Best 5 Family-Friendly Tailgate Recipes

by in Recipes, September 19th, 2013

Chicken ChiliFootball season is in full swing, and with that comes weekends spent huddled around the television watching your favorite teams face off at the 50-yard line. No matter who you’re rooting for on the field, it’s important to have a spread of touchdown-worthy eats on the sidelines of your living room to celebrate game day. While most tailgates feature a buffet of beer, spicy wings and fried jalapeno peppers — three decidedly un-kid-friendly items — it’s indeed possible to pull off a family-oriented menu. When cooking for fans of all ages, stick to tried-and-true favorites plus finger food classics, and if you’re concerned about the heat levels in any dish, simply adjust the spice to taste. Check out Food Network’s top-five family-friendly tailgate recipes below to find a mix of sweet and savory picks that are sure to win cheers from your guests.

5. PB&J Chocolate Bars — Take the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly to the next indulgent level by making layered dessert squares, featuring a buttery peanut-cocoa base, a filling of grape jelly and sweetened peanut butter, and a chocolate glaze topping.

4. Meatballs a la Pizzaiola — Giada bakes a surprise inside each one-bite meatball: a cube of creamy mozzarella cheese that becomes soft and deliciously gooey when bitten into.

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Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pretzels — The New Girl

by in Entertaining, Recipes, September 18th, 2013

Cinnamon-Sugar Soft PretzelsI used to be indifferent to football. These days, however, you can find me sporting an Eli Manning jersey and checking stats for my Fantasy team. Perhaps dating a diehard Giants fan and living with two guys has influenced my change of heart. But really, I think it’s the food that won me over. There’s an unspoken rule that all food eaten on Sunday should be of the comfort food variety, and I’m OK with that. An excuse to eat nachos, wings and brownies? Count me in.

For a recent Sunday night game, I made cinnamon-sugar soft pretzels. Chewy, with a slight crunch from the buttery sugar coating, they tasted just like the famous ones that tempt you at malls and airports — and they smelled equally amazing. Even after a quarter filled with fumbles and turnovers, my frustrated friends couldn’t help but be giddy while my pretzels baked in the oven.

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Ease Out of Summer with Potatoes — Summer Fest

by in In Season, September 18th, 2013

Autumn Potato GratinThis week, FN Dish is trading in the grill-kissed ears of corn and pitchers of iced tea for the comforting dishes of early fall. And, hey, who’s complaining? To ring in the crisp air, pumpkin lattes and all that screams fall, we’re turning to the potato to reintroduce our favorite seasonal recipes.

As an ingredient, the potato straddles the line between french fry and mashed potatoes, so it’s the perfect ingredient to usher us into these first days of fall. Each of these potato dishes will remind you of all that we’ve been missing. Many are rich — and all are comforting.

When pureed, potatoes make for a mean soup. Smooth and filling, Ina’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup is nice and elegant, and it works as the idyllic dinner party starter. Food Network Magazine’s Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup is perfect for a special family meal, especially during those first few weeks of the school year. As for Alton’s Leftover Baked Potato Soup, leftover baked potatoes are reborn in a soup that’s silky, luxurious and super rich.

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Lunchbox Basics — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, September 18th, 2013

Lunch Box BasicsSchool finally started up again here in New York City, and with it came the reality that I’ll have to pack 500+ lunches between now and the end of June 2014. Given the alternative of the poor-quality food offered at my daughters’ elementary school, I’m thankful I can provide them with a healthy lunch on my own. The task is still daunting, though, and it’s hard to stay inspired when I’ve been on this lunchbox merry-go-round for five years now. As luck would have it, Catherine McCord’s new cookbook, Weelicious Lunches, arrived on my doorstep when we came home after the first day of school. It remedied my lunchbox blues and reminded me that every day I get the chance to send my girls off with a little reminder that Mommy loves them.

Here are a few tips and tricks I keep in mind when psyching myself up for the lunch challenge during the week.

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Jokes First, Cooking a Close Second — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, September 17th, 2013

Chris Santos, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant may be revered judges on Chopped and three of the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in New York City, but when they come together in the Chopped kitchen for a friendly face-off, they don’t hesitate to let their sillier sides show. On tonight’s all-new Chopped After Hours, the guys, led by host Ted Allen, were greeted with leftover ingredients — lasagna, a hamburger, a fortune cookie and steamed broccoli — and only 20 minutes on the clock to give these precooked dishes a second chance on a plate. While Chris, Geoffrey and Scott surely let their culinary chops shine in making such inspired dishes as a breaded lasagna bite, an Italian-focused sandwich and a family-friendly frittata, respectively, they weren’t shy about having fun with each other.

Just minutes into cooking, Ted and Chris took advantage of the opportunity when Scott was away from his station to playfully mess with the chef, hiding from him his chopped burger patty. “Someone stole my hamburger!” he exclaimed later, before Ted advised him to check beneath his station to find his missing ingredient.

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Featured Restaurants in the Twin Cities: On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, September 17th, 2013

Minnesota OTROn this past Sunday’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the four remaining teams faced double Truck Stop challenges in the Twin Cities. Their first day was spent in Minneapolis selling food on a stick, which Minnesotans love eating at state fairs. The teams then rolled into St. Paul on day two and had to sell dishes made with Spam, which was invented in the state. It was a tough sell offering foods that most of the locals were all too familiar with and could get anywhere. But by the end of the weekend, the teams mostly proved they could roll with whatever Tyler dished out.

But besides food on a stick and Spam burgers, the Twin Cities have a lot going for them when it comes to eating out, including over-the-top dishes, like outrageously loaded burgers and fusion pizzas, as well as classic local hangouts that have been around for decades. There’s something for everyone in both Minneapolis and St. Paul as you’ll see in Food Network’s On the Road guide. See the offerings below.

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Watch: A Family and Kids Fall-Themed Google+ Hangout

by in Community, Family, September 17th, 2013


Food Network’s Melissa d’Arabian, Catherine McCord of Weelicious.com and Dan Pashman of CookingChannelTV.com’s Web series, Good to Know, chatted about all things back-to-school, tailgating and autumn cooking. Click the play button on the video above to watch, and follow Food Network on Google+ to join the conversation.

Check out Food Network’s Back-to-School Central for easy lunchbox recipes and snack solutions, and browse the Family & Kids Headquarters for more family-friendly meal ideas.

Zucchini Casserole Castles

by in Family, September 17th, 2013

Learn How to Make Zucchini Casserole CastlesI don’t make a lot of casseroles, but I do bake many muffins. This idea combines both — and it made an otherwise ho-hum dinner something so special that our 4-year-old is still talking about it. And that was a week ago.

Mix up 3 cups freshly grated zucchini with 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 cups cooked brown rice, 1 cup grated cheese, lots of fresh herbs, salt, pepper and one hard-working egg — then pour the whole thing into oversize muffin tins instead of a casserole dish. Bake them at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, then invert the “muffins” onto tiny plates. Add one homemade flag (bamboo skewer + painter’s tape) and ta-da! A casserole becomes a castle.