Viviana's Kitchen

This is one of my specialties when it comes to making Christmas cookies. It’s super easy and super delicious.

– Animal crackers
– Sour cherry jam
– Finely chopped walnuts or almonds
– Pure almond extract
– Vanilla extract
– Coconut flakes

1. Grind the walnuts/almonds in a blender.
2. Pulverize the animal crackers with a rolling pin or in a blender.
3. Mix all ingredients (except the coconut flakes) together. Adjust ingredients for optimum stickiness. If too dry, add more jam. If too sticky, add more crackers/nuts.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls, dip into coconut flakes, stack. Refrigerate overnight (preferably) or you can serve them as is. (They taste better after ruminating for at least 24 hours).



Raspberry Twists

Viviana's Kitchen

Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Raspberry Twists: aka, Fruity Sugar wrapped in Sugar, sprinkled with large granulated sugar.

Hahaha, but really. They were excessively sweet and a bit sticky. Not as delicious or gourmet as I thought they’d be.


My Absolute Favorite Lemon Bar Recipe

Viviana's Kitchen

I’m not gonna say it’s culinary week up in here…but it might be culinary week up in here. #sorrynotsorry for all the food porn I’ve got coming your way. But here’s some more!

I made lemon bars for my Annual Friends Christmas Party a couple weeks ago, so it’s about time to share these babies with you guys.


Cookie Base
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
zest from 1/2 lemon
3/4 stick cold, softened butter

Filling (I usually make double the following amounts)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 eggs
3 tbsp greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

1. Add flour, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and butter and mix well. You can do this by hand or food processor.
2. In a baking pan, spread mixture evenly, pat down. Bake at 350 F for 20 mins; take out and let cool for 20 mins.
3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt; then whisk in the grapefruit zest, juice, eggs, and yogurt until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour over cookie base and bake at 350 F for 20-25 mins until set and center does not jiggle.
5. Let cool; dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!



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Snowballs, Facebook, and Spandex

Viviana's Kitchen

Two weeks of the new year have officially flown by and it’s about that time that I update again.

First off, I have three exciting new announcements!
1. You can now LIKE! and follow Vivography on Facebook by clicking here, searching “Vivography” on Facebook, or clicking the nifty Like box to the right of this post in the sidebar. Phew! I know, a lot of options.
2. If you’ve been to the blog before, you might notice some changes. That’s right folks, I’ve updated the color scheme/header/background. It now reflects my business cards! *fistpump* CONTINUITY!
3. This is somewhat related to this blog, buuuuut I am officially the new intern at PeaceLoveSpandex! Aaaand it’s pretty much awesome and I have been convinced (though convincing wasn’t really needed) that everyone should wear spandex. Because reasons. I’m gonna start wearing bodysuits, pretty much.

Anywayyy, it’s time for some long awaited foodography. At my house, for the “big” holidays (aka Christmas & Easter) we’re pretty traditional when it comes to la comida. Every year, I help my mom cook traditional Romanian food (stuffed cabbage rolls, Romanian veggie salad, various desserts, etc) and every year since I’ve had my camera, I’d taken pictures of the goodies. This year I managed to snap pictures of the desserts before they were all eaten up, as well as my classy glass of wine and this gorgeous little mouthblown glass teacup that I picked up at Anthropologie. BONUS: It’s made in Romania!

Greta Garbo tort.

Greta Garbo tort.


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DDF Part I: LUSH-ious Cupcakes

Portraits, Viviana's Kitchen

I had the privilege of participating in Detroit Design Festival for the second year in a row – this time showcasing my fashion design talents at the closing ceremony on September 23rd at the Coleman A. Young Airport in Detroit. But before the whole part where my work strutted down the catwalk thing happened, I got to run around with my camera taking pictures of models, food, and airplanes. Among it all was LUSH-ious Cupcakes of Royal Oak, Michigan.

They were kind enough to let me take photos of their delicious alcohol-infused cupcakes and blog about it. I took some while they were setting up, and after they were done.

The cupcakes are amazing. I must say I really love their chocolate amaretto flavor. If you’re from Michigan and you live in the Metro Detroit area, you need to check them out! You can learn more on their Facebook page by clicking here.

Note: You may NOT use this work outside of the viewing pleasure of this blog. Thank you!