Maria Xerakia Maria Xerakia is a food writer with more than 10 years of experience. She is a culinary expert and freelance writer. She has also been an on-staff editor for Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and Saveur and has worked at the award-winning Delfina Restaurant Group and as a Chef Instructor at Sur La Table. About Better Homes & Gardens Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.