It’s All About the Beef — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, December 17th, 2015


On this episode of Chopped After Hours, judges Maneet Chauhan, Chris Santos and Amanda Freitag get in the kitchen to cook the entree basket from the Battle of the Grandpas episode. They are faced with utilizing London broil, rutabaga, broccoli rabe and peanut butter taffy bites, and the big question Ted poses is what the judges would do with the beef, since it’s such a tough cut. “Hard sear, lots of resting,” Amanda offers, and Chris says, “Typically you’d attack it with some kind of fat.” The two judges decide to do just that, but Maneet takes the meat in an entirely different direction.

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Spike It: Boozy Frozen Peppermint Hot Chocolate

by in Drinks, Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015

Spike It: Boozy Frozen Peppermint Hot ChocolateWords cannot explain just how excited I get about hot chocolate season. I’d never been a huge fan of hot beverages until recently, when I fell down the coffee hole fast and hard. But I always could get down with hot chocolate. And it had to be chocolate — not cocoa. Cocoa could work in a pinch, and I vividly remember drinking it from the packets on freezing cold days after playing in the snow with my brothers for hours on end. But the chocolate. Like sipping chocolate … that’s what dreams are made of.

It all started with Serendipity 3 in New York City, and if I’m being real, then it actually started with the movie Serendipity. I was completely fascinated by the adorable boutique-y cafe in the movie that served what only appeared to be ridiculous frozen hot chocolate.

 

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5 Teacher Gifts for $20 or Less

by in Holidays, December 17th, 2015

Holiday shopping can feel like an endless (and expensive) endeavor, but these sweet tokens of appreciation won’t go unnoticed — and they won’t break the bank either. Whether you’re shopping for a college professor or your kid’s elementary school teacher, these five gifts are right on the mark.

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5 Indulgent Side Dishes to Deck Your Holiday Table — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015

Individual Potato GratinsRiding the coattails of Thanksgiving, the side dishes decking your holiday table are just as important as the main dishes. Sitting beside an expertly crafted rib roast or a glazed spiral ham, these indulgent, holiday-worthy side acts are as sure-to-please as it gets.

If your family is all about a creamy, indulgent side dish over the holidays (or, let’s be honest, any time), Melissa d’Arabian’s Individual Potato Gratins make it easier than ever to enjoy one. Layer sliced potatoes, Swiss cheese and chopped green onions into muffin cups, then give each one a splash of cream before baking to creamy perfection.

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The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015

by in Recipes, December 17th, 2015

The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015Food fans, 2015 has been one downright tasty year, from made-over spins on classic comfort foods in January and warm-weather-ready cocktails in the summer to fall’s best harvest feast and now the holiday cookies that will surely make your “nice” list. But as the days and weeks ticked away, there were a handful of recipes that you kept coming back to time and time again. Read on below as we count down the best-of-the-best plates of the year, those 10 recipes that fans made the most popular.

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Behind the Scenes: Food Network Kitchen’s Gingerbread House

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, December 17th, 2015

The Secret Roof CompartmentIn case you missed it, last week FoodNetwork.com and HGTV.com came together in the Scripps Lifestyle Studios to host the ultimate live holiday cookie party on Facebook (watch the three segments here, here and here). Justin Warner hosted the event, and I had the pleasure of nerding out with him and Michelle Buffardi, from FoodNetwork.com, on chocolate chip cookie recipes.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the unveiling of the gingerbread house that recipe developer Melissa Gaman and FoodNetwork.com’s Eric Kim (with special help from Mory Thomas and Miriam Garron) worked on ALL DAY! Viewers had a ton of questions about the construction of the house, so here are some of their building tips:

The Secret Roof Compartment (pictured above): Melissa cleverly turned our house into a surprise cookie jar. Here’s how she did it: She cut one of the roof sides into two pieces and “glued” the bottom piece, with royal icing, onto the house. The removable piece simply sat on top without needing to be affixed to the house. Then the whole roof was decorated in almond shingles that covered the seam to the secret panel!

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Reporting Live from Santa’s Lap — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 16th, 2015

In a ball pit, strapped to a life-size rotisserie, high atop a high chair, on top of a mechanical bull — the Cutthroat Kitchen After-Show has seen the judges in some downright diabolical (and downright hilarious) locales. But on tonight’s all-new installment, the scene turned a bit more seasonal when host Alton Brown and judge Jet Tila found themselves atop Santa’s lap following the Holi-Dazed and Confused holiday special.

“Alton, I’ve never felt this uncomfortable,” Jet — clad as what else but a holiday elf, of course — told Alton as the duo landed atop Santa’s lap. “Oh, we’re just getting started,” Alton joked. Not only did the guys have to work while seated, but they each had an additional sabotage to simultaneously contend with. Since Alton won the coin toss, he chose the spinning-dreidel challenge for himself — which meant that he had to keep a dreidel spinning during the whole time he was cooking — while Jet was forced to send all of his ingredients down an ice luge before working with them. “You’re, like, weighing [ingredients]?” Jet asked Alton as the host used a kitchen scale to precisely measure the components. “I won’t even be able to get sugar down the luge.” Sure enough, though, Jet as well as Alton did manage to create presentable eggnog, and even Santa was able to partake in the holiday cheer with a cup for himself.

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3 of a Kind: Comfort Food Mash-Ups

by in Restaurants, December 16th, 2015

Chicken-Fried Burger3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Just when you thought you’d had your fill of savory mash-ups, the restaurant world jumped into the game with a new, hybrid take on classic cravings. Whether in burger, waffle or taco form, these finds prove that sometimes two dishes together are indeed better than one. Read more

Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: The Cupcake Sandwich

by in Shows, December 16th, 2015

Cupcake SandwichOur young contestants on this week’s episode of Chopped Junior definitely had to think outside of the box for all three challenges. That got us thinking about a new way to enjoy a classic treat like the cupcakes they had to use in the dessert round.

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5 Fruitcake Recipes You’ll Actually Like

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 16th, 2015

fruitcake cookiesWhen you hear “fruitcake,” you probably envision a dry, dense cake that arrives by mail during the holidays. The fruit-filled loaf has a bad rep, and it’s time to change that. These five delicious recipes dismantle everything you thought you hated about fruitcake.

Fruitcake Cookies
“For anybody who doesn’t like fruitcake, forget it. You’ll love these,” says Ina Garten. And we believe her. Sherry-soaked fruit is infinitely more appealing when encased in buttery cookie dough with crunchy pecans and a touch of lemon.

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