3 Surprising New Year’s Celebration Ideas

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 27th, 2013

3 Surprising New Year's Celebration IdeasI adore everything that New Year’s Eve represents: fresh starts, resolutions and Harry running through the streets of New York City to kiss crinkly-faced Sally at midnight. My one gripe is that the critical moment happens too late for my circadian rhythm. Still, I love the holiday too much to ignore it, blithely heading to bed at 10pm and casually waking up the next morning, as if the whole year didn’t just change. That feels wrong. Instead, I’ve developed my own system for celebrating the New Year with gusto, within the confines of a reasonable bedtime. I’d like to say that I have developed my New Year celebration strategies for the benefit of my four young daughters. But, the unapologetic truth is, I’m just tired. I need my sleep. Having little ones at home is just a bonus excuse for not making it to the midnight toast. Anyone else relate? Whatever your reasons for hitting the hay early this year, I am pleased to share my three secrets to celebrating the new year’s arrival without having to actually witness it.

1. Pick a different time zone
I learned this one nine years ago when my (French) husband Philippe and I moved to the United States. On December 31, we still called all of our friends and family over in France at midnight (their time) to toast the New Year. We listened to their noisemakers and laughed along with their parties in full swing. We celebrated with them via phone, felt the joy of the upcoming year and hung up. I felt partied out a good half day before the ball would drop in Times Square. So, what started out as a phone call has turned into a yearly tradition with our daughters: We celebrate New Year’s as the French do, meaning in their time zone. We do a sit-down dinner complete with fancy-looking food for our whole family, toast each other with sparkling cider and call the family back in France at midnight, which is 3pm for us. And even I can stay up for that. For ideas on a few festive holiday dishes that will excite both kids and adults, try my recipes for Bacon Ranch Cream Cheese Wellington, a Carrot Hummus Platter and Chocolate Chip Biscookies.

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What to Watch: Cupcake Wars Goes to the Races and Guy’s Big Bite Gets Hog-Wild

by in Shows, December 27th, 2013

Cupcake WarsThis weekend on Food Network, tune in for a new episode of Cupcake Wars. Four bakers compete for the chance to serve their cupcakes at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships where they’ll be judged by actress Bo Derek. Later, tune in for a new episode of On the Rocks. John Green transforms a fight-themed bar in California that’s on the brink of bankruptcy.

On Sunday morning, Rachael Ray shares a week’s worth of her favorite soup and stew recipes. Then Guy goes hog-wild on Guy’s Big Bite by cooking up bacon-wrapped pork kebabs. In the evening, watch a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen; things get icy when one chef must harvest shrimp from a block of ice.

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Hot Drinks for Cold Nights

by , December 26th, 2013

hot drinks
Whip up either of these warming beverages to close out a winter’s gathering or a chilly night. They’re perfectly portioned to prevent the seasonal tendency to go overboard.

Peppermint Hot White Chocolate

Serves: 1

Traditional recipes for...

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Calendars for 2014 That Look Good Enough to Eat

by in Holidays, December 26th, 2013

Red Cruiser 2014 CalendarsAs we ring in 2014, you can’t forget that the new year means a new calendar is in order. And what better calendar theme than craft cocktails or beer pairings, junk food or even pie (like the ones above from Red Cruiser)? That’s right — you can get all of the above and more in month-to-month form, so that each time you flip your calendar, you’ll have a new delicious dish to stare at (and drool over). Here are my favorite food-filled calendars for 2014.

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Kid-Friendly Cranberry Oat Muffins

by in Family, December 26th, 2013

Kid-Friendly Cranberry Oat MuffinsThere’s something about the tart taste of cranberries this time of year. The New York Times recently reported on a study confirming that what kids eat during the first three years of life (starting in the womb) sets the stage for what they consider comforting later on. Jogged by memories as adults, these are the flavors they’ll crave — for better or worse. Now if that’s going to be the case, I’ll serve these muffins — full of fresh berries, whole oats, maple syrup and plain yogurt — every year. This is the kind of eating I want these rascals to associate with the holidays — the kind that makes both of us feel good for years to come.

Get the recipe: Low-Sugar Cranberry Oat Muffins

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Dried Fruit: Good or Bad?

by , December 26th, 2013

raisins
During the cold winter months, the availability of fresh fruit may be more limited. This is the perfect time to grab for dried varieties — or is it?

Good?
USDA’s MyPlate recommends 1½ to 2 cups of fruit each day. Fresh, canned and dried...

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Top 5 Recipes for Holiday Leftovers

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 26th, 2013

Top 5 Recipes for Holiday LeftoversIf you overdid it on the holiday spread this year (ham AND prime rib, anyone?) and ended up with a fridge packed full of leftovers, never fear. We’ve got five ways to turn them into delicious new meals.

1. Ultimate Ham Sandwich
Whether your Christmas centerpiece was honey-baked or cherry-glazed, pile thick slices on crusty bread with lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, cheddar and whole-grain mustard, and you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the holiday ham.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by , December 25th, 2013

whisk
In this week’s news: Scientists say that fiber is (still) good for heart health; nutrition experts explain why you might want to give your kids a whisk; and the CDC finds that Americans just can’t quit salt.

More Reasons to Go with the ...

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Instant Holiday Appetizer: Everything Bagel-Inspired Sushi Rolls

by in Recipes, Shows, December 24th, 2013

Sushi RollsChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient of smoked salmon, which many people will recognize as a favorite bagel topping. The idea of that popular combination became the inspiration for this recipe. If you love salmon sushi and/or bagels with smoked salmon, then you’re sure to love this recipe that fuses the two. This dish makes a great Japanese-inspired meal for four, especially a family of adventurous eaters. However, for an even better idea, serve these Everything Bagel Sushi Rolls as a party appetizer — your guests will be impressed.

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