How to Eat Better on a Budget

by in Recipes, January 17th, 2015

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White BeansOn this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts kicked off their Waste Not … episode with a look at new ways to stretch your dinner dollar and take advantage of your freezer and pantry for budget-friendly fixings. While your New Year’s resolution for healthier eating in 2015 may have led you to the grocery store for seemingly necessary specialty ingredients, believe it or not, you don’t have to spend a lot to prepare lighter recipes. It all comes down to stocking your kitchen with good-to-have staples like a mix of whole grains and canned beans. Check out Food Network’s 14 Musts for a Budget Pantry, then read on below for some of Food Network’s favorite healthy dinners that won’t break the bank.

Made with only a handful of ingredients, this recipe for easy-to-prepare Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans (pictured above) suggests roasting tomatoes and garlic until soft and sweet, and letting them shine in place of a traditional tomato sauce. For extra heft, Ellie Krieger adds cannellini beans to the pasta, plus sprinkles of fresh basil and nutty Parmesan cheese for flavor.

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Warm Up with Winter-Ready Oatmeal for Breakfast

by in Recipes, January 17th, 2015

With a heartiness that’ll keep you going long past breakfast and a warmth that’ll keep you cozy on the coldest of winter mornings, oatmeal is perfect for your first meal of the day. These healthful whole-grains can be cooked on the stove, sauteed in a skillet, baked in the oven and even prepared overnight in the fridge. So no matter how you cook your oats and whichever way you serve them, this versatile grain is sure to make it into your weekly rotation.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal (pictured above)
Alton sautes steel-cut oats (or pinhead oats, as they’re referred to in England) in butter so the natural sugar in the oats will caramelize and develop a toasty taste. Keep an eye on the pan, though, so it doesn’t burn.

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Bakers’ Dozens: Sweet Temptations at the Airport

by in Recipes, January 16th, 2015

Why are the sweets at most airports dry, flavorless, high in fat and sugar, and oddly very appealing? Is it the cinnamon-sugar smell that drifts down the terminal corridor, reeling you in with the sweet smell of home? What about the smell of freshly baked soft pretzels or sugared nuts? Intoxicating, especially while traveling, when planning meals is sometimes too overwhelming.

Let’s talk cinnamon buns. I love my cinnamon bun recipe so much, and it’s pretty easy. I keep baked cinnamon buns in the freezer, individually wrapped and ready to go for mornings on the run. Just pop one of these bad boys in the microwave and it’s off to the airport (or work or school). You’ll be completely satisfied and never tempted again (maybe) by overly sweet airport buns. Check out this step-by-step how-to for my Bacon, Bourbon and Hazelnut Cinnamon Buns.

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9 Fresh Ideas for Winter School Lunches

by in Family, January 16th, 2015

Sandwiches on a StickOK, I admit it: I was a little relieved when school started again after the winter break. The house will be quiet again, I thought to myself. The house will be clean again. (In both cases, the “at least for a little while” part is implied, but you parents knew that.) In the midst of all this reflection, though, I forgot about something: packing lunches.

Without the allure of new lunchboxes, packing lunch this time of year can get tedious, so we’re stepping it up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas, including new things to try ourselves.

1. Embrace the Skewer: Chop up your kids’ favorite sub-style sandwich ingredients into big bites, then thread them onto a bamboo skewer, like what’s pictured above.

2. Amp Up Your Cheese and Crackers: Instead of a sandwich, serve cheese and crackers, but do it antipasto style by tucking in a couple of cheeses, one favorite and one new variety. Then add turkey lunchmeat and a couple of slices of salami.

3. Serve Soup: What’s more comforting than a thermos of hot homemade soup? We’re trying this 10-Minute Tomato Soup recipe ourselves. (P.S. Send a few crackers to add on the spot.)

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What to Watch: Budget-Friendly Meals, Money-Saving Tips and More

by in Shows, January 16th, 2015

Daphne DishesThis weekend on Food Network, tune in for programming on Saturday and Sunday morning geared to help you create budget-minded meals, whether it’s tips for shopping in bulk, using up leftovers in a creative way or using inexpensive ingredients to get the best bang for your buck. Ree Drummond, the hosts of The Kitchen, Guy Fieri and Daphne Brogdon are full of ideas to help you.

Also, on Saturday, Giada De Laurentiis shows you how to make restaurant-style dishes at home. Then, on Sunday night, tune in for three hours of competition with Guy’s Grocery Games: Family Style, Worst Cooks in America and Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Death & Co — Off the Shelf

by in Books, Drinks, January 15th, 2015

Death & Co.When it comes to building a bar from scratch and mixing mind-blowing cocktails at home, the team from Death & Co, one of Manhattan’s elite cocktail bars, has all the tips and tricks you need. David Kaplan, Alex Day and Nick Fauchald recently released their first cookbook, titled Death & Co, which tells the story of how they opened the namesake bar in New York City and built their drink menu. With their book and their expert advice, before you know it you’ll be enjoying your own home bar and throwing the best cocktail parties in your group of friends. Start with Kaplan’s top-five rules for setting up your home bar (and maybe a Muddled Mission, recipe after the link):

1. Start with the basics: one mixable base spirit in the major categories: gin, tequila, whiskey (preferably rye if I’m around), rum and vodka — brandy as well if you’re a fan, which we all should be. Add a few frequently used modifiers (such as sweet and dry vermouth, Triple Sec, maybe a curacao of some kind).

2. Remember that “mixable” doesn’t mean “cheap,” but it should be affordable. We usually stick to a range of $15 to $30 per bottle.

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Coffee vs. Tea: Do We Have a Winner?

by in Drinks, News, January 15th, 2015

Coffee vs. TeaLadies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event.

In this corner, weighing in hot from the kettle, all the way from Asia, the aromatic beverage made from steeped leaves, enjoyed in a variety of types (black, green, white, herbal, oolong, etc.) and once memorably lampooned by Stephen Colbert … please put your hands together for … tea!

And in this corner, a brewed morning, midday and evening pick-me-up that – to lovers of lattes, cravers of cappuccinos and enjoyers of espressos, especially – likely needs no introduction … please give a fresh-ground greeting to … coffee!

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Braised Short Ribs — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 15th, 2015

Braised Short Ribs — The WeekenderA cold front has settled down over the country and everyone is searching for ways to keep warm. Some people bundle up in many layers of down and wool. Others drink mug after mug of steaming hot tea. While I embrace both of those approaches, my favorite way to respond to days of deep freeze is to turn on the oven.

I make loaves of oatmeal bread, roast up trays of root vegetables and braise anything that I can get my hands on. In the last two weeks, I’ve tucked a whole chicken into a bed of sauteed leeks and white wine. I’ve made my grandmother’s famous onion and turkey legs (served over brown rice to soak up the juices). And I pulled my favorite orange Dutch oven off the shelf to make Jeff Mauro’s Braised Short Ribs.

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6 Newfangled Ways to Get Your Pizza Fix — Comfort Food Feast

by in Recipes, January 15th, 2015

Supreme Pizza DipWhen we talk out-of-the box pizza, we’re not about to lay down newfangled topping ideas or totally avant-garde ways to make the perfectly crispy crust. In fact, we’re scrapping the current way you take your pizza altogether. Instead of devouring it by the slice day in and day out, get your fix in alternative ways. These riffs on our favorite pie pack all of that pizza flavor in a different kind of package:

1. When you’re watching the big game or having a gathering with friends, dip is the name of the game. Ultra-cheesy Supreme Pizza Dip (pictured above) has the works, with pepperoni, onions, bell peppers and a hearty tomato sauce to boot. It’s topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses that leave the oven melted and bubbly, and scooping it all up with a crusty baguette will immediately transport you to your local pizzeria.

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Cadbury Crème Egg Fans Cluck Up a Fuss Over Recipe Change

by in News, January 15th, 2015

Cadbury Creme EggsWhen you tinker with a beloved holiday-candy staple, you’ve got to figure you’ll freak a few people out. But even so, the level of outrage cracked open by Mondelez International’s admission that it had changed the recipe of the Cadbury Crème Egg, that paragon of confection perfection, has been, perhaps, a bit ova the top.

“Stop all the clocks. Cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,” Adam Gabbatt wrote in The Guardian on Monday, when the change was confirmed, saying it would “go down in confectionery history as a bad day. A hurtful day.”

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