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.
One of my favorite food bloggers of all-time has always been Naomi from Baker’s Royale. Her work has always been GOALS. Her photography style is so beautiful and her food styling skills are amazing. She’s super talented.
I was super excited when her book, Bakers Royale, showed up at my door step! When I thumbed through it, my jaw fell when I saw this beautiful chocolate pear tart. It is so easy to throw together and it’s kind of like a brownie meets a tart…but with fruit in the center. I loooooved it.
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’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.
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.
I feel like baked brie is kinda basic bitch-ish. It’s not all that revelatory. It’s nothing new. But I feel like this version–while not groundbreaking–is SO good.
This thing also gets more points because it’s really easy to throw together. It takes like five minutes to assemble and like ten minutes to bake. It also doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.
And the payoff is HUGE! The soft walnuts and crunchy pistachios with the warm figs are delicious. The thyme adds a nice aroma and the honey adds some nice sweetness.
This appetizer isn’t super sweet, so if you’re in the mood for more sweetness, toss the figs in a teaspoon of brown sugar.
I served this whole thang with Bubs + Grandma bread, which is a local Los Angeles bread maker. If you live in LA, you can get it often times at farmer’s markets or at Cookbook (in Echo Park). But if not, then this would be delicious with any good bread or crackers.
Are you feeling fall vibes?! It’s been so hot lately but I’m super excited for fall to arrive.
It is still technically summer but my inbox looks like it’s mid-November. Full-on Thanksgiving and fall pitches. And then yesterday I drove past a Halloween store! I. AM. NOT. READY. Tho I kinda am because wearing sweaters are dope.
Let’s talk about this sheet pan dish. Mojo is my favorite thing ever. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s Cuban and a lot of times you’ll find it in marinades for meats and chicken or fish. It’s also sometimes served with tostones for, like, dipping, though usually it’s a bit thicker in consistency. You get the idea!
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.
For this post, I teamed up with Gevalia, a coffee brand with a Swedish heritage that is known for making fika (Swedish coffee/snack time) special and delicious.
Easy summer living has been in full effect around these parts.
I’ve been living off of summer-y salads (one of which I’ll be sharing soon!) and have been trying to make plans. We NEVER ever go to the beach. Why?! So Josh and I and a few friends are trying to set some dates down on those calendars and stick to them.
For some reason, when you live on the east side of LA, getting to the beach feels like a huge excursion and commitment but I’m trying to tell myself that sandwiches and iced coffees on the beach will be worth it.
Speaking of iced coffeezzz. We are in what I like to call “Iced Coffee Season.” It’s a season when I rarely drink anything warm, coffee included.
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.