Appetizers for Dinner has always been a favorite of mine. I think it started with an episode of My-So-Called-Life when Rayanne’s mother threw some frozen dumplings in the microwave and Rayanne was super bummed about not being cooked “a real dinner.”
Since my mom was always, like, super healthy and demanded we have a very full/healthy cooked dinner, an appetizer-driven dinner always sounded like heaven to me.
I like to think that this snacking board is the best of both worlds because it’s healthy AND filling enough where you can totally eat it, be full and not feel bad about it one bit! It’s kidlike but totally appropriate for us grown-ups.
For this post I teamed up with my favorite, new-to-me vegetable ranch-flavored chips from Pure Growth Organic! You can find them at places like Amazon.com where they’re super affordable and healthy and delicious.
They’re super light; they almost remind me a bit of a rice cracker but a million times better and more flavorful.
The carrot harissa dip might’ve been my favorite because I had never ever made a dip made of carrots before. I was a bit skeptical when I went through the testing process but the texture was amazing; I mean, I ended up adding walnuts because it was borderline too smooth.
I’m dropping in right quick to say hello. Hi. I’ve been a little on the busy side this week getting everything prepared for this weekend.
I’m headed to Chicago to hang out with some friends for Josh’s b-day! He’s one year older so we’re headed to Smyth (it looks crazy fancy) for dinner on Friday night and then we’re gonna chill and relax the rest of the weekend.
It should be a fun time and I guess it’s not gonna be that cold? (It’s 65F on Sunday! WHA?!)
I’m actually going to Chicago in a few weeks again so Illinois is going to be seeing a lot of me in the month of March.
I wanted to talk about this fine specimen right quick.
She is a winner.
She is cheesy.
She is warm. And cozy. And a lil’ spicy. Basically, ME.
I was inspired by Red Lobster’s Cheesy Bay Biscuits (which if I’m being honest, I have never had, I want to fix this soon), so I wanted to put that spiciness and cheesiness in a carb-fest celebration.
Enter: this pull apart loaf.
I made this with my favorite cheese EVER, Tillamook. Hop on over to their site for the recipe.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a brand spankin’ new shiny new recipe. YAY!
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.
It is fall!!! FINALLY. I know it’s been fall all over the entire country for a few weeks now, but not in LA. Yesterday I wore a sweater and didn’t sweat! And Josh made homemade tortallini stuffed with chicken confit, while I made one of those pumpkin loaf mixes from Trader Joe’s. If you’ve entered a TJ’s recently, you know that it is bursting with pumpkin stuff. The mix wasn’t half bad but I kinda wished I made it homemade, from scratch because we have a huge surplus of pumpkin puree because it’s Amelia’s favorite.
These were inspired by the Jerusalem bagels Molly had on her adventures to Israel where apparently zaa’tar comes in drug bags?!?!? Cool.
This recipe comes from her new book, Molly on the Range, which is so fun and cool and special. If you read through it, you’ll know very random things about Molly that will make you feel a little like a stalker, but she won’t mind, like…:
This is a cozy carb-fest in a cast iron skillet. Just how I like it!
This weekend I’m headed to HOTLANTA where I’ll be speaking at Create + Cultivate about digital media and food. I’m also so stoked to be going back to the south where I can order half sweet tea/half unsweetened tea like the almost-southerner I am and eat all the biscuits I want.
I was born in Atlanta and lived the first three years of my lil’ life at The Georgia Tech family dorms while my dad finished up college. I’m excited to pass by and look at the playground I used to play in. (I’m pretty sure it’s another math lab now, but whatever.)
In preparation for this trip, I wanted to pull together another fun, appetizer-like carb fest for you all. The best part about this entire thing is that you can totally use store-bought pizza dough (s/o to Kenji Lopez for the inspiration).
I teamed up with McCormick and their new herb grinders. They’re super simple to use and for this recipe I used two, actually: the Italian blend (it went inside the butter mixture) and the basil (for the top).
The recipe starts with all sorts of stuff being mixed with butter. There’s salt, the McCormick Italian blend, crushed red pepper, Parmesan, lots of fresh garlic and olive oil. The knots are knotted, stuffed with chopped Spanish green olives and then dunked in butter.
It made me think back when I had just graduated from college…
…during my senior year I waited tables at a brewery and saved up like $5,000 so I could pack all my shit in my car and drive across country and move to LA. I felt sort of rich but at the same time knew that in LA-terms, 5k was, like, nothing. That would get me into my apt and maybe hold me over for a few months and that was it.
When I got to LA, my former professor actually gave me my first job and kept me working for a long time. I was super grateful for her because I don’t even know how I would’ve survived without those first few jobs.
For the first few years, my existence was also credited to a lot of frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s. They have this pizza/tart thingy—not sure if you’re aware—that has like ham, caramelized onions, gruyere and IT IS SO GOOD.
This summer has been the summer of binge-watching for me. A lot of times I’ll watch a few episodes of a show and then forget about it and just look at meme’s on the internetz all night long but lately I’ve enjoyed getting so enthralled into storylines that it then leads to me on Reddit reading WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT SEASON.
I’m currently hanging around Copenhagen with Yossy and Michelle. Recap coming very soon!
Before I left I had this idea to combine my two favorites things: vegetables and chz in a spicy concoction that screams summer!
For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to eat on the healthier side because it’s so easy to do in the summer time. Every morning I’ve been getting up, sautéing some cherry tomatoes over super high heat and throwing in green onions, zucchini, crushed red pepper flake and lots of garlic. I’ll eat this with a couple of eggs and it’s perfection! It makes me feel all powered for the day, especially when I have like two almond milk lattes.
This isn’t all that healthy I suppose but it’s SO good and tasty.
You start with cooking and caramelizing the zucchini. This may seem a little strange but don’t worry. It taste so creamy with the cheese—it’s delicious!
I JUST finished the first pass of A Cozy Coloring Cookbook. I added a few more recipes because I want it to feel full and worth it. I added an olive oil cake studded with apples and fall spices…that can all be thrown into one-bowl. It’s maybe my favorite new cake in the entire world because it takes like 10 minutes to throw together. It just took me a million tries to get right and I’m still, like, is this tasty, is this good? I plan on making it one last time this week before I head to Copenhagen.
Once upon a time I loved my daddy a whole lot. We’d sit on the couch together and we’d watch sports I didn’t care about. The only thing I cared about were all the snacks he had. He always had the best snacks. There was ice cream and saltine crackers and of course, plantain chips, straight from the bag.
We were best friends then, him and me, and these chips. I never really thought about the chips again until I moved away, far away from home, far away from him and far away from any Cuban and South American food.
I was working a boring desk job when a lunch menu was plopped on my desk. It was for a Cuban restaurant nearby.
My bratty cynical self about Cuban food in LA started to scan the menu, stopping at my favorite: ropa vieja. When my food was delivered I was right about the ropa vieja but so wrong about the plaintain chips that came for free.
They were thin as newspaper, crispy AF and slightly salty.