What’s that saying? “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I’d venture to say the way to anyone’s heart may just be through his or her stomach, and if you agree, you’ve come to the right place. With Valentine’s Day coming up fast, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Valentine’s cards (like Egg Press’ pictured above) and gifts for you to say “I love you” to your better half — the salt to your pepper, the peanut butter to your jelly. Well, you get the point.
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OK, I have a confession: I don’t understand football. Never have. Never will. It’s just the way I was made. I do, however, love throwing Super Bowl parties. You wouldn’t actually find me watching the game, but I love to have all my friends over and cook a big feast and let everyone else enjoy the game while indulging on great food.
The key to a great big-game soiree is to have lots of finger foods — things that are easy to eat while you’re on the couch watching TV and screaming for your favorite team. You also need recipes that are simple to make so you don’t spend the whole day in your kitchen.
The big game may be tomorrow, but there’s still time to organize a feast. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that always make an appearance at my party:
Alton’s guacamole. I once heard a fact that some obscene amount of guacamole is consumed every year during the Super Bowl — something like two football fields’ worth. But since guacamole is awesome, I can believe it.
When it comes to sporting events, I’m really only in it for the food. As a kid, when I went to baseball games with my dad, my mind was on killing time until the seventh-inning stretch, when I’d be allowed to have ice cream. In high school, football games were all about the soft pretzels (and flirting, of course). And to my mind, Super Bowl Sunday is about snacks, dips and wacky commercials.
While there’s nothing wrong with classics like queso dip (made from only the very best processed cheeses) and blender salsas, I do get a kick out of making fancied-up versions of traditional dippy dishes. I’ve entertained a number in recent days and two that have bubbled to the top of my big game hit parade are Trisha Yearwood’s Hot Corn Dip and Alton Brown’s Onion Dip From Scratch.
The Hot Corn Dip is one of those addictive creations where you mix up a few ingredients, scrape the whole mess into an ovenproof bowl and bake it until bubbly (I’m drooling a little just thinking about it). It can be prepped ahead of time and baked off just before the game starts. Served with tortilla chips, it’s a good snacking time.
It’s no surprise that Jeff’s a big football fan. Though his home team (Chicago Bears) didn’t make the playoffs this year, he’s still excited to celebrate the upcoming big game.
Here are 5 things you can catch Jeff either watching, eating or drinking during the Super Bowl:
1. Commercials: I love watching the one-up manship of these mini movies. Some are very clever and entertaining, sometimes even more so than the game.
2. I eat and make sandwiches (obviously). They’re minimal-cleanup necessary and their one-handed operation permits high-fiving and remote-controlling. It’s also an easy and economical way to feed a bunch of people.
3. I’ll be drinking a lighter beer so my tiny tummy doesn’t fill up so quickly, thus being able to enjoy much more of my personal game-day trifecta: salt, meat and carb.
There are boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate — and then there are boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolate. There is such a thing as chocolate that will make your significant other’s heart melt. That starts with wild bonbon combinations like chipotle caramel fudge with popping candy and sea salt, or salt butter caramel infused with fresh rosemary (a favorite) and sweet strawberry caramel with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Chuao Chocolatier has put together an assortment of aphrodisiac-infused bonbons and truffles for the upcoming holiday and now they’re giving FN Dish readers a chance to win one.
You can buy your own aphrodisiac box of Chuao Chocolate here or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us the most unique chocolate combination you’ve ever had. If you haven’t had one, tell us which combination from Chuao you’d want to try the most. We’re giving away aphrodisiac bonbon collections to five lucky, randomly selected commenters.
The big game is just days away, which means that it’s officially time to start planning your weekend tailgate menu. Whether or not you’re a fan of the teams taking the field on Sunday, almost everyone can appreciate the relaxing afternoon of TV watching, couch potato-ing and heavy-duty snacking that comes with this ultimate football showdown. Invite your friends and family over for a casual game-day bash and serve a spread of mingle-friendly dips, Buffalo-style wings and adults-only cocktails, all rounded out by a crowd-pleasing main dish: the chicken enchilada. Check out Food Network’s top five chicken enchilada recipes below — each a hearty, all-in-one meal that the whole family will enjoy — and cook up one at home this weekend.
5. Light Chicken Enchiladas — Stick to your New Year’s Day healthy-eating resolution while still enjoying this full-flavored dish, made with lean chicken breasts, just a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of muenster cheese.
4. Chicken Enchiladas Suizas — Food Network Kitchens incorporates a touch of heat to its tomato-based enchilada sauce by adding a few Serrano chile peppers, but a scoop of Mexican crema mixed with shredded chicken helps to balances the spice.
Whether you embrace Valentine’s Day or not, one thing is for sure: Any reason to indulge in chocolate and other sweets is surely enough for us. Between Strawberry Truffles, Hot Hearts, Scotchmallow chocolates (one of our editor’s favorites), Cinnamon Lollypops and something out of the ordinary — a make-your-own box — See’s Candies has something for the whole family.
You can buy your Valentine’s Day sweets here or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us your favorite candy to give on Valentine’s Day in the comments. We’re giving away $25 gift certificates to five lucky, randomly selected commenters — just in time for the holiday.
You’ve decided to skip the big dinner and throw a New Year’s Eve party, but it’s just one day away. Don’t fret; there’s still time to throw an all-out bash that will also allow you to enjoy time with your guests.
So let’s throw a party! I’ve compiled a few of my favorite recipes that will complete your menu (with bubbly, of course). Keep the items small, but make sure they’re filling:
Hummus — it’s a must for any party at my house. You can make it the morning of your party and it only takes mere minutes to whip everything up in a food processor. Toast up your own pita chips, too, and this one is good to go.
Try this recipe: Red Pepper Hummus With Toasted Pita Triangles
Spiced nuts (pictured above) are great to have on hand for the holiday season and the same goes for New Year’s Eve. Make these the day before, reheat them for a quick minute in the oven, and serve them at your party. Feel free to get creative with this recipe, like I did, and add other nuts besides pecans.
Try this recipe: Food Network Magazine‘s Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans
When it comes to New Year’s Eve parties, there are often just two kinds of get-togethers: the casual bash complete with an expansive guest list, and the intimate, elegant event with just one special person or perhaps a small group of friends. When planning for the first gathering, think ease and simplicity, both in terms of food preparation for a crowd and also logistics like serving and plating different eats and drinks. For the dressed-up dinner party, look to elaborate yet accessible dishes to match the fancy flair of the event. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s favorite party-ready menus to fit both kinds of celebrations, plus a collection of creative and classic cocktails alike that will help you ring in 2013. Check out our top New Year’s Eve recipe ideas and effortless entertaining tips below, then tell us in the comments: How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve?