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Lighter Drinks, Dips and Treats for New Year’s Eve

This time of the year can be really fun for indulging, but there comes a point when you just need a break (hello, January 1st!). If you find yourself hitting that point when you still have some more festivities to attend (I’m looking at you, New Year’s Eve), then these lightened up drinks, dips and treats are for you.

Skinnier Sips
Alcohol is high in calories. Cutting down how much you drink in any given night is smart for a number of reasons, including your waistline. Try alternating between a drink and a glass of sparkling water to slow your drinking pace. And keep in mind that mixed drinks can often deliver lots of extra calories. A glass of wine is usually around 120 calories; beer can range upwards of 250 calories for higher-alcohol brews. Here are a few lower-calorie alternatives:

Spritzers (pictured above): Spritzers are a great way to curb the alcohol per drink.

Bellinis: They have more calories than spritzers, but like spritzers, they help you to drink less actual alcohol.

Alcohol-free wines have half the calories of regular vinos and they’re surprisingly delicious.

Desserts

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Lighter Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Who says appetizers have to be ultra-rich to be a hit? These lightened-up appetizers use healthy whole foods to make small bites that taste as good as they are good for you. Most of them are a cinch to make, too, so you can cut down on the stress as well as the calories.

Pecorino and Honey Dip (pictured above): This simple combination of pecorino and spiced honey hits the sweet, salty and spicy flavor points.

Spicy Roasted Olives: Give heart-healthy olives an update.

Roasted Chestnuts: A holiday classic studded with vitamin C and manganese

Porcini Bruschette with Nipitella: Mushrooms and fresh herbs top this quick and easy bruschetta.

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Cooking Channel’s Holiday Entertaining Do’s and Don’ts

Do pay attention to our chefs and hosts’ tips about getting through the holidays with as minimal stress as possible.

Cooking Channel Talents’ Do’s and Don’ts for Holiday Entertaining

Kelsey’s Top 3 Summer Entertaining Tips

Summer entertaining is my favorite kind of entertaining — it’s relaxed, laid-back and easy-breezy. I recently hosted a summer soiree to celebrate my son Oliver’s first birthday (in real life, not on Kelsey’s Essentials!). It was one of the first parties I threw this summer, and we all had a blast. No party is ever perfect, but I feel that this one was a success because I followed a few essential summer entertaining tips.

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3 Holiday Parties You Can (Still!) Pull Off This Year

Did holiday cheer find you a little late this year? Don’t fear: you can still pull off hosting a holiday party. Just choose one of these three easy themes.

Cookie Swap

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of a good cookie swap and it’s a great way to simplify your holiday baking. It’s an easy and affordable party to throw and so loved that it often becomes a tradition that you’ll want to bring back year after year.

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Let’s Have a Kiki with Cooking Channel

Let's Have a Kiki - The Scissor Sisters

Let Cooking Channel help you throw a Kiki to remember.

Some of you undoubtedly have heard the Scissor Sisters‘ viral dance anthem, “Let’s Have a Kiki.” The song chronicles a girl’s night out gone terribly wrong – torrential rain, no cabs, and to top it all off — police busting up the party. Frizzy hair, runny mascara, having to take the subway, and the NYPD: What could be worse? The only thing that could save this night is a Kiki: the ultimate after party.

We love (a can’t-stop-playing kind of love) this song.  So after endless repeats, we decided to riff off of our Party in Five series and see what it would take to throw the Kiki of our (wildest) dreams.

Party in Five: Let’s Throw a Kiki 

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How to Host a Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil

It seems every part of the country has its own unique type of seafood extravaganza, whether it’s a Low Country boil in Charleston, a clambake in Maine, or a crawfish boil down in New Orleans.  I’ve been to quite a few in my day, but this year it was high time I hosted my own.

Crawfish season, which usually runs from late April through June and sometimes into July, just so happened to coincide with my boyfriend’s birthday. As if I needed another excuse to celebrate!

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High-Scoring Basketball Apps for March Madness

Emeril's Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings are the perfect game-day bite.

Mid March has come, and part of all the madness is figuring out what to munch on during the games. Serve up a pile of Emeril’s Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings and your friends will be licking their fingers in no time, but maybe it’s nachos that you’re craving, or chili…

Decisions, decisions, decisions… So many good game foods, and so little time. Let’s mull over some tasty options, after the jump.

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Spend the Holidays with Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has the tips, tricks and twists for a perfect, stress-free holiday.

Jamie Oliver has opened his house and home to Cooking Channel for the holidays and we couldn’t refuse the invitation. We’re serving up an entire month of Jamie as he cooks, parties, entertains and celebrates his way through the season…

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Matt Entertains: Queso Fundido

Queso-Fundido-Matt-Armendariz-588

Matt Armendariz's Queso Fundido

Two words: melted cheese. That intersection of cheesy, oozy meltability and crunchy toasted corners can throw us over the edge and for good reason. It’s what can make or break a great slice of pizza. It’s what we enjoy most about grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s what makes saganaki and haloumi so fun to eat. And where I grew up queso fundido is about as delicious and indulgent as you can get.

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