Sweet Potatoes — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, Recipes, February 15th, 2012

sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes get lots of love during the holidays, but there’s good reason to be thankful for them year round: They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber. Their naturally sweet, candy-like flavor also makes them a favorite among kids — or so I hear. Truth be told, my oldest is potato-phobic. I recently tried making oven-fried sweet potatoes and even those garnered thumbs down. I didn’t take this personally. It’s not me, it’s her — but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to give sweet potatoes a pink slip.

One thing I’ve always believed in is not dumbing down dinner just to get my daughters to eat it. I cook for my own enjoyment as much as their nourishment, which is why we have a one-bite policy: You can’t have an opinion about what’s served unless you actually taste it. That rule is usually my wild card and gives me license to keep playing with different sweet potato recipes in hopes I’ll come across one she eventually likes. Bacon being among her favorite foods, this recipe for Sweet Potato and Beet Hash is one I can’t wait to try. And since she loves guacamole, maybe there’s hope for Sweet Potato Fries With Avocado Dip, too.

More sweet potato recipes »

Win These Granola Clusters!

by , February 15th, 2012
KIND granola

You could win these.

Staying healthy when you’re constantly on-the-go is tough. Often, it’s easier just to grab something from the vending machine or the nearest fast food joint. Keeping a bag of snacks nearby can not only satiate afterno...

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5 Things to Know About Your Refrigerator

by in How-to, February 15th, 2012

refrigerator safetyA refrigerator in tip-top condition provides prime storage conditions for your perishables and stops odors and bacteria from flourishing.

1. The temperature should remain between 30 degrees F and 40 degrees F. While freezers should clock in at zero or below, a refrigerator that hovers no higher than 40 degrees F is safest for food storage, as it inhibits bacterial growth.

2. Your refrigerator and freezer need to be cleaned each season. Freshen up the fridge and its contents by doing away with odors and lingering germs. Remove everything from inside, weeding out items that need to go. (Put edible odds and ends to use in everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads, pizzas or soups.) Replace open boxes of baking soda, then take a bucket of water combined with a few spoonfuls of the replaced baking soda (it’s still effective as a household cleaner) and wipe down every surface.

Refrigerator door shelves are where it’s warmest »

Choc-Tail Hour: Chocolate Cocktails From Food Network Magazine

by in Drinks, Food Network Magazine, February 14th, 2012

s'mores martini
Some restaurants let you have your chocolate and drink it, too.

The Peninsula, Chicago

When The Peninsula needed a cocktail to complete its chocolate buffet spread, bartender Aaron Johnson developed three, and all of them ended up on the regular bar menu. This S’mores Martini (pictured above) causes the most fuss: Patrons smell the barkeeps toasting the marshmallow rim and can’t help but order one for themselves. 108 East Superior St.; peninsula.com

More chocolate cocktails »

Double-Duty Gadgets in the Kitchen

by in Shows, February 14th, 2012

erica weidner
Even though we’re only one episode into the new season of Worst Cooks in America, there’s one contestant in particular that’s caught my eye: Erica Weidner. Playing for Team Bobby, she’s quirky, ready to learn and hilarious.

For the Baseline Skill Challenge, the contestants were asked to cook a dish that would “explain who they were.” Erica, whose family has dubbed her an impractical cook, thinks she’s just resourceful. We saw this come to play when she used scissors to cut up a bell pepper. In the past, she’s also used disposable razors to peel turnips and plyers to remove giblets from a frozen chicken.

This got me thinking: What other gadgets have people used to cook up a dish in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below. The person with the most unique double-duty gadget technique will be featured in an FN Dish post next week.

5 Tips for Successful Fudge

by in Food Network Magazine, February 13th, 2012

chocolate fudge
1.    Pick the right day: Avoid making fudge on humid days. It can actually absorb the extra moisture in the air, making fudge softer.

2.    Test your thermometer: It’s important your candy thermometer is accurate. Testing this is simple: Place your thermometer in a pot of boiling water (be careful not to let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan); it should read 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. If the thermometer is off, be sure to add or subtract the difference while cooking.

3.    Use the right pan: Be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan to prevent scorching while cooking. It’s also important to use the size pan specified in the recipe.

Beware of lingering sugar and have patience »

Perfect Veggie Burgers — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 13th, 2012

Getting its considerable heft from chopped walnuts, pinto beans, barley and breadcrumbs, this veggie-packed patty is tender and moist, thanks to a splash of soy sauce, egg whites and tangy barbecue sauce. For a touch of crunch and fried indulgence, top each burger with a few crispy onion rings.

To complete this diner dinner, cook up Bobby’s Seasoned Grilled Fries, dusted with chili powder and cumin, and prepare his creamy, frothy Double Chocolate-Marshmallow Milkshake, ready in just 10 minutes.

Get the recipe: Perfect Veggie Burgers from Food Network Magazine

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.