5 School Lunches You Can Make in 5 Minutes

by in Family, Recipes, September 12th, 2015

DIY Cucumber SandwichesSome parents meticulously pack their kids’ lunches the night before, ensuring a smooth start the next day. I am not one of them. My husband takes our kids to school every morning at 7:30 a.m. And every morning at 7:15 a.m. I start making lunch. “OK, we’re in the No Request Zone,” I’ll announce to all four small fry who are still eating breakfast, not yet even starting to wonder where their shoes are. But with a few handy strategies for banging out healthy lunches in a hurry, we rarely have a lunch-related disaster. (Getting all the kids out the door and buckled into their car seats, however, is another matter. See: shoes.) That’s thanks to this list of reliably quick lunch ideas:

DIY Cucumber Sandwiches: Think Lunchables with a fresh twist. Chop up a cucumber and put it in the lunchbox. Then set a small pile of turkey, ham and/or cheese next to it, and let the kids put together their own sandwiches at lunchtime.

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The Easiest Pasta Ever (Really)

by in Recipes, Shows, September 12th, 2015

Spaghetti Aglio e OlioWhile Spaghetti Aglio e Olio may not get any points for ease in pronunciation, it indeed takes the cake for simplest-ever pasta dinner: 15 minutes, five ingredients. Done.

Geoffrey Zakarian introduced the recipe for this go-to meal on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen. From start to finish, the sauce — made with just olive oil, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley — came together in the time it takes the pasta to cook, meaning it’s the ultimate in I-need-food-on-the-table-like-right-now cooking. The secret to GZ’s sauce is twofold: adding some of the pasta water to the oil and garlic, and, secondly, cooking the pasta only part of the way before tossing it in the pan with that watery-oil mixture. The noodles will finish cooking the sauce, and the sauce thickens naturally on its own, thanks to the starch in the water.

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Chefs’ Picks: Farmers Market Finds

by in Restaurants, September 12th, 2015


Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

As the school year kicks up, it’s also prime time for farmers market shopping across the country. Patrons have their pick of the bounty of late-summer fruit, like luscious stone fruit, and also the early fall favorites: apples, squash and a plethora of peppers. But where to begin? Market-loving chefs from coast to coast share with us their favorite current produce at the market, as well as their easy-to-replicate home recipes for it.

Local Peppers (Chef Annie Pettry, Decca, Louisville, KY) Read more

Q&A with Competitor Jenni “JWoww” Farley — Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition

by in Shows, September 11th, 2015

Jenni FarleySeason 7 of Worst Cooks in America is a little bit more star-studded, as seven recruits from Tinseltown are joining the ranks of the culinarily challenged. Like in previous seasons, the recruits will be split into teams, but this time their coaches will be Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray. For one of these stars, getting through all six weeks of trying challenges will mean $50,000 for his or her charity and bragging rights for the star’s mentor.

Jersey Shore will forever be considered a phenomenon, if only for making JWoww and Snooki household names. Although she now goes by Jenni, JWoww hit the reality television scene on MTV’s wildly successful show, which later spun off into Snooki and JWoww, featuring the adventures of the two best friends from Jersey. Since then Jenni’s appeared on Marriage Boot Camp. Her first book, The Rules According to JWoww, was released in 2012.

Get to know more about Jenni and her love for food, and why she signed up to be whipped into culinary shape in Boot Camp. Watch the premiere of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9|8c.

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Which Is Better: Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, Polls, September 11th, 2015

Food Network Magazine needs your help for the December issue. It’s never too early to start daydreaming about the holidays. And channeling your holiday cheer prematurely might even make you feel better on a hot and sticky late-summer day.

The editors want to know which side you’re on for traditional holiday drinks. Vote in the poll below and tell FN Dish whether you prefer to sip hot cocoa or eggnog.

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6 Tips for Hosting Your Child’s Birthday Party Without Losing Your Mind

by in Entertaining, Family, September 11th, 2015

6 Tips for Hosting Your Child's Birthday Party Without Losing Your MindWe have four young kids and the oldest turned 6 this year. That means we’ve hosted 14 birthday parties — so far. With many, many more to go, we stick to these guidelines for fun parties without frazzled parents.

1. Invite a small number of kids. No one has fun at a party that feels like a mob. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. See above, it’s no fun. Remember that old rule about inviting as many friends as you are old? It’s perfect. Five, six or eight kids plus a parent each makes for plenty of revelers.

2. Create a simple theme or activity. Host a tea party. Or have everyone come in costume. This year our 4-year-old had a tea party where everyone wore costumes. Put together a scavenger hunt with hidden clues, a karaoke sing-along or outdoor Olympics based on simple games (like relay races, a water balloon shot put and so on). Pretend it’s 1988 and channel your mother; she put a Barbie doll in the middle of your cake and called it a day.

And by all means, put the birthday child to work. That same 6-year-old LOVED creating signs for her party, directing people where to go and telling people what to put where.

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A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and Thin

by in News, September 11th, 2015

A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and ThinThose of us who have only ever thought of flour tortillas as ultra-skinny discs, with little to nothing in the way of puff, have apparently been missing out on a whole other variety: thick, bready flour tortillas, a New Mexico regional specialty.

Author Tracie McMillan writes, on NPR’s The Salt, about the moment when, during a visit to a New Mexico restaurant, she first encountered and instantly flipped for these “thick, charmingly floppy tortillas, dotted with browned bubbles and closer in thickness to pancakes than the wan, flaccid discs” she — and the rest of us — are used to tossing in our carts at the local grocery.

Why, she wonders, had the “magic” thick tortillas — rendered puffy thanks to baking powder, perfect for soaking up regional stews, yet nearly impossible to find on the East Coast — never caught on, while the thin ones became ubiquitous? McMillan uncovers a few reasons:

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What to Watch: The Kitchen’s Back-to-School Snacks and Valerie’s Best Bets for Entertaining

by in Shows, September 11th, 2015

Relax this weekend with your favorite chefs as they prepare tasty appetizers, back-to-school snacks and more. On Saturday, Ree Drummond is throwing a prairie picnic for her friends with tender Chicken Milanese and a boozy Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake. Next, Nancy Fuller and her friend Kardea Brown share soul food secrets with crawfish pie and biscuits with bacon butter. After that, the co-hosts of The Kitchen have easy back-to-school snack ideas and some fun tips on how to stay organized during the school year. Then, Valerie Bertinelli hosts a girls’ night in with her book club and lots of shareable treats.

On Sunday morning, Giada De Laurentiis and her Aunt Raffy prepare an old family recipe, Sartu di Riso, inspired by Giada’s grandparents’ honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast. Then, on Sunday night, Guy Fieri challenges four all-star chefs to multiple cart swaps during Musical Carts on Guy’s Grocery Games as they compete for charity. Next, a steak-eating contest determines the seed money for the next round of The Great Food Truck Race, and things get romantic as two chefs get hitched on Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Pro Football Player-Turned-Food Network Star Eddie Jackson Gets Set for BBQ Blitz

by in Shows, September 10th, 2015

Eddie JacksonFor 11 weeks, Houston’s Eddie Jackson wowed Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis with his bold, creative takes on classic Caribbean fare, as well as his ease and warmth on camera. Now, after successfully pitching a pilot to the network and earning the coveted title of Food Network Star, this former NFL player is off to shine a light on two of his longtime passions: barbecue and friendly competition.

In his upcoming series, BBQ Blitz, premiering Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:30|9:30c, Eddie will head to cities across the country and challenge three chef legends each to a face-off of touchdown proportions. Eddie will be on hand to oversee the battles, and he’ll catch up with the competitors about what makes their ‘cue the hottest of them all as these smokers, grillers and fire fanatics compete for bragging rights as the best-ever BBQ chef — and a whopping $5,000 prize.

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5 Individual Desserts in 30 Minutes or Less

by in Recipes, September 10th, 2015

Fall is here and time is precious, especially if you’re adjusting to a hectic back-to-school schedule. But that doesn’t mean your sweet tooth has stopped demanding gratification in the form of luxurious homemade desserts. You may not have time for the from-scratch cake, tart or pie recipes that your family swooned over during the unhurried summer months, but using common pantry ingredients (and a few store-bought items here and there) will easily cut down time spent in the kitchen so you and your family can still enjoy a sweet reward at the end of a busy day. Here are five dreamy desserts that come together in individual cups, glasses or ramekins for quick assembly and convenient cleanup.

Chocolate Creme Brulee
Food Network Kitchen has mastered the art of shortcut creme brulee with the help of one secret ingredient: store-bought pudding. Simply spoon some prepared chocolate pudding into your ramekins, then sprinkle each with a heaping spoonful of turbinado sugar. Caramelize the sugar with your kitchen torch, and you’ll have a rich and creamy brulee in just 10 minutes.

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