This holiday season, as you’re scouring the stores in search of a gift to please that cousin, brother or mother-in-law who’s returned every present you’ve ever bought them, look to a carefully chosen cookbook to finally ensure gift-giving success. There’s indeed a cookbook for every kind of eater and cook, even kitchen novices, so it’s important to consider the recipient when you’re shopping for cookbooks. Is she an entertaining guru with a flair for the fancy, or an elementary but determined baker? Does he prefer healthful, balanced meals to richly indulgent ones, or is he passionate about all things offal? Food Network’s Cookbook Gift Guide features cookbooks to impress all of them. We’ve rounded up 17 of our favorite new and noteworthy cookbooks written by Food Network chefs, famed food stars and prominent home cooks alike to help you find the best possible gift for everyone on your list.
It’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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.
Rich, decadent and deliciously fudgy, this top-rated cheesecake boast three layers of chocolate goodness: a chocolate-cookie crust, bittersweet-chocolate filling and semisweet-chocolate glaze. If you’re used to relying on store-bought pie or cookie crusts to save time in the kitchen, try making this recipe at home. It comes together with just five ingredients and can be made entirely in the food processor. These peppermint-topped beauties need to chill overnight before you enjoy them, so plan ahead if preparing the bars for a party — or Santa.
Get the recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars 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.
It’s no surprise that between shopping for dinner parties, holiday open houses, tree trimmings, decorations and, of course, presents, it can be easy to rack up a hefty spending bill as you celebrate the season of giving. This year, as you shop for close family members, distant relatives and relative strangers alike, let Food Network’s holiday gift guides rescue your wallet from the seasonal pinch. You’ve heard it before: It’s not the amount of money you spend on a gift but the thought you put into it that counts. Food Network’s collection of both quirky and classic items makes it easy to find presents that are both inexpensive and full of heart for everyone on your list. Check out a few of our favorite gifts below, then browse our entire collection of goodies in our gift guides, organized into two price increments: those less than $20 and those less than $50. Tell us in the comments below: What’s the best, most inexpensive gift you’ve ever given?
Nothing brings people together around the holidays quite like good food and drinks. Whether you’re hosting a Saturday night cocktail party, an after-work soiree or a casual get-together with your friends, a few festive cocktails, bite-sized snacks and good cheer are all you need to ensure your gathering goes off without a hitch. Food Network Magazine caught up with Chopped host Ted Allen and asked him what makes his Holiday Happy Hour such a success.
Instead of sweating it out over the stove, Ted suggests making simple dishes that can be cooked in the oven instead. “And serve a few dishes that work at room temperature. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time eating and drinking with your friends,” he says. As for drinks, Ted prefers crimson-colored Due Campari Nuovo cocktails from Food Network Magazine, complete with bubbly prosecco and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
‘Tis the season for last-minute appetizers. Here’s one to be merry about; it’s easy, cheesy and doubles as table decor. It’s a cheese ball . . . snowman. Learn how you can make one in minutes. Read more
Reading through Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks booklet, you’ll notice a couple of recipes that call for melted ice cream. Homemade eggnog usually requires making a custard, which isn’t difficult to do, but takes time and makes a lot of cooks nervous. Melting a good-quality ice cream is a great time-saving technique that can give you the same rich, luscious end-product as making custard from scratch. In the booklet, you’ll find a French Vanilla Eggnog (recipe #16), but with the same combination of liqueurs, you could easily replace the French vanilla ice cream with coffee or chocolate ice cream. And with a little tweaking, such as replacing the crème de cacao with amaretto, you could push the limits even further by using a festive, seasonal ice cream flavor like pumpkin pie. Choose a couple of your favorite ice cream flavors and see what kind of fancy eggnogs you can come up with . . . have fun with it!
Whisk 3 cups milk, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a pitcher or punch bowl; whisk in 4 ounces each brandy and rum, 2 ounces crème de cacao and 3 cups melted French vanilla ice cream.
By Andrea Albin, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
Layer sliced oranges and maraschino cherries in a 10-inch Bundt pan. Cover with 3 to 4 cups of water and freeze until completely set. Run cold water over the Bundt pan to help release the ice ring. Place in the bottom of your serving bowl and top with punch.
If you’re serving adults, stir in some bourbon, gin or vodka for a spiked refreshment (they’ll still love the ice ring!).
Mix 5 cups ginger ale, 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 cup grenadine in a punch bowl. Add sliced oranges and maraschino cherries. Serve over ice.
By Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
I knew that I was finally an adult when my mother let me have my first Brandy Slushie (#47 in Food Network Magazine’s 50 Holiday Drinks booklet) at our annual holiday party one year. I tried to recreate this recipe from memory for the booklet, and when I gave my mom a copy of the magazine, she approved, but said that something was missing. It turns out that all those years she had boiled her water and sugar with a secret bag of green tea! The difference with the tea is subtle; either way the slushes are yummy. Experiment with your favorite tea and start a family tradition.
Bring 1 cup each water and sugar to a boil; cool completely. Mix with 1-1/2 cups brandy, 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a baking dish; freeze until slushy. Scoop into glasses, top with seltzer and stir to desired slushiness.
By Leah Brickley, Recipe Tester, Food Network Kitchens
How can you look at this adorably clever illustration without smiling? Of course it’s for peppermint “bark.” We know the holidays are here when the tins of peppermint bark appear and we say, “The more the merrier.” Artist Christine Hale of Barre, Vermont, has such a sweet way of presenting the instructions, and she has even included a warning about NOT feeding this to dogs–even if they bark nicely. Christine’s website is full of so many awesome illustrations. Be prepared to stay there for awhile. And she is also an amazing musician–we’ve been listening to her band’s latest music all day. Wow, er, we mean WOOF! (And, yes, we noticed the tiny little chocolate chip under the pup’s tail. Hee-hee.)
See more super fun and festive holiday illustrated recipes today on They Draw and Cook and check out all of Food Network’s holiday dessert coverage.
—Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell from They Draw and Cook.