practically made with kids’ appetites in mind. These dishes, although guaranteed kid-pleasers, are also some of the most-classic picks for traditional Mexican fare, so by serving them at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, you can be sure that grown-up guests will be happy to enjoy them, too. Whether you’re hosting a big-bash fiesta tomorrow or simply spending a quiet day at home, mark the fifth of May with a family-friendly spread of Mexican eats. Check out a few of FN Dish’s favorite tacos, nachos and churro recipes below, then browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo Central for more go-to recipes and entertaining tips.

Tyler’s top-rated Tacos Carne Asada is a must-try meal if you’re cooking for kids, because you can control the ingredients of the steak marinade and pico de gallo, making them as spicy or as mild as you want. Tyler opts for a jalapeno and a few garlic cloves in the mojo-style marinade and a serrano chile in the salsa, but little ones may appreciate less heat. After letting the meat marinate, grill it until juicy and tender, then serve it in warm tortillas. Let your kids assemble their own dream tacos by setting up a spread of traditional toppings like shredded lettuce, Jack cheese, white onion and fresh pico de gallo and inviting them to help themselves. Watch this video to see Tyler make this can-do recipe.

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Kid-Friendly Veggie Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Family, Recipes, May 1st, 2013

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli CasseroleMore likely than not, your kids have better things to think about than garden-fresh produce, bustling farmers’ markets and mindful grocery shopping. But, when they sit down at the dinner table, all that good stuff is what’s for dinner, even if they’re morally opposed to eating their veggies. Use these recipes to get your kids excited about spring produce.

For some, green beans are good eaten straight out of the produce bag. But for those who need a little push, Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole is just as the name implies. Rather than using the store-bought crunchy onions, Alton whips his up from scratch.

Broccoli is typically a no-go for most little ones, but when it’s served up in a style reminiscent of mac and cheese, it’s much easier to sell. With a foundation of rice and a scattering of florets, Sunny Anderson’s Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole (pictured above) does just that.

Get more kid-friendly sides from friends and family

Meals to Make With Your Wallet in Mind

by in Family, Recipes, April 27th, 2013

Beef and Black Bean SlidersWhether you’re grocery shopping to feed just yourself or an entire family of 10, it’s easy for your total bill at the checkout counter to reach an uncomfortably high price, even if you’re stocking up on essentials alone. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice nutrition for the sake of your wallet, and indeed eating well on a budget is easy to do. The key to making wholesome meals without breaking the bank is knowing which products to buy — and knowing how to best put them to use to get the most out of them in dishes that your family will enjoy. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite money-saving tips below, plus get can-do, kid-friendly recipes that are easy to prepare on a budget.

Make Each Ingredient Go Further
To stretch the value a somewhat pricey ingredient, like meat, mix it with far more inexpensive products that won’t distract from the overall taste or texture of the dish. The next time you make tacos, burritos or burgers, try swapping out a portion of the beef or chicken for mashed beans or rice; the supper won’t suffer, and you’ll use less meat to feed more people. In her recipe for Beef and Black Bean Sliders (pictured above), Ten Dollar Dinners host Melissa d’Arabian combines ground beef with cooked black beans to create moist, flavorful burgers on a budget. She forms the mixture into traditional patties, grills them and serves them on toasted buns with tangy coleslaw for a fuss-free 10-minute meal.

Keep reading for more tips and recipes

Breakfast in a Hurry: Easy Recipes for Quick-Fix Morning Meals

by in Family, Recipes, April 20th, 2013

Egg-in-a-HoleIn the midst of the hustle and bustle that is inevitably your morning routine, it can seemly nearly impossible to serve your kids a breakfast of anything other than cereal, and while of course weekdays are no time for leisurely prepared flapjacks or made-to-order omelets, it’s important to send your little ones to school with a wholesome meal in their bellies. Quick-fix recipes that can be made easily and eaten in a flash are welcome timesavers, and kid-friendly picks like egg-in-toast, breakfast-style pizza and better-for-you ganola bars are go-to classics. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite simple-to-make recipes below for no-fuss morning meal ideas and must-see tips.

The ultimate all-in-one weekday breakfast, the Pioneer Woman’s Egg-in-a-Hole (pictured above) is a kid-friendly favorite that’s ready to eat in only five quick minutes. Using the rim of a round glass, remove a hole in the center of a piece of bread — whatever kind you have on hand will work — then drop it in a buttered skillet and fill the hole with a cracked egg. In less than a minute, the egg will have begun to set within the bread and it will be ready for a gentle flip. Ree recommends letting the egg cook just until the yolk is soft — any longer and it won’t be runny.

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Spring Chicken With Carrots and Peas — The Weekender

by in Family, Recipes, April 20th, 2013

Spring Chicken With Carrots and PeasLike so many American households, we eat a lot of chicken in my little family of two. And, of course, like so many of our fellow poultry eaters, we often fall into a rut and end up making the same four or five recipes over and over again.

Recently, after working our way through another round of the same old roast chicken, I started doing a little searching in the hopes of injecting some fresh inspiration into our routine. I bookmarked recipes for stews, pan-roasted birds and new-to-me marinades.

Because I know her dishes to be pretty darn reliable in the taste department, I started out by trying Rachael Ray’s recipe for Spring Chicken With Carrots and Peas. You begin by browning the chicken in a little olive oil and then turning down the heat so the chicken cooks through.

Once it’s done, you pull the chicken out of the pot and add chopped shallots. Once they’ve cooked and picked up all those gorgeous bits of golden chicken from the bottom of the pan, you add some white wine, carrots and peas. Finally, the chicken is nestled back into the pot. You can serve it immediately, or you can let the chicken stew a bit longer and pick up some of the flavors from the pot.

Before you start cooking, read these tips

Best 5 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipes

by in Family, Recipes, April 18th, 2013

Peanut Butter CookiesWhen it comes to stocking the cookie jar, chocolate chippers and frosted sugar cut-outs are go-to favorites, but just like those indulgent treats, peanut butter cookies are also timeless standbys that both kids and grownups enjoy. Soft and chewy, most peanut butter cookies require just minutes in the oven, so they’re ideal bites for last-minute entertaining or when you simply need to satisfy a sudden sweet-tooth craving. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for easy-to-make peanut butter cookies below to find a mix of classic and dressed-up desserts alike, then tell FN Dish: What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

5. Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon CookiesFood Network Magazine takes peanut butter cookie dough to the next level by incorporating honey-roasted peanuts and a pinch of chipotle powder, plus crumbled crispy bacon and rendered bacon drippings to create the ultimate sweet and savory bites.

4. Paula’s Peanut Butter Cookies — For an extra-special touch of decadence, add a Hershey’s Kiss to each cookie just after they’re removed from the oven. Try to work quickly so the chocolates can gently mold to the center while they cookies are still hot.

Get the top three recipes

Picky Eater-Approved: Meals to Make Dinnertime Easy

by in Family, Recipes, April 13th, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza PocketsAre family dinners a struggle in your home — you all but begging your little ones to eat something other than packaged pizza, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese while your kids stare back at you, adamantly refusing even a taste of something more wholesome? If so, know that you could be in for more manageable suppers simply by letting them eat the meals they want but opting for homemade versions of them, instead of relying on store-bought varieties. While it’s indeed best to attempt to patiently introduce children to diverse groups of food, that approach may prove unrealistic in many homes. In those cases, embracing kid-friendly foods in from-scratch recipes for pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese may make for happier times at the dinner table. Your kids will be pleased because they’ll think they’re enjoying their favorite meals, and you’ll feel better knowing they’re eating wholesome, home-cooked food. Check out Food Network’s top takes on classic kid-approved picks like pizza, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese below to find must-try meals that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your home.

Just like traditional pizza, Jeff Mauro’s Pepperoni Pizza Pockets (pictured above) boast creamy mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and a crunchy crust, but they’re formed into easy-to-eat pouches instead of an open-faced pie. The secret to Jeff’s recipe is starting with prepared pizza dough; having one on hand makes meal prep a cinch and ensures that these golden-brown beauties can be ready to eat in less than an hour. Serve each pocket with a side of Jeff’s sweet tomato-basil sauce, and let your kids indulge in this eat-with-your-hands meal with deliciously simple dunking.

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How to Put Your Freezer to Work, Plus Frozen Meals Made Fresh

by in Family, Recipes, April 6th, 2013

Homemade Frozen Chicken FingersOn hectic weeknights when it seems like there’s just no time to cook, few things are more welcome than ready-to-go meals that require little-to-no prep time. Occasionally that may mean takeout or delivery dinners, but it certainly doesn’t need to, especially when you have a fully stocked freezer on which to rely. Whether you find yourself with extra food after a party or a lazy weekend of making big-batch soups or casseroles, commit to building up your freezer supply by saving the leftovers for those nights when you can’t get to the grocery store or be bothered to make supper from scratch.

The secret to increasing your freezer supply is knowing how to freeze food safely and properly for best-tasting results later. No matter what it is you want to freeze, be sure to let it come to room temperature after it’s cooked and before you add it to the frigid-cold freezer; doing so will help avoid spoiled food and the overwarming of anything surrounding it.

Get freezer-friendly recipes

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