All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate 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.

Restaurant Revisited — Golf: Impossible at Pomona Golf and Country Club

by in Shows, August 13th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAt Pomona Golf and Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., Robert Irvine had to contend not only with a 45-year-old joint golf course and clubhouse but also family friction amongst the owners, sisters Andy Truitt and Pam Grenda, and their cousin, Bruce Ritchie. The trio was facing losses after having failed to attract a fresher audience, and it was up to Robert to reimagine the establishment’s futures. Read on below to hear from Andy and find out how Pomona Golf and Country Club is doing today, a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible transformation.

“Business is slowly picking up,” says Andy. “We’ve had three dinners averaging 25 people.” She adds that they “using the patio” and customers have taken well to the golf carts.

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Best 5 Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

by in Recipes, August 13th, 2014

Mac and CheeseEven at the height of a stifling summer, there are days when only warm, gooey comfort food will do, and when you’re faced with that kind of craving, macaroni and cheese is a go-to solution. From the classic stovetop variety to the creamy baked casseroles studded with bacon, there’s a mac and cheese to please every palate, and most are easy-to-make standbys that are guaranteed to wow your family. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five macaroni and cheese recipes from Trisha Yearwood, Alton Brown, Ina Garten and more chefs.

5. Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese — After combining noodles with milk, butter and cheese in the slow cooker, Trisha lets the machine do the work of preparing the dish for her.

4. Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Bacon and Cheese — Fresh thyme and crispy, salty bacon dress up Tyler Florence’s big-batch baked casserole.

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Quick-Fix Eats and Drinks for Summertime Snacks

by in Recipes, August 9th, 2014

Grilled Avocado with Black Bean SalsaFrom lazy afternoons spent outdoors to unexpected guests who drop by for an evening get-together, summer is all about relaxed, enjoyable days, including enjoyable entertaining. The key to any successful party — for both the guest and the host — is a range of go-to eats and drinks, and that’s where snacks come in. Instead of feeling like you have to prepare a no-holds-barred feast for your company, settle on a few simple snacks instead, like those featured on this morning’s episode of The Kitchen. The co-hosts showed off their favorite fuss-free recipes for casual bites and sips ideal for relaxed entertaining. Read on below to find a few of their quick-fix ideas, then check out the rest of what they prepared.

The Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Black Bean Salsa (pictured above) is a next-level take on the classic pairing of guacamole and salsa. When you dig into the dip with a crunchy tortilla chip, scoop up a mix of the creamy avocado and juicy salsa for a combination of flavors that are better together.

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Restaurant Revisited — Bowling: Impossible at Paul’s Bar & Bowling

by in Shows, August 6th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleAs time passes and new restaurant trends join the market, it’s often not enough for long-established eateries to continue doing business the same way year after year and decade after decade. Paul Awramko, the owner of Paul’s Bar & Bowling, learned this lesson the hard way when the 85-year-old establishment found profits rapidly declining in the last eight years. “Nothing has really changed” of the dark, old-fashioned interior at Paul’s, says Ed Arzoomanian, an investor in the business. The joint bar and bowling alley in Paterson, N.J., was in dire need of an update, and the menu called for a complete overhaul, both of which Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team successfully managed to complete in only two days and with a $10,000 budget. Read on below to hear from Paul to find out how his business is doing today.

“For the first three weeks, business was up 20 percent,” says Paul. He adds, “It looks so much brighter, more comfortable, intriguing, cleaner, more current [and] totally, totally not old school anymore.”

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Best 5 Waffle Recipes

by in Recipes, August 6th, 2014

Waffled Brownie SundaeWaffles may be known for their starring roles on breakfast tables, but when they’re not topped with warm maple syrup or cool whipped cream and berries, they shine alongside savory ingredients as well. From the tried-and-true marriage of waffles and fried chicken to the addition of bacon, cheese and spices, these tender, fluffy bites can be paired and stuffed with myriad flavors and textures; think of them as blank canvases just waiting to be dressed up depending on the batter. Read on below for classic and creative waffle inspiration with Food Network’s top-five waffle recipes from Damaris Phillips, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown and more chefs.

5. Semolina and Sun-Dried Tomato Waffle Pizzas — No longer just for breakfast, waffles take a savory turn with Damaris’ pizza pie-inspired recipe, boasting a sun-dried tomato waffle crust and traditional toppings, like homemade tomato sauce, gooey cheeses and fresh vegetables.

4. Chicken and Waffles — A trio of comfort food classics converge in Food Network Magazine’s quick-fix recipe: crispy, juicy fried chicken, fluffy waffles and smooth, buttery gravy.

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Restaurant Revisited: Culture Clash at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe

by in Shows, July 30th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible“This is tasteless,” Robert Irvine said of the tableful of dishes he sampled at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe in Atlanta. It turns out that the restaurant’s bland food was just one in a series of problems he and his Restaurant: Impossible team discovered on their latest mission. The uninspired decor was appalling to Robert and guests alike, and the staff struggled to work well with owner Jaliwa Owuo. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert overhauled the menu at Marie’s and reopened the eatery with a design that would be welcoming for all. Read on below to hear from Jaliwa and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

“We have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue” since filming ended, Jaliwa explains, noting that “the tipping has increased by 90 percent.”

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Best 5 Peach Cobbler Recipes

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2014

Easy Peach CobblerCheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and pound cake — these are just a few of the mouthwatering sweet treats that can be made easily all year round with guaranteed success. But when it comes to those fruit-focused desserts that depend on the ripest produce, it’s often best to wait until their shining season, to make sure the finished product turns out as sweet as possible. While strawberry and rhubarb season is coming to a close and the fall harvest of apples is still a few months away, now is the time to celebrate juicy peaches, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to bake them into a deliciously decadent cobbler. Start with a base of sweetened, spiced sliced peaches and finish it with an indulgent topping of crumbled oats or buttery pastry before baking until it’s tender and bubbly. For more summertime dessert inspiration, check out Food Network’s top-five peach cobbler recipes below to find must-try picks from Alton Brown, Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri and Trisha Yearwood.

5. Slow-Cooker Peach Cobbler — A hands-off dessert that requires only 15 minutes of prep time, Alton’s fuss-free cobbler lets the slow cooker do the work for you.

4. Blueberry-Peach Cobbler — Save time in the kitchen by using a prepared pie dough as the topping for Sunny’s two-fruit dessert, laced with nutmeg for added flavor.

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