With the constant flurry of tree trimming, gift wrapping and cookie swapping going on this month, the added task of preparing a big holiday dinner can quickly become overwhelming. Take some of the stress out of the season with the help of these easy appetizers that take just 10 minutes to prepare or assemble. Start off with Food Network Magazine’s colorful Walnut-Pepper Spread, which balances earthy toasted walnuts and roasted red peppers with honey and a pinch of red pepper flakes for subtly sweet heat. As an added holiday bonus, this dip can even be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
If the weather where you are anything like what we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast, chances are you’re a bit sweaty right now. On days when the temperature is inching toward triple digits, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove, preheat the oven and spend hours preparing a hot meal in an even warmer kitchen. This summer, beat the heat with Food Network’s menu of 20-minute meals that will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time. Check out our favorite quick-cooking recipes below, then tell us your go-to weeknight picks.
Built on a crusty, crunchy grilled baguette, Food Network Magazine’s Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese (pictured above) features sweet ripe tomatoes, creamy provolone cheese and a touch of garlic. Brush the bread with oregano-seasoned olive oil before grilling so that it adopts the warm flavor and fragrance of the herb. These five-star beauties are impressive enough to serve to company but can be eaten casually with your hands.
In just 15 minutes, Rachael Ray preps a no-cook Chickpea Salad that is as light as it is satisfying. She combines tender chickpeas, crunchy celery and mild red onions, and adds a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for heat. Complete this salad with a seasoned red-wine vinaigrette and serve as a fuss-free side dish or quick lunch.