by Maria Russo in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2015
by Maria Russo in Entertaining, Holidays, November 9th, 2015
Whether 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.
by Sara Levine in Recipes, October 23rd, 2015
The 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.
by Foodlets in Entertaining, Family, September 11th, 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
by Allison Milam in Recipes, May 4th, 2015
We 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.
by Maria Russo in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, March 11th, 2015
We’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.
by Maria Russo in Entertaining, March 7th, 2015
When it comes to hosting a party at home, there are two groups of people: those who panic and those who prepare. If the mere thought of cooking for a crowd sends you into cold sweats, chances are you’re part of the first group, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes to be prepared for your next big bash is having a plan for the meal, and for that, Rachael Ray likes the bar approach.
During a live demo with her husband at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival last month, Rachael dished on what she calls “a cheap and cheerful way to entertain.” She set up a bar of fixings for her chicken fajitas, like lettuce, radishes, cheese and crema, and explained that when re-creating the meal at home, each guest could be responsible for bringing just one portion of the spread. “Everybody can participate,” she said. That means that instead of all the pressures of the party — the shopping, the cooking, the plating (and the panic) — being put on you, the host, your friends can help out by contributing to the meal. And with everyone creating their own versions of their ultimate meal, like fajitas or tacos or pizza, you can be sure that each guest will get exactly what he or she wants.
by Cameron Curtis in Holidays, December 31st, 2014
It’s party time on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, and for a very good reason: Marcela Valladolid is getting ready to welcome her second son, and the cast celebrated the occasion by gifting her with treats, presents and plenty of well wishes at a baby shower. Before they surprised Marcela, the group dished on the most-pleasing plates for a crowd, plus a few go-to party favors, like Rosemary Thyme Salt and Sunny’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce, which would surely wow your guests.
FN Dish was on the set as the cast took part in Marcela’s baby bash, and in the spirit of throwing successful parties, we asked the co-hosts to share their ultimate entertaining advice and to reveal their picks for what not to do the next time you get set to host or attend a party. Read on below to get top tips from all five chefs.
by Amanda Rettke in Entertaining, Holidays, December 16th, 2014
Welcoming 2015 means more than celebrating with canapes and bubbly. People all over the world are making sure they are eating certain foods to be lucky in the new year. From pomegranates in Turkey to sauerkraut in Germany, you might find you’re craving these international symbols of prosperity and good fortune.
Get your fill of these fruity seeds to bring abundance and fertility in the new year. Try it in: Triple-A Salad with Pomegranate Dressing.
by Allison Milam in Holidays, December 13th, 2014
I 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.
When 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.