Tag: holidays

The Christmas Meal: What’s Your Family’s Tradition?

by in Family, Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Holiday Dinner PartyThere’s no doubt about it that turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving. Maybe this year your family ate something other than turkey, like ham, but the bird really does symbolize the holiday no matter how you look at it. But what about Christmas? Is there a food symbolic of Christmas? Not really. Everyone does something different; maybe that’s what is so special about the holiday.

FN Dish wants to know, what do you traditionally serve up around the holidays? Do you repeat the same turkey menu from Thanksgiving? Do you do a British-style prime rib with Yorkshire pudding? Or a Southern glazed ham with biscuits? Or a crown roast of pork or lamb? Every family has its special Christmas meal. What’s yours?

VOTE and tell us what you make on Christmas

Set the Scene: Easy Holiday Table Centerpieces

by in Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Rosemary Christmas TreesOften when hosting holiday parties, so much thought goes into ensuring that the food for each and every course is as perfect as it can be that other aspects of entertaining, like home decoration, fall by the wayside, trumped by other, seemingly more-pressing concerns. This year, no matter how casual or elegant your get-together is, set the scene with seasonal centerpieces made from accessible, everyday products, like candles, flowers and fresh fruit. Food Network’s collection of easy holiday centerpieces features 11 must-see designs that aren’t just easy to recreate in your home, but also classic ideas that can be adapted or added upon, depending on your personal taste. Check out a few of our favorite settings below, then browse the entire centerpiece guide to find welcoming scenes to complete your sit-down dinner table, plus kitchen island countertop, buffet and coffee table.

Let seasonal herbs star in more than just your holiday roast by using fragrant varieties as the focal point of your table. The rosemary trees pictured above are light, inexpensive, and add a pop of freshness to the warm indoors. For the containers, use any small pots you have on hand. The metal vessels pictured above are quite elegant, but if you happen to have terra-cotta pots left over from spring and summer planting, put them to work here.

Keep reading for more easy ideas

Ornaments You Can Eat: Cookies to Decorate Your Christmas Tree

by in Recipes, December 16th, 2012

Stained Glass Cookie OrnamentsGingerbread houses aren’t the only way to decorate with cookies around holiday time. Classic cut-out cookies make quite handsome ornaments. But what makes them even better than other handmade ornaments — like paper stars or pipe cleaner snowflakes — is that you can eat them (best the same day you bake them, of course). So if you’re bored of the same old decorations every year, why not try baking your own ornaments? Your only limitation is your imagination — or the size of your cookie cutter collection.

These Stained Glass Wreath Cookies make the perfect hanging ornament for your tree. The recipe from Sandra Lee uses store-bought sugar cookie dough to make it even easier. The colorful centers are created using hard candies that melt in the oven to replicate the look of stained glass. For an extra dazzling touch, use icing to affix silver dragees. Whatever you do, don’t forget to cut a hole at the top of each cookie using a large straw after they come out of the oven. It will make hanging them much easier.

How to Build Your Own Gingerbread House

by in Holidays, December 14th, 2012

Gingerbread HouseWith the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, it can be tempting to take shortcuts for the sake of simplicity. This year, we’re all about doing whatever it takes to make this holiday your easiest, best one yet, but when it comes to building your own gingerbread house, you can skip the store-bought, pre-assembled kit and create your own one from scratch in flash. Believe it not, the gingerbread house pictured above comes together in just 1 hour and 30 minutes thanks to a fuss-free recipe with clear, step-by-step instructions. Learn the basics of making gingerbread houses below, assemble and decorate this simple, seasonal structure with your family, then post a picture of the finished product to Food Network’s Facebook timeline.

Chill Out
The beauty of this gingerbread dough in particular is that it can be made entirely in one bowl. After creating a stiff mixture of wet and dry ingredients, however, it’s important that the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. This will make it less tacky and far easier for you to roll out.

Measure twice, cut once

Ree Drummond’s Favorite Christmas Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 13th, 2012

Ree Drummond's Favorite Christmas Cookies
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Kids — and kids at heart — will appreciate the bright color and seasonal whimsy of these decorated star-shaped bites. Although the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is similar to that of traditional sugar cookies, it boasts one secret ingredient: grated citrus zest, either orange or lemon. Just a half teaspoon of this refreshing flavor is all it takes to transform Ree’s cookies into light, scented treats. Before baking, Ree tops cutout dough with a brush of colored egg-yolk glaze, and later finishes the cooled cookies with snow-white powdered-sugar icing.

Get Ree’s Favorite Christmas Cookies 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.

Show us your best cookie creations

Jamie Deen’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 12th, 2012

Jamie Deen's Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, Jamie’s turbinado sugar-topped cookies are made with molasses and a blend of seasonal spices like ground ginger, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to guarantee that they turn out as wonderfully fragrant as they do deliciously sweet. This top-rated recipe can be made entirely in one bowl, and since the cookies only need to bake for 9 to 11 minutes, they’re a go-to pick for a last-minute dessert. If you’ve never baked with turbinado sugar before, know that you should be able to find it at most grocery stores; it’s a kind of raw cane sugar that’s crystallized and off-white in color.

Get Jamie’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies 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.

Get recipes for past cookies

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Coconut Balls — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 2012

Alton Brown's Chocolate Coconut Balls
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

If you’re a novice baker or simply don’t have the time or energy to heat the oven and bake up cookies, Alton’s chocolate-coconut candies are a holiday treat to savor. These no-cook beauties are made with only six ingredients, and it takes just minutes to press the deliciously rich, sweet combination of crunchy macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and thick condensed milk into balls. The rest of the time it takes to finish the candies is largely hands-off; just wait for the balls to set, either quickly in the refrigerator or more slowly at room temperature, then dunk the clusters in a glossy pool of melted semisweet chocolate and let them dry before digging in.

Get Alton’s Coconut Balls 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.

Host your best cookie swap yet

Geoffrey Zakarian’s Vanilla Crescents — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2012

Geoffrey Zakarian's Vanilla Crescents
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Just because this recipe was created by an Iron Chef doesn’t mean it’s going to involve oddball ingredients or a crazy-difficult cooking process. In fact, these light, vanilla-scented cookies are made with just eight ingredients, and you don’t even need a cookie cutter to shape them. After mixing together flour, butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla, roll the cookies into a long log and chill before cutting and rolling the dough into two-bite crescents. If you’re a first-time crescent-shaper or are baking with little ones who are, don’t worry if your moons look more like stars, spaceships or the sun — they’ll surely be deliciously sweet anyway.

Get Geoffrey’s Vanilla Crescents 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.

Read more

Buy the Book: 17 Cookbooks for Everyone on Your Shopping List

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2012

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina GartenThis 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.

Read on to find a few of our cookbook suggestions, then check out Food Network’s entire Cookbook Gift Guide to get all 17 of the sweet and savory cookbooks in our collection.

Keep reading

Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
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 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.

Get more cookie inspiration