I’m the last person that is going to tell you that you HAVE to have anything. I baked for years without a stand-up mixer, I’ve used a colander as a sieve (I don’t recommend it) and for a long time, I literally scooped out cookies with tablespoons I ate soup with. BUT, now I have a very well stocked kitchen and you know what, it makes my life easier! I move faster and I’m less stressed so here are some of my go-tos for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
1. OXO Potato Ricer – This is the only proper way to make mashed potatoes. My post on mashed potatoes depends on it.
2. Kitchen scissors – I use these for cutting out the backbone of a turkey, I use it for cutting twine and I use them for cutting pie dough. I love kitchen scissors. They’re super sharp and are dedicated to food only.
3. Deli Containers – If you’re one of those people who loves to make things ahead of time, store mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and everything else, in these deli containers. They’re also great for leftovers.
4. Kitchen/Meat Thermometer – I use this thermometer for everything. I never use a candy thermometer. This is the only one I use for taking a turkey’s temperature or making candy.
6. French-Style Rolling Pin – I despise those heavy-handled rolling pins because they’re cumbersome and, um, heavy. I much prefer this style.
7. Baking dishes – I use these for making mac n’ cheese, cooking casseroles…I dunno, you name it and they’re pretty versatile.
8. Pyrex 9-inch Pie Plate – This is simple, glass pie plate. They’re super inexpensive and bake pies very evenly.
9. Spatulas – You need them, in all sizes. They make scraping out the rest of that pumpkin pie filling out of the bowl easier. I kinda like buying spatulas at TJ MAXX and Marshall’s–the best prices and varieties.
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.
I am SO excited about this post because if I’m being completely honest, I never cook the turkey for Thanksgiving. Josh is super passionate about brining, roasting, blah blah and I just let him do it and I concentrate on the sides and desserts.
BUT, when ALDI reached out about hosting a Friendsgiving with some of my bestest blog friends–Geri, Teri + Jenny, Naomi, Jeanine, Ashley and Claire–I decided that it was time to figure out how to make a proper Thanksgiving turkey.
One of the most popular recipes this fall has been this Mojo Sheet Pan Chicken and there’s good reason for it! It’s so flavorful and the lemon/orange and heavy garlic flavors work so well together. I thought that maybe it would be delicious on turkey and boy was I right!
If you’re unfamiliar, mojo is a Cuban marinade that is wildly simple but oh so good. In Cuba they have sour oranges, which are sort of a cross between a lemon and an orange. They aren’t readily available in the United States and most Cubans/people trying to achieve mojo, simply combine lemons and oranges—it’s a good solution!
I went to ALDI where I picked up a gorgeous, hormone-free turkey at a super affordable price, along with the organic dried oregano and organic lemons and naval oranges. I also stocked up on baking ingredients (like I always do) because they’re super amazing quality at really great prices.
I feel like the holidays are my G-O time. It is cozy season after all and it’s really the time when I feel like I have to post all the recipes that I’ve been collecting in my little summer-hating brain.
This recipe has been on my to-make list for A LONG TIME. How can I have a blog about cozy food and not have a single recipe for broccoli cheddar soup?!?!
This soup is inspired by Panera Bread but not sponsored by them because they don’t know who I am. But let me tell you, your girl loves Panera.
Amelia is officially one year older but don’t worry because she’s still bratty, a little looney, still has an attitude when I try and touch her toes, still loves to roll around in grass and still loves harder than any dog I’ve ever met.
She is the one living thing that is by my side ALL day long. We literally do everything together. I feel lucky to have her in my life. And when I think seriously about her, I get emotional and teary because she is 100% my best friend.
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.
Fall has hit! This week the weather has finally chilled out and stopped being ridiculous. Hello fall, how u doing!?!
When the wonderful weather hits all I want to do is watch TV all day long and eat a gooey, cheesy grilled cheese and dip it in soup.
I can’t wait to have a free day to live my life. On days where relaxing is the only thing on my to-do list, I want my meals to be super quick and easy. But I still want them to be delicious and amazing.
For this post, I teamed up with Ozery Bakery because their buns are SO good and so light. I think I said this for our last post but I eat them a few times a week for breakfast. I usually just add a bit of mashed avocado and lemon juice. Oh and I also still make these sabiches all the time, too. I imagine this will become a full-time staple as well.
I made the simplest, most delicious grilled cheese that takes like 10 minutes to throw together. Grilled cheeses should not take that long!
Ahhh Italy (part 1)! This was my very first time visiting Italy and it was really, truly a beautiful and memorable experience. I loved Italian culture, the cobblestone streets, aperitivo time, old buildings, shopping and of course, the food.
The first stop on our trip to Italy was to Verona, a small town that literally looked like Epcot straight out of Disney World. As we were walking the streets, I was like this all sort of looks familiar! But this is the legit real thing!
Ayyyyye! These are SO good, girlfriends and dude friends.
I am currently in full-on heavy planning for Thanksgiving and this year it feels like SO much earlier than usual. Thanks so much for all your feedback about Classics vs. Twists. It was so interesting hearing everyone’s opinion on it.
I think I feel similarly like all of you: mostly classics on the savory stuff but TONS of twists and fun with desserts.
I think I’m going to bring a few classics. Like how I get the fluffiest of fluffy mashed potatoes and give you some fun twists on desserts.
This fine specimen you see in the photos is something that could definitely be served at Thanksgiving. The big, gigantic bonus is that it uses store-bought pizza dough (and yes, you can make a homemade batch too). It saves on a ton of time so it’s basically just an assembly-type recipe.
Moving to the suburbs of LA has kinda forced Josh and I to explore the chain restaurants of our childhoods. Some are just as good as we remember them. But others….eeesh. I feel like I remember them being so much more awesome back then.
I feel like garlic knots are those things that are still awesome at Olive Garden but why not make a homemade version, especially when we can make it taste better.
This recipe starts with roasting dat garlic.
We’re using an entire head of garlic here and it’s amazing. I just squeezed it out into of bit of room temperature butter with crushed red peppers, salt and dried oregano.
We’re going for classic, Italian-pizzeria type content, ok.
Another big bonus with this recipe is that it uses store-bought pizza dough. Of course, you could make your own but I used store-bought and it saved a ton of time and made me excited to start the assembly process.
I divided the dough into twelve pieces. And rolled them out into strips. THEN I smothered them with the butter/garlic mixture and that’s kinda it!
It rises and then bakes. It is glorious and maybe too cheesy…but then maybe it’s just heaven.
Maybe-Too-Cheesy Roasted Garlic Knots
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Serving Size: 4 to 6 (as an appetizer or a lil' snack)
1 whole head of garlic, top sliced off
1 pound of store-bought or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoon salt (if you’re using salted butter, please leave this out!)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 3/4 cups of shredded mozzarella, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the head of garlic in a small sheet of foil and place on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Transfer to the oven to roast for 1 hour. Carefully remove it from the foil. Allow the head of garlic to cool and press the roasted garlic out of the cloves and into a bowl.
To the bowl with the garlic, add the butter, minced Italian parsley, salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Mix and mash it together until combined. Give it a taste and add a bit more salt if needed.
Lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into twelve pieces. Listen, this doesn’t have to be perfect. We just want the twelve pieces to be sorta the same size so it all bakes evenly.
Roll and stretch each piece until it’s about 5 inches long. Spread about a half of teaspoon of the butter mixture onto the piece of dough and sprinkle it with a bit of mozzarella, pressing it into the butter. Tie the strip of dough into a knot and transfer it to the cast iron skillet. Repeat until you’ve worked your way through all of the strips of dough.
Brush the top with a bit of the remaining butter (if any) and cover the knots with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the cast iron skillet and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the tops of the knots are golden brown. Top with more Italian parsley and crushed red pepper (if you like it spicy!).
Tip #1: If you don’t have time to roast garlic, it’s ok. Just add half of the garlic (about 6 cloves) of minced garlic to the butter mixture. Raw garlic is more intense than roasted garlic so that’s why I recommend half of the amount.
Tip #2: I use a cast iron for this recipe but a baking dish that’s about 9-inches round or rectangular will work just fine too.
Hello from heatwave land. It’s going to be 100 degrees today in Los Angeles. And then 101 tomorrow. I can barely compute these numbers in late-ish October and frankly, they make me angry.
I know that’s probably not a sensible emotion over weather. I understand. But it really does feel relentless. I’m craving permanent sweater-weather. But the Dodgers are in the world series! So that’s good, I guess. I barely watch sports, which means I don’t at all. I know that they’re in the world series because every LA person is in a Dodgers hat with a gigantic smile on their face. Lol. I’m happy for them! Don’t we all need a lil’ happiness and distraction in our lives?
I feel like we’ve deserved it this year. This recipe is from The Year of Cozy. Remember when I made that book?! I loved that little book and I have some exciting news about it (AAHHH! I’m being annoying) coming soon!