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Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Party

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 26th, 2013

Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster SammiesOn Halloween, kids — and many grownups — are excited to eat just one simple thing: candy. But while a little indulgence may indeed be called for on the holiday, most moms and dads insist on offering something other than chocolate bars and peanut butter bites to their littlest ghosts and goblins. This year, whether you’re hosting a pre-trick-or-treating get-together with the neighbors or simply making dinner for your family before heading out for the night, serve up a themed menu of spooky eats and drinks to celebrate. These family-friendly recipes below for grilled cheese and tomato soup, chicken lollipops and strawberry-orange punch go a long way in making sure kids’ bellies are full before they start collecting candy.

As comforting as it is hearty, Food Network Kitchens’ Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies (pictured above) is a top-rated recipe that features a Halloween-worthy twist on a kid-approved pairing: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Here the Kitchens puree tomato-basil soup into a smooth consistency, then serve the warming mixture alongside gooey cheddar-muenster grilled cheeses built on pumpernickel bread. To achieve the ghoulish designs pictured above, opt for a ghost-shaped cookie cutter when shaping the sandwiches.

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Mexican Chili with Chicken Dumplings — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 25th, 2013

Spicy ChiliChopped Dinner ChallengeThe 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!

On this week’s Chopped: Circus Spectacular episode, the competitors found nachos, chicken fingers, candy apples and baby corn in their entree baskets. All three remaining competitors chose to feature the chicken fingers in their dishes with the goal of reimagining the favorite kids’ food in an elevated way. This recipe for Spicy Mexican Chili with Chicken Finger Dumplings offers the same exact solution — it turns the chicken fingers into a south-of-the-border comfort food dish that the whole family can enjoy for dinner.

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Best 5 Halloween Desserts

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 23rd, 2013

Candy Bucket CakeEven if you won’t be trick-or-treating this year, your sweet tooth will likely start acting up a bit more than usual as Halloween nears. After all, kids and kids at heart would surely agree that this spooky holiday means but one thing: sugar. Instead of resorting to store-bought chocolates or caramel-filled, peanut-topped candies to curb your cravings, however, make your own ghostly goodies at home in the form of decadent Halloween desserts that both little goblins and grownups will enjoy. Check out Food Network’s top-five treats below to find sweet tooth-satisfying recipes ideal for family-friendly indulgences and fright night bashes alike.

5. Chocolate Candy Pie — Save time in the kitchen by starting with a prepared pie crust, then fill it with a rich chocolate pudding and finish with fluffy whipped cream and your favorite crushed chocolate candies. It’s important that this pie freeze for a few hours so the flavors and textures can set, so it’s best to plan ahead before making and serving.

4. Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples — Perhaps the ultimate autumn indulgence, Giada’s triple-coated apples feature a first layer of gooey caramel, then a drizzle of melted dark chocolate, and finally a sprinkle of crunchy nuts, sprinkles and candies. Set up a DIY decorating bar, and let everyone create his or her preferred apples.

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Lentils with Fried Eggs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 21st, 2013

Lentils with Fried EggsWhen it comes to vegetarian cooking, sometimes all it takes is a little extra protein to transform a seemingly sidelike dish into the star of any meal. Red, black, or white beans, seasoned tofu or a scoop of quinoa all beef up green salads, simply roasted vegetables and whole grains quickly, churning out a finished product that was not only easy to prepare but also hearty enough to count as a full meal. Eggs, too, are a go-to source of filling protein, and given their versatility — think options for scrambling, poaching and frying — they pair well with a myriad of dishes.

Food Network Magazine uses this idea to create its Lentils with Fried Eggs, a quick-to-make recipe full of bold flavors. Start by sauteing shallots and celery with thyme, then add a splash of vinegar and pinch of sugar to balance the acidic taste, and mix in diced tomatoes and brown lentils for substance. After just a few minutes of cooking, add tangy Dijon mustard and fresh parsley, and top each serving of lentils with a butter-fried egg. You’ll want something to sop up the remnants of the rich runny egg yolk and sweet-savory tomato sauce, and for that, soft pita bread is just what’s needed.

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Beyond Tricks and Treats: Savory Recipes for Halloween

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 19th, 2013

Ghostini with Bloody Murder Sundried Tomato TapenadeFor kids — and kids at heart — Halloween may mean just one thing: candy. But beyond all things chocolate-covered and caramel-filled there lies an entire array of savory eats and drinks to celebrate this spooky holiday. Whether you’re hosting a fright night bash with friends or simply entertaining fellow moms and dads before trick-or-treating begins, opt for Halloween-inspired bites to set the theme. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-ready recipes below, then tell FN Dish in the comments what you’re serving at your Halloween party.

Just as the party’s starting, put out a platter of Ghostinis with Bloody Murder Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchens. Just like traditional crostini, these toasts are served with a blend of sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and capers, but the bread is cut into ghosts to achieve an eerie effect. This fuss-free appetizer can be eaten with your hands, so it guarantees a relaxed, mingle-friendly atmosphere all night long.

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Best 5 Pizza Dough Recipes

by in Recipes, October 16th, 2013

Basic Pizza DoughWhile delivery pies may seem like the quickest dinner solution some nights, they don’t have to be. The trick to enjoying homemade pizza in a cinch is relying on frozen from-scratch pizza dough. By making a double batch of dough today and freezing half of it, you’ll have a ready-to-go dinner waiting for you the next time you’re craving a crispy slice. Just let the dough defrost, ladle on your favorite sauce, cheeses and toppings, then bake for a hassle-free supper. But before you can make pizzeria-style pies, you’ll need go-to crusts. If you’ve never made from-scratch pizza dough, know that it takes just a few ingredients, and most recipes require little to no kneading by hand. Check out Food Network’s top-five pizza dough recipes below for must-try ideas from Guy, Tyler, Bobby and more chefs.

5. Prime-Time Pizza Dough — Guy lets the mixer do most of the work for him in preparing this easy dough, made with everyday all-purpose flour, then baked for only a few minutes until golden-brown and deliciously crispy.

4. Pizza Dough — The secret to making Tyler’s five-star dough is opting for 00 flour — also named doppio zero in Italian. This extremely finely ground flour is often used to make breads and pizzas in Italy. Pick it up at specialty food shops, and watch how it transforms the texture of the pizza dough into a tender crust.

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Indian Corn Dogs with Dipping Sauce — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 15th, 2013

corn dogsChopped Dinner ChallengeThe 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!

On this week’s Chopped: Brunch Boxes episode, the competitors found pancake mix in their entree round basket, along with an emu egg, Bloody Mary mix and lobster. Two out of the three remaining competitors ingeniously decided to use the pancake mix as a batter for their lobster and made it through to the dessert round. This recipe for Indian-Inspired Corn Dogs with Mango Dipping Sauce also makes clever use of pancake mix in a form other than the obvious breakfast dish. Plus, it’s a great way to recreate the state-fair staple at home for a fun and nostalgic meal with your family.

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Potato-Fennel Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 14th, 2013

Potato-Fennel SoupButternut squash, broccoli-cheddar and simple barley soups may be all the rage once the cool weather settles in, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the tried-and-true classics all season long. This fall, cozy up to a piping-hot bowl featuring creative twists on the usual favorites, like Food Network Magazine’s Potato-Fennel Soup (pictured above).

This potato-based soup can be on the table in only 40 minutes, and it features leeks cooked three ways — boiled, broiled and sauteed — for the most flavor-forward results. After cooking potatoes with some of the leeks until tender, add broth and a splash of milk before pureeing the mixture in a blender. The secret to this soup lies in the from-scratch broth, made by quickly simmering leeks, fennel and water; using this instead of everyday water guarantees the most concentrated taste. If you’ve never before cooked with fennel, know that it has a subtle licorice-like flavor, but don’t worry: This decidedly savory soup doesn’t taste at all sweet.

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Better Together: Apples and Caramel

by in Recipes, October 12th, 2013

Caramel, Chocolate and Candy ApplesGiven the tartness of crisp apples and the rich smoothness of gooey caramel, these fall flavors shine when they’re put together, most often in the form of classic caramel-covered apples. While the tried-and-true recipe is a timeless favorite, Giada takes it to the next level of indulgence in her recipe for Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples (pictured above) by coating the apples first in caramel, then drizzling them with melted chocolate and finishing them with crunchy chopped nuts, sweet candies or sprinkles. Kids — and kids and heart — will appreciate being able to build their ultimate dessert with their preferred combination of toppings.

Caramel Apple CheesecakeBut beyond caramel apples — both classic and creative — there are indeed ways to celebrate these flavors in other decadent treats this autumn. Try Bobby’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake (pictured right), a five-star showstopper that delivers wow-worthy results every time. He starts with a buttery graham cracker-walnut crust, then fills it with a vanilla-cream cheese center. But the star of the cheesecake comes in the form of its topping: tender sweetened apples and a brandy-spiked caramel sauce.

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Pollo Asado — The Weekender

by in Recipes, October 11th, 2013

Pollo Asado - The WeekenderLike so many other Americans, my husband and I eat a lot of chicken. I roast them whole, grill marinated breasts for slicing over salad, and regularly stew thighs for soups and enchiladas. Because this particular protein makes such regular appearances on our dining table, I’m always on the lookout for methods that will breathe new life into this poultry staple.

One way to reinvigorate the chicken habit is with a new marinade. I tend to be loyal to either teriyaki sauce or a slurry of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic. Both are delicious, but they can get tiresome over time. So when I spotted The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Pollo Asado, with its marinade of orange, lemon and lime juice, I felt called to give it a try.

Because I have a fairly small household, I halved the amount of chicken, but I kept the volume of marinade the same (because it’s easy enough to squeeze some citrus). After the chicken had spent a couple of hours in the fridge, I heated a grill pan in the oven (it was a rainy day and the logistics of outdoor grilling were beyond me) and cooked the chicken until it registered 165 degrees F.

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