Scary-Simple Tricks and Treats for Last-Minute Halloween Parties

by in Entertaining, Holidays, October 30th, 2012

Monster Cupcakes
With Halloween just hours away, you’re likely feeling prepared for this spooky-sweet holiday by now. Candy and costumes? Check, check. Trick-or-treat plans? Made them. Extra candy? Of course. But then your child comes home from school and announces that he’s volunteered to bring in treats for his classroom Halloween party tomorrow. What do you do? Instead of relying on your secret stash of candy bars to save the day, try preparing easy, kid-friendly sweet treats that will wow your child and surely be the talk of the elementary school.

To start, follow Sandra Lee’s lead and embrace the magic that is Semi-Homemade Cooking. Her Monster Cupcakes come together in just 20 quick minutes, thanks to pre-made unfrosted cupcakes. The secret to working with store-bought goodies is putting your own signature spin on them. These cupcakes, for example, become extra special and look downright homemade once you — or your kids — decorate them. Sandra opts for green-tinted frosting and colorful candies to create simple, silly monsters.

Keep reading for more last-minute ideas

Monster Cookies — The New Girl

by in Holidays, October 29th, 2012

monster cookiesI consider myself to be a moderately adventurous eater and determined cook. I enjoy expanding my food horizons and working with new ingredients. Saffron, anchovies — bring it on. But I have to admit, every once in a while all I want is a cookie. Not a cookie with sea salt or cocoa nibs, but a simple cookie, filled with goodies that a 10-year-old would go crazy over. Enter Monster Cookies.

There are some spooky recipes out there for Halloween, but Monster Cookies are anything but scary (despite what their name implies). The whole process is beautifully simple: just stir, mix and set the timer. Don’t be afraid of a kitchen mess because you’ll only need one bowl. The cookies are filled with peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&M’s and oats — a baking newbie can’t go wrong when it comes to flavor.

Here are a few things to consider before making this recipe

Mix Up Your Onions

by in Food Network Magazine, October 29th, 2012

Shallot

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Keep red onions on hand: They’re milder than yellow or white ones, so you can eat them raw. Plus, you can substitute them for shallots in most recipes, like the vodka sauce in this Penne With Vodka Sauce recipe. Use 1/2 small red onion for every large shallot.

(Photograph by Lara Robby/Studio D)

5 Scary High-Calorie Menu Items

by , October 29th, 2012

restaurant menu
Like many of you, I check the nutrition facts on menus when I’m out to eat. Every so often I come across such high-calorie menu items that it makes me shake in my boots! Check out these 5 menu items with frighteningly high calorie counts plus see ...

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Huevos “Ranch”eros — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 29th, 2012

Huevos When you’ve run through your repertoire of supper staples and want to add something new to the mix of weeknight meals, try thinking beyond dinner recipes and incorporating breakfast favorites into your routine instead. Offering just as hearty a meal as more traditional dinners, eggs can be dressed up beyond their everyday scrambles and be turned into satisfying dishes in a flash.

In their recipe for Huevos “Ranch”eros (pictured above), Food Network Magazine takes humble fried eggs to the next delicious level by preparing a rich tomato-bean mixture to serve with them. The secret ingredient in this combination is the chipotles in adobo sauce — they pack a hefty punch of flavor, a bit of heat and plenty of traditional Southwestern taste. Serve the eggs atop a scoop of beans and finish with slices of creamy, cool avocado and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese. As a crispy-crunchy side dish, deep-fry a batch of corn tortillas and finish them with a dusting of dry ranch dressing mix.

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Battle Potato — Road to Redemption Web Series Recap

by in Shows, October 28th, 2012

road to redemption battle potatoChef Estes and Chef Wong definitely earned their places in the final showdown and neither seemed particularly alarmed when Alton Brown revealed their secret ingredient: a wide range of potatoes.

After a rather frightening battle to claim other ingredients from the refrigerator, both chefs set about making two very different dishes. If creativity had been the only criteria, then Chef Wong would have been the clear winner. There were two main flaws with her dish, however, that meant we had to mark her down. I felt that the use of celery leaves was a mistake and overpowered some of the more subtle flavors, while Alton found the base of purple potato puree to be gluey and overworked.

Chef Estes’ dish was less adventurous and she was faced with a battle to persuade three experienced judges that a seemingly simple chowder was noteworthy. She did that with her perfect preparation of three different types of potato and an herb cream that had us all wiping the bottoms of our bowls with our fingers.

Keep reading and relive the battle

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 28th, 2012

parmesan smashed potatoes
Whether you’re starting to plan your Thanksgiving side recipes or just looking for the perfect recipe to complement tonight’s dinner, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is a knockout. Ina Garten enhances the classic mashed potato recipe for Food Network Magazine by leaving the skins on red potatoes and then mixing them until smooth by folding in sour cream, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

For more Turkey Day inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Plan: Food Network Magazine’s Thanksgiving Menu board on Pinterest.

Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine‘s Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Cook Like an Iron Chef: Enter for a Chance to Win a 10-Piece Cookware Set From DISH

by in Contests, October 28th, 2012

1o-pc stainless steel cookware set
It’s official: The countdown to The Next Iron Chef: Redemption has officially begun — fans are just seven days away from the premiere episode (November 4 at 9 pm ET/PT). Since this season is all about redemption, you’ll see 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Want to brush up on your Next Iron Chef history before it starts? The Next Iron Chef: Redemption stories are now available to watch for DISH customers starting today. In this series, chefs from previous seasons of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America provide an intimate behind-the-scenes look at their experience competing on the show, including an explanation of what went wrong for them and what led to their ultimate elimination. Tune into Blockbuster Studio Channel 102 exclusively on DISH to check out this season’s chefs — click here for the schedule. The chefs will also detail their strategy for victory in the upcoming season (channel 110 for DISH customers). Each behind-the-scenes interview will be paired with the Next Iron Chef or Iron Chef America episode that sent them packing in an earlier season.

In celebration of the new season and these stories, DISH is giving away stainless steel cookware sets to five lucky fans. Between the holiday season coming up and everyday cooking, these pots and pans will have you cooking like an Iron Chef in no time. You can buy your own cookware set here or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us which chef you’re rooting for this season and why. We’re giving away a 10-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set to five lucky, randomly selected commenters.

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