All Posts In Entertaining

The Bar Approach: Rachael’s Choice for Easy Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, March 11th, 2015

Rachael Ray and Guy CusimanoWhen it comes to hosting a party at home, there are two groups of people: those who panic and those who prepare. If the mere thought of cooking for a crowd sends you into cold sweats, chances are you’re part of the first group, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes to be prepared for your next big bash is having a plan for the meal, and for that, Rachael Ray likes the bar approach.

During a live demo with her husband at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival last month, Rachael dished on what she calls “a cheap and cheerful way to entertain.” She set up a bar of fixings for her chicken fajitas, like lettuce, radishes, cheese and crema, and explained that when re-creating the meal at home, each guest could be responsible for bringing just one portion of the spread. “Everybody can participate,” she said. That means that instead of all the pressures of the party — the shopping, the cooking, the plating (and the panic) — being put on you, the host, your friends can help out by contributing to the meal. And with everyone creating their own versions of their ultimate meal, like fajitas or tacos or pizza, you can be sure that each guest will get exactly what he or she wants.

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What Not to Do: Party-Planning Edition

by in Entertaining, March 7th, 2015

What Not to Do: Party-Planning EditionIt’s party time on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, and for a very good reason: Marcela Valladolid is getting ready to welcome her second son, and the cast celebrated the occasion by gifting her with treats, presents and plenty of well wishes at a baby shower. Before they surprised Marcela, the group dished on the most-pleasing plates for a crowd, plus a few go-to party favors, like Rosemary Thyme Salt and Sunny’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce, which would surely wow your guests.

FN Dish was on the set as the cast took part in Marcela’s baby bash, and in the spirit of throwing successful parties, we asked the co-hosts to share their ultimate entertaining advice and to reveal their picks for what not to do the next time you get set to host or attend a party. Read on below to get top tips from all five chefs.

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How to Host a Football Party

by in Entertaining, January 31st, 2015

By Camille Styles, Photography by Molly Winters

It’s the biggest game of the season, and even if your home team isn’t playing, chances are you plan to tune in along with the rest of America and have already chosen which team you’ll be rooting for. For this year’s Super Bowl, go the distance by hosting a game-watching bash that guests will be cheering about until next season’s opening-day kickoff. Keep reading for easy breezy snack recipes, a perfect party punch and decor ideas that couldn’t be simpler.

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The Best Game-Day Snacks from Food Network Magazine

by in Entertaining, Food Network Magazine, January 30th, 2015

With kickoff just days away, it’s time to firm up your game-day spread. Don’t serve the same dip and wings you’ve been making all season long. Add something new for your championship lineup. Read on below to find five winning ideas from the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine.

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WATCH: The Do’s and Don’ts of Football Parties

by in Entertaining, Shows, January 30th, 2015

Even if your favorite team won’t be taking the field on Sunday, chances are you’re going to be vegging out in front of the TV with friends, and plenty of game-day eats and drinks, to watch the big game unfold. Just in time for those celebrations, The Kitchen co-hosts came together to offer a few good-to-know do’s and don’ts for both attending and throwing a winning football bash — or any get-together with a crowd. From how to build a worthy buffet to advice on ditching the six-pack of beer, click the play button on the video above to hear from the cast and learn their top tailgating tips.

For even more entertaining ideas, check out the cast’s best game-day recipes.

A Game-Day Brew for Every Team

by in Drinks, Entertaining, January 28th, 2015

By Cindy AugustineWhether your team is playing in the Super Bowl this weekend or you’re still holding out for next year, pick up a craft brew representative of your team’s hometown. We’ve got a beer for each NFL team and, if you’re cheering on the Patriots or the Seahawks this weekend, you can be sure there’s a best-bet bottle for each.

Tripel by Allagash Brewing
If you’re cheering on the Patriots this weekend, pick up Tripel by Allagash Brewing Company. Since the Patriots are a New England team, it’s only natural that fans opt for beer that comes from Maine — in this case Allagash Brewery, which launched almost 20 years ago. With Belgian techniques and styles, the brews are almost as popular as Tom Brady and his touchdown passes. The Tripel, with notes of honey and banana, is a fruity and herbaceous strong golden ale — a winner indeed.

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Team by Team Football Cupcake Decor

by in Entertaining, January 11th, 2015

There’s no better way to celebrate the playoffs and the final countdown until the big Sunday game than with your favorite team’s colors — in cupcake form, of course. Whether you’re rooting for NFC leaders the Philadelphia Eagles (back and steel blue) or the AFC New England Patriots (red and dark blue), all you need is a few drops of food coloring to turn your desserts into game-day-ready treats. No matter whom you’re rooting for, you can show your team spirit with frosting.

NFC East (pictured above)

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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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