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.

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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One-on-One with Patricia Heaton: All About Her New Series and Why Debra Barone Scared Her Away from Lemon Chicken

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 15th, 2015

Patricia HeatonPatricia Heaton, the TV sitcom mom you know and love from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, is known among her friends and family for throwing welcoming, enjoyable parties — and beginning this fall, you’re invited to attend them. On her brand-new series, Patricia Heaton Parties, premiering Saturday, Oct. 24 at 12|11c, Patricia is welcoming viewers into her kitchen for a look at how she serves up simple yet craveable bites ideal for entertaining, all while enjoying herself with guests, including several of her co-stars on The Middle.

Just in time for the premiere, FN Dish caught up with Patricia to find out more about her penchant for giving parties and her strategy for stress-free party planning. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Patricia to see what two must-haves are always on the menu at her house and learn how her former Everybody Loves Raymond character, Debra Barone, has influenced her in the kitchen.

What can fans expect from your brand-new series?
Patricia Heaton: I’m really excited to have my fans join me for casual get-togethers with my friends and family. I’ll be sharing recipes that are easy and delicious.

What are you most excited about showing viewers and inspiring in them?
PH: I think it’s easy to be intimidated by the idea of cooking for guests. A great way to dip your toe into the water is inviting people over for cocktails and appetizers — casual and fun.

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Join Us at the 2015 New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, News, October 14th, 2015

Join Us at the 2015 New York City Wine & Food FestivalThe crunchy and colorful leaves, the cozy sweaters, the pumpkin spice lattes — there are many reasons to love fall. But perhaps the best reason of all is that it means the arrival of one of the culinary industry’s most-anticipated events: the annual New York City Wine & Food Festival. Each October your favorite Food Network chefs converge upon the Big Apple for a four-day celebration of all things food and drink, from the cheesiest, juiciest burgers and the most-succulent barbecue to craveable tacos and a seemingly never-ending supply of meat.

This year’s festival kicks off Thursday, Oct. 15, and will run through Sunday, Oct. 18. FN Dish will be on hand all weekend long to join A-list stars, like Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Robert Irvine and more, as they mingle with fans at walk-around tastings, late-night bashes and jam-packed demos alike. If you can’t make it to New York this weekend to take in the parties for yourself, stay tuned to FN Dish for continued coverage of the action, or search the hashtag #NYCWFF to see what’s going down.

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Robert Irvine Exclusive: No One Expects an Ambush

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 13th, 2015

Robert IrvineFor the past 11 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine has given seemingly hopeless restaurateurs second chances at success, completing dream transformations, both within the four walls of the eateries and beyond, as he’s worked with owners to evolve their business savvy. On the brand-new season of Restaurant: Impossible Ambush, he’ll do all of that again — but this time, the owners don’t know he’s coming.

Premiering Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9|8c, Restaurant: Impossible Ambush will show what happens when Robert and his team drop by unannounced, all set to take over an unsuspecting owner’s business, and what results simply cannot be anticipated. From pure elation to downright dissatisfaction, the reactions to Robert’s impromptu renovations are as variable as the issues plaguing the failing eateries. If you thought that owners were shocked — and perhaps a bit annoyed — by Robert’s advice even when they requested it, imagine what might ensue when he shows up without an invitation.

Just in time for this month’s premiere, Robert gave FN Dish an insider’s look at what’s ahead on Ambush. Read on below for an exclusive interview with the host and find out what he wants to say to the stubborn owners he’s met along the way.

What can fans expect from the Ambush renovations? How are these episodes different than past Restaurant: Impossible shows?
Robert Irvine: Crazy! For 11 seasons [of] Restaurant: Impossible, the viewers knew that the guests, or the people I was going to help, knew I was coming. I was the only one that didn’t know where I was going. Season 12 Ambush, let me tell you, they have no idea I’m coming, and I have no idea where I’m going. And what happens when I walk in the door truly is up to them: how they react, how I speak to them, how they lose their cool. And do they want me there? That’s the big question. … I’ve got to tell you, it’s not like any other Restaurant: Impossible we have ever, ever done. It’s exciting. It is gripping. It’s chilling. It’s nail-biting. And you’ll never know what’s going to happen, ’cause every turn is something different.

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Spicy Macaroni and Cheese — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 12th, 2015

Spicy Macaroni and CheeseWhile some recipes require a bit of (worthwhile) finagling to make them meatless, macaroni and cheese isn’t one of them. Kids and adults, meat eaters and vegetarians, picky eaters and voracious culinarians — seemingly everyone is pleased when a bowl of piping-hot, ooey-gooey mac and cheese is set before them.

When it comes to classic recipes, this one for baked macaroni and cheese and this one for the stovetop variety are go-to places to start. But for a next-level twist on the traditional version, try Sunny Anderson’s 5-star Spicy Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above). It boasts all of the cheesy richness you crave — there are a whopping three kinds of cheeses in this indulgent recipe — but the pinch of cayenne adds a welcome boost of heat. To add to the creamy texture in this big-batch casserole, Sunny adds a bit of tangy sour cream to the cheese mixture, and then she balances out that texture with a crispy-crunchy topping of buttery croutons.

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Judge Jet’s “Tip to the Chefs” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 11th, 2015

Cook the assigned dishes and win the game — that’s all there is to Cutthroat Kitchen, right? Yes, but of course there are those tricky sabotages to contend with as well. But even in the midst of daunting challenges, many competitors make the rounds harder on themselves by going far beyond what’s asked of them. After tonight’s brand-new episode, judge Jet Tila and Alton Brown sat down on the host’s After-Show to dish about how one chef’s determination to do more and put more on the plate ultimately cost her the competition.

In the first round’s Monte Cristo assignment, Chef Jourdan was saddled with working with bread from a French onion soup to make her sandwich. While Jet suggested ideas for making the sabotage work, Alton noted that Chef Jourdan did not pursue them. Perhaps that was because, as Alton said, she was “too busy making soup and a tomato salad,” neither of which is a required element of a classic Monte Cristo. “A tip to the chefs: Don’t ever do more dishes than what is required,” Jet told Alton as the judge pondered Chef Jourdan’s elimination, and Alton agreed. “Do the required one correctly,” the host added. For Chef Jourdan, no matter the seemingly superfluous items on her plate, her sandwich wasn’t a win either, as Jet found it to be “beefy” on account of the soup sabotage.

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Mini Banana Beignets — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 11th, 2015

Mini Banana BeignetsLet’s chalk this one up to the weather: Now that the air has turned chilly and the days shorter, it seems only right that we’re craving the warming comfort of sweet treats. In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, two-bite dough balls are laced with fresh banana and tossed in a tried-and-true mixture of cinnamon and sugar while they’re still warm from the fryer. Perhaps best of all is that these next-level doughnuts, featured in Food Network Magazine, can be ready to eat in only 25 quick minutes, making them a go-to dessert when you need something easy yet impressive.

For more ways sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Mini Banana Beignets from Food Network Magazine