Tag: entertaining

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: Wake Up to Breakfast Cookies

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 16th, 2014

Breakfast CookiesI find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to plan for in entertaining. People seem to get up at different times, and coordinating a delicious treat for everyone, no matter the time they wander into the kitchen, is a never-ending struggle. Well, it was before I stumbled upon the idea for scrumptious breakfast cookies.

What makes the perfect breakfast cookie? After performing a very informal poll, I determined that people like a low-sugar cookie. They also seem to really like the addition of oatmeal. Most folks feel that cookies without oatmeal are like a regular cookie and therefore a bit to decadent for an early morning treat. As far as the addition of chocolate, it was determined that less is more. While everyone loves an ooey-gooey chocolate cookie in the afternoon, a morning cookie should utilize a hint of chocolate, so it is more of an accompanying flavor — not the star of the show.

I am sharing three recipes for breakfast cookies that are easy to make, assemble and serve. These are not your average oatmeal-and-raisin cookies. These unique flavors will delight the taste buds and are the perfect complement to all holiday entertaining.

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Holiday Party Throwback: Retro One-Bite Appetizers

by in Holidays, December 13th, 2014

Retro One-Bite AppetizersWhen it comes to easy entertaining, finger foods are the name of the game. Instead of serving tired been-there-done-that hors d’oeuvres at your holiday party, revamp your menu with festive throwback bites. Though they’re each small in size, these appetizers bring big flavors and breathe new life into retro recipes.

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DIY Holiday Gift-Wrapping Ideas

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2014

By Camille Styles, photography by Molly Winters

When gifting presents to friends, family and coworkers, the act of wrapping each individual package can be tedious, to say the least. But for me, gift-wrapping is the highlight of the season. And because no two presents are wrapped the same, each wrapping job is an opportunity to break out the crafts and challenge myself to put as much thoughtfulness into the packaging as I do the gift inside. Looking for a relaxing holiday activity to escape the madness? There’s nothing like turning on the holiday tunes and sitting down with a cup of cider to lovingly wrap each holiday gift.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Way to Entertain for the Holidays?

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 29th, 2014

Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Jeff MauroIt’s just days after Thanksgiving, and likely your calendar is already dotted with invitations for holiday parties happening from now through New Year’s. Over the course of the next month, friends, families and co-workers will come together at seasonal bashes to honor the holidays, reflect on top moments of the past and raise a glass to the year ahead. Just in time for these upcoming events, the cast of The Kitchen kicked off the holidays with good-to-know party tips and crowd-pleasing recipes, including potluck-perfect dishes and slow-cooker showstoppers.

FN Dish wants to know, as you get set for a December full of holiday happenings, what kind of parties are you most looking forward to hosting? Do you prefer to throw casual potlucks and open-house-style gatherings, or do you like formal dinners and cocktail parties? Do you count down the days until your annual gift-wrapping event, or are you most excited about a cookie-swap extravaganza?

Cast your vote in the poll below to share your favorite way to entertain during the holidays.

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Food Network Stars’ Thanksgiving Traditions

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, November 20th, 2014

Wondering what your favorite chefs have up their sleeves (and in their ovens) for next Thursday? We caught up with more than a dozen Food Network stars about their unique Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends. Bobby hosts a themed Thanksgiving for 50, Alex does double-dinner duty and Guy likens his epic outdoor feast to “a shotgun wedding”. Read on and check out the full gallery for all the tasty details.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 12th, 2014

Wine Bottle CandleholdersWith less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, you have likely ordered your turkey by now and are beginning to craft the rest of your menu. But as you plan for the feast, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ll need to host the holiday at home beyond a bird and pumpkin pie, like table-setting inspiration, seasonal decor, and timesaving tools and tricks that will make meal prep easier. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five entertaining guides and learn how much food to shop for depending on your guest list, plus simple tablescape ideas and nice-to-have gadgets to make cooking a cinch.

5. 20-Second Place Setting — All it takes is a few seconds and classically finished flatware to create an elegant place at the table. Make your guests feel extra special by gifting them personalized name cards at their set spots.

4. DIY Kids’ Table — Let your little ones put the finishing touches on the kids’ table with paper placemats they can color, handmade pinecone crafts and a quick-fix apple dessert.

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How to Host a Cardboard & Kraft Paper Birthday Party

by in Entertaining, September 3rd, 2014

How to Host a Cardboard and Kraft Paper Birthday Partyby Camille Styles, photography by Melanie Grizzel

Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and by basing the party around a cookie-decorating activity, so kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.

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How to Brighten Up Your Summer Party Punch

by in How-to, View All Posts, August 14th, 2014

Here’s a fun (and probably healthier) way to use mini doughnut molds. To get through these dog days of August, make pretty individual ice rings to cool down and brighten up glasses of punch at summer parties. Read more

5 Make-Ahead Desserts for Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, August 13th, 2014

Amid getting meats prepped for the grill and making sure cold cocktails are readily available, the last thing you want to worry about while entertaining in the summer is a big, fancy dessert. And to be honest, after all those cocktails, no one is going to fully appreciate that spun-sugar garnish you spent three hours on anyway. So keep things simple. And nothing is simpler than a sweet treat you can make ahead of time and pop in the freezer until it’s time to serve. These recipes utilize bold flavors that hold up well in the icebox, so you and your guests can indulge while keeping cool.

Frozen Key Lime Pie
Ah, what a classic. Summer is the peak of lime season, so this is a great way to showcase the freshest citrus of the year. A graham cracker crust is the perfect bed for the creamy lime filling, adding a bit of sweetness to balance all of the flavors. It takes just 25 minutes to prep and bake, then pop it in the freezer overnight. Plus, think about how much easier it is to divvy up and serve a pie that’s frozen rather than falling all over the place.
key lime

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A One-Stop Guide to Easy Summer Entertaining

by in Entertaining, July 12th, 2014

Easy Tabletop Ideas for Summer PartiesFrom afternoon pool parties to late nights spent gathered around the fire pit, summer’s all about alfresco entertaining. But between planning the menu, deciding how much food to purchase for your guests and setting the table — not to mention cooking the food — seasonal bashes can quickly become overwhelming for the host. Thanks to Food Network’s Grilling Central, however, and go-to entertaining resources like a party calculator, tabletop tips and crowd-pleasing recipes, you’ll be guaranteed to pull off effortless and enjoyable soirees all summer long.

The key to easy entertaining is preparedness, and whether you’re hosting a few relatives or the whole neighborhood, it’s best to have plans for the days ahead of the bash and for the gathering itself. Once you’ve picked out your recipes, it’s time to shop for them. How much food to buy depends on what you’ll be serving. Check out this easy-to-follow party calculator to learn what to expect in terms of how your guests will approach the food and drinks.

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