A Southern Holiday Season with Damaris Phillips

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 16th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsWhether it be staying true to the Southern food she grew up eating or every year bringing the same dish to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, Damaris Phillips is all about tradition, and there’s perhaps no more important time for tradition than the holidays. For Damaris, this season of celebration means just a few things — family, food and love — and that hasn’t changed since she was a young girl growing up with her five siblings in Louisville, Ky. Just in time for Christmas, FN Dish sat down with Damaris in Louisville to find out more about what the holidays looked like for her when she was a child and to chat about how she celebrates today. Read on below to hear from Damaris and to learn the must-have item at her Christmas dinner, her favorite holiday song and movie, and her sweet alternative to eggnog.

How did you celebrate the holidays growing up?
Damaris Phillips: With my family. There’s a bunch of siblings and so we’d would go downstairs in the morning. We’d wake my parents up. My mom would make, like, quiche or cinnamon rolls or something, and we’d go downstairs and there was always, like, bags of our presents. Our parents were really good at, like, not wrapping Santa presents, so if there was, like, a bicycle, there’d be just a bicycle there waiting for you. And then we would hang out and play with toys — and eat lots of food. I mean, just exactly like you think of Christmas …. It used to be the whole world went still and it was just a time to hang out with your family. So thankfully I had all those siblings, so it was always fun, and we were playing with new toys and probably driving my parents bonkers, but it was awesome.

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The Healthy Eats Gift Guide

by , December 16th, 2013

cheese board
Still have some holiday shopping to get done? Choose any of these simple gifts for the for the food lover in your life.

Slate Cheese Board
This gorgeous slate platter (above) is sophisticated enough for any cheese (a food that offers protein, ribof...

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Hot-Iron Woes and a Chilly Ball of Ice Cream — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 15th, 2013

Having been a judge on the premiere season of Cutthroat Kitchen, Simon Majumdar is no stranger to the tricks and challenges that befall competitors in each round of cooking, but after eating set cheese and soupy ice cream on tonight’s all-new Season 2 premiere, he needed a few clarifications on how the dishes came to be. Host Alton Brown — who’s not only privy to the sabotages, but in charge of auctioning them off as well — filled in Simon during the latest installment of his After-Show.

It turns out that the patty melt-inspired dish that Chef Stratton gave Simon was mushroom-heavy on account of the Freeze Dried Meat product he was forced to work with after Chef Wiginton assigned it to him. “There was no patty in the dish, really,” Simon told Alton. “It was mushroom-heavy, and I guess that’s what he did to try and compensate, but it kind of overcompensated a bit.” This ingredient was so unlike fresh meat that it prevented Chef Stratton from turning it into a traditional patty.

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One-on-One with the Winner of Restaurant Express

by in Shows, December 15th, 2013

Restaurant ExpressAfter seven weeks of showdowns, Robert Irvine‘s first-ever Restaurant Express road trip came full circle when the bus rolled into Sin City for the finale. Robert shocked the remaining three hopefuls last week when he announced all of them would make it to tonight’s all-or-nothing competition. But while Adam Goldgell was guaranteed a spot in the last challenge, Jan Charles and Seonkyoung Longest had to go head-to-head in a cook-off for the chance to join him in one night of restaurant service for the chance to claim the win.

Read on below to find out whether Jan or Seon advanced to the end, and get the exclusive first interview with the winner of Restaurant Express and Las Vegas’ newest restaurateur.

SPOILER ALERT: Hear from the winner

Buy an Extra-High Apple Pie

by in Food Network Magazine, Restaurants, December 15th, 2013

apple pieWhen Food Network Magazine went looking for the best edible gift from every state for our 50 States, 50 Food Gifts story, we hit a snag in Missouri: We were torn between toasted ravioli, a St. Louis classic and this famous, cartoonishly tall Caramel Pecan Levee High Apple Pie from Kimmswick ($47, plus overnight shipping; theblueowl.com). The ravioli ended up in the story, but we think the 9-inch-tall pie deserves a shout-out this year: Twenty years ago, a flood almost destroyed Kimmswick, but volunteers built a levee to save the town. The pie is a nod to the high levee.  See the rest of the gifts here.

Simple, Perfect Chili — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 15th, 2013

Simple, Perfect Chili - Most Popular Pin of the WeekChili is a comfort food favorite (especially during football season), and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week says has it all: Ree’s recipe is a simple, perfect meal in a hurry.

Ree combines ground beef with two different kinds of beans, lots of herbs and spices, along with tortilla chips and lime wedges on the side. Sure you can eat the chili in a bowl with a spoon — but it’s a lot of fun scooping the chili onto chips too.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili

Season’s Eating! How to Navigate the Holiday Buffet

by , December 15th, 2013

shrimp cocktail For many of us, holiday overeating is a tradition, a ritual that leads to weight gain, not to mention enormous guilt. The good news is, there are plenty of wise food choices at most soirees, so you can enjoy the revelry, nosh on great food, and stil...

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This Year’s Best Cookbooks for Holiday Gifts

by in Books, Holidays, December 15th, 2013

This Year's Best Cookbooks for Holiday GiftsWhether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a culinary pro, you can never have enough cookbooks—especially during the holidays. Find inspiration for your next holiday feast, weeknight dinner and more with our favorite cookbooks from the last year.

Caramel (pictured above) — Here is an easy-to-follow guide for using classic caramel techniques in fun dishes like creme brulee and truffles.
Click here for picks

Satisfy Your Late-Night Hunger Pangs with a Week of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Specials

by in Shows, December 14th, 2013

Guy FieriNext week, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives fans, tune in for five days’ worth of special episodes. Guy has pretty much seen it all on Triple D, but he’s broken down his favorite places to eat by theme in a series of five late-night specials. On Monday it’s all about the Deep-Fried All-Stars. On Tuesday it’s the Wildest Joints Guy has ever visited. Wednesday Guy reveals his BBQ Legends. On Thursday it’s all about the Top 10 Burgers featured on DDD. And on Friday it’s the Best of New York City — the top eats the Big Apple has to offer. Don’t miss out on this chance to see some of the best of the best Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives from Monday, Dec. 16 to Friday, Dec. 20 at 11pm.

Read all about the special episodes

Hot Drinks for Small Fries

by in Family, Holidays, December 14th, 2013

Hot Drink Recipes for KidsThere’s nothing more snuggly than sitting around with warm mugs of goodness this time of year. And if you’re not into a massive sugar crash after they’ve gulped down hot chocolate, look no further than your favorite summer smoothie for inspiration.

We recently discovered the joys of warm flavored milk at our house, and here’s the great thing: Anything works. Frozen strawberries plus milk and a zap in the microwave? Sweet and yummy. Peanut butter and banana? Thick, creamy and wonderful. We’re doing frozen peaches with milk next time, plus a pinch of cinnamon. Sounds a lot like pie, without all that pesky crust.