When it comes to dessert, I’m not particularly inventive. On the nights when it’s just my husband and me, we stick to the simple things like a nibble of chocolate or if we’re feeling particularly virtuous, sliced apple dipped in a little peanut butter. When I have more than the two of us to satisfy, I tend to gravitate toward fruit crisps or basic brownies. No one ever complains, particularly if I serve them with vanilla ice cream.
Once in a great while, however, I feel the need to up my game a little. Such is the case for an upcoming gathering of my potluck group. We’ve taken most of the summer off from getting together, as nearly every week, someone was dashing off to a distant beach town or jetting across the country to visit family. But with the start of the new school year, people are settling back down and are free for potlucking once again.
The next dinner is this weekend, and I’ve been assigned dessert. Our hostess is from Mexico and since September 15 is Mexican Independence Day, a theme has emerged. I needed something impressive and in keeping with the rest of the meal. Enter Marcela Valladolid’s Banana and Cajeta Layered Crepes. They’re dramatic, thematic and different from anything I’ve ever brought before. I made one crepe as a trial run earlier this week, to ensure that it wouldn’t be a flop for my friends. Happily, it’s delicious and fits the bill for this potluck perfectly. Next time you need a dessert that will wow folks, I highly recommend this one. It’s a bit labor-intensive, but that just makes it perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start layering your crepes, read these tips
Guy Fieri will host Brew B’Que at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival in Santa Monica, Calif., October 13-16. Chefs from across the country will be serving their top home-style barbecue recipes alongside beers from all over the world. A portion of the proceeds will benefit St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. The four-day event will also feature Tyler Florence, Masaharu Morimoto, Duff Goldman, Scott Conant, Giada De Laurentiis and Michael Chiarello.
Book signings with Anne, Paula, Lisa and Marcela »
Marcela Valladolid has introduced people to a whole new way of thinking about Mexican cuisine with healthy and easy-to-prepare meals. Now she’s sharing her recipes in her brand new cookbook, Mexican Made Easy, and FN Dish is giving away five copies.
Marcela is changing the way Americans cook Mexican at home with easy recipes that are short on time, but long on authentic flavor. With 100 recipes and 80 scrumptious photographs to flip through, Mexican Made Easy the cookbook brings all the energy and fresh flavors of Marcela’s show into homes across the country.
You can pre-order a copy right now, but we’d like to give you a chance to win one for free. All you have to do is comment on this post by telling us which one of Marcela’s recipes is your favorite and why. We’re giving away five copies of her cookbook to randomly selected and very lucky commenters.
Find out how to enter here »
Iron Chef Jose Garces will participate in The Great Chefs Event in Philadelphia, Penn. on Tuesday June 14 in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alex Scott, a young girl with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, founded the organization. Every year she opened a lemonade stand in front of her home with the proceeds going to benefit pediatric cancer research. Alex inspired people from all over the world, motivating them to hold their own lemonade stands and donate to her cause. In August of 2004 at the age of 8, Alex passed away knowing she had helped raise over $1 million dollars to help find a cure for the disease that took her life. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $40 million towards fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure by funding over 150 research projects nationally. If you would like to attend the event featuring Chef Garces visit: The Great Chefs Event.
Chef Marcela Valladolid stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon late last week to whip up recipes perfect for the warm summer weather. Marcela taught Jimmy the fine art of sipping tequila and guided him through the steps of making a Mexican style burger. Watch the video clip: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
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First it was Eva Longoria, now Marcela kicks up her Saturday morning show, Mexican Made Easy, with Spike Mendelsohn, chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery in DC, as well as a contestant on the upcoming season of The Next Iron Chef.
With help and inspiration from Spike, the dynamic duo joins forces to cook up several “American Classics a la Mexicana.” They’ll start with one of his specialties — a burger — but with a Mexican twist that will make your mouth water. Later, they’ll indulge in Mexican Coffee Milkshakes, Cilantro French Fries and finally, end with a Dulce de Leche Banana Cream Pie. Watch Eater’s exclusive clip for a sneak peek of tomorrow’s show.
Tune in: Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern/8:30 a.m. Central
Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but you’re short on time to prepare a full fiesta? Marcela Valladolid of Food Network’s Mexican Made Easy is sharing her five simple tips to throw a quick Cinco de Mayo party at home with your family and friends.
1. Instead of making a sit-down dinner, try serving a cocktail spread with just two or three small bites.
Try these recipes, which can all be cooked in under 30 minutes:
Mexican Squash with Yogurt Dip, Sweet and Spicy Drumettes, Mexico City-Style Tacos and Shrimp-Stuffed Chiles
2. Come up with one signature cocktail, that way you don’t have to stock a full bar.
Try one of these recipes:
Watermelon and Mint “Agua Fresca” (non-alcoholic), Baja-Style Limeade (non-alcoholic), Mexican Cucumber Martinis or Chocolate Margaritas
More tips on music and home decor after the jump »
Marcela’s beer-battered halibut is fried to a golden crisp and then topped with shredded cabbage and salsa for the ultimate fish taco.
Get the recipe: Baja Style Fish Tacos
Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and who better to commence the holiday celebration than Marcela. This Saturday morning, she’ll kick off her new season of Mexican Made Easy with a Cinco de Mayo celebration starring actress and cookbook author Eva Longoria — together they’ll make Eva’s Chunky Guacamole and Strawberry Daiquiri.
Tune in: Saturday at 9:30 a.m. eastern/8:30 a.m. central
Prepare for Cinco de Mayo with: Cinco de Mayo Recipes, Mexican Essentials and Mexican Cooking 101
On Monday, April 25, Food Network’s own Marcela Valladolid had the rare opportunity to participate in a cooking demo on the South Lawn at The White House as the First Family hosted the 133rd Easter Egg Roll.
With 30,000 people in attendance, everyone took part in this year’s theme “Get Up and Go,” which focuses on promoting health and wellness, a key initiative for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. According to the Let’s Move! website, it’s important to “put children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years.” An easy to way to do this is by getting them into the kitchen — kids are more likely to try new foods when they’ve invested themselves in the process.
Read more about Marcela’s time at The White House »
- Cupcake Wars' Candace Nelson; Aarti Sequeira from Aarti Party; Marcela Valladolid, host of Mexican Made Easy; Maile Carpenter, Editor in Chief of Food Network Magazine; Sunny Anderson, host of Cooking for Real and Vicky Wellington, publisher of Food Network Magazine
The stars are all in town for the New York City Wine and Food Festival, and several of them stopped by Food Network Magazine’s lounge party on Wednesday night at Thalassa restaurant. Sunny Anderson, Candace Nelson, Marcela Valladolid, Aarti Sequeira and Melissa d’Arabian all came by, and party-goers drank champagne and snacked on panini inspired by the October issue’s 50 panini booklet, as well as cupcakes decorated with the magazine’s logo.
- Sweet party treats
To celebrate the magazine’s second anniversary, we asked the stars about their favorite features in the mag:
Marcela’s favorite section of the magazine is He Made/She Made, where two chefs each put their own spin on a favorite dish (Marcela and Chris Cosentino battled over nachos in this month’s issue). If she were throwing a similar cook-off, Marcela says she would pit Bobby Flay against Ming Tsai to see who makes the best traditional Mexican mole sauce.
- Melissa d'Arabian, host of Ten Dollar Dinners, and Marcela Valladolid, host of Mexican Made Easy
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