{ Sweet Red Cherry Pavlovas }

I am so, so, so excited about this post today. Firstly, because it's been waaay too long since I last shared a recipe video on here! And secondly, because these pavlovas are the stuff dreams are made of. (Ok, dramatic...but just LOOK at them!)

Light & crisp meringue nests with marshmallowy centers, dolloped with freshly whipped cream and drizzled with a sweet pink syrup made of fresh, juicy cherries. 

The most stunning summertime dessert,  just a scroll away!

Sweet Red Cherry Pavlovas

Yields 6 small pavlovas.


For the meringue nests...
2 large egg whites
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

For the pink cherry syrup...
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

For the topping...
Unsweetened fresh whipped cream 
Fresh sweet red cherries, with stems
Powdered sugar (optional)


1. Begin by making the meringue nests. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and salt. Once the mixture is frothy, slowly stream in the granulated sugar. Once the mixture is opaque white and fluffy, add in the vanilla extract, corn starch, and lemon juice. Beat until shiny, stiff peaks form, (see video for reference.)

2. Next, scoop the meringue mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Form a small indentation in each of the scoops to create a "nest" for the whipped cream. Place the meringues into the 350 F oven, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 300 F. Bake the meringues at 300 F for 25 minutes, watching carefully within the last 5 minutes to avoid any browning. When 25 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for another 25 minutes to dry out and finish cooking. Lastly, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

3. While the meringues bake, make the pink cherry syrup. Combine fresh pitted cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil (stirring constantly to avoid burning of the sugar,) reduce the heat, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes - or until the liquid has thickened into a syrup.

4. Strain the fresh cherries out of the syrup, and set them aside to top the pavlovas later. Once the  strained cherry syrup mixture has cooled completely, stir in a touch of cream until the syrup becomes an intense pink color.

5. Once the meringues have cooled and the syrup is ready, whip unsweetened fresh cream (the meringues and syrup are sweet enough on their own.) To assemble the pavlovas, place one meringue nest on a plate (preferably the plate you'll be serving on, as the pavlovas become delicate once assembled,) top with a generous dollop of whipped cream, drizzle with the pink cherry syrup, and spoon on the cooked cherries that you set aside earlier. If desired place a fresh red cherry on top and dust with powdered sugar. The pavlovas are best enjoyed immediately! :)



{ Linn's Olallieberry Pie }

Today's post is all about my recent trip along the coast of California!

As a few of you may already know, I just graduated from UCLA (which was incredible, yet also mildly terrifying.) During the weeks surrounding and following graduation, my family (aunts, uncles, cousin, grandma, grandpa, mom AND dad) all flew out from the East Coast to celebrate with me. I'm a lucky gal!

We had the BEST time exploring LA, San Diego, and Las Vegas. But the most unique part of our journey was a brief road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, with my grandma, grandpa, and mom. Along the way, we made stops at the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon, discovered the magical "olallieberry" (which makes, quite possibly, the world's best pie,) drove on stomach-churning hairpin turns in Big Sur (with views that made it SO worthwhile,) brunched in the beautiful city of Carmel, and wandered through the mesmerizing Monterey Bay Aquarium. Long story short, it was FUN!

Brace yourselves for a photo-heavy post with some of my favorite memories from the adventure, along with a little video I edited together from the aquarium and a photo shoot with a mini olallieberry pie from Linn's bakery in Cambria, CA! 

(OH, and here's me, post-graduation, lookin' cray. PEACE OUT SCHOOL!)

Below are a few snaps taken at our first stop of the trip: the historic Hearst Castle. The castle sits up on a hill with breathtaking views and is home to wild zebras! ZEBRAS!!!

The swimming pool. CASUAL.

Big Sur, you are a sight for sore eyes!

A little video I shot while at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That place is incredible inside AND out... it's right on the water, and the views are spectacular!

A little flapjack octopus!!! Love him!

A scenic drive through the coastal city of Carmel by the Sea. (above)

My grandma and grandpa's first look at the ginormous redwood trees! (below)
(This photo only shows like, a third, of the tree. They're HUGE.)

And last but not least, our THIRD stop at Linn's while on the trip. Great service, great food, GREAT olallieberry pie!

Hope you enjoyed my recap of our Coastal California trip! Have you been to any of these destinations or tried a slice of olallieberry pie before?! (We hadn't even heard of an "olallieberry" before this trip... ya learn something new everyday!)

See ya soon!
- Rachel


{ S'mores Brownie Pie }

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!

Let's celebrate this beautiful country with, quite possibly, the most American combination of desserts: BROWNIE + PIE + S'MORES!! Like, can it get more patriotic than that?

This glorious pie has a crisp, buttery graham cracker crust, gooey brownie center, and toasted marshmallow meringue topping. OH, and if you aren't already drooling, the brownie center is stuffed with melty chunks of Hershey's milk chocolate, (because a s'more just isn't a s'more without Hershey's... don't you agree?!)

My friends and I had such a blast making (and eating) this S'mores Brownie Pie this holiday weekend, and we hope you do too!! Be sure to scroll down for additional photos and the recipe. :)

S'mores Brownie Pie


For the graham cracker crust...
1 1/2 cups of honey graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
a pinch of salt
a dash of cinnamon (optional)

For the fudgy brownie filling...
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 Hershey's milk chocolate bar, chopped

(This brownie recipe yields more batter than needed for the pie, so feel free to bake up mini pies or a small pan of brownies with the leftover batter!)

For the toasted marshmallow meringue topping...
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/4 cup sugar
Red, white, & blue sprinkles, for garnish


1. Start by making the graham cracker crust. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they become small crumbs that resemble sand. To the crumbs, stir in butter, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Press and pack the mixture tightly into the bottom, and up onto the sides, of a pie tin.

2. Next, make the brownie filling. Bring water to a boil in the microwave (in a large, microwave-safe bowl.) Once hot, whisk in the cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate until melted. Then, add melted butter and oil. Let the mixture cool for a minute, and then quickly whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Next, add the vanilla extract and sugars, and whisk until smooth. Lastly, fold in the flour and salt until just combined (do not over mix!)

3. Break apart a bar of Hershey's milk chocolate and place it into one even layer on top of the graham cracker crust. Then, cover with the brownie batter and fill the pie tin until just nearly full. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Check that a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the pie before removing it from the oven to cool.

4. While the s'mores brownie pie is cooling, start on the meringue topping by whipping together egg whites and the cream of tartar. Slowly add in the sugar until egg whites are firm, opaque, and glossy white. 

5. Place the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe small peaks in a circular pattern on top of the brownie pie, (or for a more "rustic" look, dollop the meringue all over the pie and create peaks with a spoon.) Broil the meringue in the oven for 30 seconds to a minute, watching carefully (as it will toast up and begin to burn rather quickly.)

6. Once the meringue is toasted, top the pie with patriotic sprinkles, slice up, and enjoy immediately! And have a happy Fourth of July!!!