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.

11 Party-Ready Recipes for All Your Holiday Get-Togethers

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, December 2nd, 2015

Italian Sausage BallsWhether your holiday plans include an elegant cocktail party, a traditional seated feast, a seasonal open house or some combination of these events, the key to easy, enjoyable entertaining at any party is a go-to menu of eats and drinks. This holiday season, stick with Food Network’s best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Italian Sausage Balls
Reinvent the usual Southern appetizer with Italian flair by opting for sweet Italian sausage instead of the plain variety and pairing each baked sausage ball with classic Italian ingredients like creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil. Since these appetizers are served on toothpicks, guests will be able to easily snack with their hands.

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Mini Mac and ‘Shrooms — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 30th, 2015

Mini Mac and 'ShroomsCream, cheese, pasta — there’s not much to dislike when it comes to classic macaroni and cheese. But to add even more flavor and an extra layer of heft, try stirring in some fresh add-ins to the mixture the next time you make it. While Ina Garten layers her casserole with sliced tomatoes and Rachael Ray showcases golden butternut squash, Food Network Magazine opts for plenty of mushrooms for hearty, earthy results.

Easy to make and full of the warming comfort you crave in macaroni and cheese, this recipe for Mini Mac and ‘Shrooms features a next-level cheese sauce that’s made with two kinds of bold cheeses: Taleggio (or Brie, if you prefer that) and pecorino. Once the buttery, creamy sauce is smooth, round out the dish with the pasta and a mix of mushrooms, including meaty creminis. For an added layer of texture, Food Network Magazine finishes each bowl of mac with buttery breadcrumbs for subtle crunch.

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Enter to Win a $25 See’s Candies Gift Card for the Holidays

by in Contests, November 30th, 2015

Enter to Win a $25 See's Candies Gift Card for the HolidaysWith Thanksgiving behind us, we’ve officially entered the holiday shopping season, which means that it’s not too early to start picking up goods for everyone on your “nice” list. Clothes, gift cards and DVDs are go-to picks year after year, but instead of resorting to the same ol’ this December, stick to the sweeter side of the season and opt for a tried-and-true indulgence: candy.

You can indeed put a homemade spin on edible gifts with these 50 ideas from Food Network Maagazine, but if your time is tight this year, the store-bought stuff is A-OK as well. Check out Food Network’s guide to edible gifts you can buy, as well as the latest holiday offerings from See’s Candies. Just in time for the season, See’s has released indulgent truffle flavors, including mint and eggnog, along with nutty toffee and the Holiday Wreath Box pictured above.

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Calling All Cookie Lovers: Here’s Your Chance to #BakeItForward

by in Community, Holidays, November 30th, 2015

Ginerbread Cookies with Royal IcingNow that you’ve officially used up the last bits and bites of your Thanksgiving feast, it’s high time to switch your focus to a sweeter agenda: holiday baking. ‘Tis the season for dressed-up gingerbread people, creamy mint cheesecake, sugar-dusted sugar cookies and more baked favorites, each brimming with the good cheer of the holidays.

From now through the end of the year, as you roll up your sleeves and prepare to roll out cookie dough, you can join Food Network and No Kid Hungry as they team up to provide 1 million meals to children who need them most. All you have to do is take a picture of whatever you’re already baking, share it on social media using the hashtag #BakeItForward and nominate a friend to do the same. With each photo that’s shared and tagged, Food Network will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry — and $1 provides a whopping 10 meals to those in need.

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The Art of the Mechanical Bull — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 29th, 2015

No matter the dish of the day or the chefs competing in battle, Alton Brown frequently auctions off sabotages that send Cutthroat Kitchen contestants to the seemingly strangest of work stations to prep their plates. (Remember the ball pit, the canoe and the high chair?) This week’s face-off was no exception as the Round 2 barbecue bacon cheeseburger test landed one competitor — where else? — atop a mechanical bull for the ultimate in ready-for-anything cooking. In true After-Show fashion, Alton wasted no time in saddling the judge of the day to this diabolical fate, and Antonia Lofaso took her turn at the challenge. Luckily for her, though, she didn’t have to prep burgers from scratch.

“You’ve got mise en place for the papaya salad,” Alton explained to her, as she had everything she’d need to make the Round 1 dish so long as she could stay atop the bull. “This is actually not that hard,” Antonia said while reaching for her ingredients and assembling the salad. But that was before Alton showed off the power of the bull controls. “How hard is it now?” he joked with her, after turning her around on the bull so she faced squarely away from the prep table. Once Alton repositioned her at the table, it was all about making do with the bucking and handling the moves in stride before she ultimately turned out a finished papaya salad.

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Welcome to Christmas at Bobby’s: A Very Flay Holiday

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, Shows, November 29th, 2015

Bobby Flay on Christmas at Bobby'sTo usher in the holidays and kick off the season with good cheer, Bobby Flay is throwing a Christmas party for all of his Food Network friends on the upcoming special Christmas at Bobby’spremiering Sunday, Dec. 6 at 12|11c. Fellow Iron Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian will be on hand, as will Katie Lee and Sunny Anderson, along with Scott Conant, Anne Burrell and the newest member of the Food Network family, Eddie Jackson, whom Bobby mentored on Food Network Star, Season 11. Recently FN Dish checked in with Bobby to see what the holidays look like at his house — how he celebrates with his family and what seasonal indulgences he craves most at this time of year. Read on below to hear from him as he dishes on his holiday entertaining strategy and looks back on seasons past from when he was a kid.

What does Christmas usually look like at your house? How do you celebrate?
Bobby Flay: It’s usually my family and some friends. We actually like Christmas Eve. I think we celebrate Christmas Eve more so than Christmas Day. Sometimes we go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. And usually there’s a biggish dinner for Christmas Eve, and sometimes I’ll make, like, Feast of the Seven Fishes. Even though we’re not Italian, it’s just a really great tradition.

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Chicken Tortilla Casserole — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, November 29th, 2015

Chicken Tortilla CasseroleCreamy, cheesy and oh-so-comforting, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, a fan-favorite recipe from Trisha Yearwood, transforms the usual baked chicken casserole into a next-level dish packed with bold flavor. Trisha creates a smoky chicken gravy laced with cumin and studded with green chiles to offer plenty of richness to her big-batch recipe, which she beefs up with layers of corn tortillas, tender shredded chicken and gooey cheddar.

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

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POLL: What’s the Centerpiece Dish on Your Holiday Table?

by in Polls, Shows, November 28th, 2015

The KitchenWith Thanksgiving, a holiday all but devoted to turkey, behind us, the focus has shifted to the upcoming holiday season and the entertaining that comes with it. From cocktail parties and cookie swaps to family dinners and open houses, holiday get-togethers can be what you make them in terms of the food and drink you pass and serve. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast kicked off the season with a hearty menu ideal for entertaining, including Jeff Mauro’s roast beef.

FN Dish wants to know: When it comes to the centerpiece element at your holiday feast, what dish do you most often prepare? Do you, like Jeff, reach for the beef, or do you follow the suit of Thanksgiving and opt for a turkey? Cast your vote in the poll below to let us know.

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“Double-Dog Dare” — Alton’s Superstar Sabotage After-Show

by in Shows, November 26th, 2015

Alton Brown challenges the chefs. The chefs challenge each other. That’s how a typical Cutthroat Kitchen battle unfolds, even in the midst of a Superstar Sabotage tournament. But when it comes to Alton’s After-Show, Alton gets even more diabolical: He challenges the judges.

On the latest installment of the After-Show following last night’s Heat 4 tournament face-off, Alton and judge Jet Tila experienced firsthand the eviliciousness that was the hamster wheel prep table, which Chef Bobby Deen was forced to contend with in Round 1’s Denver omelet test. While their mission began simply enough — Alton and Jet working and walking together to make a joint omelet — the situation turned even more dreadful when it came to the final step in omelet prep, the all-important flip. “I dare you to flip that,” Alton told Jet. “Double-dog dare.” Ever the good sport, Jet said, “I can’t say no.” And it’s a good thing he didn’t, because he managed to pull off a (near) perfect flip while he and Alton continued to walk the wheel. One bit of the omelet didn’t turn over, but Jet explained simply, “I’m going to hide it,” before successfully plating the omelet.

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One-on-One with the Heat 4 Winner of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage

by in Shows, November 25th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar SabotageAlton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including grandmas, firefighters, the judges he keeps on hand and 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 outs of the battle.

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