“Hot Chocolate” Banana-Nut Oatmeal — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 9th, 2014

This isn’t just any old oatmeal. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week resembles dessert more than a typical breakfast item. This recipe has toasted nuts, sweet banana, rich cocoa and just enough chocolate chops to give you a healthy and sweet fix at the same time.

For more healthy everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: “Hot Chocolate” Banana-Nut Oatmeal

Chili for a New Jersey Winter

by in Food Network Chef, February 8th, 2014

Chili for a New Jersey WinterI’m writing this from the cozy comfort of a hotel room in a small town in New Jersey. Outside the trees are covered in snow. Having gone to college in Vermont, I’m used to the freezing temps and white-covered streets and sidewalks.

After I checked into the near-empty hotel, with only the small room service menu as my sustenance for the next 18 hours, I peeled off my puffy jacket and turned to the in-room dining page in the hotel binder. In seconds, I found exactly what I would order: the homemade chili and a green salad. (See my Starting a New Habit in 2014: Eat a Salad a Day post from last month — are you still eating salad? I am.)

Bundled up in my new pajamas (a Christmas gift from my daughters) and eating better-than-I-expected chili (and a salad) — all is right with my world. Why? Because there are certain foods that truly bring me comfort in the dead of winter: chili, onion soup and stew top my list. And while I can make those dishes any time, there is something magical about eating them on a snowy day. I think these comforting dishes remind me of my college years at The University of Vermont. My mom would visit me and we’d go on New England road trips, eating steamy soups and stews to thaw the chill (she went through a photography stage involving a lot of outdoor postcard-type shots, which she would subsequently frame and hang in our home).

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Katie Lee’s Last Supper and Her Time at Pizza School

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 8th, 2014

Katie Lee at Pizza Schoolby Katie Lee

A friend of mine, Melanie Dunea, wrote a book called My Last Supper in which she asks chefs what they would want to eat for their last supper. I’ve often thought about what would be on my plate. I love fried chicken, Thanksgiving dinner, spaghetti and meatballs, my Grandma’s baked steak and gravy, and roast chicken and potatoes from this great little restaurant in Paris.

Gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking of all of those choices.

But ultimately, I think I’d go with the humble pizza pie. Not just any pizza, though. I’m not talking the run-of-the-mill, call up the delivery guy and it’s at my door in 30 minutes or less pizza. I’m talking true Neapolitan-style pie: thin, blistery crust that’s both chewy and crispy, just the right amount of fresh mozzarella, dotted like little islands in a sea of bright red tomato sauce, a sprinkle of salty Parmesan, a touch of fresh basil and a drizzle of the finest extra virgin olive oil.

Heaven.

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Drink the Olympics: 5 Winning Hot Drinks from Around the World

by in Drinks, Events, February 7th, 2014

Drink the Olympics: 5 Winning Hot Drinks from Around the WorldIt wouldn’t be the Winter Olympics without an inordinate amount of snow. Stay warm and cheer on your team with one of these winning hot drinks from around the world.

Glühwein — German mulled wine (often with a shot of aquavit or brandy added) — is a classic during the holidays and after skiing. Ina’s recipe is a hybrid between mulled wine and mulled cider.

Chai masala is an aromatic Indian drink that usually features cinnamon, ginger and other spices. Try Aarti’s classic recipe.

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New-South Chicken and Dumplings — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, February 7th, 2014

New-South Chicken and Dumplings — Down-Home ComfortWhy is it that so many comfort food classics start with a chicken in a pot? Chicken and dumplings is quite possibly the best cold-weather comfort food combination — thick, hearty stew married with fluffy, tender dumplings. There are two primary schools of thought when it comes to dumplings: dropped or rolled. Dumplings are essentially biscuits simmered in broth. The broth flavors the dumplings and the flour from the dumplings helps to thicken the stew.

My grandmother’s dumpling recipe was basically her recipe for biscuit dough rolled out and cut into strips. She started with a whole chicken and the entire process took a couple of hours; it was time-consuming. Frankly, when I am in need of comfort food, I often find my patience can wear a bit thin and I’m not into “time-consuming.”

Dumplings can be a bit tricky. It’s easy to wind up with heavy, pastelike dough balls. Ugh. There are recipes out there using canned biscuits, but with these easy-breezy dump-and-stir drop dumplings you can have wholesome, homemade, down-home comfort in a snap — made with ingredients you can pronounce. The secret is using warm milk. The heat expands and sets the flour so that the dumplings don’t as readily absorb the chicken stock in the stew.

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Wild Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Farrotto — The Weekender

by in Recipes, February 7th, 2014

Wild Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Farrotto - The WeekenderI discovered risotto when I was 27 years old. Before that, my only experience of anything even remotely risotto-like came from a box or involved a can of cream of mushroom soup. For a time, I made it every week as a way to stretch leftovers.

Lately I’ve been trying to eat more whole grains and fewer things that are blindingly white. I thought this meant that I’d need to give up my risotto habit entirely, but I’ve discovered that white rice isn’t the only grain with which one can make a savory pudding that stretches the end of a roast chicken into a brand-new meal.

I’ve tried it with barley, wheat berries and even oat groats, but the grain that has come out on top is definitely farro. Though some people argue about what farro is exactly, most typically believe it’s the whole-grain version of cereal crops known as einkorn, emmer and spelt.

A risotto made with farro won’t be quite as creamy as one made with rice, but it is worth making nonetheless. I really enjoy the sturdiness and texture of the grain. Unlike traditional risottos, this version reheats beautifully (though sadly, that means there’s no need to make risotto cakes).

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What to Watch: KC from the Sunshine Band Cooks with Guy, and Chocolatey Episodes from Trisha and Giada

by in Shows, February 7th, 2014

Guy and KCThis weekend on Food Network, watch all-new morning episodes from Ree, Trisha, Rachael, Guy, Jeff, Giada and Ina. On The Kitchen, the hosts have great new ideas for using kitchen tools in different ways. Both Trisha and Giada are inspired by chocolate in cooking their recipes. Jeff’s cooking his and hers French sandwiches. And on Guy’s Big Bite, KC from KC and the Sunshine band joins Guy in the kitchen to make mole.

In the evening on Saturday, watch a special Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and on Sunday night watch a special all-burger episode of Chopped, plus a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen where the chefs must cook potato skins without either the flesh or the skin of the potato.

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