(This post is sponsored by ALDI. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)
I’ve recently (re)discovered books on tape and this has leadled to some incredible and entertaining walks with Amelia. Even though I should be paying 100% attention to the story being told to me through my headphones, my mind still wanders off and I naturally start thinking about…food, always. Last week, specifically: Valentine’s Day foods.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI. The place that is always my- go-to for all of my baking and cooking needs. They’re always so affordable and the ingredients are high-quality. This particular recipe is gluten-free (YAY!), utilizing their new almond flour that is available starting February 13th.
Before we dive into the recipe, I’d like for you to know a surprising fact about me. I love creating foods for my all-time favorite commercial holiday: Valentine’s Day. Maybe I like it because I can use all the pink my heart desires? Or maybe because cheese can be used as a form of affection? Not sure, but either way, it’s become my favorite.
While February is a very short month, it’s also a very cool month. Lots of things going on in this month. There is game day (which I barely partake in), Black History Month and of course, Valentine’s Day. When I was in New York, I did root for The Rams because I felt like they needed the support. I will be rooting for them on Super Bowl Sunday, too. And while, I think the NFL is V problematic, I understand people’s need for joy in the name of football.
Anyway, here we are in February. These are some things I’d like to recommend for your cooking consideration:
1. Red Velvet Heart Surprise Cupcakes – These cupcakes felt like a victory. After a handful of failures, having these turn out felt like we finished the marathon. But we didn’t. We just ended up with good tasting cupcakes.
2. Warm Caramelized Fennel + Leek Dip – This dip is one of my favorite things EVER. It’s an oldie (sorta) but still incredibly solid. If you’ve never really liked fennel, trust me cheese makes it way better. You will be a changed human.
3. Instant Pot Pozole Verde con Pollo – This recipe was super popular last month because it’s EASY EASY EASY. And the polar vortex decimated the mid-west and north east. It was even chilly in Los Angeles and rainy so this has been on repeat.
4. Warm Cuban Dip Sandwich Dip – Have you ever had a Cuban sandwich? This is the dip version, utilizing all of the components that are usually in the sandwich. This dip is DELICIOUS.
6. Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry with Garlicky Bok Choy – I’ve made this a few times since I posted it because it’s so simple to throw together and it’s healthy. At this time of year, I want dishes that are comforting and warm but light.
7. Strawberry + Cream Cookies – I know that spring is still far away and yet all of us—especially those living in colder states—can’t wait for its arrival. These luckily don’t require fresh spring strawberries. They get their flavor from freeze-dried strawberries and paired with white chocolate chips, it’s a nice win.
9. Classed-Up Double Decker Tacos – My college self loved Taco Bell with absolutely zero shame. My thirty-something year old self cares about ingredients a bit more and, well, balance? Lol. But sometimes you gotta make double decker tacos and homemade ones are even better!
10. Oat Milk Collagen Hot Chocolate – Since it’s still chilly and it’s 2019 and we’re annoying and now consume collagen, here is a recipe for oat milk collagen hot chocolate. I still drink this.
11. Strawberry Heart Conversation Cake – Did you hear that they stopped making conversation candy? I honestly can’t say that I’m THAT bummed. That candy sorta tastes gross but you know what is delightful? This strawberry heart cake!
It’s been raining for four days straight in Los Angeles and while I usually love the rain, it’s starting to get, umm…a bit inconvenient. I feel like this how people must feel about snow: cute at first but then it gets boring, especially when the snow gets all gross and dirty and makes it hard to go grocery shopping and drive to work. I get it.
I can’t say it’s been all bad. There have been plenty of cozy nights like the night I watched the Fyre Fest which was…well, INSANE. It was incredibly entertaining and I found myself laughing way more than I thought I was going to. I’m going to be frank and say that I’m even more excited to see the competing documentary because it looks a lil’ bit sketch and I’m excited about the drama lol. Life if fun if you see the fun stuff!
While rain can be boring, what’s not boring is figuring out food for raining days. Because that’s easy and riveting! I made this on Sunday for a cozy night in and it was so delicious AND easy. Yes, of course, you don’t need an Instant Pot to make this. A regular pot will do.
Now for some history on pozole. If you’ve never had pozole, it’s almost like a cross between a stew and a soup (this iteration is a bit more brothy because I love broth). It has a rich history and is actually pre-Columbian. It was a dish the Aztecs served on special occasions. The main ingredient is hominy (pozole) which is basically shelled corn that’s been dried and then cooked in water and lime juice.