Are you a freezer person? You know, like one of those people who freezes all type of stuff? I’ve never been big on the freezer…until now! I’m like having a huge moment with my freezer (which reminds me of this song called umm NEW FREEZER).
I swear, come summertime, I’m going to make a big batch of sofrito to add to everything because the beginning of this recipe calls for a small version of it and if it was in my freezer, that means I’d be able to skip a gigantic step.
Ok, moving on…I’m not a huge risotto maker. I mean, I’ve made it a few times but it’s always felt like such a diva-like dish to make. So high-maintenance. It has to really be worth it to me and GIRRRLL this recipe is worth it.
The beginning part is where all the flavor comes from. There’s lots of onion, red bell pepper, tons of garlic, tomato and spices. It tastes like paella but it’s not. And it’s way faster and you don’t have to make it for a gazillion people. It’s that perfect dish for two or for four or for one (with leftovers).
Ok, so firstly I want to say YAY and THANK YOU to all of you for joining Cozy Book Club. I have added a tab at the far right of this blog so all of the posts will live there. I am now on page 250 and OMG this book is fascinating and incredibly interesting. I can’t wait to discuss this.
Now, for this soup. I have an incredibly complicated relationship with soup. I love soup. But I hardly ever make soup and call it dinner. I think it’s because soup, for me, needs lots of other things to be considered a full meal.
I need lots of lots of toppings in my soup. And one of the many reasons why tortilla soup is my favorite is because it has tons of toppings and additions.
This soup is also super, super easy to throw together. The amount of ingredients is scarce but it’s still so flavorful and delicious.
I made this on a chilly night here in Los Angeles (take that description with a grain of salt, especially those living in bomb cyclone areas) and it hit the spot for the whole fam. It’s also the best leftover type soup ever.
I made a vision board on Day 1 of 2018 (because Oprah told me to).
I put all my dreams and hopes onto my vision board. 2017 was the hardest year of my life…even though professionally, it might’ve been my best year yet. Maybe one day I’ll tell you all about it. Right now, I’m just not ready. Maybe I’ll never be. I will say that seeing your family break up is incredibly sad. I do know that so many of you probably know how it feels.
My 2018 vision board is about healing and peace and forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who has never said they’re sorry nor never will? It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m guessing it will be my greatest lesson of 2018. Or at least I hope it will be.
My vision board is about moving towards new career goals.
It’s also about making beautiful work that people find happiness looking at and recreating. I’m so grateful for this space, for the power of creating; it has helped me heal and find happiness over and over and over. I hope I make things until the day I die.
I love the newness type of feel that January has. It’s so fresh and clean and new. I love it so very much. Like everyone else in the world, I’m eating a bit lighter and fresher this month.
Have any of you done Whole30 before? Last year January I did Whole30 and it was a really interesting experience. I’m not doing it this year but I am definitely implementing a few Whole30-approved recipes into my routine because, like everyone else, I need a bit of break from indulgent foods.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI where I went to gather all sorts of fresh, high-quality and organic foods. One thing that Whole30 requires is that all of your beef is grass-fed and organic. This shepherd’s pie was made with their SimplyNature 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef that is super affordable.
I was perusing The Instagram a few months ago and I ran into a chef making rutabaga noodles. I was like wuuut?! How? I wanted to know. He was tossing the noodle of rutabaga in a pasta sauce and I thought it was amazing! Well, he used the Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment from KitchenAid® and I was like WOW!!!
When KitchenAid® reached out wanting me to give their Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment a try, I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl. It is so cool. I actually used it a few weeks ago to make a zucchini lasagna, which also was super delicious. But I really had my heart set on making “noodles.”
This weekend I’m headed to, like, four or five holiday parties, which is crazy amazing. Thank you, friends, for inviting me! I’m usually super low-key in the month of December. It’s often a time for me to chill with Amelia with fluffy socks in bed but I have to say, I’m super excited!
The next week is a whirlwind while I tie some loose-end-of-year ends, get my holiday shopping done and prep for some traveling.
During this holiday season, I like super simple little meals and snacks. This is as simple as can be: three main ingredients, complementing flavors and it comes together very quickly!
For this post, I teamed up with Ozery Bakery. If you’re unfamiliar with their bread, then you’re in for a delicious surprise. I keep their whole wheat buns in the freezer, and whenever I need one, whether it be for a grilled cheese like this or some bread in the morning for avocado toast, I just remove one from the freezer and warm it up—super easy.
I finally got a tree! Woohoo! And I’ve been decorating the house trying to get it as merry as can be. This includes a gigantic garland, a bunch of little trees and strings of pretty lights. And yes, this has also included fights with Amelia over her stealing my ornaments. This happens every single year so it’s not anything surprising. There have been years where we’ve put a metal guard around it, creating a barrier between her and the tree. But it’s not really that chic, you know?!
Another thing I’ve been tackling is my gift-giving. I’m an all at once type of shopper. I creep and plot and plan and then I just go on a shopping spree and buy everything, so it’s all done at once. I hadn’t gone on my shopping spree yet and was struggling to find a gift for Josh’s dad but I found the perfect idea for him from Ace Hardware and just had to share it with you: this Limited Edition Weber Kettle Premium grill! This one is Christmas-red and is super affordable at just $199.
To test it out, I partnered with Ace Hardware to give the grill a bit of a test run and I have to say, I think I grilled up the perfect winter-y meal. I recommend this grill for anyone who is looking for a gift for the cook or the grill-master in your life.
We are thick in holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming break. I’m excited to chill and cook leisurely in fluffy socks.
This recipe is on my to-make-again list because it is so good and chill to make. In the world of gratins and scalloped potatoes there is a lot of controversy as to how you make them. A lot of recipes call for simply adding the potatoes to a casserole dish and then pouring cheese and heavy cream on top of the potatoes. I disagree with this method in an incredibly strong way. While it requires an extra step and admittedly isn’t as easy, a roux (a.k.a. a cheese sauce) must be made. This way there is no coagulation, just a silky smooth and tasty cheesy experience.
Thanksgiving was a total success. This site crashed because so many of you made things—thank you! And sorry for any problems the blog gave you. I was on cloud nine on Thanksgiving because all of you were sharing pies and macaroni and cheese and so many other delicious things that you made from this blog. It made me so grateful for this space—I love what we have here so very much.
We had a quiet Thanksgiving. I made mashed potatoes, veggie stuffing, some gravy and Josh made a turkey porchetta. We invited some friends over and it was chill vibes! Even though it seemed super lax, the next day I was so exhausted; I fell asleep at 7pm. Phew. Cooking and cleaning and hosting is a lot of work, I always forget. One of them is doable. But all three at the same time!! LAWD.
Anyway, we’re back and the home stretch is near. I figured we’d get back into things with a super chill recipe that is literally the easiest thing to make ever. And it’s on the healthier side because we probably could all use something that makes us feel good.
The harissa chicken is SO good. Everything on this sheet pan is so tasty and light. I love the chickpeas with the eggplant and the spiciness makes you want to keep eating it over and over.
Baking recipes to come…but for now, this!
Sheet-Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas + Eggplant
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serving Size: 4
3 tablespoons harissa paste
3 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes), plus more slices as garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 eggplant, diced
1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 pounds chicken (I used a mix of thighs and drumsticks)
1 teaspoon minced cilantro, as garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, add the harissa paste, lime juice, olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Whisk until combined.
To a sheet pan, add the drained chickpeas, diced eggplant and red onion. Add half of the harissa paste mixture and mix together until everything is covered in the sauce. Smooth it out into one even layer. Arrange the chicken on top. Sprinkle the chicken with a few pinches of salt. Brush the chicken with the harissa sauce and add the any remaining sauce to the chickpeas. Also add any garnish limes to the sheet pan, if you like.
Transfer to the oven to bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown. Divide amongst plates and garnish with some cilantro.
(This post is sponsored by the Martha Stewart Collection, created for Macy’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy!)
I know I’ve been writing autumn love letters since like mid-September, but if I’m being completely honest with you, Los Angeles doesn’t even really begin to hint at fall until November. But now it’s November and I’m freezing! And I love it. My fluffy socks are on at all times, my favorite soft sweaters are out of storage and all I’ve wanted to do is break in the new kitchen with some cozy foods. The kitchen is almost completed and I was finally able to cook our first meal in it!
Since there are some things that need to happen (like trim, a coupe light, etc), I figured I’d start light with a little dinner party for four. I wanted to serve cozy food that wasn’t fussy.
For this post, I teamed up with Macy’s and Martha Stewart. The Martha Stewart Collection’s harvest dinnerware is SO pretty. I absolutely love these hatchcross, grey plates, along with the marbled pink plates. They are gorgeous. And I love the shape of Martha’s Enameled Cast Iron cookware . The handle shapes are sleek and simple and the colors are lovely! Check out the whole Martha Stewart Collection at http://mcys.co/2kIpJAv.
I used the small 2-quart white Enameled Cast Iron pot to make the best cozy dish ever.
This was the perfect size for four people. At the bottom is a vegan chili with a fluffy cheddar cornbread on top. I like to think of it like cornbread and chili all in one!
The vegan chili is spicy, made with kidney beans, and loaded with delicious things like diced onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper and lots of spices.
The cornbread on top is inspired by fluffier cornbread cake. It isn’t dry at all and it’s so soft and delicious.
It may seem like a small portion for four people but it’s so filling that it’s actually perfect. Especially when paired with a snappy, refreshing salad AND with dessert.
For dessert, I used the 6-quart Enameled Cast Iron pot (in beautiful white) to fry up apple cider churros and they were SO good.