A Thanksgiving Favorite

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!

Everyone has their favorite dish on Thanksgiving & mine is sweet potato casserole. Today I am using Celebrating Sweets’ photos in my blog to present this dish. I am making this tasty casserole for the third time this year.

1st pic

 This is a very simple but tasty dish. I made this for the first time two years ago for my family and they loved it. I never cared for sweet potato but it has grown on me the past few years. It has all of my favorite combinations in one. I love that the sweet potato has it’s natural sweetness. The Streusel is the cherry on top for me. I learned this dish by looking at multiple recipes and just putting my own recipe together. I came across Celebrating Sweets’ website on Pinterest and I saw the streusel and I definitely wanted to try it.


Thanksgiving is one of the only times you can get away with eating a lot; my favorite time of the year. A tradition I have been doing for many years is I eat until I cant anymore then go black Friday shopping to walk off all of the food I ate. Sounds like a good idea right?


 I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine do. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!


Time 20 minutes

 Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds of sweet potato (peeled and chopped)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/4 cup of milk*, evaporated milk, or half & half

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon* or pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons of brown sugar lite or regular*.

Add salt to your preference


4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of chopped pecans

2-3 cups of marshmallows (I love extra)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a casserole dish and spray with pam baking butter or olive oil.

2. Place sweet potato in a pot to boil and cover for 7 minutes or until tender. Drain sweet potatoes once they are done and return them to the pot.

3. Add remaining ingredients for the mash to the pot and stir with a mixer or whatever works for you.

4. Transfer the mashed potatoes to the casserole dish and spread evenly then transfer to the oven until heated throughly.

5. While that is cooking add topping ingredients to a bowl and stir until throughly combined.

6. Remove casserole from the oven and top with marshmallows then sprinkle streusel on top.

7. Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until marshmallows are golden brown.


*what ingredient I used

What a great turn out.

mine 1mine 2mine 3mine 4

Happy Holidays!

XOXO, Mary Alexius


Best of Houston – Food

A few weekends ago I went on a spontaneous road trip to Houston and all I did was eat because there were so many great restaurants, dessert, and coffee places. If you know me I am a huge foodie and always looking for yummy places to eat.

You can never go wrong with Italian food. Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar it was for a late night dinner. I started with a cup of gumbo and rice. It was delicious but unfortunately, I had to miss out on the sausage because of lent (no meat Fridays). My main course was the Lobster Bolognese. For a lobster dish in Texas, it tasted very delicious and fresh. I definitely recommend this one! A lot of people raved about The lobster Mac & Cheese on Yelp and it looked just as good.

Dish Society is a cute/ urban restaurant. It is a casual farm to table that offers local ingredients, definitely my type of place. In the picture, we have a Southwest Scramble with a shot of espresso and a house omelet with skillet potatoes and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Siphon Coffee is a great place to get some work done or study. That is what I did on my Saturday morning in Houston. I ordered the Siphon and it is a method that utilizes halogen burners to create a precise cup that puts the tasting notes of some of their favorite beans at the forefront. The coffee was delicious and tasted fresh.

JINYA Ramen Bar is a must! The environment on a Saturday night is perfect, especially for a late night dinner! They have a bar and amazing food! It is an authentic Ramen joint right in the city. I got the Spicy Chicken Ramen and ordered corn on the side to add into my ramen. If you have never tried a pork belly bun before you must try it here. On the menu, they call it the ‘JINYA Bun’. They add a cucumber and their specialty sauce and it tastes phenomenal.


Y’all lets talk about Crawfish! A lot of people look forward to this time of year, well I know I do. Who would ever think of a hole in the wall Pho restaurant serving the best crawfish in town? LA Crawfish definitely made the list for Houston. I ordered four pounds with corn, sausage, and potatoes. The seasoning was just perfect and very flavorful.


My favorite, dessert!!! Crave Cupcakes is my new favorite cupcake spot. It is located right in the heart of Houston in a beautiful shopping center in Uptown. My favorite flavor is the Banana cupcake. It is not too sweet; it is just the perfect dessert.

It is so hard to narrow down my food picks because they were all so good but these were definitely my top picks. What are some of your favorite restaurants? I will be back soon to visit and I need more recommendations. I love anything that as to do with food.

Can’t wait!

XOXO, Mary Alexius

The Vineyard Travel Guide

The Vineyard Travel Guide

Has anyone ever seen the show,”The Vineyard”? It is a docusoap series that premiered on ABC Family. Eleven young adults reside in a house for the summer on a beautiful island called Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and worked at the Black Dog Tavern. That is what inspired me to take this mini-vacay to the island this past August during my stay in Rhode Island.


The homes in Martha’s Vineyard are unbelievable. They are so artsy and unique. I enjoyed walking through the cottage museum (Gingerbread Houses). When walking through the neighborhood you get a 19th-century feel. They are painted in such vivid colors and each home has its own personality. I loved them so much I even stayed in a beautiful home through Air BnB in Vineyard Haven. If you do travel to Martha’s Vineyard I recommend staying in Oak Bluffs because that is where all of the popular attractions are.


On the island, The Flying Carousel was created in 1876 and is nation’s oldest platform carousel. It was first created in Coney Island, NY then moved to Oak Bluff’s Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

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If some of you didn’t know the movie “Jaws” was filmed on the island. This is the scene of “The Bridge” which bordered Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. It became a big attraction since the movie and you are actually not supposed to jump off the bridge but everyone does it anyway. It is a 20 ft fall and it is so much fun! I jumped twice and it seems like nothing but it is pretty high. I still can’t go underwater without holding my nose so that is what freaked me out the most.

The Aquinnah cliffs are a must. They are so beautiful but quite a drive. The Vineyard now has Uber and Lyft which helped a lot. If you rent mopeds you cannot take them to Aquinnah. You can see the cliffs from up top or walk along the beach and get great pictures. Although, pictures does not do this place justice, it is absolutely much more breathtaking in person.

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The Black Dog is a restaurant and tavern in Vineyard Haven. It was founded in 1971 and also shown on the show The Vineyard. They are known for their souvenirs and of course, I had to get a Tee. The Tavern has amazing brews and really good burgers. Right before Jet Skiing I went to the black dog cafe and got an iced latte and I definitely recommend their breakfast burritos.

Places To Eat & Nightlife

Back Door Donuts – If you want amazing donuts and apple fritters go here! Everything was so yummy! Make sure you go early because there is always a line.

The Barn & Barrel Bistro – This is a bowling alley but also a restaurant and for it being a bowling place the food is so good! I really recommend the Seafood Aglia E Olio. For cocktails, I got The MV Mule and The Raspberry Caipirinha.

Offshore Ale Co – For sure wings and Lobster rolls! This restaurant has a pub feel and they have a lot of brews to choose from. They also give you peanuts while you wait for your food.

Lookout Tavern – I had my first sauteed lobster roll here and it was life changing, haha. Usually, you get it with mayo and it is served cold. Now, I prefer it sauteed because it is served warm. I was so shocked that they serve micheladas I was excited about that. You must try their sushi as well; you can’t really go wrong with anything at this place because everything is delicious.

Giordano’s Restaurant – I didn’t actually eat at the restaurant but they have a take out window for super yummy late night pizza. I am guilty, I ate there more than one night, haha. I could say it is the best pizza I’ve had, yet.

The Aquinnah Shop Restaraunt – While visiting the cliffs we stopped by this restaurant for a mid-day snack and ordered clam cakes and chowder along with quahog and I recommend it. Anywhere in New England, you can go wrong with that.

L8FT (playground for adults) – This bar is so much fun! They have a DJ playing and you can play pool, shuffle board, and many other games. It is a big place and they just opened this past summer. There is always a good crowd.

I cannot wait to come back here again! I hope I inspired you to take a trip to The Vineyard. If you do please share your pictures with me.

xoxo, Mary Alexius

Turkey Chili For This Gloomy Day


This is one of my favorite recipes for a gloomy and rainy day. It is super easy and very flavorful. I made this recipe for the first time when I was living in Rhode Island and Justin fell in love with it. He actually made it this past weekend and it looked so yummy I decided to make it again.

I made this today for my family and they absolutely loved it and I wanted to share it with y’all.

 You can find the recipe below. I bought all of the ingredients at Trader Joes except the “Slap ya Momma” seasoning.

Turkey Chili

1 pound of organic Ground Turkey (I used 99% fat free)

2 cups of water

15 oz of organic pinto beans

15 oz of organic kidney beans

15 oz of organic corn

15 oz of roasted diced tomatoes with organic green chili peppers

8 oz of organic tomato sauce

12 oz of organic tomato paste (for thickening)

1/4 cup of organic bell pepper

1/4 cup of organic celery

2 tsp of organic garlic powder

1/2 cup of diced yellow onion

1/2 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of sugar in the raw

3 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

3 tsp of organic ground cumin

1 tsp of smoked paprika

3 tsp of slap ya momma seasoning


organic lime

organic avocado

lite Mexican cheese


organic white corn tortilla chips

 2-4 Servings


1. Brown the ground turkey then drain.

2. Add water to a big pot at medium.

3. Place ground turkey in pot with all ingredients.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours stirring every 20 minutes.