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.
This past weekend Josh gave me his very cute cold so I’ve been trying to lay up in bed and rest. I got some good rest on Saturday AND also was able to decorate the kitchen for the holiday season. I can’t wait to show little glimpses of the kitchen because it’s almost all done and ready. I probably won’t be able to do that until January because we’re still waiting on a few pieces to arrive to get it up and fully running. I’m grateful that I can now make tea and dinner (on the stove-top only)—it feels so nice!
I baked this cranberry apple pie at my apartment and it was inspired by a cable knit sweater. Billy was like, the top should really feel like a sweater. And I couldn’t agree more but I didn’t really know how to do that. We settled on strips of braids and simple strips going only in one direction.
If I’m keeping it super real, I’ve secretly been tired of pumpkin, autumn leaves and anything Thanksgiving related for like a month haha. I think that’s the peril of my job: I celebrate the actual holiday way before it even arrives. I’m so glad to be freed into the land of Santa, red and snowflakes. Let’s do this!
Most years I’m not invited to THAT many holiday parties; I’m not throwing myself a pity party because I honestly love nothing more than to stay home with Amelia and watch movies, but this year I’m already on the books for four! I feel incredibly popular and special. A special thank you to my friends!
I’ve been jotting down ideas for items that we can bake and bring to our friends. Here is what I’d like from them:
1. Make ahead.
2. Easily transportable.
3. Drama-free baking.
These Pie de Limón Cookie Bars are super easy to throw together. You essentially make a cookie crust and bake it for about 10 minutes and while it’s baking, you make the filling. Everything in a bowl and mixed up—that’s it. Not too many ingredients either.
This dessert uses no sugar in the actual filling—just sweetened condensed milk!
I feel like the big thing during Thanksgiving cooking is oven space/availability. So I always suggest for people to make a few things that can be made on the stove top and a few things that can be made ahead. The timing is sometimes stressful but always doable. Not all of us have double ovens!
One dish I love at Thanksgiving (and honestly any other time, too), is macaroni and cheese. I actually prefer the stovetop variety because it’s usually creamier and faster to make.
For this post, I teamed up with French’s® Crispy Jalapeños. THEY ARE SO GOOD. You’re probably pretty familiar with their Crispy Onions, which I also love but their Crispy Jalapeños definitely deserve a place at your Thanksgiving table, too.
The Dodgers are in The World Series and I have never been more emotionally invested in any series ever. Lol. I don’t even watch sports but I grew up going to Dodger games. I grew up eating Dodger dogs. So, I’m a fan. And, I live in Echo Park, which means that Dodger stadium is literally walking distance so…well, honestly I don’t know how that has anything to do with me being a fan but I am!!
This week I’ve been screaming at the television (so unlike me) and it’s been fun! Also, it’s finally feel like fall (even tho I know I said that yesterday). I’ve been craving warm, cozy foods more than ever. I posted this recipe on the Instagram a while back but I wanted to repost it here so it’s a printable recipe and easier to find.
What did you end up doing for Valentine’s Day?! Josh and I ended up having a chill night in, made double-decker tacos, drank some beer and watched TABOO. He’s more into that show than I am; I usually fall asleep like 20 minutes in but I do think the time it takes place sort of fascinating.
I’ve had a crazy slow start to the week because on Monday I woke up with a pinch in my throat. It’s so annoying because I haven’t been doing anything that would bring on me getting sick. But I’m feeling better so woohoo!
This recipe and photos are from last month when we took a 3 day trip to Big Bear Lake. We got caught in a huge snow storm, which I sort of didn’t take that seriously until the snow just didn’t stop falling from the sky. I think we got 3 or 4 feet in a few hours.
Luckily it meant that we were holed up with no where to go for a full 2 days which meant plenty of baking and going on walks. Amelia was in heaven because for some reason she thinks snow is the most fun thing in the world.
So fluffy!! So fun!!
The little AIRBNB we rented was perfect for a few days because it had an old 80s oven and it came with the right amount of plastic sleds that were perfect for going down this hill that we found down the street from where we were staying.
Apparently this weekend is supposed to be another snow-heavy weekend and wish I was back there!
I’m currently getting this lil’ blog redone, which is LONG overdue; I’m dyeing white linens (with food!) so I can have the exact colors that I want; I’m going to paint some surfaces all the colors that I think of when I think of A Cozy Kitchen; and of course, I’m eating healthy.
SORT OF BORING. Except this soup is not boring.
Eating healthy for the past few days hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been mainly consisting off of these meatballs, boiled eggs, Korean BBQ, roasted chicken and spaghetti squash. I’m going to post my meal prep for Whole 30 on Monday. I wanted to wait a week because I really wanted to figure out what I ended up being my favorites to grab from this week.
This cauliflower soup is healthy and flavorful and the almonds make it part snack, part soup. I have to put lots of toppings in my soup so that it feels substantial.
I’ve also learned that I enjoy chewing foods (if that makes sense). I need soups with lots of toppings so I can chew. It tricks my brain into thinking it’s more of a meal. I always used to eat soup with bread or biscuits so these almonds are a nice healthy option (not nearly as good) but good for the moment. Only 25 more days of Whole 30 lolllll. I CAN DO IT!!
I’m currently sitting in the passenger seat with my laptop in my lap, while Josh drives. Amelia is in the backseat with her raincoat on, fully equipped for inclement weather, sleeping. We’ll be in The Bay soon.
It’s almost Christmas/Hannakuh and I have one last recipe to share with you before I peace out for the rest of the year!
One of my big highlights of 2016 for sure was going to Copenhagen. I still think about it often—everything from the politics to the food to Trivoli to the pretty and old cobblestone streets. The food was oh so good but I remember one thing that I totally didn’t find or stumble upon were ebelskivers. I looked! But it’s ok because I’ve had plenty at Broder Nord in Portland. I’ve been there a handful of times and the thing that is an absolute must to order are the ebelskivers with meyer lemon curd and lingonberry jam. They are SO good.
If you’re unfamiliar with these puffy balls of amazingness, they’re essentially Denmark’s version of a pancake. The batter is somewhat similar, except for the last step, which involves whipping egg whites until stiff and folding them into the batter. They’re light and fluffy and so delicious after having been cooked in butter for a few minutes.
I made regular ebelskivers for an Anthropologie post I did back in November but I didn’t post the recipe because they weren’t 100, as the kids say. They still needed a bit of work.
I didn’t love that they weren’t like perfect circles. They still tasted great and were fluffy and warm and delicious but it was just an aesthetic thingy for me.
Well, Josh sent me a post that Bo Bech posted, sharing how to get perfect circles! You basically add the batter to the ebelskiver cavity, cook it for a few minutes, turn it 90 degrees and add more batter. Cook it on a few more sides and that’s it. PERFECTION.
I am currently prepping so hard to chill TF out for the break. I’m gonna be honest, this fall put in borderline burn out mode so I’m hoping that a bit of rest and chillaxation will give me some much needed energy.
This is also my favorite time to take a break because EVERYONE is taking a break. Usually if I go on a vacation in the month of May or April, I still end up working because I’m addicted to checking my email BUT NOT NEXT WEEK!
I’m also spending a bit of time doing some last bits of work, cleaning and organizing my apartment before we all head up to The Bay for the holidays.
We’ve also been binge-watching The OA and I am not mad at it. It’s SO good and weird and addictive and weird.
If you have a bunch of time over the next week, definitely watch it. It’s also family-friendly (no weird sex scenes) so you will be a-ok to watch it with your father-in-law/grandfather, etc.
This cranberry chestnut cake is a lil’ thing I made last week when I had some cranberries in the fridge and remembered this beautiful cranberry frosting I saw on Food52 a month ago or so.
Every family has Christmas traditions. I love hearing about other families’ traditions because they vary so much.
The one tradition my mom always kept alive and well was Peruvian-style homemade hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. In Peru, homemade hot chocolate is cooked over the stove, with Peruvian chocolate chopped into tiny bits and then mixed into milk with cinnamon and cloves; it’s rich and delicious.
Traditionally it’s had right before everyone heads to midnight mass. When we were teeny-tiny, the hot chocolate would come right before bed since at that time we believed that Santa would come down our non-existent chimney and bring us gifts. My dad would tell us he’d sneak in through a window which sort of scared me but whatever.
It was the one time a year when we had dairy because my parents jumped on the non-dairy train so early. We were one of those houses with rice and almond milk only.
This is a mash-up of another dessert my mom LOVED to make; it’s not Peruvian, though they do make it all over South America. Crema catalana is a Spanish dessert that is SO good. It’s a lot like creme brûlée with the big difference being that it’s not baked—it’s simply cooked over the stove-top then chilled in the fridge.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick spices to add all the goodness to this dessert. It uses McCormick ground cinnamon, whole cloves and vanilla extract.