I’m in big-time fall mode, cooking up as many things as I can for Thanksgiving. This year I really want to BRING IT. But oddly enough, I’m kind of a classics girl when it comes to Thanksgiving. I want classic Thanksgiving. I want a classic pumpkin pie. I kinda don’t like too many crazy twists.
Are you in the twists, weird interesting Thanksgiving foods?
Are you a classic Thanksgiving foods human?
Leave a comment below.
If you’re a classics, maybe I’ll do a whole post on making suuuuper fluffy potatoes. Maybe I’ll try and make the BEST classic Thanksgiving stuffing everrrr.
It would actually be fun content to create either way!
OK, let’s talk about these cookies because these scream fall. My friend, Matt, works in one of those hip cool communal workspaces in New York and he texted me a few months ago and was like CHAI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.
Apparently a baker drops off chai chocolate cookies to his workspace and he was obsessed wit them. I though the sound of chai in chocolate chip cookies sounded AMAZING…so here we are.
These are wonderfully spiced, super chocolate-y and the texture is so good.
Not too many changes. Add chopped walnuts if you like. I love walnuts in cookies and they would work wonderfully in these cookies.
Ok tell me what kinda stuff you wanna see for Thanksgiving and make these cookies!!
Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies + A Question?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 cookies
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces dark chocolate chunks
To a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, black pepper and salt together. Set aside.
To the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (you can also do this with a hand-mixer or by hand in a medium/large bowl), add the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat together until nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat once more.
In one batch, add the flour. You will probably have to lift up the head part of your mixer to be able to add it all at once. Cover the mixer with a clean kitchen towel and turn it on low speed. Mix until the flour is mostly combined and then increase speed until you no longer see any flecks of flour. Pour in the chocolate chunks and mix one last time. Transfer the dough to the fridge to chill for an hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out balls of dough. If it’s super chilled, you may need to push some dough into the scoop so it’s nice and compact and then release the lever. I like to add all the balls of cookie dough to a sheet of parchment versus scooping dough, as I bake.
Transfer 6 to 7 balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them a part because these do spread. Place in the oven and bake for about 7 to 8 minutes. If the dough is super cold, it may need up to 10 minutes to bake. They should be light to medium golden brown. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt upon exiting the oven. Repeat until you’ve baked all the cookies.
To freeze, add the cookie dough balls to a baking sheet and stick in the freezer until very cold, about 20 minutes and then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag.
Phew! We are on the home stretch with the kitchen, I just know it. The cabinets have been assembled and are being installed on Wednesday and I couldn’t be more excited. I feel like once they’re in, I’ll be able to see the kitchen come to life. After that it’ll be backsplash and then appliances. I feel like then it’ll start to feel real! I CAN’T WAIT!
What should I make in my new kitchen? I’ve been thinking about it for a long time? Should I make something ambitious like a pretty pie or should it be chill…like breakfast? That is TBD!
Let’s talk about this pot of dreaminess right quick.
I’ve been dreaming about lasagna roll-ups FOR A LONG TIME! Why…I have no idea. I think I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Pinterest and sometimes, when I’m really hungry and, like, haven’t eaten all day, I get mesmerized by those long pins. I saw one of lasagna roll-ups and while they might’ve looked a lil’ trashy, I still wanted them!
Here’s my version! I made an eggplant marinara sauce that was soooo tasty, I wanted to put it on spaghetti squash. I also took some ricotta and added some lemon zest and salt and Italian parsley (basically, I flavored it up!).
I took the cooked lasagna sheets and smeared a bit of ricotta on there, added a spoonful of marinara sauce, cheese and then rolled them up.
Honestly, I thought this was going to be a sloppy mess but the ricotta acts like a glue and makes them stay in tact, on their sides.
If for some reason, they slide around and are acting all loosey-goosey, you could easily just put them seam side down.
I added a baked ‘em and then added a bunch of cheese on top toward the end. They were magical and delicious and fun to eat and look at.
Western Union engaged me to participate in their “On the Map with Western Union” program where they are exploring the inspiration and innovation that different heritages inspire. Western Union asked me to share my story about how my upbringing has influenced my cooking and how their mobile app is a super easy way to send money to different parts of the world.
My favorite part about partnering with Western Union to create a Peruvian brunch together was that my mom actually schooled me big time!! I’ve made these dishes so many times and I thought I actually knew how to make them but turns out every time we talk about a recipe she “accidentally” leaves something out. But this time, I was in the kitchen with her and she showed me every.single.step. I finally—after a lot of years—have learned how to make my favorite Peruvian appetizer, papa a la huaincaína, correctly!
My abuelita, on my dad’s side, looooves Peruvian food (even though she’s Colombian). She’s a pretty eccentric character and has always always found it funny to send me random amounts of money for my birthday (all via Western Union!). One year it was $17.50, the next year it was $22.75 and another year it was $24.50. It’s always a fun surprise to receive a birthday card from her!
When I first started my blog, she—along with my parents—were my only visitors. She barely knows how to work a computer but somehow managed to figure out how to go to acozykitchen.com. It was a struggle trying to explain what a browser was to her but where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Whenever I’ve come out with a book, believe it or not, she’d actually much rather send me the money (via Western Union, actually) and have me send her the book vs. buy it from a store. And every time, I insist that she doesn’t actually send me any money but she would have it no other way! Western Union makes it super easy and seamless for her to send money (and for me to receive it).
Autumn is my time to thrive. It is when I’m my best human self. I wear cuter clothes. I bake cuter things. I’m usually just happier because I’m not sweating—it’s a great season!
I figured I’d do a lil’ round up of some items that I think you should bake this month! Some of these dishes I dug up out from the dark archives of my early blogging days because I still love the recipes. Thank the heavens I got better at using my camera!
1. Classic Apple Pie – If you want to live fall to its fullest potential, make a pie. If you’ve never made a pie before, this PIE 101 Post I did a loooonng time ago is still super helpful.
4. Asian Pear and Apple Pie – I looove Asian pears. A few people on the Instagram have asked me “what do Asian pears taste like?” Well, they’re really fragrant and floral and are kind of melon-like. They’re so amazing. This pie is delicious—highly recommend!
5. Fancy-Ass Chicken Pot Pies – I used schmaltz to make the crust on these but feel free to use regular ol’ butter. It is amazing, though. They’re so chicken-y and delicious and make me happy.
1. Fearless Baker – Erin Jeanne McDowell. If you follow Food52, then you might’ve fallen in love with Erin’s work already. She is a master baker and I love her bubbly personality and interesting yet classic recipes. I can’t wait to bake from this.
2. Guerilla Tacos – Wesley Avila. A true love letter to Los Angeles. No lie, their tacos are some of my favorites in LA. AND, their catering is incredible (we rented them for Josh’s dad’s birthday party last year). This book is beautifully shot (by Dylan + Jeni) and I can’t wait to try some of the taco and salsa recipes.
3. Erin Bakes Cake – Erin Gardner. This book is SOOOOO fun. If you want to have a fun life baking stuff, this cake is it. It’s amazingly well done with beautiful step-by-step photos showing you how to accomplish these ambitious cakes.
4. Sweet – Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. A collaborative effort between Ottolenghi and and pastry chef and product developer, Goh. I’m SO pumped to bake through this book. It looks so ridiculously beautiful. I actually bought it and it arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to read and bake everything.
5. Holiday Cookies – Elisabet der Nederlanden. This book stopped me dead in my tracks at World Market. I was there picking out cookie cutters and got distracted by the cover—it’s that beautiful. I haven’t tried any of the recipes but the photography and holiday baking ideas alone are worth a purchase.
6. Brave Tart – Stella Parks. I love classic American recipes. They make my heart swoon and Stella’s recipes all look and read like gold. If you’re unfamiliar with her, she is the in-house baker and writer at Serious Eats and her work is LEGIT.
8. Smitten Kitchen Every Day – Deb Perelman. I don’t think Deb needs an intro, especially to us food blogging peeps. She is GOD. And truth: she is one of the reasons I started my blog. I wanted to be just like her. Her recipes are always clever, classic and delicious; I can’t wait to cook from it ALL fall long.
9. Baco – Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock. True story: Josh and I met at Baco Mercat downtown. And Bar Amá (Centeno’s other restaurant) is one of our favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. I can’t wait to recreate some of our favorites at home.
10. The Chef and the Slow Cooker – Hugh Acheson. Not gonna lie, I’m not really a slow cooker type. I own one but it’s in a box collecting dust. Hopefully this book will encourage me to break it out and make some slow-cooker easy dinner.
I like to consider myself a fairly interesting person but when fall arrives I’m as basic as they come! I want to go apple picking, wear flannel, drink lattes with pumpkin flavors in them. And I wanna bake everything I can.
But real life quickly sets in and all my fall-aspirations and goals usually fall by the wayside and I do about one fourth of the activities I actually intend on doing. This fall I’m trying to make things very easy on myself.
For this post, I teamed up with Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk because I looooove their product. I also use sweetened condensed milk A LOT and theirs has such good flavor and texture.
Let’s talk about sweetened condensed milk for a quick second:
Sweetened condensed milk is milk which has water removed and replaced with sugar. Basically it’s milk and sugar—simple!
To make fall baking a bit easier on myself, last week I made two batches of dulce de leche and I have it in the fridge just chilling, ready for all sorts of recipes that I can’t wait to use to add it to.
The first up are these cookie bars that take ONE BOWL. I feel like one bowl things are the saving grace of baking because it means less dishes and less mess and just the sound of it is encouraging.
Also cookie bars are my new found love. There’s no scooping out cookie dough nor is there rolling out dough and stamping it out with a cookie cutter. It’s simply spread in an even layer in a 9×13 pan and baked—that’s it! Also, there are no batches of cookies that need to be baked up. In about 25 minutes, you’ll have all the bars you’ll need.
One of my favorite food bloggers of all-time has always been Naomi from Baker’s Royale. Her work has always been GOALS. Her photography style is so beautiful and her food styling skills are amazing. She’s super talented.
I was super excited when her book, Bakers Royale, showed up at my door step! When I thumbed through it, my jaw fell when I saw this beautiful chocolate pear tart. It is so easy to throw together and it’s kind of like a brownie meets a tart…but with fruit in the center. I loooooved it.
Before we start, here’s a link to Part 1 in case you missed it!
If you’ve been following the kitchen renovation on the Insta Stories this is all old news to you BUT I figured it’d put a legit update on this here space to show you where we are in renovation land.
It has been a pretty fun learning experience. A lot of people told me that the four week estimate that we were aiming for probably wasn’t going to actually stick and they were right. We’re currently four weeks in and we’re kinda far from being done.
The first thing that was done was the demo. PHEW! This might’ve been my favorite part. It was so dramatic and really made me laugh because it was so crazy how different the space took. Continue Reading
I’m so excited and am really trying to get back in the swing of things. Being away for seven days in the height of cozy season is HARD. I have a bunch of work to catch up on and I’m oddly excited to dig in. I’m also super pumped about figuring out the last details for the kitchen. It’s coming along slowly but surely!
I’m posting another kitchen update soon because it’s been a super interesting learning experience for me. I’ve never gone through a renovation and it’s mostly been kinda fun? Is that a weird thing to say?
While we were in Italy, the dry wall was finished and the floors are currently being laid and finished. I think so far my least favorite part has been all the dust/dry wall. But honestly, it’s been pretty cool. I’ve been ok with the slower pace because I want us to make the right decisions. Anyway, I’ll talk more about that tomorrow!
I’m currently in Milan, eating SO much pasta and feeling so very full. I have a feeling that I might have to go on a bit of a pasta-cleanse upon my return. I also see lots of running with Amelia in my near future and I’m genuinely excited about it. I can’t wait to tell you more about my trip but right now I’m currently staring at these scones, hoping you have time this weekend to make them because they are so good.
This fall, I want earl grey everything. Fun fact is that my favorite tea to drink during the day is definitely earl grey tea. I love it with a splash of almond milk—it’s too good.
I wanted this recipe to be inspired by a big ol’ cup of tea and I think I did that. Even though it kinda doesn’t taste like so definitely eat it accompanied by a warm mug of tea.