While some celebrations call for hours of slow grazing (those tailgate snacks are an all-afternoon affair, right?), Thanksgiving is often set up into distinct parts: appetizers, the main spread, dessert and leftovers. Since you’re likely spending most of your time prepping the bird and its fixings, keep the starter game simple, for both you and your company. After all, you don’t want to serve hors d’oeuvres that are so filling that your guests are not craving turkey. The key is to whet their appetites with a few seasonal bites that will only prime them for what’s to come, and these go-to picks surely fit the bill.
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Gah! Potato soup.
First of all, this weather slash temperature slash time of year just begs for potato soup. Really any soup, but especially potato. Why? Because it’s carbs turned slurpable. And creamy. And wonderfully comforting. If someone puts a bowl of potato soup in front of your face there is no universe in which you would push it away. Not possible.
I’ve come up with a very simple potato recipe that’s strong with flavor, but pH-balanced for the little faces in your crib.
Instead of boiling the potatoes in water, we’re using stock. Bam.
Instead of also boiling the veggies, we saute first. Boom.
Instead of heavy cream, I kept it waist-friendly with straight-up whole milk. Biggity.
Can’t not with the butter.
This soup is ridiculous as is! But for your kids, keep it super simple with lots of cheddar cheese on top. Or nothing!
And for the adult faces, we get a little crazy with the toppings. I’m talking crumbled bacon, jalapeno peppers, dollops of sour cream, cheese, some yummy chives. Yes.
Actually, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go throw the rest of this soup in my face right this second. Join me?
I think a perfect scone straddles the line between biscuit and cake. It should be neither overly sweet nor too dense. And I like it to have a bit of crumble. To me, the perfect scone is the kind of snack that would be better with a cup of tea, but not impossible to eat without it.
While eggs are likely part of your weekend brunch routine, there’s no reason these protein-packed beauties can’t make an appearance at during the week — at any time of day. They cook up in mere minutes and are hearty enough to keep you feeling full, which is why they’re often called upon to beef up meatless meals.
In Food Network Kitchen’s 25-minute recipe for Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde (pictured above), eggs are the centerpiece of the dish, which is a top-rated fan favorite. Think of this fuss-free meal as eggs in purgatory gone green; while the traditional dish features eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce, this version lets a tomatillo-based salsa verde act as the sauce. Studded with garlic and jalapeno, this simple homemade sauce is blended until smooth, but the chefs in Food Network Kitchen advise, “If pressed for time, use a mild store-bought salsa, either red or green.” Once the eggs have cooked in the salsa, blanket them with Monterey Jack cheese for a gooey finish, and sprinkle with fragrant cilantro before serving.
No, the calendar hasn’t fast-forwarded to spring. Today, Nov. 2, is indeed National Deviled Egg Day, and while deviled eggs often take on a shining role come Easter, they’re also a go-to appetizer for that other holiday just around the corner: Thanksgiving.
Since they’re hearty and comforting, deviled eggs will surely please your hangry turkey day guests when they arrive, but they’re not so large that partygoers will fill up before the feast. No matter if you opt for the tried-and-true classic recipe or decide to dress up the traditional deviled egg, you’ll be able to do much of the prep for this starter ahead of time, which means you’ll have one less thing to focus on as mealtime inches closer.
Check out some of our favorite ideas below for egg-cellent deviled egg inspiration. Read more
After going doorbell to doorbell in head-to-toe costume, you can bet your kids aren’t give up their candy loot for just anything. But there’s only so much damage you can do to a never-ending bag of sweets. This year, don’t even think about letting your hard-earned loot go to waste; instead, bring it into these sweet-as-can-be post-Halloween treats.
When a surplus of candy calls, make this showstopping Chocolate Cake Decorated with Halloween Candy (pictured above). The amount of candy you’ll need depends on the size of your cake, but, for reference, it takes about 4 cups of candy to cover a two-layer 8-inch round cake.
Every Saturday we do a family movie or game night. On the menu is some version of a DIY dinner: Make your own pizza, build your own burrito bowl, taco night, you get the idea. Lately my kids are very into the baked potato bar. And because I love to buy potatoes in the 10-pound bag (compare the per-pound price and it’s hard to pass up that bag!), I am all for this fun and inexpensive movie night meal.
Now that I’m a bit of a potato bar expert with more than a few under my belt, I want to share some surprise bonuses to putting this on your menu. I mean, of course baked potatoes are tasty, but check out this list of truly awesome extras.
Bonus 1: Making a ton of potatoes doesn’t really take any longer than making a few. So this meal is ideal for slumber parties, classroom get-togethers and casual entertaining. The only limit is the size of your oven, and a standard oven fits a lot of potatoes.
Think about it: How many times in a week do you find yourself reaching for the same pantry and refrigerator standbys, like butter for your morning toast, ketchup for the kids’ chicken nuggets and hummus for an afternoon snack? These go-tos and others are often at the top of your grocery list when you’re nearing the end of your supply — but they don’t have to be. It turns out that it’s often just as easy — and perhaps more economical — to make them from scratch at home. Read on below to find out how to put a DIY spin on some of your favorite condiments, fixings and meal starters.
Even if you opt for a boxed cake mix (no judgment here), making a from-scratch frosting instead of reaching for the jarred stuff can save you from a cloyingly sweet dessert. Made with only four ingredients and ready in just 12 quick minutes, this top-rated Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting turns out light, fluffy and just sweet enough every time. More of a chocoholic? Look no further than Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate Frosting.
The potential for that box of pasta sitting on your pantry shelf is almost limitless, as The Four Seasons of Pasta is here to prove. Written by mother-daughter team Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, this book stretches the classic standby ingredient into new and delightfully flavorful seasonal meals. Think Pasta alla Carbonara for spring, Spaghetti with SunBurst Tomatoes for summer, a hearty Ragu Bolognese for winter, or the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for autumn (recipe below for you to try at home).
And though you’ve likely been making pasta since you first learned to boil water, heed Nancy and Sara’s advice for a truly exceptional pasta dish:
1. Make sure your pasta water is abundant — 5 or 6 quarts for a standard 500-gram (about 1 pound) box of pasta.
2. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil.
Though you (and your kids) may disagree on whether pillowcases should be stuffed with candy rather than slept on, we’re here to tell you that Halloween is — gasp! — about more than the sweet stuff. No, your dentist didn’t send us to get you to nosh on more than candy ropes and chocolate bars this year. Instead, we’re just plain excited about these ghoulishly good recipes. Feast on these substantial-yet-spooky dishes we scared up for your Halloween party, like mummified hot dogs (pictured above) and ghost-shaped pizzas, or snack on them while you’re handing candy out to the neighbors.
For a party bite that will stop guests dead in their tracks, make these to-die-for Crispy Phyllo-Wrapped Hot Dog Mummies. The phyllo gives the little dogs a bandaged look and offers a buttery flakiness to every bite.