DIY Grocery Store Centerpieces

by in Holidays, December 16th, 2014


By Camille Styles, photography by Molly Winters

We’ve all heard the expression “You eat with your eyes first.” And while that typically refers to food presentation, the same could be said for the first impression that your holiday table makes upon guests. Before the turkey has been carved and the pie de-voured, friends and family will have already taken in your table design. But creating a beautiful table doesn’t have to mean pricey floral arrangements or im-possible craft projects. Instead, I love to create centerpieces using grocery store mate-rials that can easily be tacked onto the end of my shopping list. Today I’m sharing easy, affordable and exciting ideas for creating a striking centerpiece that’ll have guests talking until next year’s holiday season. Read more

Christmas Coconut Cake — Down-Home Comfort

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 16th, 2014

During the holidays, cakes have always been part of our Southern Yuletide tradition. Coconut, caramel and red velvet cakes grace sideboards, alongside buttery pound cakes and loaves of spicy gingerbread. The Southern sweet tooth is a force of nature! These festive layer cakes are grand, over-the-top creations, sweet and sensational, with bonus points awarded for stature. From the coconut cake’s snow-white icing spiked with coconut to the boozy, cherry-studded fruitcake, there’s no lack of theater on display. A layer cake waiting on a sideboard under a glass dome is both celebration and welcome. A layer cake defines Southern hospitality. Read more

In the Kitchen With: Dorie Greenspan

by in Books, Holidays, How-to, December 16th, 2014

“I guess I’m a baking nerd,” says Dorie Greenspan with a sly smile. The award-winning cookbook author is standing in the middle of Food Network Kitchen, whisk in hand and talking about her latest book, Baking Chez Moi. “I’ve come to think of myself as a baking evangelist. I want people to have the satisfaction of making something themselves. So when I write, I try to imagine I’m talking to a newbie.” Dedicated to the home cooking she delights in during the four months a year she spends in Paris, Greenspan’s newest book is friendly and approachable, straddling both the high (Bubble Éclairs) and humble (Chocolate Chip Cookies). Her Custardy Apple Squares are an ideal mix of the two, and Greenspan happily demonstrated how to whip them up during her visit. “I love this recipe,” she says. “It’s so easy, so unfussy, so French.” Follow Dorie’s step-by-step how-to to make them at home.

For many sweets lovers, Greenspan’s name is synonymous with one thing above all: amazing cookies. So we couldn’t let her go without asking her to share a few of her best cookie tips, too. Here’s what we learned. Read more

The Future of Food: Food Network Kitchen Reveals the Trends to Look for in 2015

by in News, December 16th, 2014

The Future of Food: Food Network Kitchen Reveals the Trends to Look for in 2015What do Dewitos (that would be Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew), Candy Cane Candy Corn and Turkey & Stuffing Mini Doughnuts have in common? Yes, they are all things you’ve read about on this blog in the past few months. They are also a harbinger of things to come.

Food Network Kitchen has surveyed the food-trend landscape and gazed into its crystal ball to come up with its forecast for 2015, predicting what we’ll “order, eat, watch and read this year.”

First on the list? “Stunt Snacks” like Pumpkin Pie-Flavored Pringles and Oreo Churros. Consumer product companies “are forgoing the extensive testing and marketing work that comes with launching new products in favor of shocking tweaks to existing ones, grabbing consumers’ attention with a no-apologies celebration of the packaged and the processed,” the Food Network Kitchen team notes. In 2015 we can look for more “collisions of sweet and salty,” “candy bar-flavored sodas” and “flavors found nowhere in nature.”

Here are a few other food trends Food Network Kitchen predicts we’ll see more of in 2015:

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Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: Wake Up to Breakfast Cookies

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 16th, 2014

Breakfast CookiesI find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to plan for in entertaining. People seem to get up at different times, and coordinating a delicious treat for everyone, no matter the time they wander into the kitchen, is a never-ending struggle. Well, it was before I stumbled upon the idea for scrumptious breakfast cookies.

What makes the perfect breakfast cookie? After performing a very informal poll, I determined that people like a low-sugar cookie. They also seem to really like the addition of oatmeal. Most folks feel that cookies without oatmeal are like a regular cookie and therefore a bit to decadent for an early morning treat. As far as the addition of chocolate, it was determined that less is more. While everyone loves an ooey-gooey chocolate cookie in the afternoon, a morning cookie should utilize a hint of chocolate, so it is more of an accompanying flavor — not the star of the show.

I am sharing three recipes for breakfast cookies that are easy to make, assemble and serve. These are not your average oatmeal-and-raisin cookies. These unique flavors will delight the taste buds and are the perfect complement to all holiday entertaining.

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Restaurant Revisited: Oh Brother! at Knife and Fork Gastropub

by in Shows, December 15th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleThe scene at San Antonio’s Knife and Fork Gastropub was tense when Robert Irvine arrived, as owners Gabe and Javier Orozco — two brothers — were facing a $400,000 debt to their mom and stepfather, who’ve contributed greatly to the eatery. After inspecting the bar and kitchen, Robert could easily see the filth that had accumulated at Knife and Fork, and with only two days to work, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team were faced with both making the space clean and safe, and also mending the strained relationship among the Orozco family. Read on below to hear from the brothers and their mother, Norma Montalvo, as they reveal how Knife and Fork has fared since Robert left.

“I needed someone to tell Javier some of the stuff and it had to be Robert,” Gabe said of the importance of Robert’s mission. “He has definitely fired me up. Now that it’s my kitchen, I think we are getting more done than ever before.” Javier added, “[Robert] didn’t say anything we did not already know, but [he] gave us a fresh perspective.”

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Mr. Brown to the Rescue: Alton Answers Fans’ Holiday Cooking Q&As

by in Community, Food Network Chef, December 15th, 2014

Alton BrownFrom baking cookies and roasting ham to hosting your relatives and preparing for Christmas brunch, the road to the holidays can be a long one, and when it comes to tackling seasonal cooking and entertaining questions, there’s perhaps no one better outfitted for the task than Alton. Cutthroat Kitchen‘s master of eviliciousness and the longtime host of Good Eats stopped by Food Network’s Facebook page yesterday for the ultimate holiday tell-all, dishing on the hows, whys and whats of his best party-ready recipes. Read on below for the top snippets from the chat, to learn Alton’s answers to some of the most-asked questions and to get his tried-and-true recipes you can count on.

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Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 15th, 2014

Mushroom-Spinach Baked EggsDespite what your parents might have told you as a kid, breakfast food is most certainly not just for the morning. You’ll forget all about the time of day when you’re enjoying a savory, hearty egg dish such as this week’s Meatless Monday recipe, Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine. In fact, once you make this meal, you might be mealtime swapping more often.

This dish takes about an hour to both cook and prep, and it is composed of familiarly delicious ingredients, including olive oil, onion, white mushrooms, baby spinach, potato bread, eggs, milk and Gruyère cheese. These satiating ingredients make sure that though you could potentially eat this meal morning or night, it doesn’t feel like you’re sacrificing taste or quality in the name of change.

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Conquering the Blueberry Carton — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, December 14th, 2014

The lights, cameras, fellow contestants and host Alton Brown pacing through the kitchen — the scene in the Cutthroat Kitchen arena is plenty fierce and demands much attention from the competitors, and that’s even before they’ve been sabotaged. Once evilicious challenges are added to the contest and they’re forced to adapt to the unexpected while the clock is ticking, the competition is taken nearly over the edge. It’s up to the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew to make sure that every sabotage Alton auctions off is indeed possible for a contestant to complete within the allotted time frame. To make sure the challenges remain feasible, the team attempts each one.

On tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton’s simple blueberry muffin request turned downright diabolical when he mandated that one chef use blueberry cartons as the sole mixing and cooking vessels in his prep work. Given the potentially liquid muffin batter and the multiple holes in the carton, mixing in those tiny squares was indeed evilicious — but it wasn’t impossible, as the team found during its test.

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Trend Watch: Food-Inspired Dog Names

by in News, December 14th, 2014

Trend Watch: Food-Inspired Dog NamesWould you name your dog Coconut? How about Kale? Stoli? Scotch? Barley?

Forget Fido. Slide over, Spot. Food-inspired names are apparently all the rage on the puppy scene. Rover.com, a site that helps match pet owners (the site refers to them as “pet parents”) with local dog sitters and calls itself “the nation’s Airbnb for dogs,” has released the results of its annual survey of popular dog names. And while pop-culture-rooted names (think: Rocky and Chewbacca) were de rigueur for dogs last year, in 2014 the naming trend is all about food-themed dog names, which rose in popularity 37 percent this year.

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