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.

Healthy Squash and Kale Casserole — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 9th, 2015

Healthy Squash and Kale CasseroleWhen time is tight on busy weeknights, the key to easy, enjoyable mealtimes is taking advantage of what you already have. While some nights that may mean looking to a refrigerator full of groceries to put simple, ready-to-go ingredients to work, other times it could call for a bit of creativity in dressing up your pantry staples. Then there are the nights that it can be as simple as letting your past prep help. Enter the frozen casserole.

With a crispy breadcrumb blanket on top and a center of tender, garlic-laced veggies, hearty brown rice and a creamy, cheesy sauce, Food Network Kitchen’s Healthy Squash and Kale Casserole is a make-ahead beauty. It can be assembled up to two weeks before you want to eat it, so perhaps dedicate some time over the weekend to putting this big-batch pick together, and then freeze it for later. When you’re ready to eat, preparing it is as simple as covering it with foil and letting it bake.

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5 Ways to Get Your Table Ready for the Holidays

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 9th, 2015

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Decorating IdeasThe food may just be the most-important thing on your Thanksgiving table (next to your family and friends around it, of course). But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up the space to make it more seasonal and fit for the feast. Check out these easy, inexpensive ideas and good-to-know tricks to trim your table with a fall-focused spread, no matter if your plans include hosting kids or throwing an elegant celebration.

Repurpose Existing Goods
You know that wine bottle you have left over from the other night? That could be your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Save a few bottles and fill them with grains to create an easy yet impressive display.

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“Tiny Tank, Tiny Food, Tiny Results” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 8th, 2015

For the first time ever on Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown hosted a special military battle in which four members of the armed services faced off for evilicious glory, and in true evilicious fashion, Alton debuted a series of military-focused sabotages with diabolical effects. In what would ultimately be her undoing, Chef Bella had to cook inside a pintsize tank in Round 2 and also cook with only the remnants of blown-up basket ingredients. “Tiny tank, tiny food, tiny results,” Alton said on his After-Show to judge Antonia Lofaso about the competitor’s elimination in Round 2. “That’s a lot to handle,” Antonia admitted, and indeed she knows a bit about the difficulty of Chef Bella’s burden.

Before she saw firsthand the food fragments left over from the culinary explosion, which ultimately made up Chef Bella’s submarine sandwich ingredients, Antonia climbed into the tank for a few spins around the arena — while chasing Alton. “Come get me, Antonia,” the host joked as he ran away from the moving tank. “I bet you can’t get me over here.” After a few too many close calls and a minor collision with the After-Show chair setup, Antonia was forced to exit the tank.

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Ina’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 8th, 2015

Buttermilk Cheddar BiscuitsSince most biscuit recipes come together with just a few everyday ingredients — flour, butter and some kind of liquid, plus optional add-ins like cheese — the key to turning out the very best results is the technique used in prepping them. It’s all about using cold ingredients and remembering to not overwork the dough. In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ina Garten starts with cold butter and buttermilk, and she makes sure to not overmix the dough as she’s adding components. What results is flaky, buttery biscuits laced with gooey cheddar.

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

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

8 Stews That Are As Easy As They Are Comforting

by in Recipes, November 7th, 2015

Chicken StewMuch like warming soups and chilis, stews are a cool-weather classic that often deliver a complete meal in just one bowl. A hearty beef base may be the most traditional, but there are plenty of options for mix-ins: chicken, seafood, beans, sausage and more. It all comes down to layering flavors and complementary ingredients when simmering a pot of hearty stew. Check out some of Food Network’s best-ever stews below for new and tried-and-true ideas alike to stay warm all season long.

Chicken Stew
“Make a big pot. It tastes even better the next day,” Giada De Laurentiis explains of her top-rated recipe, which she beefs up with fresh veggies and kidney beans. She also gets it on the table in less than an hour.

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Caption It: Way to Go, Bro

by in Shows, November 7th, 2015

Caption It: Way to Go, BroThe Kitchen co-hosts are known for doling out countless good-to-know tips, family-favorite recipe ideas and tried-and-true culinary hacks — and having their share of fun on set. (Remember that time Jeff Mauro donned his best bodysuit and performed an impromptu floor-skating routine?) Just this morning, Jeff and Geoffrey Zakarian once again showed off their silly sides as they put the finishing touches on their banana breads. After Katie Lee declared his rum-soaked banana bread a “home run,” Jeff could hardly contain his excitement and met GZ in the kitchen for a hearty high-five.

Take a look at the photo above that captures the guys’ grinning moment. We’re challenging you, The Kitchen fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Eyes on the Surprise at Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile Stephanie, the bar manager at Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery, had reached out to Robert Irvine for help in reviving business, she never could have expected that he’d turn up unannounced. In a tricky double elimination, when he arrived with his Restaurant: Impossible team in tow, Robert shocked not only Stephanie but also Christina, the owner of the Crestwood, Ill., restaurant. Eight months after opening the doors to Copper Still, Christina had yet to make a profit on the eatery, and the financial struggle had begun to put a strain on her marriage to her husband, Dominic. It was up to Robert to reinvigorate Christina, mend her relationship and transform Copper Still — and he almost had to do it alone. Stephanie was so upset by Robert’s ambush that she nearly didn’t help in the renovation, but ultimately, in true Irvine fashion, that didn’t stop Robert from completing his mission. Read on below to hear from Christina and see how Copper Still is faring a few months since it reopened.

“The ambush has definitely opened my eyes to the different problems that we had with staff and training,” Christina says, reflecting on her Restaurant: Impossible experience. “I have now since become more aggressive with the direction I would like the staff to go into. I have had less toleration for the behavior we once overlooked.” She adds that there are now “new rules and procedures that the staff must understand and follow,” and she says that there is “a different training process” in place for new staff members.

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Ree Sets the Table for a Cowboy-Friendly Feast on The Pioneer Woman’s Ultimate Thanksgiving

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

Ree Drummond on The Pioneer WomanWhether it’s a steak-and-potato dinner or a hearty pasta buffet, Ree Drummond is known for offering up a bounty of hearty plates to her brood of kids and ranch hands on The Pioneer Woman. So you can imagine the feasts she puts forth come the holiday season. Just last year she hosted the first-ever Cowboy Christmas, and next week she’ll welcome fans to the ranch once again for a look at how she does turkey day on The Pioneer Woman’s Ultimate Thanksgiving.

Airing Monday, Nov. 16 at 8|7c, Ree’s brand-new special will not just showcase family-friendly recipes ideal for a seasonal centerpiece, but it will also introduce The Pioneer Woman’s tricks for making classic dishes ahead of time — without sacrificing flavor. Her secret? Starting preparations three days prior to turkey day, counting down and checking off all of the tried-and-true elements of a down-home feast. To guarantee a stress-free Thanksgiving, she gets a head start on preparing the bird — her Maple Whiskey Turkey — and then preps the dessert, a party-perfect Gingerbread Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce, so that come turkey day, she’ll only have to complete some last-minute quick fixes before savoring the holiday meal with her family.

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“Richard Actually Got All of My Best Sabotages” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

The second-ever Superstar Sabotage tournament kicked off in the Cutthroat Kitchen arena last night, and in true evilicious fashion, host Alton Brown held nothing back in the way of diabolical challenges for the first lot of A-list chefs to do battle. Richard Blais, normally a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, was one of the chefs competing for Cutthroat glory last night — and indeed he achieved it, but not without perhaps more than his share of sabotages. “Richard actually got all of my best sabotages,” Alton told Simon Majumdar, who joined the host and Richard on the After-Show for a look back at Richard’s road to victory.

Simon, always game to attempt the sabotages himself, walked on set in full body armor so he could begin to understand just what Richard endured in the first round’s English-breakfast test. “It gets hot in there,” Richard told Simon, who also saw firsthand the limited ingredients available to Richard when he was saddled with yet another English-breakfast sabotage: a mandate to use only the items set up on an English breakfast table. “Very rarely does someone in the first round with two sabotages survive,” said Alton to Richard, who agreed that it came down to “absolutely survival.”

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One-on-One with the Heat 1 Winner of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage

by in Shows, November 4th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar SabotageFrom grandmas and firefighters to even the roster of judges he keeps on hand, Alton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including the A-list chefs on Superstar Sabotage. In this brand-new series, 16 all-star professionals, all renowned in their field, have agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most will ultimately fall in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few will shine — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in the tournament finale. Check back to FN Dish after each episode to hear from the latest round’s winner in an exclusive interview. If you haven’t watched tonight’s new episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and out of the battle.

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