Sunny’s Italian Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 27th, 2014

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn SquashI don’t know if it was trendy in the 1980s or if it was a particular quirk of my mother’s, but we ate many a meal of stuffed vegetables during my childhood. No hollow or overgrown vegetable was safe. Peppers of all colors, giant zucchini, tomatoes and even, occasionally, avocados were filled with a medley of rice, protein and onion, then draped with shredded cheese and run under the broiler.

I’m fairly convinced that the reason my mom liked this particular style of dinner prep so much was that it gave her the opportunity to stretch a pound of meat across several meals and use up all manner of odds and ends from the crisper. I also suspect that she tucked more vegetables into the filling than I was aware of as a small child.

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The Calm Before the Feast: FN Stars’ Wednesday-Night Game Plans

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 26th, 2014

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is full of travel, traffic – and tradition. As families descend upon their Thanksgiving destinations, it’s a busy night for pizza spots, since no one feels much like cooking dinner. (If this is your game plan, we rounded up some of the best places across the country to pick up a pie.) At the New York City Wine & Food Festival, we chatted with Food Network stars about their pre-turkey day plans. Some choose to eat light to save up reserves for the big day, while others carb-load to get ready. What does your family do – and eat – the night before the big feast? Read more

Don’t Hog the Oven: Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Sides

by in Holidays, View All Posts, November 26th, 2014

Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing

With the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, golden rolls and pies galore sitting in your oven  not to mention that perfectly cooked turkey of yours  any way to free up space in this overworked kitchen appliance is welcome on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily your slow cooker is ready and able to help pick up the slack, with these easy recipes for Thanksgiving classics that are low on prep time and high on hands-off cooking. With new techniques for everything from stuffing to potatoes, you’ll be amazed how easy Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Sides come together.

You don’t need to use the oven or stovetop to get a hearty stuffing on your holiday table. Instead, add cut-up, stale French bread, veggies and sweet Italian sausage to the slow cooker, and let the machine take it from there. Cooked in the juices given off from the sausage and veggies, Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing (pictured above) needs only a touch of chicken broth to reach soft, savory perfection.

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Explore America’s Best-Ever Pizzas, BBQ, Breakfasts and Burgers on All-New Series

by in Shows, November 25th, 2014

Ted AllenWhen you consider classic eats like pizza, barbecue, breakfast and burgers, there’s surely no shortage of restaurants at which to find them; from popular chain restaurants and elegant cafes to takeout joints and hole-in-the-wall dives, these tried-and-true bites are everywhere. But how many places make the single best rendition of the dish, those one-in-a-million plates that keep you coming back again and again? Those next-level dishes are hard to come by, but in the all-new series Best. Ever. (premiering Monday, Jan. 5 at 10|9c), Food Network stars are revealing where to find them.

Over the course of four weeks, host Ted Allen and more of your favorite faces, including Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy and Aarón Sánchez, will showcase America’s top pizzas, burgers, barbecue picks and breakfast plates alike. With the utmost mouthwatering detail, they’ll share the ins and outs of these must-try specialties and reveal the hot spots at which to find them from coast to coast. Tune in every Monday night for an in-depth look at each of these four foods, and watch as the stars speak out about what makes their dish picks in Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and more cities the best of the best.

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Get a Head Start on Thanksgiving Dinner: 5 Easy Recipes to Make the Day Before

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 25th, 2014

Baked Mashed PotatoesMaking dinner on a regular Thursday night is hard enough for most of us, but Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings can be a full-day affair. Now, I love cooking, but I also have four kids and our oldest is five, so I need to be strategic to pull it off and not spend the afternoon yelling at everyone to get out of the kitchen. Even if you aren’t swamped with little rascals running through your kitchen this year, I bet you’ll appreciate getting a few things done by Wednesday too. Here’s my plan:

Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes
These twice-baked mashed potatoes (pictured above) end up in a casserole dish, making them perfect for reheating on the big day. And with store-bought breadcrumbs and two kinds of cheese, they’re also my favorite mix of delicious food that’s easy to make. Grazie, Giada.

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How to Dress Up a Store-Bought Thanksgiving

by in Holidays, November 25th, 2014

Go ahead, we won’t judge — sometimes you need to serve a few store-bought items at your feast. And why not? A few of these dishes can save you a ton of time on turkey day. But just in case you want to add a little homemade flair to an otherwise purchased item, these simple touches are just as easy as tossing the item into your shopping cart.

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Flavour of the Month

by in News, November 24th, 2014

FlavourSifting through the thousands of restaurants in New York City to find the right place to eat is always a chore. It’s usually a multistep process. I consult various sites and apps, check user reviews, and cross-reference all of the information I find with recommendations from the critics I respect and follow.

Whew. That’s a lot of work for a quick Monday night dinner, or even a special weekend outing. Luckily, I recently found Flavour.

Flavour is a new app that helps you find the right place to go with no fuss. You can search by cuisine, neighborhood or feature. It aggregates recommendations from the best critics and bloggers in NYC, San Francisco and Chicago, and also pulls in social data for the most-popular and most-visited venues. You can also book in-app through OpenTable, view menus and get recommendations.

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Restaurant Revisited: Without a Prayer at Mama E’s Wings & Waffles

by in Shows, November 24th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleTonight marked the first time Oklahoma City’s Mama E’s Wings & Waffles appeared on Restaurant: Impossible, but it wasn’t the business’ first time on Food Network; just a few years ago it was a bustling eatery that enjoyed a showcase on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Problems began, however, when husband-and-wife owners Keith and Stephanie Patterson wanted to open a new Mama E’s outpost. Ultimately the venture proved unsuccessful, and, perhaps worst of all, the trials nearly cost them their relationship. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to mend Keith and Stephanie’s damaged marriage before he could begin overhauling Mama E’s, and they had only 48 hours and $10,000 to do it all. Read on below to hear from Stephanie and find out how her restaurant is faring today.

“Over time the revenue has doubled or more,” Stephanie explains. “I love the walls with the recipes and so do the customers.”

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This Pizza Bedding Lets You Get Your Z’s in Cheese

by in News, November 24th, 2014

Pepperoni BedPizza is no longer just your go-to dinner for parties, game watching and nights you really don’t feel like cooking anything else. Now it’s also something you can slide under and lay your weary head on at the end of a long day. Because … pizza bedding.

The whimsically named website Emotional Rainbow, which has previously offered primarily elaborately decorated sweatshirts, has just introduced “Pepperoni Bedding.”

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Three Slices of Pie Aren’t Necessarily Better Than One — Dante’s Journey on Holiday Baking Championship

by in Shows, November 24th, 2014

Dante presenting his piesPie was the theme this past Sunday on Holiday Baking Championship. After creatively baking non-pies with ready-to-bake pie crust in their pre-heat challenge, the bakers moved on to the real challenge, making three holiday pies to wow the judges. Unfortunately not everyone’s pies came out equally as nice. Luckily Bobby let them get rid of their least successful one, a blessing in disguise for most, but not for Dante, who had to make a choice between two pies that were equally as bad. Ultimately it ended in his elimination from the competition. But this former navy man turned pastry chef has had a memorable time on the show.

Relive Dante’s journey in GIFs