Browsing Category

Adventures

Breakfast Taco Brunch with Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

Adventures, Breakfast, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

Running this blog has taught me so much about people’s allergies and diets. Every time I post, there are usually a few questions like,  “can I make this nut free?” “can I make this without eggs?”  “can I make this meal more plant-based?”

A lot of times it’s hard for me to answer those questions because I never test recipes with variations like that, which makes it tough to get a confident, firm answer. That’s why I’m so excited with today’s post. For this post, I teamed up with JUST to show you their new product that literally blew my mind.

It is an egg-free scramble. It tastes like eggs, it scrambles like eggs and looks exactly like eggs, but it’s magic ingredient? The 4,400 year old legume called mung bean. It’s a delicious, protein-packed, non-GMO, cholesterol-free product that cooks and tastes like a chicken egg.

You simply pour it out into a non-stick skillet and cook it like you would regular scrambled eggs. It’s super simple. The color comes from carrot extract and turmeric. The texture is literally identical—it’s wild (watch this video to learn more!). I love watching the people’s reactions.

I decided to throw a delicious, low-key and easy brunch together that’s also allergen-friendly and plant-based. Everyone has a different diet these days but it’s actually a lot easier to accommodate these preferences than you think. In fact, you might be surprised how much better your meal tastes by doing so! Continue Reading

I Love Kyoto, Japan (Honeymoon Part II)

Adventures

After we spent three days in Tokyo, had lunch, we headed to the train station to head to Kyoto.

Thanks to Bourdain, I knew I had to get an egg sandwich from Lawson’s at some point during my trip. Luckily there was one at the train station and even though I was super full, I bought one anyway. I’m so glad I did because the train ride—while only three hours long—was still long enough for me to want a snack.

The sandwich is like every childhood dream come true. The white bread has the crusts cut off, is super soft and delicious. The train was easy breezy. We booked seats in the economy cabin and they were totally great. I hear the first class cabin isn’t that much different, fyi.

When we got to Kyoto we took a cab to our hotel. We stayed at The Four Seasons (again, booked on Chase points!!).

If we went back to Kyoto I don’t think we’d stay there again—even if it was on points. It was kinda too fancy and in Kyoto we wanted something chiller and more centrally located. Our hotel came with breakfast which was nice to have. Josh got the Japanese breakfast a few mornings in a row and he LOVED it.

After breakfast we went to Nishiki Market—which I highly recommend—because the food is incredible. We tried lots of things. Some samples and some purchased. My favorite was this soybean tea—it was so delicious. And this tofu doughnut. I thought the texture was going to be mushy but it was so crispy and fluffy on the inside—SIQ!

It was rainy that day so we walked around with umbrellas for a few hours. It was super nice, actually since it wasn’t cold at all. We headed to Ippudo for some matcha tea. Kyoto is known for its tea so this is a must-stop.

Continue Reading

I ❥ Tokyo, Japan! (Honeymoon Post Part I)

Adventures

When Josh and I were talking about where to honeymoon, I was a big advocate for beach-y areas. I wanted to chill on a beach with a frozen drink of some kind. And Josh wanted to do more of a city. So we compromised and did both! First Maui, Hawaii and then Japan. It was the best combo ever.

We spent a week in Maui with our friends Cassie and Burke and then took a flight from Maui to Honolulu (shortest flight!) and then flew from Honolulu to Tokyo. It was a pretty short eight hours that I barely noticed because I watched a few movies and ate a Quiznos sandwich.

HOTEL

We spent the first three nights in Tokyo. We stayed at the Andaz in the Toronomon Hills area of Tokyo and it was an incredible hotel. Maybe the nicest one I’ve ever stayed in—I loved it. It’s definitely a splurge price-wise but we were lucky enough to have my brother-in-law and sister-in-law book it on points. It was a little wedding gift to us.

JETLAG 

Is it weird that I wasn’t that affected by the jet lag? We got in around 3pm and we both made ourselves stay up until 10pm that night so it’d force us to get on the Tokyo schedule. We were walking zombies that night but I’m so glad we did that because once that first night was over, we were ok. We got up super early each morning (around 6am) but it was super nice to be up early and have a leisure morning.

FIRST NIGHT 

We got in around 3pm and by the time we got on the train and got to the hotel, it was around 5pm.

We rented a pocket wi-fi from the airport and I couldn’t recommend it more. We absolutely needed it the entire time. Not sure what we would’ve done without that thing. It was $80 for the week with insurance.

We took the train to the hotel (I’m not sure I would do this again because of our bags). A cab would’ve been around $200 (eeek!) but there are limousine air bus shuttles that drop off at a bunch of the hotels and they’re much more affordable. We bought a J-Rail Pass (for our trip to Kyoto) so the train for us was included in that pass.

When we got in, we wanted something chill and comforting. Josh found this soba place called Soba Sasuga. We had our concierge call and make a reservation for us.

We showered and took the subway to Ginza where the soba noodle place was.

Continue Reading

10 Cozy Things to Make in July

Adventures

Hello, July!!

I am currently packing for a short trip to Florida, while the best show on earth plays in the background—The Great British Bakeoff. It’s back and it’s making me all excited for fall baking.

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be in the land of BBQs and watermelon but fall is when I’m at my best. It’s my land of cozy and I am the queen. Kinda. Haha.

Anyway! since it’s July, I figured I’d post some of my favorite summah recipes because we’re just getting started.

1. S’mores Pavlova – it’s 4th of July weekend. Speaking of which, do most people have tomorrow (Monday) off or do you have Wednesday (the actual 4th) off? This has me confused.

2. Creamy Elote Pasta – I love this pasta so much. I remember last year when we were developing this recipe and after we nailed it, we ate the entire thing between us two. It’s so good.

3. Mojito Cupcakes – These are perfect for a summer shindig because they’re easy and have a bright and airy flavor.

4. Eton Mess – I love the story behind the Eton Mess. Leave it to a dog to destroy dessert and make a whole new dish in the process.

5. Tahini Concord Thumbprint Cookies – Have you ever made concord grape jam? Don’t. Haha. Actually you can just know that since the grapes have skins and pits, it’s a bit time consuming. But like everything, it tastes so much better homemade. Whether you use homemade or store-bought, these thumbprint cookies are SO good.

6. Payday Lobster Cherry Tomato Pasta – You know that feeling when the direct deposit hits? Best feeling ever. It’s like a nice little recharge. Make this while that feeling is still present.

7. Strawberry Cream Cookies – I posted these last month and they were probably the most made recipe of June. They’re super easy to throw together and they taste like summer all in a cookie!

8. Chicago Dogs – Last week, while I was flying back to LA from Vermont, I had a super short layover in Chicago. As I was racing to the gate, I spotted a stand that served Chicago hot dogs. I wanted one SO badly but sadly I didn’t have enough time to grab one, but luckily I can make my own.

9. Camarones a la Diabla – I made this last summer approximately 50 times. I made a big batch of the sauce, froze it in a few containers and warmed it up when we wanted dinner. I would saute some shrimp and pour some sauce over it. It’s the fastest 20 minute meal ever.

10. Basil Pistachio Pesto Pasta – This is a recipe from last month that I don’t think got enough love, if I do say so myself! It’s so easy and delicious and it really uses cherry tomatoes that are everywhere this time of year.

Continue Reading

10 Cozy Things to Make in June

Adventures

Ahh! Hi! I feel like I’ve been gone for forever but really I’ve just been living my life in Hawaii. You see, last weekend I took a flight to Hawaii, fell asleep on the flight and lifted my tray to move it without realizing my computer was on it. The computer fell to the ground pretty hard but I really thought nothing of it…until I tried to turn it on at the hotel to put up a blog post—that I so diligently wrote up on the plane—only to find out the computer didn’t want to turn on.

Anyway, there was a trip to the computer store in town and apparently it’s the display blah blah. Long boring story short: I can’t get it fixed until I get home. I did want to share with you some fun things to make in the month of June because while fall will forever be my favorite, summer is fun too! Here are some of my favorites. You can follow my adventures on the Instagram.

Copycat Shake Shack Burgers – I am one of the view Los Angeles people who likes Shake Shack more than In-n-Out. Making them at home is an A+++ move.

Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Tart – This tart is SO ridiculously easy and delicious. The tart shell is gluten-free and the filling is simply a can of cold coconut milk with strawberries and raspberries. So simple and delicious.

Copycat Sweetgreen Caesar Salad – I am a basic human who loves salad, specifically Sweetgreen salads. My favorite on their menu is this caesar salad. I now live very far from them so instead of buying them, I have to make them!

A Week of Salads – Speaking of salads…if you’re in the mood for a lot of salads, I made a whole post of a bunch of combinations that I love. They’re not really recipes but just combinations.

Blueberry Lime Poppy Seed Cake – It’s like pound cake meets summer at its finest. There are poppy seeds all throughout this cake with lots of lime zest for some zing and blueberries. It has a creme fraiche icing that is just out of this world!

Elote Pasta Salad – I am on team pasta salad. I LOVE PASTA SALAD. I think it’s the easiest thing to bring to a get together or summer party. And it’s delicious.

Summer Berry Pie – The thing that everyone wants to eat in the summer: pie. This is a classic. Just mixed berries and the right ratios of sugar and lemon juice.

Black Sesame Coconut Popsicles – Billy has this thing called “Popsicle Week” and it’s my favorite week in the blog world because everyone makes popsicles. It’s simple! These are a favorite of mine from a few years ago.

Charred Corn and Poblano Pepper Queso Fundido – This recipe is something I ate a few times in the winter and I used frozen corn. BUT, now it’s (almost) summer and corn is available so I say let’s make it again.

Bacon Western Cheeseburger Sliders – These are so cute and so delicious. I love sliders because I can eat more of them and feel less guilty!

Continue Reading

Grilling Season is Here!

Adventures

As you guys know, we recently moved into a new home and while the kitchen is all done and in tip-top shape, we still have SO much to do. The den is completely empty (great for dance parties tho!) and the dining room needs some love. Besides creating a cozy room to watch movies, the other area in the house that I’m super excited about is the backyard.

We can’t wait to spend this summer grilling and hanging out with friends. The backyard is actually quite pretty as is, so all it really needs is a few accessories. We’re excited to deck it out with some cool grilling stuff. So that’s why I was super excited when I was invited to a Home Depot event called Garden to Grill. The event was showing off all of the pretty items that The Home Depot has that can make your outdoor space beautiful.

The event was super cute. It was at The Lombardi House and the gardening part included a DIY herb box that I barely was able to make. Luckily my friend Billy was with me and he used to build bird feeders with his dad so he’s handy. It now sits in my backyard and I can’t wait to walk outside and pick some chocolate mint from it.

We also toured some grilling items by Charcoal Companion like this really pretty Himalayan Salt Plate that you can use to cook items on it on the grill OR just simply use it as a cheese board.  I also love this Pitt Mitt, which makes it easy to grill and protect your hands.

There were grills both of which I have my eye on. First was this really pretty and affordable stainless steel grill from Nexgrill. And you know I love KitchenAid, this red one is gorgeous, though I do have my eye on the black one to match my kitchen range. Both of these grills are exclusive to The Home Depot!

Are you guys excited about grilling season? I can’t wait to make burgers on the grill and hang out underneath the hanging lights we just put up!

(This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)

10 Cozy Things to Make for May

Adventures

I almost typed “10 cozy things to make for APRIL” but then realized that IT’S MAY. I can’t even handle it. I wish I could go back in a time machine and it’d be February.

Anyway, we’re here, so let’s thrive in all of our cute Mayness.

In May we have Mother’s Day, more spring brunches and Memorial Day, which is kind of like an early sign of summer. LAWDDD!

Citrus Poppy Seed Soft Cookies – I posted these last month but a lot of people have made them and LOVED them.

Carrot Sheet Cake – This carrot sheet cake is a winner. I love it so much. The brown butter cream cheese frosting is a dream and you don’t need to make the buttercream flowers if the idea of piping flowers stresses you out. Sprinkles will do just fine!

Roasted Rhubarb Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze – I’ve seen rhubarb at the markets but I haven’t used it this season yet! Not sure what’s wrong with me but these scones would be a good start. They’re delicious and the vanilla bean glaze is SO good.

Fluffy Ricotta Lemon-y Pancakes – Fluffy, lemon-y and full of ricotta. These pancakes are so good. I love them.

Matcha Strawberry Battenberg – This was inspired by The Great British Bake Off. I can’t imagine making this with a camera in my face bc I said a lot of curse words out loud. If you’re up for a challenge, this is it! The payoff is huge because the slices are so beautiful and the flavor is moneyyyy.

Mint Vanilla Iced Coffee – The best thing about warmer temperatures is it becomes iced coffee season!! I love me some iced coffee and this mint vanilla simple syrup is SO good.

Butter Mushrooms – Like butter chicken but with mushrooms. I like this for vegetarian, meatless Mondays. It’s so good.

S’more Twists! – This is screaming to be made and brought to a Memorial Day party. It’s really easy (it uses store-bought puff pastry).

Spring-y Detroit-Style Pizza – This pizza is so delicious. The crust is like a cheese crisp with all the best spring things on top.

Roasted Ancho Chile Cauliflower with Avocado Crema – Okay here me out! I’m going to make this cauliflower but I’m gonna put it in lettuce wraps with the avocado crema. I can’t wait. I’m honestly super excited about making a slightly healthier option of these.

Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning the Kitchen Part 1!

Adventures, Kitchen

Spring cleaning is in full effect in casa cozy and if I’m being real, cleaning/organizational stuff is not my strength. I love for things to be tidy, organized and look like a Pinterest image at all times, but the truth is, cooking and shooting food makes a gigantic mess.

The kitchen looks like a bomb went off probably 80% of the time. At the end of each shoot/bake day, we clean up everything, but there’s still, like, grime on the hood and frosting speckles on the back of the tile, so today I’m showing you what I’m doing to do a deep clean for Spring in the kitchen.

For this post, I teamed up with Brandless, which is my new favorite website to buy all things cleaning and more. Here are some reasons why Brandless is dope:

1. Everything on the entire site is $3 or less.
2. Shipping is a flat fee of $5 for orders of $35 or more. And for $36 a year you’ll receive unlimited free shipping with their B. More Membership.
3. All of their cleaning supplies are nontoxic and smell like a dream. Seriously the smell combinations are delicious and will make your house smell like a field of flowers.
4. Ordering everything online makes it super easy.
5. All of their branding and labels are so pretty and cohesive.

Continue Reading

A Cozy Kitchen Renovation Reveal Part I

Adventures, DIY, Kitchen

OMG I can finally tell you that the entire kitchen is done done DONE. It’s an amazing feeling and I love the way it turned out. As you know, I started this process a long time ago!! There are a lot of bases to cover so I’m not going to cover everything in this post, instead I’m going to separate the posts into three or four posts.

This one is all about the reveal! I love dramatic before and afters and I have to say, the before photos show a pretty intense makeover.

This was my first ever renovation and I learned a lot. I also designed this space myself, which was another huge learning experience.

INSPIRATION
Let’s start with the inspiration. The house itself is an English-style cottage so I wanted to be true to the house. I wanted it to fit within the style of the house so I went with shaker cabinets. What I didn’t want? Was an all-white kitchen. I wanted something with a bit more style but at the same time, I wanted to make something that would be sellable and not too custom.

Here are some BEFORE photos that show the dramatic change:

Continue Reading

10 Cozy Things to Make In April

Adventures

We are deep into spring and yet I look on The Instagram and it’s snowing in New York!! My heart goes out to all those suffering the dark depths of never-ending winter.

Hopefully this list of bright, cute spring foods will help you weather the storm.

I obviously am a huge lover of fall and winter but spring is also a time when there is ample opportunity to make gorgeous and fun foods. Produce is at its best in spring. There’s so much to choose from! So many vegetables to cover in cheese!

Let’s start with this:

Big-Ass Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake with Chamomile Whipped Cream – You know that I love fluffy whipped cream and this gigantic biscuit is layered with slices of strawberries and said cream. It’s a glorious dessert that will make people oooh and ahh but the biggest plus is that it isn’t very sweet. I know so many people HATE desserts that are super sweet so this one is for you.

Roasted Radishes with Burrata and Arugula Pesto – I love roasted radishes. I know we’re all used to eating them when they’re snappy and cold, but I love them equally when they’re all shriveled on the outside and super warm. Pair them with a ball of cold burrata and arugula pesto…yum.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake – This cake tastes exactly like the ice cream flavor. Not sure if you’re aware but if there was a petition on Change.org to certify mint chocolate chip as the best ice cream flavor ever, I’d be one of the first people to sign it. I’m an activist.

Honey Cupcakes with Chamomile Buttercream – If you’re a terrible cupcake-decorator then these are your perfect cupcakes. You scoop the frosting on, smear it around and top it with a little chamomile flower, some blackberries and some nasturtium. BAM! Instant cuteness. No skill required.

Lemon-y, Kale-y One Pot Pasta – I’ve had complicated relationships with “one pot pastas” in the past, but I love this recipe. It sounds weird but you literally put everything in one pot and let it go. There is no boiling of the pasta. If you’ve been hesitant to try the trend of 2015, don’t be and start with this recipe.

Matcha Sugar Dusted Churros – When I was in Mexico City last week, I went to El Moro and experienced true heaven. A guy removed a huge spiral of churros from the fryer, placed them on a tray and cut them with scissors. He then transferred them to the sugar/cinnamon mixture and put them in a bag and handed them to me. They were SO GOOD! If you can’t go to Mexico any time soon, not to worry, make these.

Tallarines Verde – My first true love was this dish. A classic Peruvian pasta that reminds me of being a little kid. It’s basically pesto but a bit more delicious, I’d say.

Iced Matcha Latte – It’s not exactly iced coffee season but it’s always iced matcha latte season. I LOVE iced matcha lattes and these were glorious and so easy to make at home.

Rhubarb Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Pie – Pink peppercorns all crushed up and added to a pie full of diced rhubarb and fresh strawberries. So good!

Olive Oil Fried Eggs with Sautéed Kale – I kid you not, this is what I eat nearly every single morning. I love having this in the morning before shoots and before the day gets away from me. I know some people are super anti-breakfast but I’m super pro breakfast.

Continue Reading