Tag: entertaining

Win Your Big-Game Bash with 6-Foot Nachos

by in Entertaining, January 29th, 2016

No matter whether your game-day crowd is more focused on the football, the commercials or the food, this eye-popping spread of rainbow-hued nachos will steal the show. And it tastes as good as it looks. Party guests will keep coming back to try a new color block of flavor. Hit play below to watch staffers whip them up in our Food Network Kitchen, or check out our step-by-step gallery to see how easy it is to turn your table or counter into a 6-foot nacho fiesta for the big game on February 7. Read more

How to Host a Tea Party at Home

by in Entertaining, Recipes, January 28th, 2016

Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry GlazeIf you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel or watched an episode of Downton Abbey, you’ve probably already heard of “full afternoon tea.” Not to be confused with elevenses or high tea, full afternoon tea often occurs between 3 and 4 p.m., and features treats, including cakes, crustless finger sandwiches and, of course, tea. Though it is often associated with the posh hotels of London, you don’t need to travel abroad to enjoy the splendors of a British tea party. With our help, you can do that right at home.

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze
Miniature two-bite desserts, like these glazed cupcakes from Giada De Laurentiis, make a great tea party treat. Giada forgoes frosting, and instead tops her cupcakes with a sweet glaze made from frozen strawberries and powdered sugar.

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Holiday Party Recipes That Will Please Even the Kid Guests

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, December 18th, 2015

Antipasti de SalumiWhether it’s an open house, a dinner party or a family celebration, these are the top holiday recipes kids just can’t resist. From starters to mains and a dessert, too, this will be a bash the little guys will love.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Antipasti Platter
Use cookie cutters to create adorable cheese shapes to serve along with crackers, salami, olives and any other nibbles your kids enjoy.

Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
I love serving soup at an open house. It’s easy to keep warm and doesn’t mind sitting on the stove for hours at a time. And this tomato soup from the Barefoot Contessa is amazing. Roasting the tomatoes ahead of time punches up the flavor, an important step when it’s not tomato season.

Roasted Squash Stuffed with Sausage & Apples
Individual portions can be so popular with kids — especially when they look a little like flowers. This dish is practically a meal in itself, great for a day that includes lots of pre-dinner snacks and plenty of desserts.

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Relax, It’s Just a Holiday Party

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 10th, 2015

And just like that, the holidays are upon us. We see TV commercials with foyers full of people greeting and clinking wine glasses, we watch Diane Keaton movies directed by Nancy Meyers in which the kitchens look like the love children of Martha Stewart and Philip Johnson, and we start to agonize over the fact that we really, really promised ourselves that this year we would (finally) host a holiday gathering. But all those people! All that cooking! All that planning!

But we are going to entertain. And this is how’s it’s going to happen: an open house. It will not be a sit-down dinner for just a handful of friends or be a frenetic cocktail party. It will be a gentile stretch of time with people coming and going as they please. There’ll be a serve-yourself bar with an array of (mostly) room temperature food, and it’ll have a relaxed atmosphere in which people understand that the whole point was to connect for a little while, share a drink and enjoy something good to eat.

Everyone’s time is so stretched in the last months of the year. This kind of party allows people to stop by when it works for them and stay as long as they wish — and it allows you to host a lot of people in one day (i.e., knock off all those IOUs for the times you’ve been their guest) without cramming everyone into your house at once.

Check out our step-by-step guide to throwing an open house holiday party that’s as fun as it is stress-free — even for the host.

5 One-Bite Wonders You Need at Your Holiday Party — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2015

One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan CompoteWhile decking the halls and tearing open gifts are one person’s way of spreading holiday cheer, serving friends and family festive food is another’s. But when guests are juggling their mulled cider in one hand and a loaded plate in the other as they’re schmoozing their way through a holiday party, who has room for a fork and knife? If you’re welcoming guests this season, stay away from unwieldy appetizers in favor of these one-bite, hand-held appetizers that are showstoppingly elegant.

Sure, you could bake a triangle of Brie until it oozes and melts after some time in the oven, but trust us when we say this recipe is an easier, smarter approach. Instead of wrapping the whole wedge in flaky phyllo dough, serve One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan Compote in phyllo cups for a modern, mini presentation that’s easier for you to make and easier for your guests to eat.

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11 Party-Ready Recipes for All Your Holiday Get-Togethers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2015

Italian Sausage BallsWhether your holiday plans include an elegant cocktail party, a traditional seated feast, a seasonal open house or some combination of these events, the key to easy, enjoyable entertaining at any party is a go-to menu of eats and drinks. This holiday season, stick with Food Network’s best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Italian Sausage Balls
Reinvent the usual Southern appetizer with Italian flair by opting for sweet Italian sausage instead of the plain variety and pairing each baked sausage ball with classic Italian ingredients like creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil. Since these appetizers are served on toothpicks, guests will be able to easily snack with their hands.

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5 Ways to Get Your Table Ready for the Holidays

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 9th, 2015

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Decorating IdeasThe food may just be the most-important thing on your Thanksgiving table (next to your family and friends around it, of course). But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up the space to make it more seasonal and fit for the feast. Check out these easy, inexpensive ideas and good-to-know tricks to trim your table with a fall-focused spread, no matter if your plans include hosting kids or throwing an elegant celebration.

Repurpose Existing Goods
You know that wine bottle you have left over from the other night? That could be your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Save a few bottles and fill them with grains to create an easy yet impressive display.

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8 Ways to Cook with Beer

by in Recipes, October 23rd, 2015

Got extra six-packs lying around from football Sunday? Instead of drinking them (all), put some of the extra brew to use in beer-spiked recipes. These dishes are safe for the whole family to devour, because the alcohol cooks off during the cooking process. Here are eight tasty ways to cook with beer. Read more

6 Tips for Hosting Your Child’s Birthday Party Without Losing Your Mind

by in Entertaining, Family, September 11th, 2015

6 Tips for Hosting Your Child's Birthday Party Without Losing Your MindWe have four young kids and the oldest turned 6 this year. That means we’ve hosted 14 birthday parties — so far. With many, many more to go, we stick to these guidelines for fun parties without frazzled parents.

1. Invite a small number of kids. No one has fun at a party that feels like a mob. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. See above, it’s no fun. Remember that old rule about inviting as many friends as you are old? It’s perfect. Five, six or eight kids plus a parent each makes for plenty of revelers.

2. Create a simple theme or activity. Host a tea party. Or have everyone come in costume. This year our 4-year-old had a tea party where everyone wore costumes. Put together a scavenger hunt with hidden clues, a karaoke sing-along or outdoor Olympics based on simple games (like relay races, a water balloon shot put and so on). Pretend it’s 1988 and channel your mother; she put a Barbie doll in the middle of your cake and called it a day.

And by all means, put the birthday child to work. That same 6-year-old LOVED creating signs for her party, directing people where to go and telling people what to put where.

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Calling All May Babies! Birthday Treat of the Month

by in Recipes, May 4th, 2015

Bourbon and Chocolate PieWe’re big on birthdays here in the Food Network offices. It’s a time when we all preheat our ovens, pull out our mixers and bake something special for our co-workers. But that whole birthday cake thing? It’s been done. We’re here to prove that there’s more to birthdays than birthday cake — and our treats don’t need to be sweet either. Instead of agonizing over the perfect gift, remember that all a birthday boy or girl needs is a little something homemade to know how much you care.

This month we’re celebrating May birthdays with pie — a whole lot of pie. Maybe it’s because we’re creeping closer to summer (or we’re just a little pie-obsessed), but we can think of no better way to celebrate the May baby in your life than with one of these beauties. These freshly baked recipes still work as the perfect foundation for a lit candle, meaning you can keep that tradition alive with these unconventional birthday treats.

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