Drawing Inspiration: Sweet Ideas for Spice Cake

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2010
Artist Wilma Sanchez of Bedford, New York, reinterprets spices the season in a woodsy way. Click the image to expand it.

They Draw & Cook The Dish is teaming up with Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, founders of They Draw and Cook, all December to share holiday recipes drawn by artists and inspiring all sorts of seasonal cooking with Food Network chefs. Each day, stop by the Dish for a new drawing and Nate and Salli’s liner notes about the illustrations and the artists. Tell us which you like and why. A dollop of this, a dash of that and some talent add up to interesting ideas in the kitchen. Visit theydrawandcook.com for more recipes showcased as art.

There is an abundance of warmth and charm in this recipe and illustration by artist Wilma Sanchez. How can you possibly go wrong with all of these adorable critters helping in the kitchen? We want to hug the bear, and the little bluebirds are really charming. The cake is full of wonderful ingredients, and the rum syrup is a super delicious extra idea for grown-ups. We love the beautifully rendered details like the cute little buttons and especially the stitchery “To:” and “From:” tags.

It would be very sweet and special gesture to bake this cake for a friend and use this illustration as the gift tag! Wilma is a great artist, and this is just a sample of the beautiful artwork that she creates each day of the holiday season and beyond.

See more illustrated recipes for cakes and pies and tarts today on They Draw and Cook and on FoodNetwork.com:

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

12 Days of Cookies: Guy’s Craisy Oatmeal Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2010
Craisy Oatmeal Cookies
Don't miss Guy's off-the-hook Craisy Oatmeal Cookies.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Channel your inner Fieri with this recipe for Guy’s Craisy Oatmeal Cookies. Dried cranberries replace the usual raisins, coconut adds some extra chewiness, and chopped rosemary gives them a totally unexpected Italian edge. If you like rosemary in meat or pasta dishes, you’ll be amazed by the depth it adds here. The unique combination of flavors will explode in your mouth with every bite.

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Drawing Inspiration: Waste Not, Want Not

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2010
Artist Kim Carney of Seattle, Washington, shows how to put Christmas ingredients to best use. Click the image to expand it.

This recipe and nostalgic, collage-illustration style blend so well together. The story behind the recipe from Seattle artist Kim Carney is heart-warming and we love that it has become a family tradition to be passed down through the generations of Kim’s family. It is also a lesson we should all remember: “Waste not, want not,” as our mother always says (moms are so smart!). These few simple ingredients really make for a memorable and delicious treat. Our grandma used to make us a similar snack with leftover pie crust. It was so yummy and made her kitchen smell heavenly. As Kim says at the end of her story: “Delicious memories.” Indeed!

See more illustrated recipes for holiday cookies and create your own sweet memories today on They Draw and Cook and visit Food Network for A-to-Z  holiday coverage.

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

Cupcake Wars: Gluten-Free Goodies vs. Christmas Cannoli

by in Shows, December 9th, 2010
For the premiere of Cupcake Wars Season Two, Candace loved judging alongside Lash Ferry: "Gift-giver to the stars AND an avid home baker!"

Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about the Season Two premiere, Tree Lighting.

If someone had told me that a gluten-free baker would come within inches of winning a Cupcake Wars this season, I wouldn’t have believed it. Having worked with wheat-free flours myself, I know how tricky it is to avoid the gummy, leaden pitfalls of gluten-free baking. But tasting is believing, and Kyra from Crave Bakeshop served up some seriously good cupcakes—gluten-free or not!

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12 Days of Cookies: Marcela’s Polvorones

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2010
Polvorones: Ground Walnut Cookies
Marcela's Ground Walnut Cookies will melt in your mouth.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

These crumbly, buttery walnut cookies are named for the Spanish word for powder, which, according to Marcela Valladolid, is what they turn into the minute you bite into one. They’re traditionally Mexican wedding cookies, but she ate her mother’s Polvorones at Christmastime every year growing up, dipped in hot chocolate. Once you’ve sampled your first batch, you’ll probably find yourself looking for other excuses to make them, too.

Get Marcela’s recipe and check out dozens and dozens of batches in 12 Days of Cookies for more sweet ideas. Then tell us what you’re baking.

Melanie Rehak, author of Eating for Beginners, has been baking cookies since she was old enough to climb onto the kitchen stool. She and her family are partial to Zimtsterne—cinnamon stars—for the holidays, but love cookies of all kinds all year long.

Drawing Inspiration: New-Fashioned Latkes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2010
Artist Amy Schimler of Roswell, Georgia, updates traditional latkes with an exotic twist. Click the image to expand it.

Artist Amy Schimler tells us that this recipe was inspired by her son who is half Jewish. While he was in college he studied abroad in Vietnam, and he will be traveling back there this month to visit his host family. This just goes to show that while you never know where you’re inspiration will come from, the results can be amazing.

The ingredients in this recipe are such a festive and exotic mix, and when you’re starting off with a dish as wonderful as latkes, you can’t go wrong. We especially like the addition of coriander, Thai basil, lime and mint to the applesauce. As for Amy’s illustration, we love the punchy colors and the subtle textures. She is one of our favorite illustrators and her website is full of art that is guaranteed to make you smile.

See more illustrated recipes for latkes and other Hanukkah happiness today on They Draw and Cook and on FoodNetwork.com:

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

12 Days of Cookies: Alton’s Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2010
Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Alton's Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies are festive and fabulous treats.

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

You won’t be able to help feeling jolly when you get a look at Alton Brown’s Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies. These sweet swirls of peppermint and chocolate dough, jazzed up with bits of candy cane for extra zip, look like something straight from the elves’ workshop. All they’re missing is the ribbon and wrap (and maybe a few sleigh bells!).

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, December 7th, 2010
Where Do You Bite? - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Dissecting the Gingerbread Man: Two-thirds of those polled in a Dunkin’ Donuts survey say they go straight for the jugular when biting into a gingerbread man. What’s more is that this act, according to neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch, reveals something about one’s inner workings. Head-biters are “achievement-oriented individuals,” Hirsch tells the New York Daily News. As for leg-eaters, they’re so sensitive they probably apologized to the cookie before nibbling off its lower extremity. [nydailynews.com]

Top 10 Food Scenes from Christmas Movies: The folks at LA Weekly tapped Christmas movie authority Alonso Duralde, who watched 122  yuletide films, to curate their roundup of the awesomest holiday eating scenes on film. Duralde highlights some unusual suspects (Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, Huston’s The Dead), but since it’s not Christmas without Tim Allen, the Santa Clause graces his list, too. [blogs.laweekly.com]

We All Scream for Snow Cream: When life gives you ice (falling from the sky), make ice cream. The clever cooks at Eatocracy share their all-natural recipe for snow ice cream, which basically involves waiting for a blizzard, placing a clean bowl outside and far away from an “animals’ splash zone,” and letting the flurries fill ‘er up. If you can find your bowl under the accumulation, just add some mix-ins and you got yourself a snow sundae. [eaotcracy.cnn.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Drawing Inspiration: Panettone Perfection

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2010
Artist Silvia Sponza from Milan, Italy, pieces together a perfect panettone and sandwich ideas for your holiday celebration. Click the image to expand it.

They Draw & Cook The Dish is teaming up with Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, founders of They Draw and Cook, all December to share holiday recipes drawn by artists and inspiring all sorts of seasonal cooking with Food Network chefs. Each day, stop by the Dish for a new drawing and Nate and Salli’s liner notes about the illustrations and the artists. Tell us which you like and why. A dollop of this, a dash of that and some talent add up to interesting ideas in the kitchen. Visit theydrawandcook.com for more recipes showcased as art.

This recipe is just begging to be the center of the party. Not only is this illustration a work of art, but so is the recipe for eggy holiday bread and a massive appetizer sandwich to make with it. Artist Silvia Sponza says that “Gastronomic Panettone is a typical appetizer for Christmas or New Year’s dinner in Milan” and that she made this for her family last Christmas. If this, Silvia’s second recipe for They Draw and Cook, is the appetizer, can you imagine what the main course is like? Silvia is quite an amazing illustrator–her work, like the panettone extravanza she created, builds layer upon layer of visual interest and delight.

See more illustrated recipes for holiday treats today on They Draw and Cook, and check out panettone recipes here on FoodNetwork.com:

—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.

12 Days of Cookies: Melissa’s Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2010
Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread
Celebrate with Melissa's Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, FoodNetwork.com’s annual cookie swap. Each day visit us here on the Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give – or keep – from favorite Food Network chefs. Then visit Cooking Channel’s blog for great takes on holiday baking from Cooking Channel chefs and Food People alike – cookies by the dozen to celebrate all season.

Ten Dollar Dinners host Melissa d’Arabian is giving jewels to her fans. In a way. Melissa topped her holiday cookies this year with dried cranberries, orange marmalade and chocolate chips, and the Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread cookies that result are as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat. The cookies themselves are crisp, buttery basics, brought together in baking alchemy: butter, flour and sugar. They’re easy to make, and the fruit-and-nut topping is simple to stir together. Set the cookies, decorated in holiday finery, on a candlelit table, where they’ll glisten like little treasures.

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