Tag: Christmas

A Holiday Surprise Cake

by in Holidays, How-to, December 22nd, 2011


I don’t know about you, but I love to make people happy. I strive for that moment in presentation when you hear an audible gasp of delight and surprise.

If I could, I would spend hours in the kitchen slaving away over a special dessert, but I can’t. And I am betting your time is valuable as well.

So that is why I could not be more excited to share this cake with you. It takes less than an hour to assemble, including prep. This stunning cake is so easy to make, but it can make a huge impact on your family and friends. They will be talking about it for years to come.

Let’s put it this way, if you can play with Play-Doh, you can make this cake.

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The Evolution of Christmas Cookies — Food Network Kitchens

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, December 22nd, 2011

sugar cookies
People are, understandably, very particular about their Christmas cookies. For many, the baking of holiday cookies is a ritual and tradition passed on from generation to generation.

For the December 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine, the editors at the magazine decided on a red-and-green cookie story. We in the test kitchens immediately got excited and started spurting out cookie-coloring ideas (doing our best to avoid the expected royal icing with food coloring): “green tea,” “dried cranberries” and “pistachios.”

By the next day, we were churning out colorful, delicious cookies. We made green mint-swirled meringues, lime buttons, dried cranberry butter cookies, green tea shortbreads and pistachio sables. But as the days progressed, we began to notice the cookies, although beautiful on their own, were not beautiful as a collection.

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Snowman Cheese Ball

by in Holidays, View All Posts, December 24th, 2010
Frosty the Cheese Ball

‘Tis the season for last-minute appetizers. Here’s one to be merry about; it’s easy, cheesy and doubles as table decor. It’s a cheese ball . . . snowman. Learn how you can make one in minutes. Read more

Melted Ice Cream Is Your Friend

by in Holidays, December 23rd, 2010
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

Dressed-Up Punch

by in Holidays, December 21st, 2010
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

Easy Holiday Drink: Winter Slushes

by in Holidays, December 20th, 2010
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

Gingerbread Fashion Show

by in Holidays, December 13th, 2010
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

317 days to go….

by in View All Posts, February 17th, 2009

Christmas_Decorations

‘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.

Baking with the Pros

by in View All Posts, December 24th, 2008


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!

SarahInstructingSarah 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!
Allison Dunmire
Interactive Video

Star Wish Lists!

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, December 22nd, 2008

Food Network stars tell The FN Dish what’s on their holiday wish lists!