Best 5 Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 12th, 2014

Wine Bottle CandleholdersWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, you have likely ordered your turkey by now and are beginning to craft the rest of your menu. But as you plan for the feast, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ll need to host the holiday at home beyond a bird and pumpkin pie, like table-setting inspiration, seasonal decor, and timesaving tools and tricks that will make meal prep easier. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five entertaining guides and learn how much food to shop for depending on your guest list, plus simple tablescape ideas and nice-to-have gadgets to make cooking a cinch.

5. 20-Second Place Setting — All it takes is a few seconds and classically finished flatware to create an elegant place at the table. Make your guests feel extra special by gifting them personalized name cards at their set spots.

4. DIY Kids’ Table — Let your little ones put the finishing touches on the kids’ table with paper placemats they can color, handmade pinecone crafts and a quick-fix apple dessert.

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Sifted: Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust, Winter Squash Empanadas + More

by , November 11th, 2014

Brown Butter Apple Pie with Cheddar CrustHot Links We’re Loving:

  • Your classic empanada may come with a spicy meat stuffing, but Food For My Family‘s Winter Squash Empanadas are a different story and loaded with fall flavor. Caramelized shallots, goat cheese and fresh sage ooze from the flaky folds.
  • When we’re in need of some serious comfort food, sometimes a spoon is the only utensil that’ll make the cut. A spoonful of the aptly named Best Cheeseburger Soup by Foodie Crush involves everything you love between the bun, from tender ground beef to gooey cheddar cheese to a hit of hot sauce.
  • When is it too soon to start hoarding all the eggnog? According to Country Cleaver, not soon enough. Instead of glugging it from the carton, creamy and spiced Eggnog No-Bake Cheesecake comes together from scratch.

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Doritos You Can Drink or Drape with Garlands

by in News, November 11th, 2014

ChipsNothing says Christmas like tortilla chips. Or, well, at least nothing says it like green tortilla chips shaped like little Christmas trees.

Frito-Lay is introducing just such a holiday version of Doritos in Japan this year. And if you’re thinking to yourself: “Well, what about all that orangey powder? Doesn’t it ruin the effect?” Actually, no, it doesn’t. The powder on the chips, which reportedly taste like “corn cream” soup, is snow white and “white corn cream stew flavored.” Oh ho ho, yes.

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Super Food Nerds: Make Hard Apple Cider from Scratch (Sort Of)

by , November 11th, 2014

I’ve been pretty into hard cider for a while, so for this latest installment of Super Food Nerds I wanted to meet some people who make it and could shed some light on the fermentation process. Through the magic of the Internet I found Hayley Jensen, the beer sommelier at Manhattan’s Taproom 307 who, along with her husband, Stephen Durley, (the taproom’s chef), is an avid, multiple-award-winning homebrewer and has been making cider at home for a few years.

Jensen suggested we meet at her home instead of the restaurant, which we understood upon arrival: It’s a beautiful, light-filled New York City apartment outfitted with a beer room. The small spare bedroom is tricked out with racks and racks of professional-grade brewing equipment and hundreds of gallons of various brews, including Candy Crush, a caramel-apple-inspired “city cider” made from store-bought apple cider.

The couple started making city cider after a trip to Jensen’s sister’s farmhouse, where they’d made cider entirely from scratch. Durley explains: “It was a big process. It took basically a full day to juice all the apples, wash them and take them to the press. Then you have to grind them, press them, get the juice and bring it home. We really liked it, but I was like, ‘Wait: Can’t we just buy some apple juice and have some fun?”

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Seriously Delish — Off the Shelf

by in Books, November 11th, 2014

Seriously DelishJessica Merchant has worked her vibrant magic and captured the charm and humor of her blog, How Sweet Eats, in her new cookbook, Seriously Delish. The book delivers on the promise of the title, and within the bright pages you’ll find 150 recipes that you’ll want to make again and again.

The book is broken down into sections based on course, starting with Breakfast, then moving on to Snack Time, Vegetable-like Things and more. The dishes are fun and filling, with delightful twists here and there, infused with Merchant’s signature pizzazz. She layers flavors together in interesting and delicious ways, and the photographs are enough to make your stomach rumble. The Grilled Gouda, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with a Potato Soup Dipper is going to jump onto your list of favorite winter comfort foods. The Wedge Salad with Pomegranates, Chives and Toasted Almonds is a perfect (and perfectly beautiful) salad for holiday season entertaining, with its bright little fruit jewels and Merchant’s homemade Parmesan Ranch Dressing. The selection of tacos, taquitos and enchiladas is also perfect if you’re expecting a crowd this holiday season. The recipes yield a lot of flavor and a lot of servings, perfect for when you’re entertaining. And the desserts! They’re everything you’d expect from the How Sweet Eats creator, from the Fleur de Sel Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milk Shakes to the Mocha Coconut Tiramisu and the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies. Pick any dish in the book; you can’t go wrong.

When it comes to arranging a holiday menu, Merchant has tried-and-true advice for you: “Don’t stray too much from traditional meals. I find that most people want the nostalgic tastes of the holiday — and those can be taken away by changing every dish. I find that incorporating one or two different dishes each year and keeping the majority of traditional favorites is a way to keep everyone happy.” And her rule for staying sane and enjoying the holiday feast, even if she has to do most of the cooking is easy: “Prep ahead! It may sound cliche, but it’s the key to enjoying yourself on the holiday. Order a fresh turkey a few weeks before, make your shopping list and shop as early as you can, grabbing the freshest produce the day before. Set the table a week ahead of time and prep as many dishes or chop as much produce as you can. Elicit the help of others so you can enjoy the day too!”

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Dinner Rush! Jumbo Stuffed Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

by , November 11th, 2014

Meatballs are one of those dishes that seem to make everyone smile (sorry, vegetarians). They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat — what more could you ask for? A bigger meatball, you say? A jumbo meatball?! Good call.

Indulge in lots more of an already good thing by supersizing your run-of-the-mill meatballs and stuffing them with a bright pop of spinach and cheese. Sure, they’re going to take a bit more time to prepare than their peers in miniature, but when you’re cleaning that spicy tomato sauce up off the plate with the last bite, something tells me it’ll all be worth it. (Heads-up: You’re going to need a knife and fork to get through these mega balls.)

And after all this talk of big balls, here’s a fun idea: Shrink these back to down to one-bite size (keeping the stuffing, of course) for a new addition to your standard holiday entertaining spread.

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Las Vegas Brewery Offers Discounts Based on Mustache Size

by , November 11th, 2014

You know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with bad mustaches.” In other words, mustaches are these weird things guys sometimes put on their faces for dares or to capture the spirit of the 1970s or something. They aren’t comfortable. They don’t really look good and yet, the band plays on. Now there is a bar in Vegas that encourages these facial appendages through the power of discounted beer and snacks.

The appropriately named Sin City Brewing Co. is offering massive discounts throughout the month of November, if you have the stache for it. The discounts range from 10 percent for a dinky lil mustache to a whopping 50 percent for one of those Fu Manchu jobbies. Ladies are also not left out in the hairless cold. They can take photos with finger mustaches to receive similar discounts.

Of course, as stated above, this is only for the month of November so you had better stop shaving and book yourself a plane ticket pronto. Don’t worry! That mustache is sure to look ‘great’ on you.

10 Chefs to Follow on Twitter

by in Community, November 11th, 2014

Certainly, Food Network chefs do a mighty fine job of sharing their culinary adventures and personal lives in 140 characters on Twitter. So much so that we’re proud to feature them right over here. But just in case you’d like to expand your following, here’s a handy list of top food-world personalities to add to your Twitter roll.

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A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

by , November 11th, 2014

Sorghum Salad
This Thanksgiving, gather your friends and family and serve them, well, sorghum! It won’t send your guests running for the hills — we promise. The recipes we’ve created below are as tasty as they are good for you. But instead of white ...

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A 2 a.m. Wake-Up, Dozens of Dinner Guests and a Rescue Ingredient: Thanksgiving According to Bobby Flay

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 10th, 2014

Bobby FlayWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, the countdown to all things turkey, potatoes and gravy is officially on. If you’ve begun to fret about how you’re going to execute the meal with ease this year, there’s reason to take comfort: At least you’re probably not cooking for 50 people. That’s how many guests are expected to show up at Bobby Flay‘s house on Thanksgiving, though in true Iron Chef fashion, Bobby has a surefire plan to approach the day. FN Dish recently checked in with Bobby on set and at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to learn more about his holiday traditions and find out what the trickiest part of meal prep is for him. Read on below to hear from Bobby in an exclusive interview, and learn the go-to ingredient he uses in five key ways on Thanksgiving (hint: you likely have it in your pantry now).

What does Thanksgiving look like at your house?
Bobby Flay: On the holiday, there are usually 50 people at my house that I cook for. It ranges from family to friends to … Basically, it’s just a tradition every year where I cook two 30-pound turkeys, and I usually theme the Thanksgiving. I actually haven’t thought about what it’s going to be this year …. But we usually pick a theme that has to do with an occurrence that has taken place in the world.

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