So a LOT has happened in the past months... a lot of downs and not many ups but so it goes. My dear grandmother has been fighting lung cancer for two years and it seems to all be coming to an end.

I had to go home unexpectedly for Thanksgiving to see her and I found myself devouring every little picture and scrapbook of hers from the 1960s on. She was a world traveler, always so classy... not to mention a great hostess. My roommates and I just threw a Christmas soiree and I wanted to entertain in the style of Ann Capone Tedesco (so Italian!). My grandmother wears a fur coat with no apologies and gives you her jaw dropping jewelry because she's bored with it. She has most of her recipes in her head and in her late 70s still had a trail of men behind her. What a gal. Even in her last days she's making jokes and giving my grandfather a hard time. In her honor, we made so many Christmas cookies, chocolate bark, and of course a punch. My grandmother always had a serious Christmas punch that would put you on the floor.. a real crowd pleaser.

I'm going to be making many new recipes soon as tomorrow is my last final exam. I'll be back in FL soon having yet another holiday party... I know I want to try my hand at homemade dark chocolate truffles, a few thai dishes, throwback with a pizza, and maybe even a ricotta cheesecake.

... damages from the night before..

SK and I are trying to get to Puerto Rico again for New Years and my birthday.... really needing some warm weather, waves, and a serious electro rave...

Not big on the vocals.. but the ghost in this video is pretty much me when I get lose my friends at the bar and wreck the town alone...


...a good question


I need to see this movie. It was directed by Mr. Oizo and it looks phenomenal.... "Chivers!"


What is going on with the weather? I'm a little fed up with the rain this week. It makes me not want to leave the house... But I know there are so many good things outside the house! I did get caught in the rain twice yesterday riding my bike. I have an exam this afternoon, dinner with the girls, videos to edit, decisions to make, and all I want to do is bake something new.

I want to bake some enormous blueberry muffins.

Sarah is creating some kind of mexican spaghetti squash bake for tonight.. and I just found a recipe for a winter-ish sangria. We like our sangria often.

I have a few events to attend for the Art Mag this weekend. The first is on Friday night at Aster Hall.... it's a fundraiser for the Charleston Center for Photography.. rumor has it they aren't doing so well. I hope this event turns out for the best. How could it not? Social Wine Bar (a regular spot for me and my girls) is in charge of the wine. Virginia's is catering.. and Ishmael, a graffiti artist and so much more, is the talent. I'm sure I'll be doing some interviews and snapping photos at Aster Hall.

I want to hit the gym but it's still pouring outside... and I just happen to have everything I need for these blueberry muffins.... hmmm....


Growing up in an Italian family, my grandfather always stressed the importance of your word being your bond. As promised, I am back today with some sub-par pictures and quite extraordinary recipe for a key lime cheesecake. Grandpa Ted would be proud. He has always had the biggest sweet tooth in the family. I guess that means I come in second place! This cheesecake, as mentioned in the last post, was for my buddy Luke. When I asked him what he wanted me to bake him for his birthday, he was torn between a cheesecake and a key lime pie. Naturally, the best answer was to combine the two. Who cares if it's November! Off I went to Harris Teeter to collect all the necessary ingredients, plus some amazing vegan eggnog that I was determined to combine with Goldschlager and Cafe Rica (coffee liqueur from Costa Rica) as soon as the baking began.

With my almost Christmas-like cocktail in hand, I set up my iPod dock in the kitchen, set my playlist, and got to baking a summer-like dessert.. and I think it's fall? Who knows..

Key Lime Cheesecake

You will need a springform pan. Just go ahead and buy one. It's worth it.

For the crust:

2 c graham crackers crushed
1/4 c turbinado sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter melted

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Add the crushed graham crackers to a bowl with the sugar. Pour the melted butter on top and mix until crumbly and combined. Press the crust mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan. You can go up on the sides a bit if you like, but I like to just have it on the bottom so it's a little thicker.

Bake for 8-10 minutes then let it cool completely. In this time you can go ahead and make the filling.

For the filling:

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/4 c sugar
6 large eggs, separated
8 oz sour cream
1 1/2 tsp key lime zest
1/2 c key lime juice

Beat the cream cheese with a hand held mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat the cream mixture. If the cream cheese is room temperature this is all a LOT easier... Just sayin'..

Separate your eggs. Add the yolks one at a time while the mixer is going. Add in the sour cream, lime zest, and juice. If you like your cheesecake really dense, just beat until combined. I like mine to have a lighter, airy texture, so I continue to beat mine much longer than needed to add the air inside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Yes, it takes longer than I'd like it to, but it's worth it. When stiff peaks form, FOLD it into the cheesecake mixture.

Pour the mix on top of the cooled crust in the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Pop it in the fridge overnight for better results.

So that's it! You're welcome.

Oh and make sure to listen to this song while you're baking:


I made a drop dead delicious key lime cheesecake for my dear friend Luke's birthday this week. Between filming the French Quarter art walk, birthday baking, writing, and a pile of research projects... I have had my hands full.

Oh and the whole 2 day rave in L.A. for Halloween......Bloody Beetroots.. Deadmau5.. Danger.. Buraka som Sistema.. JUSTICE.. to name a few..

I want to go back.

But until then... more baking.. might actually post a recipe...

going to Kulture Klash tonight... got VIP all access passes.. Oh the perks of working for the Art Mag!


Wow.. it sure has been a good bit of time since I last posted anything. Busy living I guess... but now I feel like I owe you an extra long post. I guess I could excuse myself by saying I did spend a long fun-filled weekend in San Jose, CA. It was my first time over to the west coast. Luckily last week I broke my camera trying to prove I can climb a tree in heels (which I totally can).... but the aftermath was not so pretty. So I have to figure all that out. Also, I am down one iPod. It's just not my month when it comes to electronics.

Back in Charleston, it's raining and will be raining until the weekend. I am trapped inside and trying to find things to do. Today I will be baking a loaf of rosemary olive oil bread, going to class, hitting the gym, and doing some separate blogging work for the Art Mag

When it's rainy, there definitely needs to be music when stuck in the house doing chores. Okay well there needs to be music on all the time in my opinion but this is an especially serious circumstance. Don't worry, I have compiled a new rainy day playlist that I give you permission to steal and then claim it as your own. Alone or wrapped up with someone else (preferably, but in my case with my dog....) this list will get you through and smiling despite the clouds.

RainMix #1

Crystalised... The Xx
Porcelain... The Red Hot Chili Peppers
This Could Be Beautiful (it is)... Metronomy
Playground Love... Air
How Lucky We Are... Meiko
The Dress Looks Nice on You... Sufjan Stevens
Sunday Morning... k-os
Beautiful Day Without You (Whignomy Remikks)... Royksopp
Caminhar... Bia
Gettin' Into You... Andras Fox
Elephants... Warpaint
Bicycle (Horror's Cosmic Dub)... Memory Tapes
Dynamic Fashion Way... U-Roy
Run Into Flowers (Midnight Jackson Remix)... M83
Chocolate... Paul & Price
The Disconnect... Tycho

To distract you even more.......

Since this is mainly a food blog... I guess I can throw in a recipe or something...

While it's raining, you might want to make a special treat. And it's October... how do you feel about homemade Peanut Butter Cups? I feel pretty good about it. I feel even better about it because I can use dark chocolate and natural peanut butter. Being an advocate for all natural foods, this is like a dream. Speaking of dreams... I had the weirdest trippy acid dream the other night. It must have been because I'm reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. I'll get into that later.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups... adapted from Chow.com
(Basically I changed the chocolate and peanut used.. but still pretty much the same.)

For the filling:

1/3 cup organic graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup natural powdered sugar
3/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (no added sugar)

For the chocolate coating:

1 pound dark chocolate (bars broken or chips.. look for 70% cacao)

For filling:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Mix on medium speed until filling is well combined, breaks into large chunks, and resembles cookie dough, about 3 minutes.
2. Divide filling into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls, then form into round, compact shapes that will fit in the mini muffin pan wells. (Keep in mind that when the filling is in the wells, there should be enough room to cover it with chocolate.) Set aside.

For the chocolate coating:

1. To temper chocolate, fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.

2. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn off heat. Place 12 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure the chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F. If either happens, start over, as the chocolate is no longer usable.)

3. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 4 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. To speed the cooling process, after all chocolate has melted place the bowl over the reserved cold-water bath.

4. Return the bowl to the saucepan and stir until chocolate reaches 86°F; immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl; check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 85°F and 87°F. (The chocolate must remain in this temperature range or it will not set up properly.) Keep the saucepan over low heat and use it to reheat the chocolate as necessary.

5. To test if the chocolate is properly tempered, spread a thin layer on parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to set. If the chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks, it is properly tempered. (If it is not properly tempered, you need to repeat the process.)

6. Using a small pastry brush (or a small, clean paintbrush), liberally spread tempered chocolate inside each cup of the muffin pan. Try to make your coating as even as possible, aiming for about 1/16 inch thick.

7. Divide filling among chocolate wells. (Don’t push too hard or you’ll crack the coating.) Spoon chocolate over each filling until completely covered. Scrape across the top of the muffin pan with a palette knife or a flat spatula to remove excess chocolate and even out candy tops.

8. Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to set up. To remove candies, place a towel or a silicone baking mat on a counter and hit one edge of the muffin pan against the counter. If the candies don’t come out easily, freeze them for another 5 minutes and try again. The Peanut Butta Cups will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer. Let come to room temperature before serving.

For your viewing pleasure... Here is a picture I took on my MacBook at the airport after my red-eye flight was spent sitting next to a very masculine older woman who refused to turned down her headphones (blasting Nas) for the entire overnight flight. It was such a funny concept I couldn't even be mad about it!


This is a note my roommate Jocelyn found on Wentworth Street the other day. She left it open on my desk for me to find. She is wonderful. There is nothing I love more than finding a odd little note meant for someone else. I wonder if "Allie" ever got the note at all. "Dave" surely needs to brush up on his heart drawing skills. I do appreciate that he was bold enough to call her "snuggle buns" in writing.

Anyway.... This is a really busy week for me. I'm working on a lot of things for the Charleston Green Fair this weekend. The first night we are doing an event called GreenFlix. We're showing a film called The Botany of Desire. It's all about marijuana, tulips, and apples. Here's a preview.

So the Art Mag is setting up a clothing swap, like that of Eye Level Art the other weekend. We are also going to do some screen printing on the clothes people donated. Some screen prints will say "Art Lovers are the Best Lovers." And we are. Ha ha...

We'll be making a party yurt filled with furniture, a changing room, and probably some cocktails. There will be vegan chocolate truffles and beer from Sweetwater brewery. I just hate working these awful events! ;)

While I have been gearing up for that, I didn't forget how much I wanted to make a pizza from scratch. I've been playing around with temperature setting for the crust, seeing how I don't own a brick oven... yet. I tried a new way of making the dough as well. I had heard that making the dough the night before and letting it rise in the fridge overnight adds flavor and a chewy texture when baked. It is absolutely true.

You can leave the fresh dough in the fridge up to three days wrapped in plastic. Here is a recipe off Food & Wine's website because I don't feel like typing out a dough recipe. My main recommendation on this is use more flour than what they call for in the recipe. The dough is really almost too shaggy to handle at the beginning.

To bake the pizza, try setting the broiler to 500. Bake for about 10 minutes. For the pizza I simply used some good quality extra virgin olive oil in lieu of marinara sauce to mix it up.

I added some fresh minced garlic, sliced roma tomatoes, ripped pieces of basil, and added whole milk mozzarella di bufala. Do not skimp on the mozzarella. It makes the pizza, seriously.

Life is too short to buy cheap ingredients.

To top it off, I used a little cracked pepper, celtic sea salt, and crushed red pepper.

Let's be honest.....I ate the whole thing by myself.


Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the "Style Swap" at a gallery downtown called Eye Level Art. The whole idea is to bring a designer piece of clothing "gently worn" and in exchange you can bid on clothes for free. The bidding is in the form of tickets you place on clothes on a rack. Kind of confusing... well... I was confused but I won a sweet blazer! I brought a BCBG Max Azria pale pink pleated skirt I have worn once. I didn't want to let it go because I wore it to a winter dance ONCE. I said take it before I change my mind! Wine from Social... cupcakes from a bakery downtown.. loved it. It was actually something my boss at Charleston Art Mag asked me to show up for to fill the goodie bags with our newest issue.. I ended up seeing some friends.. meeting some new people..and all that.

Being back on the scene and single is weird but fun. I haven't been alone in awhile. I want to dedicate some new recipes to being single. I still cook for my roommates, of course. The other night I made them a spaghetti fritatta.. and last Thursday I made them sweet potato and black bean enchiladas... all vegan of course because of Sarah. I like to eat vegan because it tastes the same but is generally much healthier. Lucky for me, Sarah's mom sent her to Charleston with a ton of fresh peppers. I happened to come to school with lots of black beans and sweet potatoes. A match made in heaven? I think so. Here's your recipe.

Sweet Tater and Black Bean Enchilada Heaven:

2-3 sweet potatoes, steamed, skinned and cut into cubes
16 oz black beans rinsed
4 Anaheim chili peppers assorted colors chopped
1 red onions chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
extra virgin olive oil
crushed red pepper
celtic sea salt & pepper
12 corn tortillas
frontera enchilada sauce (from whole foods)
shredded rice "cheese"

This is simple and logical as far as progression of ingredients goes.

First saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in the olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes on a lower heat.

Meanwhile, mash the sweet potatoes to make a smoother consistency. Add the tumeric, cumin, nutmeg, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper. You can mash the black beans with the potatoes or leave them whole. I left the beans whole because I like the texture better.

Grab a 9x13 glass dish and pour a little enchilada sauce on the bottom. You will be using this to coat the tortillas.

Heat tortillas one by one in a non-greased skillet. Once hot, take that tortilla and cover both sides of it in the dish with the enchilada sauce. Once coated, fill it with the black bean/ sweet potato mixture and top with the onion, garlic, and chile mixture. Roll it and push it to the left end of the dish to reserve room for the other 11 tortillas. Use the enchilada sauce liberally. There's plenty and it's delicious.

When finished rolling the enchiladas, cover with the rest of the sauce and the entire package of shredded rice cheese (2 cups?).

Throw it in the oven for about 30 minutes uncovered. This will melt the cheese and heat the inside.

There's something I love about enchiladas... I'm an Italian obsessed with Mexican food and I won't deny it.

Next week I want to make a honey almond chocolate torte..... so stay tuned.


I am obsessed with fruit art....

I can finally eat again! The detox was successful and I actually feel quite rejuvenated. Although I do eat natural foods, it gave me a new perspective on fruits and vegetables. Before I must admit I was totally taking fruits for granted... but a week without them had me fantasizing about juicy honeydew and cold watermelon. It was pure joy to bit into a ripe plum and grab a handful of bright red grapes.

While browsing recipes online today I fell upon one for eggs florentine. I LOVE eggs florentine. I ate it every Sunday brunch I had to work over the summer. This was not a healthy version, however. I decided to tweak it a little.. omit the hollandaise (this was not an easy thing to eliminate!), get rid of the english muffin, and put my own Mexican twist. Now you do have to make poached eggs for this recipe. Don't worry, it's not that hard.. and practice makes perfect for this one. Try this website for a quick video on how to poach eggs if you're lost.

Eggs Florentine Mexican Style!

You will need:

2 poached organic free range eggs
2 handfuls of fresh organic spinach
2 tablespoons organic hot salsa
organic shredded cheese
celtic sea salt
1 garlic clove
red crushed pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Saute minced garlic in olive oil until it become aromatic. Add spinach, sea salt, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Poach eggs.

Set up the plate like this: spinach layer, poached eggs, sprinkle of cheese, topped with salsa.

A most delicious quick meal that still looks kinda fancy. Plus, breakfast for dinner is the best to mix it up.

Stay tuned for tomorrow.... planning on posting about a killer raw food restaurant I would eat at for days in a row when I was home for the summer. It's that good.


I'm really good at going a month between posts! Well a lot has happened. I got an internship at Charleston Art Mag, which has been busy but awesome. I actually feel like I'm doing something. My new place is the jam. My roommates are my best friends.

Haven't been cooking lately because I decided to go on a 5 day fast to find some mental clarity. Today is the 5th day and I have some tasty plums, apricots, and grapes with my name on them just waiting for me! It has been rough, and as much as I adore food, being without has provided ample time to sort out my mental closet, if you will. I've also been having the wildest dreams that are not metaphorical in any way. It's like watching an image of exactly what you should be doing- no silly teeth falling out or flying (although that's be nice). Now it's just the action of following through with it all which is obviously easier said than done.

I have decided to call the juice I've been drinking on my fast "Monkey Juice" because it is a strange little concoction. When I was a child my mother would go to a Chinese holistic doctor whenever she was ill and he would make huge batches of special "juice" for her to drink for wellness. Well.. it always worked but it was pretty foul to say the least. My brother and I jokingly called it her Monkey Juice, suggesting that maybe the doctor ground up monkeys in a blender with some green tea or something... awful I know.

My Monkey Juice is actually really good. Until today I've been enjoying it a lot. The batch I made today is much too sour, but since I'm breaking my fast tonight I'm ignoring that and just drinking so I don't really go off the deep end.

Everyday you drink about 64 oz of it.

64oz water
juice of 5-6 lemons
1 1/4 cup organic grade B maple syrup
cayenne pepper (I like mine spicy so I use a lot)

That is it. I made it the night before so I could have it done for the day. There's more to it than that but you can look it up yourself.

Next week I will be cooking amazing vegetable feasts. Get ready.


I've been working a lot lately... oh summer jobs.. work yourself to exhaustion in anticipation of studying yourself to a brain aneurysm back at school in the fall. It's been a nice summer though. I never did get to make videos of myself cooking like I had wanted to, but there is always time.

This past Monday we blew off our chores and responsibilities. We went for something we decided to call The Best Day Ever 2009. It consisted of getting extremely drunk at the Alligator Farm, and it was amazing. It stormed the whole day afterward and Shawn and I nearly ate an entire extra large pizza between us. The whole day seemed like a blur.

I need more of those days... not the drinking necessarily but the carefree direction of the day. As we get older it seems the obligations trickle down and build up over and over. I feel like as a 21 year old I shouldn't even be thinking that. Drunken days at the Alligator Farm is what I need... along with waves.. and today I made chocolate chip cookies. All good ingredients...... very simple and delicious.

Taylor's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cup all purpose unbleached organic flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup Sucanat
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 large organic eggs
2 tsp natural vanilla
1/2 cup organic butter
12 oz dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, beaten eggs, both sugars, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

Let cool on wax paper.

See how it easy? Now I still have time to go to the beach before work!


It has been raining on and off for two days now.... Luckily we were still able to do the kids' surf camp yesterday morning between the rain. It was a messy camp though. Two instructors couldn't make it, one was very late, and we forgot the life jackets...Life jackets because these are special needs children. Stress! The kids were screaming, it looked like it was about to pour, and Shawn had to hold down the camp alone while I ran to grab the life jackets at home. It all worked out though. I try to remember all the camp days can't be perfect- and I'm sure no one noticed!

Lately I've strayed a little bit in my genre of cooking. At first it was mostly vegan and the healthy alternative for desserts, but I have to admit the lasagna was a bit heavy and obviously (although delicious!) the cake pops should not be consumed in large amounts. Now I'm back on track... my old man plain oatmeal for breakfast.. 6 small meals a day and back at the gym. I was up for a possible covershot paddleboarding in a fitness magazine in Charleston but they ended up going with someone else. It's disappointing but I suppose I will live. It would have been a pain to get the paddleboard up there anyhow. It only hangs 6ft outside of the truck bed.

So for a little while, I will be posting only healthy recipes, a lot more vegan, a lot of natural energy bars, dinners, snacks, etc. About a month ago, I made these triple chocolate protein pancakes using unsweetened cocoa power, chocolate protein power, and chocolate soymilk. I only topped them with a little bit of vegan powdered sugar. I'm going to try to remember the recipe but until then, the pictures will do.