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Winter

Green Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian Arroz con Pollo)

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

It’s been rainy and cold in Los Angeles the past week and obviously I have loved every second of it. It’s been glorious to put on a big sweater and cook some food. This has been on my list to make because it’s so good and cozy. And yes, I will admit that it’s not the most photogenic food but whatever. It’s rice and chicken!

This differs a lot from your typical arroz con pollo. The mixture that makes it green is a big bunch of cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeño and stock all blended in a blender. This makes a delicious, flavorful broth mixture that is combined with the rice. This is what makes it super delicious and flavorful. It tastes bright and earthy and spicy.

The spice definitely chills out as it cooks with the rice. The chicken is so good and falls off the bone. The little guy on top is killer. It’s called Salsa Criolla and my mom used to make it when we were eating really boring things like lentils or beans. It transforms anything that might be a bit mundane and not so flavorful. Lucky for us, the rice is flavorful and then you add this and it adds even more flavor. It’s amazing.

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Grapefruit Poppy Seed Crispy Waffles

Breakfast, Quick and Easy, Winter

It took about three months for me to convince Josh to go to the dermatologist to get his thing on his hip checked out. (I’ll refrain from going into details because this is a food blog.) He finally went to the dermatologist on Thursday and had a “surgery” that was barely surgery.

But now—since he’s a hypochondriac—he’s requiring a heavy amount of attention for his “recovery.” I’m trying not to laugh and roll my eyes at the same time, but I did promise him that I was going to make him waffles. Hopefully these will be enough because babying grown men isn’t my greatest virtue. Lol.

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Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Winter

Hello, hi, hello! I’m finally back in Los Angeles, tucked in my very comfortable bed with Amelia sleeping on my feet. When I got back, I immediately told her all about the cute dogs I saw on the road. Mostly telling her how grateful she is for having a warm bed and a constant stream of food, but she’s shrugging her shoulders at me. Typical.

In my brain a few weeks ago, I was craving cacio e pepe but I also wanted it to be cheesy. Cacio e pepe enthusiasts and purists will scoff at this recipe but the rest of us who love cheesy cheese and black pepper, will love it. I can’t win them all.

This recipe is sort of a simple base for a stovetop macaroni and cheese. Except it has way less salt (because of the Parmesan-Reggiano), some mozzarella and it requires that you save the pasta water (just like traditional cacio e pepe). That extra pasta water will loosen it up a bit and make it even creamier and more delicious.

Whenever I was a little kid, I used to come home and make Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and would ALWAYS put a ton of black pepper on top. That is the inspiration behind this recipe.

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Red Velvet Heart-Surprise Cupcakes

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday, Winter

Hi hi hi!

These were so fun to put together. I failed…SO HARD the first time I made these. A few of you might’ve seen it on Instagram. But the first, first time I tried to make them was actually a few years ago.

I bought this heartbreak cookie cutter in hopes of making “heartbreak surprise cupcakes.” BUT OMG that did not work at all. Now I realize the biggest problem that I kept encountering was that the cookie cutter needed to be the perfect size.

I finally figured it out and went to Michael’s and picked up this heart-shaped cookie cutter that’s about 1-inch big. It was only, like, a dollar and I believe now it’s on serious sale because Valentine’s Day is next week and Michael’s is already moving onto Easter/4th of July and most likely Halloween. They move quickly!

I will be very forthright and say that this recipe takes a bit of time. You basically make a 8-inch red velvet single layer cake. After it bakes, you punch out the hearts.

This layer can easily be made the night before and you can wrap it tightly and keep it in the fridge.

And then the white batter is made. The hearts are placed right in the center of the cake batter.

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Blood Orange Pound Cake

Cakes, Desserts, Winter

I posted this recipe on the Instagram yesterday but figured I’d put it right here too so it’s easily printable and readable.

I also wanted to say hello and tell you that I’m currently knee-deep in finalizing my Valentine’s Day content for this year and am INCREDIBLY excited about it all. There is a sheet cake for two, some cupcakes with a fun surprise inside and a few other cute and delicious things. I’m thinking of adding something savory in the mix. But then I’m done! I can’t wait.

When I walk around the neighborhood, I’m sort of surprised that a lot of the houses are decorated for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never seen such a thing before. I dunno if these people are bored or just really good homemakers. WHO KNOWS. But I’m here for it. They have heart wreaths hanging on their doors.

Another thing that is thriving in the neighborhood is all the winter citrus hanging from the trees. It’s all gorgeous. Everything from blood oranges to cara caras to little kumquat bushes. They’re all so pretty.

I didn’t steal these blood oranges from a neighbor—I bought them—but feel free to take some from a neighbor and make this cake! I said it’s ok!

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10 Cozy Things to Make in February

Cakes, Winter

I’m concentrating on two things right now:

1. Get the kitchen (FINALLY!) in photo-ready shape to get her final school photo taken for this blog. I’m almost done! I purchased a whole lot of new and pretty things from the Urban Outfitters home sale last month and now I’m rearranging everything trying to make it nice.

2. And I’m currently trying to watch all of the Best Picture Oscar nominations before the award show in early March. This weekend was spent convincing everyone around me that I, Tonya was a movie that is important and we should go and see. And you know what?! It did not disappoint. I’m going and seeing Phantom Thread tonight and I will report back! Paul Thomas Anderson’s interview on Fresh Air was wonderful.

February is inching closer and closer to us, after a very long January. It wasn’t a bad start of the year and I finally feel ready to dive in a bit more.

I figured I’d start by sharing some thing that you should make and eat in the month of February.

February is inching closer and closer to us, after a very long January. It wasn’t a bad start of the year and I finally feel ready to dive in a bit more.

Veggie Baked Ziti with Burrata (for two!) – Because Valentine’s Day is in February. And regardless of your relationship/love situation, these are so good. The melty burrata on top is a beautiful addition.

Baked Nashville Hot Chicken – This is one of my favorite dishes EVER because it’s like Shake n’ Bake Chicken but spicy. If you love Nashville Hot Chicken, you’ll love this. And of course, since it’s baked, it’s so much easier; no fryer and no hot oil.

Bacon Western Cheeseburger Sliders – There’s this football game everyone loves to watch happening soon (this weekend!) and these would be a wonderful thing to make. They’re sliders so they’re mini-sized.

How to Make an Edible Stadium – A few years ago, I got inspired by Reddit (again) and set out to make an edible stadium just for fun. It involved lots of arts and crafts and piping with sour cream. I loved it!

Heartbreak Cookies – More Valentine’s Day content. I loved making these chocolate sugar cookies for the population of singles. I’ve been single and happy and I’ve been single and miserable. I wish I had these cookies in both instances.

Breakfast Tacos – It’s hard to explain why I love breakfast tacos. I mean, there’s not much I need to explain, right? I love these breakfast tostadas because I love eggs and chips and this combines my love for both.

Breakfast Corn Dogs – Instead of regular hot dogs inside, these have breakfast sausages and they are SO good. Eat them with maple syrup and a little butter. Breakfast indulgence.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – I know I posted these last week but WHATEVER. I love these cookies and I feel like we should all make them. In the month of February, the weather can still be crappy and people are sick of it. Eating cookies helps.

Rose Chocolate Cake for Two – Easiest chocolate cake ever. And it’s made that much better with chocolate fudge-y frosting on top. A little salt makes it ultra good!

Aguadito – Everyone and their mom is sick. I’ve been trying to avoid all the sick people but it’s super difficult. Instead, I’ve been making this soup because it’s perfect when you need a bit of healthy chicken soup in your life.

Vegan Lasagna

Dinner, Healthy, Vegetarian, Winter

We have lots of stuff coming up!

First, there’s a recipe I’m gonna make (loosely) based off the book from our Book Club (have you started reading?! have you finished?!?). Get to it!

And then, there is Game Day. I wasn’t thinking I was really going to make anything for The Game…because, well, I don’t even watch football but then I realized a lot of us don’t but we still eat snacks. So, I’m warming up to the idea and am gonna make a few things this Friday to make sure we’re prepared.

Oh and then Valentine’s Day. For a long time, my eyes rolled very hard at V-Day but man, V-Day content is so fun to make. Everything is kinda cheesy and pink and heart-shaped. It’s grown on me big time.

A few weeks ago, Josh made this vegan lasagna and naturally I was very skeptical about it…mainly because vegan cheese is suss. But when it was all said and done and it was dinner time, I took a bite and was like OH OKKKKK.

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Paella-Tasting Risotto with Brown Butter Scallops

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

Are you a freezer person? You know, like one of those people who freezes all type of stuff? I’ve never been big on the freezer…until now! I’m like having a huge moment with my freezer (which reminds me of this song called umm NEW FREEZER).

I swear, come summertime, I’m going to make a big batch of sofrito to add to everything because the beginning of this recipe calls for a small version of it and if it was in my freezer, that means I’d be able to skip a gigantic step.

Ok, moving on…I’m not a huge risotto maker. I mean, I’ve made it a few times but it’s always felt like such a diva-like dish to make. So high-maintenance. It has to really be worth it to me and GIRRRLL this recipe is worth it.

The beginning part is where all the flavor comes from. There’s lots of onion, red bell pepper, tons of garlic, tomato and spices. It tastes like paella but it’s not. And it’s way faster and you don’t have to make it for a gazillion people. It’s that perfect dish for two or for four or for one (with leftovers).

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Creamy Vegan Kale and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian, Winter

I made a vision board on Day 1 of 2018 (because Oprah told me to).

I put all my dreams and hopes onto my vision board. 2017 was the hardest year of my life…even though professionally, it might’ve been my best year yet. Maybe one day I’ll tell you all about it. Right now, I’m just not ready. Maybe I’ll never be. I will say that seeing your family break up is incredibly sad. I do know that so many of you probably know how it feels.

My 2018 vision board is about healing and peace and forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who has never said they’re sorry nor never will? It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m guessing it will be my greatest lesson of 2018. Or at least I hope it will be.

My vision board is about moving towards new career goals.

It’s also about making beautiful work that people find happiness looking at and recreating. I’m so grateful for this space, for the power of creating; it has helped me heal and find happiness over and over and over. I hope I make things until the day I die.

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (#Whole30)

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Whole 30, Winter

I love the newness type of feel that January has. It’s so fresh and clean and new. I love it so very much. Like everyone else in the world, I’m eating a bit lighter and fresher this month.

Have any of you done Whole30 before? Last year January I did Whole30 and it was a really interesting experience. I’m not doing it this year but I am definitely implementing a few Whole30-approved recipes into my routine because, like everyone else, I need a bit of break from indulgent foods.

For this post, I teamed up with ALDI where I went to gather all sorts of fresh, high-quality and organic foods. One thing that Whole30 requires is that all of your beef is grass-fed and organic. This shepherd’s pie was made with their SimplyNature 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef that is super affordable.

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