Party Idea: Flowerpot Dip

by in Food Network Magazine, March 28th, 2012

flowerpot dipLiven up a party crudité platter with a trip to the hardware store: Terra-cotta planters make great (and cheap) dip bowls. Line the inside of the pot with parchment paper, then fill with hummus and “plant” some vegetables in the dip.

(Photograph by Charles Masters)

Best 5 Chocolate Pie Recipes

by in Recipes, March 27th, 2012

chocolate cream pie

Two desserts that are decadently delicious on their own, chocolate and pie, are bettered only when combined, creating an intensely rich and comforting dish that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether you’re serving guests or simply preparing an after-dinner treat for your family, Food Network’s top five chocolate pie recipes will impress crowds and kids alike.

5. Moo-Less Chocolate Pie — Alton’s milk-free dessert boasts traditional taste and texture, thanks to semisweet chocolate chips, a squeeze of honey and one secret ingredient: silken tofu.

4. Bobby’s Lighter Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie — Made with low-fat milk and fat-free whipped topping, this no-bake pie guarantees guilt-free decadence without sacrificing your favorite flavors.

Get the top three recipes

How to Shop: Buying Honey

by in How-to, March 27th, 2012

types of honeyI am always seduced by the honey stand at my local green market. The beeswax candles, the pollen and the different flavors of honey — how can so much good stuff come from such small creatures?

Here are some of my guidelines for buying honey:

— When I get the chance, I buy the single variety, usually yielded from only one type of flower, from a local producer that I trust. I find color speaks louder than words. Darker honeys, like chestnut and fir varieties, are rarer and have a stronger flavor. I use those on top of pancakes or add to braised carrots or roasted squash. Lighter-colored varieties, like acacia and clover, are mellower and great in tea. They add their honey “note,” but don’t obscure the tea.

Read more of Alex’s tips

Dandelion Greens — Off the Beaten Aisle

by in How-to, Recipes, March 26th, 2012

dandelion green cornbread
Let’s get the hard part out of the way. This week, I’m suggesting you eat something most people spend the better part of their adult lives trying to eradicate from their lawns: dandelion greens. Not the flowers or stems or the puffy white seeds kids love to blow (thereby complicating your eradication efforts).

Just the long, green leaves that grow toward the base of the plant.

While we know it better as a weed, since prehistory the leaves of this plant have been gathered and consumed around the world.

Americans have been cooking with them for many years. In fact, Fannie Farmer included them in the first edition (1896) of her classic cookbook.

The taste is a bit of a cross between arugula and kale — slightly bitter and robustly peppery. They are about a foot long with a saw-tooth edge.

Get the recipe for Cumin-Dandelion Green Cornbread

Easy Appetizers — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 26th, 2012


A no-fuss appetizer that dresses up any get-together, crostini are two-bite toasts that can be topped with any number of creative or classic ingredients, such as rich cheeses, sweet roasted vegetables, olives and more. In just 10 minutes, you can prepare Food Network Magazine’s Asparagus Crostini (pictured above), which features toasted baguette slices spread with creamy ricotta cheese and finished with vibrant asparagus and fruity olive oil.

To complete your pre-dinner snack spread, serve Sandra’s Sun-Dried Tomato Artichoke Buttons, made by topping artichoke bottoms with soft roasted tomatoes, a mini mozzarella ball and pesto, or Alton’s Citrus Marinated Olives from Food Network Magazine. He submerges green olives in a lemon juice-red wine vinegar mixture with spicy red pepper flakes then refrigerates them before serving.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Welcome Back to School, Recruits — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 26th, 2012

bobby flay and students
The school bell rang in the seventh episode of Worst Cooks in America, and the remaining four recruits dealt with some of their toughest critics yet: 30 second-grade students with impressive palettes. Each recruit was tasked to create their own healthy spin on a cafeteria classic, as well as a veggie side dish. Anne’s team took on chicken tacos, while Team Bobby tried their hand at quesadillas. While these dishes may sound easy, it’s a struggle for cafeterias across the country to make meals nutritious.

One rule that was strictly enforced: sanitation and dealing with raw chicken. Bobby had no problem with the recruits getting him sick, but he was adamant about maintaining food safety and avoiding cross-contamination for the children, making Melissa bring her sauce to a boil to destroy possible bacteria after she cross-contaminated her spoon.

Read more

Cookies for Breakfast

by , March 25th, 2012
breakfast cookies

Go ahead, break the rules -- bake cookies for breakfast.

Cookies for breakfast? We’re not talking about breaking open a pack of Oreos; Ellie’s breakfast cookies are loaded with whole grains, fruit, nuts cereal and even vegetables. They...

Read more

Have You Tried: Lemon Curd?

by , March 24th, 2012
lemon pies

If you've eaten lemon meringue pie, then you've eaten lemon curd.

Lemon curd is an outstanding combination of smooth, sweet, tart and tangy. You may be familiar with lemon meringue pie but have you paid attention to the star ingredient?

What ...

Read more