by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 29th, 2013
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 27th, 2013
While some may be content to watch the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve from the comfort of their pajamas while cuddled on the couch, Southern at Heart host Damaris Phillips is no such celebrator. In fact, this Louisville, Ky., native dons her most-elaborate outfit and her fanciest footwear for a night on the town as she prepares to ring in the new year. FN Dish caught up with Damaris toward the end of this year to find out more about her New Year’s traditions and best memory of the holiday. Read on below to learn her New Year’s resolution from last year and get her top tips for easy party fare.
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve these days?
Damaris Phillips: I love going out. I love getting dressed up fancy. I love sparkly clothing. Like, there’s not a lot of occasions to wear sparkly heals, and I have maybe 15 pairs, so I love New Year’s because it’s the perfect time to put on sequins and rhinestones and glitter and get real dressed up. And I love to dance; I like to go to places where they have, like, an old-time ball kind of New Year’s, and my gentleman loves New Year’s. Like, it’s his favorite holiday, so I know how special it is for him, and it’s always fun to be celebrating together. I come up with New Year’s resolutions. For sure.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 18th, 2013
I adore everything that New Year’s Eve represents: fresh starts, resolutions and Harry running through the streets of New York City to kiss crinkly-faced Sally at midnight. My one gripe is that the critical moment happens too late for my circadian rhythm. Still, I love the holiday too much to ignore it, blithely heading to bed at 10pm and casually waking up the next morning, as if the whole year didn’t just change. That feels wrong. Instead, I’ve developed my own system for celebrating the New Year with gusto, within the confines of a reasonable bedtime. I’d like to say that I have developed my New Year celebration strategies for the benefit of my four young daughters. But, the unapologetic truth is, I’m just tired. I need my sleep. Having little ones at home is just a bonus excuse for not making it to the midnight toast. Anyone else relate? Whatever your reasons for hitting the hay early this year, I am pleased to share my three secrets to celebrating the new year’s arrival without having to actually witness it.
1. Pick a different time zone
I learned this one nine years ago when my (French) husband Philippe and I moved to the United States. On December 31, we still called all of our friends and family over in France at midnight (their time) to toast the New Year. We listened to their noisemakers and laughed along with their parties in full swing. We celebrated with them via phone, felt the joy of the upcoming year and hung up. I felt partied out a good half day before the ball would drop in Times Square. So, what started out as a phone call has turned into a yearly tradition with our daughters: We celebrate New Year’s as the French do, meaning in their time zone. We do a sit-down dinner complete with fancy-looking food for our whole family, toast each other with sparkling cider and call the family back in France at midnight, which is 3pm for us. And even I can stay up for that. For ideas on a few festive holiday dishes that will excite both kids and adults, try my recipes for Bacon Ranch Cream Cheese Wellington, a Carrot Hummus Platter and Chocolate Chip Biscookies.
Get more of Melissa’s ideas
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 16th, 2013
Whether it’s enjoying Grandma’s sprinkles-dusted sugar cookies and marshmallow-studded hot cocoa by her fireplace, singing along with your favorite carols in the car, or curling up on the couch and watching timeless Christmas movies, holiday rituals are an essential part of the season. For many, the celebration simply wouldn’t be complete without certain traditions. Just in time for the upcoming holidays, FN Dish sat down with Iron Chef Michael Symon during a recent trip to Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to find out how he celebrates the season. Although much of his work takes him to New York City, he’ll be celebrating in his hometown of Cleveland this year, and when it comes to his seasonal sipper of choice, he’ll reach for rich hot cocoa over eggnog any day. Read on below to hear from Michael and learn more of his holiday must-haves.
Hot cocoa or eggnog: Hot cocoa
Gingerbread or sugar cookies: Gingerbread
The movie Christmas Vacation or Elf: Christmas Vacation
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 16th, 2013
Whether it’s a small family gathering, an open-house cocktail party or a dressed-up sit-down dinner, entertaining during the holiday season can be daunting for even the most-prepared host. That’s why it’s often a good idea to surprise the party-thrower with a small gift as a token of appreciation for his or her hospitality and generosity. Some resort to bringing candles, picture frames or other household trinkets, but deciding what matches the host’s style and taste can be tricky, which is why Giada opts for edible gifts.
Giada recently shared a few go-to edible gift ideas that are sure to impress your hosts this holiday, as they include some of her favorite seasonal recipes. Instead of elaborate dishes that might take up valuable refrigerator or oven space at the host’s home, Giada prepares simple cookies and cocktails that are both easy to transport and simple to store once given. The key to her gifts is in the packaging: She makes the goodies extra-special by stashing them in see-through containers and adorning them with colorful bows.
by Cameron Curtis in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 14th, 2013
Whether it be staying true to the Southern food she grew up eating or every year bringing the same dish to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, Damaris Phillips is all about tradition, and there’s perhaps no more important time for tradition than the holidays. For Damaris, this season of celebration means just a few things — family, food and love — and that hasn’t changed since she was a young girl growing up with her five siblings in Louisville, Ky. Just in time for Christmas, FN Dish sat down with Damaris in Louisville to find out more about what the holidays looked like for her when she was a child and to chat about how she celebrates today. Read on below to hear from Damaris and to learn the must-have item at her Christmas dinner, her favorite holiday song and movie, and her sweet alternative to eggnog.
How did you celebrate the holidays growing up?
Damaris Phillips: With my family. There’s a bunch of siblings and so we’d would go downstairs in the morning. We’d wake my parents up. My mom would make, like, quiche or cinnamon rolls or something, and we’d go downstairs and there was always, like, bags of our presents. Our parents were really good at, like, not wrapping Santa presents, so if there was, like, a bicycle, there’d be just a bicycle there waiting for you. And then we would hang out and play with toys — and eat lots of food. I mean, just exactly like you think of Christmas …. It used to be the whole world went still and it was just a time to hang out with your family. So thankfully I had all those siblings, so it was always fun, and we were playing with new toys and probably driving my parents bonkers, but it was awesome.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, December 14th, 2013
Struffoli is a classic Neapolitan Christmas dessert that is traditionally made up of fried balls of dough tossed with honey. Giada’s struffoli recipe reveals a De Laurentiis family secret: Use 2/3 fried dough balls and 1/3 hazelnuts so each bite is a surprise.
Start by making the dough in a food processor, using lemon zest and orange zest to help make the dessert crisper and lighter. Add butter at room temperature so that it mixes into the flour really well. The consistency will be a bit chunky before the addition of 3 eggs, a teaspoon vanilla extract and a tablespoon dry white wine. Mix it together until you can scoop out the dough.
After refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes, cut it into sections and then pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut, then fry until lightly golden. To make the sauce, bring honey, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture.
by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Chef, Shows, December 12th, 2013
This fall, FN Dish introduced you to Marc Forgione‘s brand-new steakhouse in New York City, American Cut, and looked back on the Iron Chef’s last three years of battle in Kitchen Stadium. But what else is there to know about Marc beyond his experience as a restaurateur and the fierce competition he brings to Iron Chef America? FN Dish sat down with Marc to learn about his personal food preferences, go-to kitchen utensil, must-have at his last supper and least-favorite ingredient. Read on below to hear what Marc had to say and find out more about his culinary tastes.
What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Marc Forgione: I’m not a huge fan of monkfish liver.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
MF: Blood clams.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
MF: I love New York City sliced pizza.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, December 12th, 2013
As Season 2 of Cutthroat Kitchen approaches (tune in Sunday, Dec. 15 at 10pm/9c), FN Dish thought it was an optimal time to look back on the first season with the host himself, Alton Brown, and some of the best lessons learned. This quickly translated into Alton’s Survival Techniques.
1. Never leave the pantry unless your basket is full. There is absolutely no excuse for not having a full basket — to the brim.
2. Always grab flour and eggs. Even if you think you’re not going to need them, you can make a lot of things with those two ingredients that you can’t make with other things.
Click here for three more survival techniques
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 5th, 2013
It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
Long before Melissa d’Arabian provided parents with a one-stop guide to combatting picky eating in kids or started writing for this very blog, she was a devoted Food Network fan looking to take her love of cooking to the next level. She ultimately earned the chance to do just that when she proved her commitment to the kitchen once and for all by getting cast on Food Network Star, Season 5 — and winning. This mom of four impressed the Selection Committee with her personable charm and family-friendly recipes so much so that she went on to star in her first-ever Food Network series, Ten Dollar Dinners.
I love the excitement of the holiday season, and I even crave a bit of the chaos that comes with being pulled in a million directions. Still, I like to keep (most of) my sanity, especially in the kitchen, which I like to consider my own little haven. Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make in the holiday kitchen, along with a quick fix for each one.
1. Edible gifts: There’s nothing like getting a tasty homemade gift!
The big mistake: making them at the last minute. One year I decided to make all my neighbors Homemade Apple Tarts (pictured above). Everyone loved them, but they needed to be made and delivered fresh, which meant I was up all night making pie after pie.
The fix: Take a tip from those high-end croissant dough delivery places and give frozen (un)baked goods. My Scones can be whipped up in a flash, flavored according to your preferences, cut into triangles and frozen unbaked. Give them frozen so the recipients can bake them according to their schedule.