White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 8th, 2015

I know that white chocolate isn’t for everyone. It’s taken me a long time to warm up to the stuff myself. But I’ve recently learned one important fact about white chocolate: To find the best stuff, you must read the label.

True white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. To make cocoa butter, roasted cacao beans are ground into a fine paste. That paste is then run through a special press, which separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. To make white chocolate, cocoa butter is then mixed with sugar and milk. Different chocolate manufacturers make different blends. In the United States, to even be called white chocolate, it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. But for better flavor, look for something with an even higher percentage of cocoa butter. More cocoa butter makes for a more delicious product. Avoid white chocolate with fillers like oil and artificial flavor.

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Fans Show Off Their Guilty Food Pleasures: Merry Holiday Eats

by in Community, Shows, December 8th, 2015

Fans Show Up Their Guilty Food Pleasures: Merry Holiday EatsThe holiday season is in full swing, and with that comes a seemingly endless buffet of sweet and savory bites up for grabs — at the office cocktail party, the cookie swap with your friends, the family feast and just about everywhere else you look. In honor of last night’s all-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, which showcased your favorite chefs’ picks of classic and creative holiday-worthy plates from restaurants across the country, Food Network asked you, the fans, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show us some of your favorite seasonal bites. And in true superfan fashion, you responded with some drool-worthy creations. Keep on reading to see our favorites.

Let’s just say that we’re having a hard time picking which cookie on @cheftini‘s piled-high platter we want to sample first. (Though we’re leaning heavily toward those three-layer rainbow beauties in the middle.)

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Over-the-Top Festive Eats: The Best Holiday Dishes on Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, December 8th, 2015

skirt steakGoing out to eat for the holidays may seem like an unusual custom, but when you see the list of Top 5 Restaurants, you’ll wonder, “Why haven’t we done this sooner?” If you have a hankering for a succulent suckling pig, a perfectly done prime rib or a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast, look no further. On the special holiday episode, hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson revealed the best places to get a great holiday meal along with a festive atmosphere. Find out which places and dishes made the list.

Read on for the list and vote on your favorite dish

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 8th, 2015

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.

If you’re in need of a quick, inexpensive yet festive recipe for your next holiday party, look no further than Food Network Kitchen’s easy peanut butter cookies. These gluten- and dairy-free cookies require just 20 minutes of prep work, and, better yet, it takes just a few pantry staples — like sugar, brown sugar and vanilla — to throw them together. Since there is no flour or butter to compete with it, the peanut butter flavor is pretty intense! Peanut butter purists may prefer these cookies sans chocolate.

Get the recipe for Food Network Kitchen’s Gluten-Free Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies, 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.

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9 Best Children’s Books About Food

by in Books, Family, Holidays, December 7th, 2015

Bread and Jam for Frances
When I was a kid, I had a poster on my wall that read, “A book is a present you can open again and again.” And it’s true — books make a perfect holiday gift for kids of all ages.

Some of my favorite books for children are about food. Surely you’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Green Eggs and Ham, but have you heard of any of these other delicious stories?

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
In this classic book, Frances wants to only eat her favorite foods — bread and jam — at every meal, turning up her nose at all the delicious things her family enjoys. Mrs. Badger ultimately gives her what she wants, but Frances soon realizes an important lesson about the importance of variety.

Image courtesy of HarperCollins

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Lotsa Latkes, Just in Time for Hanukkah

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2015

Potato LatkesTonight at sundown marks the start of Hanukkah. To commemorate the miracle of oil, it’s a tradition to fry potato pancakes, or latkes, as a part of the celebration. That miracle goes back to ancient times, when the Temple in Jerusalem’s limited supply of oil burned for eight days instead of one. Whether frying up homemade potato latkes is a yearly tradition for your family or you simply can’t resist crispy, golden potatoes in any form, these classic and creative latke recipes are the ones to make during the Festival of Lights — or year-round.

To achieve the quintessential light, crispy shredded potato patty you’d expect out of the holiday season, start with Ina Garten’s recipe for perfect Potato Latkes, which take just 20 minutes to make. Follow these 5 Rules for Better Latkes and serve the customary way: with applesauce and sour cream on the side.

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Vegetable Noodle Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 7th, 2015

Vegetable Noodle SoupWhile some soups require hours of slow simmering to achieve their best flavor, it’s indeed possible to turn out the best results in a hurry — think just 30 quick minutes. Food Network Kitchen’s Vegetable Noodle Soup, a fan-favorite recipe with a 5-star rating, comes together quickly once you’ve prepped the veggies and added them to the pot, since the noodles are cooked right in the broth as it boils. To finish, brighten up the soup with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for satisfying results.

While this recipe is speedy enough to make and take for lunch, Food Network Kitchen notes that you can also freeze it for later. “Freeze any leftovers or make a double batch to have plenty on hand,” the chefs in the Food Network Kitchen explain. They add, “You can stir in some cooked chicken or mini-meatballs, if desired, for another meal,” so keep it on hand for when you’re not celebrating Meatless Monday too.

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All the Sweet Treats You Need to Indulge In This Holiday Season

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2015

Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry SauceAs you shuttle from at-work celebrations to cocktail parties and host casual family gatherings and the elegant Christmas Eve feast alike, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge in your favorite fare during the holidays. But perhaps the best, most-decadent dishes come not from the savory buffet, but rather from the dessert table, in the form of decadent cakes, cookies, trifles and fudge. Check out Food Network’s favorite holiday desserts below, each a wow-worthy pick sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce
Bobby Flay celebrates the beloved flavor combo of gingerbread and lemon in his layered trifle, featuring a crimson-colored blackberry sauce, which he whirls in the blender for smooth results. Follow Bobby’s lead and save time in the kitchen by opting for store-bought lemon curd; it brightens up the fluffy whipped cream layers in his big-batch dessert.

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Geoffrey Zakarian’s Hermit Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 7th, 2015

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.

Crispy yet chewy, chocolatey yet spicy, Geoffrey Zakarian‘s Hermit Cookies are everything you could possibly want from a holiday treat, and the simple vanilla glaze adds a pretty touch. You can pipe the glaze in a simple zigzag pattern — or get inspired by festive holiday imagery (pine trees, anyone?). “This is my favorite holiday cookie, because it blends two of my favorite cookies,” says The Kitchen co-host. “Soft chocolate chip cookies and spicy gingerbread — the best of both worlds.” Although, if you’re a hardcore gingerbread fan, we suppose you could skip the chips altogether.

Get Geoffrey’s Hermit 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.

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“Are You Making This Up?” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 6th, 2015

Englishman Simon Majumdar is likely acquainted with bangers and mash, the Round 2 dish on tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. But he wasn’t familiar with the concept of a Round 1 sabotage — double dutch jump rope — that put a punny twist on Dutch baby pancakes, as host Alton Brown revealed on the After-Show. Alton explained that the goal of the game was for two people to jump rope in tandem, and Simon couldn’t help but wonder, “Are you making this up?” The host assured him that such a game was indeed “a major pastime,” and Alton and Simon went on to don the joint double dutch table sabotage, on which they had to whisk egg whites while simultaneously jumping.

Despite his first few missed attempts to successfully jump the rope, Simon admitted, “I’m getting there.” Both he and Alton were forced to whisk vigorously as they were whipping their egg whites by hand, and Alton explained one minor impediment to a quicker process: “I didn’t add any cream of tartar to this,” Alton said. “Cream of tartar, of course, helps you when you’re beating eggs like this because the acid breaks down some of the bonds so that you can form brand-new ones.” As both Simon and Alton held on to their tools and jumped with each call of “double Dutch baby” from the Bobs, Simon said simply, “I’m exhausted.”

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