Opening the door on a cold night and being greeted by the inviting smells of stew from a slow cooker can be a dream come true. But winter is not the only time a slow cooker is useful. In the summer, using a slow cooker avoids heat from a hot oven — and it takes less electricity. Slow cookers are a modern mom’s favorite weeknight helper. Some chefs peer down their nose at them, but there are so many recipes that are updated for today’s farmers-market sensibilities and farm-to-table tastes, proving that using a slow cooker doesn’t automatically involve also using a can opener! Read more
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I believe that everyone should know how to make a simple but delicious one-pot pasta dish. It needs to taste good, use only pantry and fridge basics, and dirty a minimal number of tools and utensils. Think boxed mac and cheese, only without the lurid orange powdered cheese.
The beauty of these one-pot pasta dishes is that that you use a minimal amount of water when cooking the pasta. You retain all the starch from the pasta in the pan, which makes for a luscious sauce, and you don’t have to wait 45 minutes for a gallon of water to come to a boil. Once the pasta is cooked, you add just a few ingredients, give it a good stir, and serve.
Currently, I’m most fond of Giada De Laurentiis’ approach to the one-pot pasta meal. Her Calabrian Chile Pasta cooks in no time and tastes amazing. You start with an inch of water in a high-sided saute pan. Once it boils, you add a pound of pasta and cook until it’s al dente (stirring regularly to determine whether it needs an additional splash of water).
If ever there was a reason to preheat your oven, the holidays are it. Whether you’re setting cookies out for Santa, going in on a cookie swap or baking a batch for yourself, these 10 cookie recipes are a must.
1. If you’re looking for a butter-and-sugar staple to be iced and frosted, Alton’s Sugar Cookies (pictured above) is the most versatile recipe of all. Buttery, chewy and slightly crisp, each made-with-love cookie is the perfect canvas for all the candy cane, snowman and Christmas tree cutouts you can get your hands on.
If you’re still reeling from your holiday feasting, you are not alone. Overindulging in mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie is likely to happen. So if you’re looking for something to separate yourself from your holiday feast, this week’s Meatless Monday is just for you. This dish of Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Leeks and Hazelnuts (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine serves as a nice contrast to those heavy Thanksgiving staples.
This recipe is full flavored, through calls for only a few simple ingredients of whole-wheat spaghetti, leeks, radicchio, hazelnuts, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and Italian cheeses like fontina or Taleggio. And are you still too tired to prepare a big meal after your Thanksgiving feasting? This pasta dish takes only 35 minutes to both cook and prepare.
Comforting, bubbling casseroles such as this down-home comfort Turkey Tetrazzini have long been prepared by the ladies of the Methodist church in the south Georgia town where I grew up. They were taken to the families in celebration. As different as most faiths seem to be, they all share some sort of ceremony at key moments in human life: the union of two people, the birth of a child, the celebration of adulthood — whether that be a bat mitzvah, a confirmation or a hunter killing his first antelope — and the celebration of death. Food is more than keeping the family fed. Food is the adhesive that binds the community. This sentiment is especially clear at Thanksgiving as friends and family gather together in gratitude.
You’ve planned for your Thanksgiving dinner, prepared the meal and hosted the holiday party, and you’re now looking at a refrigerator full of leftovers. While simply reheating the fixings and enjoying a next-day feast is surely a can-do approach to tackling what remains, try reinventing the turkey, potatoes and vegetables into all-new dishes, like an easy-to-make frittata or over-the-top sandwich. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving leftovers ideas, then head over to Thanksgiving Central for more leftover inspiration.
5. Turkey Pot Pie — Made with leftover turkey meat instead of the traditional chicken, this comforting pot pie boasts a buttery premade pie crust, so it’s a cinch to prepare.
4. Turkey Frittata — An all-in-one breakfast featuring creamy eggs, boiled potatoes and bell peppers, this potato-studded frittata is topped with a blanket of cheese and turns fluffy after just a few minutes in the oven.
You’ve successfully conquered Thanksgiving dinner — now it’s time to look ahead to the next seasonal feat. Holiday baking? Not yet. First comes Black Friday shopping, and given the early hours, long lines and potentially feisty crowds you may encounter, you’ll indeed need a few go-to foods to fuel the day. This year, instead of resorting to shopping mall concession stands, bring with you some fuss-free eats — think easy-to-pack bites that you can munch on throughout the day. Read on below to find some of Food Network’s favorite on-the-go snacks to keep you shopping-ready all day long.
Chewy, subtly sweet with a bit of crunch, Fig-and-Walnut Energy Bars (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine provide just the kind of early-morning bite needed to kick off the day. These quick-fix bars feature a fragrant blend of ground cinnamon and ginger, plus chopped walnuts, dried figs and oats for a contrast of textures.
I don’t know if it was trendy in the 1980s or if it was a particular quirk of my mother’s, but we ate many a meal of stuffed vegetables during my childhood. No hollow or overgrown vegetable was safe. Peppers of all colors, giant zucchini, tomatoes and even, occasionally, avocados were filled with a medley of rice, protein and onion, then draped with shredded cheese and run under the broiler.
I’m fairly convinced that the reason my mom liked this particular style of dinner prep so much was that it gave her the opportunity to stretch a pound of meat across several meals and use up all manner of odds and ends from the crisper. I also suspect that she tucked more vegetables into the filling than I was aware of as a small child.
Making dinner on a regular Thursday night is hard enough for most of us, but Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings can be a full-day affair. Now, I love cooking, but I also have four kids and our oldest is five, so I need to be strategic to pull it off and not spend the afternoon yelling at everyone to get out of the kitchen. Even if you aren’t swamped with little rascals running through your kitchen this year, I bet you’ll appreciate getting a few things done by Wednesday too. Here’s my plan:
Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes
These twice-baked mashed potatoes (pictured above) end up in a casserole dish, making them perfect for reheating on the big day. And with store-bought breadcrumbs and two kinds of cheese, they’re also my favorite mix of delicious food that’s easy to make. Grazie, Giada.
Broccoli is a versatile ingredient that’s unfortunately gotten a bad rap since childhood. But we’re casting away that stereotype and giving it the chance to show off what it’s got. This Meatless Monday, indulge in a creamy, cheesy and soothing meal of Broccoli and Orzo Casserole (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchen. The broccoli serves to complement the orzo, Havarti, butter, onion, garlic, pepper, Parmesan, sour cream, kosher salt and panko breadcrumbs, taking a back seat to stronger-tasting ingredients while holding the meal on its steamy shoulders.
Despite its rich texture and overall heartiness, this meal is relatively easy to make. And another added benefit is that you get a daily dose of vegetables while indulging in delicious Havarti cheese. On a frigid and busy Monday, you can’t ask for a meal more agreeable than that. In fact, you may just go back for seconds.