Lauren Katz

Quick & Tasty Weeknight Meal Planner

Just because it’s the weeknight doesn’t mean dinner has to be boring. You can make delicious and healthy dinners for your family that don’t take the whole day to prepare, but will still get everyone to eat their vegetables. This week, try some new and exciting ways to incorporate your veggies, like within a pasta sauce, or woven through risotto. All your kids will notice is the outstanding flavor.

Monday, September 29th

Cheesy Mushroom-Kale Risotto

 

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Recipe Roots: Chicken Parm Pizzas

We LOVE Italian food. We love gooey mozzarella cheese, vibrant, fresh marinara sauce and don’t even get us started on the homemade pasta. But two of our favorite dishes have merged together as one at Quality Italian in New York City. We shared the recipe for Chicken Parm Pizzas in our September issue, and now is the time to put it to the test. Does our recipe compare to the original?

 

 

I paid a visit to Quality Italian with high expectations and an empty stomach. The restaurant is famous for its namesake Chicken Parmigiana for two, but the appetizers, pastas, meat dishes and drinks are just as high of quality. The funny thing about the chicken parmigiana is that, although you’re charged “for two” at $29 per person, the dish could really feed between 4 and 6, depending on your hunger level and other orders. Luckily, I had three hungry guests to keep me company and help me conquer this behemoth pizza hybrid.

 

 

Halfway into my first slice, I took a moment to gather my thoughts. I had sampled our Chicken Parm Pizzas straight from the test kitchen a few months ago, but enjoying it in a dimly lit restaurant at a table felt a little different. Like our version, theirs is extremely juicy (thanks to the mix of white and dark ground meat) and flavorful (due to the addition of Italian seasoning) on the inside and crispy on the outside. Covered in a sweet tomato sauce and overrunning with melted cheese, there’s really nothing that isn’t perfect about this dish. I will say, though, our recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs along with Italian breadcrumbs, which leads to a crispier crust that still feels lighter than air. Quality Italian serves theirs with a simple arugula salad accompanied by a chile-spiked honey, which I took the liberty of dipping my chicken into (no judgment, you have to try it).

 

My advice to you: Go home and make this recipe immediately. It’s the perfect dish for a chilly fall evening accompanied by a good beer and good friends. They’ll be so impressed and definitely full to the brim. And whatever you do, just make sure to enjoy your high “Quality” meal.

 

 

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Enter to Win a Year’s Supply of Nutrish Pet Food!

We don’t know about you, but our pets are some of the best sous chefs we’ve ever had. They’re always in the kitchen to keep us company, they’ll eat anything we make and we can always rely on them to clean up the mess on the floor. We’re paying special tribute to our favorite kitchen companions by making today’s Love Your Kitchen Challenge all about them.

 

Photo courtesy of Nutrish

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Shhh — We Won’t Tell if You Don’t!

Though we really do love a four-ingredient cocktail, sometimes four ingredients just won’t cut it. Don’t worry: We’re not going to drive you crazy with all sorts of mixologist-level ingredients, but we are going to request you gather just five easy-to-access cocktail ingredients (plus ice — always a freebie) to whip up a fabulous and refreshing Grapefruit Vesper for your next party or get-together.

 

 

Ingredients

1 ounce vodka

1 ounce gin

1 ounce grapefruit juice

1 ounce sauvignon blanc

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 cup ice

 

Directions

In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, gin, grapefruit juice and sauvignon blanc. Add the honey and ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Makes 1.

 

 

More Easy Cocktail Recipes

Strawberry Suckers

The Smokin’ Dog

Homemade Margaritas

 

We’re Giving Away 10 Copies of The Kitchn Cookbook!

We’ve teamed up with the gals at The Kitchn this month to inspire you to transform your kitchen into the perfect space to cook, eat and socialize in. From a full-length feature in our October issue on how to love, love, LOVE your kitchen, to our month-long Love Your Kitchen Challenge, we’re pulling out all the stops in preparation for the time of year when your kitchen works the hardest: the holidays.

 

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Pantry Staple Wednesday: Reorganize!

Now that your pantry is stocked and ready for any cooking emergency, our next Love Your Kitchen Challenge asks you to transform that pantry into a place of harmony:

 

Reorganize your stocked pantry so that ingredients you use together are stored together. Group items for Italian dishes in one place and Mexican recipes in another. Then, make a meal using one of your staples.

 

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Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off Finale Recap

It was an emotional day for the kids, parents and mentors of Team Rachael and Team Guy, as the season 2 competition came to a close. Sean was in the lead with six gold stars, closely followed by Amber with five and Finn with four, but the winning title was anyone’s game. The final challenge required the kids to throw their very own food festival — cooking 35 portions of a signature dish. A challenge so special could only call for three guest judges of the same caliber: Host of Cooking Channel’s The Real Girl’s Kitchen, Haylie Duff, California chef and restaurateur, Brian Malarkey and celebrity chef Curtis Stone.

 

Photo courtesy of The Food Network

 

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Love Your Kitchen: Week 3

We’re halfway through with the Love Your Kitchen Challenge and your kitchens (and ours!) are looking better than ever. Week 3 focuses on organizing and storage, getting you prepped for the next 7 days to decorate, create and treat yourself (and your pet!). Don’t forget to enter up to once daily to win $2,500 through Instagram by tagging your challenge photos with #RRKitchenLoveSweepstakes. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3 Challenges

Monday, September 22: Zone out

Create a cooking zone—a space that holds your most-used items (like olive oil, garlic and salt) close to where you use them most: the stove!

 

Tuesday, September 23: Find your sweet spot

Your treat stash needs a home! Show us where you keep your candy, salty snacks and other crave-worthy goodies.

 

Wednesday, September 24: Pantry Staple Wednesday

Reorganize your stocked pantry so that ingredients you use together are stored together. Group items for Italian dishes in one place and Mexican recipes in another. Then, make a meal using one of your staples.

 

Thursday, September 25: Don’t fall flat

Find a new spot to store oversized items (like cutting boards and baking sheets) so they don’t take up too much drawer space. Try a large basket or stack them vertically on a shelf.

 

Friday, September 26: Pet show

Animals can make your kitchen an even happier place. Snap and share a photo of your furry friends in the heart of your home.

 

Saturday, September 27: Weekend project

Get out the drill! Add a new storage solution to your kitchen: hang a shelf on the wall, install a magnetic knife strip or put up a new pot rack.

A Fall-Flavored Weeknight Meal Planner

Fall officially begins tomorrow, and you know what that means: Hello pumpkins, apples, squash and comfort food! To help you transition from bright and sunny summer produce to heartier meals and ingredients, we’ve gathered a weeknight meal planner that lands somewhere in the middle. Plus, we’re helping you use your Italian pantry staples on Wednesday to complete the Love Your Kitchen Challenge of the day!
 
 

Monday, September 22

Butternut & Sage Papperdell

 
 

Tuesday, September 23

Broiled Miso Steak

 
 

Pantry Staple Wednesday, September 24

Bow Ties with Zucchini & Hot Chili Pepper Pesto

 
 

Thursday, September 25

Coriander Chicken with Chickpeas and Kale

 
 

Friday, September 26

Thai Pork Wrap-Ups

 
 
 

More Weeknight Meals

Mediterranean

Italian

End-of-Summer

The Apple (Orchards) of Our Eye

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: apple picking time! There are few things we love more than spending a brisk fall weekend roaming through row after row of fragrant apple trees and stealing bites of tart, crisp, juicy, fresh apples. But besides the fresh produce, we love a good apple orchard with other things to offer, such as hay rides, Halloween specials and, oh yeah, FOOD! So whether you’re living on the east coast or west, or somewhere in the middle, there’s an apple orchard for all your fall fixes. Here are some of our favorites:

 

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, LaFayette, NY

 

Photo courtesy of Beak & Skiff

 
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