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Quick and Easy

Cold Udon Noodles in a Soy Broth with King Mushrooms

Dinner, Soups, Vegetarian

Cold Udon Noodles in a Soy Broth with King Mushrooms

I’m about to say something incredibly controversial. Are you ready?

Pumpkin spice lattes are fucking gross. They taste like chemicals. They taste like fake syrup. They taste like fake pumpkin. And while they usually don’t make me all that mad, they’re kinda irking me right now because it’s hot in Los Angeles and I’m sort of not ready for fall just yet. Too much pumpkin spice latte advertisement–calm down!!!

Cold Udon Noodles in a Soy Broth with King Mushrooms

(If you like pumpkin lattes just know that we are still friends. I like you.)

During this strange seasonal transitional period, I like to make things that are flexible in terms of time spent in the kitchen and actual temperature. This soup is cold. The broth is cold, the noodles are cold, but if you’re feeling a bit chilly or want to make this in a few months, then eat it warm! It’s delightful piping hot.

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Branzino with Fennel Grapes and Charred Salsa Verde

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish), Vegetarian

Branzino with Grapes Fennel and Charred Salsa Verde

There’s always a bit of drama when serving a whole fish, isn’t there? If you make this and serve it to your friends, they’ll think you’re like a master in the kitchen.

I’m confident in da kitchen. I know how to make biscuits and pie and cake and make a whole fish.

You know what I don’t know how to do that’s super intimidating?! Being a maid of honor. My best friend is getting married and this is my job now and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do and then when I Google it, I come across ridiculous lists like these. Let’s break down this list because my tomboyish heart hates things like this:

1. “Make sure all bridesmaids get their hair and make up done” WHAA! What am I their mom, like these are grown ass women—they’ll be fine!

2. “Toast the couple after the best man. (This is optional, but it is a nice touch.)?! Umm…what is this 1919 before women got to vote, why do I have to do it after the best man and why is my speech optional. I have things to say!

3. “Help the bride change for her honeymoon…” Umm..help her change? She can’t put on a romper and some sandals on by herself?!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Crepes

Breakfast

Lemon Poppy Seed Crepes

When’s the last time you made yourself a super damn nice breakfast? If you can’t remember when, this weekend you have werk to do. Honestly I asked myself this question a few weeks ago and this shrug emoji was my response: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I dunno. I’ve been busy. Sometimes I skip breakfast. Sometimes I’m lazy. Sometimes I’m trying to eat healthy All really terrible answers, minus the last one. I decided I was going to make an effort on Saturday morning and made a version of these. They’re everything you want in crepes: light and airy, sweet and lemon-y, and the poppy seeds give them texture. Yas.

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Créme Fraîche Smoked Salmon Dip

Appetizers

Smoked Salmon Dip

Sometimes I get super angsty. Can you be older than 15 and still be angsty? Because I am. I want to sit in my room, with Fiona Apple playing, while I fill my journal with everything that’s making me itchy in life. It goes back to that idea that sometimes I enjoy crying—it feels good! (And yes, I know that Joy basically described this same thing like a few days ago but I’m feeling like this too.)

Lately I’ve been feeling the cries come on by all sorts of things: an episode of Shark Tank; when I think too long and hard about how much I love my dog; how fast time goes; how fragile life is, etc. Basically, whatever the scenario, I will find the emotional thread in that shit!

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Healthy Dinner for One: Salmon Soba Noodle Miso Bowl

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish)

Crispy Salmon Soba Noodle Bowl

My eyeballs sting and my feet sort of ache from standing all day but it’s ok because a rendition of this bowl is in front of me and Broad City is on the TV. Have you watched?

I watched Girls for the first few seasons but there was always something I didn’t like. I couldn’t really put my finger on it until I started watching Broad City, which I like a million times more, and then it dawned on me: I wouldn’t be friends with any of the women in Girls. Not one of them. They all complain about their lives and it’s annoying and boring and gets old. But Abi and Ilana, THEM MY GIRLS! I wanna hang out with them all day long.

Moving onto this bowl, it’s a single person’s dinner, though it could easily be doubled if you’re into that sort of thing.

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Healthy Dinner for One: Moroccan-Spiced Cod with Cauliflower Cous Cous and Carrots

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish)

Moroccan-Spiced Cod with Cauliflower Cous Cous and Carrots

I’ve been eating really healthy (do not count those two glasses of wine Monday night plz) and I feel great. I sort of say that with an “ugh” because the sluggish feeling I had before was all thanks to cinnamon rolls and the glory of brioche bread. Probably. It’s always a bummer when you eat healthy food and you’re like, YEP they’re right!

I wish I felt fantastic when I ate all of the delicious things I love cooking and baking but I often times don’t. I mean, I don’t feel awful, awful, I just feel better when I eat healthy. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say that.

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Cauliflower Cottage Pie

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish)

Cauliflower Cottage Pie | www.acozykitchen.com

This past Wednesday I had one of those epic food days. I ate sushi for lunch; there was a over-priced (but worth it) fresh-pressed cucumber juice for a late afternoon drink situation; dinner was a decadent Italian meal, proceeded by a warm buttered rum as a nightcap. Oh and cookies and milk!

I’m not sure if I’ve had a better food day than that, ever, but it’s coming to a screeching half, ladies and gentlemen, because the month of March is all about eating healthy (for me). Don’t worry, A Cozy Kitchen won’t be turning into a Paleo blog but I will be sprinkling in healthier recipes from time to time, this one you see as my first.

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet to give you a healthier take on cottage pie (also known as shepherd’s pie). It’s for St. Patrick’s Day or any day when you’re looking for a healthier but still comforting dish to make.

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Stracciatella Soup

Dinner, Soups

Stracciatella Soup | www.acozykitchen.com

You know when you’re hungry but the idea of cooking and actually having to deal with yourself and said hunger seems like SO much work that you feel like you might die? Not actually die, but being super hungry makes everyone melodramatic. You know what I mean. You feel me!

This dish is perfect for the moment I’m describing. It is the simplest of simple dishes. It’s cheap, CHEAP to make. Every poor college student should have this recipe in their repertoire. And it’s COZY. It’s sweater-weather soup.

Stracciatella Soup | www.acozykitchen.com

If you’ve never heard of this soup, let’s discuss. Let’s gossip about this soup.

It’s an Italian egg-drop soup. Stracciatella is what you’d consider peasant food, only requiring a few ingredients in its purest form: water, Parmesan, spinach and egg. Of course, I think adding a bit of chicken broth, lemon juice and a teeny bit of pasta make it a bit more interesting and filling.

Stracciatella Soup | www.acozykitchen.com

But really even this version you see is only slightly more complicated than the original. There’s nothing fussy about this soup, which is exactly what you want when you feel like you’re on your ‘hangry deathbed’.

Stracciatella Soup | www.acozykitchen.com

Stracciatella Soup | www.acozykitchen.com

Stracciatella Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Stracciatella Soup

Ingredients

  • *1/2 cup mini fussili pasta
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach

Directions

  1. Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the fussilli and cook until very al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  2. To the same (empty) saucepan (no need to clean it out), set over medium heat, combine the water, chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring the broth mixture to a simmer. Salt and pepper the broth to taste. I used very low-sodium broth so I had to add a pretty generous amount. Also, take note that Parmesan is salty so keep that in mind.
  3. Turn the heat to low. Just a heads up: the next few steps go very quickly so be sure to get ready. Mix in the finely grated Parmesan. Next, create whirlpool with a spoon in the broth. In one slow and steady stream, pour in the beaten egg. Mix in the fresh baby spinach and give it a good mix. You should see the eggs in little cooked bits. Add the reserved fussili pasta. Give it one last taste and adjust the salt according to taste.
  4. Divide amongst bowls. Garnish each serving with more black pepper and additional strips of Parmesan.

Notes

*Use whatever pasta you like! For this dish, I prefer pasta that's small in size. Just a personal preference.

*Use other greens besides baby spinach, if you like. I've thought about playing around with dandelion greens, mustard greens and kale. I bet they'd all be amazing!

http://www.acozykitchen.com/stracciatella-soup/

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Twice-Baked Acorn Squash w/ Maple Butter and Pecans

Dinner, Sides

Twice-Baked Acorn Squash topped w/Maple Butter and Pecans | www.acozykitchen.com

Twice-baked potatoes are kinda basic, aren’t they? They are in an endearing way, of course. They’re simple and adorable and I kinda have the urge to pat them on the head and tell them they’re cute. But for this Thanksgiving, I wanted a side dish with a bit of class, so I decided that old favorite of ours needed a bit of a makeover.

This is its classier bigger sister; less cheese, less carbs yet still indulgent and delicious. Also, this is definitely the first time where I’m saying less cheese/less carbs and meaning it as a good thing.

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Delicata Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Dinner

Delicata Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas | www.acozykitchen.com

Do you have a food blog? I feel like many of you do. Or at the very least, you like to take photos of your food. We’re all weird, aren’t we?!

Last Friday, when I made this recipe, it was rainy and windy and a little cold. I was excited to cook and have the oven going, but I wasn’t in the mood to set things up, arrange forks on plates, pour a fake beer or style anything, even in a small way. I just wanted to cook and then eat. JUST LIKE A NORMAL PERSON.

So, I didn’t. At all. And this is what we get. No plates that match, no perfectly diced avocado, no homemade enchilada sauce and I even…wait for it, bought the cheese pre-shredded. I always, ALWAYS buy the blocks and grate it myself. Not last Friday!

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