Tag: Holiday

6 Ways to Save Money at the Supermarket This Holiday Season

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 20th, 2015

Potato-Bacon TorteHolidays mean family gatherings, gifts and meals together. And those things cost money. But the holidays shouldn’t be about overspending, so I leave you with my last post of 2015: six money-saving tips for the holidays.

1. Comparison-shop, even if you don’t usually think it’s worth it. Stores really go all out with “loss leaders” (advertised super-low prices on a few key items designed to get you in the door) during the holidays. Shopping at multiple stores may lead to your getting the absolutely bottom price, but you always have to balance the hidden costs (gas, time) of visiting multiple markets (which is why most of the year, it probably isn’t worth visiting three supermarkets). If you are hosting a big group for a holiday, spend a few minutes to compare stores’ flyers that come in the mail (or check online) to decide if an extra trip to another store is worth it. The larger the crowd, the more likely it is.

2. Buy gift cards — for yourself! Some major grocery stores promote their gift cards around the holidays with a bonus offer. For instance, you buy a $100 grocery store gift card and you get a $10 or $20 bonus card. Usually, the more you buy, the higher the bonus. Nothing is stopping you from using those gift cards to buy your groceries or holiday gifts, and using those bonus dollars yourself. Read more

Farmer Lee Jones’ 11 Favorite Flavors of the Holiday Season

by in Holidays, In Season, December 19th, 2015

Fall RadishPerpetually clad in his trademark overalls, white shirt and a red bowtie, Farmer Lee Jones is the iconic figure of his family’s 300-acre sustainable farm in Huron, Ohio. He, his father, Bob Jones Sr., and his brother, Bob Jones Jr., lead the team at The Chef’s Garden in pioneering the sustainable agricultural movement. The farm grows the best-tasting and most-nutritious specialty vegetables, herbs and micro greens in the world. The family lives by a commitment to produce food that looks good, tastes good and is good for you. Hear from Farmer Lee below about what farm-fresh ingredients he craves during the holiday season.

By Farmer Lee Jones

Fall Radish (pictured above): This is mild, slightly peppery with some sweet notes.

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6 Genius Ways to Use Up Candy Canes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 18th, 2015

Molten Chocolate Cake with Crushed Candy CanesBuying out the convenience store’s stock of candy canes in bulk might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but odds are you’ll have more of the striped sweets than you know what to do with. Use your surplus of the seasonal candies to add a minty crunch and festive color to your favorite holiday treats.

Give homemade cakes a fallen-snow effect (and a minty crunch) by sprinkling crushed candy canes over the top. Anne Burrell’s Molten Chocolate Cake with Crushed Candy Canes may look tricky to pull off, but it’s actually quite easy to achieve the chocolate-oozing center.

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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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8 Ways to Eat Gingerbread on Christmas

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 18th, 2015

Classic gingerbread inspires endless variations of delicious, decorative treats that go way beyond simple cut-out cookies — although we love those, too. From soft, moist loaf cake to sturdy homes made out of spicy gingerbread, here are just eight of the ways you can incorporate this timeless dessert into your Christmas feast.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread (pictured at top)
Ina Garten’s gingerbread just smells like the holidays, with its mix of spices, crystallized ginger and raisins. Try putting a dollop of rum whipped cream on top to take this treat over the top.

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Spike It: Boozy Frozen Peppermint Hot Chocolate

by in Drinks, Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015

Spike It: Boozy Frozen Peppermint Hot ChocolateWords cannot explain just how excited I get about hot chocolate season. I’d never been a huge fan of hot beverages until recently, when I fell down the coffee hole fast and hard. But I always could get down with hot chocolate. And it had to be chocolate — not cocoa. Cocoa could work in a pinch, and I vividly remember drinking it from the packets on freezing cold days after playing in the snow with my brothers for hours on end. But the chocolate. Like sipping chocolate … that’s what dreams are made of.

It all started with Serendipity 3 in New York City, and if I’m being real, then it actually started with the movie Serendipity. I was completely fascinated by the adorable boutique-y cafe in the movie that served what only appeared to be ridiculous frozen hot chocolate.

 

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5 Indulgent Side Dishes to Deck Your Holiday Table — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015

Individual Potato GratinsRiding the coattails of Thanksgiving, the side dishes decking your holiday table are just as important as the main dishes. Sitting beside an expertly crafted rib roast or a glazed spiral ham, these indulgent, holiday-worthy side acts are as sure-to-please as it gets.

If your family is all about a creamy, indulgent side dish over the holidays (or, let’s be honest, any time), Melissa d’Arabian’s Individual Potato Gratins make it easier than ever to enjoy one. Layer sliced potatoes, Swiss cheese and chopped green onions into muffin cups, then give each one a splash of cream before baking to creamy perfection.

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Behind the Scenes: Food Network Kitchen’s Gingerbread House

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, December 17th, 2015

The Secret Roof CompartmentIn case you missed it, last week FoodNetwork.com and HGTV.com came together in the Scripps Lifestyle Studios to host the ultimate live holiday cookie party on Facebook (watch the three segments here, here and here). Justin Warner hosted the event, and I had the pleasure of nerding out with him and Michelle Buffardi, from FoodNetwork.com, on chocolate chip cookie recipes.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the unveiling of the gingerbread house that recipe developer Melissa Gaman and FoodNetwork.com’s Eric Kim (with special help from Mory Thomas and Miriam Garron) worked on ALL DAY! Viewers had a ton of questions about the construction of the house, so here are some of their building tips:

The Secret Roof Compartment (pictured above): Melissa cleverly turned our house into a surprise cookie jar. Here’s how she did it: She cut one of the roof sides into two pieces and “glued” the bottom piece, with royal icing, onto the house. The removable piece simply sat on top without needing to be affixed to the house. Then the whole roof was decorated in almond shingles that covered the seam to the secret panel!

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Reporting Live from Santa’s Lap — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 16th, 2015

In a ball pit, strapped to a life-size rotisserie, high atop a high chair, on top of a mechanical bull — the Cutthroat Kitchen After-Show has seen the judges in some downright diabolical (and downright hilarious) locales. But on tonight’s all-new installment, the scene turned a bit more seasonal when host Alton Brown and judge Jet Tila found themselves atop Santa’s lap following the Holi-Dazed and Confused holiday special.

“Alton, I’ve never felt this uncomfortable,” Jet — clad as what else but a holiday elf, of course — told Alton as the duo landed atop Santa’s lap. “Oh, we’re just getting started,” Alton joked. Not only did the guys have to work while seated, but they each had an additional sabotage to simultaneously contend with. Since Alton won the coin toss, he chose the spinning-dreidel challenge for himself — which meant that he had to keep a dreidel spinning during the whole time he was cooking — while Jet was forced to send all of his ingredients down an ice luge before working with them. “You’re, like, weighing [ingredients]?” Jet asked Alton as the host used a kitchen scale to precisely measure the components. “I won’t even be able to get sugar down the luge.” Sure enough, though, Jet as well as Alton did manage to create presentable eggnog, and even Santa was able to partake in the holiday cheer with a cup for himself.

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5 Fruitcake Recipes You’ll Actually Like

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 16th, 2015

fruitcake cookiesWhen you hear “fruitcake,” you probably envision a dry, dense cake that arrives by mail during the holidays. The fruit-filled loaf has a bad rep, and it’s time to change that. These five delicious recipes dismantle everything you thought you hated about fruitcake.

Fruitcake Cookies
“For anybody who doesn’t like fruitcake, forget it. You’ll love these,” says Ina Garten. And we believe her. Sherry-soaked fruit is infinitely more appealing when encased in buttery cookie dough with crunchy pecans and a touch of lemon.

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