The first time I made meatloaf for the man who is now my husband, he took one look at the slice on his plate and asked, “You call this meatloaf?” And while it was certainly meatloaf to me, it was many moons away from the version he grew up eating.
Mine, which was closely related to the one my mom had always made, featured strands of grated carrots and potatoes running through the ground meat, and it was seasoned with plenty of minced garlic.
His meatloaf of memory was more closely related to the classic version, complete with moistened white bread kneaded in and a baked-on glaze of ketchup and brown sugar. I’m still trying to find an approach that marries our two ideal versions into one harmonious loaf. (I think there might just be deep lessons about life and marriage embedded in this search.)
I’ve actually found that we’re both most-happy when I don’t try to replicate either of our traditional meatloaves but, instead, opt for recipes that do entirely different things with ground meat, binders and seasonings. These days, we’re digging Eggplant Parmesan Meatloaf from Giada De Laurentiis.
Before you start cooking, read these tips
Much is made of hard-boiled eggs immediately before and after Easter, but these two-toned beauties are a welcome party starter throughout the year. This weekend, whether you’re hosting an elegant spring dinner party or simply enjoying a casual night with friends, look to platters of deviled eggs to be the star appetizers of the evening. While they’ll curb pre-dinner munchies, deviled eggs aren’t so filling that they’ll weigh down appetites, plus they’re easily customizable with a myriad of ingredients, so you know you’ll find a style of egg that suits your tastes. Check out Food Network’s top-five deviled egg recipes below — all top-rated dishes that can be made quickly with ease — from Anne, Sunny, Melissa, Bobby Deen and Paula.
5. Truffled Deviled Eggs — Fresh truffles are extremely pricey, so Anne opts for truffle oil — an ingredient that’s a bit more modest — to add rich flavor to her top-rated eggs. But be sure to use only the amount listed, as truffle oil can easily overpower the dish.
4. Crunchy Deviled Eggs — After stuffing the egg whites with a tangy combination of lemon juice, mustard and pickled jalapenos, Sunny adorns each egg with canned fried onions for a crispy textured bite.
Get the top three recipes
Fixing a bowl of raisin-laced quinoa and calling it dinner just won’t do. Yes, many wholesome grains are packed with protein and all that good stuff, but they’re that much better when things are kept balanced. With this fleet of recipe combinations, your grain-based sides are not just an afterthought; they’re a fluid and integral part of your meal.
A Tupperware of some-sort-of-quinoa-salad may be all the rage at lunchtime these days, but quinoa is much more exciting when it’s transitioned to the dinner table. Food Network Magazine‘s Spice-Rubbed Pork With Quinoa and its Scallops With Citrus and Quinoa are both sophisticated and relatively light, and the grain itself is prepared very simply.
Couscous works wonders when combined with shellfish. Sandra Lee whips up a homemade basil-walnut pesto for her Shrimp Scampi Over Pesto Couscous, and Food Network Magazine’s Greek Shrimp and Couscous integrates the grain with a sauce brimming in tomatoes, fennel and feta. The chefs in Food Network Kitchens aren’t kidding with this 20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce (pictured above) — this dish comes out quick. Store-bought Greek yogurt and hummus make for an easy dipping sauce when blended, while the whole-wheat couscous is studded with dried apricots.
Get more grain-focused side dish recipes
You don’t need to prepare a three-course meal to be a good host(ess). You don’t even need to plan far in advance. When gathering friends for a last-minute soiree, snacks are the way to go. So skip the forks and knives, and stick to simple appetizers you can eat with your hands. It’s more fun that way, anyway.
Trisha Yearwood’s Charleston Cheese Dip is a new go-to party snack. Topped with crispy bacon and buttery crackers, it’s an obvious crowd-pleaser. It’s also wallet friendly, so if you don’t already have the ingredients on hand, you won’t break the bank running to the store. Served warm and loaded with three types of cheese, this no-fuss recipe will please even the pickiest of palates.
The next time your place becomes the destination to watch the big game or the newest episode of your favorite show, don’t hide yourself in the kitchen. With Trisha’s decadent cheese dip, you’ll earn yourself the best spot on the couch.
A few things to consider before making this recipe
Endlessly versatile and suitable to kids’ and grownups’ tastes alike, pizzas are ideal meals for vegetarian eaters, as they can be made the same way with or without meat, and a lack of protein won’t sacrifice flavor or substance. If your weeknight routine has you ordering delivery pies on account of their ease and timesaving beauty, try embracing a fresher alternative that’s every bit as simple and quick to prepare: homemade pizza.
The secret to effortlessly making pizza at home is relying on prepared dough. Although you can make from scratch and then freeze Food Network Magazine‘s Basic Pizza Dough if you have the time, picking up already made dough from the supermarket or local delivery spot is just fine, especially if you crave the signature crust from your neighborhood pizzeria. Keeping ready-to-go dough in the freezer for fuss-free meals will save valuable time in the kitchen on hectic nights.
Keep reading for recipes
On hectic weeknights when it seems like there’s just no time to cook, few things are more welcome than ready-to-go meals that require little-to-no prep time. Occasionally that may mean takeout or delivery dinners, but it certainly doesn’t need to, especially when you have a fully stocked freezer on which to rely. Whether you find yourself with extra food after a party or a lazy weekend of making big-batch soups or casseroles, commit to building up your freezer supply by saving the leftovers for those nights when you can’t get to the grocery store or be bothered to make supper from scratch.
The secret to increasing your freezer supply is knowing how to freeze food safely and properly for best-tasting results later. No matter what it is you want to freeze, be sure to let it come to room temperature after it’s cooked and before you add it to the frigid-cold freezer; doing so will help avoid spoiled food and the overwarming of anything surrounding it.
Get freezer-friendly recipes
I love perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs. They need nothing more than a sprinkle of salt and make for a quick, protein-filled breakfast or snack. I’m guessing right about now we’re all trying to decide how to use up those eggs leftover from Easter celebrations, too — let’s face it, you’ve probably got at least a dozen in the fridge!
When life gives you too many hard-boiled eggs, it’s time to crack open some recipes for using them all up. Today I’m sharing one from my new cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen. It’s my take on the perfect tuna salad, and it has an extra tasty twist — a few sprigs of fresh mint. The mint brightens all the flavors and offers a refreshing burst with every bite that reminds me of a Vietnamese banh mi, which is where the inspiration to tuck a few leaves into my sandwich came from in the first place.
Get the recipe and more
Given that most produce is available in grocery stores year round, it’s easy to forget that fruits and vegetables indeed have seasons in which they’re at their peak of freshness, when they’re the most colorful and flavorful — and not to mention the most economical. For asparagus, that time to shine is early-to-middle springtime, which means that the bundles at farmers’ markets and supermarkets right now are some of the best you’ll find all year. Celebrate the season’s bounty by putting asparagus to work in quick, family-friendly recipes like vegetable side dishes, healthful salads and quick pastas. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top-five asparagus dishes — a mix of traditional and creative takes on this simple-to-make vegetable — ideal for casual weeknight suppers and dressed-up dinners alike. Check out our favorite picks below, then browse Food Network’s entire collection of asparagus recipes to find more fresh inspiration.
5. Corn and Asparagus Salad — In just 20 quick minutes, Paula dresses tender asparagus and vibrant corn with a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for a light side dish that complements any hearty entree.
4. Quinoa Salad With Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Black Olives — Think of quinoa as a blank canvas through which you can showcase favorite ingredients and textures, like Bobby does in his five-star recipe by adding to it trimmed asparagus, fresh thyme and creamy goat cheese.
Get the top three recipes
Think about it — your oven has done a lot for you this season. It’s seen pies and casseroles, pot roasts and big birds. It’s gotten you through holidays and frosty nights. Let’s not even mention all the cookies and cakes. But soon enough, you’ll be trading your boots for shorts and your oven for the grill. It’s just how the cycle goes.
This week, as you get your hands on some of that fresh spring produce, keep that faithful oven of yours in mind. It roasts veggie after veggie to sheer perfection, making certain your sides are simply sensational.
When asparagus meets the oven, it doesn’t need much else. Food Network Magazine’s pristine Roasted Asparagus calls upon nothing more than toasted pine nuts and lemon to accentuate its earthy flavors. Ina Garten’s Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, on the other hand, is luxurious and the perfect mate to a sumptuous steak.
Though Roasted Carrots may scream fall, this recipe by Food Network Magazine uses lemon, red onion, cilantro and spices to inject a seasonal flair. Add a dose of green for Roasted Carrots and Peas, ensuring that the vibrancy of the season shines through. Here’s a good tip: It’s a good idea to parboil hard veggies like carrots so the finished product comes down without a crunch.
Get more roasted side dish recipes from friends and family
Want to know what Food Network fans were cooking in March? From Irish classics to kale and chicken, the ultimate buttercream frosting to an indulgent breakfast dish, here are the top 10 recipes of March:
10. Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
9. Giada’s Chicken Piccata
8. Melissa’s Crispy Kale “Chips”
7. Alton’s Shepherd’s Pie
6. Bobby’s Sauteed Kale
Get the top five recipes