Easy Cookie Swap

by in View All Posts, November 29th, 2010
Gingerbread Cookies from FoodNetwork.com

Are you having visions of sugarplums dancing or hallucinations from too much turkey? There’s no denying that the holiday season is already in full swing. Make this year easier with a cookie swap—a great way to try new recipes without having to bake them all yourself. We’ve chosen some of our favorite recipes for cookie-swapping and invite you to gather some friends and share the fun.

Animal crackers began as edible ornaments, sold in Philadelphia in the late 19th century. Giada’s simple Animal Sugar Cookies are probably quite a bit tastier and definitely more colorful. Appease your flock with a batch: They’re perfect to eat, share or hang on the tree.

Believe it or not, Paula Deen has put a healthy twist on classic Peanut Butter Cookies, just in time for those sugar-free cookie lovers on your list. And for a treat less traditional, try the winning recipe from Emeril’s Cookie Contest, Chris’ Kicked Up Spicy Walnut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. This cookie literally has something for everyone.

If baking is not your thing, Cooking Channel’s Michael Chiarello has you covered with No Bake Chocolate Amaretto Cookies.  Or, visit Food.com for No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. Both recipes come together in a matter of minutes and set in the refrigerator.

For a sweet adult treat, whip up some Limoncello Cheesecake Squares or Boozy Blondies from Food2.com to share. There’s nothing like a cookie to melt away the stress of all that holiday shopping.

Sign up for the Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies newsletter and get a baker’s dozen new cookie recipes, one per day starting today.

Turkeyed Out? Black Friday, Red (Sauce) Alert

by in Recipes, November 26th, 2010

Bedeviled by holiday shopping and too much turkey? Eggs in purgatory are heaven.

At a random moment tucked between November 10 and November 17 I started dreaming beyond turkey. The buildup of birds every which way, and sides upon sides all homey and comforting, simply got to be too much of a cornucopia. So Black Friday for me is Red Sauce Friday.

While everyone else is grabbing leftoverssandwiches, chili and soups, grab a jar of tomato sauce. There are tons of recipes to make with it with nary a shopping trip. Indeed, the day after Thanksgiving, I am grateful for Food Network Magazine’s 50 Things to Make with a Jar of Tomato Sauce, specifically the Eggs in Purgatory, Mussels Marinara and those Pizza Potatoes, chockful of a different sort of stuffing.

Let the wild holiday rumpus begin–after you’re sated with something saucy.

Check out Cooking From the Pantry, filled with skip-the-lines-eat-now ideas.

Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Giada’s Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

by in Holidays, November 24th, 2010

brussels sprouts with pancetta
The clock is ticking ever closer on the Thanksgiving countdown, but we’re still featuring different side dishes to inspire your harvest spread right up until the big day itself.  We’ve covered the basics – stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed and sweet potato options – but if you’ve been waiting for something a little fresher, your time has come. Giada’s Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta should be able to win over even your pickiest eaters – simmered in chicken broth and tossed with crisp, garlicky pancetta and shallots they’re both a refreshingly light companion to Thanksgiving’s heartier fare without being any less indulgent.

Browse 50+ Thanksgiving side dishes to fill out your menu. And, for hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.

Behind the Scenes in Food Network Kitchens: Deep-Fried Turkey

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, November 24th, 2010
Recipe tester Leah Brickley (cautiously!) experiments with indoor turkey-frying in Food Network Kitchens.

Sometimes being married to a kitchen gadget geek has its perks. For our November issue of Food Network Magazine, we had to test Cat Cora’s deep-fried turkey recipe. Deep-fried turkeys have become really popular over the past few years and Cat’s is rubbed with a delicious Cajun spice blend. The turkey comes out crispy and really flavorful.

Our test kitchen is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market building, and the outdoor green space available to set up a vat of boiling oil is very limited to non-existent. Luckily, my husband, Paul, had a rather interesting solution to my deep-fryer problems: Why not fry it indoors? At first I thought he was crazy, but then he told me about this new (and safe) indoor turkey fryer made by MasterBuilt. It sits right on your counter, uses about half the amount the oil and has a safety magnetic break-away cord.

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Fall Fest: Bounty to Be Thankful For

by in View All Posts, November 24th, 2010
Mashed Potatoes
Tyler's Mashed Potatoes

We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.
Sure, we all love the Thanksgiving feast: The turkey, stuffing, cranberries, green beans, mashed potatoes, all covered in gravy.  But no matter what you serve, it’s about who you’re passing the platter to year after year: your friends and family.  These are the things we look forward to making, eating and enjoying every year.

Our Thanksgiving favorites »

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Exclusive Interview: Forgione Dishes

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2010

marc forgione
A few words from the winner

On why he signed on for Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef:
“The only show that I would have done on TV was The Next Iron Chef. There are a lot of other chef shows, competitions that are on TV that I won’t name by name, but The Next Iron Chef is the only one that truly says, we want to see you as a chef, and we want to see who can actually be an Iron Chef. Not to see who can entertain us with the after-work antics and all this kind of stuff. It’s about the food.”

On how his life has changed:
“Just last night, I walked back into the kitchen through the dining room and every table was looking around and pointing me out. That used to happen every once in a while, but now, every table, they’re like, “Oh! That’s him!” I got stopped on the street coming into work yesterday and again this morning…It’s wild. I’m really kind of a humble, chill person. I’m having a great time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a big change.”

On the Next Iron Chef experience:
“I’ll be 100 percent honest: I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was. Not to say I went in thinking it was going to be easy, but I kind of went in there thinking, you know, you do what you do, you see what happens. Which is the philosophy that I had the whole time: Just cook your food and relax…”

Read our full exclusive interview with Iron Chef Forgione.

Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Guy’s Red Devil Cranberries

by in Holidays, November 23rd, 2010

thanksgiving red devil cranberries
Each day from now ’till Thanksgiving, we’re sharing a new side dish. We’ve talked about everything from stuffing to mashers to scalloped sweet potatoes, but don’t forget about turkey’s favorite sidekick: cranberry sauce. Like macaroni without cheese or cookies sans milk, turkey just isn’t the same without sweet-tart cranberry sauce on the side. Guy’s bright whole-berry version gets a spicy kick from two kinds of hot peppers, and added flavor from orange juice. Your turkey — and your tastebuds — will never know what hit ‘em.

Get the Recipe: Guy’s Red Devil Cranberries

Vote For the Best: Guy and Paula’s Cranberry Sauce Showdown


Get hundreds more Thanksgiving recipes, menus and tips at

FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.

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Eat Lunch Like an Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marc forgione slab bacon
When we visited Chef Marc Forgione at his restaurant (in secret!) shortly before his winning moment aired on The Next Iron Chef, we wanted to see him in his element: Back in the kitchen, cooking. But Restaurant Marc Forgione is closed for lunch, so the laid-back, mohawked chef asked what he should prepare from the menu. We got back to him with this proposition: “Just make yourself some lunch. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy—whatever you’d normally whip up.”

The resulting pork belly and pickled apple sandwich is so addictively delicious, we had to share Chef Forgione’s recipe with you. Iron Chef Forgione’s recipe, that is.

Chef Forgione's late-night lunch: The B.A.D. Sandwich

Check out the making of this sandwich and get a tour of Marc Forgione (the restaurant). Plus, read our exclusive Q&A with the newest toque in Kitchen Stadium.

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Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Runner-Up Marco Canora’s Parting Words

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marco canora
What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
The coolest thing I took away from the experience was dozens of new friends and acquaintances. Obviously amongst my competitors, but also from “behind the scenes.”  I also learned how long and tedious the world of shooting reality TV can be. I have a newfound respect for anyone working in that world, as it’s certainly not as glamorous as it may seem.

How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
As far as the finale goes, I felt I respected the Chairman’s directive and delivered a nearly flawless meal that “honored tradition.” At this level of cooking, unless someone makes a technical error, it really does boil down to personal preferences.

If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful dish?
In retrospect, I think the “tortelli di zucco” risotto may have been too unfamiliar to the judges’ palates and, while they all thought it was perfectly executed, there was some discussion about using sweet flavors in savory food. Obviously, not everyone enjoys that.

What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
Don’t overthink your dishes…less is more! Go with your gut. Focus on the basics. If the secret ingredient triggers an idea, go with it and don’t look back. And remember, no matter how poorly or how well you do, it is not a reflection of your talents as a chef. Cooking as competition and being the chef of a restaurant have very little in common.

Look inside Chef Canora’s Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from the finale.

More about Marco Canora:
Chef Canora on Facebook
Follow@MarcoCanora on Twitter
Hearth Restaurant
Terroir Wine Bar

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Critical Moments: A Kitchen Stadium Thanksgiving

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010
The newly crowned Iron Chef Marc Forgione: Simon Majumdar’s "clear winner"

Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.

With dozens of cameras catching every glimpse and grimace, a gallery of excited onlookers and smoke billowing across the set, I could begin to see what all the fuss had been about.

It was my first visit to Kitchen Stadium and I was nervous enough. I could only begin to imagine how Chef Canora and Chef Forgione must be feeling as they walked into the arena. They had not only to impress the three judges one more time, but also to persuade Iron Chefs Morimoto and Flay that they were ready to join the pantheon of the greats.

When given their final task, to prepare for us the finest Thanksgiving feast imaginable, the way they approached it summed up their performances in every challenge to date. Chef Forgione was cool, calm and collected as he followed his story of recreating the first turkey-free Thanksgiving. Chef Canora, on the other hand, was all drama and nervous energy as he dipped into his family cookbook to bring us a traditional Thanksgiving meal. It was not long before he was literally leaving his blood, sweat and tears on the floor.

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