All Posts By Allison Milam

Make Merry with Boozy Holiday Drinks

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 2015

Holiday Party PunchWhether you’re having a sweet-as-can-be cookie exchange, a Secret Santa party or a mix-and-mingle cocktail affair, the holidays are a time to let loose and be merry. In the spirit of the season, pour your friends and fam boozy seasonal cocktails, from eggnog martinis to steamy hot toddy swigs, that’ll warm your clan up in a jiff.

If for no other reason than sheer quantity, parties are better with punch. Serve a big batch of this crowd-ready, fizzy Holiday Party Punch, made with a blend of sparkling cider, cranberry juice, ginger ale and vodka, and let guests serve themselves from an old-fashioned punch bowl.

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5 Fan-Favorite Holiday Cookies Worth Preheating Your Oven — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2015

Lemon Ricotta CookiesIf you’re going to put all the time into baking your holiday cookies from scratch, they better be good, right? So before you go with any recipe that falls into your lap, feast your eyes on these tried-and-true, fan-favorite cookie recipes, each bringing dozens of 5-star fan reviews to the plate.

With nearly 1,000 reviews and a 5-star rating, Giada De Laurentiis’ Lemon Ricotta Cookies are at the top of the heap. These tender, citrusy ricotta cookies will add a refreshing brightness to your cookie exchange, with fresh lemon zest mixed into both the dough and the glaze.

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Homemade Hot Chocolate + New Treats to Make with It

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2015

Homemade Hot Chocolate 3 WaysSipping from a steamy mug of hot chocolate, complete with bobbing marshmallows, is the surest sign that it’s the holiday season. Though making your own at home can be as easy as tearing open a packet of hot cocoa powder, mixing it with milk or water and zapping it all in the microwave, a more hands-on approach means that your blend can be tailor-made to your preferences. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead for Homemade Hot Chocolate, and watch how they spike the base blend for three wintry hot chocolate cocktails.

If you’re not making your own hot cocoa powder from scratch, there’s no shame in buying the store-bought blend by the packet. That said, if you have more hot cocoa powder on your hands than you know what to do with, we’ve got ways to use it for treats that might be even better than the drink.

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Lotsa Latkes, Just in Time for Hanukkah

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2015

Potato LatkesTonight at sundown marks the start of Hanukkah. To commemorate the miracle of oil, it’s a tradition to fry potato pancakes, or latkes, as a part of the celebration. That miracle goes back to ancient times, when the Temple in Jerusalem’s limited supply of oil burned for eight days instead of one. Whether frying up homemade potato latkes is a yearly tradition for your family or you simply can’t resist crispy, golden potatoes in any form, these classic and creative latke recipes are the ones to make during the Festival of Lights — or year-round.

To achieve the quintessential light, crispy shredded potato patty you’d expect out of the holiday season, start with Ina Garten’s recipe for perfect Potato Latkes, which take just 20 minutes to make. Follow these 5 Rules for Better Latkes and serve the customary way: with applesauce and sour cream on the side.

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5 Ways to School Your Kids’ Class Holiday Party

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 4th, 2015

Holiday Roll-UpsWhen you’re a kid and holiday break is on the horizon, December is a time of cheer no matter what holiday you celebrate. If your kids’ class is celebrating the end of 2015 with treats galore, here are some take-to-school ideas that will make their holiday party extra-festive this winter.

Add Some Cheer to Lunchtime

If your kids’ winter party takes place around lunchtime, use this midday meal as an unexpected way to celebrate the season. Ree Drummond’s easy-to-make, understated Holiday Roll-Ups (pictured above) don’t call for any ingredients you wouldn’t normally pack in your kids’ lunch. Filled with a blend of cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and black pepper, these tortilla pinwheels get their festive colors (and crunch) from diced red and green peppers. The best part? They can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until it’s time to eat.

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5 One-Bite Wonders You Need at Your Holiday Party — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2015

One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan CompoteWhile decking the halls and tearing open gifts are one person’s way of spreading holiday cheer, serving friends and family festive food is another’s. But when guests are juggling their mulled cider in one hand and a loaded plate in the other as they’re schmoozing their way through a holiday party, who has room for a fork and knife? If you’re welcoming guests this season, stay away from unwieldy appetizers in favor of these one-bite, hand-held appetizers that are showstoppingly elegant.

Sure, you could bake a triangle of Brie until it oozes and melts after some time in the oven, but trust us when we say this recipe is an easier, smarter approach. Instead of wrapping the whole wedge in flaky phyllo dough, serve One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan Compote in phyllo cups for a modern, mini presentation that’s easier for you to make and easier for your guests to eat.

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Spiced Nuts to Carry You Through Holiday Party Season

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 30th, 2015

Slow-Cooker Spiced NutsRight up there with frosting sugar cookies, simmering mulled cider and stuffing stockings, making homemade spiced nuts is one of those seasonal traditions that we yearn for year after year. Part of the charm of spiced nuts lies in their versatility: You can graze on them all season long, serve them in bowls at a holiday cocktail party, and package them as an easy, edible gift for teachers, co-workers and friends.

Cooked low and slow with maple syrup, orange zest and spices, these Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts (pictured above) are a total hosting dream — especially over the holidays, when cookies, spiral hams and other creations are likely taking up the available oven space. They’re so good and easy you’ll want to use this method year-round.

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How to Prepare Your Stomach for Thanksgiving Greatness

by in Holidays, How-to, Recipes, November 23rd, 2015

Thanksgiving DinnerThanksgiving comes along but once a year, so you’d better make the most of this great American holiday that hinges on eating all that is good. If your goal is to make it to the pumpkin pie without losing your cool, start the day with a sensible eating plan so you don’t reach capacity before the feast even begins.

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Our Top 5 Must-Make Thanksgiving Side Dishes — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 19th, 2015

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels SproutsHere at Food Network, Thanksgiving means turkey — a whole lot of turkey. In the weeks leading up to our favorite Thursday of the year, we’re knee-deep in recipes, videos and new techniques about the feast’s headliner. All the while, we know it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the sides (and lots of them). Without stuffing, mashed potatoes and the whole nine yards, your family’s holiday dinner simply wouldn’t be complete. That’s why we’re running down the list of the top-five favorite sides — from Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more star chefs — that belong on your table.

When Ina serves Brussels sprouts as a part of her Thanksgiving menu, she transforms them into a sophisticated and indulgent treat. Her Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts are joined by salty, crispy pancetta and roasted under high heat until they reach crispy caramelization; she finishes the side with a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar.

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Coming to a Mug Near You: Homemade Hot Chocolate

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 17th, 2015

Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot ChocolateA steamy mug of hot cocoa is inarguably the best way to counter the cold weather. Though you could go the store-bought route and swirl powdered hot cocoa mix into hot water or milk, going the extra mile and making your own chocolatey blend from scratch is totally worth it. Get our top homemade hot chocolate recipes for sipping all winter long.

Food Network Kitchen’s Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate is one festively minty recipe that you shouldn’t wait until the holidays are in full swing to savor. It’s made and served all in one pot, and it’s thickened and enriched with dark chocolate.

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