Store-bought boxed cake mix can make a lot more than birthday cake in a pinch. The recipe developers in Food Network Kitchen came up with five delectable treats that use cake mix as a base. They’re perfect for parties, brunches and after-school snacks – and no one will ever guess your shortcut secret.
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For many meat eaters, dinners often highlight a piece of meat, but if you’re maintaining a vegetarian diet, it can seem as though every meal focuses on vegetables and vegetables alone. Food Network Magazine is changing that, however, with a go-to dish that puts not meat or vegetables but rather hearty, satisfying tofu in the center of the plate.
In its recipe for Crispy Tofu with Vegetables, seasonal, family-friendly produce, including mushrooms, carrots and peas, indeed makes an appearance, but it’s no longer in the spotlight; instead, satisfying tofu is the star of the supper, and rice and veggies are merely supporting players that round out the meal. If you’ve never before cooked with tofu, know that it’s able take on rich, full flavors easily and can stand up to high-temperature cooking methods like grilling and deep-frying. Food Network Magazine pan-fries lightly coated blocks of tofu until they boast a golden-brown crust on the outside, and then pairs them with ginger-laced vegetables and scallions. Since this complete meal can be on the table in only 40 minutes, it’s a timesaver that you can deliver on even the most-hectic weeknights.
The Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico are riddled with numerous shallow muddy inlets of brackish water, the perfect home for blue crabs. Blue Crabs are found abundantly in rivers, inlets and bayous and are one of the most popular of the more than 4,500 species of crabs found worldwide. Cracking steamed crabs is an eating sport of sorts; the eater has to really dive in to reap the rewards. There might be a bit too much work for it to be considered comfort food. Cheesy, warm crab dip moves in the right direction, but crispy on the outside, tender on the inside crab cake? That, my friends, is pure down-home comfort.
The best crab cakes contain ingredients that enhance the flavor of the crab yet don’t compete with it, like raw red peppers that are usually added simply for color but do little to improve the flavor of the dish. Crab cakes are best when they are left alone to be crab cakes, not crab-and-breading cakes, or worse, breading-and-crab cakes. You need just enough of a binder to hold them together.
When I worked at an office, remembering to eat lunch was never a problem. Even if I lost track of time, I could always feel how the energy around me would shift a few minutes before noon. As soon as the clock flipped, my co-workers and I would rise from our seats to meet friends or pick up sandwiches at the cafeteria downstairs.
Once I started working from home, that unconscious knowledge that it was time to eat lunch was one of the first things to go. Instead, I’d sit down to work and enter something of a fugue state. I’d resurface hours later, feeling ravenously hungry and shocked by how much time had gone by.
These days I do two things to combat the work hypnosis. I set an alarm on my computer that reminds me to eat lunch (it’s simple but effective), and I make some big batch of grain or bean salad at the start of each week so that I have something to look forward to.
Spring cleaning can mean a lot of things. It can mean finally sifting through that shoe collection of yours (you can do it!), scrubbing down the bathroom or giving the stove a much-needed deep clean. And for many of us, it can also mean tackling the pantry. If yours is stocked with boxes of pasta, bags of grains, cans galore and who even knows what else, consider the start of April prime time to start going through it all. With these easy weeknight side-dish recipes, you can put forgotten pantry treasures to use before the expiration date hits.
You might be accustomed to poppin’ a bottle of root beer open and taking a swig, but Aarti Sequeira’s Root Beer Baked Beans for Food Network Magazine uses the spicy-sweet soda to add a real kick to canned cannellini beans.
As long as you have a little can of tomato paste, spices and one of our favorite pantry staples on board, Food Network Magazine’s Tomato-Ginger Couscous is good to go. Not only is it super quick, but it also can pair with nearly anything.
We shove frosting in our soul mates’ faces on our wedding days and sing over flaming cakes on birthdays. No matter how many tiers are stacked or candles are lit, there’s something innately celebratory about a slice of homemade cake. And, as far as we’re concerned, there are so many reasons — both official and unofficial — to get together and party. Feast your eyes on our loveliest, fluffiest, most crowd-pleasing cakes, each fit for today’s special occasion. If you can’t think of a reason to celebrate, we can think of a few excuses.
Birthday Party – It’s on a person’s birthday that they definitively decide: chocolate or vanilla? Luckily, we have both covered. Bake the boxed version of Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake from scratch this time, sprinkling in some color. And, if you have a constant hankering for chocolate, you won’t be able to wait another year for Ree’s Big Chocolate Birthday Cake.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient of quick-cooking grits. When you’re in a pinch, a box of grits comes in handy for a fast, creamy side dish, but in this case the grits are used for something entirely different. In this Butter-Roasted Chicken with Grit Waffles recipe, the grits add a nice crunch to waffles. And instead of frying the chicken, as is done traditionally with chicken and waffles, this recipe features roasted dark meat with a bit of sweetness and a kick. Your family will be excited to try this modern version of the classic Southern comfort food dish.
When cold cereal and buttered toast just aren’t cutting it for breakfast anymore, reach for a comforting morning treat: freshly baked blueberry muffins. The beauty of muffins is that just one baking session yields several days’ worth of breakfasts — or any-time snacks — and they’re endlessly pleasing to both kids and grownups alike. Check out Food Network’s top-five easy-to-make blueberry muffin recipes below to find a mix of classic and dressed-up takes on this timeless pick from Ina, Giada, Alton and more Food Network chefs.
5. Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins — Ready to eat in less than 40 minutes, Ina’s light, fluffy muffins are made with tangy sour cream, which she says “makes [them] really moist.”
4. Blueberry Lemon Muffins — Fresh lemon zest adds a refreshing flavor and bright scent to these fuss-free beauties, best topped with sugar before baking.
The key to cooking without meat is replacing the bold flavors and meaty textures that traditionally accompany beef, chicken and pork with ingredients that are equally satisfying. Eggs, tofu and beans are a few go-to picks, as they pack a hearty punch and can easily be worked into nearly any dish.
An updated version of a Mexican classic, Food Network Magazine’s Spaghetti Squash Tostadas recipe showcases a few hearty picks, including protein-rich black beans, plus tender spaghetti squash and roasted cherry tomatoes instead of meat, but it maintains a traditional taste thanks to smoky chipotle power. The beauty of tostadas is that they can be customized to everyone’s tastes; after frying the tortillas, mashing the beans and cooking the vegetables, try setting up a DIY toppings bar and let everyone build the preferred dish. For a cool topping, finish each tostada with tangy sour cream, and add a bit of fresh cilantro and lime juice for bright flavor.
Before I met my husband, my go-to desserts were always fruit based. For spring potlucks I would bake up big trays of berry crumble. Late summer meant peach pie with vanilla ice cream. And no Thanksgiving meal was complete without a scoop of apple crisp.
That all changed when Scott and I got together, because fruit just isn’t his thing. While I do still occasionally make my beloved fruit desserts, I find I get more joy from dessert prep if I make something that he’s interested in sharing with me (plus, I really shouldn’t be eating all that dessert on my own).
And so for the last half decade, I’ve been working on expanding my dessert repertoire beyond berries, stone fruit and apples. I’ve made damp tea loaves, coffee cakes, cookies, bars and more. They’ve all been good, but I longed for something that came together a little more quickly and didn’t require the use of the oven.
I found it: homemade pudding. There are two ways to make a batch of pudding from scratch. The first uses cornstarch and makes a quick and perfectly serviceable pudding. When I make pudding-filled pies or want a big batch for a potluck, that’s the version I opt for. But when I want something that can be the star of the dessert course, nothing is better than rich custard-based pudding.