A Food Journey to: Quebec

Today I would like to introduce you to the restaurants you should eat at in Quebec City, and two that are a little outside of town, that are NOT the two restaurants every older person you’ve ever met tells you to eat at. I wont even name names because I am sure you’ve already heard of them, ones really old and one is a flambé restaurant that was on TV. When it comes to those two restaurants, “I don’t know her.” BUT THESE, these I do know, in fact we are best friends and I DREAM of some of these dishes even now. Some of these restaurants are quite affordable and others are definitely considered a splurge but all are delicious with FRIENDLY STAFF.

Bistro St-Malo

Bistro St-Malo was a surprise find for us. We had planned on going across town to a different restaurant but got too hungry and wandered our way into here. We arrived at the perfect time and were able to get in without a reservation but I do recommend making one if you plan on eating at a normal dining time. I know you just took a sneak peek at the photos for this and are screaming “CHEESE ON SNAILS????” and I am here to tell you: yes, cheese on snails. Their escargot was covered in a garlicy butter and CHEESE. the cheese was gooey and the same squeaky texture as the snails and I swear went so well together I am not sure why it isn’t something everyone does. I wish we ordered a second thing of them it was that fantastic. The other dish was also good but just wasn’t as revolutionary to me as the cheesy escargot but was absolutely delicious.

La Lapin Suate

Again, I say: get the cheese. The cheese plate, the cheese fondue, the goat cheese pasta, get it all but if you are like me also bring your lactose intolerance medicine. Everything here was phenomenal, even the sangria. This had a really cute outdoor area but we were here in June and it was just a little too hot for us to sit outside after walking all day.

Le Saint Amour

I LOVE A TASTING MENU. This restaurant had a little indoor garden eating area that we sat in which really enhanced the whole fancy garden dining vibe. You can order a la cart here but it really is extra fun to do the tasting menu if your budget and time allow for you to do so. If you are not a big drinker though, I do not recommend doing the wine paring with it. Our wine loving friend did the wine paring, while we did not, and she found that the wine portion became overwhelming towards the end of the meal.


This restaurant also offers a tasting menu but after being so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food we ate the previous day at Le Saint Amour we decided that the tasting menu this time around would be a little too ambitious. Instead, we ordered a handful of a la cart dishes and they did not disappoint. The first photo on your left is the cheese plate of my dreams; Everything was soft and spreadable. They also had a mixologist on hand who when asked if he could make me something fun and sweet replied with “I have some freshly juiced rhubarb from my garden I brought today” and whatever he made with it was absolutely delicious. The staff, again, was beyond helpful and friendly and I would go back here tomorrow if I had the chance.

Le Souche- Microbrasserie

Now we get out of Quebec City and get onto a little bit of a road trip. Here we found a cute little brewery and the perfect place to try poutine for the first time. The atmosphere was relaxed with friendly staff, the perfect relaxing stop before our waterfall “hike.”

Le Sainti

We had quite a journey getting here. Sometimes google is wrong when it gives you a short cut that was not given to you as an original option. And sometimes that short cut takes you and your rental baby car into what I assume is a walking trail. With big rocks and a “water crossing.” And sometimes you have to back up in that baby rental car in the literal woods and be thankful that you weren’t the one having to actually drive (but also know that if you were driving you wouldn’t have taken that DIRT TRAIL!!!) Anyways we saw a double rainbow once we got to the restaurant and all was fine. The food, staff and view were all exceptional. There was even a little beach area right outside where we walked off our dinner and took photos before heading back.

A Food Joruney: Dubrovnik, Croatia

It’s been a while since my last post, and I honestly started this post back in December of 2021 but I put it on hold and then fully forgot all about it till right now. So, I thought, why not now? It is starting to feel like fall here finally and I can now look back at this HOT and overly humid June in Dubrovnik and laugh instead of cry about the amount of sweating we did. I am also back on full on travel planning mode and having a bit of an inspiration moment. So yes, Now seems like the perfect time to revisit this post and hopefully plan out some more.

Before we get into the food, I think it is important to let you guys in on a little bit of a secret. Dubrovnik, especially when talking about old town, is picturesque as hell BUT does not take very long to see all that you want to see. We stayed there for a week and wish we cut that in half. Old town was absolutely beautiful and we loved the views and the photos we got, but just would have preferred to not be there as long as we were. We also went in the heat of summer which is great if you are planning to do beach things and whatnot but, as I learned this trip, my partner is not a ocean person. So if you are also not an ocean person I recommend a shorter stay and maybe visiting any time that is not the summer.

Although we preferred our time in Zagreb over our time in Dubrovnik, we still had some pretty good meals there. Don’t get me wrong we absolutely ate at a few flop restaurants as well where the views were perfection but the food not so much. However, that is not the case for the places in this post. Some of these places did have fantastic views but their food was not lacking and absolutely made up for the less than spectacular meals we had beforehand. There were a handful of disappointing meals we had in Dubrovnik but also quite a few stand out places.

Now, on to what you’re really here for, the food reviews:

Taj Mahal Old Town

First up on the places that surprised me, in a good way, is Taj Mahal Old Town. Located in one  of the side street areas in old town (it’s really easy to miss if you’re not using a map service of some kind) was a fun little Eastern European restaurant. It was the perfect area for a nice escape from the sun with shaded outside seating available as well as adorable interior seating. We loved everything we ordered and I still dream about that mint tea.

Restaurant Panorama

Up next on the stop of favorites is Restaurant Panorama. As you can tell from the name, this one came with a view. The drinks are typical touristy drinks but still delicious and refreshing after a long day in the sun. We got carbonara as an appetizer, literally one of my favorite things is to have pasta for a starter, and each got different dishes to get the full experience. The food was presented in a whimsical artsy plating style which really added to the fun of it all.

Peppers Eatery

This restaurant was near the docks area and was really fun. It had a wide range of food items and was the only place we ate at that served us a big pitcher of water for free, absolutely unexpected but very welcomed on such a hot day. The owner was quite friendly and the atmosphere was relaxing. Highly recommend if you’re looking for somewhere chill to eat outside of old town.

Orka Restaurant

Now for what I was looking for: somewhere with squid ink risotto. Orka Restaurant, located just down the road from peppers eatery, overlooks the water, and apparently someone’s swimming pool area. Our main dishes were perfectly fine but fell short to the starter of squid ink risotto. Next time I’d like to try something different and maybe experience it later so the sun wasn’t quite so hot. Did I mention we went when it was super hot? I feel like I have by now.

Mystery restaurant across from the airport

Our last place of favorites was an accident. So we had this problem where our checkout was around noon but our flight didn’t leave till about 7pm. Because we drove ourselves from Zagreb to Dubrovnik we still had our rental car and could have driven elsewhere until it was time to get to the airport. But parking was so hectic in Dubrovnik that I didn’t want to deal with it at all. So we thought we could just turn in the rental car and find something to eat in the airport. We have never been more wrong. Because it was such a small airport, our 7pm flight was the first flight out for the airline we were flying. Which meant we couldn’t check in till almost 6pm. Which also meant: no food. So we walked out with our bags after already giving up our rental car and found this HUGE CUBAN SANDWICH. I don’t have the name of the place but it was just the little café attached to the gas station down the street from the airport. 

I hope this inspired you to plan your next trip and maybe even stop by some of these places. I went when it had just opened up from Covid so my photos may reflect a more empty Dubrovnik than you might experience. Either way, it’s worth a stop.

A Food Journey: Zagreb, Croatia

If you’re thinking about visiting Croatia, YES ABSOLUTELY DO IT, don’t forget to add Zagreb to your itinerary. I wish I added more days to the Zagreb portion of our trip. It was beautiful and the food was fantastic. So below is a list of all of my favorite places we ate in Zagreb, and one in Rakovica that was so amazing it needed to be on this list.

Restaurant Agave

This is the most expensive restaurant on my list and absolutely worth the splurge. If you make your way there I highly recommend doing the tasting menu with the wine pairing. This was both my first restaurant in Croatia and my first tasting menu I’ve ever experienced and it really set the bar high. When I think of tasting menus I always expect the portions to be tiny and the experience to feel quite stuffy. This was not that at all. The portions were small enough to where you don’t fill up on one course but big enough to where we left completely stuffed. We also did the wine pairing and, as someone who knows nothing about wine, I highly recommend it! It was so much fun and if I could go back there right now, I would.

First up was little cracker bites with tasty items filled that I don’t remember what the fillings were now but I also had no idea then either.

Next was some amazing focaccia bread and sea bass tartare. I am not really a fish person, but my husband LOVED it, so if fish is your thing you will too.

The following dish was the best pasta carbonara I have ever had. The homemade pasta noodles were thick and sooo good.

This next was my FAVORITE DISH!!! Pear risotto paired with a pear wine. This is one of the only wines I remembered. It wasn’t that the others were bad, I liked them all, I just know nothing about wine. But this one I remember the flavor being very pear-y and I loved how clever it seemed. The dish gave me everything: it gave me soft, crunchy, cold, hot, sweet, creamy, and salty. I want a bowl of this right now.

Now for the beef. I am going to quote the menu directly here for the description because just wow. “Ribeye tagliata- dry aged ribeye, liquid parmigiano reggiano 16 months, arugula sprouts, balsamic vinegar beads.” The beads were absolutely lovely. It really says a lot about the risotto dish that this wasn’t my favorite, I mean look at it!!

For dessert we got to choose from a list of delicious sounding options. We ended up picking a creme brulee situation with basil, fresh berries, and a balsamic glaze and an orange chocolate cake. Both were fantastic and very different from each other. One was rich with a refreshing hint of orange while the other was creamy with a wide variety of flavors that really worked well together.

To end our meal we were served two local liqueurs. One was clear and really rough going down and the other was a red wine liqueur that was so tasty I got seconds. If you get the chance be sure to pick yourself up some Teranino when you find yourself in Zagreb. It is local to Zagreb specifically so as long as you are there be sure to grab all you can!

Curry Bowl

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is trying what their version of a different country’s cuisine is. It’s always fun for me to taste how different it is based on how much closer or further away they are to that country than we are. This was my first Sri Lankin restaurant and it did not disappoint. We both ordered their special that was a sampling of the different items they carried. The special came with fried fish cutlets, fried rice, some stewed meats, an egg, and your choice of curried meat. You also got to choose what spice level you preferred which is always fun.

Royal India

The last of my favorites that was inside Zagreb was Royal India. I will say although the food is fantastic keep in mind this is more of a family style ordering system. It’s best to order a bunch of dishes to share and not just one dish for yourself as the portions are too small to eat that way. The chai and the mango lassi were soooooo good and their highest level of spice was perfection (if you’re into spice, if not maybe don’t do that.)

Not quite Zagreb:

Fast Food BBQ

Now for the one that we ended up at on our way back into Zagreb from a road trip. This place was exactly what we needed after spending hours exploring a national park: Fun burgers, cocktails from bottles, and puffy french fries. I ordered the Mexican burger and my husband ordered their bbq burger. Both were gorgeous and delicious. I also ordered two cocktails that they said normally (pre pandemic) they would make themselves but because they were no longer getting as much business as they did beforehand they couldn’t afford to do it that way. So if you go there after their tourism bounces back up I am sure you are in for some tasty hand made cocktails but if not, bottled is still a nice alternative.

If you find yourself planning a trip to Croatia I highly recommend making sure to add Zagreb to your places you must see and hopefully give some of these places a try. And if you’ve already been, let me know in the comments what some of your favorite places or dishes were you tried when you were there last.


The Modern Mirepoix

This is not really a recipe or travel post but really just a quick PSA. The old mirepoix of onion, celery, and carrots has its place, but it never had its place in my home. EVER. Instead, I have always used my three favorite items to start every dish or as we might start calling it , the modern mirepoix or maybe even the more flavorful and appealing mirepoix? Its a working title. Anyways, without further rambling, the mirepoix I use on the daily:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peppers of your choosing;

That’s it: Onion, Garlic, Peppers. Its versatile, wanting something mild: put in bell peppers, want something with a light kick but not too crazy: throw in some jalapenos or a serrano. I think it works better than a traditional mirepoix because it can go into almost anything. Soup? YES !! making a red pasta sauce? ABSOLUTLY!! Curry?? ALL THE PEPPERS!!!

It is something I would bet we all use on the daily but haven’t been bold enough to call it a mirepoix. Why not? it meets the definition of the word so I say go for it!

That is all I wanted to do with this post today, to let you know that when you’re using your pepper, onion, and garlic that you are in fact using a mirepoix and if you want to be fancy and call it that, this is the permission you’ve been looking for.

A Food Journey to Iceland

I don’t know about you guys but I am feeling a SERIOUSLY INTENSE case of cabin fever. Like not just the plain “get me out of this house” level of cabin fever but the level where I really need out of the country. Since we can’t safely do that right now, and because I am not a spontaneous person and can’t just hop onto a plane tomorrow, I thought now would be a good time to look back. Specifically back to Iceland. It was my last trip out of the country, google says It was almost 2 years ago now and just the thought of that makes me want to scream . Like I can’t believe this but I am almost starting to miss the plane rides WHICH I HATE (clearly I don’t fly first class or else maybe I’d say something like “planes are my second home” or something crazy like that.) Anyways, I figured I couldn’t be the only person feeling this way so instead of looking back at photos by myself and missing it all, I thought it might be fun to share it all with you guys. So without further delay (airplane puns anyone? No?) Let’s take a journey and look at some of my favorite things in Iceland and of course THE FOOD.

All Things Breakfast 

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to visit local bakeries and coffee shops. For me, it’s a fun way to observe the town around me while also getting to munch on something sweet and enjoy some coffee. I found that almost anywhere I went that sold lattes or coffee items with whipped cream on top had some sort of a vegan alternative. As someone who is not vegan, but is very much so lactose intolerant, I enjoyed these alternatives greatly.

After Going through all of my photos, I narrowed down my list of favorites to these.


This place was about a 2 minute drive away from the house we were renting in Mosfellsbær so we went here almost daily. It was a nice place to sit and relax before starting a day full of activities.

The staff was so nice and the food was even better. My favorite thing was this sticky pastry that I honestly have no idea if it was a donut or a cinnamon roll dipped in icing but I do know that I ordered it multiple times. 

Mokka Kaffi

Another bakery favorite of mine was Mokka Kaffi. Their swiss mokka was so good and they served waffles which I can never turn down. Their waffles were served with a side of whipped cream and jam and it was tasty while also not filling me up too much to take on my full day. 


Okay, so I did not actually get any coffee from here but I have a good reason! My partner is tragically allergic to cats. To me, someone who has been a cat lady since birth, it is the saddest thing and I will never stop trying to convince him to “just take allergy pills” but I digress. So when he got a phone call that I knew would take him at least 10 minutes I dashed over from Mokka Kaffi over to the beautiful cat cafe kattakaffihúsið. All their cats are up for adoption and I WISH i could have stayed and had one of their cat themed coffees. It’s on my list, even though I did not technically try any of their items, because I hope one of you fortunate people who have chosen travel companions who are not allergic to cats will see it here and go. 

The Coocoo’s Nest

This was a place that I remember being so proud I found. It was cute, had a line (which we got there before it formed), and had gorgeous food. I also may have been very stubborn about making sure we made it to this location and I am honestly really proud of myself for it. Because THIS FOOD WAS SO GOOD. We did their brunch, wow remember when that was just a normal activity and not a covid spreading situation??? Anyways, brunch, it was very basic items like green eggs & ham and I really don’t know why that would make it so dang delicious but for some reason it really was. The coffee was adorable, as all coffee is when presented in cute baby mugs, and me being me and thinking that breakfast food equals dessert got myself a hot chocolate. 

Kaffitar- Located in the National Museum of Icelandic Culture

This is where I discovered that vegan whipped topping means something marshmellowy without being a marshmallow and OH MAN IT WAS GOOOOOD.

That’s all, this photo says it for itself.

Everything Else- Including Ice Cream

ísbúðin litla valdís

Lets go ahead and get the ice cream out of the way. This place was packed, I was overwhelmed but in that good way where you know you’re about to get some good food because why else would a place be this packed. It was fantastic, I was freezing but I wanted more. I still wish we went back at least 10 more times before leaving.

Gandhi Indian Restaurant

THIS WAS THE BEST AND FANCIEST INDIAN FOOD EXPERIENCE I HAVE HAD SO FAR. It felt like they gave Indian food the proper elevated status it deserves.  I wanted to go back here as well but we didn’t end up having the time for it. I cannot recommend this place more. The food was so good and the atmosphere of the place gave it a fun date night vibe without taking itself too seriously. 

Eldofninn Pizzeria

We went here because we saw that banana pizza is a thing in Iceland. I don’t know if it’s something you do where you live, I certainly had never seen something like this before here. So we went for it and you guys we did not hate it. It gave a sweetness similar to what pineapple would do for you but with a certain mush feel. We will not be putting bananas on our pizza at home but it was a fun experience. Another thing that seemed different was that although Tayler and I shared our pizza like we would back home, the locals in the restaurant all had their own like a personal pizza situation. 

bæjarins beztu pylsur

This is on my list just because it is something  you must check off your list while in Iceland. It’s a hotdog. I know, not exciting. But it sort of is. They do them very differently than we do in the states so it is just a fun thing to see how differently they taste than ours. I was not a fan but Tayler really enjoyed them so give them a try and maybe you will too.

Flóran Garden Bistro

Who doesn’t want to eat in a gorgeous greenhouse inside of a botanical garden? The menu changes with the season and everything is locally sourced. I found this to be a really nice escape from the chilly weather while still experiencing the gardens. 

Smiðjan Brugghús

The last one on my list of favorites was a small brewery pub restaurant in Vik. You’d think by just looking at this “wow she got a burger? Why you can get that anywhere” and you would be correct for the most part, but you don’t understand. This was the best burger I have ever eaten. I can’t explain it any other way but you really need to get yourself there, when it’s safe to travel again, and try it out for yourselves. The views by the way, were also worth it.

Thank you for taking this food journey with me. While you’re here you might as well enjoy the rest of the photos from the trip. The black sand beach photos are all from Vik so if the burger and views from the brewery was not enough to get you out to Vik I hope the beach photos are. 

Hopefully this helped curb our cabin fever and inspired you to plan yourself a trip to Iceland when it is safe to do so.


Roasted Garlic, Peppers, & Cheese Stuffed Challah Bread

Alright, this has been something that I have been making for friends and family for a little while now and I think it is finally time for me to share it with you. The challah dough itself is a recipe I took from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa cookbook. It is perfection, so I do not stray from her dough recipe but I do play around a bit by stuffing the bread. 

Tool Kit:

For the Dough:

  • 7 cups of flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 5 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 eggs (2 go in the dough and 1 is for the eggwash)
  • 1 ¾ cup warm water
  • seasalt ( 1 tablespoon for the dough and about a teaspoon for the top of the bread)

For the Stuffed Portion

  • 3 large heads of garlic
  • 3-6 jalapenos depending on how spicy you are feeling today (or whatever pepper fits your spice preference serranos are also tasty in this)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Your favorite cheddar (shredded)

A Few Notes

  • The amounts listed are for 3 large challah loaves 
  • You can always leave out the cheese to make it kosher if you’re serving meat with it or if you just are not in a cheesy mood today
  • I like to break this up into two days to allow the bread lots of time to relax in the fridge overnight
  • Time to create the dough: about 25mins
  • Total time (excluding the resting overnight): about 4 hours

Let’s Do This!!

DAY 1:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, put in the flour, salt, sugar, olive oil, honey, eggs, warm water, and yeast. Mix on low until the threat of flour getting everywhere is gone. Then increase the speed to medium and let it go until a ball of dough is formed.

Pull the dough out, knead it a few more times if you have some crumbly stragglers, and place it in a large oiled bowl. Make sure you get a bit of the oil all over the dough ball so it doesn’t get stuck to the sides of the bowl when rising.

Now cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place it somewhere warm to rise for an hour.

After the first rise is complete, turn the dough out on a clean surface and divide the dough up into 3 even chunks. I find using a kitchen scale to be the easiest way to ensure they are three equal parts. Cover each piece up with plastic wrap or bee’s wrap and stick them in the fridge to rest overnight.

DAY 2:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Cut the tops off of all the garlic heads, place them each in their own foil purse and top them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. Get out a bake sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat and place the foil purses and all the peppers onto the bake sheet. 

Let them hang out in the oven for 30-50 minutes, start checking on them around the 30 min mark, you want the peppers to look blistered and you want the garlic to look brown and mushy but not burnt. While you wait on items to finish roasting, now would be a great time to shred your cheese.

Pull them out of the oven and allow them to cool completely. 

Once cooled, Squeeze out all the garlic and lightly smash them with your knife until a paste forms. Peel all of the skin off of the peppers, discard the skin, and chop up the pepper seeds and all. 

Pull the dough out of the fridge and divide each into 3 smaller portions. Take them and roll them out into little snakes or ropes. Once you get them all to your desired length, flatten them out.  This is where you’ll brush on your garlic & peppers and then carefully place the cheese on top. Then roll them back up and be careful not to let the fillings ooze out in the process. Next is the easy part: the braiding. Squish the tops of 3 ropes together and braid them normally and tuck the ends under themselves. Repeat for all 3 loaves. Now you, and the bread, get to rest. Place them on a bake sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, cover them with a clean kitchen towel, and allow them to rise in a warm place for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350F. While you wait for the oven, get started on the egg wash. All you need is one egg and a splash of water, mix it up and then brush it onto each loaf and then add your salt on top.

Place them in the oven for 25 minutes and allow them to cool slightly before serving.


Throw-It-All-In Shakshuka

Shakshuka is one of my favorite dishes to make when I have veggies or eggs that I need to use up soon. This time the item I needed to get rid of was potatoes. Which yes, I could have gone the mashed potatoes route but I was CRAVING shakshuka so I decided to go a little nuts and add it to my shakshuka dish. If you do not have potatoes to use up then you can skip the potato section and will have DELICIOUS traditional shakshuka. However, If you do need to use up a few potatoes, join me on this weird potato filled shakshuka journey.

Tool Kit:

  • A tablespoon of olive oil
  • 20 tomatoes quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • Garlic, minced (you can use however much you’d like I won’t stop you, but I will judge you if you use less than 5 cloves)
  •  2 bell peppers
  • 6 eggs (or however many you can fit in  your pot, this was just the amount mine was able to handle)
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • To taste: Salt, Pepper, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper
  • Optional: spicy peppers you have on hand, minced
  • Optional: a handful of potatoes, quartered and cooked
  • Pita bread or if you don’t have pita naan is also delicious

A Few Notes

  • If you want to make the dish vegan you can leave out the eggs or if you want to go the complete opposite and make it meaty you can do that too.
  • In my photo I used WAY TOO MANY potatoes. So if you make it with potatoes or skip the potatoes all together, Do not be alarmed when it looks different from mine. I promise you, yours looks better.
  • Feeds 4 people
  • Total cook time: roughly 1 hour

Let’s Do This!!

Put your dutch oven pot, or whatever deep pot you have that has a lid, on medium high heat with a splash of olive oil. Once the pot is warmed up add in your onions. Leave them on there until they are beautifully caramelized, this will take around  10-15 minutes. Be sure to add more olive oil if your onions stop sizzling. Next add in your peppers and cook them down for 5-10 minutes. Next add in your garlic and spices. Stir them around for a couple of seconds until all the spices and the garlic are toasted, be careful not to burn the spices. Next add in the tomatoes (and the potatoes if you are including them today) and stir till everyone is coated in the spices. Put the lid on, lower the heat down to medium low, and leave it alone. You can check on it every 10 minutes to give it a nice stir and make sure the tomatoes are breaking down nicely. 

Once the tomatoes have turned into a beautiful stew consistency, it is time to add the eggs. Create a well for each egg and gently crack an egg into each well. Put the lid back on. Now you can either wait for it to cook on the stovetop OR you can take  your enamel pot and place it in an oven set to 400F for 3-5 minutes. 

Once the eggs are cooked to your liking set the pot on the table and serve with bread. 

This dish is best eaten right out of the pot. But if you don’t trust your dinner guests not to make a big mess you can also serve it up on a plate.


Mango-Lime Pavlova

I was first introduced to the New Zealand dish a while back when watching one of Ina Garten’s shows on the Food Network. Which afterwards I made once and then forgot about them for quite a while. That is, until quarantine. 

I was looking for a little inspiration when I came across @farahazureenalmedwahi on Instagram promoting her food Instagram account (@firstweeat.my) and at the same time letting us all know she is selling the MOST BEAUTIFUL pavlovas I have ever seen. I wanted one so badly, but here’s the sad part for me, she lives in Malaysia. So instead of buying 100 of them as I truly wanted (which if you live in Malaysia or happen to find yourself there please buy some and eat them for me let me know what I am missing out on) I had to create my own. 

These are not nearly as beautiful or as tasty as hers are. So get the real things if you can. But if you live far away from Malaysia like me here is a good alternative.

So without further delay, take this trip with me (through your kitchen) to Malaysia (or New Zealand where this dish originates or even Russia since the dish is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova; You do you).

Tool Kit:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • The zest of 6 limes
  • Vanilla bean Paste
  • Patience 
  •  Two mangos cut up

A Few Notes

  • Depending on how big you make your pavlova’s will depend on how many this makes and how long this dish takes. I used a silpat mat with pre marked circles on them. I think it is technically for macarons but I use it every time I am dealing with a meringue.
  • This will make about 10-20 Pavloves depending on the size and will take approximately 3-4 hours to make. (this is counting for prep, baking, and cooling time)
  • You can also make a whipped cream to go on top which I highly recommend. I just did not have any cream so I made mine without. 
  • If your oven is too hot, the sugar will melt too quickly and will make the bottoms ugly. You have been warned. 

Let’s Do This!!

Seperate your egg whites from the yolks, save the yolks for a different dish (I always use mine to make Hummingbirdhigh’s egg yolk chocolate chip cookies, it calls for 3 but I put in 4 because why not?) Next add your egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix with the whisk attachment until frothy. Once frothy, slowly add in your sugar. Mix on medium high until medium peaks have formed.

While you wait on the mixer to do all the hard work, Get a piping bag ready. You can use whichever tip you’d like. OR if you are feeling extra rebellious you can always use a cookie scooper to get yours out and then just create a well in the center. 

Once you have medium peaks, add in your lime zest and vanilla bean paste. Now whip till stiff peaks have formed. While you wait for the mixer to do its magic, preheat your oven to 215F (or 101.7C) and prepare a bake sheet with either a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Now for the fun part, creating your bowl. If you are doing the cookie scoop method then just go ahead and scoop onto your bakesheet and create a well in the center like we discussed earlier. Now for the piping bag method: take your piping bag and start in the center. Create circles going out until you have your desired base, then build up along the edge until you have what looks like a bowl or a cute little birds nest. 

Place in the oven and start checking it after 1 hour. It should feel solid all around and the bottoms flat. If not, put it back in for another 30 minutes. Repeat until perfect.

Let them cool, this is where you would make your whipped cream if you wanted to. Chop up your mangos, fill the center with the fruit and EAT THEM ALL.


Sweet and Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

Tool Kit:

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 2 jalapenos (or more if you’d like)
  • 9-12 tomatillos
  • 13-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (may need more or less depending on how acidic your batch is)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

A Few Notes

  • This is messy if you do not use foil. I usually use a silpat mat when doing anything in the oven, however the juices of this will get everywhere if you use something like that so i suggest foil and make sure to bring the edges up on the foil to create a barrier on all sides.
  • This can be acidic depending on how your batch is so when adding your sugar be sure to taste it first and then add accordingly.
  • However, IF yours is super acidic and two tablespoons does not get you there, add a ½ teaspoon of baking soda to your mixture. It will lower the pH of the solution without adding sweetness.
  • Also, keep in mind that this needs to cool before tasking just right. So if you feel like you’ve got it as good as you can on the sweetness/acidic balance, pop it into the fridge overnight and it will be perfect by morning. 

Let’s Do This!!

Preheat your oven to 375F. 

Line a bake sheet with foil and place your tomatoes & jalapenos on the sheet, be sure to take off the stems first so you don’t have to do it while they are hot like I had to do. 

Next take the tops off of your garlic and place them each in their own foil, add salt, pepper, and olive oil, and then close them up in the foil and place on the bake sheet.

Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, bring the oven up to 400F and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. You want them to be charred on the outside.

After you’ve pulled them out of the oven CAREFULLY open up the garlic foil to let it cool down.

Once you can handle the garlic, squeeze them out into either a bowl, blender, or food processor depending on what you have. I have an immersion blender so I put mine all into a bowl. Next take the foil with all the roasted items and all the juices and empty it out wherever you put the garlic. Blend it all up and taste test to see where your acidity level is. Add sugar accordingly.

Transfer to a seal tight jar and place in the fridge overnight.


Blueberry Pop Tarts

Tool Kit:

  • Blueberry Syrup (see my previous post)
  • Pie Dough
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • A splash of water

Let’s Do This!!

First roll out your choice of pie dough and use a round cookie cutter to cut out perfect circles. Next, Take a spoonful of the blueberry syrup and plop it right in the center of one of the circles and place a second circle on top. Repeat until you’ve got them all filled.

Preheat the oven to 350F. While you wait for your oven to preheat,  take a fork and press down around the edges of each circle to close in the filling. Next, create your egg wash by mixing one egg and a splash of water. Take your egg wash and brush it on top of each circle poptart. Now make it your own by creating air vents of your choice. You can poke holes with your fork or get fancy and use a paring knife to create designs.

Place in the oven and start checking on them after 15 minutes. They should be golden brown and crispy.

Let them cool completely. 

You can eat them like this if you’d like or if you want to make it more like a true pop tart with icing and all. To make the icing, mix your lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar. Dip each in the icing and if you want to add some color and extra flavor, mix some powdered sugar and leftover blueberry syrup and drizzle or spoon over them as well.

Now don’t be like me and get them stuck on a plate. Instead, Let them sit on a cookie sheet until the icing hardens.