Start the music! Light the lights! Get the party going with an edible centerpiece tonight! These fun, creative projects are sure to be the star of any holiday party, and they’re easy enough for kids to help with. Use them as a single element, or in a group on a buffet or dinner table. Check out the full gallery for step-by-step instructions for each centerpiece idea.
Christmas may be less than a week away, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time left to prepare a holidayworthy feast. To pull off an easy and enjoyable celebration, opt for simplicity instead of intricacy when it comes to menu planning, and stick with classic dishes that you know will appeal to your guests. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five last-minute Christmas dinner recipes from Ina Garten, Rachael Ray and more of your favorite chefs to find go-to ideas for main dishes and sides to round out your seasonal spread.
5. Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon — Follow Sunny Anderson’s lead and cook the Brussels sprouts in the same pan in which you sauteed the bacon — this will help the vegetables absorb the decadent taste of bacon fat as they become golden brown.
4. Fettuccine with Quick Ragu — Not all meat sauces require hours of slow cooking; this one from Food Network Magazine, boasting a hearty saute of garlic, ground veal or turkey, and crushed tomatoes, takes only 35 minutes to prepare.
‘Tis the season for giving, and with that in mind, FN Dish is offering its loyal readers the chance to win a holiday present: a 2015 calendar. Not your ordinary calendar, this beauty celebrates what will be “the sweetest year ever from FoodNetwork.com,” and with that comes 13 months’ worth of mouthwatering dessert photos and Food Network Kitchen’s sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes for tried-and-true picks like Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookies and Quick & Easy Tiramisu and for next-level ideas like Popcorn Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel.
2015 will be a year of cakes, cookies, cobblers and more with this calendar, and while you can buy one now at the Food Network Store, FN Dish is giving away one calendar for free to five lucky, randomly selected fans. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment telling us which of Food Network Kitchen’s recipes is your favorite; you must include the recipe URL to be eligible to win (find all of the recipes here).
If your plans for 2015 include vegging out – as in eating more vegetables – you don’t have to stick with the same old same old. You may as well branch out, like Kalettes spreading their green and purple leaves, into the (relatively) new and different:
Kaletttes? These new hybrid veggies, a cross between a Brussels sprout and kale that’s known to be milder and less earthy than its progenitors, were developed by Britain’s Tozer Seeds and introduced in the United States in 2014. Resembling tiny purple cabbages and featuring a slightly nutty flavor, Kalettes are one of several exotic vegetables that NPR’s The Salt blog predicts are poised for a breakout moment in the coming year, as we cooks and eaters loosen our grips on the comfort foods we clung to during the recession and reach for more adventurous options.
Your bubby was right: Crispy, golden latkes need nothing more than a dab of applesauce or sour cream for you to get in the holiday spirit. But if you can munch on latkes for eight nights straight without batting an eye, perhaps there’s room for a new rendition. Enter: the Latke Burger. Just in time for Hanukkah, Food Network Kitchen takes the oil tradition even further, uniting two Jewish deli staples into one stacked mash-up of miraculous proportions. By sandwiching a fried corned beef patty between two freshly fried potato pancakes, you can celebrate the miracle of oil in all of its crunchy and savory splendor.
Like you’d take your go-to burger with mustard and ketchup, top it with applesauce and a little horseradish mustard. Finish it off with some home-fried sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and you’ve got yourself a holiday.
“On our first day of shooting we spent an entire day trying to capture a good shot of pancakes. We almost quit on the spot,” admits Ben Towill, one of the restaurant owners and writers behind this week’s featured book, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries. The Fat Radish serves up vegetable-centric English cuisine, but make no mistake: This cookbook reaches further into the restaurant team’s history than a simple recitation of recipes from the menu. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries is full of vibrant, funny tales of the journey it takes to build a successful restaurant business (and to write a truly gorgeous cookbook).
That’s not to say the food isn’t remarkable. As far as restaurant cookbooks go, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries is remarkably cookable, filled from the first page to the last with recipes that you’ll easily be able to make and enjoy in your home kitchen. The book features traditional English fare, like Cottage Pie, Brussels Sprout Bubble and Squeak (recipe after the link for you to enjoy at home), and Scotch Eggs. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries also includes a couple of nods to pub favorites, like The Fat Radish Cheeseburger and Spring Onion Rings with Tartar Sauce. The book is organized seasonally, but the gorgeous images dare you to wait until spring to enjoy the Leek and Peekytoe Crab Gratin or the Charred Snap Peas with Mint Salt and Chili Oil. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries even has a recipe for Banoffee Pie, something many Americans have wondered about since the first time they watched Love Actually.
Yep, you read that right. When you’ve got multiple dishes in the works for a party, the trusty slow cooker has your back. It frees up oven and stove space, and its low-and-slow cooking method will bring out the best in meatballs, spiced nuts, sticky pudding and even hot chocolate. For a retro touch, you could even serve these genius party dishes from Food Network Kitchen straight out of your appliance. Read more
Cancel your plans, because Food Network Magazine has got a delicious weekend itinerary already set up for you, and Bobby Flay is along for the fun, too. Tune in to Top 10 Restaurants with Food Network Magazine to do a culinary food tour of the country without ever having to leave that comfy, cozy couch of yours.
When you’re not lounging in preparation for your rigorous virtual food tour, you can catch an all-new episode of Rewrapped. The contestants are put to the test as they try to recreate a Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal Raisin Cookie in a pinch and incorporate the cookie into a grilled meal. And don’t forget to catch Cutthroat Kitchen, because this upcoming episode features ultimate ponchos, breakfast quesadillas , meatloaf, recliners, cupcakes and a cupcake-box obstacle course of sorts.
Tim Federle, the mixologist mastermind behind Tequila Mockingbird, is back and quippier than ever in his new book for new parents, Hickory Daiquiri Dock. Squeeze happy hour in right after bedtime with these nursery rhyme-inspired cocktails, garnished with a twist of humor. All your kids’ favorites are present and accounted for, from Rocks-N-Rye, Baby and Wee Willie Whiskey to Mary Had a Little Dram and London Binge, I’m Falling Down. Give the Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary a try for yourself (recipe for you to try at home after the link).
Unlike parenthood, the rules for enjoying a refreshing cocktail are simple. “Rule No. 1: Don’t serve anything alcoholic in a sippy cup! Rule No. 2: Drink what you like and don’t stress out too much about rules. Rule No. 3: make fresh ice. You don’t want your cocktail to taste like a frozen hot dog.” The drinks are simple, designed to be mixed quickly and deliciously. Federle candidly declares, “If a drink requires more than, say, three alcoholic components (I’m looking at you, Long Island iced tea), but it doesn’t taste alcoholic at all (I’m glaring at you, Long Island iced tea), grab a beer and hide in the attic.”
I’m not sure if it’s just in my social circles, but I find that the number of potluck parties I’m invited to skyrockets this time of year. So many invitations are issued with the request that we bring a dish to share. And while I don’t mind traveling to various gatherings with my casserole dish or slow cooker in tow, I do sometimes find myself stumped for ideas as to what to bring.
Salads are often good, but they rarely keep their crunch as long as I’d like. Desserts are always welcome, but I prefer to bring something savory, on the chance that everyone else made something for the sweet table. And that leaves me forever on the search for a portable main dish.