Dinner in a Hurry: Quick-Fix Recipes for Meals on the Go

by in Family, Recipes, March 9th, 2013

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole With Ham and PeasWhile there’s a time and a place for indulgent three-course feasts complete with slow-simmered sauces, stuffed meats and warm desserts, busy weekday evenings are not it. Often there’s barely enough time in the day to grocery shop let alone cook any food you may have managed to pick up, and when those days strike, it’s important to have an arsenal full of fuss-free recipes to rescue you from dinnertime stress. Known kid-approved picks and easy-to-make-and-eat classics will help you put a supper on the table that’s both deliciously simple and satisfying. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite quick recipes below, then tell us in the comments: What tried-and-true meal do you reach for on frenzied weeknights?

Perhaps the ultimate family-friendly meal, casseroles are one of easiest go-to dinners, as they boast the simplicity of an all-in-one supper and can often be made with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. Food Network Kitchens’ 30-minute recipe for Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole With Ham and Peas (pictured above) puts the fridge and freezer to work with deli ham and frozen peas. Laced with fresh thyme and rich heavy cream, this Swiss cheese-finished bake is a cinch to prepare thanks to store-bought potato gnocchi.

Keep reading for more easy recipes

How to Make Your Own Corned Beef for St. Patrick’s Day

by in Recipes, March 9th, 2013

corned beef and cabbageWhen it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in America, a big part of the holiday is sitting down to a dinner of corned beef, typically boiled with cabbage, carrots and other root vegetables. But have you ever thought about how corned beef got to be “corned”? It’s actually not as difficult as you may imagine. If you know how to brine, or marinate, you’re already one step closer to making corned beef successfully in your own kitchen.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, you can find packaged corned beef in the meat section of your local supermarket. This beef has already been corned, which means it has been cured in a brine of salt, sugar and spices. That’s really all it takes to make corned beef. The only catch is planning ahead, because the curing process does take some time (just about a week or so). But if you’ve got the time and want to try it at home yourself, Food Network has just the right recipe for you. And the best part is you’ll be able to tell your family that you made the corned beef from scratch — how many people can say that?

Get the recipe for homemade corned beef

Playing Games With the Genius — Worst Cooks in America Caption It

by in Shows, March 8th, 2013

Alina Bolshakova and Chef Ron Ben-IsraelIn the Sweet Genius kitchen, Master Pastry Chef Ron Ben-Israel is all business and no nonsense, challenging top professional bakers to a slew of culinary tasks on the clock. When he’s in charge, only confectionary perfection will suffice; others’ second-best efforts are simply unworthy of the genius title.

All of that is about to change come Sunday night, when Chef Ron drops by Boot Camp to lead the Worst Cooks in America recruits in a simple baking how-to. No longer striving for excellence, the Sweet Genius himself is after mere edibility when it comes to concocting cakes with some contestants who’ve opened their ovens only a handful of times — ever. Will he be able to instill in them a penchant for light, airy batters and smooth, fluffy frostings, or will the teams crumble under the pressures of pastry?

Given the sneak-peek image above from Sunday’s all-new episode, it looks as though it’s Chef Ron who’s taking the brunt of the challenge, as the Blue Team’s Alina Bolshakova dangles a bowlful of frosting over his head. Is her maneuver somehow part of the cake-making process, or do you think this is simply a well-meaning game she’s playing with Chef Ron? Will the Sweet Genius soon be covered with fallen frosting, or does he manage to dodge Alina’s bright-orange spread?

Write your best caption

Old-Fashioned Cocoa Cake With Caramel Icing — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Recipes, March 8th, 2013

Old-Fashioned Cocoa Cake With Caramel IcingI am the designated birthday dessert baker for my circle of close friends and dear family members. Every year, I make a dozen or more cakes, pies, tarts and meringue concoctions for parties, picnics and small family dinners.

It starts in January with my dad’s birthday. Tradition dictates that he gets a thing called Pinch Pie (though it’s neither pinched, nor is it a pie). It’s a meringue shell filled with ice cream, strawberries, whipped cream and toasted almonds. It’s a sugar bomb, but it’s beloved in my family.

In February, both my sister and my husband celebrate. When she was younger, Raina was into ice cream cakes, but these days she prefers something dense and chocolatey. Scott, on the other hand, hasn’t shifted his preferences since childhood. He likes to celebrate with a Funfetti cake made from a boxed mix. Though it violates my from-scratch sensibilities, that’s what he gets.

As we head into March, I start thinking about baking for my friend Shay’s big day. She doesn’t have a standard cake, instead preferring to try something new. Last time I did a carrot cake, and this year I’ve been planning something layered and featuring chocolate.

Before you start baking, read these tips

What to Watch: A Weekend of Family Togetherness and Down-to-the-Wire Competition

by in Shows, March 8th, 2013

Robert Irvine and Mariaci BrothersThis weekend on Food Network it’s all about cooking and having fun with family and friends, and some friendly — and not-so-friendly — competition.

Saturday morning has all-new episodes from Ree, Ina and Giada. On The Pioneer Woman, Ree is cooking up a storm for her football-playing family as they prepare for a game of boys versus girls. Then on Barefoot Contessa, Ina’s rewarding the team that helped design and build her new library with a Mediterranean-style party. Afterward, Giada and her aunt Raffy are cooking recipes right out of Giada’s grandma’s recipe collection on Giada at Home.

The competition starts on Sunday with a new episode of Cupcake Wars, where the teams bake it out for a chance to cater an event for The All-American Rejects. On Worst Cooks in America, the remaining Boot Campers must try and beat the clock to see if they can cook faster than ordering in delivery. Then, on a special night, watch Restaurant: Impossible as Robert tries to unite three brothers who have had a hard time running their late mother’s Italian restaurant (pictured above).

Read about the shows

Chef Wanted: Culina Update

by in Shows, March 7th, 2013


Chef WantedCulina, Modern Italian is a restaurant located in the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. General Manager Mehdi Eftekari was looking for a new executive chef because the former executive chef, Ashley James, was promoted to oversee the entire hotel. The two men were in need of someone who could cook innovative Italian food, lead a large staff and be comfortable with their customers. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help with the search. After two tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Mette Williams.

Mette Williams is an executive chef from Los Angeles and a single mother of a 14-month-old boy. The position at Culina would give her the stability that she wants for herself and her son.

Read more