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Dinner

Spring Vegetable Pot Stickers

Dinner, Healthy (ish), Quick and Easy, Spring, Vegetarian

Last month I made pot stickers for the first time and I have to say, I was V impressed with them. They’re now one of my favorite things to make at home and are a million times easier than I thought they were. And yes, most of that has to do with the fact that I don’t make my own dough for the wrappers; even though that also doesn’t seem that hard to make, so maybe next time I’ll give it a try.

There were some days last week that felt like summer but I refuse to let go of spring for a long time. So we’re still in full effect with spring on this here blog for a long time.

These are filled with mashed peas (and some whole peas). The addition of sautéed buttery leeks also adds a nice flavor note. These are SO good. I love them so much.

The flavor here is all about sautéed leeks and barely cooked peas. The inspiration behind these pot stickers comes from Lisa Lin’s Instagram. Do you follow her? Her food looks so good. I could stare at it all day long.

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Yogurt-Marinated Ras al Hanout Chicken Skewers

Dinner

April is the month I’ve vowed to get my shit together. Every single day I have a different task assigned. I’ve scheduled a day to go through all of my clothes, props, old bills, etc. I want to purge! And tomorrow, is going to be a very fun go-to-the-accountant-day. Tax season is here—FUN! Honestly, I have a feeling it’s not gonna be that bad. But I do have a drink and dinner scheduled with friends so I’m hoping it’ll help A LOT.

I’m also trying to get things prepped in the morning for dinner at night. A lot of times people are like, “what do you make for dinner?” And I’m going to be 100% honest, I don’t always have the best answer. Sometimes it’s cereal, a salad I throw together, scrambled eggs, take-out. But I’ve made these about three times since I photographed them for the blog. They are so good and easy to put together.

This recipe comes from my friend Molly Yeh’s new book YOGURT. Yes she wrote a whole book about yogurt and it’s amazing. It’s a cute short stacks book and I just love it.

I also used her pita recipe and it was the fluffiest most delicious pita ever. I made little sandwiches with it. The past few times I’ve made the chicken, I’ve left out the pita because I try to not eat too many carbs at night. So I just paired it with a salad and bam! So good.

The chicken chills out in a bowl in the fridge with a yogurt marinade filled with a bunch of delicious things like red onion, seasoning, lemon juice and more. When you’re ready, you can grill them OR you can do like I did and just bake ‘em on a baking sheet in the oven.

You won’t get that beautiful sear or char like from a pan or grill but the oven is pretty hands off (ideal for me) so I went that route.

It’s the perfect weeknight meal.

Here’s a link to Molly’s new book and her blog!

Yogurt-Marinated Ras al Hanout Chicken Skewers

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Serving Size: 2 to 4

Yogurt-Marinated Ras al Hanout Chicken Skewers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ras al hanout
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smahsed
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • 1 bell pepper and 1/2 red onion, chopped into 1 to 2 -inch pieces, to add to the skewers (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, salt, ras al hanout, sugar, harissa, oil, onion, garlic, mint, juice from half of the lemon and about 12 turns of pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon). Fold in the chicken to evenly coat the cubes, then cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Soak 8 wooden skewers, adding bell pepper and onion (if using) in between the pieces.
  2. For grill or grill pan cooking instructions:
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the skewers, turning them occasionally, until they're deeply browned on all sides and cooked through.
  4. For oven cooking instructions:
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cook the skewers for about 20 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Rotate them at the 10 minute mark for even baking.
  6. Squeeze with the juice from the remaining lemon half. Serve with rice or salad or in pita.
http://www.acozykitchen.com/ras-al-hanout-chicken-skewers/

Instant Pot Chipotle Braised Lamb Shank

Dinner, Holiday, Spring

This dish smells like Sunday dinner. You know that smell…like sautéed onions, something braising in spices. The sounds are different than the smells. They’re of steam rising, some sort of adult-friendly jazz or salsa playing, and mom is screaming at you to set the table. Or at the very least, take the trash out because it’s gotten full. People are coming over and it’s time for the kitchen to go from used up to presentable. And you need to be presentable, too, so put on something nice; your Sunday best is preferred.

My mother was the best at braising things. She was also incredible at delegating and making everyone do what needed to get done. She was doing the most so it was only fair.

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick to show you how to make Easter Sunday smell and taste amazingly delicious. And to make it as easy as possible, this whole thing is made in an Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot makes this dish come together SO fast and easy. The lamb shanks are smothered in a spice mixture full of sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and black pepper. It’s seared and then placed in the Instant Pot with tomatoes and a chipotle in adobo. It’s braised with some carrots, onion and garlic.

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Green Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian Arroz con Pollo)

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

It’s been rainy and cold in Los Angeles the past week and obviously I have loved every second of it. It’s been glorious to put on a big sweater and cook some food. This has been on my list to make because it’s so good and cozy. And yes, I will admit that it’s not the most photogenic food but whatever. It’s rice and chicken!

This differs a lot from your typical arroz con pollo. The mixture that makes it green is a big bunch of cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeño and stock all blended in a blender. This makes a delicious, flavorful broth mixture that is combined with the rice. This is what makes it super delicious and flavorful. It tastes bright and earthy and spicy.

The spice definitely chills out as it cooks with the rice. The chicken is so good and falls off the bone. The little guy on top is killer. It’s called Salsa Criolla and my mom used to make it when we were eating really boring things like lentils or beans. It transforms anything that might be a bit mundane and not so flavorful. Lucky for us, the rice is flavorful and then you add this and it adds even more flavor. It’s amazing.

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Tallarines Verde (A Re-Do)

Dinner, Pasta, Quick and Easy

I made this dish a million years ago for the blog. When I first started this blog, I lived in a studio apartment and shot most of the photos on my patio. I had terrible lighting inside my apartment and the patio was literally the only place I could take a dang photo. I remember neighbors would pass by and always be like what is this weird-ass girl doing taking photos of her food . Lol.

I wanted to share this recipe AGAIN because I made it soooo long ago and it really deserved a makeover, Queer Eye-style. I gave it a whole new home, a new wardrobe and a good haircut. The roots were perfectly fine.

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Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Winter

Hello, hi, hello! I’m finally back in Los Angeles, tucked in my very comfortable bed with Amelia sleeping on my feet. When I got back, I immediately told her all about the cute dogs I saw on the road. Mostly telling her how grateful she is for having a warm bed and a constant stream of food, but she’s shrugging her shoulders at me. Typical.

In my brain a few weeks ago, I was craving cacio e pepe but I also wanted it to be cheesy. Cacio e pepe enthusiasts and purists will scoff at this recipe but the rest of us who love cheesy cheese and black pepper, will love it. I can’t win them all.

This recipe is sort of a simple base for a stovetop macaroni and cheese. Except it has way less salt (because of the Parmesan-Reggiano), some mozzarella and it requires that you save the pasta water (just like traditional cacio e pepe). That extra pasta water will loosen it up a bit and make it even creamier and more delicious.

Whenever I was a little kid, I used to come home and make Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and would ALWAYS put a ton of black pepper on top. That is the inspiration behind this recipe.

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Vegan Lasagna

Dinner, Healthy, Vegetarian, Winter

We have lots of stuff coming up!

First, there’s a recipe I’m gonna make (loosely) based off the book from our Book Club (have you started reading?! have you finished?!?). Get to it!

And then, there is Game Day. I wasn’t thinking I was really going to make anything for The Game…because, well, I don’t even watch football but then I realized a lot of us don’t but we still eat snacks. So, I’m warming up to the idea and am gonna make a few things this Friday to make sure we’re prepared.

Oh and then Valentine’s Day. For a long time, my eyes rolled very hard at V-Day but man, V-Day content is so fun to make. Everything is kinda cheesy and pink and heart-shaped. It’s grown on me big time.

A few weeks ago, Josh made this vegan lasagna and naturally I was very skeptical about it…mainly because vegan cheese is suss. But when it was all said and done and it was dinner time, I took a bite and was like OH OKKKKK.

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Paella-Tasting Risotto with Brown Butter Scallops

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

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).

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Enchilada Chicken Tortilla Soup

Dinner

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.

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Creamy Vegan Kale and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian, Winter

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.

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