On Sunday night, a day before Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the mid-Atlantic, my husband and I had some friends over for dinner. We went back and forth, debating whether it was a good idea to encourage people to come out in what we were told was going to be ever-worsening weather.
After a brief consultation with the weather oracles and our invite list, we pushed on with our little gathering. I made two pots of soup. Friends brought bread, cheese, meatballs and wine. We sat around our living room for hours, munching our way through nearly all the food and appreciating the feeling of being part of a community.
When all that was left were empty bowls, a few crumbs and a cheese rind or two, I brought out dessert. Often, when faced with the challenge of choosing a dessert to serve to guests, I flounder. I waffle between making some ridiculously complicated confection that ends up tasting good but looking terrible or I choke entirely and dash out for cookies and ice cream.
Before you start baking, read these tips
When you’ve run through your repertoire of supper staples and want to add something new to the mix of weeknight meals, try thinking beyond dinner recipes and incorporating breakfast favorites into your routine instead. Offering just as hearty a meal as more traditional dinners, eggs can be dressed up beyond their everyday scrambles and be turned into satisfying dishes in a flash.
In their recipe for Huevos “Ranch”eros (pictured above), Food Network Magazine takes humble fried eggs to the next delicious level by preparing a rich tomato-bean mixture to serve with them. The secret ingredient in this combination is the chipotles in adobo sauce — they pack a hefty punch of flavor, a bit of heat and plenty of traditional Southwestern taste. Serve the eggs atop a scoop of beans and finish with slices of creamy, cool avocado and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese. As a crispy-crunchy side dish, deep-fry a batch of corn tortillas and finish them with a dusting of dry ranch dressing mix.
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
Chances are you’ve picked up your pumpkin to create the ultimate jack-o’-lantern or perfect pie. If that’s the case, then save the seeds. They make a great snack, sweet or savory. Simply remove the seeds from the pumpkin, remove the remaining stringy flesh and lay them out on a parchment paper and let air dry for about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, pour enough oil to lightly coat the seeds and sprinkle with salt. Spread prepared seeds out on a sheet tray or baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful when removing from the oven as some seeds could pop off the sheet tray. Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Here are four more ways to make pumpkin seeds.
First, start with the classic version
I recently came across Food Network Magazine‘s article about Mix-and-Match Chocolate Bark and was inspired to whip up something spooky for Halloween. The ingredients were simple, the directions were easy and the result was mouthwatering brilliance.
I decided to adapt the chocolate bark for the fall season and Halloween. I chose a dark-chocolate cookie with orange cream filling. You could use candy corn, orange marshmallows, orange-colored candy melts or any other Halloween-inspired treat.
1 (12-oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
15 Halloween-themed cookies (like Oreos), chopping each cookie into four pieces
Keep reading for directions
When autumn hands you a bounty of butternut squash, what do you do with it? You could caramelize it with butter, roast it until tender or serve it with pasta, but you might also puree it into a thick, hearty soup. Butternut squash pairs well with other flavors of fall, like pumpkin and cinnamon, and Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe combines them all to create an in-season bowl of comfort.
To prepare, Michael first roasts butternut squash with a sweet and tangy mixture of balsamic vinegar and molasses before adding it to a pot of sautéed vegetables, coriander and a single cinnamon stick. A pass through the blender before serving guarantees that this hearty soup will turn out thick and smooth every time. For added texture, top each bowl with a dollop of creamy mascarpone cheese and a few crunchy pumpkin seeds before enjoying. Be sure to swap in vegetable stock or broth for the chicken stock to keep this meal meatless.
Read more »
School is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week this fall FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.
This week’s back-to-school lesson takes us out of the classroom and to the athletic field. So many kids are young athletes as well as full-time students, and they often go straight from school to sporting practices or games. For most, these commitments come hours after they’ve eaten lunch and demand high reserves of energy and focus for long periods of time, so it’s important that kids have munchies on hand to sustain them until supper. But it can be tough to track down munchies that are not only healthful and filling but also easily packed. On days when you know that your child will be running from one activity to the next, send off him or her with a few of Food Network’s favorite snacks for athletes, easy to eat on the go and deliciously satisfying, too.
Read more »
Learning to make one or two pantry meals was one of the best things I ever did for my grocery budget. These are the dishes that you can easily cook up with the slow-to-perish items that you regularly keep in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. They are lifesavers on those nights when you get home late from work and you’re on the verge of calling for takeout. Knowing that you can throw together a pasta dish or something made from rice, beans and a tasty simmer sauce will keep your fingers from dialing your local pizza joint nearly every time.
I have several recipes that can be made from my kitchen staples and I turn to them regularly, particularly as the days get shorter and colder (who wants to dash out for last-minute ingredients when the wind is whipping?).
One of my very favorite pantry meals has been a quick baked pasta dish. You cook up any short, chunky kind of noodle you have knocking around the cabinet. While it boils, you simmer together onion, garlic, a big can of tomatoes and some frozen spinach. Once the pasta is done, you stir it into the sauce, scoop the whole mess into a baking dish, top with whatever odds and ends of cheese you have in the fridge and bake just until the cheese bubbles.
Before you toast your breadcrumbs, read these tips
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, right? This fall, Food Network Magazine is thinking beyond pumpkin bread and pumpkin seeds with a family-friendly recipe for Tortellini With Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce. It’s a go-to weeknight meal that’s as decadent and satisfying as it is quick to prepare. In just 20 minutes, you can combine Alfredo mainstays like cream and nutty Parmesan cheese with the seasonal flavors of nutmeg and pumpkin to create a rich, hearty sauce that pairs perfectly with bite-sized cheese tortellini. When you’re shopping for the ingredients to the make this recipe, be sure to pick up pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling – the two cans can be scary-similar to one another, and the pie filling will be too sweet in this savory dish.
During the summer I try and minimize how much I use my oven. The air conditioning in my apartment is adequate for dealing with Philadelphia’s steamy weather, but it begins to falter when I add all that radiant oven heat to the mix. So when cooler temperatures roll around, I’m more than ready to reconnect with the world of baking, broiling and roasting.
This last weekend, I was making a little dish to take with me to a birthday potluck. It was simple enough, just a bowl of lemony white bean spread and some crunchy baguette rounds. I’d cut the bread thin, so it would become akin to little crackers as it toasted and be a good partner for the smooth dip (this is a great way to give new life to day- or two-day-old bread).
As I stood by my oven and watched the bread to prevent it from burning, I saw a spark and then a small flame shoot out of the element (it’s electric). I quickly switched off the broiler, pulled my sheet of toasts off the rack and attempted to blow out the flame (for future reference, this is not a particularly good way to extinguish a kitchen fire). Thankfully, the flame died back almost immediately and I was able to investigate the damage. A chunk of the element was burnt away.
Before you pre-heat you oven, read these tips
Food Network has close to 5,000 recipes that have more than 40 reviews each. But how do you find reviews that may be helpful to you? Enter the new Recipe Review Filter. Take Alton’s Good Eats Meatloaf recipe as an example. If you’re browsing the ingredients and notice Alton uses cayenne pepper and chili powder in his version and want to know if it’ll be too spicy for your family, instead of browsing all 831 comments, you can filter by tags: “cayenne pepper”, “chili” and even “family,” to see what others have said about the spice level.
This new feature only displays when a recipe has more than 40 user reviews for easier browsing. It displays above the Ratings and Reviews. It’s also available on the Recipe Review page.