We are thick in holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming break. I’m excited to chill and cook leisurely in fluffy socks.
This recipe is on my to-make-again list because it is so good and chill to make. In the world of gratins and scalloped potatoes there is a lot of controversy as to how you make them. A lot of recipes call for simply adding the potatoes to a casserole dish and then pouring cheese and heavy cream on top of the potatoes. I disagree with this method in an incredibly strong way. While it requires an extra step and admittedly isn’t as easy, a roux (a.k.a. a cheese sauce) must be made. This way there is no coagulation, just a silky smooth and tasty cheesy experience.
As you know, your girl loves her some autumn. I love autumn everything. I love the clothes, the weather, the drinks, the snacks. And I also loooove autumn weddings.
I’m currently in my car, driving up north to San Luis Obispo to celebrate my friends Samantha and Aaron! I’m staying at the Madonna Inn. Have you seen photos? It’s a crazy wild pink hotel that is straight out of a different decade. I can’t wait to dance and take photos of the fun interiors.
Another autumn item that I’m loving? Pecans. I love pecans and actually put them in everything from my smoothies to salads. I love their flavor and texture.
For this post I’m super excited to team up with the The American Pecan Council. This past few weeks I’ve learned so many cool, new-to-me facts about pecans…like, did you know they’re the only tree-nut indigenous to North America? They are.
This blog post started off so innocently. I was all like, “I’m going to make some ultra fluffy mashed potatoes.” And then…cut to me, like, three recipes in and still not super satisfied with the results.
Here’s the thing that you learn with Googling “How to Make Fluffy Mashed Potatoes”: everyone and their mom has an opinion about the process, potato type, etc. So, I read a lot. And then I asked Josh, who also (surprise!) had a lot to say about potatoes.
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.
This weekend! There was a good dose of work sprinkled throughout the weekend but there was also time to try a new restaurant (Maestro) in Pasadena (very good) and go and see Wonder Woman (double-thumb ups).
I love going to the movies and I try and go as much as I possible but the past few months there has literally been zero that I even remotely wanted to see. So I’ve been keeping busy with Netflix and I have to say: I highly recommend The Keepers (VERY CREEPY!) and the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. If you don’t watch the entire season, it’s totally fine, just watch that episode. I made me teary and warm inside. I loved it so much.
Another thing I’ve been researching and thinking about: the Instant Pot. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been very skeptical. I honestly don’t make a ton of beans and I don’t braise a ton of meat so for a long time I was like, who cares!?!? but then I wanted to make hummus and Billy offered to bring over his Instant Pot for hummus-making, so I said, “let’s doooo it.”
These beans cooked in like 30 minutes—it was insane! While they cooked in the Instant Pot, we did other things like talk about how crazy Ramona is and how Sonja ate a whole block a cheese and Luann’s wedding and we also talked about chocolate chip cookies. But we still saved so much time using that thing. I can’t recommend it enough…except I haven’t bought one for myself. Continue Reading
A few weeks ago, I had this idea to make traditional mozzarella sticks but with something cooler…
Immediately I thought: raclette! I instantly talked myself into it but realized when I went to the store that it would require a disclaimer. And that disclaimer is that these are not cheap. The price tag on this big block of raclette almost made me turn myself right around and walk out of Whole Foods but I kept going on with this project. I even purchased regular ol’ mozzarella sticks to test the recipe with because I was scared to use the precious raclette.
I’m dropping in right quick to say hello. Hi. I’ve been a little on the busy side this week getting everything prepared for this weekend.
I’m headed to Chicago to hang out with some friends for Josh’s b-day! He’s one year older so we’re headed to Smyth (it looks crazy fancy) for dinner on Friday night and then we’re gonna chill and relax the rest of the weekend.
It should be a fun time and I guess it’s not gonna be that cold? (It’s 65F on Sunday! WHA?!)
I’m actually going to Chicago in a few weeks again so Illinois is going to be seeing a lot of me in the month of March.
I wanted to talk about this fine specimen right quick.
She is a winner.
She is cheesy.
She is warm. And cozy. And a lil’ spicy. Basically, ME.
I was inspired by Red Lobster’s Cheesy Bay Biscuits (which if I’m being honest, I have never had, I want to fix this soon), so I wanted to put that spiciness and cheesiness in a carb-fest celebration.
Enter: this pull apart loaf.
I made this with my favorite cheese EVER, Tillamook. Hop on over to their site for the recipe.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a brand spankin’ new shiny new recipe. YAY!
Wasn’t that lil’ break the absolute best? I needed it. I think we all needed some rest and chillaxation. On Thanksgiving day, there was a long walk with Amelia and Joshua, some cooking (but relaxed cooking), a nice Friendsgiving with lots and lots of wine (thanks to Whitney!!!).
The next day Josh and I went to Seattle for book signing. I LOVE SEATTLE. It’s so rainy and overcast and cozy.
BUT NOW WE’RE BACK. I don’t know about you, but I wish the holiday season lasted about twice as long. The weeks go by so quickly and I love all the decorations and the sparkly lights and the foods.
A rösti has been on my to-make list for a v v long time. If you’re unfamiliar, think of it like a latke but bigger and thicker. It’s more cake-like.
I thought about making this rosti out of other things besides potatoes, but the thing I enjoy about them the most is their crispiness. And nothing in the entire world can get crisper than a potato. It’s made for dat crisp.
If you’re asking yourself, “what is the difference between a rösti and a latke?!” not to worry, here’s the answer:
A latke is held together with a bit of flour and egg, while a rösti is only held together with melted butter. It makes the execution a bit tricker.
Latkes are also much thinner than röstis which tend to be thicker and taller. I think both have their home at certain times and certain moods. But right now, I’m all about dat rösti.
Since there is no binder, the technique is pretty imperative. I used the technique from Chef Steps because they do a lot of good work over there and it was super duper simple.
Thanksgiving is next week! I kinda don’t have plans. Is that weird? I think it’s going to be a Friendsgiving situation.
Usually Josh and I do something family-oriented for Thanksgiving but this year I wasn’t in the mood to travel (and plus I’ll be in Seattle next Saturday!) so we’re in LA with our friends.
We were thinking of going out to a restaurant, which I did once (I think when I was a kid) and LOVED IT, mainly because that meant zero dishes, but then some friends invited us over and I think it’ll be nice to be in a home around a bunch of people.
I made this yesterday because I remember how much I love sweet potato and comté cheese together. But I switched it up by adding caramelized onions into the mix and drizzled a bunch of rosemary butter all on top of ‘em. Dreamy!
I can’t believe the time has come where it is actually appropriate to talk about what we’re making for Thanksgiving. It’s ok to say where we’re going to be for Christmas. And it’s ok to start thinking about what the table is gonna look like and who’s gonna gift who what.
It’s just too much for me. It feels rushed, like too much too soon so I’m starting slowly. I’m warming up to the idea that the holidays are near and I’m starting with this smoked gouda cheesy mashed potatoes. It feels right.
This is also the kinda recipe that doesn’t really require any particular holiday to exist to enjoy.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI to bring you my new-favorite mashed potatoes, along with spiral cut double brown sugar ham. TIS THE SEASON.
Mashed potato-making is serious business for me. I have some rules, albeit chill rules.
#1 – They must be boiled to the point where they’re almost a little overcooked.
#2 – And then drained and set out to dry for a bit. We want creamy mashed potatoes, not watery.
#3 – A potato ricer is a must. The texture will be so fluffy and beautiful.
#4 – Don’t be shy with the butter, milk or sour cream
This smoked gouda is just the ticket to make them a liiiitle bit different but still super classic and delicious.
The trick to adding any cheese (besides super soft ones like brie or goat cheese) to mashed potatoes is grating it very finely. Use the teeny tiny grater on your box grater. This way the cheese will easily melt in the mashed potatoes and you won’t have to do much stirring or heating up.
Pairing it with this ham with ALDI makes everything a gigantic breeze because all you have to do is stick it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees F and most of dinner was taken care of! This means more time can be spent on making these mashed potatoes pitch perfect.
I feel like I could write forever how much I love these potatoes but I won’t bore you any longer.
More Thanksgiving stuff soon, soon! This year is gonna be fun.