All Posts In Holidays

Paula’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 3rd, 2011


It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

There’s no need for a rolling pin or fancy cookie-cutters in this recipe  Paula just drops the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bakes these two-bite treats for 12-15 minutes. Her soft and sweet cookies are packed with chewy raisins, crunchy chopped walnuts and nearly a half dozen ground spices. Best of all, they are drizzled with a decadent brown-butter icing, made from butter that has melted, foamed and developed a rich golden brown hue with a nutty taste.

Get Paula’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Alton’s Ginger Snaps — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 2nd, 2011

It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

Though they are crispier than classic gingerbread cookies, ginger snaps are made with many of the same ingredients and boast a warm, spicy flavor, just like their chewy counterparts. To balance the sweetness of his cookies, Alton uses both fresh and candied ginger with fragrant ground spices. When you take the cookies out of the oven, add a light dusting of “snow” to them by sprinkling each with a bit of sanding sugar.

Get Alton’s Ginger Snaps recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Ina’s Shortbread Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 1st, 2011

It’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from favorite Food Network chefs. Visit Cooking Channel’s blog for even more great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike.

Light, buttery and soft, shortbreads are quintessential holiday cookies made with just a few key ingredients: butter, flour, sugar and vanilla extract. Ina takes her crumbly creations to the next level of decadence by dipping each cooled cutout into smooth melted chocolate. Dunk these beauties in a cup of coffee or serve them with a tall glass of cold milk for a simple dessert or sweet midday treat.

Get Ina’s Shortbread Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this holiday season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Baked Squash Gratin — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 25th, 2011

baked squash gratin
I come from one of those families where the Thanksgiving menu is essentially written on stone tablets. Many years ago, it was declared that there shall be turkey with stuffing (some cooked inside the bird and some cooked outside). Mashed potatoes are compulsory, as are sautéed Brussels sprouts, homemade gravy and cranberry jelly in the shape of a can.

When I was 12 years old, my cousin Jeremy brought an unscripted dish to our Thanksgiving table, but it was so wonderful that it was added to the holiday canon. It was a very large bowl of steamed and mashed butternut squash, enriched with a bit of powdered ginger and plenty of butter.

The only issue with this squash dish is that we somehow always manage to make so much of it that it ends up being totally out of proportion with the rest of the leftovers. The only thing that ends up outlasting is the gravy. (My father has trouble making less than a gallon of gravy.) Thankfully, I’ve discovered just the thing to transform all that squash and make it the most sought-after leftover around (though, if you make something else out of it, can it still be called a leftover?).

Before you start layering, read these tips »

A Thanksgiving Leftover Soirée

by in Holidays, November 25th, 2011

sweet potato croquettes
After all the excitement of Thanksgiving has ended, the big feast has come to a close, all dishes have been washed and the last of the family heads home, there are always the leftovers. Sometimes I think the leftovers are more exciting than the actual Thanksgiving dinner itself. I mean, what’s better than a few days of mixing and matching foods to create a meal, adding a few things here and there and being able to call it dinner? Pretty fabulous, huh?

The best leftover in my opinion has to be the mashed potatoes. Whether you use regular mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, they are always excellent for a few days post-Thanksgiving. And what better way to use them up than by turning them into little croquettes and inviting some friends over for nibbles and drinks.

Get one of Gaby’s favorite croquette recipes »

Best 5 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 24th, 2011

next day turkey soup
One of the perks of hosting Thanksgiving dinner is that you get to keep most of the leftovers. But how are you ever going to use up the remains of that 20-pound bird and what can you do with all of those extra vegetables? Food Network’s five best leftover recipes below offer creative suggestions to rid your fridge of those Turkey Day remnants and more by repurposing them in easy ways that won’t slow you down on Black Friday.

5. Turkey Bolognese — To save time, Giada uses pre-made marinara sauce to make this simple but satisfying pasta dish, featuring dark-meat turkey and chopped vegetables.

4. Potato Croquettes — Paula coats leftover mashed potatoes in breadcrumbs and pan-fries them until golden brown with a crispy coating.

Get the top three recipes »

How to Store Thanksgiving Leftovers

by in Holidays, How-to, November 24th, 2011

refrigeratorLeftovers are practically guaranteed after a meal as large as Thanksgiving dinner. In my house, we ensure them by making a small, extra turkey and several batches of stuffing, so that everyone can take some home. But beyond making turkey sandwiches and soup, what can you do with all of that extra meat and how should you use up those spare potatoes and vegetables? We have the answers, plus helpful tips on how to safely store leftovers and inventive recipes for next-day dishes.

Shelf Life: Though there’s no reason to rush through Thanksgiving dinner in order to get the leftovers in the fridge, it is best to start packaging them within two hours of the meal. In general, most leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. Frozen leftovers, however, are best within 2-3 months, though they’ll remain safe to eat forever, so long as they are kept at 0 degrees F.

Unstuff the Stuffing: If you chose to stuff your turkey, remember to unstuff it before storing. Scoop it out of the cavity of the bird and keep it in one container, and put the carved meat and each of your side dishes in their own separate containers.

Follow these easy food safety tips »

The Home Stretch — Your Morning of Checklist

by in Holidays, November 24th, 2011

mashed potatoes
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s time to sit back and relax — well, aside from some cooking — and make room for the big feast. Having prepared well ahead of time, you’ll impress your family and friends as the cool, calm and collected host. As much as we love the Thanksgiving meal, our favorite time of day is always the morning of, alternating between preparing the final dishes in the kitchen and sitting down to watch the parade with family and early guests. Not to mention, nothing beats the smells of a kitchen in full-on Thanksgiving mode.

• The Grand Finale: The moment you’ve been waiting for: time to roast the turkey. Unstuffed turkeys take hours to roast (anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on the size and the method), and you’ll want to give the bird at least 30 minutes to rest before carving, so start nice and early. One technique we like is to roast the bird at moderate heat, around 350 degrees F, only opening the oven door to baste occasionally so the heat stays inside. If the breast is getting too dark, you can cover it with foil. The turkey is done when the internal temperature of the breast is 165 degrees F and the legs are about 175 degrees F. Here’s where you get to use that meat thermometer.

Make the mashed potatoes fresh »

Alex’s Turkey Day

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2011

turkey dinner
Every year, I pull out my giant roasting pan (with fitted rack) and thus begins the annual ritual of cooking a giant turkey for Thanksgiving. What kind of turkey did I make last year? How did I cook it? Though I consider myself a fairly well-seasoned cook, learning how to cook the perfect turkey is something I take care to re-learn every year.

So, where to begin?

A few preliminary questions I always ask:

1. How big does my turkey need to be? I usually estimate about 1 pound of turkey (factoring in the carcass as part of that weight) per person.

2. What kind of turkey? Like a lot of poultry these days, there is quite a variety of turkeys (all raised in different ways, fed different foods) to choose from. You know, this is a difficult question to answer. I don’t think I have ever cooked the same turkey two years in a row. I love Heritage brand the most, but those types of birds are raised in such a way that the meat is leaner and can be slightly tough. I also love a good ol’ supermarket turkey. I say, whatever suits your personal taste.

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It’s the Final Countdown — Day-Before Planning

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2011

ina garten butternut squash soup
Take a deep breath — the finish line is in sight. You’ve made it this far, and will be happily sitting down to eat in about 36 short hours or so. The day before is a great opportunity to cross off a hefty portion of your to-do list. You only have one more trip to the store ahead of you for the flowers and then you’re home-free to hunker down in the kitchen.

• Brine Time: To ensure a moist and flavorful turkey, we highly recommend brining the bird the day before. A simple salt-and-sugar water bath will easily safeguard you from the perils of a dried-out turkey that even gravy can’t fix.

• Easy As Pie: If you’ve made or bought your pie crusts ahead of time, most Thanksgiving desserts can be a piece of cake. But if you’re looking to cross some cooking off your list the day before, make your pies ahead of time. In fact, we even prefer pies that have had a day to sit, especially pumpkin and pecan. Just remember to take them out of the fridge 2 to 3 hours before serving on the big day — and tell your family no early taste-testing.

Soup’s on and snack attacks »

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