All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an 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.

Exclusive: Robert Irvine’s Fitness Routine and How You Can Do It Too

by in Food Network Chef, December 28th, 2014

Robert IrvineRobert Irvine never met a mission he didn’t like, and while most of his challenges involve rebuilding failing restaurants, in January he’s turning his focus to improving something else: Americans’ health. On Robert’s all-new special Fitness: Impossible (airing Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11|10c), he’s setting his sights on motivating fans to achieve healthier lifestyles through smarter food choices and realistic exercise plans. FN Dish recently checked in with Robert to learn more about how he stays fit and to find out what his workout regime looks like. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Robert and get the details on how he manages to stick to his fitness plan even in the midst of his busy schedule.

Tell us about your fitness routine and diet. How do you stay in such shape?
Robert Irvine: I work out six days a week. … I eat small meals more frequently — eight to 12 meals a day, every two and a half hours. My protein is literally — whether it be chicken or shrimp, whatever it is — no bigger than a deck of cards each meal. And my starch — rice, potatoes, French fries even — no bigger than a mouse you use on your computer per meal. And [in the] afternoon, I don’t do carbs. I just do protein and salads and vegetables.

What’s your favorite workout routine?
RI: I work out each muscle group using low weights and higher reps.

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Best 5 New Year’s Eve Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 27th, 2014

Classic Pot RoastNo matter if your New Year’s Eve plans include an all-night bash or a casual evening in front of the television, ring in 2015 with eats and drinks worthy of the celebration. When planning your holiday menu, consider the size of the crowd you’ll be hosting and decide whether you’ll do a full sit-down dinner or a smaller selection of hearty bites. Check out Food Network’s top-five sweet and savory recipes below for New Year’s Eve favorites from Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis and more chefs, then visit Holiday Central for our entire collection of New Year’s fare.

5. Cone-oli — Think of Food Network Magazine’s next-level recipe as deconstructed cannoli: Instead of filling delicate pastry shells with cream, opt for ice cream cones instead, and stuff those with a sweetened ricotta-cream cheese mixture, and finish with chopped pistachios for added texture.

4. Lobster Mac & Cheese — If you feel like splurging on account of the special occasion, look no further than Ina’s richly decadent macaroni and cheese. These individually portioned casseroles are loaded with fresh lobster plus nutty Gruyère cheese, which together create over-the-top indulgence.

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New Year’s Eve with Marc Murphy: Stress-Free Entertaining at Its Best

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 23rd, 2014

Marc MurphyWhile New Year’s comes at the end of a long holiday season, it’s surely no less important than the celebrations leading up to it — especially for chef and Chopped judge Marc Murphy. “Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are, as far as I’m concerned, the two holidays that I find are the best,” the restaurateur behind Landmarc, Kingside and Ditch Plains restaurants told FN Dish recently, “because you don’t have to buy any presents. There’s no pressure of buying presents for anybody.” According to Marc, “It’s nice to concentrate on the food and the beverage on Thanksgiving and on New Year’s,” and quality eating and drinking are indeed what Marc focuses on for the New Year’s Eve party at his house. From holiday treats like caviar and oysters to make-ahead lasagna, dressed-up cocktails and next-day frittatas, Marc revealed to FN Dish how he rings in the new year with his family and friends — and even shared his go-to Negroni recipe. Read on below to hear more from Marc in an exclusive interview.

What does New Year’s Eve looks like in your home with your family? How do you celebrate?
Marc Murphy: We usually go to Long Island; I have a house out there and we fill it up with a bunch of friends — however many people can stay there as possible — and we just sort of hang out and eat and drink and party. Everyone brings over their kids, and the kids stay up late and jump up and down on the beds and watch the ball drop and scream and yell and run around the house so late, and it’s a lot of fun.

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“Starting to Get Into a Cupcake Place” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, December 21st, 2014

From giant whisks and ice cube trays to banana leaves and coffee filters, Cutthroat Kitchen contestants have faced their share of oddball trinkets that host Alton Brown eviliciously repurposed into mixing tools and vessels. But on tonight’s all-new episode, one chef was forced to use not a new tool to mix but something a bit more rustic — her hands — to make cupcakes.

Since the taste and texture of cupcakes depend upon a well-mixed batter, it’s important for the wet and dry ingredients to be thoroughly combined, and the limitations of people’s hands may indeed prevent that from happenings. After all, some people’s hands are smaller than others, and one of the chef’s two hands would likely be needed to add ingredients, so would this sabotage be fair to ask of the competitors? The Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew got to work in testing the validity of the sabotage, and sure enough, after one somewhat slimy attempt, food stylist Jamie Peterson admitted that he was “starting to get into a cupcake place” with the batter forming within his hands.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Best Tomato Soup Ever — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 21st, 2014

Best Tomato Soup EverHearty, warming and simple to prepare, soup may be the ultimate answer to year-end gatherings; after all, just one batch can feed a crowd, and most recipes come together in a hurry. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is no exception, as The Pioneer Woman’s satisfying tomato soup boasts the full, rich flavor of diced tomatoes, rich cream and fragrant basil, and, perhaps best of all, the soup can be on the table in only 40 minutes. Follow Ree Drummond’s lead and add a bit of sugar to the tomato soup as it simmers — this will help balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

For more hearty recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Best Tomato Soup Ever (pictured above)

Best 5 Last-Minute Christmas Dinner Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 20th, 2014

Christmas may be less than a week away, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time left to prepare a holidayworthy feast. To pull off an easy and enjoyable celebration, opt for simplicity instead of intricacy when it comes to menu planning, and stick with classic dishes that you know will appeal to your guests. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five last-minute Christmas dinner recipes from Ina Garten, Rachael Ray and more of your favorite chefs to find go-to ideas for main dishes and sides to round out your seasonal spread.

5. Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon — Follow Sunny Anderson’s lead and cook the Brussels sprouts in the same pan in which you sauteed the bacon — this will help the vegetables absorb the decadent taste of bacon fat as they become golden brown.

4. Fettuccine with Quick Ragu — Not all meat sauces require hours of slow cooking; this one from Food Network Magazine, boasting a hearty saute of garlic, ground veal or turkey, and crushed tomatoes, takes only 35 minutes to prepare.

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Enter to Win a 2015 Food Network Calendar

by in Contests, December 20th, 2014

2015 Calendar‘Tis the season for giving, and with that in mind, FN Dish is offering its loyal readers the chance to win a holiday present: a 2015 calendar. Not your ordinary calendar, this beauty celebrates what will be “the sweetest year ever from FoodNetwork.com,” and with that comes 13 months’ worth of mouthwatering dessert photos and Food Network Kitchen’s sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes for tried-and-true picks like Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookies and Quick & Easy Tiramisu and for next-level ideas like Popcorn Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel.

2015 will be a year of cakes, cookies, cobblers and more with this calendar, and while you can buy one now at the Food Network Store, FN Dish is giving away one calendar for free to five lucky, randomly selected fans. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment telling us which of Food Network Kitchen’s recipes is your favorite; you must include the recipe URL to be eligible to win (find all of the recipes here).

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Christmas Week Prep: The Pioneer Woman’s Fastest, Easiest Meals

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2014

Ree DrummondWith just days left until Christmas, you’re likely in the midst of mad dashes to the shopping mall, last-minute gift-wrapping, cookie decorating and holiday party planning. But, of course, you still need dinner tonight, and surely this is no time to prepare intricate plates and involved recipes. This week calls for the ultimate in speed and simplicity, and for that, The Pioneer Woman‘s easiest, quickest meals fit the bill. Ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, Ree Drummond‘s family-friendly picks are dinners you can count on; most are made with refrigerator staples, and they’re comforting enough to fight the winter chill. Read on below to get Ree’s go-to supper ideas, including hearty taco salad and DIY pizza.

5. Chicken Taco Salad — Ree builds layer upon layer of flavor in her satisfying salad by starting with a bed of greens, then adding juicy seasoned chicken and classic taco-style fixings, like grilled corn, fresh tomatoes, creamy cheese and cool avocado. For an extra-special finish, top the salad with next-level dressing: bottled ranch spiked with salsa.

4. French Bread Pizzas — Instead of making pizza dough the crust, Ree starts with sliced rolls or baguettes and builds five varieties of pies to please everyone: tomatoes with basil, bacon and pineapple, and more.

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Calling All Fans: Vote Now to Determine Justin Warner’s New Web Series

by in Community, December 17th, 2014

Justin WarnerIf you’ve ever wanted a say in what kinds of videos you can watch on FoodNetwork.com, the time to speak up is now. Justin Warner, Brooklyn restaurateur and the winner of Food Network Star, Season 8, is set to launch his first-ever Web series on FoodNetwork.com in 2015, but he needs your help to pick the concept. He’s pitched three ideas to producers, but the decision about which will become a weekly series is in your hands. That’s right: It’s up to you.

Watch Justin’s three pilot videos below, then vote in the poll for the video you’d like to see more of on FoodNetwork.com. Stay tuned to FN Dish in 2015 for all of the details on Justin’s upcoming series.

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Restaurant Revisited: Oh Brother! at Knife and Fork Gastropub

by in Shows, December 15th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleThe scene at San Antonio’s Knife and Fork Gastropub was tense when Robert Irvine arrived, as owners Gabe and Javier Orozco — two brothers — were facing a $400,000 debt to their mom and stepfather, who’ve contributed greatly to the eatery. After inspecting the bar and kitchen, Robert could easily see the filth that had accumulated at Knife and Fork, and with only two days to work, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team were faced with both making the space clean and safe, and also mending the strained relationship among the Orozco family. Read on below to hear from the brothers and their mother, Norma Montalvo, as they reveal how Knife and Fork has fared since Robert left.

“I needed someone to tell Javier some of the stuff and it had to be Robert,” Gabe said of the importance of Robert’s mission. “He has definitely fired me up. Now that it’s my kitchen, I think we are getting more done than ever before.” Javier added, “[Robert] didn’t say anything we did not already know, but [he] gave us a fresh perspective.”

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