Though for some Memorial Day can mean an excuse to sleep in before hitting a blowout sale, the real fans of this holiday are all about the food. Weather permitting, it’s best spent lounging outside with a spread, celebrating the inaugural days of summer. This Memorial Day, lay out your gingham blankets and cook up picnic-ready recipes that master the art of make-and-take. This holiday is all about outdoor eating, and we’ve got just the menu.
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If you’ve ever been to a potluck with a kid, you know how challenging it can be to find a plate full of food he or she is familiar enough with to enjoy. So if you have upcoming cookouts or campouts, or you just want a festive meal to celebrate the start of summer, try one of these dishes. Your kids (and everyone else’s) will thank you.
Chicken and Pineapple Skewers (pictured above): Chicken coated in favorites like soy sauce, ketchup, honey and even a little brown sugar doesn’t get much more kid friendly — until you add fresh pineapple chunks and put it all on a stick.
Better-for-You Peach Crisp: Full of whole oats, fresh fruit (like peaches, plums, apples or any fruit of your choice), along with coconut oil and crunchy almonds, this crisp is tasty and so good for you that it even works for breakfast — but we doubt you’ll have any left.
Grilled Link Hot Dogs with Homemade Pickle Relish: Sure, you can go with a package of regular dogs, but finding link hot dogs might be a fun twist for the little guys. And what kid can resist a crunchy dill pickle on a hot day? Let kids help you make this tangy relish and watch those proud faces when it’s time to serve.
It’s almost Mother’s Day: the day to appreciate motherhood even more than we do on other, ordinary days. Who cares that the holiday was invented by a greeting card company? Moms rock, and we love them.
Moms make us think of babies, and babies are cute. They’re just designed that way. We like to look at them. We like to talk about them using teeny voices. Baby fruits and vegetables are basically our two favorite things rolled up into one: Babies plus Food.
On this special day we wanted to send out some love to the hardworking vegetable and fruit moms for giving birth to them. First up (above): baby ghanoush.
Before Mom even rolls out of bed on Mother’s Day, show her you care with a cheery breakfast-in-bed spread. With this easy option, the egg whippers, pancake flippers and table setters in your life — aka the kids — can lend a hand without waking Mom.
If Mom has so much grace she can balance a plate of pancakes with maple syrup in bed, you should undoubtedly flip some of Trisha Yearwood’s blueberry pancakes. Whether from a box or made totally from scratch, a short stack is sure to start Mom’s day off right. Or, let the kids dip thick slices of brioche or challah in a sweet egg mixture for the Perfect French Toast.
Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and surely no one deserves a relaxing afternoon at the spa more than Mom. While it may be too late to score her an appointment at your local spa, there’s indeed time to pamper her at home — and with goods you likely already have on hand in your kitchen.
On tomorrow’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts are celebrating moms with brunch, dinner and dessert ideas worthy of the day, plus a few homemade spa products. These easy-to-do concoctions — all created with edible goods like egg yolks, orange juice, sugar and olive oil — will help fortify and repair Mom’s nails and smooth her skin. Check out the simple how-tos below, then tune in to The Kitchen tomorrow at 11a|10c to watch Katie, Sunny and Marcela try out these products on two willing spa subjects: Jeff and Geoffrey.
In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we asked staffers in Food Network Kitchen to share favorite recipes from their mothers (and grandmothers, too). Their personal picks ranged from classic Chocolate Pudding and creamy Cheesecake to bright Vietnamese Chicken Salad and hearty Pasta e Fagioli, all of which prompted us to clean our plates and politely ask for more during tastings in the test kitchen. One thing’s for sure: These moms raised some amazing cooks. Share one of their recipes with your mom this Mother’s Day, or get inspired by the staffers’ stories and treat her to a favorite dish from your own childhood.
Mom’s Chocolate Pudding
This pudding, made with a mix of cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate, was a favorite childhood treat of Food Network test kitchen manager Claudia Sidoti, who says the dessert “makes me remember my mom and all the fun and nostalgia of my childhood in the 1960s and ’70s.”
While it may be a Monday, it’s also Cinco de Mayo, which means that as you’re indulging in a platter of tacos or a bowl of creamy, cool guacamole, it’s only fitting to mix up a refreshing cocktail to pair with it. Margaritas often steal the show come Cinco de Mayo — and for good reason, given that they’re endlessly versatile — but there are surely other sippers to celebrate the day. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite adults-only cocktails worthy of Cinco de Mayo below; each is easy to prepare and guaranteed to impress your friends at tonight’s fiesta.
Whether you like it on the rocks or chilled and frosty, the margarita with a base of tequila is a Mexican must-have. Most traditional recipes, including that for the Classic Margaritas featured above from Food Network Magazine, showcase a base of tequila and plenty of fresh lime juice, but the cocktail can be dressed up with other fruit juices or blended to become a frozen concoction. Browse photos of 10 Cinco de Mayo Margaritas to find more inspiration and get the how-tos for making them at home.
While you could indeed drink your margarita, there’s also the option of eating it — in the form of a gelatin shot. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Lime-Shaped Margarita Gelatin Shots are bright-green party bites that use hollowed-out limes as a mold for an extra-special presentation.
While Mexican-inspired meals, like tacos, quesadillas and tortilla soup, may be in frequent dinner rotation in your home, there’s perhaps no better day of the year to cook them up than today, Cinco de Mayo. Celebrate the event with an impromptu fiesta complete with an inspired spread featuring rich refried beans, Rachael’s fresh guacamole and Alton’s tres leches cake for dessert. As a main course, skip such meaty dishes as fajitas and burritos and instead focus on chiles rellenos; showcasing peppers and cheese, these over-the-top indulgences are often naturally vegetarian.
Food Network Kitchen’s top-rated Chiles Rellenos (pictured above) is a fan-favorite recipe packed with the bold flavors of poblano peppers and tomato sauce spiced with a serrano chile. After charring the poblanos, stuff them with Mexican string cheese and dunk them in flour and a cumin beer batter to create the light coating ideal for deep-frying. The key to making these chiles lies in the stuffing process; after filling them with cheese, it’s important to seal the openings shut with a toothpick so the cheese doesn’t seep out into the oil. Serve these crispy, golden-brown beauties atop the smooth tomato sauce for an impressive plate worthy of Cinco de Mayo.
This morning’s episode of The Kitchen was largely dedicated to Cinco de Mayo — plus mayonnaise at times — so the co-hosts came together to host a celebratory fiesta complete with warm, sweet churros, more than 50 types of tacos and a colorful pinata. While on the set of the show recently, FN Dish caught up with Marcela Valladolid to get her take on Cinco ahead of Monday’s holiday. Read on below to learn her tips for pulling off a Mexican-themed bash at home, and find out how she puts her signature spin on traditional eats and drinks, then check out her top-rated recipe for Tres Leches Cake (pictured above).
How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your home?
Marcela Valladolid: I don’t. … Nobody in all of Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo. … Many folks on this side of the border confuse it with Mexican independence day, which is actually Sept. 16. … I didn’t really start getting into the holiday until I moved to the U.S. about five years ago, to San Diego. ‘Cause in downtown San Diego, it’s huge. It’s margaritas all over the place. Growing up in Mexico, I was like, it’s so crazy that they’re even celebrating, but now I like to embrace the fact that they’re just celebrating Mexican culture, and there’s such wonderful beauty about that.