alex thomopoulos

The BEST Gluten Free Dairy Free Meyer Lemon Cake

Winter means a plethora of beautiful citrus blossoming on my Meyer lemon tree.The past few years our tree hasn’t given us much fruit, but this year it has been an EXPLOSION of beautiful vibrant citrus dripping from each branch. I have preserved a good handful of them (which I will show you how to do in the next blog post).  A girl can only drink so much lemon detox water, and since I am not drinking alcohol for the entire month of January, cocktails didn’t seem like they were appropriate to “recipe test”. So when life gives you lemons, you should always always make CAKE. lemoncake

This cake is so freaking delicious let me tell you girl! It’s the perfect marriage of sweet and tangy. Since I am not a huge dessert person,this cake is the perfect indulgence for me. This soft subtly sweet and fragrant crumb cake is soaked in a tangy lemon syrup hot out of the oven, and once cooled a lemon glaze is painted on top for an extra lemon punch.


The best part about this cake as well is that it’s dairy free. The coconut oil adds a beautiful quality to the cake. I have been OBSESSED with baking with coconut oil instead of butter. I find baked goods, especially quick breads/cakes like this recipe to be more moist and delicate.

I hope these bright citrus flavors carry you through this cold winter!

Sending you all my love,

Gluten Free Dairy Free Meyer Lemon Cake

(makes 2 large loafs, or 4 small loafs')
  • 1 cup coconut oil, in solid form
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup meyer lemon zest
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups AP gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Lemon Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 2 standard loaf pans with coconut oil. (you can also use 4 mini loaf pans)
  2. In a stand mixer cream the coconut oil, lemon zest and sugar using the paddle attachment for 1 minute.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. With the machine running on low, add one egg in at a time until smooth. Next slowly add in half the flour mixture, then add almond milk. Add in the second half of the flour mixture and next the lemon juice.
  5. Mix until combined and smooth. Pour batter into the pans evenly. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  6. While the cakes are still hot poke several holes into the cakes with a wooden skewer. Spoon the lemon syrup (to make this combine lemon juice and sugar and stir until sugar is disolved) on top. This will keep the cake super moist.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, combine the confectioners sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze and paint it on top of the cakes. Use as much or as little as you like. You can also adjust the amount of sugar to suit your tastes.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the first of MANY e-cookbooks! I put a lot of heart and soul into this little thing, so I hope you enjoy it!  Included in this e-cookbook are some of my best recipes yet! Including how to make a killer homemade gluten free pasta, biscuits and gravy, soups, cocktails […]

Dinner Party for under $30 and A Night of 1000 Dinners

“140 million children have lost one or both parents. For every three months spent in an orphanage, a child loses one month of developmental skills. Worldwide Orphans brings play, education, health and psychosocial development to orphans and vulnerable children through our programs focused on attachment, early intervention, healthcare and the arts. We work closely with communities to build capacity and raise awareness of the critical importance of play to help address the effects of trauma in children.”

– Worldwide Orphans


Recently, I have been fortunate enough to get involved with an incredible charity called Worldwide Orphans and this week I am participating in their “Night of 1000 dinners” to help raise awareness and funds for orphans and at risk children. Worldwide Orphans is an incredible organization that was introduced to me by my friend Connie Britton, who’s giant heart for others and dedication to making the world a better place inspires me everyday. When she mentioned the idea of Night of a 1000 dinners, I jumped at the opportunity.

The idea is simple. Throw a party, start the conversation, and raise awareness. I believe nothing brings people together like breaking bread at a table, and it’s even better when it’s for a good cause. Food is the powerful language of the world and can be used to gather people in a way that allows us all to feel a part of a community and more importantly, loved. It’s important to share that love with others and that’s why the Night of a 1000 dinners is so important to me.

Too often we take for granted the love that we receive everyday, especially the love that we get from a parent. I can’t imagine going through life not knowing the sweet loving touch of my mother’s hand when I was sad, or my dad’s giant bear hugs whenever I won a basketball game. These kids don’t have that. I believe it’s everyone’s right to know that they are loved by someone, anyone, and why can’t that someone be us? We live in a time where it’s easy to get lost in our own worlds, we are too busy for our own good, and we often don’t make the time for others. This event is a great reminder to all of us that it doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Ethiopia (2)

When I sent out my invites I had asked everyone to bring a small donation, an open heart and an empty stomach. Being on a tight budget myself I wanted to create a menu that was delicious, impressive but didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I also wanted to have enough left over to be able to donate some money to the charity as well. Below are two great, inexpensive, healthy, fresh, and delicious recipes that will wow your guests. These recipes are enough to serve 6-8 people for under $30, which is pretty darn good if you ask me! Some of the ingredients you might have in your pantry already, so you can be super resourceful:)
For my menu I decided to serve a Shaved Fennel, Caramelized Corn, and Summer Peach Salad and Shell Pasta with Broccoli Raab and Spicy Chicken Sausage.

peach salad
pasta broccoli raab

Both of these dishes can feed a crowd and hold really well, so if guests come and go you don’t have to worry about being in the kitchen the whole time.

If you can’t throw a party on Saturday, that’s totally okay! People are throwing their own Night of 1000 dinners all month long.

If you have any questions on how to throw your own party and for more information about Worldwide Orphans CLICK HERE. I encourage you to check it out. I promise the reward will be greater than you know!


(serves 6)
  • 2 large bulbs fennel, shaved or sliced thin
  • 2 large ripe peaches, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  1. Heat a medium skillet on high heat. Cut kernels from corn cob. Add 2 tablespoons oil into the skillet and toss in corn kernels. Cook on high heat for about 3-4 minutes allowing the corn to get some color. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add the shaved fennel, sliced peached, arugula, shaved parmesan, the cooled corn, olive oil, lemon, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest a good pinch of salt and lots of cracked pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Gluten Free Shell Pasta with Broccoli Raab and Spicy Chicken Sausage

(serves 6)
  • 1 pound gluten free pasta shells (I used Tinkyada’s) you can also use regular orchiette pasta or shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds spicy chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch broccoli raab, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a good amount of salt so the water tastes like the ocean. Cook pasta 2 minutes under what the package says for the cook time. Drain, but make sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. If you are using a gluten free brown rice pasta, make sure to rinse the pasta well under cold water to remove all the starch. This will prevent the pasta from getting gummy. While the pasta is cooking:
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 cloves of garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the edges start to slightly brown. Remove the garlic and discard. Add sausage into the skillet and using a wooden spoon break up the meat and cook for 8 minutes, or until the meat is brown and crispy.
  3. Add in the broccoli raab, and red chili flakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the 1 cup of pasta water, scraping up all the brown bits off the bottom of pan. Add pasta into the skillet and toss to coat. Add in 1 cup of parmesan, the juice and zest of a lemon and mix until creamy.
  4. To serve, place pasta in a large bowl and top with a few good glugs of olive oil, more cheese, cracked black pepper, and red chili flakes.

Vietnamese Steak Salad

WE ARE HAVING A BABY SHOWER!!!! WELL…a virtual one. Which in my opinion is way better, no baby games,no crying over tiny socks. Just good food and good friends, gathering to share the love they have for their friend and her journey into motherhood. Good friends and good food are two of the things I […]