When we first moved into the house, I had A LOT of grand plans. My ambitious self thought that I would actually be able to get every single room in tip-top, cozy shape while renovating the kitchen. But it didn’t end up happening and my favorite room in the whole house stayed empty for a whole year! (It actually ended up working out great for when we got married (should I show you some photos?! I forgot to do that lol). But now that fall is here, I’ve been really craving a room where we can cuddle on the couch and watch TV.
A big thanks to Room & Board for teaming up with me on making this room extra cute. My goal for the room is for it to feel like a room anyone would want to relax in for hours and hours at a time. I don’t want it to feel too cluttered (it’s a pretty small room) but still be super functional.
1. Sister Pie – I baked up their hand pies and they were awesome. I love this book!
2. Ottolenghi Simple – I love everything that he cooks. Sometimes I’ll go on Ottolenghi’s Instagram and just stare at his food. I love the sound of a book full of his simplified, easy, weeknight recipes. I can’t wait to cook from this book this over and over and over.
3. Cravings Hungry for More – I love me some Chrissy and I think this book is gonna be my go-to gift this holiday season.
4. Israeli Soul – I’ve never eaten Michael Solomonov’s food. I need to get to Philly at some point, but I’ve cooked a few of his recipes from his last book and they did not disappoint. SO GOOD.
5. A Common Table – I love Cynthia’s recipes and Instagram feed so I’m super excited about this one. The food is Chinese food meets Korean food with a love story in the background—can’t wait.
6. Estela – This book looks so beautiful, as does all of Ignacio Mattos’ food.
7. Carla Hall’s Soul Food – I am here for Carla Hall’s spoonbread and okra soup. I looooove Southern food and am excited to try her iterations of American classics.
8. Bestia – Whenever people ask for a restaurant recommendation in Los Angeles, my first is always Bestia (and now their new place, Bavel). It’s always booked solid, and for good reason. I’m super excited to cook from their new book, Bestia.
9. Ina Garten Cook Like a Pro – I was thinking about the people who taught me how to cook and early on, it was Ina. Her show gave me courage and inspiration to try sort of hard dishes. The ease of her recipes—even the more difficult ones—gave me the bravery I needed in order to braise a $30 piece of meat lol. Love her so much.
10. Now & Again – I have Julia Turschen’s first book and her meatballs were SO good. I’m excited to get my hands on this new one because I think she writes recipe so very well.
11. I Am A Filipino – Filipino food has become the new hot food and I am here for it! I love Filipino food but have yet to try and make it at home. I think this book will give me the direction I need.
12. Solo – I always love recipes for one (or two). They take a lot of creativity and ingenuity. And this cover is super pretty.
My favorite month has arrived. October is the month of birthdays in my family. Amelia’s birthday is in a few weeks and she is incredibly excited about her new cake this year.
Here’s a lil’ round up of my favorite things to make during the official month of coziness.
1. One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting – I made this on my Insta Stories (see my highlights) and it reminded me how much I love this dang cake. The frosting is like a drug—it is delicious and addicting. And so many of you have made it with rave reviews. It’s honestly a season-must-make.
2. Chorizo-Spiced Pumpkin Pasta – Here me out: the spices in chorizo are worth putting in all the things. And they work wonderfully with pumpkin. This pasta is super easy to throw together and it is so delicious!
3. Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings – I love this dish because the dumplings are my favorite thing ever. They are fluffy and delicious and this uses a rotisserie chicken (if you want it to), which makes it a super easy recipe to make on a weeknight.
4. Asian Pear + Apple Pie – I love Asian pears. They are so floral and delicious. I can eat them over and over just on their own. In a pie, they’re amazing.
5. Pumpkin Tres Leches – I love tres leches cake any time of the year. This one is super special because the cake is pumpkin and it is so fluffy and delicious. The spiced milk mixture is bomb. It’s a good make-ahead dessert.
6. Squash Saltado – We’re going to make this on Insta Stories soon because it’s one of my favorite very American renditions on this Peruvian classic. I grew up eating the meaty version but this one is super vegetarian friendly and it’s amazing.
8. Peanut Butter Pupcakes – If Amelia can urge you to make any recipe off this blog, it’d be these guys. She loves these cupcakes more than life itself. They are filled with her favorite food of all time: peanut butter. And honestly, I’ve eaten them and they’re not half bad.
9. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – I feel like every month, we need to have a cookie to make. And these are it for the month of October. They’re not spiced or chai or filled with pumpkin but they are SO good.
10. Cozy Pumpkin Chili – You can make this in an Instant Pot or you can make it in a crock pot. Or even in a regular ol’ pot and it’ll still be so amazing.
AHH! September. HOWWW are we here already? I can’t even wrap my head around the idea that Thanksgiving is happening in like three months—make it stop! Time, please stand still!
I feel like I say this every single month and it makes me cringe to think about that. Ugh. So here we are. September! It’s a strange month. It’s the month where the season transitions from summer to fall…yet here in LA we’re still dealing with scorching temperatures. So no sweaters for me any time soon. Also, sorry this is coming so late in the month. I was traveling last week and completely forgot that I owe you this riveting round-up post.
1. Vegetarian Bao Buns – These fluffy clouds filled with a mixture of sautéed veggies. They are dreamy and way easier than you could ever imagine.
2. Late-Summer Veggie Bolognese – I posted this last month and it is perfect for this time of year. The bolognese requires a food processor and everything gets chopped up very finely. The sauce is delicious and light. Scoop it over those cauliflower gnocchi everyone and their mom is talking about.
4. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars – These guys are SO good. I love this dulce de leche that is swirled in this cheesecake mixture. They’re tasty and classic. And super easy to make.
5. Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Baby Biscuits – I made baby biscuits and maybe they were one of the best things I’ve ever made lol. This broccoli cheddar soup is also soooooo delicious. It’s creamy yet not super heavy.
6. Earl Grey Honey Scones – This glaze is drinkable, to be quite honest. It’s DELICIOUS! I love these honey scones because they’re simple, simple.
7. Melty Baked Brie with Walnuts and Figs – Don’t we all love super duper simple appetizers? Yes. This is as easy as they come. Top a wheel of cheese with honey, walnuts and figs and some herbs. That’s it!
8. Mini Meatball Pasta Bake – AYYYY! This is comfort central. You should make this if it’s getting a little chilly where you are.
Running this blog has taught me so much about people’s allergies and diets. Every time I post, there are usually a few questions like, “can I make this nut free?” “can I make this without eggs?” “can I make this meal more plant-based?”
A lot of times it’s hard for me to answer those questions because I never test recipes with variations like that, which makes it tough to get a confident, firm answer. That’s why I’m so excited with today’s post. For this post, I teamed up with JUST to show you their new product that literally blew my mind.
It is an egg-free scramble. It tastes like eggs, it scrambles like eggs and looks exactly like eggs, but it’s magic ingredient? The 4,400 year old legume called mung bean. It’s a delicious, protein-packed, non-GMO, cholesterol-free product that cooks and tastes like a chicken egg.
You simply pour it out into a non-stick skillet and cook it like you would regular scrambled eggs. It’s super simple. The color comes from carrot extract and turmeric. The texture is literally identical—it’s wild (watch this video to learn more!). I love watching the people’s reactions.
I decided to throw a delicious, low-key and easy brunch together that’s also allergen-friendly and plant-based. Everyone has a different diet these days but it’s actually a lot easier to accommodate these preferences than you think. In fact, you might be surprised how much better your meal tastes by doing so! Continue Reading
After we spent three days in Tokyo, had lunch, we headed to the train station to head to Kyoto.
Thanks to Bourdain, I knew I had to get an egg sandwich from Lawson’s at some point during my trip. Luckily there was one at the train station and even though I was super full, I bought one anyway. I’m so glad I did because the train ride—while only three hours long—was still long enough for me to want a snack.
The sandwich is like every childhood dream come true. The white bread has the crusts cut off, is super soft and delicious. The train was easy breezy. We booked seats in the economy cabin and they were totally great. I hear the first class cabin isn’t that much different, fyi.
If we went back to Kyoto I don’t think we’d stay there again—even if it was on points. It was kinda too fancy and in Kyoto we wanted something chiller and more centrally located. Our hotel came with breakfast which was nice to have. Josh got the Japanese breakfast a few mornings in a row and he LOVED it.
After breakfast we went to Nishiki Market—which I highly recommend—because the food is incredible. We tried lots of things. Some samples and some purchased. My favorite was this soybean tea—it was so delicious. And this tofu doughnut. I thought the texture was going to be mushy but it was so crispy and fluffy on the inside—SIQ!
It was rainy that day so we walked around with umbrellas for a few hours. It was super nice, actually since it wasn’t cold at all. We headed to Ippudo for some matcha tea. Kyoto is known for its tea so this is a must-stop.
When Josh and I were talking about where to honeymoon, I was a big advocate for beach-y areas. I wanted to chill on a beach with a frozen drink of some kind. And Josh wanted to do more of a city. So we compromised and did both! First Maui, Hawaii and then Japan. It was the best combo ever.
We spent a week in Maui with our friends Cassie and Burke and then took a flight from Maui to Honolulu (shortest flight!) and then flew from Honolulu to Tokyo. It was a pretty short eight hours that I barely noticed because I watched a few movies and ate a Quiznos sandwich.
Is it weird that I wasn’t that affected by the jet lag? We got in around 3pm and we both made ourselves stay up until 10pm that night so it’d force us to get on the Tokyo schedule. We were walking zombies that night but I’m so glad we did that because once that first night was over, we were ok. We got up super early each morning (around 6am) but it was super nice to be up early and have a leisure morning.
We got in around 3pm and by the time we got on the train and got to the hotel, it was around 5pm.
We rented a pocket wi-fi from the airport and I couldn’t recommend it more. We absolutely needed it the entire time. Not sure what we would’ve done without that thing. It was $80 for the week with insurance.
We took the train to the hotel (I’m not sure I would do this again because of our bags). A cab would’ve been around $200 (eeek!) but there are limousine air bus shuttles that drop off at a bunch of the hotels and they’re much more affordable. We bought a J-Rail Pass (for our trip to Kyoto) so the train for us was included in that pass.
When we got in, we wanted something chill and comforting. Josh found this soba place called Soba Sasuga. We had our concierge call and make a reservation for us.
We showered and took the subway to Ginza where the soba noodle place was.
I am currently packing for a short trip to Florida, while the best show on earth plays in the background—The Great British Bakeoff. It’s back and it’s making me all excited for fall baking.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to be in the land of BBQs and watermelon but fall is when I’m at my best. It’s my land of cozy and I am the queen. Kinda. Haha.
Anyway! since it’s July, I figured I’d post some of my favorite summah recipes because we’re just getting started.
1. S’mores Pavlova – it’s 4th of July weekend. Speaking of which, do most people have tomorrow (Monday) off or do you have Wednesday (the actual 4th) off? This has me confused.
2. Creamy Elote Pasta – I love this pasta so much. I remember last year when we were developing this recipe and after we nailed it, we ate the entire thing between us two. It’s so good.
3. Mojito Cupcakes – These are perfect for a summer shindig because they’re easy and have a bright and airy flavor.
4. Eton Mess – I love the story behind the Eton Mess. Leave it to a dog to destroy dessert and make a whole new dish in the process.
5. Tahini Concord Thumbprint Cookies – Have you ever made concord grape jam? Don’t. Haha. Actually you can just know that since the grapes have skins and pits, it’s a bit time consuming. But like everything, it tastes so much better homemade. Whether you use homemade or store-bought, these thumbprint cookies are SO good.
6. Payday Lobster Cherry Tomato Pasta – You know that feeling when the direct deposit hits? Best feeling ever. It’s like a nice little recharge. Make this while that feeling is still present.
7. Strawberry Cream Cookies – I posted these last month and they were probably the most made recipe of June. They’re super easy to throw together and they taste like summer all in a cookie!
8. Chicago Dogs – Last week, while I was flying back to LA from Vermont, I had a super short layover in Chicago. As I was racing to the gate, I spotted a stand that served Chicago hot dogs. I wanted one SO badly but sadly I didn’t have enough time to grab one, but luckily I can make my own.
9. Camarones a la Diabla – I made this last summer approximately 50 times. I made a big batch of the sauce, froze it in a few containers and warmed it up when we wanted dinner. I would saute some shrimp and pour some sauce over it. It’s the fastest 20 minute meal ever.
10. Basil Pistachio Pesto Pasta – This is a recipe from last month that I don’t think got enough love, if I do say so myself! It’s so easy and delicious and it really uses cherry tomatoes that are everywhere this time of year.
Ahh! Hi! I feel like I’ve been gone for forever but really I’ve just been living my life in Hawaii. You see, last weekend I took a flight to Hawaii, fell asleep on the flight and lifted my tray to move it without realizing my computer was on it. The computer fell to the ground pretty hard but I really thought nothing of it…until I tried to turn it on at the hotel to put up a blog post—that I so diligently wrote up on the plane—only to find out the computer didn’t want to turn on.
Anyway, there was a trip to the computer store in town and apparently it’s the display blah blah. Long boring story short: I can’t get it fixed until I get home. I did want to share with you some fun things to make in the month of June because while fall will forever be my favorite, summer is fun too! Here are some of my favorites. You can follow my adventures on the Instagram.
Copycat Shake Shack Burgers – I am one of the view Los Angeles people who likes Shake Shack more than In-n-Out. Making them at home is an A+++ move.
Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Tart – This tart is SO ridiculously easy and delicious. The tart shell is gluten-free and the filling is simply a can of cold coconut milk with strawberries and raspberries. So simple and delicious.
Copycat Sweetgreen Caesar Salad – I am a basic human who loves salad, specifically Sweetgreen salads. My favorite on their menu is this caesar salad. I now live very far from them so instead of buying them, I have to make them!
A Week of Salads – Speaking of salads…if you’re in the mood for a lot of salads, I made a whole post of a bunch of combinations that I love. They’re not really recipes but just combinations.
Blueberry Lime Poppy Seed Cake – It’s like pound cake meets summer at its finest. There are poppy seeds all throughout this cake with lots of lime zest for some zing and blueberries. It has a creme fraiche icing that is just out of this world!
Elote Pasta Salad – I am on team pasta salad. I LOVE PASTA SALAD. I think it’s the easiest thing to bring to a get together or summer party. And it’s delicious.
Summer Berry Pie – The thing that everyone wants to eat in the summer: pie. This is a classic. Just mixed berries and the right ratios of sugar and lemon juice.
Black Sesame Coconut Popsicles – Billy has this thing called “Popsicle Week” and it’s my favorite week in the blog world because everyone makes popsicles. It’s simple! These are a favorite of mine from a few years ago.
As you guys know, we recently moved into a new home and while the kitchen is all done and in tip-top shape, we still have SO much to do. The den is completely empty (great for dance parties tho!) and the dining room needs some love. Besides creating a cozy room to watch movies, the other area in the house that I’m super excited about is the backyard.
We can’t wait to spend this summer grilling and hanging out with friends. The backyard is actually quite pretty as is, so all it really needs is a few accessories. We’re excited to deck it out with some cool grilling stuff. So that’s why I was super excited when I was invited to a Home Depot event called Garden to Grill. The event was showing off all of the pretty items that The Home Depot has that can make your outdoor space beautiful.
The event was super cute. It was at The Lombardi House and the gardening part included a DIY herb box that I barely was able to make. Luckily my friend Billy was with me and he used to build bird feeders with his dad so he’s handy. It now sits in my backyard and I can’t wait to walk outside and pick some chocolate mint from it.
We also toured some grilling items by Charcoal Companion like this really pretty Himalayan Salt Plate that you can use to cook items on it on the grill OR just simply use it as a cheese board. I also love this Pitt Mitt, which makes it easy to grill and protect your hands.
There were grills both of which I have my eye on. First was this really pretty and affordable stainless steel grill from Nexgrill. And you know I love KitchenAid, this red one is gorgeous, though I do have my eye on the black one to match my kitchen range. Both of these grills are exclusive to The Home Depot!
Are you guys excited about grilling season? I can’t wait to make burgers on the grill and hang out underneath the hanging lights we just put up!
(This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)