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.

One-on-One with Nancy Fuller, a Judge on Clash of the Grandmas

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 27th, 2016

Nancy FullerYesterday we chatted with Eddie Jackson, one of the hosts of Clash of the Grandmas (premiering Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10|9c), and today it’s all about Nancy Fuller, the grandmother in residence on this all-new upcoming competition. With 13 grandkids, Nancy is no stranger to making many of the comforting, tried-and-true dishes that the ladies in these battles will be forced to contend with. Read on below to get her take on grandmas’ styles of cooking, and find out what to expect in the competition.

What can viewers look forward to seeing in the upcoming clashes?
Nancy Fuller: Viewers can expect to see confident, well-seasoned women who know their way around the kitchen.

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By the Numbers: What It Takes to Stock the Kitchen for the Grannies on Clash of the Grandmas

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 27th, 2016

Clash of the GrandmasThe ladies competing on Clash of the Grandmas are downright masters of their culinary crafts, with decades of experience commanding their kitchens at home. There’s no doubt they know what it takes to prepare meals fit for a family, but to succeed in the competition, they must put together dishes to impress a panel of all-star food authorities. To do that, they’ll need the very best in ingredients and equipment. So, to ensure they have what they need, the show’s culinary production team went to great lengths to ready the kitchen for the upcoming series of granny battles.

We caught up with Morgan Hass, a culinary producer on the show, who told us all about what it takes to stock the kitchen and pantry for the contest. Read on below to get her by-the-numbers details of what’s on hand, on the shelves and in the refrigerator.

2: Number of days it takes to build and stock the kitchen

8: Number of people on the culinary team overseeing Clash of the Grandmas

100: Total number of available gadgets, including 25 different varieties of equipment, like waffle makers, blenders and smoking guns

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One-on-One with Eddie Jackson, a Judge on Clash of the Grandmas

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 26th, 2016

Eddie JacksonWith decades of experience — both in the kitchen and beyond — behind them, grandmas are the ultimate at-home cooks, eager, passionate and unafraid to show off their chops. On the all-new series Clash of the Grandmas (premiering Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10|9c), each week four grannies with old-school kitchen techniques and a contemporary edge will face off in a series of battles, ultimately hoping to impress a panel of judges. Today we’re catching up with one of those judges, Eddie Jackson, who, while not a grandmother himself, of course, knows what it means to cook with and learn from a grandma. Read on below to get his take on what’s ahead on Clash of the Grandmas.

What can viewers look forward to seeing in the upcoming clashes?
Eddie Jackson: Viewers can expect to see some ladies that remind them of their grandmothers. The ladies are talented and full of energy.

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The Wizard’s Tour of Horrors — Alton’s Tournament of Terror After-Show

by in Shows, October 23rd, 2016

As a longtime Cutthroat Kitchen judge, Simon Majumdar has seen all manner of evilicious — and he’s even participated in some too. So when he joined the Tournament of Terror party tonight as the Heat 4 judge, he was hardly fazed by the shocking sabotages Alton Brown unveiled for him on the After-Show.

After checking out a diabolical trick-or-treating setup, digging up an ingredient casket in Alton’s graveyard and selecting his own weapon, Simon, wearing an impressive Wizard getup, stepped into what Alton, aka “Huggy the Clown,” called “the autumn chamber of horrors.” It was an expansive and elaborate enclosed room in which wind blew, leaves flew and lightning struck. For Chef Chase, who was saddled with this sabotage in Round 3 of tonight’s battle, the challenge proved to be downright maddening as he struggled to keep his elements of his pumpkin dessert free of incoming leaves. But for Simon, who was tasked by Alton to prep beef tartare in the room — using his choice of bone cutter, of course — the challenge was seemingly uneventful. Once Alton closed the door behind him, Simon simply put his head down and got to work, despite the flashing lights and airborne leaves surrounding him. “He’s going to be in there for at least an hour,” Alton said of Simon, who continued to shred away at the beef, no matter the eviliciousness of his surroundings.

Click the play button on the video above to watch what went down, and check out Alton’s and Simon’s unforgettable costumes up close.

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Easy Vanilla Dutch Baby — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 23rd, 2016

Vanilla Dutch BabyLike the lightest, most-airy pancake you’ve ever had, Melissa d’Arabian’s quick-fix Dutch baby, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, is a fan-favorite recipe with a 5-star rating. She adds a splash of vanilla extract to the batter to guarantee comforting flavor. Perhaps best of all, there’s no need to flip a Dutch baby like there is a pancake, so you know this will be a fuss-free breakfast to prep.

For more morning meal ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Rise & Shine board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Dutch Baby

3 Breakfast Smoothies That Will Transform Your Morning Routine

by in Recipes, Shows, October 22nd, 2016

Three Breakfast Smoothies That Will Transform Your Morning RoutineThe morning rush is rough for nearly everyone; we all know it’s almost impossible to cook up an elaborate breakfast when you have only five minutes to yourself. But that doesn’t mean you should skip breakfast altogether. Instead, use that little amount of time to prep a flavorful, satisfying smoothie — and that’s where this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen comes in. Today the co-hosts showed off a trio of cool, creamy blends, but instead of featuring the usual berry or banana base, they made the mixtures more decadent, opting for flavors inspired by autumnal desserts (think pie for breakfast). Sold yet? Keep on reading for more details and all the recipes.

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Weeknight-Friendly Rosemary Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 16th, 2016

Skillet Rosemary ChickenWhen it comes to family-friendly dinners, few meals get the job done quite like chicken. Easy to make, quick cooking and endlessly versatile, the humble chicken can be transformed into a bold, flavorful supper with just a few staple ingredients, like it is in this top-rated recipe, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Bone-in chicken breasts are coated in a simple mixture of garlic, lemon juice and rosemary, then seared in a skillet and roasted with hearty potatoes and mushrooms to round out the meal. Perhaps best of all, this all-in-one meal can be on the table in just 40 minutes.

For more chicken dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Ayesha’s Street Eats Proves That the Best Food in New York City Comes from a Cart

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Michael Mina and Ayesha CurryIf you’ve ever visited New York City and bought a hot pretzel from a cart on the corner, then you’ve experienced an important Big Apple tradition: street dining. Though the city’s traditional dining options are seemingly limitless — from hole-in-the-wall bakeries and grab-and-go delis to fast-casual diners and elegant sit-down dining rooms — it’s the food trucks, stalls, kiosks and carts that help make up the one-of-a-kind culture for which the city is loved. On night three of the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Chef Michael Mina of Mina Group fame and Ayesha Curry, whose Food Network series, Ayesha’s Homemade, is set to premiere on Oct. 22, came together to honor this Big Apple tradition by hosting Street Eats. This walk-around tasting featured some of the best bites to come from a truck, stall, stand or cart in NYC, plus a few from brick-and-mortar joints that pay homage to classic street food. We joined the crowds of hungry fans on Saturday, bellying up to the tables to experience all of it, and below are our picks for the best savory and sweet street eats that were up for grabs.

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The 10 Most-Comforting Fall Flavors We Tasted at Katie and Marcela’s Harvest Party

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalNow that fall has officially arrived, you could celebrate the return of colorful leaves, crisp air and comfy sweaters with a trip to the orchard or perhaps an apple pie. But on Saturday during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid hosted a Harvest Party that brought together all the best sights, smells and flavors of the season — including pumpkin pie, instead of apple, as it turns out.

Guests gathered inside the seasonally decorated Highline Stages in New York City not just to taste fall fixings like butternut squash soup, turkey sandwiches and that creamy pumpkin pie, but also to meet the hostesses. When we caught up with Katie and Marcela recently, they both said how eager they were to mingle with fans of The Kitchen at their event. “I’m excited because it’s the one time a year that we get to be in the presence of the fans — of the people that are being supportive and the people that watch the show and the people that take their time out of their way, of their schedules, spend money to buy a ticket to come and see us,” Marcela explained. “And that’s kind of huge. And I’m super grateful and I’m super excited to get the opportunity to actually be with people face to face.”

As for the food, Katie told us: “I just love fall harvest season in general. I love the food that comes along with it. It’s warm; it’s cozy.” She also noted that she was excited to have one vendor in particular in attendance, Carissa’s Breads, from East End, N.Y. “It’s my favorite bread,” she said. And we quickly realized why. Her offering made our list of the best fall bites of the Harvest Party. Read on to get all the details.

Sweet Potato Soup (pictured above): We’d heard positive rumblings from guests about how stellar this soup from Primal Cut was, and after trying it for ourselves, we realized just how right the others were. Luxuriously smooth and creamy but oh so light, this soup had subtle tang from mascarpone cheese. The toppings of crispy, salty pancetta and sweetened pecans were bonuses in the flavor and texture departments. Primal Cut also served a sweet side dish — Pumpkin Infused Caramel Cheesecake — which featured a similarly silky filling.

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Your Whole-Week Shopping List: Here’s What You Need to Make Dinner Monday Through Friday

by in Shows, October 15th, 2016

The KitchenKids’ sports practices, your pets’ vet appointments, your work demands and all the things that will inevitable arise at the very last minute — there are countless reasons why weeknights are hectic, but that doesn’t mean dinner should get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Instead of resorting to delivery pizza or your usual takeout order when time is tight, opt for these family-friendly meals from The Kitchen. On this morning’s all-new episode, the co-hosts devoted the entire hour to showcasing recipes that are both quick to prep and easy enough to make on busy evenings. The secret lies in being prepared — having everything you need to make dinner on hand — and relying on a few no-shame shortcuts from the grocery store.

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