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Fall

Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Maple Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m currently in the middle—what I like to call—autumnal chaos. I am busy editing photos every night until 10pm, which also means I’m consuming a large amount of reality television. I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have watched every.single.episode of Shahs of Sunset and I have so many opinions about them. The other day I went to their neighborhood (West LA) and I was like, “If I run into one of them…I won’t be able to control myself!” I was bummed I didn’t see them.

One recipe that was at the very top of my to-make list this season was to fall-ify carrot cupcakes. This is inspired by some ras al hanout carrot cupcakes in Casablanca: My Moroccan Food.

Carrot cake is already filled with spices but with these cupcakes we’re just adding WAY more, while also adding some other spices in the mix.

These cupcakes are glorious to freeze. And then thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to eat and serve.

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Best Fall Cookbooks 2018

Adventures, Fall

1. Sister Pie – I baked up their hand pies and they were awesome. I love this book!

2. Ottolenghi Simple – I love everything that he cooks. Sometimes I’ll go on Ottolenghi’s Instagram and just stare at his food. I love the sound of a book full of his simplified, easy, weeknight recipes. I can’t wait to cook from this book this over and over and over.

3. Cravings Hungry for More – I love me some Chrissy and I think this book is gonna be my go-to gift this holiday season.

4. Israeli Soul – I’ve never eaten Michael Solomonov’s food. I need to get to Philly at some point, but I’ve cooked a few of his recipes from his last book and they did not disappoint. SO GOOD.

5. A Common Table – I love Cynthia’s recipes and Instagram feed so I’m super excited about this one. The food is Chinese food meets Korean food with a love story in the background—can’t wait.

6. Estela – This book looks so beautiful, as does all of Ignacio Mattos’ food.

7. Carla Hall’s Soul Food – I am here for Carla Hall’s spoonbread and okra soup. I looooove Southern food and am excited to try her iterations of American classics.

8. Bestia – Whenever people ask for a restaurant recommendation in Los Angeles, my first is always Bestia (and now their new place, Bavel). It’s always booked solid, and for good reason. I’m super excited to cook from their new book, Bestia.

9. Ina Garten Cook Like a Pro – I was thinking about the people who taught me how to cook and early on, it was Ina. Her show gave me courage and inspiration to try sort of hard dishes. The ease of her recipes—even the more difficult ones—gave me the bravery I needed in order to braise a $30 piece of meat lol. Love her so much.

10. Now & Again – I have Julia Turschen’s first book and her meatballs were SO good. I’m excited to get my hands on this new one because I think she writes recipe so very well.

11. I Am A Filipino – Filipino food has become the new hot food and I am here for it! I love Filipino food but have yet to try and make it at home. I think this book will give me the direction I need.

12. Solo – I always love recipes for one (or two). They take a lot of creativity and ingenuity. And this cover is super pretty.

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Fall, Pie, Thanksgiving

I gotta a new pie book in the mail and I LOVE IT! The world needs more pie, I think. Especially this week (and after last week) lol. Last year, I was in Chicago for work so I decided to take a quick trip to Detroit to visit my brother who had just moved there for a job. And while he was at work, I asked some of you for recommendations and the number one place you cute people told me to visit was Sister Pie. I was super excited. I jumped in his car (he lent me) and drove to Detroit. I drove around, took in the city and then stopped dropped in.

The place is vibrant, warm and feels like a place that serves the community. The case was jam-packed with baked goods so I ordered one of everything! When I got this book in the mail, I was pumped.

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Chai-Spiced Apple Skillet Cake

Cakes, Fall, Quick and Easy

This is the time of year where Los Angeles weather is totally erratic. One day it’ll be 90 degrees and then two days later you’l need a sweater and some hot coffee to get your day started. By now, I know which one I get excited about.

I’m currently wearing a sweater so I feel like it’s appropriate to discuss this chai-spiced apple skillet cake with you all. I wanted to provide a recipe that is super easy. Something that you can throw together in a one, two steps max. This skillet cake is it!

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Brown Butter Scallops with Sautéed Kale, Shishitos Over a Bed of Polenta

Dinner, Fall, Quick and Easy, Summer

Autumn is days away. DAYS! Which is so incredibly exciting but I’m still trying my hardest to hold onto the last bits of summer and maybe even merge them with this new upcoming season. See: this dish!

This meal is inspired by a dish I ate a few weeks ago when I went to Madison, Wisconsin to visit the headquarters of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. It was such an incredible experience touring the factories where they make their Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf cooking, and new Cove dishwashing appliances while learning all about the brand’s commitment to quality. Their appliances are pieces of art. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into building each product is truly amazing.

Beyond making quality appliances, it was exciting to learn that Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove is also committed to inspiring people to cook and create memorable food experiences. And that’s exactly what happened as we walked through their gorgeous Harvest Haven garden and ate meals in their beautiful barn.

They had everything in that pretty garden. Everything from a 600-pound pumpkin to a greenhouse full of vine-ripe tomatoes—it was truly stunning. It was also sort of magical to eat blackberries off of a vine and then seconds later see the season’s first apples starting to turn red on the tree. Nature is amazing.

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Cozy Pumpkin Chili

Fall, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Soups

Fall is right around the corner and I’m counting down the days because your girl is ready for fall leaves, long sleeves, comfort, coziness and lots of pumpkin. I am ready. I’m currently writing a super diligent list of fall activities to-do; I’ll share it with you all soon! I’m thinking we can tackle it together.

For this pre-fall activity post, I’ve teamed up with ALDI, where you should go for all your autumnal food needs. They have everything from canned pumpkin to the best baking ingredients (at affordable prices) to this Digital Pressure Cooker (only $39.99 available for limited time!). It’s a one-stop shop for fall!

While pie was one of the first sweet dishes I wanted to nail; chili was one of the first savory dishes I wanted to be able to get right. It was one of those dishes that I knew I could make and not mess up. I like my chili cohesive and married. I like it to be on the thicker side. And I also love it with lots and lots of toppings.

This pumpkin chili is so rich and delicious. And it comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s the easiest, breeziest weeknight meal made a million times easier with this Digital Pressure Cooker.

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Cozy Night In with Fluffy Cornbread Topped Chili and Apple Cider Churros

Adventures, Desserts, Dinner, Fall, Quick and Easy, Soups

(This post is sponsored by the Martha Stewart Collection, created for Macy’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy!)

I know I’ve been writing autumn love letters since like mid-September, but if I’m being completely honest with you, Los Angeles doesn’t even really begin to hint at fall until November. But now it’s November and I’m freezing! And I love it. My fluffy socks are on at all times, my favorite soft sweaters are out of storage and all I’ve wanted to do is break in the new kitchen with some cozy foods. The kitchen is almost completed and I was finally able to cook our first meal in it!

Since there are some things that need to happen (like trim, a coupe light, etc), I figured I’d start light with a little dinner party for four. I wanted to serve cozy food that wasn’t fussy.

For this post, I teamed up with Macy’s and Martha Stewart. The Martha Stewart Collection’s harvest dinnerware is SO pretty. I absolutely love these hatchcross, grey plates, along with the marbled pink plates. They are gorgeous. And I love the shape of Martha’s Enameled Cast Iron cookware . The handle shapes are sleek and simple and the colors are lovely! Check out the whole Martha Stewart Collection at http://mcys.co/2kIpJAv.

I used the small 2-quart white Enameled Cast Iron pot to make the best cozy dish ever.

This was the perfect size for four people. At the bottom is a vegan chili with a fluffy cheddar cornbread on top. I like to think of it like cornbread and chili all in one!

The vegan chili is spicy, made with kidney beans, and loaded with delicious things like diced onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper and lots of spices.

The cornbread on top is inspired by fluffier cornbread cake. It isn’t dry at all and it’s so soft and delicious.

It may seem like a small portion for four people but it’s so filling that it’s actually perfect. Especially when paired with a snappy, refreshing salad AND with dessert.

For dessert, I used the 6-quart Enameled Cast Iron pot (in beautiful white) to fry up apple cider churros and they were SO good.

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Acorn Squash Pasilla Chile Queso Fundido

Appetizers, Fall, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving

This post is about how cute we can be.

We. Are. Cute.

We’re so cute that we can Pinterest the shit out of any and everything. I will not lie to you: you can do this without putting everything in an acorn squash. You could simply add everything to a ramekin, baking dish or skillet. But if you wanted to, you can put it all in an acorn squash.

I doubled this recipe for you, asking that you buy two acorn squashes so that you can make these for more people. I used and ate only one and Billy and I crushed this by ourselves so feel free to double this recipe below.

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Pumpkin Tres Leches

Cakes, Fall, Thanksgiving

I know it’s pie season and all but sometimes we want something else besides pie. We want cake! I posted this tres leches cake a while back on the Instagram but figured I’d put the here in a more permanent, printable place.

I never understand how people cook off of an Instagram post but people love Insta recipes. I like it to be on my computer so I can reference it in a larger, more visible way. Maybe I’m just getting old and am having trouble seeing my phone. Haha. I did change the text to be slightly bigger and I don’t care—everything is so much more clear now!

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10 Pies to Make This Thanksgiving

Fall, Pie, Thanksgiving

Hi hi!

Making Thanksgiving pies has always been so important and fun for me. Every single year I post a good handful of pies for people to choose from, so I wanted to highlight a few from the past that might work for your big eating day. ALSO, as a reminder, if you are making-pie-allergic, this pandowdy is truly the best option for you!

1. Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie – This is maybe my favorite pumpkin pie I’ve ever made. It is easy to make, delicious and simple.

2. Black-Bottomed Pecan Pie – Chocolate added to a traditional pecan pie is heaven on earth.

3. Rose Apple Pistachio Tart – This is beautiful and will take you a VERY long time to make. But it will be worth it. This is both delicious (hello pistachio butter!) and beautiful.

4. Miso Caramel Apple Pie – I love the savory quality miso adds to sweet pies and desserts. This pie has miso added to the caramel and it is SO good. It’s one of those subtle flavors that people will hardly pick up on but they’ll keep eating it and won’t know why.

5. Tiramisu Pie – I made this last Thanksgiving with gluten-free cookies (for the crust) because one of my bestest friends is gluten-free and no one could tell! I love this pie because it’s soft and flavorful and full of chocolate. Yum.

6. Classic Sweet Potato Pie – I love a sweet potato pie. I like it cold with ice cream. It’s not everyone’s favorite and a lot of people love it for its nostalgic qualities and I can’t blame them. Pile on that marshmallow topping and torch it!

7. Walnut and Angostura Pie – This is like a pecan pie but a little different. It has walnuts, probably my all-time favorite nut (I do love pecans tho!) with just a hint of angostura bitters. It’s an unexpected flavor but it SO delicious.

8. Brûléed Pumpkin Pie – You honestly could do this with even a store-bought pumpkin pie. All you have to do is sprinkle sugar on the top and torch it. It adds a nice crispness to it and everyone is like “oooo” + “ahhhh.”

9. Caramel Pear Pie with an Oat Crumble – I love texture everything. The oat crumble on this pie is SO good. Just make sure you use the right pears or else it can be a bit watery. You could also make this with apples and it would be just as delicious.

10. Mini Caramel-Chai Spiced Apple Pies – Say your Thanksgiving is gonna be small this year. Ours is gonna be tiny and I can’t wait to make a few things and just chill. This would be perfect for a smaller Thanksgiving gathering. You can also just make this and throw it into a 9-inch pie dish and you’d be good to go.

And of course, if you need some help with PIE 101, here’s a helpful post that I posted a long time ago!