Log In   ·   Become A Member

INTERVIEW: "Home & Family" Co-Host Debbie Matenopoulos On Her Favorite Guests, New Greek-Inspired Skincare Line, Hallmark Channel's "Countdown To Christmas," Why Texas Trucker Eggs Are A Holiday Must, And More

Nicole Barylski

Debbie Matenopoulos donning a Kate Spade dress and earrings by Deepa Gurnani. (Photo credit: Hallmark's Home & Family)

In addition to co-hosting Hallmark Channel's Home & Family, TV personality and lifestyle expert Debbie Matenopoulos has been busy readying for the launch of her new Greek-inspired skincare - and the holidays, of course.

We had the pleasure of catching up with the five-time Emmy nominee and best selling cookbook author about her hit Hallmark Channel talk show, upcoming guests, the beloved "Countdown to Christmas," holiday traditions and much more.

You co-host Hallmark Channel's Home & Family alongside Cameron Mathison. Who have been some of your favorite guests?

DM: We've had so many amazing guests! Some of my favorites have been Gwen Stefani, Michael J. Fox, Candace Cameron Bure, Billy Baldwin, Meredith Vieira, Regis Philben, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kim Cattrall, Peter Frampton, Malin Akerman, Smokey Robinson, LeAnn Rimes, Carl Weathers, Jon Voight, Paul Reiser, Lacey Chabert, Jonathan Bennett, Holly Robinson Peete, Reba McEntire, Julie Andrews, Henry Winkler. Not to mention the amazing celebrity chefs, wellness experts, and authors who are guests on a daily basis.

Who can we expect in the upcoming future?

DM: Martina McBride, Chrissy Metz, Kim Raver, Curtis Stone, Lou Gossett Jr., Katee Sackhoff, and Elizabeth Berkley. I'm also looking forward to having my dear friend, amazing fashion designer Shoshanna Gruss on as well.

Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas" offers endless holiday movies. Which ones are you most looking forward to this year?

DM: USS Christmas, Christmas Waltz, A Nashville Christmas Carol, Christmas in Evergreen: Bells are Ringing, If I Only had Christmas, and Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas.

You grew up in a traditional Greek household and penned the bestselling cookbook It's All Greek to Me. What are your go-to holiday dishes?

DM: Pomegranate Trifle (click here for the recipe), Greek-Style Macaroni and Cheese (click here for the recipe), Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts (click here for the recipe), Baklava (click here for the recipe), Cauliflower Mash (click here for the recipe), Lemon Olive Oil Cake (click here for the recipe), Hashbrown Crust Quiche (click here for the recipe), Greek Rice Pudding (click here for the recipe), Peanut Butter Sticky Buns (click here for the recipe), Spanakopita (click here for the recipe), and Strapatsatha (click here for the recipe).

What about holiday traditions?

DM: Every Christmas Eve, my sister and her family, my brother and his family, and my family all go to my parent's house in Virginia (to the childhood house we grew up in) and have Christmas Eve dinner. After dinner, we open the presents from the family around the tree and always play one game of white elephant. We usually all stay up far too late drinking red wine and Moscow mules and watching our very favorite Christmas movie ever, Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation. Then, far too early Christmas morning, we are awoken by the kids so that we can open the presents Santa left under the tree. Then, we all gather in the kitchen to help make a yummy Christmas breakfast that consists of sticky buns, quiche, a Greek omelet called Stapatsatha, and my sister-in-law's famous Texas Trucker Eggs. You haven't lived until you have had Trucker Eggs. We then get dressed up in our perfect Christmas outfits and go to church. The rest of the day is spent with our door open welcoming anyone who stops by with coffee, deserts, and adult beverages.

Ikaria, your Greek-inspired skincare line, launches this month. Tell us about the line and why it was important to incorporate your heritage.

DM: I am so proud of my Greek heritage and what my people have contributed to modern society. I wanted to do something to honor my culture by sharing even more of its beauty, so I set out to create a skin care line that is all natural and made from ingredients that are found in Greece (honey, olive oil, holy basil, chamomile, mountain tea, royal jelly, bee propolis, Mediterranean sea salt, as well as so many more natural ingredients). I wanted to create something that was not only nourishing and amazing for your skin, but something that also actually worked. So, I started my research on the island of Ikaria, which has been dubbed the place where people forget to die. Ikaria happens to be one of the only five blue zones on the planet. People on Ikaria and in most of Greece live longer and healthier lives and their skin always looks great. So, I wanted to bring a product to market that represents what my people have been doing for centuries - because it works.

Have you ever visited the Hamptons?

DM: Yes, I have visited the Hamptons many times. I lived in New York City from 17-years-old to 24-years-old. I'm a big fan of wind surfing in East Hampton and I loved eating at The Palm, Lobster Roll, Nick & Toni's, East Hampton Grill, and Carissa's has the best baked goods in America.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

New York Title Abstract Services, Inc.
We are a title insurance services company dedicated to promptly delivering fully compliant and accurate reports, and title insurance, for residential and commercial real estate throughout New York State. Headquartered in the Hamptons, our professional team has extensive real estate experience and understands the business from all sides including title insurance, legal, sales, governmental, banking, and lending regulations.

Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Considered a West of the Shinnecock Canal expert with a 5-star Zillow ranking, Aimee specializes in the luxury and waterfront markets in Quogue, Westhampton Beach, Remsenburg, East Quogue and Hampton Bays. With exceptional communication skills and a buttoned-up approach to every deal, she is highly skilled in the art of the negotiation process. Understanding the nuances of buying and selling waterfront homes, especially on Dune Road, is a specialty.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.

The Citarella Standard. We’re passionate about sourcing and selling the world’s best seafood. When you order our fresh seafood online, what you receive always reflects the unrivaled standard of our markets. It’s hand-prepared, never frozen, and shipped overnight. 631-283-6600.