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.

Cream Cheese Frosting — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 1st, 2015

Cream Cheese FrostingWhen you’re building your recipe repertoire, it’s best to look for the tried-and-true how-tos that you know are going to work well, those culinary workhorses that are easy to prepare and serve more than one purpose. That’s what this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is all about. For a go-to frosting recipe you’ll want to have in your back pocket, look no further than Food Network Kitchen’s quick-fix Cream Cheese Frosting (pictured above). It is made with only a few basic ingredients, turns out soft and fluffy every time, and shines atop cakes and cupcakes.

For more sweet ideas, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting

The Kitchen’s Snow Day Cooking Means Stick-to-Your-Ribs Comfort

by in Recipes, January 31st, 2015

Ricotta GnocchiFresh off a brutal weather week that left the East Coast blanketed in winter white, The Kitchen co-hosts came together this morning for an entire hour dedicated snow-day cooking. Whether you’re holed up indoors during a snow day or you’re forced to brave the elements and shovel, the name of the culinary game on chilly snow days is warming comfort food. Read on below to get the cast’s top takes on stick-to-your-ribs recipes for next-level gnocchi, plus the fluffiest mashed potatoes, a spiked cocoa cocktail and more.

If you’ve never before made gnocchi at home, Geoffrey Zakarian’s fuss-free recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi (pictured above) is a good place to start. He combines rich ricotta cheese with nutty Parmesan for flavor, then mixes in two kinds of flour and eggs to bind the dumplings together. After just a few minutes in boiling water, they turn out tender and delicate, ready to be tossed in a garlicky pancetta-studded tomato sauce. Geoffrey says that uncooked gnocchi will be good in the freezer for two weeks, so plan ahead for easy weeknight meals with ready-to-go gnocchi.

Read more

WATCH: The Do’s and Don’ts of Football Parties

by in Entertaining, Shows, January 30th, 2015

Even if your favorite team won’t be taking the field on Sunday, chances are you’re going to be vegging out in front of the TV with friends, and plenty of game-day eats and drinks, to watch the big game unfold. Just in time for those celebrations, The Kitchen co-hosts came together to offer a few good-to-know do’s and don’ts for both attending and throwing a winning football bash — or any get-together with a crowd. From how to build a worthy buffet to advice on ditching the six-pack of beer, click the play button on the video above to hear from the cast and learn their top tailgating tips.

For even more entertaining ideas, check out the cast’s best game-day recipes.

Fan Favorites: Your Picks for the Best. Burger. Ever. in Photos

by in Shows, January 29th, 2015

Best. Burger. Ever.Each week during the run of Best. Ever., FN Dish has been asking fans to share where they enjoy their ultimate eats, and in true superfan fashion, you have delivered in droves with details on the top pizza, barbecue, breakfast and now burgers. But for the first time this week, a noticeable number of fans went beyond just telling us about their best-ever burgers — they showed them to us as well. On Food Network’s Facebook page, multiple readers left comments and posted their personal pictures showcasing meaty monstrosities and over-the-top side dishes, plus notes on where to find these burgers.

If fans’ photos are any indication, you all think beyond the basics when it comes to the hamburger. Take a peek at readers’ photo submissions below to see the piled-high and fully loaded burgers, then read the rest of fans’ burger selects on Food Network’s Facebook page.

Read more

Restaurant Revisited: Mystic Mystery at Mystic Treats

by in Shows, January 28th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible“I have no idea what ‘Mystic Treats’ means,” Robert Irvine told husband-and-wife owners Michael and Erika Lowe of the name of their Ashland, Ore., eatery. Though the couple has a shared background in the IT field, the two opened Mystic Treats three years ago and recently relocated it to a space with history as both Mexican and Korean eateries, which only furthered Mystic Treats’ oddball identity. After hearing feedback from the community, Robert managed to find his vision for the updated interior, and he tasked his Restaurant: Impossible design and construction teams to bring several themes to life, including “earthy,” “vibrant,” “quirky — a little bit” and “homey.”

Read more

Best 5 Crepe Recipes

by in Recipes, January 28th, 2015

CrepesFrom breakfast and brunch to dinner and dessert, crepes can be customized for any meal of the day, all by simply swapping out sweet and savory fillings. Start with an all-purpose batter, like Alton Brown’s tried-and-true recipe (pictured above), then experiment with your favorite ingredient pairings in the stuffing to ultimately create all-new takes on traditional meals. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five crepe recipes for satisfying ideas from Giada De Laurentiis, Marcela Valladolid and more of your favorite chefs.

5. Blueberry-Lemon Crepes with Custard Sauce — Just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the fruity blueberry filling for Melissa d’Arabian’s indulgent crepes, which she serves atop sweet vanilla custard for added richness.

4. Chocolate-Strawberry Crepes — Follow Giada’s lead and mix in cocoa powder to a classic custard batter, then cook it gently on the stove and roll around a go-to combination of strawberry jam and mascarpone.

Read more

Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 26th, 2015

Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita ChipsWhether you’re looking to use up the last of the vegetables in the refrigerator, to make a single recipe that will feed your whole family or simply to cozy up to warming comfort food, soup is one of the ultimate go-to meals that surely fills the bill every time. When you’re craving something especially creative, dig into Food Network Magazine’s Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips (pictured above).

Ready to eat in only 40 minutes, this fuss-free soup features fresh carrots and celery, a can of tomatoes, plus chickpeas for heft, and pinches of cumin and coriander for over-the-top taste. Once you’ve prepared the base of the soup, let it simmer for a few minutes so the flavors have a chance to marry, and before serving, finish with a splash of bright lemon juice. For extra texture, dress up the soup with golden pita chips, which promise welcome crunch.

Read more

Embrace the Blizzard with Snow Day Cookies and Hot Cocoa

by in News, Recipes, January 26th, 2015

The ChewyHave you heard? There’s a little snowstorm making its way up the Eastern seaboard right now, and of course by “little snowstorm” we mean mammoth nor’easter the likes of which haven’t been seen here in New York City before. A blizzard of this magnitude surely brings with it a few icy downfalls, like bone-chilling temperatures, slippery streets and heavy shovels, but it also practically guarantees a snow day tomorrow. Take advantage of those cozy hours at home by indulging in a sweatpants-and-TV day — as well as cookies and cocoa.

Alton Brown’s The Chewy (pictured above) is the ultimate in chocolate chip cookies, with a five-star rating and more than 1,000 user reviews. You can trust that the name speaks for itself; these cookies turn out moist, soft and chewy in the center with just a hint of crunch along the edges. “The darker the sugar you use, the chewier your cookies will be,” Alton explains.

Read more

Speak Up, Fans: Where Do You Eat the Best Burger Ever?

by in Shows, January 26th, 2015

Best. Burger. Ever.Much like a pizza, a hamburger is a culinary blank canvas; to just a single patty and a soft, chewy bun you can add nearly any ingredient and transform the burger into an all-new creation worthy of breakfast, lunch or dinner. On tonight’s fourth and final episode of Best. Ever., your favorite Food Network chefs are exploring their picks for the Best. Burger. Ever., including meaty beauties stuffed with gooey cheese, classic favorites loaded with green chiles and bold, flavorful all-vegetable burgers.

Before you tune in tonight at 10|9c to learn where you can enjoy the stars’ top finds, FN Dish wants to know: When it comes to between-the-bun specialties, what’s the best burger you’ve ever had, and where did you eat it? Was it a juicy, no-frills burger from the diner, topped with cheddar and ketchup, or perhaps a gourmet-style presentation from a 5-star restaurant? Leave a comment below, tell us on Food Network’s Facebook page or Food Network’s Google+ page, or tweet @FoodNetwork using #BestBurgerEver to tell us your local restaurant picks and share your version of the ultimate burger. FN Dish will round up your answers and reveal your top selections on Thursday.

Read more

“Brown-Bag Brownie. Nailed It” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, January 25th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen is nothing if not punny, as Alton Brown is notorious for putting literal spins on the challenge dishes, all in an effort to create hilariously diabolical sabotages. When it came time for the competitors to make brownies for dessert on tonight’s all-new big-game episode, he reached for what else but brown bags to auction off as one contestant’s sole mixing and cooking vessel. These everyday bags are surely thin and weak, so would such a mandate be fair to ask of a chef, and is brown-bag baking even possible?

The Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew set out to answer that very question as they attempted this sabotage before the contest in the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages. After a quick triple-ply maneuver to prevent batter seepage, food stylist Chelsea proclaimed, “Brown-bag brownie. Nailed it,” proving once and for all that brownies can indeed be made in brown bags.

Read more