Non-Pie Desserts That Will Take the Cake This Thanksgiving

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 23rd, 2014

Pineapple Upside-Down CakeApple, pumpkin and pecan pies — or a mashup of all three — are indeed no-fail options when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, but if you’re looking to dress up the feast this year with new takes on tradition, introduce a sweet cake to your after-dinner spread. Read on below for classic and creative holiday cake ideas from Trisha Yearwood, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs, then check out the complete roundup of Top Thanksgiving Cake Recipes for more turkey day inspiration.

The key to making Trisha’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (pictured above) is building the cake from the bottom up. What will eventually be the top of the cake — the sweetened pineapple and bright-red cherries — forms the base as the batter cooks in the oven; Trisha recommends letting the pan rest atop the inverted cake for minutes after flipping so the sweet syrup absorbs into the vanilla-scented batter.

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Now Your Bartender Can Build You a Bespoke Beer

by in News, November 22nd, 2014

The HoppierIf hoppy beer makes you happy, then hoppier beer may make you happier. At least that seems to be the thinking behind the Hoppier, a barista-style machine that can automatically recalibrate the strength of hops in a beer and tailor its flavor to suit your taste.

Hoping to hop on both the trend toward product personalization and the rage for craft beer, the U.K. product design and development firm behind the Hoppier, Cambridge Consultants, has created a device — basically a beer tap crossed with an espresso machine, with a few extra high-tech bells and whistles — that uses pressure to extract hops and add them to your beer.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Cocktails

by in Drinks, Holidays, November 22nd, 2014

Hot ToddyNo matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.

5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.

4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.

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Food Network Favorites Share Breakfast with Local Schoolchildren

by in Food Network Chef, November 22nd, 2014

The KitchenIt’s no secret that breakfast is the most-important meal of the day, but nevertheless many children go to school hungry, having not had breakfast at home beforehand. That’s where No Kid Hungry comes in. This nonprofit organization is committed to helping end childhood hunger, and recently a few Food Network favorites teamed up with No Kid Hungry to bring a hearty breakfast to kids at school in New York City.

In the spirit of the holiday season, The Kitchen co-hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee joined Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy at East Harlem Scholars Academies to deliver deliciously nutritious breakfasts to the kindergarten and fourth-grade classrooms there. As Marc noted, “A kid cannot learn if a kid’s hungry. A kid can’t play if a kid is hungry,” which is why Alex said, “We have to really make breakfast cool.”

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Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips from Bobby and Friends

by in Holidays, Shows, November 22nd, 2014

Thanksgiving at Bobby'sWith just days left until Thanksgiving, Bobby Flay and a few of his Food Network friends are coming together this afternoon to host the ultimate holiday feast and share their secrets for an easy, enjoyable turkey day. Before you tune in to Thanksgiving at Bobby’s at 12|11c today to see Bobby, Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Symon cooking together in the spirit the season, check out the chefs’ top turkey day tips to help you get set for the feast. From the basics of menu holiday planning to the need for chicken stock on Thanksgiving, read on below to hear from Bobby and the cast as they reveal last-minute advice.

Tradition vs. Creativity
On a day that’s rooted in tradition, Katie admits, “people want familiarity” when it comes to the expected trimmings, like the turkey and stuffings. Bobby’s solution to trying new dishes? Add a few “surprises here and there in flavor.” Just a few ingredient swaps in the classics can offer subtle yet impressive updates in taste.

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Pecan Tassies — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, November 21st, 2014

For those of you not familiar with pecan tassies, they are bite-size pecan pies. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, they are perfect for holiday festivities and easy to prepare. We always have these on our Thanksgiving table. The pecans are freshly harvested and at their peak so they taste fantastic. And, after a big meal of turkey and dressing, one or two of these diminutive desserts are the perfect way to end the feast. A “tassie” is defined as a small cup, and these petite pies are baked in a mini-muffin tin. Pecan tassies feature the flavors and textures of pecan pie — tender and buttery crust, crunchy pecans and brown-sugar filling — all in one delicious bite.

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Fun Thanksgiving Projects for Kids

by in Family, How-to, November 21st, 2014

Chores like peeling potatoes can make kids start to feel like they are on KP duty, and though that may be fun for a while, it can quickly turn to drudgery. This Thanksgiving, let everyone share chores so they go by faster, then set your kids up with one of these fun projects. Even little kids can roll cheese balls and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and older kids can do more-complicated projects like creating a turkey-shaped veggie platter. These projects are win/win/win! They teach kids how to use creative thinking in the kitchen, they take some of the work off parents’ hands, and they keep kids occupied. Plus, the results look and taste good enough to meet the standards of your most-persnickety guests.

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The Big Book of Sides — Off the Shelf

by in Books, November 21st, 2014

The Big Book of SidesThe holiday season is here and it’s time to make room on the shelf for books that will make holiday menu planning easy and fun. Rick Rodgers’ The Big Book of Sides is the perfect answer to everything from your most-elaborate holiday meals to your year-round weeknight family dinners.

The book is broken down into sections based on ingredients and preparation method, starting with Getting It to the Table, then covering Eat Your Vegetables, From the Root Cellar, A Hill of Beans and others. It’s a brilliant layout, making it easy for you to select a recipe based on what you’ve already got in the pantry or the refrigerator. The book boasts over 450 recipes, which means you’ll never be left scrambling to come up with a new way to serve potatoes again. It covers everything from classics, like Potato Rolls, from-scratch Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, and Potato and Fennel Gratin to new favorites, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup and Carrot Ribbons with Pomegranate Dressing (recipe below for you to try at home). The Getting It to the Table chapter even includes comprehensive menus for all your special occasions, from Old-Fashioned to New-Fashioned Thanksgivings, to a New Year’s Day Open House, to a Sunday Roast Pork Dinner.

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People Names Chopped Judge Marc Murphy “Sexiest Chef”

by in Food Network Chef, News, November 21st, 2014

Marc MurphyThere may be little as sexy as a man who truly knows his way around the kitchen. The swift, confident knife skills, the joyful embrace of the spicy and sensually pleasing, the willingness to experiment and get messy — a certain sort of male chef, especially if he happens to be handsome, can really make a person salivate.

That fact is apparently not lost on the editors of People magazine. In the just-released Sexiest Man Alive 2014 issue, they’ve named Food Network Chopped judge and restaurateur Marc Murphy as “Sexiest Chef.”

Marc was included, along with poet Terrance Hayes, “snake charmer” Evan Antin, scientist Hendrik Streeck, “model with tats” Parker Hurley, teacher Nicholas Ferroni and artist Javier Gomez, as one of the magazine’s picks for “Sexy Men at Work.”

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There’s a New Chef in Boot Camp: Tyler Florence Joins Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in America, Season 6

by in Shows, November 21st, 2014

Tyler and Anna on Worst Cooks, Season 6Worst Cooks in America is back, but this time it’s Anne Burrell facing off against Tyler Florence, who’s taking on coaching the Blue Team in hopes of transforming kitchen disasters into confident cooks. On Sunday, Jan. 4 at 9|8c, Season 6 returns with new culinary incapable recruits, all hoping to become the most improved, with a chance to win the grand prize of $25,000 and bragging rights for his or her mentor and team. But first they must make it through a grueling series of challenges, proving they have what it takes to cook a gourmet meal for a set of expert chefs in the finale challenge.

Find out more about the premiere and watch a sneak peek

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