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Desserts

One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but me and sheet cakes have a thing. It’s not an old relationship at all. In fact, this guy right here was kinda the first sheet cake I’d ever made. But once I made that one, I was like WHOAA. This is WAY better than a big, layered cake because it’s a million times less stress and time. I also think that anyone, AND I MEAN ANYONE, can decorate a sheet cake.

It just takes some swoops and swirls with a trusty off-set spatula and that’s it. I mean, even a butter knife could do the trick.

Here’s the trick—I found—to making those bomb-ass swirls: You gotta plop all the frosting right in the center and then push it out. It really works splendidly. It also takes under 5 minutes. If you mess with it too much then it starts to look too purposeful.


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Milk + Honey Baklava

Desserts

I go to Italy on Tuesday! AHHH!! I’m so excited. But also there’s, like, that crazy panic that ensues when you’re going to be gone for a long time. I’m feverishly trying to meet a bunch of deadlines I have. And I’m also trying to wash clothes and make sure I have enough underwear and socks for eight whole days. I also wanna look kinda cute but haven’t had the time or energy to go shopping or do any of that. I KNOW, LIFE IS HARD!

I’m also super excited about Fenty Beauty. I’m going to try and find some time this weekend to head to Sephora to get some stuff for my trip. I’m super excited to try out the tones of the foundations because the shade range is huge! I think that’s rad. And no one is a bigger badgirlriri fan than meeeeee!

Let’s talk about this baklava now because it’s SO GOOD.

When I first moved to LA, my friend Setu took me to this place and she forced me to order her new obsession—this milk and honey milkshake. It was so long ago and yet I remember them vividly. I was thinking the other day, why aren’t there more milk and honey things because the combo is so soothing and delicious.

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Peruvian Almuerzo…Part 1!!!

Breakfast, Desserts, Drinks

For this almuerzo, 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. This almuerzo is going to focus on my heritage, stay tuned for more on the mobile app and how easy it is to use!

The first food I ever learned how to cook was Peruvian food. My mom is from Peru, a country I grew up learning about through her. My mom would play old Peruvian boleros (ballads) by Luchas Reyes (she’s like our Celia Cruz) while she’d simmer chicha on the stove and sing along and sometimes cry because her music is just so beautiful.

I remember having friends over and having to explain to them that the drink was made from purple corn. LOL. The looks I’d get! But they’d all love it because it’s a drink that is flavorful and perfectly spiced and just delicious.

My mom was a young mom and literally the only dishes she knew how to make (minus a chicken broccoli casserole she learned from a back of a soup can!) were all Peruvian. I now realize that the flavors of Peru absolutely shaped my palate.

If you’ve had Peruvian food, you know that it’s very spicy. My mom always cooked with heat. I was like 5 years old eating dishes with ají amarillo—which are bright yellow Peruvian peppers that are VERY spicy—in them. Peruvians put them in everything from sauces to soups to pastes.  Ají amarillo paste sits on nearly every Peruvian table and is used as a condiment—it’s SO good.

And a lot of Peruvian food is very acidic (see: ceviche and causa). It’s food that has a lot of flavor and balance and pulls influences from Asia (there are a lot of Asians living in Peru), Africa and Spain, all while using indigenous, Peruvian ingredients.

Even now, in dishes that aren’t Peruvian, I find myself making sure that acidity is very prominent and always, always adding some form of heat. I love adding a dollop of ají amarillo to everything from salad dressings to marinades for chicken or fish (not traditional at all but such a good move!).

My mama was in town for a few weeks and I took advantage of having her here to make a little almuerzo (lunch). Growing up, Sunday almuerzo happened nearly every week and it was a big deal. There was cooking ALL day long and it was my favorite.

My mom and I tried to recreate a bit of that Sunday almuerzo nostalgia with this lunch. We made lomo saltado but veggie (she no longer eats meat); there was papa a la huancaína (my favorite!); pie de limón which looks like a normal lime/lemon pie but is so unique in texture and ease; and lastly, my mom’s chicha.

Today I’m sharing with you two recipes, one for pie de limón (my mama’s favorite!) and chicha (recipe straight from her).

The pie de limón is unlike a lot of other lemon pies. Traditionally this calls for Peruvian lemons which are much smaller than American lemons and are super acidic. So I made do and combined limes and lemons. We always did this growing up. Similar to how I add both limes and lemons to make the pie de limon, if we couldn’t find Peruvian peppers, we’d use jalapeños or habaneros as a substitute. The filling is super easy because it’s not a ton of ingredients and there’s no tempering the custard. The texture is SOOOO good.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Quick and Easy


I spent this past weekend in Seattle, chilling at Create + Cultivate, where I spoke on a panel about food and digital media. It was loads of fun and I met so many cool, interesting, awesome people.

I also spent the weekend biting my finger nails, worried about Florida. It looks awful and I think it’ll take a day or so to really know the extent of the damage. Hoping and praying for everyone’s safety!!


OK, let’s talk about cookies. I love cookies. And recently I shared the Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookies with you and they are pretty much one of the top recipes of 2017 on this lil’ blog.

A lot of people have made them and it makes me so happy. I met someone at the conference and she told me it’s her family’s new go-to cookie recipe and that made me so happy. One of the bonuses that we both agreed on: it doesn’t require to soften any butter so there’s really immediate satisfaction involved.

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Late-Summer Peach Galette with Baklava-like Filling

Desserts, Pie, Summer

Are you guys chilling this weekend? After a little bit of a crazy few weeks, I was lucky enough to be able to relax most of the weekend. I slept, I tried to stay cool (it was literally 105F every single day, help us all!), tried to stay away from the crazy fires, washed clothes and went to a bbq for a friends birthday. It was all good.

This weekend I’m headed to Seattle for Create + Cultivate and I just learned that Issa Rae is the keynote speaking and it has me a little scared/shy/excited to meet her!! EEEE! I love her so much. I’m actually leaving before she hits the stage so who knows if I get to meet her BUT if you haven’t watched Insecure DOOO ITTT!

It is my favorite show on TV right now; it has be DYING every single episode. And every time an episode is done I’m like UGGGHHH I wish there was more!

Let’s turn our attention to this late-summer galette because it is SO good. At the base of the galette, underneath the peaches is a baklava-type of mixture and it is B O M B. It’s spiced and crunchy and flavorful. It gives the entire thing such a good flavor and texture.

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Make ‘A Cozy Kitchen’ Sprinkle Mix

Desserts, DIY

I can’t believe that last year, around this time, I was in Copenhagen ! WHAA! Time goes so quickly.

Before I took a flight to Copenhagen, I was on the ol’ Instagram scrolling away and saw a girl’s Insta Story that featured the prettiest sprinkles evrrrr. I was super pumped to see that she was in Copenhagen so I figured it must be the land of pretty sprinkles.

When I landed, I told Yossy and Michelle that we needed to hit up a grocery store to get those bomb sprinkles. All of us bought some and ALL of us regret not buying way more than we did. When I got home, I flew through them very quickly (this sheet cake features Danish sprinkles).

So, after I used up my sprinkle collection, I realized I’d probably have to make my own.

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Plum Nectarine Pistachio Upside Down Cake

Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Summer

This summer, I’ve made only sheet cakes and zero pies. I have no idea what’s gotten into me. I think I’m reserving my pie muscles for fall. I also think I’ve been super lazy (and really busy) this summer, and I haven’t had time to sit and braid pie dough for hours and hours. I’ve been into more quick and easy recipes with big payoff. Like sheet cakes…and this upside-down cake.

Upside down cakes are underutilized in my very humble opinion. For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where I go for all of my baking needs. When you go there, be sure to stock up on all the high-quality flour and sugar and brown sugar that will fit into your cart. I always do (I get bags and bags of stuff), and I always use it. Click here to find the closest ALDI to you!

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One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Fudge-y Simple Frosting

Chocolate, Desserts, Quick and Easy

First things first: did you see the giveaway I’m doing on the ol’ Instagram?! Today is the last day! Enter that shizzz.

I’m currently in that mode where it’s the quiet before the storm. I have a super busy month coming up and I’m diligently trying to get my little duckies in a row so I won’t be crying of stress every single day. I think it’s going a’ight.

I also have a ton of summer stuff I want to make before the end of the season! It’s crazy, we’re nearly to the end of July and then we have August. And once September hits, all anyone wants to talk about are pumpkin spice lattes and apples; I’m just not ready. LIKE, SO FAR FROM READY. I’m still obsessed with stone fruit and tomatoes and cherries.

And if you can believe it, I still haven’t made a pie this season. WHUT!! I’ve been sleepin’.

Josh and I have been cooking nearly every single night, making super quick meals. I can’t wait to share a few that I’ve been making. We eat outside in the backyard, under the little stringy lights and it’s become my favorite time of day.

This sheet cake deserves a place on that backyard table because it’s the perfect summertime dessert for a group. It’s so easy and leisure.

I love me some sheet cakes because they’re so simple. No cake layers, no fancy decorating needed. All you need is a few bowls, an offset spatula and some sprinkles.

This cake is made in one-bowl and is so ridiculously moist, without being dense. You can make this on a Friday and it would be delicious for the entire weekend.

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How to Make a Corgi Cake (and a Pug Cake, Too!)

Adventures, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, DIY

I always feel blessed that I have a career where I get to make things every single day (basically any creative person’s ultimate goal). Sometimes it doesn’t always feel all that romantic, particularly when I’m wiping grease off my kitchens’ walls or washing an absurd amount of dishes, but even in those moments, if I think kinda hard, I’m pretty happy.

Another plus about this creative world called blogging, I get to meet other creative people, too. Last week, I drove like five minutes away to hang out with Alana and make this cake.

She makes the most unreal cakes. A lot of them are just total pieces of art that I would be shy to eat. A bonus, her cakes taste SO good. I was at a friend’s bbq and she brought some corgi cupcakes and they were so fluffy and so soft. I was in love.

SO, we thought it would be fun to make side-by-side dog cakes. I did the corgi, inspired by that feral beast I own, Amelia. And she made a pug cake, inspired by her two baby pugs.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake: To start things off, I made a three-layer (6-inch) chocolate cake. I used my one-bowl chocolate cake recipe because it is SO easy and delicious.

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Thai Tea Coconut Popsicles

Desserts, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

#POPSICLEWEEK

My favorite week of the entire year, hosted and organized by my friend Billy.

These are not a hot, hot mess but if I’m being completely real with you, they sort of didn’t work out how I wanted them to. But it’s mainly aesthetic. The flavor was on point.

I really wanted them to look all swirly and marbled…like when you order a Thai Iced Tea but, umm, that didn’t happen. I would’ve been happy with gradient but that didn’t happen either.

So aesthetically they’re not exactly what I had in my brain but that’s just life. I really don’t think I could’ve done anything that would’ve made it so the swirl would just suspend and not actually dissolve and become one. Whatever.

I’m also gonna be real with you and tell you that I kinda dislike popsicles that have really dairy in them. I want my popsicles refreshing and on the lighter side, hence the reason why I chose to go with light coconut milk vs. sweetened condensed milk/evaporated milk (the real thai tea ingredients).

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