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.

QUIZ: What’s Your Sabotage Spending Strategy in Cutthroat Kitchen?

by in Shows, October 21st, 2015

You’ve made it into the Cutthroat Kitchen arena and the battle is about to begin. Have you considered how you’re going to play the game? While the objective may be simple enough — cook the challenge dish and spend as little money as possible — being successful is anything but easy, thanks to those tricky sabotages. Are you set to spend all of your $25,000 in order to avoid all kinds of diabolical unfoldings, or is it more important to you to hold onto your money and navigate the waters of eviliciousness one sabotage at a time? Take the quiz below to find out how you’d approach the auction.

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Guy’s Cheesy Roasted Acorn Squash — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 19th, 2015

Roasted Acorn Squash with Mushrooms, Peppers and Goat CheeseNo matter what in-season veggie you happen to have on hand, chances are that after just a quick roast in the oven, it will have turned oh-so-sweet — and seasonal squash is no exception. Butternut, acorn, spaghetti and delicata squashes are all overflowing at farmers market stands and in supermarket aisles alike this time of year, and while you can indeed simply roast them and enjoy them as is, in all their tender glory, dressing them up a bit with bold, fresh flavors will transform them even more.

In his recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash with Mushrooms, Peppers and Goat Cheese, Guy Fieri precooks the squash for a few minutes in the oven before filling it with a hearty, savory stuffing that’s easy to make yet endlessly impressive. He opts for a mixture of cremini mushrooms, fresh cabbage and colorful bell peppers for heft and texture, plus a few cloves of garlic for over-the-top taste. Follow Guy’s lead and top the filling mixture with goat cheese and roasted acorn seeds before baking; the tangy crumbles of cheese deliver the richness you crave, while the acorn seeds promise a welcome salty, crunchy bite.

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Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Robert Irvine’s New Book, Fit Fuel

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, October 19th, 2015

Fit Fuel: A Chef's Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best LifeAs committed as Robert Irvine is to executing top-notch dishes in the kitchen and giving struggling restaurateurs a second chance at success on Restaurant: Impossible Ambush (premiering Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9|8c), he’s also a fierce fitness guru, dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same. In his brand-new book, Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best Life, Robert breaks down the ins and outs of what it takes to “fuel your life”: just a handful of “principles,” including “Eat real food” and “Believe you can change.”

Part cookbook, part pep talk and part handy exercise manual, Robert’s brand-new publication doesn’t just talk the talk of what it takes to get in shape, but it also walks the walk as Robert personally demonstrates how to complete some of the best moves, and explains the whys and hows behind them. And with his recipes for every meal of the day — even dessert — Robert proves that the journey to fitness success doesn’t have to mean boring, bland meals. Think satisfying fare like Sesame Shrimp Chopped Salad, Roast Chicken, Vegetables & Parsnip Puree and A Better Carrot Cake.

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One Chef’s Bumpy Ride to the Winner’s Circle — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 18th, 2015

The road to Cutthroat Kitchen glory is hardly ever a straightforward one, since the name of the game, of course, is eviliciousness. But some competitors, whether because of their rivals’ determination, their own bidding strategy or perhaps just sheer bad (good?) luck, end up saddled with a particularly diabolical lot of challenges each and every round. Chef Michael was one such contestant; on tonight’s brand-new episode, he endured several especially trying sabotages that challenged not only his mental prowess in the face of culinary disruptions but also his physical competency.

In Round 1, Chef Michael no sooner started the fish sandwich battle than he found himself seated in a three-person rowboat — and a tipsy one at that. With every movement, the boat rocked from side to side, throwing his prep work off balance. “I like that,” Susan Feniger, the guest judge of the day, told host Alton Brown with a smile during the After-Show. Unfortunately for Chef Michael, the challenges only worsened as the day went on, as Round 2’s chili test again saddled him with an inferior situation: this time seated atop a bucking horse ride. It “really didn’t have anything to do with food,” Alton told Susan. “It was just painful and horrible to watch.” But not matter the bumpy ride, Chef Michael kept his cowboy hat held high and proclaimed from the horse, “Yee-haw!”

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Knock-You-Naked Brownies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 18th, 2015

Knock-You-Naked BrowniesWith a name that will surely stop you in your tracks — and perhaps knock you naked — this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is for the most-serious sweet tooths out there. The Pioneer Woman’s top-rated dessert features a pecan-studded chocolate cake base and topping, but it’s the filling that’s especially indulgent: layers of gooey caramel and semisweet chocolate chips. For added ease in the kitchen, follow Ree Drummond’s lead and opt for boxed cake mix to keep this recipe fuss-free.

For more decadent inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Knock-You-Naked Brownies

Saturday Afternoon During the New York City Wine & Food Festival Calls for Brunch @ Bobby’s

by in Events, October 17th, 2015

New York City Wine & Food FestivalAfter two days of late-night bashes and a seemingly endless supply of all manner of pizza and burgers at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, it was time for a little weekend reprieve, and for that, festival guests looked to Bobby Flay. The longtime lover of brunch hosted the wake-up-worthy Brunch @ Bobby’s, which featured a sweet and savory spread of bites from his just-released cookbook of the same name. “I always say that brunch is really my favorite meal of the week,” Bobby told the sold-out crowd inside the opulently adorned Capitale in downtown Manhattan. “It’s still laid-back, it’s casual; everybody’s in a good mood,” he said.

Just as Bobby looks forward to this relaxing weekend meal, many of his fans do too. It’s no secret that brunch has taken the world by storm recently, with late-morning and early-afternoon restaurant reservations and at-home gatherings alike often becoming the sole goal of the weekend. “I think the millennials are actually making it more popular than it’s ever been,” Bobby told us recently. “Let’s face it: Brunch is a party. It starts with a cocktail. And so I think that the younger generations are really making brunch more and more innovative and more popular.” At his event today, Bobby was sure to deliver on the cocktails, from rosé and beer to bubbly brut and tequila-spiked cocktails.

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Save the Seeds After Carving Your Pumpkin — Here’s What to Do with Them

by in Recipes, Shows, October 17th, 2015

Curried Pumpkin SeedsClassically happy, silly or downright sad — no matter what face you carve into your jack-o’-lantern, be sure to save the seeds you likely scraped from the inside of the pumpkin. These crunchy bits are blank canvases in the snack world. On their own they have a mild flavor, but they can be dressed up with sweet, smoky, salty and savory flavors alike. The co-hosts of The Kitchen shared their top tricks for transforming these seasonal eats on this morning’s all-new episode; each recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes and is as simple as combining a few dried spices and baking until golden brown.

Curried Pumpkin Seeds (pictured above): To help the curry powder stick to the pumpkin seeds, coat them in a bit of coconut oil before adding the seasonings. Just a sprinkle of salt will help balance the warm flavor of the curry powder.

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Burger Bash 2015 Winners: BBD’s and Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

by in Events, October 16th, 2015

New York City Wine & Food FestivalAfter waiting in meaty anticipation for 12 long months, burger enthusiasts from across the country converged upon Midtown Manhattan tonight to welcome the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s much-beloved Burger Bash back to the Big Apple. This year’s fan-favorite event marked the eighth annual celebration of all things between the bun and the second time it took place on the roof of Pier 92, where the hundreds of hungry partygoers could enjoy sprawling city sights and glowing Hudson River views. Once again, Rachael Ray was on hand to host the sold-out bash, and she was joined by fellow Food Network favorite Robert Irvine, who was one of four of this year’s esteemed judges. Josh Capon, who’s won Burger Bash at both the New York City Wine & Food Festival and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, was on hand as well, but this year he wasn’t cranking out his now-famed Bash Burger. Instead, he joined Robert, Coolio and New York Jets player Nick Mangold as a judge of the entire menu of burgers up for grabs.

It was up to the partygoers to vote for the burger they thought was the best of all, and after the votes were tallied, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer scored the coveted people’s choice award, thanks to its blue cheese-laced Kobe beef burger. One of the team members from the restaurant joined Rachael on stage to collect the $1,500 prize.

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Stick with Giada’s Holiday Handbook to Host Your Best Seasonal Celebrations

by in Shows, October 16th, 2015

Giada De LaurentiisWith the arrival of the holiday season comes the impending arrival of not-so-helpful house guests, a never-ending menu of meals to cook and gatherings to prepare for, and a laundry list of at-home to-dos (which just so happens to include the laundry). Wouldn’t it be nice to have one place to go this time of year to help you navigate the season and all that goes with it? That’s where Giada De Laurentiis‘ new show, Giada’s Holiday Handbook, comes in.

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 8 at 11a|10c, Giada’s new series will show fans just how doable — and enjoyable — holiday festivities can be, from hosting classic holiday open houses and the all-important turkey day feast to throwing cocktail soirees, gingerbread-making parties and, of course, the ultimate Christmas dinner. On each episode of Giada’s Holiday Handbook, she’ll introduce not only a roster of crowd-pleasing recipes, but also how-tos for making themed party favors for guests. With her tips on how to execute the menu, plus good-to-know ideas for music and decor pairings, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy the most-wonderful time of the year.

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Giada Kicks Off the New York City Wine & Food Festival with Rooftop Italian Feast

by in Events, October 16th, 2015

Giada De Laurentiis at the New York City Wine & Food FestivalWith plenty of tangy tomato sauce at the ready, and tender meatballs and cheesy margherita pizzas on hand, the stage was set for the 2015 New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s opening night bash on Thursday: an Italian feast hosted by who else but Food Network’s own queen of Italian cuisine, Giada De Laurentiis. Along with Giada, more than 30 chefs gathered high atop Manhattan’s Pier 92 to serve the ultimate Sunday supper-style menu complete with Old-World favorites, from classic red-sauce gravy and pillowy gnocchi to succulent porchetta and even sweet-tooth-satisfying cannoli.

FN Dish caught up with Giada as she mingled with fans, and she told us that when it comes to Sunday supper at her house, it’s a kid-friendly feast. “Usually it’s Jade and I cooking, and then it depends on what friends or what family is available to come over,” she said. And as for what’s likely on the menu at her house? According to Giada, “Pasta is Jade’s favorite.” At Giada’s station on Thursday night, however, there wasn’t pasta but a pair of golden-brown arancini — one filled with artichoke and the other with lemony crab, both nestled in a bright tomato sauce.

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