All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an online editor at FoodNetwork.com, covering top-tier show and talent packages and managing the FN Dish and Star Talk blogs. She grew up in a tight-knit Italian family in Michigan, where food was the focus of most conversations and it wasn't unusual to talk about the next day’s lunch and dinner menus while eating breakfast. Maria graduated from Barnard College in 2012 and currently lives in New York City. She likes her pasta cheesy, her eggs runny and her oysters briny.

Enter to Win a Box of See’s Candies Chocolates for Your Valentine

by in Contests, Holidays, January 26th, 2017

Enter to Win a Box of See's Candies Chocolates for Your ValentineWhile many of us are still finding our footing with our New Year’s resolutions, believe it or not, it’s already time to start planning for Valentine’s Day. The countdown to all things roses, Champagne and chocolate is officially on, and we’re here to help make the holiday easier. This year, as you start shopping for your Valentine (or yourself — no shame in that game), be sure to check out the array of treats that See’s Candies has on deck. We’re big-time lovers of the chocolate-peanut butter combo, so we’ve got our eyes on this Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Heart. Fans of sweet heat, however, may be tempted by these Hot Hearts, featuring a delicate cinnamon flavor.

While you can buy directly from See’s Candies online, we’ve teamed up with the company to give five lucky, randomly selected fans a box of Classic Red Heart – Assorted Chocolates for free. Featuring a mixed assortment of approximately 26 pieces of sweet-tooth-satisfying chocolates, including dark and milk varieties, this gift-worthy box would surely wow your Valentine. To be entered to win one of five boxes, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling us how you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this year.

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Transform Tonight’s Dinner Leftovers Into Tomorrow’s Breakfast and Lunch

by in Recipes, Shows, January 21st, 2017

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and CabbageIf your 2017 resolutions involve bettering your bottom line, this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen was for you. Money-saving tricks were the name of the game, as the co-hosts introduced not only good-to-know ideas for repurposing often-discarded food scraps, but also top tips for stretching leftovers. After Jeff Mauro put a hefty corned beef to work as the star of his slow-cooker supper, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee stepped in to bring the remnants of that meal — the meat and the veggies — to life in breakfast and lunch. Read on below to get all three recipes, then check out more of their low-cost, big-flavor plates right here.

Dinner: Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Who says you can eat corned beef on St. Paddy’s Day alone? Jeff turns it into the centerpiece of his anytime dinner (pictured above), letting the slow cooker do the work of infusing the beef with flavor and turning out moist, tender results. The secret to Jeff’s recipe is a sachet; this cheesecloth baggie is full of such bold ingredients as coriander seeds, mustard seeds and garlic cloves, and as the meat, carrots, potatoes and cabbage simmer, they absorb those craveable tastes.

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5-Ingredient Pasta from Kitchen Sink

by in Recipes, Shows, January 18th, 2017

5-Ingredient Pasta

Chatting with Spike Mendelsohn, a Co-Host on Kitchen Sink

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 16th, 2017

Chatting with Spike Mendelsohn, a Co-Host on Kitchen SinkThough Spike Mendelsohn calls Washington, D.C., home, chances are good that fans from coast to coast know him and his many restaurants. He and his family run multiple restaurant concepts, including Good Stuff Eatery, which specializes in juicy, satisfying, craveworthy burgers. But as Spike explained when we caught up with him on the set of Kitchen Sink, his culinary chops go well beyond the burger. “I’m a little bit all over the place,” he said, noting his experience with pizza, fine-dining and international cuisines alike. Read on below to hear more from Spike and get his take on what’s ahead on Kitchen Sink.

What can fans expect to see from you on Kitchen Sink? What will you be bringing to the party?
Spike Mendelsohn: I’m going to bring a lot of experience to the party. I’ve been cooking in the business for years, since I was a little kid, so I’ve done pretty much anything in the business. If they need me to washes on the Kitchen Sink, which it sounds like they might need me, I’ll be the perfect candidate for that. I’m just going to bring my fun and my experiences, and a lot of my experiences are travels and different cultures and cuisines and fun.

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3 Ways to Get Your Poaching On

by in How-to, Recipes, Shows, January 14th, 2017

Poached EggsIf you’ve ever enjoyed a plate of eggs Benedict for brunch, you know the rich decadence of poached eggs. To poach something is to cook it in liquid, and those poached eggs nestled atop a bed of Canadian ham and an English muffin bottom were gently simmered in hot water. Though poaching an egg requires a bit more finesse than does, say, scrambling one, the process is simple nonetheless — as is the technique of poaching just about anything else. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared tips for poaching eggs, plus salmon and pear. Read on below to get the recipes.

How to Make Poached Eggs
Let’s start with breakfast so you can make your own eggs Benedict. In addition to the eggs, you’ll need just one ingredient: vinegar, which helps to keep the whites intact and surrounding the yolks, instead of running in the water. It’s a good idea to crack the eggs into bowls before dropping them in the vinegar-laced water; in case the yolks break, you’ll be able to rescue them beforehand.

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Not-Your-Average Nachos from Kitchen Sink

by in Recipes, Shows, January 10th, 2017

Not-Your-Average Nachos

Chatting with Fanny Slater, a Co-Host on Kitchen Sink

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 10th, 2017

Fanny Slater“Yes, my name is actually Fanny, and no, it’s not short for anything.” That’s what Fanny Slater told us when we asked if there was anything she wanted to say to fans to introduce herself. We recently caught up with her on the set of Kitchen Sink, the brand-new series all about party-ready dishes and can-do techniques, and she told us about her style of cooking and a few of her favorite dinners and ingredients. Read on below to hear more from Fanny in a one-on-one chat and learn her secrets to becoming a “CEO.” (Spoiler: It’s not what you think.)

Many Food Network fans might know you from when you won Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook competition. But for newcomers, how would you describe your style of cooking? What will you bring to the party on Kitchen Sink?
Fanny Slater: I would say I’m bringing a little fun and silliness and storytelling, and the food that I love to eat from my childhood, which is really what the cookbook was based on. Just what I grew up with and how I put my own spin on it. So [I’m] definitely sort of a storytelling type of person. I love when food has a story behind it.

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One-on-One with Tregaye Fraser, a Co-Host of Kitchen Sink

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 9th, 2017

Tregaye FraserIt was less than a year ago that we saw Tregaye Fraser standing in Food Star Kitchen, accepting the coveted title of the next Food Network Star. Now, she’s set to showcase her Star potential on Kitchen Sink, which kicks off its new season on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 11a|10c. Each week she’ll be joined by food-loving pals, including a few familiar faces from The Kitchen. You can count on over-the-top dishes that will turn your party menu into an unforgettable feast, plus no shortage of entertainment, as Tregaye told us when we caught up with her on set. Read on below to hear from Tregaye in an exclusive interview, and get her take on what she’s bringing to the party on Kitchen Sink.

What has the journey to this moment been like for you, from winning Food Network Star in August to finally hosting The Kitchen Sink?
Tregaye Fraser: I’m so happy to finally be here. I’m so happy to finally be doing the show. It’s been a great journey, doing my guest appearances and things like that, so the experience itself is amazing. … And so now it’s show time. The moment of truth, the moment I have been waiting for. And I plan on making sure we get season after season. We’re going to have a good time on this show.

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Beyond the Breakfast Parfait: 3 New Ways to Use Yogurt

by in Recipes, Shows, January 7th, 2017

Yogurt PopsA tub of yogurt may be a fixture on your breakfast table, but there are more ways to serve this staple ingredient than the everyday parfait. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a trio of recipes that showcase this sweet-tangy pick, one of which transforms the traditional yogurt-granola mash-up into a fake-out dessert. Read on below to get their ideas, then click here to find the how-tos for all the recipes featured on today’s show.

Yogurt Pops
No longer relegated to the dessert course, frozen pops can steal the breakfast spotlight too. All you need are handy ice-pop molds and three classic parfait fixings: yogurt, granola and a sweetener like maple syrup or honey. Once the mixture freezes inside the molds, you can grab the pops and munch on them — no spoon required. Bonus: There are no rules when it comes to the ingredients, so it’s up to you to pick your favorite flavors.

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Cheesy Baked Ziti — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 1st, 2017

Baked ZitiWe’ve arrived in one of the best seasons of the year — no, I don’t mean the holiday season, which is wrapping up with today’s New Year’s Day parties. Instead, I’m talking about comfort-food season, which celebrates all things cheesy, creamy, hearty and oh so decadent. Ease your way into 2017 and keep warm all winter long with piping-hot comfort food, like the recipe featured in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. The Pioneer Woman’s fuss-free Baked Ziti is layered with a gooey mozzarella mixture, a beefy meat sauce and, of course, plenty of pasta. This top-rated casserole yields a whopping 12 servings, so keep it in mind when you’re planning for a crowd.

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

Get the Recipe: Baked Ziti