’Tis the season! I feel like the day after Thanksgiving my neighborhood goes into Holiday high gear. Literally every single house in my neighborhood is already decked out with holiday decorations, trees, Santas on the roof. I’m over here trying to recover from Thanksgiving lol.
Today is as good as any day to get the party started! I’m starting easy, grooving into the holiday season with breakfast. For this post, I teamed up with JUST and their new product JUST Egg. I used it over the summer, remember? It’s a product that truly blows my mind because it’s made from mung beans and yet it tastes just like eggs (texture and flavor). It’s wild!
When I set out to make this book I wanted it to be a bit different than this blog; I wanted it to be an extension, tell a slightly different story. It is just that. It’s a story about working through all the muck that is our mundane and very normal and, often times, challenging lives. It’s about controlling what you can in life because sometimes things aren’t so easy. One thing I found I could control was my thoughts, how I spent my free time and my perspective. I know this idea sounds a bit lofty and it sort of is. The inspiration came from listening to This is Water by David Foster Wallace, a life-changing listen (if you haven’t, I highly recommend it).
While the book’s introduction may sound a bit like, ok calm down, Adrianna, the rest of the book is happy. It’s broken up into sections: “Make,” “Live, “Do.” There are DIYs, recipes and ideas to make your day a bit sweeter.
There’s also a ton of Amelia. Hello grain-free doggie doughnuts!
Today I’m sharing a recipe for Fruit Sugars. It took me a looooong time to figure out this recipe and when I finally nailed it, I felt silly because it really couldn’t be simpler. Freeze dried fruit is pulsed in a food processor and then mixed with sugar and a teeny bit of water. As you mix the two vigorously with your fingers, the sugar will take on the fruit’s color. I think it’s beautiful.
Put this sugar in tea. Sprinkle it on cookies. Put it on all the things!!!
I’m not sure you know how much A Cozy Kitchen means to me. I imagine you don’t because I don’t really talk about it all that often, do I?
The whole world could be crumbling, but as long as I can bake and cook and shoot and do it with Amelia by my side and you reading, all will be ok.
This space encourages me, it inspires me, you inspire me. Thank you so much for hearing my very hormotional rant right now. Thank you for spending your hard-earned money on my book. And thank you for simply being here and reading this. I appreciate you all so very much.
I read one of those lame trend reports and apparently collard greens are the new kale. Did you know this? I feel like every year there’s always some sort of claim saying something is the new kale. Let’s just all be ok with the fact that kale is NEVER going away. It’s here to stay. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a moment with new greens.
I loooove collard greens. I love them braised like super Southern-style with ham hock and a side of fried chicken and I love them in this healthy iteration: blanched, air-dried and then stuffed with smooth, sumac-spiked hummus, crispy carrots, avocado, sprouts and herbs.
I could eat a million of these and it’s nice to know that it’s a-ok if I do…that’s if Amelia doesn’t steal them before I get to ’em.
For the whole recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food.
When I fly home, I always get a call from my mom right before my flight takes off, “will you be wanting animal flesh for dinner.” She’s not kidding…haha. My mom has been vegan for a long time now and while I can’t imagine being vegan, her body has never felt better. I remember, as a kid, she’d always get stomach aches and feel sick after she ate meat and dairy. It really does prove that everyone’s body is different and what works for one person, won’t always work for another.
Luckily these vegan pancakes don’t taste vegan. They’re fluffy, tender, soft and are pleasantly sweet. If you’re vegan, you’ll be delighted that they’re dairy and egg-less; if you’re not vegan, you won’t be able to taste a difference, I promise.
I’m not gonna be home with my mama this Mother’s Day (I mailed off this box a few days ago!), but if I was, I’d make her a stack of these pancakes. She has a recipe similar to this, that I created for her so she can get her pancake-making on.
This stack is a bit fluffier (I played with the leavenings a bit more), a bit sweeter than my typical pancakes (I think it pairs well with the tart blueberries) and there’s a hint of almond flavor thanks to the almond milk.
Amazing things always happen to me when I’m at Michael’s. This one time I saw a Marisa Tomei and I was freaking out because I grew up loving her. My Cousin Vinny? I was way too young to waatch it but that didn’t stop me from taking peeks from the hallway. I would do that as a kid: sneak out of room at night, sit in the hallway that allowed me to peer straight into the living room while still being out of sight, and watch the movies my parents watched. They had no idea that their “date for two” in front of the TV actually included a third wheel.
Then there was this other time that I saw an older gentlemen in a fly fisherman’s outfit have a meltdown because the coupon on his phone wasn’t working–it was a sight. And then yesterday, as I was shopping for candy-making materials, I turned around to see an old dude slap his wife’s behind. She laughed and playfully slapped him back. While it was a little awkward to witness, it actually made me smile. When you’re young it’s hard to imagine what being married for a long time must be like. Everything is so new and fresh and first-timey at this age. But when you’re older, perhaps flirting with each other is even more important.
I went on my run and thought about them, imagining how much life they’ve lived together, how many kids they’ve raised and wondered how many hardships they’ve survived. I do that sometimes: imagine people’s “stories.” I sometimes think going through that much life together can either tear you apart or bond you in a way that is unbreakable. We all wish for the latter. So, him slapping her ass made me happy is all…haha. It made me believe that perhaps love lasting a lifetime really can happen.
I came home and made a rendition of this smoothie bowl. It is, after all, what I have most days either immediately after my workout or for breakfast.
My Sunday rituals are strong. They usually start with an early trip to the farmer’s market, followed by lots of recipe testing. I love cooking on Sundays. And then, TV. Lots of that too.
The past few Sundays, I’ve spent watching Game of Thrones and I’m gonna lie, I barely understand what’s going on. Still. But I keep watching, thinking someday I’ll understand every single character, their family, etc. It’s wishful thinking, really.
Silicon Valley is more my steez. Lots of awkwardness and a CEO who wears those tennis shoes that slip on like socks. Those are so strange. Why do those exists?! I don’t get it.
If you know me, you know that I’m not Valentine’s Day’s biggest fan. It’s not that I hate relationships or love or love or any of that—if anything it’s the complete opposite. I’m pretty sure my disdain for all things Valentine’s Day has to do with how the internet celebrates. Everything immediately turns red and pink and pizzas on Pinterest are topped with heart-shapped pepperoni. WHY?!
Also, I’m convinced that we shouldn’t be consuming that much food coloring in our lives. It’s a very rare occasion where I’m like, let’s turn this whole dish RED! PINK! Like, no. If it’s not meant to be pink then let it live in its original color and chill. Let’s all walk away from the food coloring, ok? (Red velvet cake on occasion is fine.)
Today the internet beat me. I made something festive…sorta. It was on my long list of to-makes so I figured it might be a good time, but this is naturally pink, so I’m defending it.
Here it is, internetz: (Resentfully) presenting pink hummus…
Oreo decided to be super nice and send me their two new soon-to-be-released cookies: Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Crispy. So of course I ate like 10 in one sitting and felt sick and terrible about myself. I contemplated not eating for the rest of the day just to make up for it, but quickly admitted to myself that I could never do that. I’m not a girl who goes on cleanses. They’ve never worked out for me. Instead I just eat some carrots.
Last year Josh whipped me up a snack of roasted carrots, whipped goat cheese and carrot-top pesto. I remember having my mind blown a little bit. Up until that point I don’t think I had eaten the tops of the carrot before; I’m pretty sure I usually just threw those things away with absolutely no remorse. But why? I used beet greens in stuff before, why not the tops of carrots?
All I want in my life right now is dinner. I want full meals. Food that tastes good, makes me feel warm and that’s healthy(ish). Not to worry, I’m pretty sure we’ll be back eating desserts for dinner and popcorn for breakfast in no time. For now, let’s enjoy some balance!
I’ve noticed people are already talking lots about Game Day and I had to remind myself (as in Google) what “game” they’re actually referring to. And then of course I was like, ohhh right, football, The Super Bowl/commercials. I’m down with football because chicken wings are usually involved; take that out of the equation and I’m gone, man. Long gone. Also, Valentine’s Day. Everyone’s already talking about Valentine’s Day. I just can’t. Can everyone just chill. Like, I can’t deal. I need to talk about right now. You’re stressing me out with your heart-shaped brownies.
So, here is what dinner has looked like lately: winter vegetables, mushrooms, green curry broth and rice. As a girl who grew up with Latin parents, rice was consumed at EVERY meal. We could be having the most American of meals (read: broccoli cheese casserole) and rice would always be served on the side. It’s been a life long love affair, I guess you could say.
I have this Zojirushi rice cooker, which eloquently plays Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when the rice is done. I wish all alarms were so beautiful.
This recipe was inspired by Heidi’s Summer Vegetable Curry. I changed a few things; mainly the vegetables used, the addition of garlic, fish sauce and chicken stock. If you’re looking for something vegetarian-friendly, I’d say veggie stock could do and you can always skip the fish sauce.
The past few days I’ve been recounting the little kitchen-tricks my mother taught me growing up. She didn’t teach me a lot but sometimes I find myself cooking the way she does.
What do you eat when you’re sort of stressed and worried? Let me preface this by saying if you say carrots, we’re no longer friends. You’re gonna be kicked off the island. JK, I would never do that to you, ok.
I spent a solid hour last night just staring off into space, imagining all of the awesome things people should stress-eat. A whole cookbook could be written on the subject. It could be packed to the brim, giving people ideas on how to numb their anxiety with doughnuts and cheese. This type of cookbook definitely wouldn’t be have a release date in the month of January, but I bet it’d be super popular right before tax season.
Last night I chose nachos as my ammo…and it worked! I felt calmer and more relaxed after each and every cheesy chip. This salad is sort of the opposite of what I wanted last night but now that I’m done with my nacho craving and I’m a more relaxed me, bring on the pretty salad, man!