In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, get ready to reignite the age-old debate of what really makes a taco a taco. Many will argue that it’s all about the tortilla, while others claim it’s the filling that counts. And, of course, there are the endless topping options, including avocado, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. But let’s not forget the essential herbs and spices that lend a taco its sought-after savory quality. With hints of garlic, onion, chili powder and sometimes cumin, this aromatic blend is synonymous with Mexico’s signature hand-held treat. With the right spice combination, you can have taco-flavored anything. (Think taco pizza or taco potatoes.) Try switching up your Cinco de Mayo menu with any of these clever takes on the authentic Mexican flavor.
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We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.
Easter mornings are usually a blur of chocolate around here, but after the kids have had their share of treats, there always seems to be extra candy (and whether certain moms have set some aside for themselves can be neither confirmed nor denied). Here are two ways to use four different Easter candies long after that bunny has put his feet up again for the year.
Mini chocolate eggs can be delicious in …
Brownies: Welcome spring with the simplest version of birds’ nests yet. Bake a pan of brownies and cut round circles before arranging mini chocolate eggs on top.
Fun fact: Most recipes that use marshmallows can be made infinitely cuter by swapping in Peeps. These sugar-coated chicks and bunnies are an Easter treat so beloved that Just Born, the company that’s been producing them for more than 60 years, makes enough Peeps in one year to circle the Earth three times. Back in 1953, it took 27 hours to create one Peep by hand with a pastry tube; yellow and white were the original colors. Today it takes roughly six minutes per Peep, and they come in a rainbow of hues and even specialty flavors like Chocolate Mousse, Blue Raspberry and Party Cake.
Once you’ve rounded up your favorite Peeps, the possibilities are endless. Peep dioramas never get old, but edible creations are our favorite. FoodNetwork.com contributor and Sprinkles! author Jackie Alpers was just the sweet-treat aficionado to come up with adorable and tasty new ways to showcase Peeps, starting with the Technicolor cake pictured above. For a showstopping centerpiece for this weekend’s Easter spread, just press sprinkles, jelly beans and a rainbow of Peeps into a freshly frosted layer cake. Read more
Face it: When you’re busy hunting down eggs, opening up your Easter basket and dyeing eggs, who has time to throw together a massive spread? After you pin down your master plan for your Easter ham or rack of lamb, feast your eyes on extra-easy side dishes that won’t consume your Easter Sunday.
Tossing high-impact ingredients like seasoned barley, lemon-marinated mushrooms and roasted asparagus together brings on a multi-textured, elegant Mushroom, Barley and Roasted Asparagus Salad (pictured above) with only 20 minutes of active prep. Plus, while you leave the asparagus to roast in the oven, you’re free to get to work on your other dishes.
The eight-day festival of Passover commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The highlight of Passover is the Seder, which is observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. In honor of the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, leavened grain (including bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta) is not allowed at Seder. Instead, matzo (a crisp, unleavened bread) is eaten, along with other traditional Jewish foods.
Eli Zabar is New York City’s iconic and pioneering grocer and caterer, with markets, cafes and restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Namesake company owner Eli and his team cater more than 500 Passover Seders in New York City. And yet the father of two still finds time to host the family’s Seder at home. “The Zabar family has divided up all the holidays: One gets Hanukkah, one gets Thanksgiving and so on. We like hosting Passover, since it’s a lively, happy time. My whole family shows up! We’re going to be about 35 this year. One of the things that’s happened over the years is that these little kids who didn’t take up any seats and used to spend their time playing or looking for the afikoman are now young adults in need of seats and we’re trying to figure out how to fit more people in.” His Seder uses everything that is featured in his store, and he makes sure to include his favorite dishes, plus a chocolate-covered matzo sweet treat (recipe below).
Sorry, Francophiles, but in the macaron vs. macaroon debate, I must admit that I prefer the two-O variety. We’re talking the dense coconut kind that will be served at Passover Seders across the country this Friday night. The delicate, jewel-boxed French sandwich cookies (one O) are pretty and all, but for me, the rugged, toasty coconut ones are the stuff of nostalgia. Inexplicably, my grandmother, who was an excellent baker, used to serve the bite-sized macaroons that came in Manischewitz cans. Who knows how many years they’d been in her pantry, but I loved them.
Today, there are few cookies I love more than a well-made macaroon, so it’s just a plus that they’re a Passover-friendly dessert. I devoured an amazing one recently at RareSweets, a charming bakery that opened in Washington, D.C., last fall. Caramelized and crunchy on the outside, moist and chewy within and not too sweet, it was exactly what I want in a macaroon, or any cookie, for that matter. Lucky for us, the bakery’s pastry chef and owner, Meredith Tomason, shared the recipe with FN Dish. She incorporates many family recipes into her menu, and says this one was a staple at various holidays throughout the years.
Pictured above is the tastiest bowl of fruity cereal you’ll ever have … kind of.
Don’t be fooled! The “bowl” is really a chocolate cake covered in vanilla frosting. The “milk”: ice cream. Make the breakfast-themed cake tonight and trick friends and family — in a totally sweet and delicious way.
Food Network Magazine’s collection of wacky and creative cakes is perfect for celebrating April Fools’ Day. There’s a cake that looks like a hamburger, one that resembles a giant chocolate candy bar and another that would deceive even the most-seasoned gardeners into believing it’s a pot of flowers. The showstopping confections may look intricate and difficult, but most are surprisingly easy to make. Each recipe provides step-by-step images to help guide you, and most call for cake mix and canned frosting. Browse through our gallery to choose which one will fool your friends best.
Here at FoodNetwork.com, we staffers don’t have to look far to find dozens of tempting recipes for the upcoming spring holidays, Easter and Passover. But we also get how hard it can be to narrow down the many options and decide what to serve at your own holiday table or bring to a friend or relative’s. So much pressure, especially when you’re the “food person” in the family! To help, here are personal Easter and Passover picks from our staff – the recipes we’re most excited about making and eating this weekend. They may just inspire you to start a new family tradition.
Pizza is the perfect food for entertaining — a crowd-pleaser with unlimited options for sauce, cheese and toppings. We started with one basic dough recipe and explored some creative combinations of ingredients that celebrate spring. If you’re willing to break with corned-beef-and-cabbage tradition, the naturally green pizzas are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day gatherings. Read more