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.

Go Inside the Making of Your Favorite Sweet and Savory Snacks on Unwrapped 2.0

by in Shows, September 22nd, 2015

Alfonso Ribeiro on Unwrapped 2.0If the snack food aisle at your grocery store is anything like the one at mine, you know there’s no shortage of bags of crispy, crunchy and downright craveable sweet and savory favorites just waiting for you to grab them. But before these treats land on the shelves, they all go through a process that transforms them from just a few ingredients into the snacks you know and love, and it’s that behind-the-scenes creation that will be revealed on Unwrapped 2.0.

Premiering Saturday, Oct. 10 at 8|7c and hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, this brand-new season will bring you inside the factories that turn out your favorite treats and show off the ins, outs and arounds of everything from colorful Dots and crimson Hot Tamales to cool mints and oversize soft pretzels. Find out what it takes to turn out just a single box or bag of your go-to munchies, and learn how many packages can be cranked out at one time.

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Squash and Spinach Lasagna — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 21st, 2015

Squash and Spinach LasagnaNo longer relegated to layers of red sauce and heaps of meat, lasagna takes a turn for the creamy — and surprisingly healthy — with this big-batch recipe for Squash and Spinach Lasagna (pictured above).

Food Network Kitchen swaps out the traditional marinara or meat sauce in favor of a mixture of onions and fresh spinach in a milk-based sauce made thick with the help of cornstarch. Layer chopped butternut squash for color and an added boost of nutrition, and opt for part-skim mozzarella to keep the casserole light but satisfying. Perhaps the best part about this recipe is that it comes together with no-boil noodles, which means that you can assemble them in the casserole straight from the box; they’ll soak up the liquid of the cream sauce and become tender as they cook in the oven.

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‘Tis the Season for Sweet Competition on Cake Wars: Christmas

by in Shows, September 21st, 2015

Cake Wars: ChristmasThough you may be in fall mode these days, it’s not too early to start decking the halls. Right on the heels of a successful premiere season of Cake Wars, host Jonathan Bennett is back to lead another sweet competition. This time all about seasonal treats on Cake Wars: Christmas.

Premiering Monday, Nov. 9 at 9|8c, this six-week battle for holiday glory will bring together seven teams of the best-ever food artists, each set to face off for the $50,000 prize. Along with a rotating roster of special guests, Master Baker Sherry Yard and design expert Charles Phoenix will be on hand to judge the competitors in a series of themed challenges. From hilariously festive ugly Christmas sweaters to over-the-top gingerbread houses, there will be no shortage of seasonal celebrations — and, of course, fierce culinary chops — on display.

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‘Round and ‘Round the Cuckoo Cook Table — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 20th, 2015

It was just a few weeks ago that Alton Brown revealed “the human rotisserie” for the special grilling-themed episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. And on tonight’s all-new episode, he put a cuckoo spin on that fan-favorite sabotage to create what he called “the showstopper of the day,” otherwise known as his “cuckoo clock prep station,” which made its debut in the first round’s German apple pancake test.

“Come on! Take a ride,” Alton urged Simon Majumdar, who, never one to shy away from trying his hands at a sabotage, hopped atop the moving floorboard to take a few spins around the clock — along with a Bob and Alton, of course. Looking back on Chef Paper’s turn at the sabotage, Alton revealed to Simon that the challenge ultimately caused her dish’s demise. “That’s why it was burned,” Alton said. “Because right when she got done, it was time to cuckoo around.” While some chefs indeed manage to survive their sabotages and ultimately turn out successful dishes, Alton revealed that this particular sabotage “did render the desired effect” in that it did one chef in, as Chef Paper was ousted after Round 1.

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Halloween Wars Q&As: Hear from the Team Members of Spell Binders

by in Shows, September 20th, 2015

Halloween WarsGrab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.

Today we’re introducing you to team Spell Binders, made up of Kristen Lovullo, Joseph Yakovetic and Charity George. Read on below to hear from all three of them.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Kristen Lovullo: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Halloween is creating fun and spooky treats for the Bake Shoppe.
Joseph Yakovetic: The first thing that comes to mind is pumpkins — what else?
Charity George: [I think of] setting up all our crazy Halloween decorations at my house and how we will change it up every year.

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Halloween Wars Q&As: Hear from the Team Members of Scream Team

by in Shows, September 19th, 2015

Halloween WarsGrab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.

Today we’re introducing you to team Scream Team, made up of Robert Teddy, Adam Bierton and Darci Rochau. Read on below to hear from all three of them, then check back tomorrow to hear from another group of teammates.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Robert Teddy: The Great Pumpkin
Adam Bierton: Carving pumpkins comes to mind first (of course).
Darci Rochau: Dark and spooky

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Halloween Wars Q&As: Hear from the Team Members of Morbid Morticians

by in Shows, September 18th, 2015

Halloween WarsGrab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.

Today we’re introducing you to team Morbid Morticians, made up of Renay Zamora, Rebecca Wortman and Doug Goodreau. Read on below to hear from all three of them, then check back tomorrow to hear from another group of teammates.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Renay Zamora: Jack-o’-lanterns on the porch are what I think of when I hear the word “Halloween.”
Rebecca Wortman: I think of all the candy!
Doug Goodreau: The first thing that comes to mind is pumpkins, of course!

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Halloween Wars Q&As: Hear from the Team Members of Gore Mayhem

by in Shows, September 17th, 2015

Halloween WarsGrab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.

Today we’re introducing you to team Gore Mayhem, made up of Heidi Trelstad, Rocio Varela and Dean Murray. Read on below to hear from all three of them, then check back tomorrow to hear from another group of teammates.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Heidi Trelstad: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Halloween is dressing up in costume.
Rocio Varela: Halloween always makes me think of costume parties.
Dean Murray: When I think of Halloween, I think about pumpkin carving; it’s the best part!

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Enter to Win a Copy of Bobby Flay’s New Cookbook, Brunch @ Bobby’s

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, September 17th, 2015

Enter to Win a Copy of Bobby Flay's New Cookbook, Brunch at Bobby'sWith his penchant for Southwestern flavors and a string of successful Bobby’s Burger Palace restaurants, Bobby Flay has surely earned the right to call himself a taco master and a burger aficionado, though his range in the kitchen doesn’t stop there — or even at lunch or dinner. He also has an appetite for brunch, which he explores on the series Brunch @ Bobby’s and in his brand-new cookbook of the same name. Available for preorder now and officially on sale on Sept. 29, Brunch @ Bobby’s: 140 Recipes for the Best Part of the Weekend explores the best sweet and savory side of this late-morning meal, from a towering stack of chocolate pancakes to an all-new take on bacon, eggs and hash browns.

Recently FN Dish checked in with Bobby, and he revealed his go-to brunch order as well as his take on why brunch has become so popular. When he goes out for brunch, he’s quick to balance the meal by including both salty and sweet elements, explaining, “It always involves eggs, but I always order something for the table, whether it’s like French toast or waffles or pancakes — in that sort of vernacular, like the sweet brunch.” As for a cocktail to sip on the side, he keeps it simple, opting for a mimosa. “The juice, to me, [it] just has to be fresh-squeezed,” says Bobby. He’s familiar with the “ritual” that brunch has become, and says, “It’s the way that people entertain in terms of meeting out. People have their brunch places that they go every weekend.” He adds, “It’s a great way to kind of grab the newspaper, have some coffee, have your brunch cocktail and then sort of carry on your Sunday.”

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Halloween Wars Q&As: Hear from the Team Members of 2 Ghouls and a Guy

by in Shows, September 16th, 2015

Halloween WarsGrab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.

Today we’re introducing you to team 2 Ghouls and a Guy, made up of Diane Fehder, Jeff Munchel and Bridget McCarty. Read on below to hear from all three of them, then check back tomorrow to hear from another group of teammates.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Diane Fehder: I think of trick-or-tricking in my parents’ neighborhood while growing up. I love Halloween. I love dressing up and now love dressing my daughter up. I think of all the past memories I’ve had — the smell of fall leaves and fireplaces. Now all of our neighbors get together outside and hand out candy together.
Jeff Munchel: When I think of Halloween, I think of candy, blood and haunted houses!
Bridget McCarty: [I think of] black cats, witches, pumpkins, lights, crows, mummies, candy, costumes, darkness, night, owls, sugar, Dracula, smoke, fog, scarecrows, cauldrons, screams, howls and more.

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