Sanity-Saving Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks & Hacks

by in Entertaining, Holidays, How-to, November 24th, 2014

This year is going to be different. You’ve decided on the menu two weeks before the big day, convinced your Aunt Charlotte that you really can live without her famous oyster green bean casserole and remembered to ask your sister to bring her big coffee urn. But no matter how well you plan, you know some problem is going to pop up. No biggie, we say. Here are Food Network Kitchen’s 10 tricks for tackling everything from “Yikes, who borrowed my fat separator?” to “Where am I going to put everything?” Let the holidays commence!

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“You Think That Twins Are Connected? No” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2014

For the first time in Cutthroat Kitchen history, the limits of evilicious sabotage were tested tonight as two sets of twins took their places in the no-holds-barred arena for a brother-versus-brother battle. In true diabolical fashion, the contestants proved that while siblings’ will to stick together may be strong, their desire to win is ultimately more compelling, as one by one, brothers fell until just one was standing victorious.

Host Alton Brown relived the auctioning and game play that went on in tonight’s episode as he dished with judge Antonia Lofaso during the latest installment of the After-Show. Together they reflected on the competitors’ offerings, and Alton revealed some of the most-extreme sabotages to befall the rivals, including those that required teamwork in the unlikeliest of settings. “You think that twins are connected? No,” Alton told Antonia, who agreed, after she learned of the plank-walking sabotage with which two brothers were forced to contend. “Hilarious,” she said of this challenge, which made two brothers sync up their strides in order to finish the Caribbean-dinner round on time.

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Marc Murphy and Kate Hudson Bring FarmVille’s Farm-to-Table Focus Beyond the Computer

by in News, November 23rd, 2014

Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and WalnutsFrom slaying dragons to impersonating superheroes, so much of what happens in many computer games stays simulated, but just recently, Zynga’s FarmVille, a popular Facebook application, began bridging the gap between the virtual and reality by launching the FarmVille to Table Recipe Book.

With the help of Chopped judge Marc Murphy, plus food fan Kate Hudson, Zynga’s executive chef and a community of food bloggers, this brand-new digital recipe book allows FarmVille players to bring the game’s farm-to-table focus into their own kitchen. Fans are used to planting crops and cultivating a farm to yield fresh produce in the game, and now they can use those fresh ingredients to create Marc’s, Hudson’s and others’ decadent recipes  at home.

“The FarmVille to Table digital cookbook embodies the values of fresh, farm-to-table ingredients,” Marc explains, adding that for fans, it “validates that cooking is fun, easy and an activity the whole family can enjoy.”

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It’s Thanksgiving Week, But You Still Need Dinner

by in Recipes, November 23rd, 2014

10-Minute Chicken, Corn and Kimchi RamenThe meal of all meals is upon us. Even if your thoughts are consumed with brining and gravy and place settings, one thing is for sure: You still gotta eat. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, whip up these Beat-the-Clock Dinners that take 30 minutes, max. With these can-do recipes on your side, you’ll be energized and ready to go come Thursday.

On a particularly bone-chilling day, nothing seems more fitting than taking a bowl of steamy soup to the face. Perfect for the most extreme, need-comfort-now cases, 10-Minute Chicken, Corn and Kimchi Ramen (pictured above) is as speedy as it gets, coming together in one skillet and ready as soon as the broth comes to a boil.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 23rd, 2014

Chicken Fried Steak with GravyFrom rich chocolate cake with frosting to salty french fries, meaty chili and a tower of buttery pancakes, comfort food comes in many flavors and textures, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is no exception. Ree Drummond’s Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy is a rich, hearty dinner featuring a tender, golden-brown cube steak fried with a seasoned breading, plus a side of fluffy mashed potatoes and a generous pour of smooth gravy for an over-the-top finish.

For more takes on tried-and-true culinary comfort, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy

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.”

Get the recipe for Marc’s easy breakfast, an Asparagus and Parmesan Frittata, then check out more kid-friendly breakfasts below.

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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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