Phew! We are on the home stretch with the kitchen, I just know it. The cabinets have been assembled and are being installed on Wednesday and I couldn’t be more excited. I feel like once they’re in, I’ll be able to see the kitchen come to life. After that it’ll be backsplash and then appliances. I feel like then it’ll start to feel real! I CAN’T WAIT!
What should I make in my new kitchen? I’ve been thinking about it for a long time? Should I make something ambitious like a pretty pie or should it be chill…like breakfast? That is TBD!
Let’s talk about this pot of dreaminess right quick.
I’ve been dreaming about lasagna roll-ups FOR A LONG TIME! Why…I have no idea. I think I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Pinterest and sometimes, when I’m really hungry and, like, haven’t eaten all day, I get mesmerized by those long pins. I saw one of lasagna roll-ups and while they might’ve looked a lil’ trashy, I still wanted them!
Here’s my version! I made an eggplant marinara sauce that was soooo tasty, I wanted to put it on spaghetti squash. I also took some ricotta and added some lemon zest and salt and Italian parsley (basically, I flavored it up!).
I took the cooked lasagna sheets and smeared a bit of ricotta on there, added a spoonful of marinara sauce, cheese and then rolled them up.
Honestly, I thought this was going to be a sloppy mess but the ricotta acts like a glue and makes them stay in tact, on their sides.
If for some reason, they slide around and are acting all loosey-goosey, you could easily just put them seam side down.
I added a baked ‘em and then added a bunch of cheese on top toward the end. They were magical and delicious and fun to eat and look at.
The kitchen is coming along (more on that soon). And this year I’m so happy to be in a new home because I’m super excited about decorating for fall. At our Echo Park apartment we never got any trick-or-treaters because we lived on an insanely steep hill and our apartment was hidden from the street.
BUT, the house that we’re moving into is in a neighborhood where tons of kids come to in order to get a++ candy.
Another thing that I can’t wait to do is set-up the entire kitchen with all of my kitchen items. This pretty blue Crofton Cast Iron French Oven and this Cast Iron Saucepan are from ALDI! If you head into the stores starting Wednesday, you’ll see them (but only for a short time!). ALDI has a range of beautiful cast iron items on sale throughout the fall and winter seasons.
And let me tell you they are such good quality. The pots heat up evenly (very important!), are heavy bottomed (so they are perfect for literally everything including cozy stews, soups and everything in between), super affordable and the enamel coating makes them super easy to clean.
To kick off the fall season and to break in these new pots, I wanted to make something very seasonal and pumpkin-y.
One of my favorite pumpkin/squash recipes is from The Year of Cozy and it’s the chorizo-spiced squash soup. I took that idea and applied it to this pasta dish and it is SO good.
Pumpkin puree (this organic puree is also available at ALDI this fall and is super affordable and the consistency is amazing!) is cooked with the spices that traditionally go in chorizo sausage. The spices go in but this dish is still very vegetarian—no meat whatsoever!
I mixed it with the pasta and a bit of the pasta water to thin it out and topped it with chopped up pepitas. It’s a recipe that comes together in about 20 minutes and it’s delicious.
I will admit that it’s a teeny bit indulgent but tastes delicious and it’s something that surprisingly doesn’t feel super heavy and I think that it having no meat helps a lot with that.
This week has been full of food shoots and getting everything done and ordered for our kitchen renovation, which I’m going to tell you about TOMORROW! WOOHOO.
Before I do that though, I wanted to give you this late-summer recipe because I feel like corn has been so delicious this year. If you’ve had Mexican street corn before (also known as elote) then you know that it is delicious. It’s super simple with ingredients that complement each other so very well.
Hello! I am here. Is today (or next Friday) payday for you? I hope so because this pasta is something that I hope you make when you get PAID! This is a treat yo’self kinda pasta because it has lobster in it.
Pasta is usually on the cheaper end of the food-money-spending spectrum but lobster makes it pretty indulgent.
I went to the market and bought two lobster tails for about $20. I definitely was like “dang, ok. lobster is legit expensive.” And I still had to buy all of the other ingredients. I think my total bill came to like $30 or $35 dollars for this entire meal, which if you actually compare to a restaurant, it’s still cheaper.
But whatever you do, don’t overcook/mess up the precious lobster ok?!
I’m going to be honest again and tell you that I grew up eating lobster because my family loved it. And I knew when they brought home lobster someone was having a good day/bills had been paid/we were living!
Before recipe testing this, I’d actually never cooked lobster. I was super pumped that it was just the tails and not a whole, living, thriving lobster. That experience might’ve been too real for my city-loving self.
Spring is in full effect and I am fully enjoying going for long walks with Amelia and seeing Los Angeles so bright, green and blooming. Since we got a pretty heavy dose of rain this winter, Los Angeles is probably the prettiest I’ve seen it in quite some time.
I know I say this with every season (minus summer) but I love spring. I love the produce above all of the other seasons. Peas and rhubarb and strawberries and fava beans! I love it all so much.
I also love that spring doesn’t involve any sweating. And there isn’t anything more delightful than warm yet light and fresh-tasting pasta.
I teamed up with ALDI to bring you this delicious pasta tossed in an arugula pea pesto that’s spiked with a good amount of lemon, ricotta and parmesan. It results in a creamy rich pasta that’s still so fresh and clean.
I topped the pasta with tasty scallops from ALDI that I seared up in ghee or butter, which is currently my favorite thing to use to pan-fry or sauté anything. It’s the one thing from Whole 30 that I still hold onto.
It gives the scallops a delicious buttery aroma and flavor that I love. It works well with the brininess from the scallops.
The best part about this lil’ meal is that it is super fastsuper-fast and easy. I’d say all in all, it took me about 20 minutes. I’ve been trying to make more easy meals, especially since the last month it seems that all I’ve wanted to make are layer cakes that take me (and you) like 3 hours.
LA weather is the best weather right now because it’s kinda chilly. I walk Amelia in my favorite hoodie and have been baking cookies non-stop this week.
I also started my a new Instagram account called COZY AF. We’ll see what it turns into but it’s currently a place where I’m posting some interior, cozy inspiration.
This week has been crazy in the news and personally it’s been a rough week too. My childhood dog, Chuck, is near the end of his life. He’s lived a long life; sixteen long years. But it still makes it hard to say goodbye. And it’s taken its toll on all of us. The heartbreak doesn’t get easier, though a big part of all of us just want to be happy that he’s lived such a long life. It’s still hard and sad.
In other news, I made a really good pasta salad and it’s really just perfect for the summer. It didn’t photograph all that well but I don’t care if it doesn’t get all the likes on Instagram because IT IS SO TASTY!
I love Mexican street corn (aka elite) so I figured it’d be a good idea to put it in pasta…but then Billy was like…umm..you should make it into a pasta salad. Thank you, Billy, because it was perfect in the pasta salad iteration.
Spring time!! YASS! I feel like the season is in full effect.
I was gone for a week last week so I spent the weekend catching up on work and going to brunch and trying to (unsuccessfully) convince Josh that we needed to go see the new Beauty and the Beast. No dice.
I can’t really blame him; he’s usually such a good sport about seeing all sorts of movies with me so I figured I should let that one slide JUST THIS ONCE.
I love me some stovetop mac and cheese but I don’t believe there’s one single recipe on this lil’ blog!
I needed to fix that so I figured I’d make a very spring-forward version that I pumped up with kale, leeks and peas…all sautéed in a liberal amount of ghee (my continued obsession). Of course you can use plain ol’ butter or olive oil, too.
This mac and cheese is one hundred percent vegetarian but it kinda tastes meaty because of the smoked gouda.
My single friends searching for long-term relationships often ask me for advice on the subject. While I am not a professional, I usually tell them this:
NO ONE is perfect. You just have to find someone who has potential and then try and change them into who you want them to be!!! 😬😬😬
My friends usually laugh when I tell them this but it’s sort of true! When you meet someone and start hanging out with them, they’re not gonna know what you like and dislike and what annoys you and what makes you happy. So you have to communicate this in a not-so-terrible way.
Also, when Josh and I first starting dating, I didn’t totally expose how crazy and weird I am. He fell in love with me AND then I slowly showed him the absolute true me. By then it was way too late. MUAHAHAHA! 😬
This year Valentine’s Day lands smack dab in the middle of the week. On a Tuesday no less. This is a meal that can be made in literally 30 minutes. It’s so easy and delicious and comforting. Browned butter and scallops are always a favorite of mine.
I made this dish with whole wheat pasta which if we’re all being honest with each other isn’t THAT much healthier than regular pasta so choose what you like.
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.
I just got back from Atlanta where I spent my Saturday at Create + Cultivate speaking on a panel about food in the digital space with some women I admire a whole lot.
It sounds a lil’ cheesy but I left Saturday feeling so ridiculously inspired and really excited to try harder, try new things and all at the same time super grateful for everything. I also realized that while I love men, my favorite is women company. I work with mainly women, most of my friends are women and I really like it that way.
When I got back last night from traveling—which actually was pretty easy–all I wanted was a big bowl of autumn-like comfort. I didn’t have this in front of me because of course I made this a week ago, but I wanted it to be!