All Posts In Holidays

Easter Peep Fondue

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 22nd, 2011

peeps in chocolate fondue
The best parts of a Peep are the little eyes and nose. No, for real. They’re tiny dots of chocolate and everyone knows that chocolate and marshmallow is one of the more amazing comfort food combinations (right up there with peanut butter and jelly). The problem is that there’s not enough chocolate on the bunny or chicks face to really satisfy. The good people at Just Born recognize the wonder of marshmallow Peeps + chocolate and came out with chocolate-covered Peeps a few years ago. They’re more expensive than the original though, and the chocolate coating is sort of chemical-y tasting. So it’s best to do-it-yourself. Homemade chocolate fondue is super-easy to make (tip: you can even make it in the microwave), and assorted Peeps and fruit and whatever else you like to dip look quite festive on a platter. Make it for Easter, or after Easter with all the leftover candy.

Get Paula Deen’s easy chocolate fondue recipe »

Recipe of the Day: Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 22nd, 2011

baked french toast casserole
Tired of missing out on Easter morning festivities like egg hunts because you’re preparing breakfast? It’s time to join in on the fun thanks to Paula Deen’s French toast casserole, which can be prepped the day before and baked off the morning of. Finish it off with her decadent praline topping, made with butter, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.

Get the recipe:  Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Browse Food Network’s Easter menu, complete with recipes for all-day eating!


Recipe of the Day: Easter Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 21st, 2011

easter cupcakes with white chocolate frosting
Put all of that Easter candy to good use by making dessert a family affair. After dinner, set up a cupcake toppings bar and offer your guests a choice of sweets like jelly beans, chocolate covered cookies and fruit that will complement Melissa d’Arabian’s white chocolate frosting.

Get the recipe:  Easter Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Browse Food Network’s Easter menu, complete with recipes for all-day eating!

Let’s Get Crackin’: National Pecan Day

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 14th, 2011
Chocolatey, Nutty Goodness - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Nut-allergics, beware. Today is National Pecan Day. Though often featured in sweet pies and holiday sides, pecans are also popular in savory main dishes and, when eaten raw, are a perfectly healthy afternoon snack. So today, celebrate their natural goodness by cooking up these pecan-filled recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Start your day off the nutty way with Kelsey Nixon’s French Toast with Maple Pecan Syrup from food2.com. Sweet brioche bread is dunked in an egg, cinnamon and vanilla mixture before being cooked in a sizzling skillet and topped with a silky syrup of maple and pecans.

For lunch, toss together food.com’s Strawberry Spinach Pecan Salad — light and refreshing, this salad is a vegetarian’s dream. For an extra punch of protein, add sliced grilled chicken or tofu.

Cookingchanneltv.com’s show-stopping recipe for Pecan Crusted Double-Cut Pork Chops is a cinch to make and elegant enough to serve to company. Add a side of Emeril Lagasse’s Roasted Vegetable Pecan Relish for a hearty dinner that will leave you and your guests satisfied for hours.

Before closing the book on this nutty national holiday, try foodnetwork.com’s recipe for a  Chocolate-Toffee Pecan Tart. With a buttery chocolate crust and bourbon-pecan filling, this super simple dessert is as decadent as it sounds.

Check out these other recipes for pecan-packed dishes from foodnetwork.com:

Sugar and Spice Pecans

Gussie’s Fried Chicken with Pecan-Honey Glaze

Caramel Pecan Sundaes

Pecan Sandies

Last-Minute Mardi Gras Dinner

by in Holidays, March 8th, 2011
Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee
Make easy Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee for dinner tonight.

Just because it’s Tuesday doesn’t mean there isn’t time to celebrate Mardi Gras. Cook up a sweet or spicy Big Easy-inspired dish tonight for a taste of New Orleans at home. With a little bit of chopping and simmering, you could mix up a hearty, traditional Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee served with rice. For super quick fixes, try Rachael’s 30-Minute Jambalaya or the Neelys’ easy Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage.

Buttermilk Pancakes With Vanilla Bean-Berry Syrup
Pancakes (along with donuts and other fatty foods) are traditional Mardi Gras fare. It's a good night to make breakfast for dinner.

Or, indulge in another quick and easy traditional Mardi Gras food: Pancakes! Serve one of the Neelys’ dueling pancake recipes for dinner, or browse 50 pancake ideas from Food Network Magazine. Prefer the classics? Go for Buttermilk Pancakes topped with maple syrup and butter.

More Mardi Gras Feasting Ideas:

What are you serving for Fat Tuesday?

Why Bake Homemade Brownies?

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 16th, 2011
Outrageous Brownies
Bake Ina's Outrageous Brownies for the ultimate share-able sweet.

Sure, lots of brownie mixes are good, especially when dolled up with special touches. (Paula, Giada and the Neelys all have short-cut, dressed-up mix recipes.) So why bother baking from-scratch, homemade brownies – measuring, melting and mixing with precision? Your brownies will be different. . . in a good way. Just browse recipes and start making choices: cakey or fudgy, bittersweet or semi-sweet, melted bars or cocoa powder, nuts or no nuts, chips or no chips? In a crowd of boxed brownie taste-memories, yours will stand out from the crowd. So get baking!

Outrageous Brownies
No need to halve a brownie recipe -- leftovers travel well and are always appreciated.

Our Top Brownie Recipes:

  • Ina’s Outrageous Brownies (pictured above)
  • Alton’s Cocoa Brownies
  • Smore Brownies
  • Ina’s Peanut Swirl Brownies
  • Ellie’s Slimmed-Down Brownies
  • Nigella’s Triple Chocolate Brownies
  • Bobby’s Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies
  • Short-Cut Brownies:

  • Paula’s Toffee Brownies
  • Chocolate Brownie Crunch
  • Giada’s Espresso Brownies
  • What’s your favorite brownie recipe?

    Top 5 Dishes for Chinese New Year

    by in Holidays, Recipes, February 2nd, 2011
    Dan-Dan Noodles
    Eat a bowl of Chinese noodles for good luck in the new year.

    Celebrations for Chinese New Year begin February 3 and continue for 15 days. That gives you plenty of time to cook up lucky Chinese foods at home, from noodles to egg rolls.

    Top 5 to Try:
    Dan-Dan Noodles: Noodles symbolize longevity, so eat a bowl-full in the new year (but don’t cut them up, which would be bad luck!).

    Chinese Dumpling Soup: Dumplings are shaped like ancient blocks of gold or silver, so eat them for prosperity in the year ahead.

    Chinese Dumpling Soup
    Warm up with this easy Chinese Dumpling Soup, a symbol of wealth to come.

    Sunny’s Asian Lettuce Wraps: The Cantonese word for lettuce means “raising fortune,” making lettuce wraps the perfect lucky New Year’s food.

    Guy’s Off the Hook Egg Rolls: Crispy, fried egg rolls look like bars of gold, so crunch away for wealth.

    Egg Rolls
    Guy's Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls fry up to look like bars of gold.

    Steamed Fish With Ginger: The Mandarin word for fish sounds similar to the word for “abundance.” Serve it up for good fortune in the new year.

    Steamed Fish with Ginger
    Serve Steamed Fish with Ginger for prosperity.

    Find more top foods for Chinese New Year from Food Network. Then check out top picks from Steamy Kitchen’s Jaden Hair writing for Cooking Channel’s Devour.

    What are you going to cook up to celebrate the year of the rabbit?

    Ooey, Gooey, Good: National Chocolate Cake Day

    by in Holidays, Recipes, January 27th, 2011
    Molten Chocolate Cake
    Baking perfect Molten Chocolate Cake is easy with Food Network Magazine's step-by-step how-to.

    You hardly need a dedicated day to appreciate the lusciousness of chocolate cake (every day is chocolate cake day in my mind), but an excuse to indulge is always welcome. So why not give an impressive Valentine’s Day sweet a practice spin? Go ahead and mix up Molten Chocolate Cake with this step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine.

    Read more

    Design Spy: Dream of Spring by Reinventing Winter

    by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, January 13th, 2011
    Wendy took a green damask tablecloth from Christmas and used fresh irises and pink accents to transform the table setting to spring.

    Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of Guy’s Big Bite30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Cooking for Real and Aarti Party. Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.

    Like a post-holiday nymph who refuses to leave the party, January never fails to beckon with its tempting array of alluring sales. This is one post-holiday ritual not to be ignored. A plethora of fresh merchandise awaits discerning January buyers who peruse with a careful eye toward the coming year.

    The seasonal green linens of December will surely welcome a spring lamb to the table, and a holiday red tablecloth will be the perfect backdrop for the guacamole and chips of that most sacred American celebration: The Super Bowl. And what better time to stock up on ornaments and decorations for the next Christmas season? You’ll save time and money next November. Here’s the original Christmas tabletop that I transformed for spring.

    Wendy's Christmas table, with a green damask table cloth, red charger plates and ornaments, can easily be transformed for spring.

    I often can be found scooping up discounted platters, plates, and bowls. I ask myself how a particular shape will enhance what I own already. Will that smooth shiny square plate play well with my favorite round matte dinnerware pieces? Glassware always makes my list, especially for replenishing the ever-disappearing stock of wine and Champagne glasses. I love discovering odds and ends. Glasses that look great together but don’t match give me a chance to build on this stockpile during the rest of the year.

    I also love parties, so I never forget the cocktail napkin. Decorative paper napkins are on my radar and come in handy for office and birthday parties, or even stashed in the glove box for that last minute treat on the run. Small linen napkins in silver and gold make an anniversary special anytime of the year.

    The venerable tray in any color or form is another sale treasure. I use them for everything from hors d’oeuvres to serving platters for larger fare. Don’t forget that when not in service they look wonderful on kitchen counters and coffee tables.

    I bank on these January sales and similar ones after each holiday year-round. Shall we meet in the clearance aisle?

    Drawing Inspiration: They Draw and Cook’s Winner

    by in Holidays, Recipes, December 31st, 2010
    Artist Daniela Garreton from Santiago, Chile, extends the holidays with a beautiful illustration, winning They Draw and Cook's holiday-recipe drawing contest.

    They Draw & Cook The Dish is teaming up with Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, founders of They Draw and Cook, all December to share holiday recipes rendered by artists and inspiring all sorts of seasonal cooking with Food Network chefs. Each day, stop by the Dish for a new drawing and Nate and Salli’s liner notes about the illustrations and the artists. Tell us which you like and why. A dollop of this, a dash of that and some talent add up to interesting ideas in the kitchen. Visit theydrawandcook.com for more info.

    As we come to the final days of our month-long celebration of artistically illustrated holiday recipes, it’s time to recognize (and reward!) four artists whose recipes represent all the good things we love about drawing and cooking at holiday time. We at They Draw and Cook have rewarded four artists with cash prizes totaling $2,000, with the grand prize winner being announced here today. Because Salli and I love all the recipes you’ve seen this month we could never in a million years pick favorites! So, we asked our friends at Weldon Owen Publishing (they will publish the upcoming They Draw and Cook book, available next fall) and here at the FoodNetwork.com to be the judges. From a batch of 250 holiday recipes, they picked four top favorites.

    Today, we’d like to congratulate Daniela Garreton, an artist from Santiago, Chile, for being our first-place winner! Daniela will receive $1,000 from They Draw and Cook for her wonderfully sweet Pan de Pascua illustration. The judges thought Daniela’s recipe was beautiful: the warmth of her colors, her watercolored typography, her perfectly simple linework and the sweetness of her little family of birds were all just too irresistible. They also loved the fact that while this may be a popular and traditional holiday recipe in Chile, it’s a new and fresh idea for many of us. Congratulations Daniela and thanks for sharing this little piece of holiday goodness with everyone.

    This wraps up our month-long feast of illustrated foodie fabulousness. We hope you enjoyed seeing this batch of 31 illustrated recipes here on The FN Dish. To see all 250 illustrated holiday recipes (plus hundreds and hundreds more) please visit us at They Draw and Cook for daily postings of illustrated recipes by artists from around the world. Thanks so much to our friends here at The FN Dish for allowing us to showcase the work of so many talented artists. And an extra-special thank you goes out to all the artists who contributed to this awesome series of holiday recipe illustrations–you are all amazing.

    Cheers and Happy New Year! Check out FoodNetwork.com for great New Year’s recipes.

    —Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.