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Cozy Den Makeover Part 1

Adventures

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.

Here are some before photos:

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Best Fall Cookbooks 2018

Adventures, Fall

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.

10 Cozy Things to Make in October

Adventures

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.

7. Lemon-y Cheesy Spaghetti Squash (Dinner for One or Two) – During this time of year, I make spaghetti squash like every night. I love it. It’s so light and delicious. I had a first version of this at a restaurant in Portland. This one is super simple and chill to make.

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.

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10 Cozy Things to Make in September

Adventures

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.

3. Mini Pound Cakes with Labneh Frosting and Roasted Grapes – I love these mini pound cakes topped with tart labneh frosting and roasted sweet, delicious grapes. We all love mini things!

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.

9. Brussels Sprouts Soba Noodle Salad with Miso-Tahini Dressing – This dressing is my absolute favorite–so good!

10. Mojo Sheet Pan Chicken – This still continues to be a staple for me. I make it and eat it ALL THE TIME!

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Breakfast Taco Brunch with Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

Adventures, Breakfast, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

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