Holiday Table Settings for $10 or Less

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2014

By Ashley Rose

For those of you hosting guests and dinner parties during the holidays, here are a few centerpiece ideas to spice up the room without breaking the bank.

Read more

Nancy Fuller’s Peanut Butter Blossoms — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2014

Nancy Fuller's Peanut Butter Blossoms
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Double down on the peanut butter goodness in Nancy Fuller’s traditional blossoms. Incorporate smooth peanut butter into the cookie batter before folding in peanut butter chips. The intense peanut butter flavor pairs perfectly with the addition of a chocolate kiss candy in the center.

Get Nancy’s Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Read more

A Special Holiday Mission: Robert Irvine Transforms Double H Ranch

by in Shows, December 8th, 2014

Holiday: ImpossibleIn the largest Restaurant: Impossible challenge to date, Robert Irvine and his team traveled to Lake Luzerne, N.Y., for an extra-special mission at Double H Ranch, a year-round camp dedicated to serving children with life-threatening illnesses. Double H was founded on the premise of “health and happiness” according to CEO and executive director Max Yurenda, and the camp indeed lives up to its promise, as every child who attends is welcomed and made to feel safe and hopeful.

With the help and generosity of Lexus, Robert and his team had three days and an increased budget of $50,000 to transform the kitchen and dining hall at Double H, and it’s a good thing they had extra time and money to spend, because the 4,000-plus-square-foot dining room was among the largest they’d ever attempted. In true Irvine fashion, Robert welcomed the challenge, and not only did he overhaul those spaces and turn them into comfortable, friendly and functional designs, but he and Lexus also gifted the camp dozens of pieces of new equipment, plus a $10,000 donation. Read on below to hear from Max, and director of operations Jacqui Royael, to find out how Double H is doing today. Then, browse insider photos of the transformation in progress, and see Robert at Double H.

How have the new hot boxes improved serving time?
Jacqui Royael: The new hot boxes will allow more time for staff and campers to enjoy their meal together and less time waiting in a crowded line in the kitchen. The food can now be prepared and ready to go the minute the kids enter the dining hall, allowing all of camp to be served in half the time and eat together. So what once was 20-plus minutes and several trips back and forth to the serving line will now be a quick five to 10 minutes and one trip to have everyone enjoy a meal together.

Read more

A Breakfast Battle to Remember — Terra’s Journey on Holiday Baking Championship

by in Shows, December 8th, 2014

Holiday Baking ChampionshipThis past Sunday on Holiday Baking Championship, the competition was all about holiday traditions. The bakers were faced with the pre-heat challenge of creating something original using the classic combination of hot chocolate and peppermint. Then, they moved on to the real challenge: creating an over-the-top holiday breakfast including three sweet treats. Although her hot chocolate cakes from the pre-heat were praised by the judges, Terra was ultimately eliminated when her cream cheese surprise went awry. But this bourbon-loving Kentucky girl brought lots of fun and flavor during her time on the show. Relive Terra’s journey in GIFs

Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 8th, 2014

Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley SoupIf you’ve ever gotten home on a particularly draining Monday and wished dinner would just cook itself, then this recipe for Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup is just for you. After all, what better way to celebrate Meatless Monday than with a recipe that’ll hit the spot and save you some precious time?

This no-hassle meal can be prepped in merely 15 minutes, with minor work involving some chopping and squeezing. Once that’s done, you put the sorted-out ingredients together in the slow cooker before work, and by the time you’re home about eight hours later — voila! Your dinner is nearly done.  All you have left to do is add in the cheese, stir in the spinach, season and serve.

Read more

Top 5 Recipes from Holiday Central

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2014

Gingerbread HouseFrom tried-and-true cookie classics to crowd-pleasing dinner recipes, go-to gift ideas, hosting how-tos and step-by-step videos, FoodNetwork.com’s Holiday Central is the ultimate destination for all things seasonal cooking, so you can spend more time celebrating with family, friends and food. Just in time to kick off the season, Angela Moore, FoodNetwork.com’s vice president, interactive site manager, joined The Kitchen co-hosts on this weekend’s all-new episode to introduce Holiday Central and show off the latest additions to this culinary winter wonderland, including all-in-one guides to easy baking and entertaining.

If you’re new to Holiday Central, spend some time clicking around. Check out our best-ever Christmas recipes and easy, speedy dessert picks, plus learn new ways to bake with gingerbread and find gift inspiration for everyone on your shopping list. Read on below to get the top-five recipes featured in Holiday Central, then watch insider videos to see how more of your favorite Food Network stars celebrate the season.

5. Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls — Two flavors that are simply better together, Buffalo-style hot sauce and juicy rotisserie chicken combine with cheddar cheese to create golden bite-size rounds ideal for entertaining.

4. Eggnog — Raise a glass to the holidays with Alton Brown’s 15-minute eggnog, a rich, smooth holiday must-have spiked with bourbon.

Read more

Alex Guarnaschelli’s Egg Nog Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 8th, 2014

Egg Nog Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Alex Guarnaschelli loves these cookies because “they have all the flavors of eggnog but don’t have eggnog in them.” Sandwich the cookies with creamy icing, then top with a drizzle of caramel and spiced sugar.

Get Alex’s Eggnog Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Read more

“Pat, the Snowman Made Out of Butter” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 7th, 2014

Just in time for the holidays, Alton Brown decked the Cutthroat Kitchen halls on tonight’s all-new episode with a series of seasonal challenges — and even a Christmas tree-adorned sweater worn by judge Simon Majumdar. In true evilicious fashion, Alton didn’t shy away from punny sabotages inspired by the traditional holiday meals or activities, as the challenge dishes included a ham dinner, cocktail party fare and holiday cookies. And in Round 1 the chefs played a not-so-merry game of gift swap.

In the final round’s cookie challenge, Alton doled out the ultimate in seasonal sweets — a gingerbread house — but this one wasn’t exactly a treat. Complete with shortening, sugar, flour and leavening agents, plus various candies and decorations, this “gingerbread diorama,” as Alton called it, contained everything needed to make a cookie, and Chef Keith could use only the given ingredients to prepare his dish. While the contestant used nearly everything in Alton’s “majestic scene” in preparing his ultimately doomed cookies, only one element remained: a triple-decker butter figure shaped like a snowman. “Is he called Pat?” Simon jokingly asked Alton on the host’s After-Show, and Alton simply replied with a smile, “Yes, Pat, the Snowman Made Out of Butter.”

Read more

Home Sweet $77,910 Gingerbread Home

by in News, December 7th, 2014

The Most Precious Gingerbread House (VeryFirstTo)The Most Precious Gingerbread House (VeryFirstTo)

Sure, you could build your own gingerbread house this holiday season – laboring over the icing and gumdrop placement to get them just so. But if you happen to have $77,910 rattling around in your pocket, have an affinity for ginger and gems, and take deep pride in your home, luxury-launches website VeryFirstTo.com has a better idea: The Most Precious Christmas Gingerbread House Ever.

The U.K.-based site has teamed up with Le Cordon Bleu-trained, high-end cake baker Georgia Green, of Georgia’s Cakes, to offer what it says is the “world’s most expensive gingerbread house” – made in the precise image of your own home. The house features “150 AAAA grade South Sea Pearls and a 5 carat unheated Mozambique Ruby,” the company notes, all set lovingly (and one hopes somewhat securely) within curlicues of icing. (You can order your house with extra pearls for an additional fee.) After you devour the bespoke cake, these treasures remain with you as a keepsake.

Read more

How to Host a Holiday Cookie Swap

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 7th, 2014

By Camille Styles, Photography by Kate Stafford

This holiday season, get in the spirit with a party concept that’ll satisfy each guest’s sweet tooth and spread wintry cheer. Inviting friends over for a midday cookie swap is a super-simple way to gather loved ones and mix and mingle over treats, and when guests get to contribute their own recipes and baked goods to the spread, hostess duties are a breeze. Simply set a neutral foundation with tableware that you likely already have, then add some sparkly handmade details to turn up the holiday factor in a flash.

Read more