7 After-School Snacks That Won’t Spoil Dinner

by in Recipes, August 24th, 2015

Light, energizing and easy to prepare: That’s the elusive after-school snack trifecta. When store shelves are lined with chips, sugary fruit snacks and other empty calories, shopping for something that fits the bill can feel a lot like searching for a needle in a haystack. The obvious alternative is to skip store-bought options in favor of something homemade, but few people have time to prepare snacks in addition to dinner. Beat the after-school crunch by preparing healthy foods over the weekend and keeping them on hand for later in the week. Homemade granola bars and trail mixes are a great place to start. Fresh veggies can be washed and cut in mere minutes, and vegetable-based dips such as guacamole or hummus make crudites seem appealing. Here are some more quick, nutritious, kid-friendly snacks to tide your family over till dinner’s ready.

Protein Bars
These nutty bars studded with dried fruit will stave off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner for only 167 calories per serving. Make a batch over the weekend so your family will have them on hand for quick and convenient after-school snacking throughout the week.

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Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 24th, 2015

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Sesame DressingDuring these sunny and sometimes sticky summer months, a refreshing meal can be just what you crave. And in the season where pasta and potato salad seems to be at every cookout and barbecue, it’s the perfect time to try a new chilled recipe like Food Network Kitchen’s Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing (pictured above).

The secret to this dish is toasting the sesame seeds to deepen their natural nutty flavor. With just 4 to 5 minutes in a saute pan, these tiny seeds toast up quickly and are transformed with robust flavor. Food Network Kitchen purees the seeds in a blender with chile-garlic sauce, lemon and oil for a no-fuss creamy dressing with a subtle tang. Once the dressing is ready, drizzle it over spaghetti-like buckwheat soba noodles, which share a natural nuttiness with the sesame seeds. Lastly, top the noodles with a variety of fresh veggies. You’ll get a slight sweetness and bright color from the corn, plus a heartiness from the creamy avocado. Add in cucumber for that crisp and refreshing crunch that makes this meal a delicious summer go-to.

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9 Campfire-Friendly Foods to Try for Labor Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, August 24th, 2015

There’s something about cooking over a campfire that captures summer’s spirit. Maybe it’s that pleasant charcoal flavor, the meal cooked entirely outside, or the inherent bonding that sitting in a cozy and fire-lit circle fosters — or a beautiful combination of all these elements. It’s the perfect way to cap off summer and a favorite Labor Day weekend activity. Try these recipes over your campfire, from dinner to dessert — and make more than just s’mores.

Camping Sandwiches (pictured above)
These sandwiches get grill rings from special sandwich presses, but you can use a foil-wrapped brick to weigh the sandwiches down instead. Guy Fieri suggests options from chili to berry cream cheese, but feel free to invent your own pairings. Keep your ingredients at room-temperature to minimize melting time.

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“It’s an Angry Pan” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, August 23rd, 2015

For mobile eateries like food trucks as well as brick-and-mortar hot spots, social media is the name of the game in terms of guaranteeing success. When Alton Brown auctioned off a savvy @-shaped pan in Round 1’s breakfast sandwich battle, however, success seemed impossible for the chef competitors. But believe it or not, cooking up the classic morning meal on this metal contraption was indeed possible. Codii Lopez, a member of the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew, showed off her approach to this doozy of a challenge on tonight’s latest installment of Testing the Sabotages.

For Codii, perhaps the trickiest aspect of the pan proved to be its signature shape, as she explained, “My main concerns here is that it’s all just going to fall off, because I only have these little pieces of metal and the rest is fire.” That fire indeed caused a few flare-ups when Codii took to frying the bacon: “The flame is licking the fattiest part of this bacon,” she said. “It’s hissing at me. It’s an angry pan,” she noted, attempting to move the bacon just a smidge away from the open heat. No matter a few bright-red flames, though, she managed to turn out well-done bacon before facing her next hurdle: cooking a sunny-side-up egg using just the narrow edges of the pan. No sooner did she crack an egg onto the pan did the yolk flop into the burner, forcing her to resort to squeezing out a scrambled mixture instead.

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Why Trader Joe’s May Be a Whole Lot Better for Your Home’s Value Than Whole Foods

by in News, August 23rd, 2015

Why Trader Joe’s May Be a Whole Lot Better for Your Home Value Than Whole FoodsPop quiz: Living near which of these grocery meccas is better for your property value? Whole Foods, with its vast, glistening rainbow of organic produce and prettily prepared foods with price points to match, or Trader Joe’s, with its deliciously affordable array of fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet specialties and staples, not to mention its inexpensive signature wine?

The answer? Ye Olde House of Two-Buck Chuck.

Homes near Trader Joe’s tend to appreciate considerably more, on average, than those near Whole Foods, according to an analysis conducted by real estate data site RealtyTrac. People who own homes near Trader Joe’s have seen their home values increase an average of 40 percent since they purchased them. Those with homes that share a ZIP code with Whole Foods, meanwhile, have enjoyed only a 34 percent appreciation, which is the average appreciation for homes in all U.S. ZIP codes.

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Penne with Butternut Squash to Help You Prepare for Fall — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, August 23rd, 2015

Penne with Butternut SquashBy no means has fall arrived — New York City, at least, is still sweating it out in the midst of 90-degree temperatures — but already food fans have started to crave a switch in flavors from the light and cool to the warm and comforting. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week (pictured above), laced with golden butternut squash and earthy mushrooms, is a transitional meal of sorts, ready to help you bridge the gap between the refreshing tastes of summer and the hearty fare of autumn. Featured in Food Network Magazine, this go-to supper can be on the table in only 30 speedy minutes, so keep it in your back pocket for those hectic back-to-school weeknights.

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

Get the Recipe: Penne with Butternut Squash from Food Network Magazine

50 Easy and Irresistible Bar Cookies from Food Network Magazine

by in Food Network Magazine, Recipes, August 23rd, 2015

cookie barsCookie bars are the best way to bake for a crowd. Instead of taking time to scoop evenly sized balls of dough, turn your favorite cookies into one-pan treats. They’ll cook evenly and look fabulous. In just about an hour (or less) and with minimal cleanup, you’ll have a delicious portable dessert to feed a party.

Whether you’re a cookie monster, you prefer cheesecake or you eat gluten-free, there’s a cookie bar recipe for you. Find it in Food Network Magazine’s 50 Bar Cookies from the September issue. Brownies and blondies are included, as are equally irresistible no-bake options when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Read on to discover favorite batches from the Food Network Magazine recipe developers, plus a bonus recipe.

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Must-Pack Travel Snacks for Kids

by in Family, Recipes, August 22nd, 2015


Whether you’re hopping on a plane or have a long road trip ahead, snacks are a key factor in successful travel with kids. Before you head off for that end-of-summer family vacation, make sure to check some of these kid-approved portable snacks off your packing list. Tired, hungry traveling parents should certainly partake of these goodies, too.

Gluten-Free Cheesy Crackers
These crunchy, cheesy bite-size crackers are easy enough for kids to make themselves. Let them measure ingredients, cut out the crackers in fun shapes, and sprinkle on toppings like sesame and poppy seeds. Then pack the crackers up for happy munching in transit.

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3 Ways to Flavor-Bomb Your Ice Cream

by in Recipes, Shows, August 22nd, 2015

GZ's Family-Style Chocolate Mint SundaeIt’s summertime and it’s sticky-humid-oh-so hot outside, so there’s no question what one ingredient is on your must-have list for the grocery store: ice cream. While there’s indeed nothing wrong with digging out a scoop from the carton — or eating straight from the carton — you can surely dress up the everyday varieties to turn them into all-new treats. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared three easy ways to turn out extra-special chilly desserts using just your favorite flavors of ice cream, which you likely already have on hand, plus a few extra add-ins.

GZ’s Family-Style Chocolate Mint Sundae features a beloved taste combo: chocolate and peppermint. For a minty-fresh bite, Geoffrey Zakarian mixes just a bit of peppermint extract into melted chocolate, then pours it over rich vanilla ice cream before piling on the decadent toppings: brownie chunks (opt for store-bought to save time), plus sweet marinated cherries, fluffy whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks. Since Geoffrey serves up a whopping 12 scoops of ice cream, this indulgent platter is big enough to satisfy even the most-demanding sweet tooths in your family.

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Calling All August Babies! Birthday Treat of the Month

by in Recipes, August 22nd, 2015

How to Make an Ice Cream SundaeWe’re big on birthdays here in the Food Network offices. It’s a time when we all preheat our ovens, pull out our mixers and bake something special for our co-workers. But that whole run-of-the-mill birthday cake thing? It’s been done. We’re here to prove that there’s more to birthdays than classic birthday cake — and our treats don’t need to be sweet either. Instead of agonizing over the perfect gift, remember that all a birthday boy or girl needs is a little something homemade to know how much you care.

When it comes to showing the August baby in your life some love, do it in the most-special way possible: with a cherry on top. Ice cream lovers will go wild for these loaded ice cream creations, piled high with sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge and a few unexpected toppings. With hot and cold elements, these crowd-pleasing festive treats are perfect for ringing in the peak of summer heat. There’s a science to making the perfect ice cream sundae, and you can learn how to build the idyllic one here. Read on for more quirky, cherry-topped (and candlelit) sundae creations.

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