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.

10 Thanksgiving Appetizers (Because There’s More to the Holiday Than Turkey)

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 3rd, 2015

Best Thanksgiving AppetizersWhile some celebrations call for hours of slow grazing (those tailgate snacks are an all-afternoon affair, right?), Thanksgiving is often set up into distinct parts: appetizers, the main spread, dessert and leftovers. Since you’re likely spending most of your time prepping the bird and its fixings, keep the starter game simple, for both you and your company. After all, you don’t want to serve hors d’oeuvres that are so filling that your guests are not craving turkey. The key is to whet their appetites with a few seasonal bites that will only prime them for what’s to come, and these go-to picks surely fit the bill.

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All-Star Chefs’ Advice to First-Time Thanksgiving Cooks

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 3rd, 2015

All-Star Chefs' Advice to First-Time Thanksgiving CooksThe all-important turkey, the creamy potato side dish, the golden-brown roasted vegetables, the tart-sweet cranberry sauce and the buttery rolls (not to mention the desserts) … there are surely multiple pieces of the meal to contend with come Thanksgiving, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling some pre-holiday jitters. And if you’re a newbie to turkey-day cooking, there’s likely the added pressure of the unknown. That’s where these tips come in. According to many of your favorite Food Network chefs, there are indeed ways to make the celebration simpler, so much so that you won’t have to stress. The key takeaway? You don’t have to tackle the entire buffet on your own. “Do a potluck!” Giada De Laurentiis recommends. “Do not try to do it all yourself.” Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli adds, speaking to both Thanksgiving novices and returning hosts alike, “The best thing to do is write out your whole menu and then cross off at least two things.”

Click the image below to hear more from other chefs, including Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Anne Burrell, to learn their go-to tips and tricks for entertaining with ease this year.

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Speedy Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 2nd, 2015

Baked Eggs with Salsa VerdeWhile eggs are likely part of your weekend brunch routine, there’s no reason these protein-packed beauties can’t make an appearance at during the week — at any time of day. They cook up in mere minutes and are hearty enough to keep you feeling full, which is why they’re often called upon to beef up meatless meals.

In Food Network Kitchen’s 25-minute recipe for Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde (pictured above), eggs are the centerpiece of the dish, which is a top-rated fan favorite. Think of this fuss-free meal as eggs in purgatory gone green; while the traditional dish features eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce, this version lets a tomatillo-based salsa verde act as the sauce. Studded with garlic and jalapeno, this simple homemade sauce is blended until smooth, but the chefs in Food Network Kitchen advise, “If pressed for time, use a mild store-bought salsa, either red or green.” Once the eggs have cooked in the salsa, blanket them with Monterey Jack cheese for a gooey finish, and sprinkle with fragrant cilantro before serving.

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Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day with These Egg-cellent Ideas

by in Recipes, November 2nd, 2015

Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day with These Eggscellent IdeasNo, the calendar hasn’t fast-forwarded to spring. Today, Nov. 2, is indeed National Deviled Egg Day, and while deviled eggs often take on a shining role come Easter, they’re also a go-to appetizer for that other holiday just around the corner: Thanksgiving.

Since they’re hearty and comforting, deviled eggs will surely please your hangry turkey day guests when they arrive, but they’re not so large that partygoers will fill up before the feast. No matter if you opt for the tried-and-true classic recipe or decide to dress up the traditional deviled egg, you’ll be able to do much of the prep for this starter ahead of time, which means you’ll have one less thing to focus on as mealtime inches closer.

Check out some of our favorite ideas below for egg-cellent deviled egg inspiration. Read more

Enter to Win a Copy of Giada De Laurentiis’ New Cookbook, Happy Cooking

by in Books, Contests, Food Network Chef, November 2nd, 2015

Enter to Win a Copy of Giada De Laurentiis' New Cookbook, Happy CookingGiven the hectic rush of your kids’ after-school activities, the demands of your late-hours job and even the simple fatigue from the day-to-day hustle and bustle, it can seem nearly impossible to turn out any homemade meals for your family, let alone ones that are good for you. But Giada De Laurentiis is out to prove just the opposite. In her brand-new cookbook, Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out, she’ll show just how easy it can be not only to work healthy, wholesome meal prep into your daily routine but to enjoy the process of doing so as well.

Giada knows a thing or two about this all-important balancing act. When she’s not starring on Food Network Star or hosting Giada in Italy or Giada’s Holiday Handbook (premiering Sunday, Nov. 8 at 11a|10c), she’s likely in Las Vegas overseeing her premiere restaurant, Giada, or at home with her young daughter, so you can be sure that the tips, techniques and recipes she introduces in this all-in-one lifestyle book are not only inspired but also tried-and-true. In Happy Cooking you’ll be able to find almost 200 recipes, including wake-up-worthy breakfasts like granola and lemony pancakes, hearty fare like lasagna, and snacks for anytime, plus helpful how-tos for entertaining during the holiday season.

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“Now That We’ve Lost Our Dignity Forever” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 1st, 2015

Remember that time on Alton’s After-Show when judge Jet Tila joined host Alton Brown for a quick round of bobbing for doughnuts and things got a little silly? On tonight’s newest installment of the After-Show, the situation turned similarly hilarious when Alton challenged Jet to take on a duo of sabotages that plagued the Cutthroat Kitchen chefs. Elbow throwing, army crawling on the floor and even a swift knee-to-chest roll — it all happened tonight.

After unveiling The Half-Cooked Cafe that forced two chefs to scramble to the cafe window to pick up a Bob’s plate of raw food and use it as their sole ingredients, Alton and Jet took their turn at a friendly battle — but then it turned intense. With the guys scrambling for dishes and Alton practically running a Bob right off the stage, it didn’t take long for food to start flying. After the scuffle nearly broke out into an all-out brawl, Alton and Jet managed to return to their seats, and the host attempted to move on to the recap at hand, saying, “So, now that we’ve lost our dignity forever.”

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A Healthy Chicken Dinner in a Hurry — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 1st, 2015

Garlic Chicken and PotatoesWhen it comes to weeknight cooking, it can seem nearly impossible to check off all of the nice-to-have meal boxes — quick, easy, affordable, healthy and family-friendly — but not when you’re armed with this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week from Food Network Magazine. Featuring moist, juicy chicken breasts that are at once lean and full of bold garlic flavor, plus a hearty side dish of tender cumin-scented potatoes, this satisfying supper can be on the table in as little as 40 minutes. Serve with fresh lemon wedges to brighten up the finished plate, and don’t forget about the juices from the baking pan; you’ll want to drizzle those on top.

For more go-to dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Garlic Chicken and Potatoes from Food Network Magazine

Ming Tsai Fuses East and West Flavors on The Kitchen and Previews His Upcoming Family Reach Event

by in Shows, October 31st, 2015

Food Network's The KitchenWith fall in full swing, the time is now to take advantage of the best seasonal produce autumn has to offer. Just a few weeks ago, The Kitchen‘s Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid showed off their tricks for transforming in-season squash, and on this morning’s all-new episode, renowned chef and restaurateur Ming Tsai dropped by to offer another go-to recipe, this time one that fuses together the flavors of the East and West.

To make his Kabocha Squash and Shiitake Wontons with Pomegranate-Vinegar Syrup, Ming starts with roasted kabocha squash, the flesh of which he scoops out of the vegetable and mixes with shiitake mushrooms to create the base of the dumpling filling. Once these two-bite beauties have been fried and are golden brown and crispy on the outside, he drizzles them with a sweetened rum sauce studded with ruby-red pomegranate seeds for a burst of color and freshness.

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9 Kitchen Essentials You Can Make at Home

by in Recipes, October 30th, 2015

Quick Vanilla Buttercream FrostingThink about it: How many times in a week do you find yourself reaching for the same pantry and refrigerator standbys, like butter for your morning toast, ketchup for the kids’ chicken nuggets and hummus for an afternoon snack? These go-tos and others are often at the top of your grocery list when you’re nearing the end of your supply — but they don’t have to be. It turns out that it’s often just as easy — and perhaps more economical — to make them from scratch at home. Read on below to find out how to put a DIY spin on some of your favorite condiments, fixings and meal starters.


Even if you opt for a boxed cake mix (no judgment here), making a from-scratch frosting instead of reaching for the jarred stuff can save you from a cloyingly sweet dessert. Made with only four ingredients and ready in just 12 quick minutes, this top-rated Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting turns out light, fluffy and just sweet enough every time. More of a chocoholic? Look no further than Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate Frosting.

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Anne Burrell Has Done It Again: How She Mentored a Worst Cooks Recruit to Red Team Victory

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 30th, 2015

Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity EditionFresh off her Worst Cooks in America, Season 6 win not even one year ago, Anne Burrell has done it again: She successfully mentored a culinary novice from worst to first place. Only this time the victorious recruit wasn’t a home cook; she was a bona fide A-lister. As Jenni “JWoww” Farley of The Jersey Shore successfully outcooked her finale rival, Kendra Wilkinson, she not only claimed the title of best of the worst for herself, but she also scored another Red Team victory for her mentor, Anne. FN Dish caught up with Anne recently to look back on what it took to mentor the celebrities and to chat about her secret to success after clinching five wins in just seven seasons of the Worst Cooks franchise.

What was it like competing against and working with Rachael Ray, as opposed to Tyler Florence, your regular Worst Cooks in America co-host?
Anne Burrell: It was a different ball of wax. Tyler is great, but Rachel brought a bit of levity to an already very fun and silly situation. Well, a very fun and silly and serious situation. But Rachael and I got along just so well. It was great working with another girl chef.

Did you have any preconceived notions about what these celebs would be like in the kitchen, since they are so visibly in the public eye?
AB: No, and I was nervous that there was going to be, like, a whole bunch of divas and people being like, “Ah, I’m not going to do that.” But we did not have one in the bunch, and everybody really readily embraced the entire thing. It was really delightful.

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