Za’atar Flatbread

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve just watched the US Women’s National Team win their fourth World Cup and defend their title, and it’s unbelievably thrilling. There’s so much animosity towards the US from the rest of the world, that I always feel like I have to hide a little bit watching them from Scotland, but I’m excited and I don’t want to whisper.

It’s time for these women to get equal pay. The powers that be are running out of excuses. A billion people watched today’s final, and the quality of play was tops. Pay these women, and all women, what they’re worth. We deserve it, and we shouldn’t let them world forget.

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To call this Za’atar Flatbread a recipe would be a bit ridiculous, but eating this Za’atar Flatbread is absolutely divine. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend with sumac, sesame seeds, and some other dried herbs. This was the first time I’d tried eat after reading about it a bunch of times. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised by the brightness of the Za’atar. I can’t wait to try it on everything.

Like I said, it’s pointless to write a recipe. Buy some of your favorite flatbread, crank up your broiler or grill, mix about a half tablespoon of good olive oil with a half tablespoon of Za’atar for each flatbread, spread it on, and cook for about two to three minutes until the bread is brown and crisp. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. This would be a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or kebabs, or dipped in your favorite hummus.

Za'atar Flatbread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Football and feminism are great, but you still gotta eat, so add some Za’atar Flatbread to the mix. It’s gonna be awesome.

Recipe from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This is just about the only time of year where you can talk about deviled eggs without having to be embarrassed. I’ve always loved deviled eggs and looked forward to family gatherings because I knew they would always be there. Leave the table unguarded, and I’m likely to eat all of them before you even get a chance.

I got to take exactly three photos of these before my reflecting board fell flat on top of all my Buffalo Deviled Eggs, flattening my already rough swirls and staining my white reflecting board with buffalo sauce. I didn’t get to take any more photos, but you can bet all those deviled eggs still got eaten.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Buffalo Deviled Eggs have a nice punch of heat along side some deep flavor from the blue cheese. They’re basically irresistible. I promise they’ll make Easter a little more exciting.

There’s nothing tricky here. We’re just adding a few extra ingredients to your standard deviled eggs to give them a new flavor. I promise I won’t judge you if your eggs aren’t beautifully peeled. I don’t know if there’s something different about brown eggs compared to white eggs, but I have the worst time peeling hard boiled brown eggs. A few cracks and divots won’t change the flavor. Also, I only boiled four eggs because there are only two of us, but this recipe can easily be scaled up to serve more.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Make your friends and family some Buffalo Deviled Eggs this Easter. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buffalo Deviled Eggs


8 halves

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes




  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon buffalo sauce or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Pinch of celery salt


  • Add your eggs to a pan and cover with cold water. Boil until hard boiled. I give it about 10 minutes once the water starts boiling. Everybody has their favorite method. Use that.
  • Peel your eggs as carefully as possible. Slice your eggs in half and pop the yolk out into a mixing bowl. Set the whites on a plate for filling later.
  • To the yolks, add the remaining ingredients and mash with a fork or mix with an electric mixer until relatively smooth. The blue cheese will prevent it from being totally smooth.
  • You can either spoon the yolk mixture back into the cavities of your egg whites or use a piping bag. For me, the blue cheese blocked the piping tip, so maybe even just snip the end of the piping bag (if it’s a disposable one, obviously) quite wide to keep things flowing.
  • If you want a bit of an extra kick, lightly sprinkle the eggs with cayenne pepper.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m reluctantly leaving procrastination station and getting back on the blogging train. I ignored my planner most of the week, and unusually, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. I just did what I wanted and it was pretty awesome. Should I let this become a habit?

Life is pretty boring here, and I’m reveling in it at the moment. I’m hoping t plan a trip (possibly to Portugal) soon, but right now I’m happy to hide in my house for the rest of the winter cooking and eating and reading. We’re sprinkling some Game of Thrones into our lives in preparation for the final season in April. That’s about as much adventure as I’m craving at the moment.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made you something deliciously kitschy this week. It’s a Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball. Apparently Amy and David Sedaris both love a cheese ball, so I’m fully embracing this mid-century party snack. It helps that this is completely delicious. I’d for sure serve this at my next house party.

This Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball couldn’t be easier to make. We’re just mixing a bunch of tasty ingredients together in a mixer, crispy bacon, salty parmesan, smooth cream cheese, etc. Then we’ll mold the whole thing with chopped parsley-lined plastic wrap and store it in the fridge to firm up before serving with your favorite crackers. If you have one of those cute, stubby cheese/spreading knives, this would be the time to bring it out. Sadly, I don’t own that sort of thing. This mixture is a bit too stiff for just dipping a cracker into, so you’ll need to provide a way for your guests to spread it onto whatever eating vehicle you provide.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Wanna come over and watch TV and eat this Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball? You can wear your pajamas and slippers. That’s how we roll. It’ll be awesome.

Bacon Parmesan Cheese Ball


4-6 servings

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes




  • 5 slices streaky bacon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  • Place a skillet over medium heat and use scissors to slice your bacon into 1/2 inch pieces right into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Add cream cheese and mayo to a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Turn the mixer down to low, and add parmesan, green onion, black pepper, and cayenne until well combined. Finally, mix in the bacon.
  • Spread your chopped parsley onto a large piece of plastic wrap (big enough to cover your formed cheese ball), and scoop your cheese mixture from the bowl on top of the parsley. Use the plastic wrap to help press the parsley into the outside of the cheese as you form it into a roughly spherical shape. Park this in the fridge for at least two hours to firm up.
  • To serve, gently unwrap your ball and transport it to your serving platter. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Recipe slightly adapted from Erin’s Food Files.

40+ of My All Time Favorite Recipes

It’s my 40th birthday today. I don’t have any words of wisdom about getting older. I’m not sure I’m handling it as gracefully as I should be, to be quite honest. I’m just trying to carry on and stay awesome and look ahead to the adventures that await. And trying to remember to put on eye cream every night. 

I thought I’d share with you some of my all time favorite recipes from the past five and a half years on my site. It was really difficult to pare it down, and I couldn’t quite make it to just 40. These are all things that I get really excited about cooking and eating. I hope enjoy them as much as I do.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Breakfast

Breakfast Pizza is a recipe I learned from a dear friend, and I love it almost as much as I love her.

The first time I made Cheesy Sausage Squares, I knew I had a winner.

Herbed Biscuits and Creamy Sausage Gravy is completely heavenly.

Buttermilk Pancakes have been a lifelong favorite.

You can put this Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup on a car bumper, and it would taste good.

These Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes will definitely brighten up your morning.

This Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit with Apple Butter is a revelation of sweet and savoury.

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Something to Start

Garlic & Thyme Camembert is stupid easy to make and impossible to stop eating.

Swiss & Bacon Dip is the one recipe people ALWAYS ask me for at the end of the party.

Pillow Dogs are supposed to be for the kids, but give me a bottle of mustard and leave them all to me, and I’ll be so happy.

This Holiday Brie never gets boring. 

Mini Cheddar Meatloaves | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Dinner

Cowboy Spaghetti features hot sauce, bacon and cheddar cheese, and it’s just ridiculous.

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese has so many great flavors and so so so much cheese.

I want to make this Cheesy Potato Soup for everyone ever. You’ll want to lick the bowl.

The sauce on these Mini-Cheddar Meatloaves is like magic, delicious, addicting magic.

Risotto Bolognese is so hearty and satisfying, you’ll wish your bowl would never end.

We just had Spicy Southwest Burgers last week, and I’d have them again next week if I could.

Cornbread-Topped Chili Mac brings so many beautiful things together in one dish.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf has earned its place as the star of our holiday table for good reason.

Put these Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes on your plate and be happy.

Sloppy Joe Casserole is a childhood favorite that I’ve never gotten tired of.

I could eat Bacon Carbonara every day of my life.

Chicken Parmesan is a classic for a reason.

I would not have a problem eating this Lemon Linguine from a bucket.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Have a Drink

This Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail will keep you young and merry.

A pitcher of Poinsettia Champagne Cocktails makes any party perfect.

I’m crazy for Amarula, and this Brown Elephant Cocktail is where it’s at.

Pour me a Pomegranate Margarita any day, please.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The Sweet Stuff

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is legit for real the very best.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a retro classic that should never be forgotten.

Your guests will think you bought this White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake, but you totally made it yourself.

These Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookies you’ve ever eaten.

These Sour Cream Scones are remarkably tender and the perfect vehicle for your favorite jam.

Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake – the name says it all.

These Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are unstoppable.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies make a good thing great.

Molten Chocolate Cake is everything.

This Pumpkin Cake is the definition of tender, moist, and flavorful.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies totally surprised me with their awesomeness.

Classic Fudge because there’s never enough chocolate.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes transform possibly my all-time favorite food into a gorgeous dessert.

Triple Lemon Yogurt Cake is perfectly sweet and tart.

I can’t be in the same room as this Peanut Butter Fudge without eating it.

Salted Caramel Pudding features layers of absolute delight.

Mac & Cheese Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mac & Cheese Cups

Mac & Cheese Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love going out to eat. I get so excited to read a new menu. I love watching other people’s food go by just to see what’s coming out of the kitchen. If there’s a table that looks right into the kitchen, all the better. On a good day, we’ve gone to a place where I want to try a bunch of different stuff. My husband and I will negotiate to make sure we’re not getting the same thing so we can taste each other’s food. There’s the internal struggle about whether to get a cocktail or a dessert because I know I can’t afford both.

But lately, when my food arrives, I’m often underwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to outrageous American food or if British restaurants just aren’t that great unless you’re rich. More often than not, what I’m eating looks impressive, but it’s not any better, and occasionally noticeably worse, than what I could make for myself at home. 

Mac and cheese is one of those foods that’s hit or miss out in the restaurant world. Sometimes a place will describe this supposedly legendary mac, and what you end up with is pasta in a soupy white sauce with some shredded cheddar sprinkled over the top. The whole thing gets shoved under the broiler and brought to you bubbling and boring rather than properly incorporated, creamy, dreamy, gooey, and good. I assure you, today’s recipe is anything but disappointing.

Mac & Cheese Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Mac & Cheese Cups have a buttery, cracker crumb crust, so we’re already off to a good start. I swear Ritz crackers are a true manufacturing miracle. We’re mixing our al dente macaroni with cheddar and garlic and herb soft cheese for a punch of bold flavor. A few more creamy ingredients help hold everything together. Pop all this into a muffin cup to bake, and you’ve got something truly awesome.

Mac & Cheese Cups are also versatile. We ate them for lunch in front of the TV while watching football, still warm and gooey, but you could also make them into a cheesy side dish for dinner, or serve them up at a party. These are good hot or cold. When they’ve been chilled, they actually hold their shape really well and are much easier to eat with your hands, so if you’re serving them at a party, don’t be afraid to make them ahead and stash them in the fridge.

Mac & Cheese Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

There’s a lot of great food in the world, but chances are, some of the best food will come from your very own kitchen. Why not start with Mac & Cheese Cups. I assure you, they’re awesome.

Mac & Cheese Cups
Serves 12
Mac & Cheese Cups combine a butter cracker crust with chewy gooey mac and cheese for a great little party food.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 6 ounces elbow macaroni
  2. 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs, or similar (about 12 crackers)
  3. 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1.5 ounces butter, melted
  5. 2.5 ounces garlic and herb soft cheese, such as Boursin or cream cheese
  6. 0.5 ounces cold butter
  7. 1 egg
  8. 100 ml milk
  9. 30 ml sour cream
  10. Pinch of salt
  11. Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C), and lightly grease the cups of a standard 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once it's boiled, add a fat pinch of salt and your pasta. Cook for one minute less than the package instructions, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, combine your cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of your shredded cheddar, and your melted butter in a mixing bowl until fully combined. Divide your crumb mixture between your 12 muffin cups. I use the bottom of a shot glass to gently press the crumb mixture into the bottom of each cup to flatten it down. Set this aside until your pasta is ready.
  4. Once your pasta is cooked, combine the cooked pasta, remaining cheddar, garlic and herb cheese, and cold butter in a mixing bowl. In a measuring jug, add in your milk, use displacement to measure out your sour cream, then crack the egg into the jug. Give this mixture a good whisk to smooth it all out, then pour it over your pasta mixture. Finally, sprinkle in your salt and crushed red pepper flakes, and give the whole thing a good stir until it's evenly combined.
  5. Evenly divide your pasta mixture into the twelve cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until it's bubbly and just starting to hint at browning.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove them. I use an offset spatula to get them out. Run your spatula around the edge of each cup to loose then up, then carefully slide the spatula down the side and underneath. They should release fairly easily.
  7. These can be served hot, cold, or anywhere in between.
Adapted from Everyday Annie
Adapted from Everyday Annie
How to be Awesome on $20 a day

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