Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese

I went to Raleigh this weekend and stayed with my good friend Ashley who was an amazing host. In addition to just being an awesome person, she made my son and I breakfast every morning. What did she make you ask? Fried Egg Sandwiches with SMOKED GOUDA PIMENTO CHEESE. It was transcendent. Unfortunately she bought it at a grocery store that does not exist where I live and that left me one option.  Make it myself.

And I nailed it.

Pimento Cheese might sound kind of gross if you haven’t heard of it before. I know when my college roommate introduced me to it I was a little skeptical. Cheese, pimentos and mayonnaise? Who thinks “You know what would go great with this cheese? Mayonnaise”. The South. That’s who. And I am so glad.

Thinking about it, its not a huge leap when you consider most chip dips are mayonnaise+other ingredients, often cheese. So not that crazy.

No matter how you look at it, this is mind blowing stuff. Smokey, salty and creamy. Unapologetically ugly, it sings on a cracker or as my current favorite, spread on a fried egg sandwich. I tried to take pictures of this morning’s breakfast sammich, but the combination of terrible photography skills, rain clouds, and my need to eat it NOW means no pictures today.

You’ll just have to make some to see for yourself!

What is your favorite breakfast food?


Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese

  • Servings: Pimento Cheese-many servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Inspired by my good friend Ashley and-This recipe 


  • 1 1/2 cups smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese (definitely shred your own at home, the pre-shredded kind is coated in a powder to prevent clumping, which will prevent it from properly combining in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 oz pimento, drained and chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • dash Worcestershire sauce


Mix softened cream cheese and mayonnaise in the bowl of a counter top mixer or large bowl. Add onion powder and garlic powder. Add shredded cheeses and pimento. Add dash Worcestershire. Taste and season with black pepper. Serve with crunchy crackers, spread on an english muffin with an egg, on a spoon directly to your mouth, grilled cheese ect..







Banana “Brownies”-Actually trying recipes I pin on Pinterest

First things first, this is really more of a snack cake than a brownie to me. I’m a brownie purist, and brownies = chocolate in my book. And a chewy, fudgy texture.

That said, these were fairly tasty. One of the reviews said they are more like banana bread with frosting, and I would say that is pretty accurate. Browned butter frosting to be precise.

I have actually baked these before, about 5 years ago. The 5 bananas rapidly turning brown on my counter inspired me to try them again. That and the the aforementioned browned butter frosting. I’m really into brown butter frosting these days. Frost yourself. Or your baked good rather.

Anyway, this recipe makes a huge pan, perfect for a summer BBQ. The frosting is really rich, so a small square more than satisfies even the sweetest of teeth. I can put away some sugar and one of these is more than enough for me.



The next time you have some bananas that are rapidly browning, try these “brownies” instead of your regular banana bread. If banana bread isn’t your thing, this Real Deal Banana Pudding is always a huge crowd pleaser.

Do you like banana bread/pudding? Weigh in down in the comments below!


  • Servings: 20 slices
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Inspired by Banana Brownies



  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup greek yogurt ( the original recipe calls for sour cream, I had greek yogurt in my house so I used that)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (one stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 bananas, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


This is their recipe as written, I started with the same amount of butter and then just added butter,  powdered sugar and vanilla until I was happy. Don’t be like me. Follow the recipe. My frosting is a bit too sweet.

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk


Pre-heat oven 375°F. The original instructions say to use a 15×10 jelly roll pan, I used a half sheet pan. Google tells me these are similar but not the same. I put my silpat on it, but you can use parchment paper or flour and grease it.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, greek yogurt and eggs until combined. Add vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Once incorporated, add flour, baking soda. Stir to combine. Pour batter onto pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the pan 180° half way through.

To make the glaze, heat the butter in a medium pot for about 10 minutes, until it turns a nice amber color and is fragrant. Add powdered sugar, and mix. It will be quite thick. Add vanilla and milk until a thick but pour able consistency is achieved. Spread over cake while the cake is still warm. Allow to cool fully before eating.

Kale Salad with Avocado-Tomato Dressing

We went to the beach yesterday and I have quite the sunburn. My little guy LOVES playing in the surf so between keeping him alive and making sure he drank enough water and was coated head to toe in sunscreen, I forgot to reapply my own. Sigh. The beach is always a good time but it wears me out.

Luckily, I prepped dinner the day before and made sure I had all the ingredients on hand to make this 10 minute salad.  Pre-washed Kale? Check. Avocados? Check. Bacon cooked in the oven the day before? Check. Cherry tomatoes? Check. The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples for me and help this come together quickly.


Bonus? Eating this salad definitely negates the “snack” you eat later of Nutella straight from the jar. Trust me.

Kale Salad with Avocado-Tomato Dressing

  • Servings: Serves one person as a meal, two as a side
  • Difficulty: Easy
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With kale, tasty tomatoes, and a creamy dressing, this hearty salad is simple enough for a quick lunch or side to some grilled chicken or steak for an easy summer dinner.


For dressing:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For salad

  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • I added asiago cheese, but what cheese and how much you want is up to  you.
  • I didn’t have these originally, but added sunflower seeds the next time I had the salad and really enjoyed the crunch.


If you haven’t already cooked your bacon, start now. (I put mine in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes). Add all of  your dressing ingredients except salt and pepper to a blender/food processor. (I used a blender). Blend until you reach a creamy, thick consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, add your kale and toss with the dressing, completely coating the kale. Let your kale absorb the dressing while your bacon cooks, it softens it a bit. Once your bacon is cooked, crumble it into your salad and add tomatoes and cheese. Feel free to add anything else you like, sunflower seeds or cucumbers would be nice.

This and That

Ya’ll know what time it is! Here’s a little bit of this and that for the week. The picture above is from our trip to Cinque Terre in 2015! It feels like both forever ago and yesterday.

I’ll be making this spritz by Half Baked Harvest for 4th of July for sure.

Cookies are really doing it for me at the moment and these are next on my “to try” list.

Prosecco and Pino Grigio are my go to wines for summer, but a friend came to visit and introduced me to this Sauvignon Blanc. Not only is it refreshing, but also super affordable.

Looks like I found my dream birthday cake for next year! Note to self “learn how to decorate cakes”.

Earlier this week on instagram I tried making quesadilla’s per this method and I will never pan fry quesadillas again.

I have been putting collagen in my hot coffee every morning but really want to try these make ahead iced collagen lattes.


If there anything new you have tried and loved? Link it below in the comments!

(As per usual, none of this is sponsored and none of these companies know I exist).

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies-Actually trying recipes I Pin on Pinterest

So I have had a Pinterest account for as long as Pinterest has existed. Or rather at least since 2011. Pre-child and husband I would spend HOURS on Pinterest pinning anything and everything. To the point where my personal pinterest is a little out of control. So when I started my blog Pinterest, I made a point to pin with more intention, and actually “do” or try the things I pin.

Consider this my first Pin post.

One of the first things I learned how to bake were chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the back of the Nestle’ chocolate chip bag. Now, 9 time out of 10, when I am in the mood for cookies those are what I bake. I have been on the hunt for new chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this marshmallow recipe really intrigued me.


These are the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chocolate Cookies from Completely Delicious.

I don’t know if it is because it is summer and these gave me fire-free s’more nostalgia, or because I had more melting chocolate I needed to use, but I am so glad I tried this recipe.

In her pictures her cookies are more disk-like, and mine are puffy. I suspect this is because I scooped them directly onto my cookie sheet instead of scooping and rolling in to balls per her direction. I also did not fully cover the marshmallows with chocolate, because I am lazy.

But! The cookies did not suffer at all as a result. The actual chocolate cookie is dense and chewy, reminding me of my favorite brownies. The marshmallow on top melts just enough, like the inside of a perfectly toasted s’more. After you cover the marshmallow in chocolate and let them cool, the chocolate on top adds a nice crunch.

Marshmallows are not a favorite of mine, though I loved these homemade ones. Because of this I figured I was safe making these cookies, and would be able to stop after one and eat them slowly over a few days like a normal person. I was wrong. After inhaling more than a few, I froze the rest, where they call to me but luckily are not easy to eat straight from the freezer (but did it stop me from trying?)

In her notes Annalise says they are best eaten the day they are made, but I actually really enjoyed them the next day. I might be weird.


In summation, everyone run over to Completely Delicious Stat and make these cookies. You won’t regret it.

Thanks for reading my first Pinterest Post! Hop on over to my Pinterest and let me know what you want me to try next either over there or in the comments down below.


Blueberry Scones with Browned Butter Glaze

A few weeks ago I went to a tea room and had tea so delcious I almost wanted to become a tea drinker. Almost. What really left an impression on me were the scones. So much so, that as I ate a leftover scone I took home I felt the need to make myself a video review of said scone.

I stumbled upon the video and thanked one glass of wine Lauren for thinking so clearly. Because I DID love that scone and needed to recreate it. So here we are. blueberryscones

Dense and slightly crumbly, dotted with sweet blueberries, I kind of couldn’t stop eating them. The scones from the tea room had demerara sugar on top of them, but I wanted something else (slash forgot to buy some).blueberryandbrownedbuttersconeLD

Cue the browned butter glaze. I feel like browned butter had a huge moment in the food world a few years ago, and for good reason. Browning the butter in a pan brings a warm, nutty flavor to the butter that is highly addicting. Forgetting the sugar was the best thing that could have happened to these scones. Sometimes forgetting your grocery list can be a good thing!

These warm, crumbly, slightly sweet scones topped with a rich, buttery glaze are perfect for brunch at home. As written, this recipe makes 8 HUGE scones. Like the size of my hand. In the future I think I will make two disks with the dough to make 16 little scones verses 8 GIANT scones.

Blueberry Scones with Browned Butter Glaze

  • Servings: 8 HUGE scones
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Crumbly scones, with bursts of blueberries topped with a rich browned butter glaze. Perfect for a weekend brunch or eating by yourself in two days flat.


For Scones

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

For Browned Butter Glaze

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • whole milk to thin to desired consistency, I used about 2 tablespoons


Pre-heat your oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Whisk to combine. Throw butter into the bowl and cut into the flour, using either a pastry cutter or two knives until only small pea sized pieces remain. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add your egg and 1 and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Reserve 1/4 cup cream for brushing over scones.  Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the center until a loose dough forms. From there, I just used my hands to gently bring the dough together in the bowl into a  firm disk shape.

Then transfer the disk to a piece of parchment paper and cut into 8 triangles. Transfer scones to a pan lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper, evenly spaced about 1 inch apart. These guys rise quite a bit. Brush with remaining cream and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

10 minutes before your scones are done, make your glaze. Place butter in a pan over low heat and melt. Once melted, continue to gently heat. occasionally stirring, until it turns a color similar to a light maple syrup. Add the powdered sugar and mix with a spatula. This should make a thick paste. Thin with whole milk until glaze reached your desired consistency. At this point your scones should be done. Pour glaze over your scones. Allow to sit for a second to let the glaze set, then eat.


Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

For some reason I feel like I grew up eating stuffed peppers, though I don’t have a clear memory of my Mom ever making any. I do remember her making stuffed cabbage leaves.

Either way, one day all I could think about was stuffed peppers. “I could hide so many veggies in them!” And use the quinoa I have had in my pantry forever.  That is one of the best things about these peppers, you can make the stuffing out of whatever you have in your pantry/fridge.

The savory stuffing starts with browning some breakfast sausage in a large pan. You could use any protein you want, I like sausage for the fat and seasoning in the sausage. After it is browned and cooked through, through in your desired vegetables and a grain. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. The best thing about these stuffed peppers? Follow this basic format and swap out whatever you need to customize it! Need it to be paleo? Swap the sausage for ground beef or turkey (or you know, use paleo sausage) and remove the grain. Gluten free? As written, this recipe is totally gluten-free. Google tells me quinoa is gluten free, and I think rice is too, so you could also sub rice if you prefer.  Vegan? Omit the meat and use coconut oil to saute’ your veggies. Omit the cheese. My child is the only child in the world that doesn’t like cheese, so I only topped two peppers with cheese.


The actual best part? My son LOVED these. Any healthy meal he’ll eat with gusto is a winner in my book. Now we just have to convince his Dad……

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4-6 depending on size of peppers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

These family friendly stuffed peppers are easily customized to suite many special diet needs, are filling, and toddler approved!


  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mozzarella cheese (optional)


Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Cook your quinoa per packages directions. While it is cooking, cut the tops off of your bell peppers and remove seeds/membranes from insides. Chop tops, throwing away the stem. Reserve tops for stuffing. Discard seeds and membranes.

In a pan over medium heat, crumble and brown your breakfast sausage. Once cooked through, add your onions and bell pepper tops. Cook until soft. Add frozen peas and place lid on pan, cook for 5 minutes. Add your quinoa and cheese (if using).

Take a pepper, and stuff! Over fill the peppers, as they cook the stuffing will shrink down a little. Repeat with all of the peppers. I only stuffed 3 peppers, and had tons of stuffing left over. Its delicious the next day! Top peppers with cheese if desired. Place peppers on a greased baking sheet and bake for 2o minutes. I like my peppers to still have a little crunch, feel free to bake longer for softer peppers. The filling is completely cooked when you stuff them, so you can really bake them as along or short as you want.


This and That

Guys this week went by really quickly and I don’t know what to do with myself. Time to share what I have been into this week!

^^^ The picture above is of the flowers that lined my neighbor’s driveway in Italy.  They were always so big and  beautiful. I am currently redoing the beds in our front and backyards and would LOVE big hydrangeas like these. I’ve kept my basil plant alive for almost two months now so obviously I’m ready for a massive yard transformation.


  • I bought this nail polish last summer and got compliments every time I wore it. Purples make my hands look dead so this is the coolest hue I can wear. I’ve already busted it out and am wearing it as I type this.
  • My two favorite adult beverages combined into one big batch drink!
  • The humidity has really taken a toll on my hair and hair oil helps keep the frizz at bay and makes my hair feel really soft. Plus you can’t beat the price!
  • Flexibility has never been my strongsuit and the combo of a lifetime of sports+desk job+child birth have left me quite immobile, shoulders all impinged and hips out of whack. I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene and it is really helping me work out the kinks. Plus, Adriene makes yoga really approachable. Like “Hey, you cant do this pose yet? That’s cool, you’ll get there, try this pose instead”.
  • Do you like rose’? I haven’t had any I really enjoyed and am going to try some from this list.

How has your week been? Let me know down below!

(As usual, none of this is sponsored nor are they affiliate links, just things I love and want to share with you!)


Li Hing +Citrus Margarita

After living in Italy I am always tempted to throw an “h” in margarita (margherita). That’s not correct.

My parents have lived in the South Pacific since 2010, and one of the first times I visited them I tried Li Hing Mui, a sweet/sour dried plum. Instantly struck my the sweet/sour/salty taste, I spent the rest of my visit trying to hunt it down in convenience stores. It is a pretty common treat.

We went to stay at a resort in Hawaii on the big island (my parents lived in the Marshall Islands at the time) and popped down to the bar for a cocktail. The mango margarita with li hing powder instantly struck me. At first sip, the savory li hing and the sweet mango + tequilla had me in heaven.  I tried to re-create that exact flavor and failed miserably.


So I tried again, this time with my old friend’s grapefruit and lime. The pucker from the grapefruit, tang of the lime, bite of the tequila are enhanced by the li hing powder beautifully.  I added about a tablespoon of simple syrup because I wanted something a little sweeter that day, but it can definitely be left out if you want something more sour and less sweet.

The salt in the li hing powder perfect mimics the salt of a classic margarita, and I shook a little into the margarita itself, resulting in the tangerine color of the drink. Li hing powder can be found on Amazon, and is fantastic sprinkled on fruit and popcorn.


If you are looking too add a new twist to your margarita, give this a try. It is an awesome compliment to tacos, or the perfect drink to sip at a BBQ with friends.  Doesn’t this drink just look like summer? (I acknowledge the rim looks awful)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sweet, Salty, with a little pucker, the stunning color of this drink and tangy taste is sure to delight your eyes and your tastebuds.

You can buy li hing powder on Amazon.


  • Juice from one lime
  • Juice from half of a grapefruit
  • 1 oz tequilla
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup (if you want it a little sweet)
  • splash of seltzer water
  • li hing powder for rim and drink


Rub lime on the rim of  your glass and then dip into li hing powder, creating your rim. Mix lime, grapefruit juice, tequila and triple sec and simple syrup (if using) in a shaker or glass  ( I don’t have a cocktail shaker, so I always mix drinks in a glass with a spoon). Once combined, add like 2 pinches of your li hing powder and ice stir again. Top with a splash of seltzer water and serve.


Pork Tacos with Honey Mango Relish

Looking at that title I realize its not the most appealing name I could have come up with. But, that’s what they are. Pork shoulder coated in spices and tomatillo salsa slow cooked all day over a bead of onions, shredded and placed on corn tortillas. On top of that, a fresh mango relish. I realize many people would liken it more to a salsa, but the crunch of radish and the red onion say relish to me.


I had been in the mood for tacos for a few days but could not decide what kind I wanted to make. Ground beef? Steak? Chicken? A trip to the butcher decided for me. We popped into the butcher and waiting for me was this pork shoulder (aka boston butt). Once I laid my eyes on it my taco destiny was decided.

Fruit salsas/relish don’t usually appeal to me. I like my savory dishes savory and my sweet dishes sweet, rarely do I enjoy combining the two (except for the classic salt+chocolate]. However, I had a few honey mangos hanging out on the counter, and figured I would give this whole fruit salsa thing a go. Speaking of honey mangos, where have you been all of my life? I have never seen them before this year and suddenly they are in every supermarket. I’m glad for it, they are way easier to prepare than the mangos I am used to eating.

Anyway, the next time you find yourself wanting some tacos, or need to feed a crowd, definitely give these a try. If you are a savory fruit skeptic, give the relish a go, it definitely made me a convert.

Pork Tacos with Honey Mango Relish

  • Servings: It depends on the size of your pork shoulder, we had at least 8 tacos with leftovers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Savory pork in a warm corn tortilla topped with a sweet and crunchy mango relish.


For the pork

  • 1 bone in pork shoulder/butt roast, mine was about 11 lbs.
  • 1 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I use pre-chopped garlic from a jar, it makes life so much easier. Probably the equivalent of three large cloves of garlic, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • generous kosher salt
  • pepper

For the Mango Relish

  • 1 honey mango, chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 radishes, diced
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper


The morning (or night before) you plan to have your tacos, prepare our pork. Lay your onion slices over the bottom of the slow cooker. Take your pork shoulder and cut diagonal lines into the fat on the top of the shoulder roast (you could cut the fat off, but I like to leave it on). Place the pork in top of the onions in the slow cooker, fat side up. Put the cumin, salt, pepper,garlic, and paprika on the pork, topping it all with the tomatillo salsa. Set the slow cooker to “low” and leave alone for 8-10 hours.

For the relish, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl at least one hour before you plan to have the tacos.

The pork is done cooking when you can easily shred a piece off of the bone with a fork. Place the pork on a cookie sheet and shred the meat. Feel free to add a little juice from the slow cooker to keep it from drying out. You could also toss come in a hot pan to crisp it up, but that step is not needed at all. To assemble the tacos, warm some corn tortillas over the stove. Add some shredded pork, and top with mango relish. Serve with avocado, lime, and anything else you like on tacos.