by Jennifer Perillo in Family, Recipes, February 28th, 2013
by Catherine McCord in Family, February 27th, 2013
Eating on a budget can be challenging, especially when trying to feed your family the best-quality food possible. Planning your grocery list wisely isn’t just about searching for sales or clipping coupons. Think about the hidden dollars and food that gets wasted — sometimes without us even realizing it. I’m talking about leftovers from recipes that once enjoyed front and center stage, only to be cast in the back of the fridge to be forgotten.
Those leftovers needn’t go to waste, even smaller portions. A few leftover meatballs may not make a complete meal for a family of four, but they’re a necessary ingredient for my Shortcut Bolognese Sauce. The sauce comes together quickly — in about the same time it takes for the water to boil and pasta to cook. Mash the meatballs and saute them with some chopped onions and olive oil in a deep skillet. Once the onions are golden, stir in some marinara sauce and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, so the meat can soak up the flavors in the sauce. With minimal effort, you’ve transformed a humble meal into a hearty one by using a few meatballs to bulk up a simple tomato sauce.
by Jennifer Perillo in Family, How-to, February 25th, 2013
Do you want to get serious about cooking, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right tools, especially when you’re on a budget? Setting up a well-rounded kitchen can be a daunting, not to mention expensive, task. Whether you’re a college student, newlywed or budding cook, these 10 cooking tools under $10 are a great start to upping your game in the kitchen.
1. Whisk: A whisk will come in handy when mixing batters or whisking eggs for breakfast.
2. Fine Grater and Zester: Zest adds instant flavor and color to any recipe. This tool does double-duty by grating hard cheeses like Parmesan too.
3. Swivel Peeler: Peel potatoes to be mashed, remove the tough outer skin of butternut squash and prepare carrots for your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with this gadget.
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by Maria Russo in Family, Recipes, February 23rd, 2013
I used to have a backyard bursting with bunches of basil, parsley, lemon thyme and a plethora of other herbs. Whenever a recipe called for some, I’d just go and pluck a handful. Aside from the hot, balmy New York City summers when the plants required constant care, mother nature mostly did the work — sunshine during the day and the occasional rain once a week, which supplied enough water to make up for the days I forgot to give them a sprinkle with the hose.
The apartment I live in now doesn’t have a garden, so I rely on window boxes for growing fresh herbs. Indoor plants need more attention and due diligence, especially in the water department. When I went away for the Christmas holidays this past December, I forgot to set up my self-watering globes. It was no surprise that I came home to bone-dry plants.
As with all of life’s mistakes, though, there is a lesson to be learned. Ever since I accidentally killed all my plants, I’ve been relying on the farmers’ market for fresh herbs — luckily we have a hydroponic farmer at the Union Square market during the winter months. The problem with buying herbs versus growing them is that I don’t usually finish up the bunch before it wilts. Then one day, I glanced at the old containers of dried-up plants (I swear I’m going to empty them this week), and suddenly the light bulb went off. With a little planning, I could make my own dried herbs. I use the fresh-bought herbs as I would normally, but just before any leftovers hit the wilting stage, I pluck the leaves and set them on a baking sheet.
by Allison Milam in Family, Recipes, February 20th, 2013
It’s no secret that if you want your little ones to enjoy a well-rounded diet and to look forward to mealtime, the key is to let them have a hand in cooking, even just once in a while. When they have a chance to impact — ever so slightly — what they’re making and how it’s prepared, they’ll feel ownership over the meal and be more likely to dig into the final dish. Plus, kids are more apt to take interest in and try a new, healthy ingredient if they’re able to warm up to it before it’s simply scooped onto a plate in front of them.
But at what age is it appropriate to let kids start cooking, and what tasks are most fitting for little chefs to take on? We have the answers below, plus kid-friendly recipes that are easy to make with youngsters and sure to please the whole family.
Julie Negrin, M.S., a nutritionist and speaker dedicated to teaching both children and grownups how to cook, says that there’s no such thing as an incorrect age to start cooking with your kids and letting them have a place in the kitchen. Even toddlers as young as two years old can pitch in during meal prep, but it’s important to give them very specific jobs and of course monitor them at all times. “This age group … needs very close adult supervision, a lot of space and large bowls,” Julie notes, “since their dexterity and motor skills are still developing.” So while your 3-year-old may not be ready to slice broccoli florets off of the stalk, he can surely rinse the entire head under the sink or put the produce into a bowl once you’ve chopped it.
by Lauren Miyashiro in Family, Recipes, February 19th, 2013
Forget the cafeteria impression you have of meatloaf — it’s come a long way since its lunch-tray roots. Meatloaf is good nestled beside a mound of mashed potatoes, but it’s better when a little something extra hits the stage.
Go the handheld route with this series of meatloaf sandwiches. Giada De Laurentiis fixes her Pancetta and Turkey Meatloaf Sandwiches on plush Italian rolls with a handful of spicy arugula. Jeff Mauro’s All-American Down-Home Patriotic Meatloaf Sandwich comes with a homemade glaze and loads of crunchy toppings.
Food Network Magazine’s Tangy Meatloaf Burgers (pictured above) and Meatloaf Sliders bring the flavor-rich disposition of the dish into America’s favorite sandwich.
If sandwiches aren’t your thing, try Food Network Magazine’s Mini Skillet Meatloaves and then put the leftovers to use with Meatloaf Quesadillas With Cilantro Cream.
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by Maria Russo in Family, Recipes, February 16th, 2013
Every morning I wake up to my stomach growling. So when planning for the weekend, the first thing I account for is my breakfast lineup. While cereal and toast suffice Monday through Friday, my appetite is slightly more indulgent and demanding on Saturdays and Sundays. The biggest question becomes sweet or savory?
Although I usually opt for recipes involving bacon or eggs, every now and again I need my maple syrup fix. Pancakes and waffles are easy enough to whip together to satiate my a.m. sweet tooth. But for an extra special treat, I like the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Baked French Toast.
Why ditch the skillet and change up a classic? You can do all the work the night before. For a relaxing, mess-free morning, Ree transforms the original into a make-ahead breakfast casserole. After popping the dish into the oven, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air and the hardest part becomes waiting.
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by Allison Milam in Family, Recipes, February 13th, 2013
No matter how hearty a lunch they may have had, when the clock strikes 4 pm, it’s hard for kids — and kids at heart — not to want an afternoon snack. Instead of settling for everyday chips or candy on account of convenience, give them homemade versions of traditional munchies like granola bars and crackers or creative takes on classic picks that include fruit and milk and are a cinch to prepare. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite snack recipes below, then browse Food Network for more ideas on cooking for kids.
While some boxed granola bars are so chock-full of chocolate and cookies that they seem more like desserts than snacks, Ina’s Homemade Granola Bars (pictured above) boast a subtle sweetness without disappointing on flavor. She combines old-fashioned oats, crunchy almonds and coconut with a trio of dried fruits to create a five-star pick that’s deliciously easy to eat with little hands. The key to making Ina’s recipe is prepping the buttery vanilla honey; this simple mixture will help the ingredients stick together and allow the bars to hold their shape.
by Maria Russo in Family, February 10th, 2013
Dust off those slow cookers and Dutch ovens. This week, we’re breaking down the most comforting stew recipes by protein. When simmered low and slow, even the toughest meats transform into soft, no-knife-necessary morsels. In the end, the theme here is gentle cooking, and just about any ingredient will do.
Oftentimes, when a stew hankering hits, it’s of the beef genre. Paula Deen’s Old-Time Beef Stew is deeply rich and ultimately classic. Food Network Magazine’s zesty Slow-Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew is over-the-top with a hit of hot sauce.
Sausage may not necessarily require low-heat cooking for its finer side to emerge, but Food Network Magazine’s Sausage-and-Vegetable Stew and Shrimp and Chorizo Stew are savory and heartening.
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by FN Dish Editor in Family, Food Network Magazine, February 9th, 2013
No matter whether your child is a wonderfully adventurous eater or has a notorious picky palate, convincing little ones to eat vegetables can be a challenge. After all, you want them to not just tolerate the green things but to enjoy them as well. Instead of “tricking” kids into eating vegetables by hiding them in purees, try simply incorporating them as they are into foods they already know and love. The idea is that over time, they’ll associate veggies with their favorite dishes and realize that they’re not so bad after all. Known kid-friendly picks like pot pies, not-too-spicy chili and pasta are easy vehicles for showcasing new vegetables without becoming overpowered by them. Try Food Network’s favorite kid-approved recipes below, then tell us in the comments: How do you encourage your kids to eat vegetables?
Giada transforms a comfort food favorite — the pot pie — into a kid-friendly staple simply by shrinking its size. Imagine a single big-batch pot pie. Now picture what a scoop of that on a plate looks like to a child. It’s not exactly appealing, even though the flavors are surely top-notch, right? The key to Giada’s top-rated recipe for Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies (pictured above) is making each pie small enough for kids to eat with their hands in just a few bites. If little ones see a piping-hot pile of vegetables taking up a large portion of their plate, chances are they’ll feel overwhelmed by what’s staring back at them. Thanks to their balance of fresh broccoli florets, tender chopped chicken and a creamy cheese sauce, Giada’s pot pies, however, aren’t intimidating to even the most stubborn veggie-refusers. Best of all, this recipe takes advantage of frozen store-bought pie crust so it’s a cinch for moms and dads to prepare on weeknights.
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It 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.
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