We are now officially in the time of year known as “the holiday season.” You can tell it has arrived by the uptick in events on your social calendar and ever-present cookies and treats in the office break room.
During these last few weeks of the calendar year, it can be increasingly hard to do things like get to the gym regularly and ensure that you’re having healthy, homemade dinners. I can’t help you with the gym issue, but I do have a suggestion as to how to get a meal on the table in the midst of the weeknight holiday rush.
Steal a couple of hours on Sunday and prep a couple make-ahead meals. If all you have to do on Tuesday is boil some water and reheat some vegetables, you’re far more likely to resist the siren call of takeout.
One of my favorite make-ahead meals is the Hot and Sticky Noodle Bowls from Rachael Ray’s show Week in a Day. You season and cook some chicken and vegetables, then cool them and stash them in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, just cook some spaghetti noodles, reheat the chicken mix and toss it all together. Truly, it’s easier than ordering pizza and should become part of your Weekender routine.
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No matter how chilly and snowy it may get this winter, there will be no better way to warm up than with a comforting cup of creamy hot cocoa. This seasonal favorite is a timeless childhood treat, but that doesn’t mean grownups can’t indulge as well. Whether you stick with a classic recipe for rich hot chocolate, opt for a generous topping of marshmallows or prefer to add extra flavors, like spices, peppermint or liqueurs, making this sweet treat is simple and, perhaps best of all, fast. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for hot cocoa below from some of your favorite chefs, like Alton, Giada and Sandra, to find their traditional and classic versions of this tried-and-true drink.
5. Raspberry Hot Chocolate — For a taste of adults-only decadence, add a splash of raspberry liqueur to the piping-hot chocolate cream just before serving, and finish with candied ginger for a sweet, spicy contrast.
4. White Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Stirrers — Instead of simply topping her warm white chocolate-almond milk mixture with a few mini marshmallows, Giada dunks large marshmallows in chocolate, attaches them to the ends of lollipop sticks and gently stirs them into her drink.
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The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
On this week’s special holiday episode of Chopped, the celebrity competitors found rosca de reyes (three kings cake), Wagyu rib-eye steaks, broccoli and cocktail sauce in their mystery baskets. Unfortunately not all of them did the best job of incorporating the cocktail sauce into their dishes. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the cocktail sauce gets its starring role, serving as a barbecue sauce for chicken. This recipe for Grilled Chicken Legs with Cocktail Barbeque Sauce is a great excuse to do some grilling in winter, whether it’s in the comfort of the kitchen or outdoors, weather permitting. It’s also a great use for cocktail sauce leftover from a holiday party. Your family will appreciate a taste of summer in the middle of the cold winter with this meal for dinner.
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Now four days post-Thanksgiving, it’s likely that the last leftovers from Turkey Day are gone from your refrigerator and you’ve nearly had your fill of all things mashed, roasted, creamed and gravied. But whether lingering relatives are still staying over or you’re back to cooking for just your immediate family, the question of tonight’s dinner remains, and for this Meatless Monday, something simple and speedy is in order.
Instead of reaching for the nearest takeout menu, try Melissa d’Arabian’s Sesame and Peanut Noodles (pictured above), a top-rated dish that can be on the table in only 20 quick minutes. The secret to this recipe is the sweet and salty balance of flavors in the peanut dressing, featuring a combination of peanut butter, honey and soy sauce, plus a few drops of Sriracha for subtle heat (if you’re cooking for little ones, just scale back on the amount to reduce the level of spiciness). What results is a thick, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and pairs well with the crunchiness of fresh peppers and cabbage. For added texture, finish the dish with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds before serving.
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Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, the feast continues to give as you find ways to grant the leftovers a second life in made-over dishes all weekend long. Turkey soup and sandwiches are timeless choices, but there are indeed ways to dress them up this year, plus other ideas for making the most out of the side dishes as well. Sunny recommends frying the stuffing into eat-with-your-hands bites, while Rachael creates a casserole out of the meat and mushrooms. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers below to find the how-tos for making these next-day favorites and more.
5. Second-Day Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto — It doesn’t matter whether you’ve made stuffing with sourdough, cornbread or another bread variety on Thanksgiving; put what’s left to work in Sunny’s two-bite beauties pictured above. They’re crispy on the outside with a tender center of stuffing, and they’re best served with a pestolike mixture of tangy-sweet cranberry sauce and crunchy walnuts.
4. Turkey, Mushroom and Corn Mexican Casserole — Not only does Rachael’s cheesy, comforting casserole feature leftover turkey, but it also incorporates some of the miscellaneous items — like chicken stock, cream, mushrooms and onions — that you have in your refrigerator after the holiday.
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You may remember the waffle obsession we revealed earlier this month. Well, in addition to 12 Favorite Foods Totally Transformed with a Waffle Iron and 8 Classic and Creative Waffle Recipes, Food Network Kitchens came up with one more waffled meal especially for Thanksgiving. Instead of the same-old turkey sandwiches, put a waffled spin on your day-after feast this year. Leftover stuffing works perfectly in waffle form — just top it with all the trimmings for a unique and satisfying brunch dish.
Get the Recipe: Waffled Leftover Thanksgiving Brunch
Check out more inspired recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers and tell us: What new dishes do you make with your leftovers?
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient smoked pork chops, which have a ton of smokehouse flavor that can work with a number of dishes. But the pork takes on an Asian inspiration in this recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Smoked Pork Chop Rice Bowls, which uses the smoked pork to top a flavorful and filling rice bowl. It’s a supper your family will appreciate for its sweet, savory and spicy tastes. Plus it’s infinitely more fun and creative than ordering takeout.
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The Jewish Festival of Lights kicks off this Wednesday night, overlapping with Thanksgiving for the first time in more than a century (and it won’t happen again for 79,000 years!). Mark this special Hanukkah with a slight twist on traditional potato latkes and a full feast of Hanukkah dishes, both new and classic. Even though you’re likely to be eating turkey on the second night, there are still seven more to celebrate.
1. Sweet Potato Latkes
Food Network Kitchens’ recipe combines Yukon golds and sweet potatoes for a fall-flavored, Thanksgiving-inspired Hanukkah treat.
2. Braised Brisket with Root Vegetables
This Hanukkah main has it all: beefy, tender brisket with a rich tomato flavor, and flavorful root vegetables braised in red wine and brisket juices.
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With the Thanksgiving feast just days away, your mind is likely elsewhere at this very moment, consumed with last-minute menu planning, frequent runs to the grocery store and the requisite home organization to prepare for out-of-town guests. But no matter how long your Turkey Day to-do list may be, the question of tonight’s dinner remains, and on nights like these, only one kind of meal will fit the bill: fast.
Thanks to Food Network Magazine’s family-friendly recipe for Lemon-Pepper Fettuccine (pictured above), it’s indeed possible to get supper on the table in only 20 quick minutes. Perhaps the best part about this pasta is that its list of ingredients includes everyday items you likely have on hand already — so there’s no need for an additional trip to the supermarket. As the hearty fettuccine is boiling, get to work on this simple sauce. Start by sauteing sweet shallots in butter, then add a mixture of cream and lemon zest plus nutty pecorino cheese for contrasting rich and refreshing flavors. The secret flavor weapon of this sauce comes at the very end when you add up to three teaspoons of pepper; this seasoning will add a bold punch of flavor and complement the citrus as well. Be sure to save a bit of the pasta water after draining the noodles, as you might need some to thin out the sauce as you’re mixing the dish together.
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No matter if you’ll be brining your turkey or deep-frying it, whipping sweet potatoes or smashing golden spuds, stuffing the bird or serving the dressing alongside it, one thing is certain about your Thanksgiving spread: There will indeed be dessert. This year, in addition to the classic apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake, serve a mix of creative, crowd-pleasing treats, like Sunny’s mini pumpkin pies, Giada’s turkey-decorated cookies and Alton’s deliciously tart lemon pie. Check out Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving desserts below to find recipes for these family-friendly picks, plus more sweet inspiration for your Turkey Day feast.
5. Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies — Use tiny muffin tins to shape pecan-studded dough into sweet cups, then fill them with a mixture of pumpkin and vanilla, and finish each with a pecan for an extra-special presentation.
4. Thanksgiving Turkeys — Giada starts with store-bought cream-filled sandwich cookies to make these kid-approved cookies, decorated with seasonal candies and colored frosting to transform them into turkey look-alikes.
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