'Tis the season for green garb and mint chocolate cookies — so why not combine the two in a fitting dessert that pays homage to the Emerald Isle? Based on the post-dinner drink of the same name, grasshopper pie is the epitome of mint chocolate heaven, with a cocoa wafer cookie crust and a creamy, cooling center. Keep things simple with the help of premade crust and instant pudding mix, which'll shave off set time for the filling. Or, for a stepped-up version, build your crust from scratch, and add a twist with the use of fine white chocolate instead. Make either one now.
Chicken enchiladas aren't always a fast and easy dinner option, but with a few adjustments, you can surprise your family by serving them as an indulgent midweek meal. Cut extra time by using cubed pieces of already-cooked chicken and pre-grated cheese, and you'll have the steaming casserole in literally 30 minutes. Having friends over for the weekend? Impress a crowd with enchiladas made from slow-cooked layers of poached chicken, homemade enchilada sauce, and roasted pepper salsa. A recipe for either occasion, when you read more.
If you were too busy overindulging in Fat Tuesday yesterday to notice that it was also National Pancake Day, don't fret; celebrate it this morning instead! Those of you who have making plain pancakes down to a T may opt for dressed-up chocolate chip flapjacks instead. If you're in a time bind and have a busy day ahead, reach for Bisquick and chocolate drink mix to help speed up the process. Or go all out by building a chocolate chip batter from scratch and topping it off with a red raspberry sauce. Either way, follow a few guidelines for achieving perfect pancakes, and your day will be set. Choose a recipe when you read more.
This Thanksgiving, surprise guests by offering a main dish that's a slight departure from the typical turkey roast: a turkey roulade. In case you aren't familiar with the term, it merely refers to any kind of meat that's been rolled around a filling and then cooked. The result? A platter that looks more elaborate and grand than any run-of-the-mill roasted turkey.
Ironically, despite the dish's opulent appearance, a roulade is rather simple, and can make for an ideal entree at a beginner's Thanksgiving. Lean on gourmet canned vegetables, like marinated artichokes and mushrooms, to create the filling for your rolled turkey. Or, if you're up to the challenge, make a traditional roulade that's served with from-scratch stuffing and a cider gravy. Does either interest you? Then read more.
If you're attending a potluck this Thanksgiving and have been assigned to bring a side, be sure to pick something that's classic yet breaks just enough from the norm, so you know there won't be repeated dishes on the table.
Why not spring for the always stress-free and elegant course known as stuffed squash? Keep it simple and fill the gourd with an Italian-inspired medley of sausage, garlic, peppers, and cheese. Alternately, add another layer of texture by simmering couscous, then fluffing it into a sweet-savory dressing of ground beef, onions, cranberries, and walnuts. For a Thanksgiving side — or everyday meal! — that's sophisticated yet straightforward, keep reading.
For Thanksgiving, sweet potato casserole is a surefire winner: those who don't eat vegetables and kids who won't eat yams will happily sink their forks into this delicious casserole. While the toppings vary based on the recipe, the concept is the same: creamy, puréed, sugar-tinged sweet potatoes with nuts, glaze, or marshmallows on top. These two variations are similar, but the expert version, with its nutty topping, requires an extra step and a food processor. To see both recipes, read more
When hosting a baby shower, be sure to consult the mother-to-be before selecting a menu. Her appetite may have changed, so ask her what she wants to enjoy at the party. My pal Denise has requested a delicious spread of savory brunch dishes. Thus the menu will consist of a crisp breakfast pizza made with hash browns and two types of cheese, home fries with peppers and onions, and crunchy slices of fried bacon. The pizza recipe calls for sausage, but I'll make a couple pork-less pies for the vegetarians in attendance.
Supplement the homemade items with easy, grocery store additions. Fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and an assortment of breads are delightful finishing touches. To experiment with these mouth-watering breakfast recipes, read more
Linguine with clams: The dish is an Italian classic for a reason — because it's a crowd pleaser. Once upon a time, I didn't enjoy eating clams, but I would make an exception for linguine con vongole. The bounciness of the clams, the briny flavors, the chewy linguine flavored with white wine all come together to make the ultimate comfort dish. Both of these dishes are relatively simple, but the second recipe calls for fresh clams, which then get a treatment on the grill. If you're unsure of your cooking level, you might try the first recipe, and then follow it up a few weeks later with the second. To see both, read more
A Greek salad is a dish every home cook should master: In Summer the hearty dish is a meal of its own! While a Greek salad traditionally has certain key ingredients, such as tomato, feta cheese, olives, and onions, the term can be used liberally, and you can experiment by adding Mediterranean elements like cucumbers, spinach, shrimp, lamb, etc.
To get you started, I've found two recipes. The first is perfect for someone who has limited time or patience in the kitchen; it simply requires chopping and tossing. The second salad toys with texture, employing gelatin to whip the feta into an airy mousse. Get both recipes when you read more
For a boy's birthday party on Alcatraz, pack a portable feast of special dishes that wouldn't normally be found in the common ten year olds lunch box. Keep things simple with easy to eat chicken salad pitas. On the side offer a pasta salad packed with salami and cheese and small bags of chips (let each boy select their favorite bag of chips). Don't forget to pack snacks in case they get hungry while on the tour. Cheese and crackers, crunchy trail mix, and homemade fruit roll ups are filling without being too sweet.
For these kid-friendly recipes, read more