All Posts In Holidays

Scary-Simple Tricks and Treats for Last-Minute Halloween Parties

by in Entertaining, Holidays, October 30th, 2012

Monster Cupcakes
With Halloween just hours away, you’re likely feeling prepared for this spooky-sweet holiday by now. Candy and costumes? Check, check. Trick-or-treat plans? Made them. Extra candy? Of course. But then your child comes home from school and announces that he’s volunteered to bring in treats for his classroom Halloween party tomorrow. What do you do? Instead of relying on your secret stash of candy bars to save the day, try preparing easy, kid-friendly sweet treats that will wow your child and surely be the talk of the elementary school.

To start, follow Sandra Lee’s lead and embrace the magic that is Semi-Homemade Cooking. Her Monster Cupcakes come together in just 20 quick minutes, thanks to pre-made unfrosted cupcakes. The secret to working with store-bought goodies is putting your own signature spin on them. These cupcakes, for example, become extra special and look downright homemade once you — or your kids — decorate them. Sandra opts for green-tinted frosting and colorful candies to create simple, silly monsters.

Keep reading for more last-minute ideas

Monster Cookies — The New Girl

by in Holidays, October 29th, 2012

monster cookiesI consider myself to be a moderately adventurous eater and determined cook. I enjoy expanding my food horizons and working with new ingredients. Saffron, anchovies — bring it on. But I have to admit, every once in a while all I want is a cookie. Not a cookie with sea salt or cocoa nibs, but a simple cookie, filled with goodies that a 10-year-old would go crazy over. Enter Monster Cookies.

There are some spooky recipes out there for Halloween, but Monster Cookies are anything but scary (despite what their name implies). The whole process is beautifully simple: just stir, mix and set the timer. Don’t be afraid of a kitchen mess because you’ll only need one bowl. The cookies are filled with peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&M’s and oats — a baking newbie can’t go wrong when it comes to flavor.

Here are a few things to consider before making this recipe

Duff Goldman’s Halloween Candy for Grownups

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, October 27th, 2012

Duff Goldman
With the pint-sized costumes and hours of trick-or-treating that all but define Halloween, it can seem as though this spooky-sweet holiday is just for kids. But youngsters aren’t the only ones who can enjoy Halloween and especially the buckets of candy that come with it. Sure, store-bought miniature candy bars may be the treat of choice handed out to Batman, clowns and princess look-alikes on Wednesday night, but you don’t have to settle for individually wrapped peanut butter cups when feeding adults. For grown-up Halloween goodies, try making your own chocolate truffles with help from dessert extraordinaire Chef Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes bakeries in Maryland and California and the star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Sugar High.

In partnership with Godiva, Duff recently launched Cake Truffles, a line of candy truffles inspired by classic desserts, and we caught up with him to get the secret to candy making for beginners and to find out his favorite truffle from the decadent collection.

Read more

Fright Potions for Halloween

by in Drinks, Holidays, October 26th, 2012

shrunken head strawsFor Halloween I often advise people to find one of the many wines available with scary names, such as Sin Zin, Dead Arm or Devil’s Lair. Given the festive nature of fright night, however, it can also be rewarding to whip up a big-batch wine that is sure to give your guests the creeps — in a good way.

Red Punch: The color of villainy, of course, is blood red, so the easiest way to add fright to your night is to mix up a simple Red Wine Punch from Food Network Magazine.

Sangria: With a little more work, you can make a traditional red sangria, whose name appropriately derives from sangre or blood in Spanish. I show you how in this video.

Go Green: Equally impressive would be to surprise your guests with a concoction the color of ghastly green. Obtain some green food coloring and add it to Paula Deen’s Mimosa Punch or Giada’s Apple and Mint Punch.

Accessorize with Sandra’s Shrunken Head Straws

Caramel Popcorn Balls — The Weekender

by in Entertaining, Holidays, October 26th, 2012

Caramel Popcorn BallsEach year around Halloween I find myself feeling nostalgic for elementary school — for class parties, costume parades on the playground and a plastic pumpkin bursting with candy. I also find myself craving my mom’s honeyed popcorn. It was her signature treat to give to friends and neighbors for the holiday.

After dinner when all the dishes were cleaned and put away, she’d fire up our yellow-and-white air popper and keep it running until she had filled a clean brown paper grocery bag with the popped corn. Once that task was finished, she’d melt butter and honey together into a thick syrup and pour it over the popped corn, using her longest-handled wooden spoon to help stir it all up.

The sweetened corn would then get spread across rimmed cookie sheets and would go into the oven for 10 or 15 minutes, to help set and crisp the kernels. The next day when it was cool, she’d package it up in plastic bags, secured with orange and black twist ties. My sister and I always got small bags in our lunch the day after she made it.

Before you start popping your corn, read these tips

Reinvented: Pumpkin Seeds 5 Ways

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 25th, 2012

pumpkin seed recipesHere in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

Chances are you’ve picked up your pumpkin to create the ultimate jack-o’-lantern or perfect pie. If that’s the case, then save the seeds. They make a great snack, sweet or savory. Simply remove the seeds from the pumpkin, remove the remaining stringy flesh and lay them out on a parchment paper and let air dry for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, pour enough oil to lightly coat the seeds and sprinkle with salt. Spread prepared seeds out on a sheet tray or baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful when removing from the oven as some seeds could pop off the sheet tray. Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Here are four more ways to make pumpkin seeds.

First, start with the classic version

QUIZ: Food Network Stars’ Favorite Halloween Candy

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, October 24th, 2012

halloween candy bucket

Test Your Knowledge: FN Stars' Favorite Halloween Candy

Candy rules on Halloween and we all have our favorite Halloween treats. But do you know your favorite Food Network stars' picks? When this sweet holiday rolls around, they can be found eating everything from classic chocolate bars to crazy carbonated candy out of the Halloween stash. Take this quiz and test your knowledge to see if you’re the ultimate Food Network fan.
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Halloween recipe inspiration: Food Network turns ordinary foods into freaky Halloween snacks with exclusive and easy-to-do recipe ideas.

Easy Halloween Bark

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 23rd, 2012

easy halloween bark recipeI recently came across Food Network Magazine‘s article about Mix-and-Match Chocolate Bark and was inspired to whip up something spooky for Halloween. The ingredients were simple, the directions were easy and the result was mouthwatering brilliance.

I decided to adapt the chocolate bark for the fall season and Halloween. I chose a dark-chocolate cookie with orange cream filling. You could use candy corn, orange marshmallows, orange-colored candy melts or any other Halloween-inspired treat.

Halloween Bark

1 (12-oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
15 Halloween-themed cookies (like Oreos), chopping each cookie into four pieces

Keep reading for directions

Join Our Facebook Fan Chat: Halloween Edition

by in Community, Holidays, October 22nd, 2012

graveyard cupcakes
Join us on Wednesday for a Facebook chat with Food Network Kitchens about Halloween recipes and entertaining. Bring your spooky-food questions and let us help you take the fear factor out of hosting a memorable Halloween bash.

It kicks off this Wednesday, October 24 at 1pm/12c on Food Network’s Facebook page.

Using Wire Baskets and Hangers to Decorate for Halloween

by in Entertaining, Holidays, October 20th, 2012

wire basket halloween decorThere has always been something deliciously spooky about wire baskets. Even the quaintest Victorian type conjures up memories of my Connecticut childhood when small groups of us ventured out on Halloween, letting the owls guide our way down seemingly endless and dark winding drives to the trick-or-treat prize.

Now I love placing something orange (but not too bright) or a dulled red fruit in a wire basket as a nod to the Halloween palette. Something with an irregular shape, a root vegetable perhaps, also looks great in a black wire basket, especially when it’s sticking out through the wire.

I’ve seen black wire baskets in stores and on many websites this season, and am quite fond of the vintage pieces from any century or style: Victorian, art deco, midcentury or shabby chic. Any of these will do.

Since they have a common denominator of black wire, the styles mix well. With their various shapes and sizes, they create a wonderful focal point, either in a row or clumped together on a coffee table, or by the entrance or front steps, where trick-or-treaters or party guests will be sure to spot them.

Keep reading for DIY tips

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