This summer, take your celebration to the streets: Food Network Magazine is looking for the best block parties in America. Share your block-party pics on Instagram with the tag #FNMagBlockParty! (Your account must be public.)
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what comes to mind? Beer, corned beef, cabbage, crowded bars and more beer. Kid-friendly favorites? Not so much.
This weekend, instead of forgoing a St. Paddy’s day celebration simply because you have kids in tow, tweak your celebration to make it friendlier for young party guests. The key to planning a bash that both kids and grownups will enjoy is offering a menu centered not on the mature tastes of traditional Irish delicacies like colcannon and shepherd’s pie, but rather on the signature color of the Emerald Isle: green. Let green be the theme of your dishes by getting creative with your meal choices and incorporating naturally vibrant ingredients — plus a bit of food dye — into crowd-pleasing eats and drinks. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite deliciously green recipes below, then tell us in the comments how you’ll be spending St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.
Instead of saving the party until late in the day, start the celebration in the morning with a St. Paddy’s Day brunch. A casual, relaxed get-together that’s ideal to host with other families, this simple meal is a cinch to pull off, especially when you make it a potluck so you can split cooking duties with other parents. No matter what dishes your friends bring, Paula’s Green Eggs and Ham (pictured above) will be the talk of the table: this easy scramble features fluffy eggs that are made wonderfully green with the help of a few drops of food coloring. Don’t look to green bottle to do the trick, however. It’s the blue dye that will mix with the yellow eggs and emit a green tint in seconds. Incorporate diced ham to add heft and texture to the eggs, and serve with a side of shaped buttery toast to transform this 25-minute plate into an all-in-one meal.
This past Sunday on the finale of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the two finalists, Dean and Carnie, cooked a dinner for some Hollywood VIPs including famous chefs Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin and comedian Kathy Griffin. Going into the challenge, the celebrity contestants didn’t know what food would be available, but they still managed to create dishes that epitomized their cooking philosophies and ultimately impressed the guests. It was a great opportunity for both Dean and Carnie to be cooking for such an elite group, an opportunity they might never get again.
It’s not every day that a dream dinner party takes place. It’s a rare event when you can even get your entire family together to share in a special dinner. Now imagine a dinner party where you got to serve anything and everything you desired and where you’d be joined by the people you most admire. If you’ve got the perfect dinner party in mind, FN Dish wants to know all the details.
One of the most stressful parts of planning a party is deciding how much food to buy and make. You don’t want the food to run out too quickly and have lingering hungry guests, but you also don’t want your fridge to be teeming with leftovers. We took popular summer parties — like a barbecue or a cocktail hour — and broke them down into every element to help you determine, from drinks to condiments, exactly how much of everything you need to buy for the perfect shindig.
Rules to Plan By
Each adult will consume 1 pound of food total; children, about 1/2 pound. The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet.
Guests will always eat — and drink — more at night than during the day.
Liven up a party crudité platter with a trip to the hardware store: Terra-cotta planters make great (and cheap) dip bowls. Line the inside of the pot with parchment paper, then fill with hummus and “plant” some vegetables in the dip.
(Photograph by Charles Masters)
Yeah, I know, everybody’s throwing a Super Bowl party. But on this day, I avoid the celebratory one-upmanship and stick with an easy, stress-free concept that allows me to enjoy the actual football-watching part of the big game (imagine that!).
I’m all about a sandwich bar and beer. Albeit a little spiffed up because I toast the sandwiches and serve craft beers, but straightforward enough, right?
Now I realize that, depending on your comfort level in the kitchen, “easy” and “stress-free” are relative terms. But taking this notion of sandwiches and beer and kicking it up a notch really is simple — even for the novice cook or reluctant entertainer. Honest.
The ground rules are simple: Invite a bunch of friends, tell them to bring something (ice, drinks, a side or dessert), and you provide the main course (in this case, sandwiches). Gone is the pressure of heavy-duty cooking, replaced by a focus on enjoying your pals and having a good time.
It’s holiday baking time and that means one thing: cookie exchanges. These simple soirées are hands down one of my favorite type of parties to host or attend during the holiday season. It’s a great way to get a ton of your friends together, share the holiday spirit and stock up on lots of different holiday cookies. If you’ve never hosted or been to a cookie exchange, the concept is pretty simple: Make your favorite kind of cookies, bring them to the party and give them away. In return you get a plethora of cookies from your friends that you get to turn around and take home to your family. So basically, you’re spreading a little of your holiday baking love and getting some serious love in return. I always serve some savory nibbles at these parties to make sure no one goes into a sugar coma. A cheese plate with some crackers or a dip duo with some pita chips tends to do the trick.
This year, I’m all about these Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies from Ree Drummond.
A blizzard may have hit the east coast, but it was all showers here at FN — baby showers. There are five (count them) FIVE women expecting here. To celebrate the imminent increasing of the FN family, pink and blue balloons, cuddly baby blankets and rubber duckies decorated our conference room. Of course, the stork-themed desserts stole this tablecloth’s show. Fun stuff.
We may have not had Ina’s full course meal or or Giada’s spring time shower fare but we did have an assortment of sugary treats, like home made cupcakes, courtesy of one multi talented production coordinator. Let me tell you these mommies-to-be may not perform in front of the camera, but they all have the culinary skills to do so. Take our Director of Product Management, Tracy Rubine, for example. Her cooking days are waning and energy is fading, but she did whip up this pork chop recipe the other night.
Tracy advises, “be careful not to overcook the pork” Got ya, Ms. Rubine. Another mama, Narisa Wild, our Director Website Product and Industry Development has been indulging lately in this yogurt and granola concoction from Tyler. Apparently, she has been leaning toward lighter and sweeter fare in the evening (digestion has been proving difficult due to her full tummy). Narisa also mentioned that you can do variations on this little delight – alternate fruits, dried fruits and even nuts to mix it up a bit, and says that “the yogurt can also be substituted for frozen yogurt or ice cream.” Yummy!
Well, the way I ate today, it looks as if I might be expecting. Perhaps, that will warrant a party?
My dreams of a respite from work and a day of baking were both answered on Thursday with an invitation from the FN Kitchens to help them prepare for FN’s holiday cookie party!
Sarah Copeland, the kitchens’ very own recipe developer, led a group of us away from our computer monitors in the interactive department and into a gingerbread and sugar cookie extravaganza in which used our keyboard-weary hands to mix, flour, roll and bake over 1000 cookies.
Along the way we learned some handy tips from the pros, like how the use of a triggered cookie scoop promises even sized cookies along with even baking times, ensuring that all of your cookies will turn out looking professionally made. Sarah also taught us cookie decorating 101, from which the most important takeaway is that with decorating, less is more.
We had a blast, and today the cookies were devoured eagerly by the staff here at FN Chelsea as a holiday gift from the Kitchens. I can’t wait for the next invite upstairs!
Warmest wishes and happy baking!