There was definitely a holiday vibe in the Chopped Junior kitchen, and our contestants were thrown some pretty tough curveballs, like gingerbread houses and snowmen made from doughnuts. But we were mostly interested in using potato pancakes, an ingredient in the entree basket, as a bun for an easy sandwich perfect for a boxed lunch.
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Get ready for peppermint everything. With the pumpkin spice craze behind us, it’s time for a more festive flavor trend. And no food embodies the spirit of the winter holidays quite like a shiny red-striped candy cane. Here’s our list of top peppermint-flavored treats to make this season.
Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate (pictured above)
This easy homemade recipe is thicker and more indulgent than your average hot chocolate. Stick a ladle directly in the pot, set up an add-ins bar with mini marshmallows, crushed peppermint candies and peppermint schnapps, then let guests serve themselves.
Lately I’ve been getting more into breading things. Some to fry, some to bake, some to just bread and say, “I breaded this.” It feels good for my life.
But let’s get real for a second. I think it’s obvious we can all agree that the best food to bread is a good ol’ chicken nugget. How can it not be? It’s a childhood favorite, and it’s grabbable, poppable and dippable. You can’t not. But while the classic nugget will never go out of style, I wanted to upgrade our adult portions to have the same taste, but with a slightly more polished end result.
So I created a super-yummy, super-crunchy baked chicken nugget for the kids, and I used the same crunchy coating and applied it to a more adult-friendly paillard-style chicken dish! Even though technically a paillard has no coating, mine does. I like to get loco like that.
Since the coating is the exact same for all the chicken, it’s a definite timesaver on a weeknight. Holla. You’ll serve the nuggets with some ketchup and steamed broccoli for the kids. And then you’ll just drape your paillards over some super-quick lemony linguine for you. And all is right in the world.
Let’s do this already.
Smooth. Creamy. Chunky. No matter your favorite kind of peanut butter, there’s no doubting just how versatile a jar of peanut butter can be, or how far it can go. While you already know that you can eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon or pair it with jelly on bread for a classic PB&J sandwich, the options don’t stop there. Try these 12 delicious recipes, all of which put a jar of peanut butter to good use.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut butter and chocolate make a great combo in this no-bake pie from Ree Drummond. Pairing a creamy mixture of peanut butter, cream cheese and whipped topping with a crunchy chocolate cookie crust, this pie is sure to make the sweet lover in your life smile.
I know that white chocolate isn’t for everyone. It’s taken me a long time to warm up to the stuff myself. But I’ve recently learned one important fact about white chocolate: To find the best stuff, you must read the label.
True white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. To make cocoa butter, roasted cacao beans are ground into a fine paste. That paste is then run through a special press, which separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. To make white chocolate, cocoa butter is then mixed with sugar and milk. Different chocolate manufacturers make different blends. In the United States, to even be called white chocolate, it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. But for better flavor, look for something with an even higher percentage of cocoa butter. More cocoa butter makes for a more delicious product. Avoid white chocolate with fillers like oil and artificial flavor.
Tonight at sundown marks the start of Hanukkah. To commemorate the miracle of oil, it’s a tradition to fry potato pancakes, or latkes, as a part of the celebration. That miracle goes back to ancient times, when the Temple in Jerusalem’s limited supply of oil burned for eight days instead of one. Whether frying up homemade potato latkes is a yearly tradition for your family or you simply can’t resist crispy, golden potatoes in any form, these classic and creative latke recipes are the ones to make during the Festival of Lights — or year-round.
To achieve the quintessential light, crispy shredded potato patty you’d expect out of the holiday season, start with Ina Garten’s recipe for perfect Potato Latkes, which take just 20 minutes to make. Follow these 5 Rules for Better Latkes and serve the customary way: with applesauce and sour cream on the side.
While some soups require hours of slow simmering to achieve their best flavor, it’s indeed possible to turn out the best results in a hurry — think just 30 quick minutes. Food Network Kitchen’s Vegetable Noodle Soup, a fan-favorite recipe with a 5-star rating, comes together quickly once you’ve prepped the veggies and added them to the pot, since the noodles are cooked right in the broth as it boils. To finish, brighten up the soup with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for satisfying results.
While this recipe is speedy enough to make and take for lunch, Food Network Kitchen notes that you can also freeze it for later. “Freeze any leftovers or make a double batch to have plenty on hand,” the chefs in the Food Network Kitchen explain. They add, “You can stir in some cooked chicken or mini-meatballs, if desired, for another meal,” so keep it on hand for when you’re not celebrating Meatless Monday too.
As you shuttle from at-work celebrations to cocktail parties and host casual family gatherings and the elegant Christmas Eve feast alike, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge in your favorite fare during the holidays. But perhaps the best, most-decadent dishes come not from the savory buffet, but rather from the dessert table, in the form of decadent cakes, cookies, trifles and fudge. Check out Food Network’s favorite holiday desserts below, each a wow-worthy pick sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce
Bobby Flay celebrates the beloved flavor combo of gingerbread and lemon in his layered trifle, featuring a crimson-colored blackberry sauce, which he whirls in the blender for smooth results. Follow Bobby’s lead and save time in the kitchen by opting for store-bought lemon curd; it brightens up the fluffy whipped cream layers in his big-batch dessert.
Good friends, fresh baked goods and a few generous mugs of (possibly spiked) hot chocolate: That’s what a holiday cookie swap is all about. If you’re hosting this year, it’s time to choose your recipes, check your pantry (ditching old spices and other baking staples that have been collecting dust at the back of your shelves), and head to the store for missing ingredients. Remember to stock up on treat bags or roomy covered containers; that way, everyone can go home with a few edible mementos.
Guests are generally expected to bring one batch of cookies. (Or you might ask guests to bring two or three batches, depending on the size of the swap.) When hosting, it’s wise to bake two or three different varieties, and remember to take food allergies into account. Choose two familiar, tried-and-true recipes, like classic sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. (That way you won’t stress over making errors and can focus on beverages and decor too.) The third cookie should be super-seasonal and more of a challenge. You can make one recipe the day of, but make the other recipes a day in advance — whatever works best with your schedule. Here are a few of our most sought-after holiday cookies to get you started.
Cookie #1: Classic Sugar
Food Network Kitchen’s Soft Sugar Cookies (pictured at top) are the classic sugar cookies you could roll out in your sleep — except they might be more tender than you’re used to, thanks to an extra egg in the dough. Before baking, roll the dough in red and green sanding sugar. The cookies will bake up in just 20 minutes. Check out more of our festive takes on sugar cookies here.
When you’re a kid and holiday break is on the horizon, December is a time of cheer no matter what holiday you celebrate. If your kids’ class is celebrating the end of 2015 with treats galore, here are some take-to-school ideas that will make their holiday party extra-festive this winter.
Add Some Cheer to Lunchtime
If your kids’ winter party takes place around lunchtime, use this midday meal as an unexpected way to celebrate the season. Ree Drummond’s easy-to-make, understated Holiday Roll-Ups (pictured above) don’t call for any ingredients you wouldn’t normally pack in your kids’ lunch. Filled with a blend of cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and black pepper, these tortilla pinwheels get their festive colors (and crunch) from diced red and green peppers. The best part? They can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until it’s time to eat.