All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

Non-Pie Desserts That Will Take the Cake This Thanksgiving

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 23rd, 2014

Pineapple Upside-Down CakeApple, pumpkin and pecan pies — or a mashup of all three — are indeed no-fail options when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, but if you’re looking to dress up the feast this year with new takes on tradition, introduce a sweet cake to your after-dinner spread. Read on below for classic and creative holiday cake ideas from Trisha Yearwood, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs, then check out the complete roundup of Top Thanksgiving Cake Recipes for more turkey day inspiration.

The key to making Trisha’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (pictured above) is building the cake from the bottom up. What will eventually be the top of the cake — the sweetened pineapple and bright-red cherries — forms the base as the batter cooks in the oven; Trisha recommends letting the pan rest atop the inverted cake for minutes after flipping so the sweet syrup absorbs into the vanilla-scented batter.

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Best 5 Thanksgiving Cocktails

by in Drinks, Holidays, November 22nd, 2014

Hot ToddyNo matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.

5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.

4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.

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Food Network Favorites Share Breakfast with Local Schoolchildren

by in Food Network Chef, November 22nd, 2014

The KitchenIt’s no secret that breakfast is the most-important meal of the day, but nevertheless many children go to school hungry, having not had breakfast at home beforehand. That’s where No Kid Hungry comes in. This nonprofit organization is committed to helping end childhood hunger, and recently a few Food Network favorites teamed up with No Kid Hungry to bring a hearty breakfast to kids at school in New York City.

In the spirit of the holiday season, The Kitchen co-hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee joined Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy at East Harlem Scholars Academies to deliver deliciously nutritious breakfasts to the kindergarten and fourth-grade classrooms there. As Marc noted, “A kid cannot learn if a kid’s hungry. A kid can’t play if a kid is hungry,” which is why Alex said, “We have to really make breakfast cool.”

Get the recipe for Marc’s easy breakfast, an Asparagus and Parmesan Frittata, then check out more kid-friendly breakfasts below.

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Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips from Bobby and Friends

by in Holidays, Shows, November 22nd, 2014

Thanksgiving at Bobby'sWith just days left until Thanksgiving, Bobby Flay and a few of his Food Network friends are coming together this afternoon to host the ultimate holiday feast and share their secrets for an easy, enjoyable turkey day. Before you tune in to Thanksgiving at Bobby’s at 12|11c today to see Bobby, Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Symon cooking together in the spirit the season, check out the chefs’ top turkey day tips to help you get set for the feast. From the basics of menu holiday planning to the need for chicken stock on Thanksgiving, read on below to hear from Bobby and the cast as they reveal last-minute advice.

Tradition vs. Creativity
On a day that’s rooted in tradition, Katie admits, “people want familiarity” when it comes to the expected trimmings, like the turkey and stuffings. Bobby’s solution to trying new dishes? Add a few “surprises here and there in flavor.” Just a few ingredient swaps in the classics can offer subtle yet impressive updates in taste.

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Perfect Your Mashed Potatoes: Top Secrets for Making Fluffy Spuds

by in Holidays, November 19th, 2014

How to Make Mashed PotatoesWhile a glossy, juicy turkey may be a hallmark of Thanksgiving, for many the meal wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of mashed potatoes alongside it — and perhaps a few glugs of gravy on top. The beauty of mashed potatoes is that, unlike many stuffings and casseroles, spuds require only a few ingredients to prepare and they come together quickly. Check out Food Network’s go-to tips below to turn out your fluffiest batch of mashed potatoes yet, then visit Thanksgiving Central for the complete mashed potato how-to.

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Best 5 Ways to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 18th, 2014

Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon and Cornbread StuffingThe Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of your holiday spread and has the potential to be the most-remembered component of the feast, so when it comes to picking a recipe to help you make the bird, you want one you can trust. That’s where Food Network comes in. Stick to these classic, tried-and-true recipes to transform your turkey into a holiday showstopper — best of all, each is a can-do pick from one of your favorite chefs, like Anne Burrell, Alton Brown and Bobby Flay. Read on below to get their top turkey recipes, then visit Thanksgiving Central for more holiday inspiration.

5. Big, Brined Herby Turkey — The secret to Anne’s super-moist bird is her brining method. She lets the turkey chill in a salt water-herb bath for three days so the meat has a chance to absorb flavor before it cooks.

4. Good Eats Roast Turkey — With a 5-star rating and nearly 5,000 user reviews, Alton’s no-fail turkey is the ultimate in Thanksgiving simplicity. After brining the bird, he roasts it first at 500 degrees F so it develops a golden-brown exterior, then lowers the temperature as the meat turns moist and finishes cooking.

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POLL: The Kitchen Gets Set for the Big Game

by in Shows, November 18th, 2014

BBQ Wings with Blue Cheese ButterNo matter what team you root for or how it currently stands in the league, there’s one element of football surely every fan can get excited about: the food. From cheesy, beefy nachos to Buffalo-blanketed chicken wings and juicy grilled sausages, there’s a game-day pick to please every palate. Now that football season is in full swing, The Kitchen wants to hear from you, the fans, to learn your tastes when it comes to game-day fare.

Vote in the polls below to share your favorites.

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Giving Thanks for Turkey Suits — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 16th, 2014

There are some Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages that test a chef’s ability to think on his or her feet, make inferior ingredients shine on the plate and work with a rival under tense circumstances. Then there are sabotages that serve little purpose beyond time-wasting — but oftentimes it’s these seemingly over-the-top challenges that fans appreciate most. On tonight’s all-new Thanksgiving-themed episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, host Alton Brown introduced the latest sabotage that’s sure to be counted among the most memorable with fans: The Turkey Suit.

Like the now-infamous souffle suit from Season 3, this heavily stuffed turkeylike contraption transformed one contestant into an oversize version of himself and forced the competitor to learn to perform basic movements with superfluous padding. “I couldn’t have anybody ride on a Thanksgiving turkey float, so we made this Thanksgiving turkey float costume,” Alton explained to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s After-Show. Lucky for Simon, Alton spared him the experience of donning the getup, as Alton noted, “Poor Chef Jake sweat approximately 6 liters of sweat into that.”

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Giada’s Fried Ravioli — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 16th, 2014

Fried RavioliThe key to a successful Thanksgiving appetizer is simplicity: a fuss-free bite or two that will satisfy guests but not overfill them before the feast and, of course, be easy for the host to prepare, as he or she will likely be busy with other last-minute dinner prep. That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in. Giada De Laurentiis’ quick-fix Fried Ravioli can be ready in just 30 minutes, and they come together with just a handful of ingredients, including timesaving store-bought ravioli.

For more turkey day inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Fried Ravioli (pictured above)

Turkey, Potatoes and Pie: The Kitchen Co-Hosts’ Thanksgiving Dinner Picks, Revealed

by in Holidays, Shows, November 15th, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro and Katie LeeDark meat — but just the turkey legs. Sweet potatoes, only they must be in casserole form. Biscuits, never rolls. Pumpkin pie or apple? Both. If there’s one meal where we can get away with being a bit picky, it’s Thanksgiving; after all, everyone has their favorites when it comes to dinner trimmings. Just in time for this morning’s all-new turkey day-themed episode of The Kitchen, FN Dish checked in with each of the five co-hosts to find out what their Thanksgiving plates will look like. Read on below to hear from all five cast members and learn what they’ll be eating and drinking on Thanksgiving.

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