Allison Russo

Allison is a Brooklyn-based writer, eater, and blogger. When she's not hunting for the best veggie burger in NYC, she's probably Instagramming, trying to make someone laugh, or defending the Oxford comma.
Why Does Chocolate Turn White? It’s Because of Chocolate Bloom.
Before you toss out that weird-looking chocolate, stop and read this!
Dec 22, 2020
The $3 Trader Joe’s Dip I Always Have in My Freezer
"It usually passes for homemade, and I've been asked for the recipe several times."
Dec 5, 2019
I Went to Aldi for the First Time and Have a Controversial Takeaway
I think you'll agree with me.
Oct 24, 2019
The $6 Knife That Makes Me Feel Like I'm in Scandinavia
So fancy!
Oct 7, 2019
10 Christmas Trees Made Entirely of Delicious Food
Christmas trees in the kitchen or dining room don’t usually make the most sense. However, we’ll make an exception for these fun look-alike treats. Because presentation is key this time of year. Whether you want to get creative with a cheese platter or make DIY sweets, these are some of our favorite edible Christmas trees. This cheese board couldn’t be any simpler to put together. Use different colored cheese cubes and red and green grapes to create a layered Christmas tree.
Jun 9, 2019
10 Gifts for People Who Love the Great British Baking Show
On your marks, get set, shop!
May 30, 2019
10 Gifts for People Who Travel All the Time
Whether they're posting envy-inducing Instagrams or living out of a suitcase for work, they're the hardest people to make plans with. But they're the easiest to shop for.
May 24, 2019
This Is the Only Cookbook My Mom Ever Used
Giving my mom a cookbook for Mother's Day always seemed like a good idea. Until I realized it wasn't.
May 24, 2019
5 Things I Learned About My Own Eating Habits While Working at a Grocery Store
My first summer job was at the local supermarket in my hometown. For 20 hours a week, I traded my swimsuit for an unflattering maroon smock and rang up groceries, enjoying the air conditioning and fairly mindless work of scanning items and swiping credit cards. Little did I know that I was actually learning (about myself!) while I was there!
May 24, 2019
Why Fannie Farmer Is the Best Cookbook for Weeknight Bakers
Last year I wrote about my mom’s favorite resource for finding simple, easy-to-follow recipes: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. After going through her well-worn copy for the umpteenth time, I started thinking about how perfect so many of the recipes are for easy, weeknight baking. Whether you need a quick dessert for unexpected guests, or just want to satisfy 7 p.
May 24, 2019
The $25 Cold Brew Bottle That Totally Fixed My Mornings
I am not a morning person. At all. Most people know this about me — including my sister, who has felt my pre-caffeinated wrath on many occasions. As a result, she generously gifted me a cold brew coffee device this past Christmas. The gift has truly been life-changing. Or at least morning-changing! The gift? The BRUMI bottle, which I religiously use two different ways. Buy: Full Circle BRUMI Portable Coffee Brewer, $25 Before I go to bed, I set up my bottle to make cold brew.
May 24, 2019
5 Frozen Apps from Trader Joe’s That’ll Make You the Most Popular Person at a Party
I love cooking for people, but I also love a good shortcut. There’s nothing wrong with buying a frozen app (or three) to serve at a party — whether you’re hosting or showing up (just make sure to check with your host ahead of time, if you’re planning on needing the oven upon arrival!). In fact, I strongly encourage it. You have enough to do this time of year!
May 24, 2019
The Best Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping Tips, According to Checkout Clerks
I started working at the supermarket in my town when I was in high school, and continued to pick up shifts when I’d come home from college in the summer, for winter break, and (you guessed it!) Thanksgiving weekend. Even though I’d be home for just a few days during Thanksgiving, there were two things I could count on: My jeans wouldn’t be as comfortable when I got back to school, and my boss would ask me to work a shift the day before Thanksgiving.
May 1, 2019
10 Super Bowl Snacks That Look Like Footballs
What better way to kick off a Super Bowl party than with an assortment of football-shaped foods? (Foodballs?) Even if you’re only watching the game for the commercials, you can show off some sort of team spirit with plenty of pigskin-inspired hors d’oeuvres. Whether you lean towards cheesy, savory dips, or decadent sweets, these on-theme bites are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. From whoopie pies to deviled eggs, here are 10 of our favorite foods that look like footballs.
May 1, 2019
What Are Bitters Anyway?
Maybe you’ve recently perused a cocktail menu and noticed the many varieties of bitters in the lists of ingredients. Or perhaps you’ve noticed small bottles labeled “Angostura bitters” while browsing your local liquor store (the distinctive label that looks too big for the bottle might have caught your eye)? And maybe you’re wondering, “What exactly is this mysterious ingredient, and does it belong in my home bar?
May 1, 2019
Beyond Angostura Bitters: 5 More Bitters to Try and What to Pair Them With
Most people associate aromatic bitters with Angostura bitters — you’ve probably seen the bottles, decked out in the brand’s signature oversized label on supermarket shelves or at your local liquor store — but there are plenty of other bitters out there that will make your tipples tastier and also impress your friends. Check out five of our favorite bitters (besides Angostura) and learn what to pair them with.
May 1, 2019
Make Winter Better with an Indoor Picnic. You Just Need 7 Things.
The worst part of winter? It’s not summer! And that means you can’t have picnics. Unless you can. While the temperatures continue to chill us this February, consider planning an indoor picnic. You’ll just need a few things — and we’re guessing you already have them. Perhaps the most important ingredient when it comes to getting cozy, blankets are a must, must, must-have. You’ll need at least one as your base, and several more for people to snuggle up with.
May 1, 2019
Shrubs Are the Key to an Awesome Mocktail
Shrubs: They're fun to say and even more fun to drink! Here are 6 we love.
May 1, 2019
3 Ways to Pick the Best Pumpkins for Roasting Seeds
Pumpkins are good for all sorts of things (carving, painting, turning into pies). If you ask us, though, the seeds are the main attraction. Whether you coat them with savory spices or go with something sweet, roasted pumpkin seeds are just so perfectly “fall.” Plus, they are a great alternative to sugary Halloween candy, and just as festive. So how do you pick a pumpkin that’s guaranteed to have plenty of seeds? We consulted some pumpkin professionals to get the inside scoop.
May 1, 2019
A Guide to Picking the Best Pumpkins for Carving
There are so many different types of pumpkins to choose from! At just one farm stand, there could be more than a half-dozen options. How can you pick the very best pumpkin for carving? We turned to some gourd-growing professionals to get expert opinions. Have you ever seen signs for “Pie Pumpkins” and “Carving Pumpkins?” Farm stands will often label the pumpkins for you to help remove some of the guesswork. What’s the difference?
May 1, 2019
The Most Reliable Way to Get Pesky Stickers Off New Dishes
My mother has a strict policy against specialty cleaning products in her house. I have no idea how she keeps the place so clean without the help of a Swiffer or Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, but she manages. She does, however, break her own rule for one specific cleaning product. She always keeps a little bottle of yellow stuff under the sink — and it’s since become a staple in my own apartment, too. What is it? An adorably named product called Goo Gone.
May 1, 2019
Why Is the Produce at Trader Joe’s So Freaking Disappointing?
As great as the other sections are at Trader Joe's, the produce section is just so ... meh.
May 1, 2019
The $13 Target Find That Keeps My Kitchen Clutter-Free
I’m one of those people who is constantly searching for keys, headphones, electricity bills … you name it. The door to my apartment opens up into the kitchen, so the counter closest to the doorway had become a dumping ground for odds and ends. Because it’s a small kitchen, though, any kind of clutter makes the whole room look messy. For a while, I had some hooks set up by the doorway, which were handy for my keys, but not much else.
May 1, 2019
This Store Is a Cross Between the Container Store, IKEA, and Target
If you grew up or spent summers in New England, I’m guessing you’re familiar with Christmas Tree Shops. If you’re not … no, they don’t sell Christmas trees, and yes, they’re open year-round. Although the company has expanded since my childhood and now has locations in 18 states, there’s something purely “New England” about the store, and it’s one of my must-stop places whenever I go back to Massachusetts.
May 1, 2019
I Finally Bought This $20 Thing for My Kitchen and I Can’t Believe I Didn’t Get One Sooner
I stand at about five feet and three inches, and I’ve yet to live in a house with a kitchen designed for not-so-tall people. While I appreciate maximizing wall space with cabinets that reach the ceiling, over the years it has become incredibly annoying to drag a chair away from my kitchen table or climb onto the counter to get something down from the top shelf.
May 1, 2019
The $4 IKEA Find That Makes Me a Neater Cook
Fact: Cleaning up as I go is a tough thing for me. I’m also prone to spills. By the time I’m done with a cooking or baking project, it usually looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen. Because I’m innately a messy cook, many of the recipes I’ve ripped out of magazines or borrowed from my mom often end up coated in flour or covered in some kind of liquid that makes the ink run. (Sorry, mom.
May 1, 2019
Everyone Needs to Stop Ragging on the Galley Kitchen
I have watched a lot of HGTV. From House Hunters to Fixer Upper, I’ve listened to way too many soon-to-be homeowners describe their dream properties. Everyone wants character and charm, updated bathrooms, hardwood floors, and an open kitchen. I’m with them until this last item — I’m 100 percent Team Galley Kitchen.
Apr 30, 2019
The 5 Smart Food Choices That Are Helping Me Pay Off My Student Loans
I grew up in a fairly frugal household — my parents prioritized their spending, brown-bagging their lunches for work every day and skipping out on “extras” like cable TV. Although I had a solidly middle-class childhood (I enjoyed more than my fair share of family vacations and was gifted a used car upon getting my driver’s license), we exclusively shopped on sales racks and rarely ordered anything other than water to drink when we went out to dinner.
Jan 9, 2019
The Only Thing I Want for Christmas Is Wine
I don't want clothes or shoes, cute trinkets, or even gift cards. I only want wine.
Dec 20, 2018
The Easy Way I Save Money When Traveling
This one little habit gives me more money for other things and has a few other added benefits, as well.
Jun 14, 2018
The Little Grocery Store Item I Always Pick Up as a Travel Souvenir
I worked as a cashier at my hometown grocery store for years — on weekends when I was in high school, and during the summer when I was home from college. Over the years, I bagged my fair share of groceries, and was always impressed when a customer brought a particularly interesting reusable shopping bag. (First of all: Good job saving the planet! And second, love that you clearly put some thought into it!
Jun 8, 2018
How the Great British Baking Show Inspired Me to Give Baking Another Try
I’ve always loved to cook, but for a long time I felt restrained by the rigidity of baking. To me, cooking allowed for more creativity and improvisation (and I could add extra garlic or hot sauce to almost everything without serious consequence).
May 21, 2018
6 Ways to Make Eating Dinner in Front of the TV a Little More Special
Maybe your apartment is too small for even a tiny breakfast table, or maybe you just want to unwind with some takeout, some quality television, and as little conversation as possible? Whatever your reason for sitting on the couch while eating dinner, I can not judge you (I do it all the time!), but I can offer you some ideas for how to make the meal feel a little more special.
May 23, 2017
5 Reasons I Don’t Keep My Trash Can in a Cabinet
I'm sad to report that keeping garbage in the cabinet below my kitchen sink has proven to be a bad idea.
Mar 22, 2017
10 Southern Kitchens We Love
Nothing says “comfort” like a Southern kitchen. And these days, Southern kitchen design is branching out way beyond the typical gingham and country store look. Check out 10 of our favorite spaces, from sleek and sophisticated to cute and cozy. This newly renovated kitchen stays true to the 150-year-old house it lives in, thanks to an understated color palette, traditional finishings, and thoughtful touches.
Feb 17, 2017
10 Tips for Cooking All Day Without Making a Mess
An all-day cooking project is fun! (Especially if it’s blizzard-ing outside.) An all-day cleaning project is not. If you’re tackling a super-involved snow-day recipe, you’ll need these tips to minimize your cleanup time and maintain your sanity. Your kitchen should be spotless (or spotless-ish!) and the dishwasher and sink (or dish rack) should be empty before you even begin cooking. Adding to an existing mess will stress you out even more.
Feb 1, 2017