Tag: Holiday

7 Sweet Symbols of the Holiday Season

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 15th, 2015

Fragrant pine branches layered with ribbon and candy canes, a freshly cut yule log smoldering in the fireplace, winter-white landscapes come to life with merry snow people: These are the season’s defining emblems, and you can always rely on them to set a festive scene at your holiday party. Even better is when they’re manifested in sweet, edible form. Here are seven of winter’s familiar symbols transformed into whimsical desserts, including delicate snowflake cookies, classic French yule log cake and a tower of cupcakes fastened in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Cupcake Christmas Tree (pictured at top)
Transform basic chocolate cupcakes into a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas dessert spread by generously coating the frosted tops with green sprinkles or jimmies and fastening them onto a Styrofoam cone using toothpicks.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Edible Holiday Gifts, According to Food Gift Love’s Maggie Battista

by in Books, Holidays, December 14th, 2015

Peanut Butter BallsWith the holiday season in full swing, chances are good you’re making your list and checking it twice — and trying to figure out what to give all the important people in your life. From hostess gifts to something for your children’s teacher or your friends from book club, one thing rings true: Everyone loves a delicious holiday treat. Maggie Battista’s new book, Food Gift Love, has you covered on all edible gift fronts.

If the idea of making edible gifts is daunting for you, Food Gift Love is the book to guide you through the holiday season. (It’s also a wonderful gift if you’re not inclined to make edible gifts yourself, but you have friends who enjoy that sort of holiday cooking and baking.) The recipes are elegant and sophisticated without being fussy or difficult to produce. Each one comes together wonderfully easily, and the helpful gift-packaging advice will leave you looking like a holiday rock star with minimal effort. Battista shared her top do’s and don’ts for holiday season edible-gift making with us:

Do:

  • Host a food-gift-making party. Turn a holiday get-together into a marmalade-making session or chocolate-dipping feast. Attendees can contribute food and gift-wrap supplies. Share the expense, the work, the bounty and the holiday spirit!
  • Put a label on it. Be sure to put the name and date prepared (and, if you like, a date by which to consume it) so your recipient knows exactly how long she or he has to enjoy the edible treat this holiday season.
  • Regifting gift-wrap is OK. Save old but clean gift-wrap and reuse it for new gifts. Making use of old ribbon and paper multiplies your holiday gift decor options and lengthens their lives before they’re recycled.

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Wake Up to Holiday Cheer: The 6 Best Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 14th, 2015

Panettone Bread PuddingIf the seasonal tradition in your home calls for a wake-up-worthy breakfast or brunch on Christmas morning instead of a grand feast at dinnertime, you’re in luck, because these savory and sweet recipes will start your holiday on a hearty note. Read on below for classic picks like baked eggs as well as crowd-pleasing ham, dressed-up bacon and cornbread casseroles.

Panettone Bread Pudding
A favorite among many Italians during the holiday season, panettone is a sweet, soft-inside bread often studded with dried fruits. Here Ina Garten lets the bread sop up a rich, creamy custard laced with almond extract, so when it bakes, it’s full of moisture and flavor. For welcome crunch, she blankets the top of the bread pudding with sliced toasted almonds before it goes in the oven.

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Drinks by the Numbers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, December 13th, 2015

For this year’s December issue, Food Network Magazine took the guesswork out of figuring out how much alcohol to buy for your holiday soiree. With the handy “beverage formula,” you can easily calculate the number of drinks you’ll need. Wondering why there is an asterisk? It’s simply there to explain that guests generally consume two drinks in the first hour of a party and one drink for each additional hour. So pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy your own party.

Scroll down below for affordable champagne alternatives and festive big-batch cocktail recipes. Each of the pitcher drinks can be made in advance and serves about 16.

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Crowd-Pleasing Christmas Sides

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 13th, 2015

yorkshire puddingUnlike the Thanksgiving feast, where turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes are pretty much guaranteed year after year, the menu for Christmas dinner is more flexible and can be more fun. You get to make what your family loves most — a big old-school ham, shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, whatever — and no one will judge. But as at Thanksgiving, sides (and ideally a plethora of them) are key. To help you choose your holiday lineup, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite traditional and unconventional side dishes.

Herbed Yorkshire Pudding (pictured above)

If this year’s feast involves prime rib, you’re going to want Yorkshire pudding. Seriously, you don’t want those flavorful pan drippings to go to waste. The addition of chopped herbs to the batter is a simple but major upgrade.

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Peppermint Meringues — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 13th, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Classic snow-white meringues will add a delicate touch to any dessert spread, but these peppermint-streaked cookies are especially suited for a holiday celebration. Although you can use regular water-based food coloring, the cookie experts at Food Network Kitchen prefer gel for this recipe, because the final color is more vibrant. Here’s a clever decorating trick: Paint lines of food coloring gel up the sides of a pastry bag before filling it with meringue, and each cookie will come out striped as you pipe it. You can even use this trick with cupcake frosting.

Get Food Network Kitchen’s Peppermint Meringues recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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10 Christmas Cookies So Easy Kids Can Help Make Them

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, December 12th, 2015

Cocoa ThumbprintsI have four kids under the age of 7, so you can bet there are some Christmas cookies baking in my house — and the rascals want in on it. These are our favorite cookies for baking as a two-generation team.

Cocoa Thumbprints from Food Network Magazine
Anything that involves rolling dough into a ball, jamming your finger into it and placing candy on top is a hit with kiddie cooks.

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Dress Up Your Holiday Ham with The Kitchen’s 2 New Recipes

by in Recipes, Shows, December 12th, 2015

The KitchenUnlike Thanksgiving, when it’s all but assumed that a glistening turkey will be headlining your feast, the December holidays leave room for interpretation when it comes to the star of your table. Turkey makes repeat appearances, but we also see impressive beef rib roasts, grilled lamb, seafood and, of course, classic ham. Though many hams are sold precooked and require little more than reheating in the oven, a simple glaze can boost the flavor, as can complementary side dishes and the way you plate the meat. That’s where this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen comes in. Geoffrey Zakarian and Jeff Mauro shared creative twists on the traditional slice-and-serve ham. See what they did to dress up this seasonal staple with their recipes below.

Instead of opting for just a bit of mustard to accompany his ham, GZ offers a duo of sides to add next-level taste and texture to the dish. Similar to the traditional glaze that gets slicked across the ham, Geoffrey’s Fig Chutney boasts subtle sweetness, which he balances with the heat of a pinch of cayenne pepper and the richness of fresh red wine. To round out the meal, his Collard Salad with Walnuts, Pecorino and Mustard Vinaigrette is an easy, no-cook salad that comes together in mere minutes. If you’ve never before served collard greens raw, Geoffrey notes in his recipe, “The acid [in the vinaigrette] will break down the leaves a bit and tenderize them.”

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Magic Bars — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 12th, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

What’s the secret behind these decadent bars? With a recipe so simple and a flavor so remarkable, it can only be magic. Or maybe it’s the ooey-gooey crust, which comes together with the help of graham cracker crumbs and some sweetened condensed milk. Chopped pecans, melted chocolate and butterscotch chips complete the top layer. For texture, finish them off with some sweet shredded coconut. Other holiday partygoers will slave over complicated cookie recipes, but your 15-minute bars will be the belle of the ball. Now, that’s magical.

Get Food Network Kitchen’s Magic Bars recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Make Merry with Boozy Holiday Drinks

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 2015

Holiday Party PunchWhether you’re having a sweet-as-can-be cookie exchange, a Secret Santa party or a mix-and-mingle cocktail affair, the holidays are a time to let loose and be merry. In the spirit of the season, pour your friends and fam boozy seasonal cocktails, from eggnog martinis to steamy hot toddy swigs, that’ll warm your clan up in a jiff.

If for no other reason than sheer quantity, parties are better with punch. Serve a big batch of this crowd-ready, fizzy Holiday Party Punch, made with a blend of sparkling cider, cranberry juice, ginger ale and vodka, and let guests serve themselves from an old-fashioned punch bowl.

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