Hot fudge was such a huge staple in my childhood pantry, and it didn’t really have anything to do with ice cream. Well, OK — it had a little bit to do with ice cream. But it had a lot to do with the fact that both my brothers and I had a serious obsession with dipping a spoon into the cold “hot” fudge in the fridge and eating it as a snack. Or should I say, sneaking it as a snack. It’s not like my mom really condoned our doing that all that time.
When professional chefs present their dishes, their years of experience and their reputations for stellar cuisine and expert technique often precede them, so much so that tasters may be biased when it comes to reviewing the food. But what happens when judges don’t know if the meal was prepared by a home cook or a chef? Will perceptions change and critiques differ? That’s where the brand-new series Cooks vs. Cons comes in.
Whether you’re planning a romantic evening or you’ll celebrate Gal-entine’s Day (or, hey, even Guy-entine’s Day) this Feb. 14, you’ve likely got dessert on the brain. Valentine’s Day is a close second to Halloween as the patron holiday of candy, after all, and boxes of surprise-inside chocolates are everywhere by now. But if you’re not a fan of chocolate, don’t dismay. These red and pink desserts are just as appropriate (and delicious).
Heart-Shaped Cereal Treats (above)
Even if you and your significant other weren’t high-school sweethearts, re-create the joy of those simpler times with a pink spin on the dessert you might have shared at the cafeteria table.
Once a month Bev Weidner, of Bev Cooks fame and the mom of adorable twin littles, stops by to share an easy, one-two approach to dinner to keep everyone happy: Start by making one classic recipe for the kids in the house, then dress up that same dish with bold flavors for the adults.
Valentine’s Day at home can be romantic for you and your special someone, even when the kids are there too. If you’re staying inside the cozy confines of your abode this Valentine’s Day, I’ve got a crazy-simple meal that will satisfy errrrbody. Even those under the age of 5 will approve.
1. It involves pasta. Hello, isn’t “pasta” the synonym of “Valentine’s Day”? I think it is.
Chocolate gets all the love on Valentine’s Day, but it’s even better as part of a couple — when it’s the right match. Here are our top picks for chocolate’s most-compatible food partners. (If we were you, chocolate, we’d swipe right for all of them.)
Chocolate + Peanut Butter
These two rich and creamy delicacies were truly meant for each other. When enrobed in milk chocolate, Food Network Kitchen’s peanut butter cookie dough (eggless and safe to eat raw!) takes on a whole new dimension. Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcakes are a perfect vehicle for fluffy peanut butter frosting, and Ree Drummond’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (pictured above) with a crunchy Oreo crust makes the case that these two should never, ever break up. Read more
What can you learn from a taco? A lot, if a class on “taco literacy” currently on offer at the University of Kentucky is any indication.
Yes, undergraduates can now dig into the meaty academic and cultural nuances of the Mexican dish in a course called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the U.S. South,” taught by Steven Alvarez, an assistant professor in the department of writing, rhetoric and digital studies.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, today’s all about uninhibited celebration full of indulgent eats. If you can’t make it to New Orleans to take part in the annual parades, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are with dishes incorporating the official Mardi Gras colors: purple, gold and green. For dessert, there’s always Louisiana-style king cake — a ring-shaped confection decorated with colored sugar that’s popular with the locals. This Shortcut King Cake made with store-bought crescent roll dough is good in a pinch! If you’re planning a more elaborate feast, try working the Mardi Gras rainbow into your main course or your sides. Trust us — it’s not as hard as it sounds!
Ready or not, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast — it’s this Sunday. Though your typical mode of operation might not entail much more than a dinner reservation and a trip to the florist (or, hey, even the drugstore for a last-minute box of waxy truffles), this is the year that everything is going to be different. No, we’re not charging you with the task of making a handcrafted molten chocolate lava cake, or even suggesting you make a multicourse meal. Instead, we’ve got thoughtful, unexpected and unconventional ways to show your love you care.
Skip the Sugar Rush
Stop right there! Before you reach for sugar-shock-inducing treats for the one you love, go for something less expected. We’ve got easy ideas for Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Treats that upgrade unassuming foods to giftworthy status. Plus, they work as quirky valentines for your kids as well.