All Posts In Entertaining

Carolina vs. Colorado: Regional Food Fight

by in Entertaining, February 3rd, 2016

This Sunday, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will face off in the biggest football game of the year. We’re no experts on who has the advantage on the field, but we’re here to break down the regional food rivalry between these two teams (much more in our wheelhouse).

Super Bowl 50 pits a Southeastern barbecue powerhouse against a Colorado city known for stellar Mexican food and microbrews, promising a fierce battle on the food front. Both food cultures translate well to the game-day party spread, so go ahead and make your allegiances known through your menu.

To deck out your viewing party with your preferred team’s colors, check out the easy candy crafts above for the Broncos (left) and the Panthers (right). Use them as centerpieces that guests can eat for dessert.

Read more

Arnold’s Guide to Creating “Love Bug” Moments at Home

by in Entertaining, Holidays, February 1st, 2016

Arnold’s Guide to Creating A handful of holidays require pulling out all the stops — elaborate menus, fabulous tablescapes, special gifts and wearing your good suit. And though I normally encourage playing with your food and exploring new culinary adventures, sometimes during these special times, like Valentine’s Day, a few practical tips and help from outside sources can calm the nerves, relieve the pressure, and allow you to stop and smell the roses.

I’m not trying to keep you from busting out the souffle pan, roasting rack and Chateau Lafite. If you are an ambitious domestic diva who enjoys the thrill of a party-hosting challenge, by all means, go for broke. But if not, it’s totally OK. Working within your technical and financial means with a few subtle personal touches will do the trick, especially on this heart-filled day. Here are a few creative and approachable Valentine’s Day ideas that are sure to spark a romantic “love bug” moment.

Private Party of Two
Read more

Win Your Big-Game Bash with 6-Foot Nachos

by in Entertaining, January 29th, 2016

No matter whether your game-day crowd is more focused on the football, the commercials or the food, this eye-popping spread of rainbow-hued nachos will steal the show. And it tastes as good as it looks. Party guests will keep coming back to try a new color block of flavor. Hit play below to watch staffers whip them up in our Food Network Kitchen, or check out our step-by-step gallery to see how easy it is to turn your table or counter into a 6-foot nacho fiesta for the big game on February 7. Read more

How to Host a Tea Party at Home

by in Entertaining, Recipes, January 28th, 2016

Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry GlazeIf you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel or watched an episode of Downton Abbey, you’ve probably already heard of “full afternoon tea.” Not to be confused with elevenses or high tea, full afternoon tea often occurs between 3 and 4 p.m., and features treats, including cakes, crustless finger sandwiches and, of course, tea. Though it is often associated with the posh hotels of London, you don’t need to travel abroad to enjoy the splendors of a British tea party. With our help, you can do that right at home.

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze
Miniature two-bite desserts, like these glazed cupcakes from Giada De Laurentiis, make a great tea party treat. Giada forgoes frosting, and instead tops her cupcakes with a sweet glaze made from frozen strawberries and powdered sugar.

Read more

Why Sliders Are the Perfect Party Food

by in Entertaining, Recipes, January 27th, 2016

buffalo chicken slidersThe best move when hosting a party: Make food that guests can eat with their hands. When they’re mingling and/or seats are limited, juggling a plate filled with food and using a fork and knife can be awkward. You’ll want to serve something hand-held that they can polish off in a couple of bites. Sliders are the solution. And somewhere on our list of favorite recipes is a slider you should be making next Sunday (February 7) for the biggest game of the year.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Leave it to Jeff Mauro to prove that most things are just as good, if not better, in sandwich form. His take on Buffalo chicken has everything you love about the wings — hot-sauce glaze, blue cheese and ranch dressing — plus soft and fluffy bread, like Hawaiian or Parker House rolls.

Read more

Victory Is Sweet: Candy Centerpieces for Every Football Team in the Playoffs

by in Entertaining, Events, January 22nd, 2016

Football CandyWe know of something a little sweeter than victory: It’s candy. And we mean lots of it. This Sunday, when the New England Patriots face the Denver Broncos, and the Arizona Cardinals take on the Carolina Panthers, deck your face-off festivities with colorful candy creations that show your team spirit loud and proud. Even with the mounds of spicy wings, pools of dip and mountains of nachos, these decorations will be the real touchdown at your game-day party, no matter which team you’re rooting for.

Read more

Exclusive: Giada De Laurentiis Dishes on Her Party Secrets

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, Shows, January 6th, 2016

Exclusive: Giada De Laurentiis Dishes on Her Party SecretsThough the holidays have come and gone, there’s no reason to stop entertaining at home. In fact, on her brand-new series, Giada Entertains, Sundays at 11a|10c, Giada De Laurentiis will show you just how easy and enjoyable it can be to host celebrations big and small, for special occasions and anytime get-togethers alike. Recently FN Dish checked in with Giada to find out more about her penchant for party planning and to learn just which of her events she credits with being the most memorable. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Giada and learn her go-to tips on how to shop for your next party.

What do you hope fans learn from Giada Entertains? 
Giada De Laurentiis: That all it takes to throw a great party is a little creativity.

Tell us a bit about your passion for parties. How did you come to enjoy entertaining so much?
GDL: Through my family. Italians love to entertain and to cook for our families. It’s how we show people we love them — through the food.

Read more

Drinks by the Numbers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 13th, 2015

For this year’s December issue, Food Network Magazine took the guesswork out of figuring out how much alcohol to buy for your holiday soiree. With the handy “beverage formula,” you can easily calculate the number of drinks you’ll need. Wondering why there is an asterisk? It’s simply there to explain that guests generally consume two drinks in the first hour of a party and one drink for each additional hour. So pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy your own party.

Scroll down below for affordable champagne alternatives and festive big-batch cocktail recipes. Each of the pitcher drinks can be made in advance and serves about 16.

Read more

Relax, It’s Just a Holiday Party

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 10th, 2015

And just like that, the holidays are upon us. We see TV commercials with foyers full of people greeting and clinking wine glasses, we watch Diane Keaton movies directed by Nancy Meyers in which the kitchens look like the love children of Martha Stewart and Philip Johnson, and we start to agonize over the fact that we really, really promised ourselves that this year we would (finally) host a holiday gathering. But all those people! All that cooking! All that planning!

But we are going to entertain. And this is how’s it’s going to happen: an open house. It will not be a sit-down dinner for just a handful of friends or be a frenetic cocktail party. It will be a gentile stretch of time with people coming and going as they please. There’ll be a serve-yourself bar with an array of (mostly) room temperature food, and it’ll have a relaxed atmosphere in which people understand that the whole point was to connect for a little while, share a drink and enjoy something good to eat.

Everyone’s time is so stretched in the last months of the year. This kind of party allows people to stop by when it works for them and stay as long as they wish — and it allows you to host a lot of people in one day (i.e., knock off all those IOUs for the times you’ve been their guest) without cramming everyone into your house at once.

Check out our step-by-step guide to throwing an open house holiday party that’s as fun as it is stress-free — even for the host.

11 Party-Ready Recipes for All Your Holiday Get-Togethers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2015

Italian Sausage BallsWhether your holiday plans include an elegant cocktail party, a traditional seated feast, a seasonal open house or some combination of these events, the key to easy, enjoyable entertaining at any party is a go-to menu of eats and drinks. This holiday season, stick with Food Network’s best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Italian Sausage Balls
Reinvent the usual Southern appetizer with Italian flair by opting for sweet Italian sausage instead of the plain variety and pairing each baked sausage ball with classic Italian ingredients like creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil. Since these appetizers are served on toothpicks, guests will be able to easily snack with their hands.

Read more