With just one week until game day, it’s time to get serious about your snacking situation (because we all know, the best part about the whole event is the food). Rather than call for pizza or thaw some frozen pigs in a blanket, step up your finger food game this year with fun recipes with a bit of a twist. Say, “buh-bye” to Buffalo wings and “see you later” to spinach dip: these unique bites are so much better.
Champagne, cava and prosecco all sparkle, but they’re not the same. Get to know them a little better with this handy cheat sheet.
The Champagne region in northern France
Can be toasty and dry (i.e. not sweet); available in a range of colors, from light golden to pink
A special occasion. Champagne uses high-quality grapes and takes longer to age, so it’s often the most expensive of the three. Save it for the times when you really want to celebrate.
The Catalonia region in northeast Spain
Earthier, fruitier and often less expensive than Champagne
A weekend party with friends. The crowd-pleasing flavor and budget-friendly price makes this sparkling wine great for a group. And who says you have to start the party with bubbles? Spaniards sometimes serve cava after a meal.
The Veneto region in northeast Italy
Light, crisp and apple-y; usually the sweetest and least expensive of the three sparklers
A leisurely Sunday brunch. You can sip prosecco on its own, and it also makes a great cocktail mixer. Thanks to its super-affordable price and low alcohol, bottomless mimosas can be had by all!
No matter which bubbly you choose, you can whip up a killer cocktail for your New Years Eve party. Here are some of our faves:
New Years Eve is so close we can taste it–literally! We’re planning a stellar menu of finger foods and festive eats that our guests are sure to love. These recipes are easy to make, fun to eat and, most importantly, only require one hand, leaving that other hand wide open for a cocktail or glass of bubbly. We’ll drink to that!
Between decorating the tree, crafting the perfect cocktail and making sure the roast doesn’t burn, Christmas entertaining can be stressful. One part that shouldn’t feel like a chore is making a crowd-pleasing appetizer. This introduction to your party should mimic the vibe: welcoming, easy-going and of course, delicious. And when it comes to making an appetizer that meets all three requirements on top of being a cinch to throw together, our secret weapon is store-bought puff pastry. We love it for its versatility, ease to work with and quick cooking time. These five savory (and one sweet!) puff pastry apps will make you want to have a Christmas party every day of the year!
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, and besides latkes and doughnuts, there are plenty of other dishes to get you into the festive spirit. Whether or not you celebrate, let these delicious Mediterranean and Jewish comfort foods find a place at your dinner table this week. Happy holidays!
Monday, December 7
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Make your gingerbread house look anything but cookie-cutter—even if you’re working from a store-bought kit—with tips from beth “Ginger Betty” Veneto, owner of Ginger Betty’s Bakery in Quincy, MA., and multiyear winner at the Boston Christmas Festival’s famed Gingerbread House Competition. Read on for her delicious do’s and definite don’ts.
Make a mischievous Rudolph by coating a marshmallow in melted chocolate, adding pretzels for antlers, red candy for a nose and paper-doll sunglasses for an—ahem—clever disguise. Place him so he’s peeping out from behind a tree, thanks to a lollipop stick or skewer.
Transform ice cream cones into trees (coat with green frosting, then decorate with candy ornaments or sprinkles).
Build a fence out of pretzels. You can go the straight-up rod route, as we did here, or stand a series of traditional looped pretzels upside down. Use frosting as mortar.
Pile and scatter shredded coconut for sweet snowdrifts.
Gussy up your gingerbread men (or toy figures) with fun accessories. Licorice or any other candy that comes in strips makes for a cute muffler.
Place Peppermint Pattie candies or cookies as “pavers” to form a pathway to your house.
Build on a rainy day or store your house in the fridge. Under these conditions, moisture can seep in a make the walls wilt.
Start decorating the house too soon. The frosting that holds the structural elements together should be 100 percent dry first. Every house is different, but give yours at least eight hours to set.
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While you may be busy ironing out the final details of your Thanksgiving menu, we’re already thinking about the days after: what are we going to do with all those leftovers?! The tricky part about Thanksgiving leftovers is using them in a creative and new way that requires minimal work (because let’s be honest, no one wants to cook on the days after Thanksgiving). These 6 recipes are simple, fun and require minimal extra ingredients. Your leftovers couldn’t disappear quicker!
If you’re still trying to figure out what to cook for dad this weekend, it’s easy: cook him something hearty, preferably grilled, with a ton of flavor and punch. You can never go wrong with a perfect steak or meaty sandwich, rich veggies he can sink his teeth into, and a not-too-sweet dessert to round it all out. Try some of these recipes on Sunday, and don’t forget the beer!
No offense, cooking school, but the best kitchen wisdom comes from Mom. This Mother’s Day, top chefs share their favorite advice and recipes from that one special lady.
Anne Burrell and her mom, Marlene, at home in upstate New York in 1999.