Meal planning over the weekend for a few nights’ worth of dinners during the week indeed has its merits; after all, who doesn’t want to come home to a nearly-ready-to-eat meal? But you know what’s perhaps even more enticing than supper at the ready? Dessert at the ready. Take a few hours today to prep one of these over-the-top indulgences — think towering chocolate cake, the easiest chocolate chip cookies and buttery lemon bars worthy of citrus season — and get set for some sweet treats during the week when the craving hits.
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Some like it hot … some like it not-as-hot. How much spice can you handle? With dozens of new spicy snack recipes featured in the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine, it’s time to test your heat tolerance. These 50 fiery ideas are a lot to choose from, but our friends in the test kitchen developed even more. (If you’re wondering how the kitchen staff survived the spicy challenge, many antacids were consumed during the development of these recipes.)
Below are nine Web-exclusive recipes that didn’t appear in the magazine but are too delicious not to share. Insider tip: The ribs, arepas and clams were favorites during the taste-testing. Make whatever sounds best (or spiciest) to you, then do as the Food Network recipe testers do: dare someone else to try it first.
Cajun Baked Clams: Cook 24 littleneck clams in 1/4 cup each white wine over high heat, covered, until they open. Strain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the juices. (Discard any unopened clams.) Saute 1 finely chopped andouille sausage (about 3 ounces) in butter until browned, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped pimentos, 3 sliced scallions (white parts only; reserve the greens for topping), 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme; cook 1 minute. Stir in the reserved clam juices. Mix 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Discard the top shell of each clam; top the clams with the sausage filling, then the breadcrumb mixture; broil until golden. Top with the reserved scallion greens.
If you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel or watched an episode of Downton Abbey, you’ve probably already heard of “full afternoon tea.” Not to be confused with elevenses or high tea, full afternoon tea often occurs between 3 and 4 p.m., and features treats, including cakes, crustless finger sandwiches and, of course, tea. Though it is often associated with the posh hotels of London, you don’t need to travel abroad to enjoy the splendors of a British tea party. With our help, you can do that right at home.
Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze
Miniature two-bite desserts, like these glazed cupcakes from Giada De Laurentiis, make a great tea party treat. Giada forgoes frosting, and instead tops her cupcakes with a sweet glaze made from frozen strawberries and powdered sugar.
Cooked on the stovetop and devoured as is, or doctored up with all kinds of additions and oftentimes baked to bubbling, crispy-on-top perfection, mac and cheese is a comfort food mainstay that both adults and kids can agree on with glee. It’s so beloved, in fact, that just about no one would argue about having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With recipes inspired by the morning meal, a salad favorite and more, you probably could do just that, without ever tiring of it.
If you’re asking us, this breakfast-inspired mac and cheese gives you all the excuse in the world to take it with a cup of coffee. It’s super-easy to make, with store-bought hash browns serving as a crispy, satisfying topping and morsels of savory breakfast sausage being scattered throughout the whole dish.
When I first started making cookies, I always baked them one tray at a time in the center of the oven. It certainly drew the process out, but I had found that two trays baked at the same time never produced consistent results. Baking one sheet at a time was the only way to guarantee perfect treats. This all changed, however, when I got an oven with a convection setting — and it just happens to be ideal for baking these peanut butter whoopie pies. Read more
Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”), certainly the “it” girl of the whole-grain world for quite some time now, is actually a seed, but it’s treated and cooked like a whole grain. It’s mild and delicious, with a satisfying texture, and it takes beautifully to all kinds of seasonings. It’s got a crazy-high protein count (8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa), so it’s a boon to vegetarians and vegans; it contains a nice dose of fiber. Quinoa is also gluten-free. It’s quite popular these days, but actually it was a staple in the diet of the ancient Incas because it was able to grow in the high altitude of the Andes. It also cooks up much more quickly than most other whole grains, and any of us who have stood watching a pot of brown rice take its own sweet time to become tender will appreciate that. Read more
The best move when hosting a party: Make food that guests can eat with their hands. When they’re mingling and/or seats are limited, juggling a plate filled with food and using a fork and knife can be awkward. You’ll want to serve something hand-held that they can polish off in a couple of bites. Sliders are the solution. And somewhere on our list of favorite recipes is a slider you should be making next Sunday (February 7) for the biggest game of the year.
Leave it to Jeff Mauro to prove that most things are just as good, if not better, in sandwich form. His take on Buffalo chicken has everything you love about the wings — hot-sauce glaze, blue cheese and ranch dressing — plus soft and fluffy bread, like Hawaiian or Parker House rolls.
Peanut butter and banana: It’s a combination that some of us know and love, while others may turn up their noses at the mere thought of it. For those of you who have experienced the magic that takes place when sweet, ripe banana and salty-smooth peanut butter collide, get ready to add a few ideas to your recipe arsenal — beyond the basic PB&B on white bread. For the skeptics: Stay with us, as there’s some seriously comforting stuff ahead.
Grilled Banana S’mores (pictured at top)
Where have you been all our lives? This take on the traditional campfire treat features peanut butter and grilled banana slices in place of chocolate — because sometimes even a classic could use a remix. Once the bananas are soft and slightly charred, toast the marshmallows while the grill is still hot. Perfection.
While most lasagna recipes are relegated to weekend cooking, when you have the time to devote to a slow-simmering sauce and baked casserole, this showstopping how-to from Food Network Magazine is set to change that with the help of one key kitchen tool: the slow cooker.
Thanks to this trusty machine, you can simply assemble this Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna in the afternoon and then come back to a ready-to-eat dinner hours later. Just like a traditional lasagna, this hearty recipe comes together with plenty of decadent cheese — including a creamy ricotta-herb mixture studded with spinach and earthy mushrooms, as well as gooey mozzarella — but instead of being built in a baking pan, it’s layered right in the slow cooker. Bonus: There’s no need to make a tomato sauce from scratch. Pick up your favorite jar of marinara instead, and let it shine in this top-rated supper.
No matter if you’re digging out from this weekend’s wintry wallop or simply looking for a cozy dish to transform your Sunday supper, chili is the answer to all of your must-get-warm-right-now needs. Not only is chili packed with hearty meat and beans, but it’s also simple to prepare: Just layer the ingredients in a pot and let it all simmer until the flavors become one savory meal. Check out Food Network’s best chili recipes, below, each an easy how-to sure to help you beat January’s blustery chill.
Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili (pictured above)
Thanks to a base of apple-wood-smoked bacon and a spice blend featuring chili powders, ground cumin and smoked paprika, there’s no shortage of bold flavors in this top-rated recipe, made extra hefty by two kinds of ground meat: beef and pork.