All Posts In Recipes

1 Mom’s Grab-and-Go List for Packing a Family Picnic

by in Family, In Season, Recipes, June 9th, 2017

Roast Beef SandwichesOne of my kids’ favorite summer dinners has less to do with the meal itself and everything about the location: outside. At least once a week we’ll pack up a big picnic for dinner in the great outdoors — our own backyard most of the time, to be honest. kids load up a wagon full of fixings, and we head out to the nearest shady spot. To make it easier (because a less stressed-out mom always translates into more fun for everyone), I’ve got it down to a science.

What to Bring

The trick to packing a picnic is bringing just enough essentials without hauling your whole kitchen outside. My seven must-haves:

1.     A blanket, if you’re sitting on the grass
2.     Cups and a pitcher of water (or water bottles, which work better for small kids who will likely/probably/certainly spill their cups)
3.     Beer or wine (optional for adults, but don’t forget an opener!)
4.     2 wet rags (picnics are ALWAYS sticky, and regular napkins don’t stand a chance)
5.     Forks (try not to serve anything that requires more than one utensil)
6.     Serving spoon for the salad
7.     Plates (I love those cafeteria-style trays for the kids. They’re harder to flip over plus there’s a spot for a water bottle.)

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5 Weeknight Dinners You Simply Must Make This Summer

by in Recipes, View All Posts, June 6th, 2017

Summer is the perfect time to get a little experimental with your cooking — the produce is at its finest, everyone’s a little more relaxed, and you’ve got that grill ready to go. But dinner doesn’t have to take awhile to be inventive. These fun recipes are done in under an hour (and one in just 15 minutes), so you have more time to enjoy everything else the season has to offer.

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Eat, Drink and Give Back During Negroni Week

by in News, Recipes, View All Posts, June 5th, 2017

NegroniWhen Italy’s Count Negroni first stirred together gin, Campari and vermouth to make his namesake cocktail in 1919, he never could have predicted the craze that would follow nearly 100 years later. The drink was pretty obscure until the recent cocktail culture brought attention to it, and today the Negroni is a fixture on trendy cocktail menus across the country — both in its classic form and in fun new creations. Read more

7 Freezer Essentials This Mom of 4 Can’t Live Without

by in Family, Recipes, June 2nd, 2017

Roman-Style ChickenEven when cooking for a family of six, I don’t plan my meals as closely as you might think. But I am pretty serious about stocking my freezer with enough staples to make whatever sounds like the right combination of delicious, quick and easy pieces each night. Here are the items I try to never be without, plus what I make with them.

Chicken Thighs
Every time I see that beautiful sale sticker on chicken thighs, I load up my cart. Compared to breasts, thighs have more flavor, and you can’t be the price even without a hot sale. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is one of our go-to favorites, and I love that I can prep the whole recipe and throw it into a bag uncooked, right into the freezer. Giada De Laurentiis’ Roman-Style Chicken (pictured above) is another make-ahead gem. Packed with tender strips of bell peppers, this one has a veggie built right in. But the most-straightforward dinner in this collection of crowd-pleasers might be these grilled chicken thighs full of Greek flavors. Lemon, garlic and oregano swirl together, coating the chicken perfectly — and doing it all in minutes.

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8 Ways to Get Kids (and Anyone Else) Excited About Seafood

by in Family, Recipes, May 30th, 2017

Baked Fish and ChipsSo, you keep hearing about potential health benefits of fish, but your family isn’t exactly keen on it. Now what? Instead of swearing it off your dinner menu forever, look to these eight magical recipes. Yes, they’re full of good-for-you fish, but they’re also full of flavors that my family and yours will enjoy, making them go-to dinner picks. If you’ve ever wanted to start feeding your crew more seafood, this is an excellent place to start.

Baked Fish and Chips (pictured above)
You’ll never guess what secret ingredient the chefs in Food Network Kitchen use to create a hefty crunch without frying. Hint: You may have had it for breakfast.

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Take 5: Cool Hot Dogs for Memorial Day

by in Recipes, May 28th, 2017

Whether you’re planning a killer cookout for Memorial Day or just a meal for your family, hot dogs are definitely one of the easiest crowd-pleasers to get on the grill. That said, we think it’s time to take things beyond ketchup and mustard. Make your franks extra special by dressing them up with these themed toppings.

Spicy Kielbasa Dog with Stout Onions

The secret ingredient in Geoffrey Zakarian’s fancy dogs (served on a baguette, of course) is stout onion — onions cooked down and caramelized in stout beer. Top with pickled peppers and watercress for some GZ flair in your dish.
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8 Easy Shortcuts to Making Homemade Pizza

by in Recipes, May 24th, 2017

Mega Meatball PizzaIn her gorgeous memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver describes the year her family lived on a self-sufficient farm in Virginia. To simplify their lives in one small way, they declared Friday night Pizza Night, therefore eliminating the question of “What’s for dinner?” at least one night a week. It’s a brilliant idea, yes. But if your dough skills are anything like mine, you’ll want a few shortcuts to make something like this happen at your house. Here are a few of my favorite tricks for enjoying homemade pizza without the hassle.

Buy dough from a pizzeria.
This one is a no-brainer. Who has time to deal with the yeast, the kneading and the rolling on an average weeknight? Look to your local mom-and-pop pizzerias for help, as many will sell you a ball of their fresh dough. Call ahead to find out, and if they do, stock up, because it often freezes well.

Make the sauce ahead of time.
Prep a big batch of Ree Drummond’s homemade pizza sauce then freeze it in 1/2 cup containers.

Skip the pizza sauce.
No time to simmer pizza sauce on the stove? Rachael Ray cooks tomato paste right into her toppings — ground sirloin, garlic and onions — and for an easy alternative (pictured above) to the usual prep.

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The First Summer Dishes Food Network Staffers Want to Make

by in Recipes, May 23rd, 2017

Fresh Corn SaladIf you’re anything like us, a few days of warm weather in a row means we’re cleaning out the grill and scoping out the farmers’ markets for the first strawberries, peaches and watermelons of the season. We are so ready to leave soups and stews behind, and embrace the best of summer and all of the great food that comes along with it. Read on to see which dishes Food Network staffers are going to make first this summer.

“Ina Garten’s Fresh Corn Salad is so much more than the sum of its delicious parts. I serve it all summer every summer and friends still ask for the recipe after coming to dinner. The magic is in the cider vinegar and—I’m sorry to say—the very generous amount of salt. The recipe calls for basil, but you can use any fresh herb you have on hand—chives, tarragon, cilantro all work perfectly.”

– Lygeia Grace, Director, Culinary Editorial
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7 Make-and-Take Snacks for Summer Road Trips

by in Recipes, May 21st, 2017

Nut-Free Ranch-Flavored Crispy Cereal Snack MixYou’re driving along, enjoying the scenery passing you by or, more realistically, sitting in traffic on your way to the beach, when you heard the words most dreaded by seasoned road trippers, “Are we there yet?!”

Extra bathroom and snack breaks make a long trip even longer, so how do you keep everyone in the car happy? Snacks. And lots of them.

Keep a variety of snacks – sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy – in your arsenal to avoid hangry passengers. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to start; carrot sticks, apple slices and zip-top bags full of berries are fantastic mess-free snacks. But if that doesn’t quell the crankiness? We’ve got some make-and-take snacks that will rock your summer road trips.

Ranch-Flavored Crispy Cereal Snack Mix (above)

This is not your average snack mix. Homemade ranch seasoning and fresh herbs boost the flavor levels on this crunchy, addictive snack.
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Take 5: Italian-Inspired Dishes for Summer

by in In Season, Recipes, May 21st, 2017

Antipasto SaladA few days of nice weather in a row have us dreaming about lazy summer dinners. But then we snap back to reality and realize that, between camp, sports and work, summer weeknights are just as hectic as the rest of the year. These quick, Italian-style meals will inspire your dinners all season long.

Antipasto Salad (above)

Giada turns pasta salad into a full meal with the addition of antipasto staples like salami, smoked turkey and provolone cheese.
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