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.

Velvety Banana Cream Pie — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 19th, 2014

Banana Cream PieWhen you think of cream pie, or even dessert, you’re likely not imagining it to be healthy — but that’s exactly the case with this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ellie Krieger’s easy-to-make and velvety Banana Cream Pie (pictured above). This crowd-pleasing sweet treat boasts a buttery graham cracker crust, a two-part filling of fresh bananas and pudding, plus a simple topping of fluffy whipped cream, and best of all, it’s all surprisingly light.

For more good-for-you dessert ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

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Burger Bash 2014 Winners: Marc Murphy and Josh Capon

by in Events, October 17th, 2014

Marc MurphyWith views of the Hudson River to the west and the bright lights of the Big Apple to the east, dozens of A-list Food Network stars on hand, and the sweet summertime smell of grilled burgers wafting through the autumn air, the scene was set to kick off the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s much-anticipated Burger Bash atop Pier 92 in Midtown Manhattan. This marks the seventh-annual celebration of all things between the bun, and in true Festival fashion, there was no shortage of eats, drinks or chefs as the walk-around tasting unfolded. Once again, Rachael Ray hosted the sold-out event as fellow Food Network favorites like Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Robert Irvine joined her to show off their signature offerings, and Anne Burrell and Andrew Zimmern, among others, judged the 30 burger offerings enticing the hundreds of fans.

After hours of deliciously meaty indulgence, guests’ votes were tallied and Marc earned the judges’ pick of the night with his Lamb-Marc burger (pictured above). The first-time winner wowed the panel with a tender lamb patty and a fresh mint chimichurri on top.

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Alton Cooks the Superstar Sabotage Tournament: Pancakes

by in Recipes, Shows, October 16th, 2014

While host Alton Brown didn’t offer the chefs any pancake shortcuts during yesterday’s Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage, he’s giving one to fans in the form of his “Instant” Pancake Mix (pictured above), a go-to recipe that lets you do most of the hands-on work in advance and keeps work simple when you’re ready to cook.

Better than the boxed stuff you buy from the supermarket, Alton’s DIY mix comes together with only a few pantry staples, like flour, baking soda and salt, and, perhaps best of all, it keeps for up to three months and yields as many as three batches of pancakes. Keep it on hand for when you want a stress-free morning meal, and when you’re ready to enjoy, stir in eggs, buttermilk and butter to create the ultimate quick-fix breakfast.

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Sweet, Creamy Coffee with Toast on the Side: Donnie Wahlberg Dishes on His Morning Brew

by in News, October 16th, 2014

Donnie WahlbergAlthough a morning cup of joe is surely a way to guarantee a jolt of energy when you need it the most, for many, making and drinking coffee goes beyond the daily caffeine fix. From sipping espresso and people watching at an alfresco cafe to sharing a just-brewed batch with friends at the local diner, coming together over coffee is a tried-and-true tradition, and Keurig is out to make it easier to do that with their new Say Hello with Keurig 2.0 campaign, featuring actor and musician Donnie Wahlberg and focused on encouraging meaningful face time.

FN Dish recently caught up with Donnie, who plays a high-ranking detective on CBS’ Blue Bloods, to find out more about his morning coffee routine and to see if he’s able to resist the police-station temptation of coffee and doughnuts

If you could enjoy a cup of coffee with anyone in the world, whom would you choose?
Donnie Wahlberg: I’d probably choose the president, and I would have a real conversation with him. … Even if I don’t agree with every policy he has, I think he’d be a fascinating person to sit down with.

How do you take your cup of coffee in the morning?
DB: Decaf [with] half-and-half and two Splendas — which is awful. You shouldn’t use sweeteners, but I can’t help it.

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Can You Mix It? — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, October 15th, 2014

In true evilicious fashion, Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown has been known to not only sabotage chefs’ ingredients, but also to disrupt their means and methods of preparing and cooking them so as to guarantee the most hilariously challenging situation possible. And during tonight’s second preliminary heat of the Superstar Sabotage tournament, he proved he wasn’t about to forgo those unfavorable trials simply because of the all-stars’ celebrity status when he auctioned off mandatory — and inferior — mixing and cooking vessels during the Round 1 pancake test.

A colander and a Bundt pan took the place of two chefs’ bowls and skillets, as the chefs were doomed with sabotages that forced them to both combine all of their ingredients and cook their pancakes in those sole vessels. Given that pancakes ought to come together with both dry and liquid ingredients, would it be possible to prepare a batter in a colander, and what would happen when they tried to cook round pancakes in a fluted pan? It turns out that the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team had similar questions before these items were sold at auction, and they tested the sabotage ahead of the battle to make sure the challenge was feasible.

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Join Us at the 2014 New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 15th, 2014

2014 New York City Wine & Food FestivalAutumn may bring with it an excuse to indulge in pumpkin spice and the opportunity to dig into the occasional Halloween candy bowl, but in New York City specifically, fall means it’s time for one of the culinary industry’s most-anticipated events: the annual New York City Wine & Food Festival. 2014 marks the seventh year of the annual festival, and when it kicks off tomorrow night, your favorite Food Network stars, plus culinary and beverage experts and fans from across the country, will take over the Big Apple for four days of celebrations of all things food and drink.

FN Dish will be at the festival all weekend long with Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson, Robert Irvine, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more famous faces as they host elegant dinners, walk-around tastings and late-night bashes alike. If you can’t make it to the festival this year, stay tuned to FN Dish for our editors’ insider coverage of the events, or search the hashtag #NYCWFF on Twitter.

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Best 5 Halloween Treats

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 15th, 2014

Caramel, Chocolate and Candy ApplesEven if you hardly find yourself craving sugar during the day, it seems that nearly everyone develops a sweet tooth come Halloween time, and with only a few weeks left until Fright Night, it’s not too early to indulge in scary-good tricks and treats. From creamy chocolate to the rich flavors of caramel and the chewiness of candy corn, there are surely Halloween-inspired eats to please every palate. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five spooktacular treats from The Pioneer Woman, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and more chefs.

5. Candy Corn Popcorn Balls — With a mix of sweet and salty tastes, these candy-studded snacks are ideal for kids’ parties and adults-only bashes alike. Plus, they’re ready to eat in only 25 minutes.

4. Spiced Caramel Roulade with Ginger Cream — The secret to this comforting dessert is rolling the cake on a sugar-dusted towel, which will help the fragrant cinnamon-laced cake roll easily with a fluffy ginger filling inside.

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Enter to Win a Signature Piece of Cutthroat Kitchen Fan Gear

by in Contests, Shows, October 14th, 2014

Cutthroat Kitchen GiveawayFor the first time ever, this fall 16 of your favorite A-list chefs are coming together in the name of eviliciousness to face off in Cutthroat Kitchen‘s premiere Superstar Sabotage tournament. In the first two rounds, ___ and ___ have claimed coveted spots in the no-mercy finale taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 5, and tomorrow night a new group of chefs will battle to overcome sabotages in the third of four heats.

Just in time for this unprecedented tournament, FN Dish is giving Cutthroat Kitchen’s most-dedicated fans the chance to show their spirit by entering to win a piece of show swag. The Food Network Store has just released a brand-new collection of signature items showcasing Cutthroat Kitchen’s classic hanging-utensil logo, including custom-made chef’s coats, khaki aprons and baseball hats. Check out all of the Food Network Store’s evilicious items up for sale now.

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Restaurant Revisited: An Abundance of Emotions at Abudanza Ristorante

by in Shows, October 13th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleRobert Irvine‘s mission at Abudanza Ristorante in Wilbraham, Mass., moved him as few others have as he learned the story of owners Lou and June’s family, including their terminally ill son, LJ. After two days of work to overhaul their business and improve the managerial skills of the staff, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible crew presented the Maravilha family with a gift of money that would help them avoid foreclosure on their home. Read on below to hear from June and find out how the restaurant and LJ are doing today.

“Lou says business is up about 50 percent,” June notes, adding that “everyone loves the decor” and that she’s especially fond of the photos on the wall. “LJ loves to see himself up there,” she says.

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What’s Coffee Cake Without Coffee? — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 12th, 2014

From funny food puns to inventive plays on a key ingredient, Cutthroat Kitchen host Alton Brown will stop at nothing when it comes to dishing out appropriately themed sabotages to align with each round’s dish. On tonight’s all-new episode, he stayed true to his ways by forcing one chef to put a literal spin on coffee cake — something that’s traditionally made without coffee — by holding a tray of cups of coffee while cooking in Round 3. “Coffee and oysters will kill me,” judge Simon Majumdar said on the After-Show after learning that the drink played a part in the challenge. Sure enough, though, Alton knew this, and he noted that the terms of the sabotage included starting over should the contestant spill coffee into any element of the dish.

While this sabotage may seem daunting, it turns out that the competitor saddled with the test, Chef Alberico, took it in stride and was able to overcome it for ultimate glory. “The fact that he … was able to create a cake of any sort I think is really remarkable,” the judge explained looking back on the contest.

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