The Lemon-nut

The perfect alcoholic drink for any lingering warm days. I have to give all the credit to my cousin Austin on this one. We spent the weekend together  with her brother (also my cousin) in Clemson reliving our college years. Turns out we aren’t quite cut out for it anymore.

After 2 full days of the college lifestyle we “went crazy” on Saturday night. Two lemon-nuts and we were in bed by 11. 

The Lemon-nut

2 shots coconut vodka

lemonade (to taste) (;


Zucchini Bread with chocolate chips

My mom use to make this for me all the time when I was in college. This was my first time making it, though, and I discovered a new favorite thing — grating zucchini! OMG IT’S SO FUN. It just happens so fast, and its so easy. Forget cheese, I’ll be putting freshly grated zucchini on everything. 


Also hiding vegetables inside bread and chocolate is genius. This bread contains more zucchini than I’ve eaten in the last 6 monhts. I need to find more ways to hide my vegetables.


{3 Eggs♥ 1 cup veg oil♥ 2 cups sugar♥ 2 cups grated raw zucchini♥ 3 cups flour♥ 1 t soda♥ 3 t cinnamon♥ 1 t salt♥ 3 t vanilla♥ 1 cup chocolate chips}

1. Beat



 vegetable oil


 and sugar until fluffy.


2. Combine

the remaining ingredients (excluding chocolate chips).


3. Fold

in the chocolate chips.


4. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

World's Best Pizza

I’ve been working on a list of the World’s Best Cheese Pizzas for a couple years now, and I’m finally ready to unleash it. I also have a whole wheat pizza recipe to share with you, and while it doesn’t make it onto the list, it is pretty darn good and really fun to make. 


1. Pizza Roma - Prague, Czech Republic

I discovered this pizza when I studied abroad in 2010. I went back to Prague in the fall of 2012, and returned to Pizza Roma to make sure this pizza was still, in fact, the best in the world. Pizza Roma is just a little hole in the wall shop. It’s all underground, with brick walls and no windows, and it’s just got a great rustic atmosphere without having tried to achieve it, you know? You get a large cheese pizza for about 5 bucks. It’s paper thin, with a perfect layer of sauce and tons of cheese, oil, and spices. But somehow all those toppings don’t weigh down the paper thin crust. It really is wonderful—even die-hard ABJC’s (anything but just cheese) prefer this cheese pizza to those with meat. 

2. KontikiSint Maarten

I certainly wasn’t expecting to find the second best pizza in the world in this particular location. We were in a fairly touristy spot near Orient Bay, and I expected them to serve pretty generic food. But boy, was I surprised. I was with my family and they all agreed that this pizza was exceptional. 

3. Burke Street Pizza - Winston-SalemNC

This is my hometown but somehow I never ate this pizza until I was 17. You know how delicious pizza always looks in cartoons? All thin and cheesey and when you take a bite of it the cheese drapes for like a foot before it breaks. This is exactly what this pizza is like – your favorite cartoon pizza come to life. 

4. Lilly’s Pizza- Raleigh, NC

I kind of hate that this place is on the list because they seem pretty pretentious to me. The atmosphere of the shop is definitely not for everyone. But this list is purely best pizza and nothing else so, alas, it takes spot #4. Every single one of their ingredients is special in some way. It’s like they harvested all the tip top meats, cheeses, and vegetables and then found the best recipe for crust ever. You can’t go wrong with anything you get here, although, of course, I prefer just cheese. 

5. Big Cheese Pizza- Wellington, KS

Admittedly, this probably slides into spot #5 for sentimental reasons as well as delicious flavor. They are a local place that does mostly deliveries. And while it is pretty rundown and maybe a little dirty, the pizza is awesome. And their other pièce de résistance is their chocolate dessert pizza. Maybe one day I will attempt to recreate this sinfully delicious masterpiece. 


Read more to check out the whole wheat pizza recipe. And let me know what your favorite pizza places are! 


{1 packet active dry yeast♥  1 cup warm water♥  1 tbsp brown sugar♥ 1/2 tbsp olive oil♥  1/2 tsp salt♥  1 cup whole wheat flour♥  3/4 cup all-purpose flour}

1. In a bowl,combine the warm water, yeast, brown sugar and oil. Let sit for about 10 minutes while it gets foamy.


2. Add in the flour and salt. Mix with a spoon at first, and then knead with your hands. If it’s too sticky add in flour a little at a time. 

3. Form a ball with the dough, and brush lightly with olive oil. Set in a bowl, covered with a damp towel, and let it rise for about 1-2 hours. 



{ finely minced garlic♥  mozzarella cheese♥  oregano♥  olive oil♥  rosemary♥  grape tomatoes}

Obviously, use any ingredients that you want but these are my personal favorites. Whatever you use, load it up though, because we all know whole wheat dough can be a tad dry. The more cheese and sauce the better!

4. Heat your oven to 400 F. 

5. After the dough has risen, roll it out pretty thin with a rolling pin.

6. Top with your chosen ingredients, and bake for about 15 minutes directly on the oven rack.


the best oatmeal cookies

I know, I know…I just posted the best cake balls; how could I possibly have the best oatmeal cookie recipe too? Actually, this was probably one of the recipes that got me interested in baking. This was my go-to recipe as a kid, and even though I probably got it off the back of an oatmeal box, it felt like my own and I was always so proud to share it. 


My cat seemed to know that these are the best oatmeal cookies too, because she was all over the plate during the photo shoot.


Recipe follows 

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

yields:4 dozen

{1 cup (2 sticks)softened butter | 1 cup brown sugar | 1/3 c granulated sugar | 2 eggs | 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract | 1 1/2 cup flour | 1 tsp baking soda | 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats | 1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips** | 3/4 cups chocolate chips}


. Heat 

oven to 350 F

2. Beat

butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy


3. A


eggs and vanilla and




4. A


flour and baking soda and 






in oats and all chips.



balls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet.



for 10 minutes


**The cinnamon chips can be unfortunately hard to find

But I’m sure these would also be good with white chocolate chips

toffee chips


 or caramel bits


the best cake balls

I’ve made quite a few cake balls in my day, but somehow have always been disappointed. I never quite understood the hype. But luckily I have since figured out the magic. The real secret is texture. You have to perfect the frosting-cake ratio, and get some nice crunchy sprinkles. I added even more texture by using funfetti frosting! Try to contain your excitement. (oh yeah, and I used two colors to make them even cuter) 


Cake balls are a long process—make sure you are equipped with a lot of time and patience before you begin! 

ingredients:1 package yellow cake mix + necessary add-ins (eggs, oil, water) | food coloring | 1 can vanilla funfetti icing | candy coating | sprinkles]

1.Mix up your cake ingredients. Divide the batter into two bowls and add coloring of your choice to each bowl. Bake the cakes in separate pans according to directions on the box. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.

2.Peel off the firm skin that has developed on the cake. It should come off easily.


3. Take your peeled cake and finely crumble it into two bowls. 

4.Mix icing into your crumbled cake. USE CAUTION.This is how many a cake ball has been ruined. Add frosting in a little at a time, starting with 1/4 cup in each bowl. The frosting is there to bind the balls only—don’t let it overtake the texture of the cake by adding too much.


5.Form a small ball (1/4-1/2 inch) using one color of your cake/icing mixture. Take some of the other color and add it to your ball. Line them up on a cookie sheet.

6.Put them in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the fridge for a few hours.

7.Melt your candy coating over a double boiler.

8.Put a cake ball into the candy coating; rolling it around with a spoon until it’s covered.

9.Transfer the coated ball onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle immediately. Repeat steps 8-9 until all the balls are complete. Refrigerate until candy coating has set and enjoy! 


Now just try not to eat them all in one sitting,like I did. 

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

So my mom called me yesterday with life-changing news:


Mom: “I bought some new super stuffed oreos today.” 

Me: “WHAT?!?!?!” (frantically searches for “super stuff oreos” on the internet) ”MOM I can’t find them what EXACTLY are they called?!” 

Mom: “Oh ummm…..Mega Stuf Oreos.”



After this minor freakout, I finally found proof of their existence, immediately went to target to look for them, didn’t find them, went home feeling despondent, fell asleep, and dreamt about buying them at Stein Mart.

All this to say that I never actually found/bought them; but it did inspire me to make something with oreos. And it’s low-fat, more or less anyway. 


awwww yeah, OREO COMPILATION! 

I would definitely put this recipe in the Top 5 which currently contains the oatmeal chocolate caramel gooey bars and the red velvet cheesecake!

ingredients:1 package reduced fat oreos | 2 8-oz packages low fat cream cheese |  1/2 c. sugar | 1 tsp vanilla extract | 2 eggs lightly beaten | 1/2 c. vanilla greek yogurt ]

yields: 18 cupcakes 

Preheat oven to 275 F. Break up about 6 of the oreos to be used later in the cheesecake batter. Place paper liners in the muffin tins, and put an oreo at the bottom of each one. 

On medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. 

Pour in lightly beat eggs a little at a time. Once combined, mix in the greek yogurt. Fold in broken cookies.

Top each oreo-lined cup with batter, almost filling them. Bake for about 22 minutes or until the filling is set. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

fortune cookies

Well it’s one month from Valentine’s Day…and if your life is as full of “pinterest-fails" as mine is, then you better start planning your V-day treats now. My sister introduced me to chocolate-dipped fortune cookies almost 2 years ago and I figured now would be the perfect time to try them. 


This fold is one of those techniques I definitely thought I would screw up. But it actually wasn’t as difficult as you might think—you just have to move quickly. 


[ingredients: 1 egg white | 1/2 tsp vanilla extract | 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil | 1/4 c flour | 1/2 tsp cornstarch | 1/4 c granulated sugar | red food coloring | chocolate chips]

makes about 8 fortune cookies 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Have your fortunes written and ready-to-go.


baking sheet.


the egg white, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil together until frothy. Add the flour, cornstarch, and sugar to this mixture and


. Add enough red food coloring to achieve a deep pink. 


out about a tablespoon of batter onto your pre-greased cookie sheet. If necessary, smooth the batter a bit with your spoon to form a perfect circle. They should be about 3” in diameter. Once the cookies come out of the oven, you have to work very quickly so its

best to only bake

2 cookies

at a time

Bake for about 7 minutes. Quickly remove the cookies and use a spatula to flip them onto a dish towel. Insert a fortune and fold both cookies in half. Carefully (because the cookies will be hot) place the cookie on the edge of a glass and pull both sides down to form the typical fortune cookie shape. Then, put your cookie into a muffin tin to hold its shape. Repeat steps until batter is gone. 



 I forgot to take these pictures


I decorated them…


Melt chocolate chips over a double boil and dip your cookies any way you like! Refrigerate and enjoy! And since we were talking about my sister(s)…here’s a picture of us from about 20 years ago! I’m the little one.



I spent about two weeks in Croatia during my latest European adventure. It was one of my favorite places. We swam in the Adriatic every day and for some reason it was a swimming experience unlike any other. We could swim out so far and deep without any fear - which is so unlike swimming on the East Coast here. I swear it washed away all my worries.

My friend and I “worked” our way through Europe - helping families in exchange for food and housing. We stayed in Stobreč and honestly our host was awful. She was a slave driver who cared little about us and our Croatian experience. She just wanted her house cleaned and cleaned perfectly. BUT the one great thing she did was introduce us to a wonderful Croatian desert called Krempita. The best way I can describe it is a sort of thick, fluffy, sturdy, yellow custard in between two thin pastries.


I found a recipe, altered it a bit, and tried it this weekend. The custard turned out really delicious but not exactly the proper texture. This is more creamy and jiggly when it should be more fluffy and sturdy. But the taste was right! It was very nice to have a bit of Croatia at home. 

Here’s me thoroughly enjoying my new favorite place to swim. 


And here’s a nice authentic Krempita. You can see it needs to be quite a bit fluffier. But I’ll keep trying! 


[ingredients for a jiggly krempita: 2 sheets puff pastry | 3 cups milk | 2.5 ounces cornstarch | 1 tbs vanilla | 4 egg yolks | 4 ounces sugar | 4 ounces whipping cream (whipped with stabilizer)]


Let the puff pastry sheets thaw and bake according to directions. Once cooled, cut them to the shape of an 8 x 8 inch pan. Then, cut one sheet into serving-sized squares. This will be the top of your krempita. This step is very important! 

For the cream - mix egg yolks with sugar until they become frothy. Add 1/2 cup of milk and corn starch and mix well. Boil the remainder of the milk with the vanilla. Once it comes to a boil, mix in the yolk/sugar mixture and stir for one minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool completely. Whip the whipping cream with a stabilizer (I used corn starch) and then add to the completely cooled cream. 

Assemble with whole pastry on the bottom, then cream, then the pre-cut squares on top. Refrigerate for a few hours dust with powder sugar and serve! A little Croatian delicacy at home! 

not for the casual chocolate lover

WARNING:This dessert is only for chocolate lovers that are ready to go the distance. Instead of my typical monday-celebrity-inspired-food, I’m going to post this cake I made for my little brother. He had his first day of high school yesterday, and he loves chocolate chocolate cake so I wanted to make him something fun to celebrate. This cake has 6 different levels of chocolatey-ness so get excited! And buy some vanilla ice cream…or milk, if you’re into that kind of thing.

[ingredients: 1 box chocolate cake mix and ingredients listed on box | chocolate chips | milk | 3 oz. instant chocolate pudding | chocolate frosting | oreos | hot fudge for sundaes]

Follow these directions to create an extra moist cake from the box mix. Add chocolate chips. Split into three 8 inch pans and bake according to time and temperature on box. Meanwhile, crush 1 part oreos and mix with 1 part hot fudge (no need to heat it).  Once the cake cools, put a little chocolate frosting on the first layer. Then put a heap of the oreo fudge mixture on top of that and spread it out. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Then frost the entire cake with the remaining chocolate icing.