2017 Surprise Holiday Party

2017 Surprise Holiday Party

As always, our holiday party was a surprise. I wasn’t in the guessing game mood, I just wanted prosciutto.

It was just waiting for me.

This year’s surprise holiday party activity was a pizza making class at Le Pain Quotidien, instructed by Chef Dawn Kinard. We got our hands dirty & made our own pizza dough to take home, as well as sauce prepared by Chef Dawn. Using previously prepared dough, we made personal pizzas for lunch with some toppings to choose from: mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, ricotta and parmesan.



There was a contest for the best tasting pie, judged by Chef Dawn: I came in second! Prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, ricotta and parmesan, so good!

Unlimited champagne: thanks el jefe!

The party continued across the street at Bleeker Street Bar: libations, pool, darts & the usual RE shenanigans.

I drank everything bubbly, had two shots, then melted in the back seat of an Uber—just like last year!


#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

#avaeats 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello December! The Christmas countdown has started for me: I have 24 days left to get a handful of gifts Chéo, my tribe, my office Secret Santa and my mom. While I have tunnel vision to buy gifts for my loved ones, I always make a note of anything I see that I may like for myself. Here are 12 of my favorite food-ish finds, in case anyone wants to bless me this Christmas.

Please note: I’m not receiving any type of compensation for posting these gifts, all items were found out of pure internet-surfing boredom.

1 katespadejigger

Two of a Kind Less/More Jigger – Kate Spade
Did someone say jigger shot? This Less/More jigger from Kate Spade is the perfect way to glam up your bar!



BFFs: Chicken and Waffle Hard Enamel Lapel Pins – Minimalust Studio
Chicken and Waffles has become one of those random cravings for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve; with this, I can wear my craving on my lapel! Or I can give one to my BFF. Sorry Christina, I’m cutting you out of this one!




Bitches Get Stuff Done Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
This Is Fucking Delicious Oven Mitt – alwaysfits.com
I’m convinced I’ve inherited a tongue that cusses like I sailor from my daddy—I use the term “get shit done” almost daily. I literally lost my shit when I saw these oven mitts floating around Facebook.



Unicorn Tea Set – Angioletti Designs
I wouldn’t be me without a sprinkle of unicorn somewhere on my list. This gorgeous tea set includes a 23oz teapot, 2 cups with saucers, a creamer and a sugar bowl. What I love about the Angioletti Designs shop is their flexibility—if you’re not a unicorn lover but you love the style of the set, they can customize the decal for you! And they have payment plans! It gets no better!
5 gabriellecookbook

Peace, Love & Good Food (thanksmas edition) – Gabrielle McBay
This is the one thing on the list that I’m not asking for—because I already have it! I’ve been following Gabrielle on twitter for a while, so once she started dropping these cookbook tweets, I stalked her a bit until she released it. She even included some hacks and prep tips that I greatly appreciate!

6 wakebake

Wake & Bake Spoon Set – SSEngraving
Imagine eating brownie batter off of these!



Porcelain Popcorn Pin – Monochromatiques
I’m not the biggest popcorn fan—I hate having things stuck in my teeth—but how can you not love the realism of this pin?

8 michael aram sp

Pomegranate Salt & Pepper Shakers – Michael Aram
Everyone needs gold-tone salt and pepper shakers, because yes. Each Michael Aram piece is handmade, so no two items are exactly alike—talk about lavishly unique.

9 cheeseboardVienna Transforming Bamboo Cheese Board Set – A Picnic at Ascot
I love a charcuterie platter, it really is the simplest way to make sure your guests—and even you—have something to nibble on. With levels and a hidden drawer for the tools, this is how you elevate your bad & boujee.



Eco Resin Platter – Nanna Woo Handmade
I found this shop on Instagram a few months ago and instantly fell in love with this Eco Resin collection. I saw a video of the process to make a plate from start to finish and I was mesmerized. I just love gold flakes!

11 mackenziechilds cookiejar

Courtly Check Cookie Jar – MacKenzie-Childs
Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite movies and this cookie jar just screams Tim Burton’s rendition.

12 munchies pillow

Munchies – Plusheez
Because you really can’t have one without the other.

Secret Santa. 

Santa came through for the queen! Can I get a “Yaaassssss!”

My colleague Eman heard I’ve been eying this Eat Cake for Breakfast cake plate from Kate Spade and had it delivered just in time for me to bring it to Greensboro. We needed a container of some sort for Chéo’s mom’s rum cake. Now to get a dome…

Thanks Eman! I love it!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Food Prep Made Easy

I can’t recall comfortably cooking in anyone’s kitchen other than my own. Because my dad continued his passion at home once he left the culinary industry, we had pots and pans and appliances out the whazoo. Not everyone’s as fortunate as I am to still have such a disposal at my fingertips, so I’ve had to maneuver and MacGyver- successfully– in other kitchens.

Because I knew I’d be cooking my first Christmas dinner this year for Chéo and I, I need to make this process as simple as possible in the Greensboro kitchen.

I bought a mini food processor! My go-to appliance and best friend, I do not finely chop/grate a thing. And it was on sale for $40- adulting done right. It’s compact and works very well: I just made a jerk seasoning to marinade some chicken and the puree is very smooth. I’m too proud of this purchase.



Sidebar: because Chéo and I are so unconventional, we’re having jerk chicken for Christmas dinner instead of the traditional roasted turkey. Here’s the caveat, I’ve never made jerk chicken. It can’t be that hard, so we’ll see if I return with an actual recipe.

#avaeats Holiday Gift Guide: Day 24


I like to keep crystals and stones around me for their good energy and metaphysical properties. I keep stones with specific properties in our home and my office like amethyst, tourmaline, lapis lazuli, rhodonite, and jade.

Since we use crystals in our living room, we can use them in the kitchen as well! This Agate Platter Tray is a gorgeous piece for serving pretty much anything that can fit on it. Sliced from Brazilian gemstone and trimmed in gold, this tray ($120) is the perfect gift for someone who has everything!


Agate Platter Blue Stone Tray