Every morning, when the sun breaks, my Abuelita Renee sits at the edge of her bed with her rosary in her hand and she recites prayer, bead after bead. She’s probably done this every single morning since she was probably 12 years old in Peru. She’s 82 now.
I’m not all that religious but I think the act of thankfulness, faith and hope is so very beautiful. I think what she does every morning is special. And I know it helps her throughout her day. I was thinking this past weekend what I’m thankful for…
The world feels like it’s crashing, things feel off and full of unrest but in my little world that I’ve created that’s full of friends and close family and Josh and Amelia, I’m happy. I feel thankful that we get to go on walks together.
I’m thankful that I’m healthy and wake up every single day feeling good.
I’m thankful for this space on the internet that let’s me create and make money all at the same time.
I’m thankful that my family sacrificed so much to come to this country so I could lead a better life.
I’m thankful that you’re all here.
I’m thankful that Josh and I can laugh and talk for hours and hours at a time. We still love each other so very much. That feels good to me.
I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. I try and honor them by working even harder.
About a year ago, I promised myself I wouldn’t say anything about the election. Mainly because it’s EVERYWHERE and so many things make my eyes roll and make me SO angry but it’s over now. And I’m so glad I stuck to it—until now—because I feel like this probably was one of the only places where it wasn’t all about politics.
A Cozy Kitchen is about corgis and pie and meatballs. What connects us–no matter what our political opinions–is our love of food and fun.
I’m the first generation in this country. Recently my tia Cecilia started a private Instagram where she shares really old photos of my family when they first arrived to The States. Everyone was so young, so unknowing and so incredibly brave.
I have been on the verge of almost getting sick for almost a month. And I have this strange pain in my neck. I have no idea what’s wrong with me but I think it’s a combo of maybe overworking myself and just being too scared to go to the chiropractor to get it fixed. I’m probably the absolute worst at going to the doctor because I hate it. It’s time-consuming and it’s scary all wrapped into one. So instead I’ve been subsisting off of wellness shots and wellness formula pills every single day. Let’s hope it works! My neck is another story. I’ve been thinking of getting this fancy pillow to help with my neck pain. Is this stuff interesting?
It’s not, I’m sorry. In other news, I went to Yeezy last night and IT WAS AMAZING.
Kayne reminds me of childhood but instead of childhood like as a little kid, it reminds me of being in my teenage years and early twenties when I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. It’s nostalgic in a whole other way. Kanye reminds me of my navy blue Jetta that always smelled a delicious combo of fast food and weed.
It took me a while to warm up to Saint Pablo but once I did I was hooked on that too.
I was hoping to get a glimpse of Kim but she was a no show. 🙁
Let’s talk chicken and dumplings!
This is my new favorite iteration of them because it combines cornbread into the mix and who doesn’t love cornbread?
If I were to make this again, which I will soon, I might fold some diced jalapeño into the dumplings so they’re a little spicy and sassy. If you want to be crazy, you can mix in some cheese, too.
This bowl situation is all for Cynthia’s (from Two Red Bowls) virtual baby shower. Everyone’s recipes are made in a bowl! Cynthia’s lil’ baby Samuel was born last week! Welcome into the world, little angel! He is so ridiculously cute. Congrats, Cynthia and family!
And a big hug to my homies Alana and Steph for organizing it (you can also see everyone else’s posts under #threeredbowls on the Instagram.
Yesterday I drove up a super windy road to the prettiest Spanish-style house way up in the Hollywood Hills. There was a garden, gigantic pool, beautiful seating areas everywhere and a kitchen the size of my apartment. I was lucky enough to team up with HauteLook and Le Creuset to host a cooking demo for these tasty lil’ veggie mini pot pies.
The day started with me getting there to set everything up and put all of my ingredients into pretty little Le Creuset cocottes. There was lunch and refreshing mocktails from A Vintage Splendor. The demo was super casual, like talking to a bunch of friends. We talked pie crust (I used this one but added no sugar), what the low-down is on roux, why thyme is probably the most important herb in fall, and lots more!
There was also a super pretty and fun DIY with A Fabulous Fete where we made the most gorgeous gift boxes that I wish I could build for each and every one of you.
A bonus though is that I’m hosting an amazing giveaway with Le Creuset X HauteLook on my Instagram right now! Here’s what you can win from Le Creuset:
Set of 2 Mini Cocottes
Revolution Spatula Spoon
Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
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.
I’m currently in bed trying my very hardest to ward off sickness. Josh was like super sick last week so I’ve been spending all my free time popping Wellness Formula and drinking lots of water. My eyeballs burn a little bit so after I write this blog post and tell you about tater tots, I’m gonna lie in bed and watch Chyna & Rob. I find Chyna very very fascinating, let me tell you.
Tater tots are notoriously not the easiest thing to make at home. I’ll go as far as to say that the frozen variety is straight up delicious and nearly perfect…minus all the junk they put in them, yada yada yada.
I like homemade versions of things anyway because you can customize them. Like, here! With these tater tots.
I was telling Billy I wanted to make a version of a tater tot and I wanted it to be awesome. He was like LOADED BAKED POTATO. And I was like, YES YES YES!
This tater tot situation is brought to you by the fancy technique of “torchon-ing.” You do this to like pates and other stuff but this time we’re using it to roll a log of shredded potatoes, bacon, salt, pepper and lots of shredded cheese. See, it’s classy!
I feel like a basic b first thing in the morning (every single morning) because this is basically what I make (give or take the white bean puree or eggs). I’ve been eating something like this, a rendition of it, for like the last two months.
I’ve recently learned a few things about myself lately:
1. I need breakfast. It sets me very straight. And makes me genuinely happy.
2. For breakfast, I tend to lean more savory than sweet. (At least during the weekdays when my days need to be productive and want to feel good.)
3. Italian parsley + lemon juice will forever be my favorite flavor combination. It’s so fresh and delicious. Add a good amount of salt to balance out the salt and it’s something that should be put on every single thing.
As I thrust this only half indulgent recipe toward you, I’m currently on Class Pass (I’m a new joiner) scheduling out all of my workouts for the next week. This is an attempt to balance out my grilled cheese crouton eating with cycling, kicking and boxing and dance moves in this West African dance class I’m contemplating on trying.
These grilled cheese croutons are straight out of Pinterest 2012. It’s not an idea that I invented by any means but when I saw it loooong ago on Pinterest, I thought: GENIUS! It took me forever to actually do it but I finally did; I think it’s best I waited so long. The idea is so old, it’s almost new again.
I’m finally back in The United States. I’m finally back in California. I’m finally back hanging with my crew (Joshua and Amelia). It’s glorious.
There was a bit of a hiccup, tho. Amelia hurt her foot and we spent the good amount in the morning yesterday trying to figure out what was wrong with it. The expensive x-rays at the vet told the vet she’s mostly fine. But she’s still walking with a pimp walk. We have no idea what this girl did so for now she’s on some anti-inflammation meds; we’re hoping if she has a little ligament tear, it’ll just heal up all by itself.
Now that I’m back, I’m trying to eat a wee-bit healthier because I went a little cray on my trip (as you saw on Monday’s post). There was so much food! I’m actually really craving vegetables and lighter meals.
I usually give a gigantic side-eye at recipes that make something gluten-free that usually shouldn’t absolutely typically have gluten in it but this chicken parmesan was soooooo good. The almond meal give it such a delicious nutty flavor and it crisps up so nicely that it totally works in my book. I didn’t even miss the bread crumbs one bit.
One of my favorite childhood memories is a summer I spent on the coast of Spain. When we arrived to the small port town, we met up with my dad’s first cousin (and her family) who had recently moved there. It was 10pm, way past all of the kids’ bedtimes, BUT IT WAS TIME FOR DINNER.
The restaurant was in a quinta, unsuspecting and hidden from the street; when we entered, it was a full-blown party. Twinkling lights were hung above families and friends around large tables, talking, telling stories, laughing. In the center of each table were huge paella pans filled with perfectly cooked Valencia rice, a medley of freshly caught seafood. And sangria, lots and lots of sangria. Even as a teenager, I knew at the time, as we were eating and laughing, that it was an experience that I would one day be nostalgic about.
For this post, I teamed up with one of my favorite stores of all time, Anthropologie. It’s no secret that the majority of things I buy for this here blog are from Anthro, so I was SO excited to be able to do this with them.
A few weeks before the shoot, I tested the paella and it totally took me back to childhood because this was the dish my parents always made on Sundays, when special people were coming over.
There are a few things that I think are super important when making paella:
1. The type of rice is mucho importante. I like using Valencia rice (you can find it online or at Whole Foods); if you can’t find it, then Arborio (risotto rice) is the next best thing.