- Don't cry over melted ice cream.
Reading through Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks booklet, you’ll notice a couple of recipes that call for melted ice cream. Homemade eggnog usually requires making a custard, which isn’t difficult to do, but takes time and makes a lot of cooks nervous. Melting a good-quality ice cream is a great time-saving technique that can give you the same rich, luscious end-product as making custard from scratch. In the booklet, you’ll find a French Vanilla Eggnog (recipe #16), but with the same combination of liqueurs, you could easily replace the French vanilla ice cream with coffee or chocolate ice cream. And with a little tweaking, such as replacing the crème de cacao with amaretto, you could push the limits even further by using a festive, seasonal ice cream flavor like pumpkin pie. Choose a couple of your favorite ice cream flavors and see what kind of fancy eggnogs you can come up with . . . have fun with it!
French Vanilla Eggnog from 50 Holiday Drinks
Whisk 3 cups milk, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a pitcher or punch bowl; whisk in 4 ounces each brandy and rum, 2 ounces crème de cacao and 3 cups melted French vanilla ice cream.
By Andrea Albin, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
- Holiday drink #25 in Food Network Magazine's 50 Holiday Drinks booklet: Shirley Temple Punch.
The Shirley Temple Punch (# 25 in Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks insert) is a kid-friendly favorite that can easily be dressed up with a festive ice float:
Layer sliced oranges and maraschino cherries in a 10-inch Bundt pan. Cover with 3 to 4 cups of water and freeze until completely set. Run cold water over the Bundt pan to help release the ice ring. Place in the bottom of your serving bowl and top with punch.
If you’re serving adults, stir in some bourbon, gin or vodka for a spiked refreshment (they’ll still love the ice ring!).
Shirley Temple Punch from 50 Holiday Drinks
Mix 5 cups ginger ale, 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 cup grenadine in a punch bowl. Add sliced oranges and maraschino cherries. Serve over ice.
By Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
- Holiday drink #47 in Food Network Magazine's 50 Holiday Drinks booklet.
I knew that I was finally an adult when my mother let me have my first Brandy Slushie (#47 in Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks booklet) at our annual holiday party one year. I tried to recreate this recipe from memory for the booklet, and when I gave my mom a copy of the magazine, she approved, but said that something was missing. It turns out that all those years she had boiled her water and sugar with a secret bag of green tea! The difference with the tea is subtle; either way the slushes are yummy. Experiment with your favorite tea and start a family tradition.
Brandy Slushes from 50 Holiday Drinks
Bring 1 cup each water and sugar to a boil; cool completely. Mix with 1-1/2 cups brandy, 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a baking dish; freeze until slushy. Scoop into glasses, top with seltzer and stir to desired slushiness.
By Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
- Work it: Not willing to settle for simple frosting squiggles, this ginger-guy is ready to rock the runway in a bold holiday tie.
The sweetest designs of this season aren’t found on the red carpet, but instead on the pages of Food Network Magazine. Take inspiration from the styles seen on the pages of the December issue and create your own to-die-for candy outfits. Start with a batch of perfect gingerbread, and check out these runway-worthy duds:
- A frothy, layered gown worthy of the finest holiday gala.
How to DIY: Snip mini marshmallows in half with scissors; toss in colored sugar (it sticks to the cut side). Attach with royal icing. Read more »
‘Tis the season to put away your Christmas decorations. However, a select group of Food network employees are either gearing up for the 2009 holiday season, or they just can’t seem to part with the Christmas spirit of ’08. Honestly, I think it’s charming that (inadvertently or not) these guys have chosen to keep the festivities going year-round here at the Food Network offices. Come to think of it….why does society tell us that we’re allowed to eat Christmas cookies only around the holidays?… Eureka!
Get to the cookies here.
My dreams of a respite from work and a day of baking were both answered on Thursday with an invitation from the FN Kitchens to help them prepare for FN’s holiday cookie party!
Sarah Copeland, the kitchens’ very own recipe developer, led a group of us away from our computer monitors in the interactive department and into a gingerbread and sugar cookie extravaganza in which used our keyboard-weary hands to mix, flour, roll and bake over 1000 cookies.
Along the way we learned some handy tips from the pros, like how the use of a triggered cookie scoop promises even sized cookies along with even baking times, ensuring that all of your cookies will turn out looking professionally made. Sarah also taught us cookie decorating 101, from which the most important takeaway is that with decorating, less is more.
We had a blast, and today the cookies were devoured eagerly by the staff here at FN Chelsea as a holiday gift from the Kitchens. I can’t wait for the next invite upstairs!
Warmest wishes and happy baking!
Food Network stars tell The FN Dish what’s on their holiday wish lists!
I know Thanksgiving 2008 is way over, but I can’t stop dreaming of the three new side dishes I cooked. They were so fabulous that I’m planning on making them again for Christmas.
I grew up in San Antonio and had two cousins from Austin visiting me in NYC this year, so I chose a menu that reflected the foods we loved on Turkey Day when we were kids in South Texas. When it came to the turkey itself, I admit I cheated. The big bird I bought from a local BBQ joint tasted just like my dad’s version, only no one had to get up at 4am to start smoking it over mesquite in the back yard. It paired perfectly with the two types of BBQ sauce I forced my cousins to smuggle from home, and it freed up my tiny Manhattan oven.
The sides were the real winners, though. I chose these three easy but truly tasty recipes.
Fennel Orange Cranberry Sauce from Dave Lieberman
I opted to grind my fennel seeds a bit with a mortar and pestle, but I wished I hadn’t. The rush of fennel when you bite into a seed is part of this recipe’s appeal, and the flavor works so well with turkey.
Twice Baked Potatoes from the FN Test Kitchens
I ran the cooked and scooped-out potatoes through my ricer to make the filling extra fluffy and smooth. Then I snuck in some extra butter and sour cream since my taters were jumbo-sized. I also trashed the tops and served them open-faced like my grandma always did.
Creamed Collard Greens from The Neelys
Follow the instructions and let the cream reduce by half. I got impatient/hungry, so the dish was a little too runny. Mea culpa.
Remember: We’ve got your back (and your sides) here at FN.com.
In honor of the 12 Days of Cookies, some Food Network staffers decided to bake each cookie this weekend. We’ll take pictures and put up a gallery on The FN Dish next week.
However, it would be more fun if you got in on the action as well. Send us a photo of YOUR holiday cookie and we’ll post as many as we can. If you need inspiration, try out some 12 Days of Cookies ideas or maybe an exotic, international recipe.
Send your photo to FNDish@foodnetwork.com and feel free to let us know how it went (and if they were tasty). We’re looking to receive all photos by Monday, December 8th so we can get them up.
~ The FN Cookie Monster