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Miso Millet “Polenta” with Green Onion Oil + Eggplant Bacon

Breakfast, Dinner, Healthy

Hiii!

This past Monday it was rainy and stormy. I spent the entire day cooking in fluffy socks from two new vegan books and loved every single second of it!

The first up is a book, THE FIRST MESS COOKBOOK, from my friend Laura Wright. You might know her blog, The First Mess. Every single thing she cooks I want to eat.

If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you know that I am the furthest thing from a vegan human. I love cooking things in butter and ghee. I love dairy. I love cheese. But from time to time, I’ll steer clear of all of that, especially if things aren’t sold to me as such and they’re just presented to me as delicious and healthy-ish.

I feel like all of Laura’s food is that way. I like to think of it as food that just so happens to be vegan and healthy; it’s not forced. It’s food that naturally is vegan and doesn’t really feel or taste like health food. All of the recipes I’ve tried from her are done with ease and finesse. And my favorite part is that all of her food is cozy and comforting.

As I was flipping through the book, there were SO many dishes I wanted to try (and will try), but the one that intrigued me the absolute most was this millet “polenta.” It’s such a smart idea and one I hadn’t come across ever. You take millet (which I happened to have a ton of in my pantry), grind it up and make it into a “meal.”

It’s boiled the same way that polenta is and boom! Polenta! but without the corn and all that. (Remember when I found out I was sorta kinda allergic to corn?)

I paired it with some eggplant “bacon” from the book, which was also SO good. Eggplant already has sort of a “meaty” quality to it. Laura has you add a sauce that’s so full of flavor. Does it taste like bacon? No way! Bacon is bacon. But it is super delicious and flavorful and it’s a million times more healthy.

I served this as breakfast and since I’m not a real vegan human, I topped each bowl of millet polenta with a baby fried egg and ate it with a whole lot of milky coffee.

This tofu dish is what I’m making later this week.

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Brown Butter Scallops + Walnut Pesto Pasta

Dinner, Pasta

My single friends searching for long-term relationships often ask me for advice on the subject. While I am not a professional, I usually tell them this:

NO ONE is perfect. You just have to find someone who has potential and then try and change them into who you want them to be!!! 😬😬😬

My friends usually laugh when I tell them this but it’s sort of true! When you meet someone and start hanging out with them, they’re not gonna know what you like and dislike and what annoys you and what makes you happy. So you have to communicate this in a not-so-terrible way.

Also, when Josh and I first starting dating, I didn’t totally expose how crazy and weird I am. He fell in love with me AND then I slowly showed him the absolute true me. By then it was way too late. MUAHAHAHA! 😬

Poor Joshua.

This year Valentine’s Day lands smack dab in the middle of the week. On a Tuesday no less. This is a meal that can be made in literally 30 minutes. It’s so easy and delicious and comforting. Browned butter and scallops are always a favorite of mine.

I made this dish with whole wheat pasta which if we’re all being honest with each other isn’t THAT much healthier than regular pasta so choose what you like.

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Classed-Up Double Decker Tacos

Dinner, Snacks

Hello! Hi!

I’m alive. I am. I have been working vigorously to get the new brand-spankin’ new A Cozy Kitchen up and running. That monstrous recipe index undated and all tidy took WAY more work than we thought but it happened! Here we are! So fresh and clean. Today we’ll be tweaking the site so there might be slight changes here and there but for the most part, welcome to the new A Cozy Kitchen!! YAY!

Now that we’re up and going, I have SO many recipes I want to share with you all. I’m so glad to be back. If you’re a sports/snack fan, you might know that the Super Bowl is this Sunday! On paper I’m rooting for the Falcons because Georgia is my homestate, my birth state, so go Falcons (sorta!). But I’m mainly team snacks. I’m guessing we’re all on that team.

I went to college in sort of a small town in North Carolina so at night, when we were all super bored, my friends and I would go to the 24-hour Wal-Mart. We would oddly have so much fun at Wal-Mart. We also went to all the chain restaurants, everything from Olive Garden to Macaroni Grill to TGIFriday’s. I hold all of them very close to my heart because of this time. Another 2am stop was Taco Bell. This was usually post Wal-Mart trip and we were usually in not the most soberest of states.

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Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

Dinner

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

Hi from Big Bear Lake! I’m here for a few days and I’m currently very snowed in at a very hipster cabin full of things like vintage kitchen items, lots of Pendleton blankets, an old fire place and a record player that spins lots of Bob Dylan and Iron + Wine.

I’m not mad at all. It’s funny and fun all at the same time. I’m spending my day in the kitchen baking things, shooting things and I’m really hoping I can get Amelia to jump in a big pile of snow so she can do one of these .

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

This is something I made before I left that was A: on the lighter side; B: was crispy. C: was FRESH. I’ve been in the mood for not fatty foods, if that makes sense.

I’m currently on Day 19 and feeling like I can’t eat super fatty meats or bacon or any of that. I’ve never been a huge meat-eater so it’s not the easiest for me to eat meat everyday. Yesterday and the day before I just ate vegetables all day and drank a smoothie because sometimes I get sick of eating (if it’s not like pound cake).

I love the artichokes and lots of lemon in this recipe. I found the almond-coated chicken to be a bit annoying to pan-fry because you really have to clean out the pan between batches or else the almond bits get all burnt. I included that in the instructions below but I wanted to give a special heads up about it.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

This recipe is super healthy and light and fresh. I love minced parsley, garlic, onion and lemon together. They’re flavors that just go so well. It’s old school, really. Nothing new but still so good.

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Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky-Smooth Cauliflower Mash (#whole 30)

Dinner

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

You wanna know what’s really good for creative inspiration?! Going on Whole 30. You will dream of all sorts of amazing desserts and delicious-tasting things you cannot eat. I have a huge list of recipes I can’t wait to make! Today I’m making rough puff for the third time and I surprisingly wasn’t THAT tempted to eat it.

I think that means the “sugar dragon” is gone. It’s remarkable because no one loves sweet things more than me.

And next week I’m shooting a bunch of V-Day content so we’ll see how that goes! HAHA. I should be fine but it is a huge drag to not just take a gigantic bite to make sure it tastes OK.

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

This dish right here is my new favorite. I love normal, American pot roast, but this dish is more my style. It’s a cross between traditional pot roast and Seco, which is a Peruvian dish.

Seco is traditionally a cilantro stew braised with beer. Since I can’t consume beer (even if it’s cooked off), I made it a bit different.

It’s not EXACTLY seco, hence the reason why I’m sticking to “Peruvian-ish pot roast.” But it is SO GOOD. It has a whole lot of flavor; is bright thanks to the cilantro and lime; and the onions, oh they’re so good. The jalapeño adds just the right amount of kick.

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Whole 30 Prep AND HI I’M DOING WHOLE 30

Adventures, Dinner

Whole 30 Prep

As you know, I’m on Whole30…also affectionally called (by me) Hell30.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard and that’s because I’m totally addicted to sugar and my body is really mad about it. I’m technically on Day 10 right now and I feel really good.

The good news is that there are so many things you can eat when doing Whole30. And you can have coffee, which is an absolute must in life for me.

Whole 30 Prep

In case you’re unfamiliar with Whole 30, I’ll do a short breakdown:

1. No dairy, no grains, no legumes (this includes soy sauce).

2. There is also a limited number of fruit servings a day (I believe it’s 2).

3. There are also no treats that are meant to resemble fun things, i.e., pancakes, cookies, French fries, etc., even if they use the approved ingredients from Whole 30.

And that’s sort of it. The point is to ween your body off of sugar and other unnatural, processed foods we’re typically used to eating.

As a way to cope with this, I think prepping some foods to have on hand each week is super important. Before I started it, I cooked up a bunch of food and some I used all the time and others I didn’t like.

Whole 30 Prep

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Harissa Meatballs + Life Happenings!

Dinner, Healthy (ish)

Harissa Meatballs

GOOD GRACIOUS! Annnnd we’re back! That break felt so so good. Not gonna lie, I was way burnt out at the end of 2016. I needed a whole lot of days smushed together where I did absolutely nothing.

We went up to the bay for the holidays and then drove back down. Every day we read, hung out at our apt, went to the movies (!!) twice and hung out with a whole lot of friends. It was glorious.

AND, if you didn’t see on Instagram, Joshua and I are engaged! WHAAAT! Yes. On a cliff off the coast of California, near San Francisco, Joshua asked me. It was so sweet and perfect and I cried tears so of pure joy. Josh kept trying to get me to go on a hike that day and I fought it HARD because I was wearing my new boots and I didn’t want to get them muddy and it was sort of rainy. Luckily he convinced me to go on a “light” walk.

Harissa Meatballs

The thing they don’t tell you when you get engaged is the next question…like literally seconds after you tell someone is the annoying question: WHEN/WHERE/HOW R U GETTING MARRIED? And the girl who had to be bribed to wear a bra and cried when she got her period because she couldn’t go to the water park with her dude friends, wants to SCREAM, I DONT FUCKING KNO.

And please no one force me to go to my own bridal shower because I can’t.

So the answer is: who knows. I’m not sure yet but I’m sure it will be figured out. The one thing I have thought a lot about is cake planning! Because I’m that human that wants to make her own cake. Maybe I should figure out the cake part and then go from there. Like when you get dressed and start with your shoes first.

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Gnocchi with Preserved Lemon Alfredo Sauce 

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish)

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

I am the most last-minute holiday person in the entire world. A gigantic part of me actually really loves the adrenaline rush of shopping the week-of. My dad and I would always get our holiday shopping like two days before Christmas and it was always way more fun than being planned and perfect.

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

This year I somehow have it together. I even bought a few hostess gifts to hand out at parties. (And yes, that is a link to cat and dog bingo.)

Luckily one of the main people on my shopping list (my brother) is already taken care of. I’m going to gift him a KitchenAid® Stainless Steel Cookware Set
because he is just got his first adult job (hello first engineering job!) and is moving into a brand new apartment in a brand new city!!

For this post, I teamed up with KitchenAid® to show you how I put their set to good use by making these very fluffy and cloud-like balls of gnocchi.

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

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Winter Fondue

Appetizers, Dinner, Holiday

Winter Fondue

My first date EVER in my entire life was at an upscale fondue restaurant. I think I was 15 or 16 and had been to some nice restaurants before but this time I was by myself, with a boy (!!), not with my parents. For the first time, I sort of felt like an adult. It felt super fancy and I was very into it.

Halfway through the meal, after the lobster, I realized I’m not all that into boiled meat and fish. My favorite part, by far, was the bread dipped into the cheese and dessert, of course. Who doesn’t love melty chocolate with fruit?

Winter Fondue

For this very adult, fondue party, I teamed up with ALDI to score all of the veggies and cheeses. A few weeks ago I walked through ALDI trying to think of all the things I could dip into cheese. The good news is that it’s not a hard task. Mostly everything is delicious in cheese!

I feel like this is an easy winter-party situation that you can throw together. People come over, chop up some winter vegetables and tell everyone to dip them in cheese. Game over!

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Classic Rösti

Appetizers, Dinner, Sides

Classic Rösti

Wasn’t that lil’ break the absolute best? I needed it. I think we all needed some rest and chillaxation. On Thanksgiving day, there was a long walk with Amelia and Joshua, some cooking (but relaxed cooking), a nice Friendsgiving with lots and lots of wine (thanks to Whitney!!!).

The next day Josh and I went to Seattle for book signing. I LOVE SEATTLE. It’s so rainy and overcast and cozy.

BUT NOW WE’RE BACK. I don’t know about you, but I wish the holiday season lasted about twice as long. The weeks go by so quickly and I love all the decorations and the sparkly lights and the foods.

Classic Rösti

A rösti has been on my to-make list for a v v long time. If you’re unfamiliar, think of it like a latke but bigger and thicker. It’s more cake-like.

I thought about making this rosti out of other things besides potatoes, but the thing I enjoy about them the most is their crispiness. And nothing in the entire world can get crisper than a potato. It’s made for dat crisp.

If you’re asking yourself, “what is the difference between a rösti and a latke?!” not to worry, here’s the answer:

A latke is held together with a bit of flour and egg, while a rösti is only held together with melted butter. It makes the execution a bit tricker.

Latkes are also much thinner than röstis which tend to be thicker and taller. I think both have their home at certain times and certain moods. But right now, I’m all about dat rösti.

Classic Rösti

Since there is no binder, the technique is pretty imperative. I used the technique from Chef Steps because they do a lot of good work over there and it was super duper simple.

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