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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Hump Day Snack: Christmas Tree Pancakes

It’s a little known fact that pancakes are the most versatile breakfast food around. To prove it, serve up this towering stack of tree-shaped pancakes at the Christmas morning breakfast table and wait for the applause to start. Part of a blog called The Pancake Project, this edible Christmas tree is assembled with the help of a squeeze bottle filled with batter, which allows for artful pancake shaping on a griddle. The owner of the blog has experimented with endless pancake colors and shapes, creating realistic 3D replicas of foods, animals and well-known artworks with just a squeeze bottle and a little food coloring. Test your own pancake prowess by griddling up this fluffy and festive stack and get inspired with some of Cooking Channel’s holiday-worthy pancake recipes:

Ho, Ho, How to Stay in Shape with Holiday Food Around

If you know me, you already know that I take some serious pride in my guns. Yup, those four days a week in the gym aren’t wasted on being modest and they certainly aren’t being traded in for guilty pleasures over the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be having second servings and festive cocktails like it’s my job, but there are some easy ways to make sure you’re not feeling like a stuffed turkey come New Year’s Day.

Make Healthy Food and You’ll Eat Healthy Food
Yes, Thanksgiving gravy, Christmas cookies and Valentine’s Day chocolate are all wonderful things, but it’s the buffets — guilt-filled family dinners and colleague pot lucks — that really have you bursting at the seams. Understanding that moderation is the key will make sure your plate isn’t filled solely with the naughty stuff. My trick is to cook up something wicked good and healthy! Try a vegetarian or vegan side dish that won’t put off your meat-loving folks, but compliment the other heavy foods on the table. Then, be sure to have a good helping of that and smaller helpings of the rich stuff. It’s not about deprivation, or compromising on flavor and the fun of holiday pizazz (your veggie chili can be served in a snowman bowl, too). And remember, drinks are full of the same evil carbs and calories as food. Treat them like treats, and you might even avoid some embarrassing confessional conversations with your boss.

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Sifted: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes For Your Holiday Party

Christmas Tree Cupcakes by Just a Taste

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Looking for a jaw-dropping dessert to showcase? Just a Taste’s Christmas tree chocolate cupcakes double as both decoration and tasty treat.
  2. To get the party started, serve Shutterbean’s candy cane vodka and toast to the Christmas season.
  3. These apple cider caramels by Pixelated Crumb will not disappoint. Give them out to friends and neighbors, or just keep the whole stash for yourself — we wouldn’t blame you.
  4. Boozy foods: A Cozy Kitchen’s dark and stormy quick bread comes together in a flash and captures the irresistible flavors of the cocktail: spicy ginger, zesty lime and rich dark rum.
  5. Amp up your appetizers and make Soup Addict’s recipe for fried deviled eggs. This one is on our must-try list.

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A Fried Christmastime Treat: Bunuelos

I love the look of Bunuelos — the treat is so enticing with their perfectly round shape. They are a Christmastime favorite in Columbia, where the fried yeast balls are stuffed with a white salty cheese and are more savory than sweet. The dish is traditionally served with natilla, a custard-like dessert that is very similar to flan, and with ‘manjar blanco’ for a Christmas trifecta.

Columbian Natilla (the ‘s’ gets dropped in Columbia) differs from the natilla in other countries since they don’t use eggs. This dish gets served chilled and is the perfect accompaniment to a crunchy, salty bunuelo.

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Thirsty Thursday: Raise Your Glass to Alton’s Eggnog

To me, the hallmark of a good holiday party is eggnog. Sweet, rich, and indulgent — the Christmas season really wouldn’t be complete without a healthy portion of this requisite libation. If the cloyingly sweet and thick store-bought stuff, spiked with nothing but too much nutmeg, has left you jaded, Alton Brown’s homemade version will convert you to an eggnog believer.

This simple and traditional Christmastime concoction is made with milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar, and is spiked with smoky bourbon and dark rum. It’s enriched with whipped egg whites for a frothy texture, and has a a hint of freshly grated nutmeg for a warm undertone. It’ll leave you wondering why you ever settled for the store-bought alternative.

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Sifted: Christmas Doughnuts, Fool Proof Dinner + More

  1. These Christmas wreath doughnuts by Leanne Bakes are just as pleasing on your taste buds as they are on the eyes.
  2. Sippity Sup says you can’t screw up braised short ribs. So go ahead and test that theory with his recipe for Cabernet braised short ribs with swiss chard and orecchiette.
  3. If you love nutella, we’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll be a fan of The Chocolate Hog’s hazelnut hot chocolate.
  4. Know what you’re making for Christmas dinner, but not for supper tonight? This skillet baked ziti by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures is easy to whip together and absolutely delicious.
  5. A Couple Cooks’ recipe for peppermint ice cream and hot chocolate affogato is a wintry delight perfect for the holiday season.

Craving more?

  • Two holiday beverages combine to make the ultimate treat in homemade eggnog white hot chocolate.
  • There’s a lot of focus on cookies and party food right now, but if pancakes and waffles are more your thing, we’ve got you covered for holiday brunch, too.

A Danish Dessert: Æbleskivers

If you were to cross a pancake with a popover, you’d get an Æbleskiver. I love eating these traditional Danish pancakes —  they aren’t too sweet, have a fluffy texture and are usually served with a variety of jams. I think they would make the perfect breakfast food, served with hot chocolate or coffee. In Denmark, though, they are usually enjoyed around Christmastime paired with glogg, a Scandinavian mulled wine.

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The Gift of Giving

This post was going to be your run-of-the-mill gift guide.  All week, I’d been thinking of things you could get your food-iac friends and family.

And then, I sat down to write it.  I started and erased it three times.

Why was I having such a hard time writing such a simple post?

It might have something to do with a video I watched the other day of people waiting to get into a Victoria’s Secret once it opened on Black Friday.  The crowd brayed and yelled, pushing and elbowing their neighbours even though there was nowhere to go. Their nostrils flared, their eyes wide with a combination of fear and delight; it looked like a mosh pit, or dare I say it: a herd of cattle.  But that wasn’t what got me.

It was the look on the employees’ faces.

They were scared.  And I think it is no exaggeration to say that I think they were actually scared for their lives, because once the doors opened, they knew that flood of people would knock them over, stomp on them, hurt them, yell at them — all in the name of saving a few dollars for a present for someone they ostensibly really care about.

Have we possibly gotten away from the importance of this season, y’all?

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‘Twas the Night Before…A Two Fat Ladies Marathon!

Tomorrow, after all the presents are unwrapped, and the only sign of your delicious brunch are the pans piled high in the sink, how will you and your family spend Christmas Day? Here at Cooking Channel, we will be watching the Two Fat Ladies marathon. That’s right — to fill the void between meals, we’re serving up seven straight hours of Two Fat Ladies goodness — culminating in their Christmas Special and Caribbean Christmas.

For fans, we know this offering is nothing short of a Christmas miracle, but for newbies, we’ve gathered up 5 need-to-know facts to get you primed:

1. Two Fat Ladies aired on BBC Two from 1996 to 1999, starring Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Patterson – and last year, Cooking Channel revived this beloved series.

2. They traveled around the UK in a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle, with Patterson driving and Dickson Wright accompanying her in a sidecar.

3. They filmed everywhere from an army camp to Westminster Cathedral.

4. Both ladies were fond of cooking with high-fat ingredients like lard, butter and bacon.

5. That cheery opening sequence is sung by the Two Fat Ladies themselves!

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The White House’s Molasses Spice Cookie “Gingersnaps”

Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite celebrities, chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From Cookie Monster’s sugar cookies to Kelsey’s Peppermint Meltaways, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

Curious what President Obama and his family are eating for the holidays? After dinner, they’re definitely sampling one of White House pastry Chef Bill Yosses‘ delicious desserts. After attending cooking school at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, Chef Yosses’ first job was at La Foux d’Alose in Paris. He now works with the First Lady on her Let’s Move! initiative to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation.

His special holiday confection, Molasses Spice Cookies, are full of cinnamon, allspice and molasses — a new, delicious take on the traditional gingersnap cookie.

Get the Recipe: White House Molasses Spice Cookies

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