Thanksgiving By the Numbers

by , November 18th, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is famous for belly-busting dinners and pant-splitting desserts. We’ll give you some tips so you can eat to your heart’s content and still save some calories.

Crunching the Numbers
We built two Thanksgiving plates, loaded with all ...

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Is Your Table in Shape for the Holidays?

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 17th, 2012

Thanksgiving Buffet TableI suspect that many basic round white plates or sets of plates adorn many tables around the country for the holidays and for everyday use. Square plates and even triangular dishes have also made a splash on many a table top store display and Web site. But what’s the solution if you have a few of one and some of another shape? How do you know if your table needs a little seasonal shape-shifting?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Layer two square-shaped plates on top of a round shape to create a bit of holiday panache. Most round plates have a rim around the edge to contain sauces or meat juices. These will serve as a great base.

2. Square plates without lips or borders look great atop round plates. Instead of nesting them atop the round plate to form a square, try fanning both plates in a diamond pattern (see photo above), the way bartenders always fan out the cocktail napkins. It’s a little fancy and a bit unexpected.

Keep reading for more ideas

Pumpkin-Apple Soup

by , November 17th, 2012

The beauty of this autumn soup is its adaptability; you can easily use pears instead of apples if you prefer. This recipe makes enough to serve four people when served as an appetizer or a side dish. If you are serving a large group of people for Th...

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What to Watch: Food Network All-Star Family Cook-Off

by in Shows, November 17th, 2012

Food Network All-Star Family Cook-OffEating lots of great food and spending time with family and friends are some of the things to look forward to when it comes to the holidays. And cooking together is a great way to catch up on old times and make new memories whether it involves a bit of family drama or not.

So what happens when four Food Network chefs are each paired with a family member in a cooking challenge? It’s a competition to see which family cooks the best. Watch Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine and Geoffrey Zakarian battle it out to win a cash donation to their charity of choice. Bobby Deen hosts this Food Network special, which eliminates teams round by round until only one family is left standing.

Tune in: Sunday, November 18 at 10pm/9pm c

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VOTE: A Next Iron Chef 3-Way Meatball Cook-Off — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, November 17th, 2012

Rival Recipes: Chef Appleman vs. Chef Estes vs. Chef FalknerComfort food was the name of the game on last week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, as the Chairman challenged the rivals to put innovative twists on classic dishes. But instead of focusing on the all-American meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, they embraced the flavors of three global favorites: banh mi, tacos and falafel. While the chefs were busy taking these Vietnamese, Mexican and Mediterranean staples, respectively, to the next innovative level, we noticed that one country famous for its tried-and-true comfort food was left off of their international food tour. Home to hearty, cheesy pastas, warm breads, beefy meats and perhaps the most-decadent pastries, Italy could have offered the rivals a fourth and formidable comfort food: the meatball.

That’s why this week’s Rival Recipes cook-off is picking up where the Chairman’s Challenge left off and introducing meatballs to the competition. We’re pitting three Redemption rivals against each other and asking the question: Who makes a better ball? Chefs Nate Appleman, Duskie Estes and Elizabeth Falkner are bringing their best saucy bites to the showdown, and it’s up to you, Next Iron Chef fans, to pick whose recipe reigns supreme.

Are you all about the beef? Then you may appreciate Chef Appleman’s Pepperoni Meatballs from Food Network Magazine, made with four different kinds of beef, plus red wine and creamy ricotta cheese. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, Chef Estes’ Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with pistachio nuts and cherries may be more your style. Chef Falkner’s Spaghetti and Meatballs with herbs and cheese from her cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes From My Downtime, however, will appeal to traditionalists who just can’t enjoy a meatball without a twirl of pasta alongside.

VOTE NOW

Watch Thanksgiving Live! This Sunday

by in Shows, November 16th, 2012

Thanksgiving LiveThe weekend is finally here: Food Network’s annual Thanksgiving Live! is going live in just one short day. Just in time for the big feast, on Sunday at 12 pm/ET, Rachael, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny, Ree and your host, turkey master Alton Brown, will be on hand to answer your Thanksgiving questions live on-air. What do you want to know? Ask your question here.

The best Thanksgiving appetizer: Watch the Thanksgiving Live pre-show on FoodNetwork.com at 11:30 am/ET Sunday. We’ll have exclusive interviews with Food Network chefs as they head into the kitchen to answer your questions.

Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff Mauro will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way too.

Brisket Bowls — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 16th, 2012

Rachael Ray's Brisket BowlsMy husband and I have been together now for five years and married for three. We’ve hit all manner of speed bumps and road blocks as we’ve negotiated towards peaceful co-habitation, but none have been more difficult than establishing an array of dinnertime meals that are able to make us both happy.

I come from a family with solid hippie tendencies. The dinners of my childhood tended to feature items like brown rice, beans in place of meat and kale (well before it was trendy). We had lots of fresh vegetables and tart yogurt was billed as a treat.

Scott’s family tended towards a more processed diet. There was a lot of meat, string beans only came out of cans and Velveeta was viewed as a viable cheese for sandwiches and after-school snacks.

Finding our middle ground in the midst of these divergent origins has been tough. We’ve each had to surrender some ground in order to share meals. I’ve stopped shoehorning kale into every meal and Scott has added several lines to the list of vegetables he willingly eats.

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Play Time — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Shows, November 16th, 2012

Chefs Nate Appleman and Eric Greenspan
Though it’s true that The Next Iron Chef rivals are known for their unbreakable focus and competitive mindset, they sure know how to let loose and have fun when the clock stops running and the cameras aren’t rolling. Just watch what happened last week when Chefs Estes, Falkner and Freitag completed a 30-minute three-way Secret Ingredient Showdown. Given the stress of what Chef Freitag called a “pressure cooker situation,” they channeled their nervous energy into a no-holds-barred food fight, whipping handfuls of ingredients across the kitchen.

In the above sneak-peek shot from this Sunday’s episode, it looks as if Chefs Appleman and Greenspan aren’t letting the stress of the competition get them down either. They’re proving that it’s not all work and no play on The Next Iron Chef as Chef Greenspan poses with a dish, making a funny face while lightheartedly teasing his fellow rival. Will the chefs let their lively personalities shine as they’re photographed by a special guest on Sunday, or will they come across as subdued and serious?

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