What I Learned: Drumettes


On my way over to my sister’s house to watch the MSU football game on Saturday I decided we needed to make some good football apps. I decided to call my brother-in-law John instead of Kara because he’ll have better suggestions and by better I mean more delicious. We decide on wings and nachos and he sends me a recipe since I am on my way to the store alone (key part here is alone). I stand there in the chicken section looking for the wings and drumsticks. I find the wings really easily but not the drumsticks. The only thing I see in front of me are the big drumsticks and I know I am looking for the tiny ones. I keep looking and can’t find any so I think to myself hmm maybe the drumsticks are it? Maybe they cook down? Wrong! That was a dumb thought. Let me teach you something I learned this weekend— people there is a thing called a chicken drumette. Did you you know that a drumette is not a tiny drumstick but actually the upper part of the chicken wing? Or that the chicken wing actually has three parts to it? I’m hoping some are saying no so I don’t feel as silly. Turns out the chicken wings I bought still had the drumettes attached so not only did we have chicken wings and drumettes like normal we also had an additional three pounds of actual drumsticks. I must say as I was eating the three different types of chicken I wasn’t too upset by my mistake.

Looking at the bone size difference just makes me laugh. How could I have thought they were the same? You live and you learn…

Crispy Bake Chicken Wings- Buffalo and Ginger Soy sauces (warning the buffalo sauce is very hot!)


How to: Throw the Perfect Cocktail and Appetizer Party


I recently had a ladies night which had a fall theme and it was awesome! Over the past couple of years I’ve loved hosting tailgate brunches, St. Patty’s Day dinners or brunch, and Thanksgiving dinner. From all of these I’ve come up with the fool proof way to through the best party. Here is how you do it….

Step 1- Think of theme and menu

Think of a theme so you can decorate and create a meal around it. I picked just general fall so I wouldn’t have to get a lot of decorations but just a few items to jazz up the apartment. I got a few tiny pumpkins for decoration and orange flowers. I also picked fun Halloween straws and brown stripped plates.

When planning the menu always think less is more. After a week of searching different sites I decided to serve bahn mi meatballs, crostinis three different ways, and pumpkin doughnut holes. When picking recipes think about what needs to be cooked in the oven and your time frame. Also think of recipes that you could do most of the prep before hand.

I was originally planning on doing three savory apps and then one sweet but scaled it down to two because I knew people would bring stuff even if I said they didn’t have to. This was a great decision because there was plenty of food and I didn’t kill myself. For the cocktail I picked an apple cider old fashioned. Once again here I almost changed my plan because I found a cool recipe that added ginger beer and I thought it looked cooler with cranberries on toothpicks. In the end I went with what was budget friendly and didn’t make me have to get extra “stuff.” The orange and apple slices I had planned were just “fun” in the drinks.

This was my first party I really tried to focus on this and I will never go back to my old ways. I saved a few extra dollars and nobody else knew about the other cocktail with ginger beer or the other appetizer I was thinking about—they just saw the festive fun stuff in front of them.

Step 2-Prepare with a list

This seems like an easy step but I think it is one that is frequently missed. What I mean by “prepare with a list” is the week prior to your party break down each day and what needs to be done. A grocery store day, a cleaning day, a prep night. If you break it down this way it helps you see how easily you can maintain your normal week like and prep for a party. It helps keep the stress down from the get go. Take a look at my list and you’ll see how I do it.


Step 3- Prep night/morning

The night before the event, once the place is clean, put stuff out how you would for the party. I set up the bar and set up the table with the platters I would be using and the only things missing were food and ice. This way everything is set so you don’t have to worry about grabbing dishes and cleaning them or what to put where.



Step 5- Stay calm and cook/bake on

This is the key point; stay calm. I found it hard because I got out of work a little later than planned so I was behind schedule but when time came for the people to arrive at 7 pm they helped out with the final dishes being cooked. I was frazzled because my goal was to have everything done before people arrived which now that I look back and realize what I was trying to get done in an hour was not realistic. So set realistic goals so you aren’t stressed. It is very normal to be cooking while people are arriving so build that in if need. I also found that it was great to give someone bar duty so that kept people busy while I was finishing things up in the kitchen. I gave this duty to my sister Kara and it was easy for her take on because I printed out the recipe and directions so there were no questions. Also no matter how your dishes turn out remember what Julia Child said, “No Matter what happens in the kitchen never apologize.” So present your dishes proudly and enjoy a drink you deserve it!

The Perfect Fall Party Menu (Serves about 12 if others bring some things like cheese and wine)

Looking to have a party but don’t know what to make? I have you covered. This is the perfect menu for a 20 something’s fall party.

Apple Cider Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Banh Mi Bites

Crostini’s A la carte

For the crostini’s I cut two french baguettes into a two inch slices. I drizzled olive oil on each side and baked at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or golden brown. I topped each with a dollop of ricotta before adding the toppings below:

  1. Butternut squash and sage- I peeled and chopped butternut squash into cubes and coated with olive oil and salt and pepper. I roasted that for about 30 minutes or soft to a fork and then let cool. I did this the night before so the corseting was served at room temperature. I topped each with chopped sage.
  2. Roasted tomatoes- I drizzled olive oil and salt and pepper on cherry sized heirloom tomatoes and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  3. Pear, prosciutto and honey- I sliced pear and added pieces of prosciutto then topped with a drizzle of honey.

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes

Cream cheese dipping sauce


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My sister and brother-in-law had the hallowest of Halloween parties this past weekend. My sister’s and my mom is a pretty theatrical lady and raised us to dress up for all holidays. Not just green and red for Christmas but pilgrim outfits for the day before Thanksgiving and carrying our lunches in baskets or going to school with your face painted in a big red heart for Valentines day. So getting into holidays really stuck with us.

Pumpkin beer, other beer, more beer, wine, tequila, vodka, gin, you name it, it was bought for the party. We made mummy pigs in a blanket, pumpkin puking guacamole and caramel apple bites. The orange lights were turned on, the candles were lit and the party began and I have to say it was definitely a graveyard smash (get it? Bobby Pickett?)!!

Mummy pigs-in-a-blanket

Turkey hot dogs cut in half

crescent roll dough

Wrap hot dogs in dough and bake at 375 degrees till golden brown about 25 minuets.

Caramel apple bites

One bag Caramel

two apples of your choice

Cut apple into cubes and put toothpicks in each cube. Dip in melted caramel. Place on parchment paper on a plate. Cool in fridge



Mary Poppins and a French Kiss




Dance party between Teletubby and chimney sweeper












Best guacamole ever!!!



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Happy Easter!


Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!  We had a great Easter brunch filled with Easter borscht, crostini’s, baked eggs, asparagus and of course hard boiled eggs (you can see my classic rainbow one below). Oh and how could I forget, after all that brunch we had smoked ribs, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. I made a poppyseed cake for dessert.  I know I always say the cakes are amazing but this was literally one of the tastiest cakes I have ever made.  With that said it was also the ugliest.  I had issues with it sticking to the pan for one cake and the other I decided to cut in half and it was just to delicate for that. This is your warning…viewers discretion is advised for the cake picture.  If this is your first time visiting my site, please don’t judge my baking/cooking/traveling abilities by this cake.


Prosciutto and Avocado Crostini

Green Eggs and Bacon

Easter Borscht

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake






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Lowcountry Bites – Peach Salsa

I can officially say that I am a columnist at The Island Eye News!  It is a bi-weekly, or published twice a month, publication that is sent out to some of the islands in the Charleston area.  My column is called Lowcountry Bites and each week has a write up and recipe.  My first story was about peach salsa and thought my readers here would enjoy the recipe as well.  Enjoy!

PS  You can consider yourself lucky that you are linking to the article from here.  Those who only saw it in the paper didn’t get the great color photo.

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Blast From The Past

What was I doing this time last year?  Eating pão de queijo that’s what.   I was in Brazil enjoying being a graduate and living the traveling dream.  Now a year later I am left to making them from a box mix ordered off of Amazon, at least it was a gift (Thank you Kyle Herionimus).  Rough life I know.

Pão de queijo is basically Brazilian cheese bread.  It is made from cassava flour which we would know as yucca, which is a root, and minas cheese.  This cheese is made from a cow’s milk and tastes almost like a mozzarella but has the texture of a feta.  They sometimes served this with leche or sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top as a dessert creating a salty sweet irresistible combination.

In Brazil I ate these cheese balls like candy.  Fresh out of the oven and topped with cream cheese we were in Brazilian heaven.  Oh take me back!  The food there is second only to the amazing friends I made.



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Happy Cinco de Mayo!!


Hope everyone had a awesome Cinco de Mayo and one too many margaritas!  Heres a recipe for the best tortilla chips ever!  Super simple and they are so much better than store bought tortilla chips. Simple cut corn tortillas into quarters, spray with Pam olive oil then salt them and bake at 350.  Cook first side for six minutes then flip respray and salt.  Bake for four more minutes on this side.  Let cool and then dig in!


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Greek Feast Night

Farmers market season is in full bloom.  I’ve been to a few farmers markets before but apparently not the cool ones because I have never seen zucchini blossoms for sale until last week.  It was like Christmas morning when I saw them. After I bought them I was so overwhelmed with planning the meal that I would serve them as an appetizer at that I couldn’t focus enough to buy anything else.  This week I’m going with a list.

Zucchini blossoms quickly grew into Greek feast night.  Stuffed zucchini blossoms as the obvious star but also the appetizer, Greek salad, chicken gyros and baklava.  I studied abroad in Greece a few years back and have always wanted to make zucchini blossoms and baklava, the moment had finally arrived.  Zucchini blossoms are the flower the grows off of the zucchini.  There are male and female flowers and the way to tell them apart it that the male flower grows directly off the zucchini and the female grows from a stem.

Both the blossoms and the baklava were pretty easy.  The baklava was just time consuming considering it had 17 layers, but there weren’t any tricky parts and you don’t need special tools.  The fried stuffed blossoms are self explanatory and the only thing that was a little tricky was pulling out the pistols of the flowers.

The zucchini blossoms were so, so good!  The fried part isn’t too strong but more of a tempura batter because it is just flour and soda water, so it has a lighter taste to it.  You bite in and they melt in your mouth and its salty from the parmigiano-reggiano and sweet from the ricotta.  The baklava was great.  It tasted almost as good as Greece baklava, almost.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Recipe

Baklava Recipe



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Catch of the Day- Sydney Fish Market


Fish markets don’t stand a chance next to Sydney’s. The Sydney Fish Market is the second largest fish market in terms of variety outside of Japan.   It is unlike any fish market I have ever been to and my dad as well which says something.  The Sydney Fish Market is a warehouse with one main isle down the center and shops on either side.  One thing that makes it special is that it sells more than just fish.  There are six seafood retailers, a bottle shop, fruit and vegetable market, bakery, sushi bar, restaurant and gift shop.  I finally stopped in the gift shop this time and got a kangaroo cookie cutter.

You walk down that main isle and you are stunned by everything you see around you.  It’s busy and you want to go in everywhere and you don’t know what to choose.  Once you have chosen the venue you want its time to buy the seafood.  You can either buy cooked things like prawn and lobster or there is a bbq that has standard seafood or you can choose from the raw seafood and have them barbeque it for you. If you are an oyster lover like myself they have many oysters to choose from and at a very good price for Sydney.

There are all different kinds of fish; whole fish, small fish and everything in between.  One thing I found that I had never heard of before the market was a Moreton Bay bug or also known as the Bay lobster. They are named after Moreton Bay in Queensland Australia.  They look the just the tail of a lobster.  They are similar to taste as a lobster but not as rich and sweet and they are missing the melt in your mouth goodness.  Definitely try them but if you are as much of a lobster fan as I am I don’t think you will be switching over.  Sorry bugs.

After a delicious meal on the picnic tables by the water, I always head down to the fruit market and get a chocolate covered strawberry.  It is the perfect ending to the perfect, fresh, right off the boat seafood meal.





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Kara Appreciation Day


(Kara in her amazing Halloween costume)

Not to leave my little sister out, because she is amazing as well, but this post is about my older sister, and of course food.  Kara, my older sister, is such a great older sister that she earned her own day, which I titled “Kara Appreciation Day.”  This day was created because I bought Kara’s Christmas present early, but could only get a refund for 30 days after I bought it, and I bought it on November 10th. I started to think about how I could justify giving her the Christmas present early and it got me thinking; I realized how much Kara does for me. I literally would not be where I am today without her.  She helped me get my internship, she is letting me stay with her and share her car, and she has honestly guided me through life. She has been there for me through everything.  She is my person.  Ok enough with the sappy stuff, I think you guys get it, I love my sister blah blah blah :). So “Kara Appreciation Day” was created to be celebrated on November 13th; it’s still in negotiation as to whether it will be annual. I decided I would have a night where I cook her favorite food, play Christmas music and give her the present.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Kara’s favorite food is crab Rangoon.  Kara and the Rangoon’s go way back but that’s a long story she probably wouldn’t want me to share on my blog.  I found this crab Rangoon recipe and  instead of using regular onions I used green onions.  They were so easy and prefect!  Make sure you get duck sauce for dipping; no crab Rangoon is complete without it.  I also decided to make egg drop soup, which Kara loves, but I must admit I love more.  I found a Tyler Florence egg drop soup recipe and literally this is the easiest and best egg drop soup I have ever tasted.  If you are a lover of egg drop soup, stop reading my blog, go to the store and make this recipe immediately, if not sooner.  It was a richer Asian broth for the soup because of the ginger and that really takes it to the next level.

I hope everyone who has siblings has taken the time to appreciate them, and if they are anything like Kara, cook them this meal; they will love it!



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