All Posts In Recipes

No Fridge Necessary: 5 Ways to a Fresher Lunchbox

by in Recipes, August 19th, 2015

With another summer heading toward its end, it’s time to start thinking about lunchbox-friendly foods — namely, foods that can withstand a morning without refrigeration. Insulated lunchboxes do their part to keep meals fresh, as do ice packs. But ice packs are heavy, and they tend to go missing. A few judiciously frozen items can do double duty, keeping your lunchbox cold while slowly thawing in time to eat. Frozen water bottles, or frozen packs of applesauce or yogurt, should do the trick. But as a general rule, it’s best to steer clear of meat and dairy if you can’t guarantee refrigeration. Just in time for another school year, here are some no-fridge foods that kids — and adults — can look forward to opening.

Nuts, Berries and Seeds
Lunchtime feels eons away without a midmorning snack to hold you over, and trail mixes, granola bars and cereal treats are all tasty fuel sources. Food Network Kitchen’s Honey-Nut Cereal Treats (pictured at top) are loaded with protein and fiber in the form of peanuts and almonds. If your kids appreciate sweet and chewy dried fruits, try Claire Robinson’s easy Pumpkin Seed-Dried Cherry Trail Mix. Alton Brown’s classic rendition of crunchy Granola Bars is another snack you can feel good about packing. This lower-calorie option studded with sliced almonds, dried apricots and berries. Before you pack any of these in your child’s lunchbox, err on the side of caution and make sure no one in the class has a nut allergy.

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7 Recipes That’ll Make Tomato Lovers Out of Your Kids

by in Family, Recipes, August 19th, 2015

Cheesy Bagels with Sliced TomatoesWhether it’s a backyard garden or the bargain bin of your supermarket, by this stage of summer one thing is clear: Tomatoes have taken over. Cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, red, yellow. They’re inexpensive, sweet, juicy and packed with vitamin C. The problem? Tons of kids just won’t eat them. Until now. These recipes are the kid-tested turn-’em-around tomato dishes that my kids eat happily, and it’s a good bet that yours will too.

Cheesy Bagels with Sliced Tomatoes (pictured above): These are toasted bagels like your kids have never had before. Melted cheddar works perfectly with a slice of cool, sweet tomato right on top. It’s like pizza for breakfast, if pizza made your taste buds do the cha-cha.

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Make It Now, Freeze It for Later: 5 Recipes to Get You Through Back-to-School Madness

by in Recipes, August 18th, 2015

With ever-mounting homework assignments and after-school activities, who has time to figure out weeknight dinners? A family’s gotta eat, though, and several weeks of takeout and delivery pizzas can get tiresome, not to mention costly. Getting ahead of schedule is key to surviving back-to-school chaos with your wallet (and sanity) in tact, and that’s where your freezer comes into play. Start stockpiling quick, flavorsome and balanced meals to thaw and serve as needed. Soups, stews and casseroles are ideal on those cool evenings that signal the transition from summer to fall. And when they’re stored in airtight containers, these dishes will stay fresh in your freezer for weeks or even months at a time. Here are five freezer-friendly recipes you can count on in the throes of back-to-school madness.

Turkey-and-Artichoke-Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce (pictured at top)
Giada De Laurentiis reinvents this classic casserole with an artichoke-studded ricotta filling and a zesty red sauce that’s got the whole family covered. Once you’ve assembled the shells in your baking dish, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and freeze up to one month.

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Ina’s Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 17th, 2015

Quinoa Tabbouleh with FetaIf you’re looking for a go-to meatless dish but are unsure how to make it satisfying without the meat, try opting for ingredients that are naturally high in protein, like quinoa. Not only is this superfood quick-cooking — making it much more desirable for weeknight dinners (how can you beat a 15-minute cooking time?) — but it is also the perfect blank canvas for adding fresh veggies, cheeses and herbs.

Play up this grain’s versatility with Ina Garten’s Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta (pictured above) for Food Network Magazine. Ina makes this Mediterranean-inspired dish by tossing the cooked quinoa with a lemony olive oil mixture and plenty of bright herbs like parsley, mint and scallions. Perhaps the best thing about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time, which allows the citrus flavors to meld with the veggies and herbs. When you’re ready to eat, take it out of the refrigerator and fold in the feta cheese for a creamy tang.

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Chilled-Out Takes on Comfort Food Favorites

by in Recipes, August 15th, 2015

Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato SoupIf you’ve been on a hiatus from some of your piping-hot comfort food favorites as the weather’s been heating up, rest assured that you don’t have to wait till fall to dig in. Luckily, some of our most-beloved hot dishes have ice-cold alter egos that are well worth your time this summer. Zero in on dishes that are typically hot, hot hot, but this time take them chilled out.

As it turns out, gazpacho isn’t the only cold-soup wonder. Giada’s De Laurentiis’ Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup has all the same ingredients as a steaming bowl of tomato soup (canned tomatoes, chicken broth, etc.) without the high temp. It may not be the best for dunking toasty grilled cheese, but it’s a bright and refreshing dish on a scorching day, for sure.

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12 Sandwiches Your Kids Won’t Swap in the Lunch Room

by in Recipes, August 14th, 2015

When you ship your little ones off to school with well-stocked lunchboxes, the last thing you want to worry about is whether they’re trading in those painstakingly crafted meals for someone else’s puddings. Start the new school year right by making better-than-basic sandwiches that kids will be proud to tote and eager to chow down on come lunchtime. They can even help make some of the recipes — lessening your burden, and ensuring they aren’t subsisting on a boxed meal from some other mom’s pantry.

Pastrami Football Finger Sandwiches (shown above)
Your little athlete will love these bite-size, football-shaped sandwiches filled with pastrami and a cheesy-pepper mixture. You might want to toss some extra finger sandwiches into the lunchbox — his fellow linebackers might intercept a few.

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8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List — Summer Soiree

by in Recipes, August 13th, 2015

Frozen Banana Ice Cream SandwichesBeach trips, backyard cookouts, outdoor movies and other excursions are the most-often-evoked examples of “summer bucket list” material. But these summery activities aren’t the only things you should be checking off during the warm-weather months. For a lot of us, summer is defined by the food we eat —which, oftentimes, is not food we can eat much of at any other time of year. Before summer’s end, be sure to knock these eight non-negotiable, must-eat frozen treats off your list. When it’s all said and done, will you have put your summer to good use?

8. Ice Cream Sandwiches
If a piping-hot burger off the grill is the only kind of sandwich-esque bite you’ve munched on this summer, it’s about time you savored a sweeter take. Don’t let summer pass before you assemble one like Giada De Laurentiis’ Frozen Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches, which feature cookies coated with chocolate-toffee candy bars.

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A Pie by Any Other Name: How to Spot the Differences Between Cobblers, Crisps & More

by in Recipes, August 12th, 2015

If you’ve ever been to a holiday party, a cookout or a Thanksgiving feast, chances are you know a pie when you see one. But if you were asked to differentiate a cobbler from a crumble, crisp or brown betty, how do you think you’d fare? True, these pie sub-categories are all very similar in that they’re based on the same two ingredients: fruit and dough. But a few key details distinguish one from the other. If you have a strong preference for a crisp and crumbly topping or one made up of soft biscuits — or perhaps something that falls between the two — then these details matter a whole lot. Broaden your knowledge of classic fruit desserts (and find the one that appeals most to your palate) by following this visual guide featuring top recipes for crumbles, crisps and more.

This old-fashioned fruit dessert is the star of many a picnic spread and features a fruit filling (peach is popular, but nectarines and berries work just as well) baked with a crust — either a solid sheet or biscuits “cobbled” together. Usually the crust is placed over the fruit, but it can also go underneath — or, for true crust lovers, on both top and bottom. For a traditional take on this classic dessert, try the Neelys’ Peach Cobbler (pictured at top).

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Over the Top: 7 Extravagant Topping Ideas for Burgers & Hot Dogs

by in Recipes, August 11th, 2015

Let’s just come out and say it: Sometimes it feels good to be bad. And sometimes, chopped onions and a modestly portioned square of cheese leave a lot to be desired. Plus, a cookout is no time to be well-behaved. Next time you’re grilling, throw caution to the wind by piling your burgers and hot dogs high with these extravagant toppings. (Think cheddar + smoky bacon + crisp onion rings — all heaped on top of one patty with reckless abandon.)

The simplest way to take a burger to new heights… 
… is to top it with fries. Better yet, make them curly fries loaded with cheese. These Cheesy Fries (pictured at top) are the ultimate burger companion, but instead of serving them on the side, Food Network Kitchen piles them on top of juicy beef burgers, along with the classics, lettuce and ketchup. There’s no need to go any further than that; these crisp spuds doused in beer-cheese sauce are more than enough to sink your teeth into.

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How to Use Up Your Big Bunch of Basil (Without Making a Caprese Salad)

by in In Season, Recipes, August 10th, 2015

shrimp saladBasil is summer’s superstar herb, but too often it’s confined to sprinkling over tomato dishes. And the bundles you find at farmers markets and many grocery stores can be massive — meaning that the caprese salad recipe that calls for 10 or so leaves hardly makes a dent in the big bunch you just bought. Too much basil, however, can be a good problem when you know how to use it.

In the September issue of Food Network Magazine, you’ll find complete dinner menus that utilize the fragrant herb. The Thai-Style Basil Shrimp with Basil-Coconut Rice (pictured above) requires four cups of basil, for example. Browse through the rest of the magazine’s basil-laden recipes along with more ideas to enjoy your stash.

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