Happy (almost) New Year! We’ve made it through the holiday rush and now it’s time to talk about ringing in 2013 in style. Since champagne is of utmost importance at any New Year’s Eve bash, we’ve rounded up a few very festive coasters (like the ones pictured from Lucky Bee Press) so you can set that drink down while you watch the ball drop. Who knew coasters could be letterpress-printed, spotted with gold and even humorous? Pick up a set of any of these to have your guests talking about what’s under their drink this year or give them as fun favors at your big celebration.
We recently asked Food Network fans on Twitter to send their party-themed questions to an entertaining pro, Giada de Laurentiis. Just in time for New Year’s Eve, Giada shares tips to ensure you enjoy your own party, as much as your guests do. Click the play button above to watch Giada answer fan questions and get some of her party recipes below.
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
Caramelizing onions can take a while, but adding a big pinch of sugar will make them brown faster. The extra sugar caramelizes along with the onions’ natural sugars, helping the onions get brown in a hurry. We used this shortcut for the burger topping in Food Network Magazine‘s French Onion Burgers.
As Chef Guarnaschelli dons her jacket and prepares for her first battle this Sunday as a fully fledged Iron Chef, I now have a chance to look back over the last eight weeks and select my highlights from the nearly 100 dishes that were placed in front of the judges during the competition.
It’s certainly no easy task, as I genuinely believe that the level of cooking this year was even higher than in previous seasons. But I’ve come up with my list of the top 10 tastes from The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.
10. Clam Chowder: Chef Estes (Road to Redemption Web Series, Battle Potato)
Chef Estes never really showed her considerable skill to the best effect this season. The clam chowder (pictured above) she prepared in the cook-off competition against Chef Wong, however, was evidence that she deserved her place in the final 10. If you’re going to serve chowder to the judges, it had better be the best you’ve made. I suspect this was pretty close and it received rave reviews from Alton Brown, Iron Chef Jose Garces and me.
After all the gift wrap has been cleaned off the floor, it’s time to play with the new toys you may have received for the holiday. If you’re done charging that brand-new mobile device, don’t forget to download these Food Network apps for instant access to your favorite chefs, top-rated recipes, can’t-miss shows, featured restaurants and more.
Food Network On the Road: Make every stop on your next trip delicious with this app. Find recommended restaurants and road trip ideas from top shows, like The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and more.
Food Network In the Kitchen: Get instant access to your favorite Food Network chefs and their most popular recipes. Compare multiple recipes at once, add ingredients to shopping lists, save recipes to your Recipe Box, create menus with the interactive meal planner and get helpful tips from our library of how-to videos.
- iPad and iPhone users can find this app in iTunes.
- Also available for Android and Windows 8 devices.
Chestnuts have a dark outer shell that ranges in color from light brown to blackish. The outer skin is pretty thin and easy...
It was clear from the very first taste of Chef Freitag’s Lusty Lemon Chicken that she was going to be the first rival chef to reach Kitchen Stadium. It really was that good. But deciding who would be joining her would prove to be much more difficult.
I very much liked Chef Appleman’s use of haddock (chosen by me because of my love for fish and chips) in his chowder, but agreed with my colleagues that it lacked the advertised smoked element. Similarly, while we all thought that Chef Guarnaschelli’s dish of sea urchin was elegant, it definitely lacked the acidity that it needed to bring out the depth of flavor of the seafood. It was close, but in the end Chef Guarnaschelli took the second spot in Kitchen Stadium.
Both these chefs deserved their places in the finale, and to make sure that the long-standing Iron Chefs had their say in the final decision, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto helped swell the ranks at the judges’ table. In honor of the Iron Chefs, the Chairman revealed the Secret Ingredients on the altar, which represented each of them and the cuisines they specialize in.
Have you ever wondered what the Next Iron Chef: Redemption rivals were thinking when, on the first episode, they opened their coolers on the beach to find fateful ingredients from battles past? Or when in episode 4, they entered the kitchen to find an altar of canned products? Have you wondered how they felt when their friends and fellow chefs were eliminated after hard-fought battles, or simply how they managed to stay organized and efficient within the chaos of cooking under pressure?
Before filming began for the season, each rival was given a journal to use during the competition, and it was in these personal notebooks that the chefs shared their ideas for challenges, reflections on eliminations, plus must-have ingredient lists, inspirational reminders and more, week after week. Their handwritten notes, some beautifully legible in colorful markers and others scrawled in barely recognizable penmanship, tell their stories on the road to redemption, and at the end, create a scrapbook of sorts of their time in the competition.
Want to see what each rival wrote in his or her journal? Flip through the below photo galleries to get an insider’s look at actual pages from their journals plus behind-the-scenes photos from some of their most memorable challenges and showdowns.
Bread pudding is warm comfort food that can be served for breakfast, brunch and even dessert (my boys enjoyed decadent chocolate bread pudding at recent dinner buffet). And because it’s incredibly easy to prepare, you should keep a good “wow...