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.

Best 5 Thanksgiving Leftovers

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 28th, 2014

Turkey TetrazziniYou’ve planned for your Thanksgiving dinner, prepared the meal and hosted the holiday party, and you’re now looking at a refrigerator full of leftovers. While simply reheating the fixings and enjoying a next-day feast is surely a can-do approach to tackling what remains, try reinventing the turkey, potatoes and vegetables into all-new dishes, like an easy-to-make frittata or over-the-top sandwich. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving leftovers ideas, then head over to Thanksgiving Central for more leftover inspiration.

5. Turkey Pot Pie — Made with leftover turkey meat instead of the traditional chicken, this comforting pot pie boasts a buttery premade pie crust, so it’s a cinch to prepare.

4. Turkey Frittata — An all-in-one breakfast featuring creamy eggs, boiled potatoes and bell peppers, this potato-studded frittata is topped with a blanket of cheese and turns fluffy after just a few minutes in the oven.

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Simple, Strong Snacks: Foods to Fuel Your Black Friday Shopping

by in Recipes, November 27th, 2014

Fig-and-Walnut Energy BarsYou’ve successfully conquered Thanksgiving dinner — now it’s time to look ahead to the next seasonal feat. Holiday baking? Not yet. First comes Black Friday shopping, and given the early hours, long lines and potentially feisty crowds you may encounter, you’ll indeed need a few go-to foods to fuel the day. This year, instead of resorting to shopping mall concession stands, bring with you some fuss-free eats — think easy-to-pack bites that you can munch on throughout the day. Read on below to find some of Food Network’s favorite on-the-go snacks to keep you shopping-ready all day long.

Chewy, subtly sweet with a bit of crunch, Fig-and-Walnut Energy Bars (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine provide just the kind of early-morning bite needed to kick off the day. These quick-fix bars feature a fragrant blend of ground cinnamon and ginger, plus chopped walnuts, dried figs and oats for a contrast of textures.

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Explore America’s Best-Ever Pizzas, BBQ, Breakfasts and Burgers on All-New Series

by in Shows, November 25th, 2014

Ted AllenWhen you consider classic eats like pizza, barbecue, breakfast and burgers, there’s surely no shortage of restaurants at which to find them; from popular chain restaurants and elegant cafes to takeout joints and hole-in-the-wall dives, these tried-and-true bites are everywhere. But how many places make the single best rendition of the dish, those one-in-a-million plates that keep you coming back again and again? Those next-level dishes are hard to come by, but in the all-new series Best. Ever. (premiering Monday, Jan. 5 at 10|9c), Food Network stars are revealing where to find them.

Over the course of four weeks, host Ted Allen and more of your favorite faces, including Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy and Aarón Sánchez, will showcase America’s top pizzas, burgers, barbecue picks and breakfast plates alike. With the utmost mouthwatering detail, they’ll share the ins and outs of these must-try specialties and reveal the hot spots at which to find them from coast to coast. Tune in every Monday night for an in-depth look at each of these four foods, and watch as the stars speak out about what makes their dish picks in Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and more cities the best of the best.

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Restaurant Revisited: Without a Prayer at Mama E’s Wings & Waffles

by in Shows, November 24th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleTonight marked the first time Oklahoma City’s Mama E’s Wings & Waffles appeared on Restaurant: Impossible, but it wasn’t the business’ first time on Food Network; just a few years ago it was a bustling eatery that enjoyed a showcase on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Problems began, however, when husband-and-wife owners Keith and Stephanie Patterson wanted to open a new Mama E’s outpost. Ultimately the venture proved unsuccessful, and, perhaps worst of all, the trials nearly cost them their relationship. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to mend Keith and Stephanie’s damaged marriage before he could begin overhauling Mama E’s, and they had only 48 hours and $10,000 to do it all. Read on below to hear from Stephanie and find out how her restaurant is faring today.

“Over time the revenue has doubled or more,” Stephanie explains. “I love the walls with the recipes and so do the customers.”

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“You Think That Twins Are Connected? No” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2014

For the first time in Cutthroat Kitchen history, the limits of evilicious sabotage were tested tonight as two sets of twins took their places in the no-holds-barred arena for a brother-versus-brother battle. In true diabolical fashion, the contestants proved that while siblings’ will to stick together may be strong, their desire to win is ultimately more compelling, as one by one, brothers fell until just one was standing victorious.

Host Alton Brown relived the auctioning and game play that went on in tonight’s episode as he dished with judge Antonia Lofaso during the latest installment of the After-Show. Together they reflected on the competitors’ offerings, and Alton revealed some of the most-extreme sabotages to befall the rivals, including those that required teamwork in the unlikeliest of settings. “You think that twins are connected? No,” Alton told Antonia, who agreed, after she learned of the plank-walking sabotage with which two brothers were forced to contend. “Hilarious,” she said of this challenge, which made two brothers sync up their strides in order to finish the Caribbean-dinner round on time.

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Marc Murphy and Kate Hudson Bring FarmVille’s Farm-to-Table Focus Beyond the Computer

by in News, November 23rd, 2014

Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and WalnutsFrom slaying dragons to impersonating superheroes, so much of what happens in many computer games stays simulated, but just recently, Zynga’s FarmVille, a popular Facebook application, began bridging the gap between the virtual and reality by launching the FarmVille to Table Recipe Book.

With the help of Chopped judge Marc Murphy, plus food fan Kate Hudson, Zynga’s executive chef and a community of food bloggers, this brand-new digital recipe book allows FarmVille players to bring the game’s farm-to-table focus into their own kitchen. Fans are used to planting crops and cultivating a farm to yield fresh produce in the game, and now they can use those fresh ingredients to create Marc’s, Hudson’s and others’ decadent recipes  at home.

“The FarmVille to Table digital cookbook embodies the values of fresh, farm-to-table ingredients,” Marc explains, adding that for fans, it “validates that cooking is fun, easy and an activity the whole family can enjoy.”

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The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 23rd, 2014

Chicken Fried Steak with GravyFrom rich chocolate cake with frosting to salty french fries, meaty chili and a tower of buttery pancakes, comfort food comes in many flavors and textures, and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is no exception. Ree Drummond’s Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy is a rich, hearty dinner featuring a tender, golden-brown cube steak fried with a seasoned breading, plus a side of fluffy mashed potatoes and a generous pour of smooth gravy for an over-the-top finish.

For more takes on tried-and-true culinary comfort, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy

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.”

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