Last-Minute Super Bowl Cupcakes

by in Holidays, February 5th, 2012

football cupcakes
I can’t help it. As much as I want to deny it, Super Bowl Sunday for me is, well, not about football. Its about the food. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite get-togethers because people focus on two things:

1. Food that is easy to eat

2. Food that is delicious

No one is counting calories or worried if someone eats with their hands, it’s just all-out food fun.

I made these cupcakes with that in mind. They’re easy to make, so if you’re still looking for a last-minute dessert that you can make for your party, this one is a crowd-pleaser. I wanted to personalize them for the big day, but still make something that people can stuff in their mouth on a moment’s notice if the referee makes a horrendous call.

Find out what you’ll need to make these cupcakes »

Not a Sports Fan? Super Bowls of Soup

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 4th, 2012

Have you heard? This Sunday is the Super Bowl. We have wing, nacho and chili recipes galore, all to ensure that your Big-Game Bash will not leave you fumbling in the kitchen. But what if you’re not a sports fan or simply prefer to stay away from those deliciously decadent dishes? Then this weekend, the name of the game is rich, hearty, bold-flavored soups instead. Below, check out a few of our most super bowls of soup, perfect for game day or any other.

With buttered croutons, rustic potatoes, salty bacon and a generous splash of cream, Food Network Magazine’s Potato-Leek Soup With Bacon is a no-fail recipe that is ready in only 40 minutes. Pureeing just half of the soup is an easy way to ensure the broth’s smooth consistency while preserving its chunky texture.

Though Ellie Krieger lightens up traditional Tomato-Tortilla Soup by cooking with chicken broth instead of heavy cream, her recipe from Cooking Channel promises classic flavor from lime juice, sautéed garlic and plenty of tomatoes. For a crispy, crunchy touch, garnish with golden tortilla strips before serving.

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Best 5 Super Bowl Recipes

by in Recipes, February 4th, 2012

What’s the Super Bowl if you don’t have snacks to munch on during it? This Sunday, instead of ordering delivery pizza or resorting to frozen chicken wings, serve up a super spread of touchdown-worthy eats at your Big-Game Bash. Our top five Super Bowl recipes below are quick-to-prepare, traditional dishes that are sure to win points with your team of friends.

5. Guacamole — Alton adds a hint of heat to his classic guacamole with a pinch of cayenne.

4. Hot Crab Dip — Dunk crackers or toasted pita bread into this rich, cheesy dip, featuring lump crabmeat, sweet roasted garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

Get the top three recipes »

An Easy Super Bowl Party — Hot Off the Press

by in Holidays, February 3rd, 2012

easy super bowl party recipes
Yeah, I know, everybody’s throwing a Super Bowl party. But on this day, I avoid the celebratory one-upmanship and stick with an easy, stress-free concept that allows me to enjoy the actual football-watching part of the big game (imagine that!).

I’m all about a sandwich bar and beer. Albeit a little spiffed up because I toast the sandwiches and serve craft beers, but straightforward enough, right?

Now I realize that, depending on your comfort level in the kitchen, “easy” and “stress-free” are relative terms. But taking this notion of sandwiches and beer and kicking it up a notch really is simple — even for the novice cook or reluctant entertainer. Honest.

The ground rules are simple: Invite a bunch of friends, tell them to bring something (ice, drinks, a side or dessert), and you provide the main course (in this case, sandwiches). Gone is the pressure of heavy-duty cooking, replaced by a focus on enjoying your pals and having a good time.

Get Scott’s playbook for equipment, spreads, beer and more »

Cherry, Almond and Cinnamon Granola — The Weekender

by in Recipes, February 3rd, 2012

cherry almond and cinnamon granola
I come from a family with hippie tendencies, particularly when it comes to food. During my childhood, the only bread in our fridge was the kind that had at least eight different kinds of grains. I didn’t know that rice could be anything other than brown for my first decade. And for years, I assumed that everyone made granola on a weekly basis.

Every Sunday afternoon, my mom would pull out her rimmed cookie sheets, a big jar of oats and jug of honey to make that week’s batch. Her recipe came from a friend who, for a time, had a granola business. It was of the kitchen-sink variety and included flaked coconut, wheat germ and sesame seeds. While it was quite delicious, it was built for nutrition more than to appeal to my six-year-old taste buds.

As it turns out, this apple hasn’t fallen very far from her tree. Once I got out on my own, it wasn’t long before I fell into the same Sunday afternoon granola habit that I grew up with. My kitchen feels quite naked without a jar of granola on the counter. I eat it with a bit of milk for breakfast, munch on a handful when the late-afternoon munchies strike and dash a few clusters over Greek yogurt for that late-evening something sweet.

Before you start toasting your oats, read these tips »

Jeff Mauro Talks Sandwiches for the Big Game

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, February 3rd, 2012

Jeff Mauro Talks Sandwiches for the Big Game
You created six new sandwiches for Food Network specifically for the big game this Sunday. How did you come up with them?

JM: They are easy sandwiches I would want to eat while watching a game. Plus, they hold well so they are going to remain fresh and tasty, at least until halftime, when they’re all gone.

rueben meatball slidersWhich one can we expect on your menu?

JM: My good friend is actually hosting an engagement party the day of the big game, which is not only grounds for a man-card revocation, but also cuts into my prep time. That’s why I’m making the Rueben Meatball Sliders. They are easy to make ahead, as well as the Monster Muffaletta, which really involves no cooking.

Bread can make or break a sandwich »

February Food Festivals

by in Events, February 3rd, 2012

garlic ice cream
Even if one is stuck in the Great White North, February is still a fiery month for food festivals.

Tropical Wine Festival, Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 3: Iowa is more than a crucial battleground in presidential politics, it’s a fertile land for oenophiles with a sense of humor when it comes to clothing — we’re as surprised as you are — during the first weekend in February. The Tropical Wine Festival, for which attendees are encouraged to don their favorite tropical attire, unites local wineries and lovers of their vintages for a few hours of chin-chins and nibbles from area food purveyors, including The Cheese Shop of Des Moines and Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge. Go all the way with Hawaiian leis and tiny bubbles when musical group Tropical Steel fires things up.

AleFest Columbus, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 5: Warm up in the Buckeye State with this one-day brew fete. Beer aficionados will geek out at the opportunity to sample some of the more than 250 stellar creations — including cask — at this seventh-annual affair. Admission ($40) earns the festival-goer a tasting glass to be filled with 20 samples and a guide to scheduled events, including a silent auction and a raffle for beer collectibles. Belly up to the booth.

More food festivals in February »

Make a Nacho Cheesecake for the Super Bowl

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, February 2nd, 2012

Try This At Home: Nacho Normal Cheesecake
On game day, fake out your guests with this nacho platter from Food Network Magazine — it’s really dessert. Follow this easy step-by-step guide and whip up a nacho cheesecake in no time. While you’re at it, try your hand at another one of the magazine’s wacky and creative cakes.

Chorizo — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, February 2nd, 2012

roasted chicken with chorizo
Chorizo is a bit like pornography. You’ll know it when you see it, but it’s a bit hard to define in the abstract.

That’s because there are several hundred varieties of this sausage made across at least three continents and many bear little resemblance to the others.

Making matters worse, chorizo makers in the U.S. are a pretty freewheeling bunch. No matter what the packages say, you never quite know what you’re getting.

The good news is that you don’t need to sift through all that to understand why this meat is well worth working into your dinner repertoire.

At its most basic level, chorizo is a sausage made from chopped or ground pork and a ton of seasonings, often including garlic.

The flavors are deeply smoky and savory, with varying degrees of heat. Most are assertive and peppery, but not truly spicy.

Roasted Chicken With Chorizo and Root Veggies »

Groundhog Day Menu

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 2nd, 2012

Smoky Pork Calzone

Be prepared for anything when Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole this Groundhog Day. Whether he sees his shadow and proclaims the doldrums of winter will continue or scurries around in a jovial spring-will-be-here-before-you-know-it jig, this mix of cold-weather comfort food and pre-warm-weather dishes are sure to be a hit.

Stay warm with Alton’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese. In cold weather, nothing is better than gooey macaroni topped with a crispy layer of cheese and bread crumbs. Save leftovers for fried macaroni and cheese.

Food Network Magazine’s Smoky Pork Calzones (pictured above) are an easy weeknight meal. Ground pork, smoked paprika and shredded mozzarella put a hearty spin on the typical pizza-dough calzone.

You’d never guess this Spicy Vegetarian Chili is seasoned with cocoa powder and coffee. Make an extra-large batch and freeze the leftovers.

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