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.

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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100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of All Time!) — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 12th, 2014

100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of all time!)When it comes to food how-tos and good-to-know tricks of the culinary trade, your favorite Food Network stars and professional chefs are the ultimate resources, as they’ve collected years of on-the-job experience that will help you tackle the kitchen. Those industry secrets, like how to properly cook pasta, approach a recipe and ensure kitchen safety, are just what fans got when they clicked on this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week: 100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of All Time!), Food Network Magazine’s collection of good-to-know snippets from leading culinary all-stars.

For more how-tos, visit Food Network’s Let’s Learn board on Pinterest.

Get the Chefs’ Secrets: 100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of All Time!) from Food Network Magazine

Food Network Stars Share Their Go-To Midnight Snacks

by in Recipes, October 11th, 2014

Rah-Rah RamenNo matter how filling a dinner you may have had or how committed you are to going to sleep at an early hour, sometimes when the clock strikes midnight, you find yourself awake and hungry again, and when the late-night cravings hit, it can take all things crunchy and salty or creamy and sweet to satisfy them — even for professional chefs. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast shared go-to recipes for midnight eats (find all of the recipes here), and recently FN Dish caught up with some of the co-hosts and other Food Network favorites to find out what eats they opt for in the middle of the night. From “potato-fried perfection” to “really good pizza” and “tropical fruit,” their answers my surprise you. Read on below to hear from Alex Guarnaschelli, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Amanda Freitag and other stars, find out who admitted to eating what.

Aarón Sánchez: Wine and chocolate

Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s a tossup between a super-spicy fish taco, a hot dog with deep-fried bacon on it or a whole cake of any flavor — but it would have to be layered.

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Alton Cooks the Superstar Sabotage Tournament: French Toast

by in Recipes, Shows, October 9th, 2014

In true Cutthroat Kitchen fashion, even the simplest dishes become seemingly insurmountable challenges once Alton Brown‘s evilicious sabotages make their way to the competitors. In this week’s premiere heat of the first-ever Superstar Sabotage tournament, the host turned a breakfast staple — French toast — into a near-nightmare for Round 3 rivals Chefs Michael Psilakis and Aarti Sequiera, as they were forced to make the plate using onion-scented bread and a small conveyor toaster, respectively. But when the mind games end, it turns out that for Alton, all it takes to make his winning French Toast (pictured above) is just a handful of ingredients — no sabotages in sight.

Ready to eat in a hurry, Alton’s fuss-free morning meal is the kind of staple you’ll want to master and make a permanent part of your recipe repertoire. He opts for a mix of eggs, half-and-half and a squeeze of honey to make the creamy custard for his brioche-based French toast. Cook the bread in butter until the slices are golden-brown, and top with sweet maple syrup or fluffy whipped cream for an indulgent finish. Click the play button on the video above to watch him make it.

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