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Quick and Easy

Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Maple Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m currently in the middle—what I like to call—autumnal chaos. I am busy editing photos every night until 10pm, which also means I’m consuming a large amount of reality television. I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have watched every.single.episode of Shahs of Sunset and I have so many opinions about them. The other day I went to their neighborhood (West LA) and I was like, “If I run into one of them…I won’t be able to control myself!” I was bummed I didn’t see them.

One recipe that was at the very top of my to-make list this season was to fall-ify carrot cupcakes. This is inspired by some ras al hanout carrot cupcakes in Casablanca: My Moroccan Food.

Carrot cake is already filled with spices but with these cupcakes we’re just adding WAY more, while also adding some other spices in the mix.

These cupcakes are glorious to freeze. And then thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to eat and serve.

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Chai-Spiced Apple Skillet Cake

Cakes, Fall, Quick and Easy

This is the time of year where Los Angeles weather is totally erratic. One day it’ll be 90 degrees and then two days later you’l need a sweater and some hot coffee to get your day started. By now, I know which one I get excited about.

I’m currently wearing a sweater so I feel like it’s appropriate to discuss this chai-spiced apple skillet cake with you all. I wanted to provide a recipe that is super easy. Something that you can throw together in a one, two steps max. This skillet cake is it!

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Brown Butter Scallops with Sautéed Kale, Shishitos Over a Bed of Polenta

Dinner, Fall, Quick and Easy, Summer

Autumn is days away. DAYS! Which is so incredibly exciting but I’m still trying my hardest to hold onto the last bits of summer and maybe even merge them with this new upcoming season. See: this dish!

This meal is inspired by a dish I ate a few weeks ago when I went to Madison, Wisconsin to visit the headquarters of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. It was such an incredible experience touring the factories where they make their Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf cooking, and new Cove dishwashing appliances while learning all about the brand’s commitment to quality. Their appliances are pieces of art. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into building each product is truly amazing.

Beyond making quality appliances, it was exciting to learn that Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove is also committed to inspiring people to cook and create memorable food experiences. And that’s exactly what happened as we walked through their gorgeous Harvest Haven garden and ate meals in their beautiful barn.

They had everything in that pretty garden. Everything from a 600-pound pumpkin to a greenhouse full of vine-ripe tomatoes—it was truly stunning. It was also sort of magical to eat blackberries off of a vine and then seconds later see the season’s first apples starting to turn red on the tree. Nature is amazing.

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Very Crispy Waffles with Salted Honey Butter

Breakfast, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

I’m currently high in the sky on my way back to Los Angeles. I just spent the last few days in Madison, Wisconsin (I loved it there—more to come!). But it’s the weekend time so it’s time to start thinking of what we’re gonna do tomorrow and Sunday morning. And I will personally vouch for these guys.

I put this recipe in The Cozy Coloring Cookbook a few years ago (I can’t believe it came out two whole years ago) and realized I have never ever shared it! This recipe was developed by Billy, while I was developing another recipe. Sometimes we work that way. I’ll give him an idea, a jumping off platform, he’ll do the research and begin. And then I’ll work on something else and by the end of our trials we usually have things for the other person to try. And then we tweak and adjust from there.

These were inspired by the waffles at Dinette in Los Angeles. Maybe the best waffle I’ve ever had. It’s super crispy and hella sweet (not my favorite aspect of them) and then they’re topped with sea salt and some maple syrup. THEY ARE SO GOOD. We headed down the street from where I used to live to eat them together.

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Roasted Tomato + Hatch Chile Soup with a Grilled Cheese (of course)

Quick and Easy, Soups, Summer

I had a dream that I directed a documentary about La Croix. I honestly have no idea what prompted this insane dream. Yes, I love that sparkling water but for it to appear in my dreams as my next creative venture is a bit weird. But maybe they have an exciting backstory—who knows!

Anyway, I know that everyone is screaming FALL at the top of their lungs (especially Michael’s Craft Store. I mean they had autumnal wreathes in July). And yes, maybe I caved and ordered a slice of pumpkin loaf at Starbucks like two days ago, however, I am a huge advocate for stretching each season until the last very bit.

Tomatoes are pretty much at their best toward the end of summer. They are juicy and delicious AND the best part is that it’s not super hot in Los Angeles right now so a bowl of soup isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.

While this soup does take a bit of time due to the tomatoes roasting, it’s super hands-off. The tomatoes roast in the oven with the hatch chiles. And then it’s just blended all up with a bit of cooked onion and garlic. One more trip to a pot to simmer and that’s it.

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Cozy Pumpkin Chili

Fall, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Soups

Fall is right around the corner and I’m counting down the days because your girl is ready for fall leaves, long sleeves, comfort, coziness and lots of pumpkin. I am ready. I’m currently writing a super diligent list of fall activities to-do; I’ll share it with you all soon! I’m thinking we can tackle it together.

For this pre-fall activity post, I’ve teamed up with ALDI, where you should go for all your autumnal food needs. They have everything from canned pumpkin to the best baking ingredients (at affordable prices) to this Digital Pressure Cooker (only $39.99 available for limited time!). It’s a one-stop shop for fall!

While pie was one of the first sweet dishes I wanted to nail; chili was one of the first savory dishes I wanted to be able to get right. It was one of those dishes that I knew I could make and not mess up. I like my chili cohesive and married. I like it to be on the thicker side. And I also love it with lots and lots of toppings.

This pumpkin chili is so rich and delicious. And it comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s the easiest, breeziest weeknight meal made a million times easier with this Digital Pressure Cooker.

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Tomato Confit with Burrata and Pesto from a Basil Plant I Haven’t Killed…Yet

Appetizers, Quick and Easy, Summer

I miraculously have a basil plant that I haven’t killed…yet. I gave her a name. And her pet name is Susan. She is strong and vibrant and I cannot tell you how shocked I am that she’s alive and thriving under my supervision and guidance.

I’ve purchased basil plants in the past and every. single. time, I kill them. NOT THIS ONE! Here’s what I have done to aide in prolonging its life:

1. She gets all the water she needs.
2. The sun is her friend.
3. I used this thing called Trash Can that Hilton recommended. It’s compostable fertilizer and it has helped a lot.
4. And I trim her all the time, i.e, make pesto.

Every year Josh makes tomato confit and while I’ve always enjoyed the fruits of his labor, I’ve never taken it upon myself to make it…until now! This is an easy-fied version of his method. And it still tastes delicious.

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Sesame Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Quick and Easy

I’m currently doing that thing on Netflix where you open the app and then look around for 30 minutes, debate what to watch and then give up and start internet-shopping for couches. I also sometimes put something on and then just look at my phone instead. 2018 can be depressing.

Sometimes I’m like, was life easier with regular cable? Things were more decided for us in some ways…anyways I decided to make a firm decision for us all.

To make this twist on our favorite cookie–the chocolate chip cookie.

This batch is simple. It has a healthy amount of sesame seeds and instead of tahini–I was going for more of a sesame flavor vs. tahini–I decided to use toasted sesame oil.

It’s delicious and noticeably there but not overpowering.

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Late-Summer Veggie “Bolognese” with Cauliflower Gnocchi

Dinner, Healthy, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Summer, Vegetarian

I spent my weekend drinking smoothies because I was gigantic idiot and hit myself in the mouth with a medicine ball (I thought it was a sandbag when I slammed it on the ground) and couldn’t eat for a few days. I could speak just fine but chewing wasn’t ok. ANYWAY, I’m back and recovered. Stupidest thing I’ve done in a long time; I’m glad I survived!

I also spent the weekend celebrating my mama’s birthday and took her to see The Waitress—which was SO good. I loved the movie but the play was WAY better so I highly recommend if it comes to your town.

Let’s talk cauliflower gnochhi. I’ve been seeing it all over the internets lately so I wanted to give it a try. I headed to my local Trader Joe’s and followed the cooking directions from Laura’s Insta Stories—not what is on the back of the bag and, to my huge surprise, it tasted pretty good!

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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