All Posts In Entertaining

Your New Holiday Party Best Friend: The Slow Cooker

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 19th, 2014

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

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: Wake Up to Breakfast Cookies

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 16th, 2014

Breakfast CookiesI find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to plan for in entertaining. People seem to get up at different times, and coordinating a delicious treat for everyone, no matter the time they wander into the kitchen, is a never-ending struggle. Well, it was before I stumbled upon the idea for scrumptious breakfast cookies.

What makes the perfect breakfast cookie? After performing a very informal poll, I determined that people like a low-sugar cookie. They also seem to really like the addition of oatmeal. Most folks feel that cookies without oatmeal are like a regular cookie and therefore a bit to decadent for an early morning treat. As far as the addition of chocolate, it was determined that less is more. While everyone loves an ooey-gooey chocolate cookie in the afternoon, a morning cookie should utilize a hint of chocolate, so it is more of an accompanying flavor — not the star of the show.

I am sharing three recipes for breakfast cookies that are easy to make, assemble and serve. These are not your average oatmeal-and-raisin cookies. These unique flavors will delight the taste buds and are the perfect complement to all holiday entertaining.

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How to Host a Holiday Cookie Swap

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 7th, 2014

By Camille Styles, Photography by Kate Stafford

This holiday season, get in the spirit with a party concept that’ll satisfy each guest’s sweet tooth and spread wintry cheer. Inviting friends over for a midday cookie swap is a super-simple way to gather loved ones and mix and mingle over treats, and when guests get to contribute their own recipes and baked goods to the spread, hostess duties are a breeze. Simply set a neutral foundation with tableware that you likely already have, then add some sparkly handmade details to turn up the holiday factor in a flash.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Way to Entertain for the Holidays?

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 29th, 2014

Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Jeff MauroIt’s just days after Thanksgiving, and likely your calendar is already dotted with invitations for holiday parties happening from now through New Year’s. Over the course of the next month, friends, families and co-workers will come together at seasonal bashes to honor the holidays, reflect on top moments of the past and raise a glass to the year ahead. Just in time for these upcoming events, the cast of The Kitchen kicked off the holidays with good-to-know party tips and crowd-pleasing recipes, including potluck-perfect dishes and slow-cooker showstoppers.

FN Dish wants to know, as you get set for a December full of holiday happenings, what kind of parties are you most looking forward to hosting? Do you prefer to throw casual potlucks and open-house-style gatherings, or do you like formal dinners and cocktail parties? Do you count down the days until your annual gift-wrapping event, or are you most excited about a cookie-swap extravaganza?

Cast your vote in the poll below to share your favorite way to entertain during the holidays.

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Sanity-Saving Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks & Hacks

by in Entertaining, Holidays, How-to, November 24th, 2014

This year is going to be different. You’ve decided on the menu two weeks before the big day, convinced your Aunt Charlotte that you really can live without her famous oyster green bean casserole and remembered to ask your sister to bring her big coffee urn. But no matter how well you plan, you know some problem is going to pop up. No biggie, we say. Here are Food Network Kitchen’s 10 tricks for tackling everything from “Yikes, who borrowed my fat separator?” to “Where am I going to put everything?” Let the holidays commence!

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Food Network Stars’ Thanksgiving Traditions

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, November 20th, 2014

Wondering what your favorite chefs have up their sleeves (and in their ovens) for next Thursday? We caught up with more than a dozen Food Network stars about their unique Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends. Bobby hosts a themed Thanksgiving for 50, Alex does double-dinner duty and Guy likens his epic outdoor feast to “a shotgun wedding”. Read on and check out the full gallery for all the tasty details.

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7 Ways to Food-Style Your Thanksgiving Feast

by in Entertaining, Holidays, How-to, November 19th, 2014

We’ll admit it. The Thanksgiving feast isn’t the most naturally photogenic of meals. With turkey, gravy, stuffing and potatoes, there’s a lot of brown and beige in the mix. To make our Thanksgiving look as good as it tastes, we’re taking a cue from food stylists who make Thanksgiving look gorgeous for a living. Yep, we’re upping our garnish game this year. Edible garnishes are the best kind, and the flavors should always complement the dish they accompany. These suggestions from Food Network Kitchen are based on both color and dish texture. Check out the full gallery for ideas to spruce up every course of the feast.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 12th, 2014

Wine Bottle CandleholdersWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, you have likely ordered your turkey by now and are beginning to craft the rest of your menu. But as you plan for the feast, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ll need to host the holiday at home beyond a bird and pumpkin pie, like table-setting inspiration, seasonal decor, and timesaving tools and tricks that will make meal prep easier. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five entertaining guides and learn how much food to shop for depending on your guest list, plus simple tablescape ideas and nice-to-have gadgets to make cooking a cinch.

5. 20-Second Place Setting — All it takes is a few seconds and classically finished flatware to create an elegant place at the table. Make your guests feel extra special by gifting them personalized name cards at their set spots.

4. DIY Kids’ Table — Let your little ones put the finishing touches on the kids’ table with paper placemats they can color, handmade pinecone crafts and a quick-fix apple dessert.

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How to Host a Cardboard & Kraft Paper Birthday Party

by in Entertaining, September 3rd, 2014

How to Host a Cardboard and Kraft Paper Birthday Partyby Camille Styles, photography by Melanie Grizzel

Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and by basing the party around a cookie-decorating activity, so kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.

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5 Make-Ahead Desserts for Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, August 13th, 2014

Amid getting meats prepped for the grill and making sure cold cocktails are readily available, the last thing you want to worry about while entertaining in the summer is a big, fancy dessert. And to be honest, after all those cocktails, no one is going to fully appreciate that spun-sugar garnish you spent three hours on anyway. So keep things simple. And nothing is simpler than a sweet treat you can make ahead of time and pop in the freezer until it’s time to serve. These recipes utilize bold flavors that hold up well in the icebox, so you and your guests can indulge while keeping cool.

Frozen Key Lime Pie
Ah, what a classic. Summer is the peak of lime season, so this is a great way to showcase the freshest citrus of the year. A graham cracker crust is the perfect bed for the creamy lime filling, adding a bit of sweetness to balance all of the flavors. It takes just 25 minutes to prep and bake, then pop it in the freezer overnight. Plus, think about how much easier it is to divvy up and serve a pie that’s frozen rather than falling all over the place.
key lime

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