Izy's Swedish Chocolate Cake | www.acozykitchen.comIzy’s book arrived in my mailbox a looooong time ago, nearly a month ago. I’ve been waiting to cook from it because when it showed up on my doorstep, it was only available for purchase in the UK (it’s available tomorrow!), and it just so happened to be the opposite of fall in LA.

But on Saturday, all I wanted to do was bake. The weather was brisk, the light sorta cloudy and moody and I was particularly in a good mood. The kind of mood I’m in as a result of Amelia letting me sleep in, a little.

As I thumbed through her book, deciding amongst all the beautiful baked goods what I should dive into, I was stopped at this Swedish Chocolate Cake. I’ve been on a weird brownie kick lately, so much so that I’m totally guilty of falling victim to the lure of a box mix at Whole Foods. No shame in that game; though that game often results in a bit of disappointment. There shouldn’t be any leavening in brownies, I’ve decided. I want them to be gooey! and rich! So rich that a glass of water needs to be served along side them.

Izy's Swedish Chocolate Cake | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

For the past few weeks, everyone has begun gushing about the commencement of fall, and all I could think about was ice cream, cold drinks and basically dunking my entire head into a vat of iced water. We just finished up a pretty intense heatwave and pumpkin spice was the furthest thing from my mind.

Now that the weather has stopped being an a-hole I feel like I can honestly entertain the idea of soup and squash and stuff. And plus, now I’m actually beginning to see gourds that have leoprosy and cute baby white pumpkins (always a favorite). I’m excited!

The fall-inspired recipes will start soon, I promise, but I’m thinking this year I might ease into it rather than start with a big pumpkin boom!

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

These cheez-its are an example of me scootin’ into the season. There’s nothing fall about them, they’re just some crackers for snackin’! Just some schnacks.

When I first started cooking and baking, crackers were the thing I loved to make the most. I’d make them after work and bring them in the next day and people’s minds were blown, “You made crackers?!” My co-workers thought I was genius, but what they didn’t realize was that crackers might be the easiest thing to make EVRRRRR.

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com

For this recipe I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These crackers call for a bit of hot Hungarian sweet paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cheddar and paprika are made for each other. It’s a union that in my brain makes sense but should be exploited more.

These are like fancy adult cheez-its. If you have chillren, then I say bring down the paprika and get rid of the cayenne all together.

Paprika Cheddar Cheez-Its | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza | www.acozykitchen.com

Today we’re trashing it up. There’s nothing artisanal about this pizza. It doesn’t wear suspenders, a pageboy hat or do the whole fancy-talk about coffee. Think Lindsay Lohan passed out in the front seat kinda trashy. I’m pretty sure that’s where buffalo chicken pizza ranks on the scale of trash.

If you know me, you know that chicken wings of any form are my favorite food ever. I like Korean chicken wings, Japanese-style fried chicken, Thai chicken wings and of course, good ol’ American buffalo chicken wings.

This pizza exploits all those delicious flavors: hot sauce, chicken, ranch dressing and for good measure, some fresh Italian parsley and green onion.

In other pizza-making news, I haven’t made pizza for this blog for a very, VERY long time. It’s mainly taken me so long because I broke my pizza stone during a move and hadn’t replaced it…until…Baking Steel got in touch with me and sent me one.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Cookbooks

I love cookbooks. LOVE. There’s a gigantic part of me that wishes I could edit cookbooks, that’s how much I love them. I want to read, gaze and cook from every single one that catches my eye. Most of the cookbooks you see above aren’t out yet, but they will be soon, so feel free to get your pre-order on!

1. Bar Tartine. I went last month for the second time (the first time was years ago) and it was incredible. Josh of course geeked out on the server and we ended up leaving with three loaves of free bread. I’m not kidding. The free bread isn’t want makes me want this book. I just know that the book will be full to the brim with perfectly written recipes that will wow anyone who comes over when I make them. Also, dat font on da cover.

2. Prune. Ions ago I read Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter and loved it. Every single time I go to New York, I make a promise to go to Prune and then something happens and I don’t. Now I can just open up the book and be transported there instead.

3. Homemade Decadence. Joy was the first blogger I got an internet crush on. I was like, I want to eat all the baked goods she makes AND be her friend. I’m really excited about all the indulgent things I get to bake this season. And I imagine her witty sense of humor and heart will be in this book too. How can it not be?

4. Make It Ahead – Oh Ina. She can do no wrong, except when she bakes with extra large eggs and tells me to cook with fancy red wine. Why??? If it’s fancy then I want to drink it, not put it in my coq au vin. Besides that, she’s the queen. Her food is beautiful and simple. And I want to grow up to have that barn! Also, Jeffrey! I love Jeffrey.

5. Flour and Water. I have a dream and it is to be able to make pasta at home in a super legit way. Most of the pasta I’ve made (and it has been on very rare occasion), has been really awful. I went to a restaurant a few months ago, which will remain nameless, and their homemade pasta was so terrible that I compared it to my homemade pasta. Not ok. This cookbook should fix my issues.

6. A Kitchen in France. Mimi lives a life that doesn’t seem real. Me, over here in my one-bedroom apartment with way too much dog hair accumulating near the wall’s baseboards…very real. Mimi? Not so much. But who cares, that’s why I read her blog and am so fascinated with her whole shebang: life a farm, with a ton of kids, a handsome husband and even more animals than kids. It’s fascinating! I want to jump in the book and cook with her.

7. Ovenly – One lesson I’ve learned over the years is always go to meetings with treats. Always. It’s a really simple gesture that goes such a long way. It’s your way of saying, Hey you, Tuesdays suck, here’s a cookie. When I was in New York last fall for a few meetings, I went to Ovenly and picked up an array of cookies. Everyone loved everything! Luckily in the cab ride over, I was smart enough to eat a shortbread cookie studded with caraway seeds and dried cherries…bomb. P.S. I love the cover so freaking much.

8. Thug Kitchen. The f-word might be my most used word. It’s true. I love it. And in this space of lifestyle, food blogging, da internets, I feel like everyone is trying to be the next Martha Stewart. Everyone acts so dang perfect. And it drives me crazy. Really, it makes me want to say fuck. A lot. I’m excited about this book because apparently the f-word shows up a lot, along with some fun recipes.

9. Dominique Ansel. The cronut was the thing to eat in 2014. And apparently it still is in 2015. I never understood the fascination. Deep-fried croissant dough? Lots of people can do that…but then I visited his bakery last fall (pictured here) and can honestly say the rest of his pastries are really what’s special. They were magical, perfect and really, REALLY beautiful. It felt like I walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, except Ansel wasn’t some mad man tyrant, but instead an actual real pastry chef who constructs all these delicate little prizes of sugar. If anything, the cronut has brought attention to his bakery, but it’s his other pastries that really are worthy of the obsessive 5am hoards of people.

10. Heritage. This is on this list because I’m obsessed with his laugh. It’s this, like, southern laugh that reminds me of my uncle. I can’t describe it. Awesome laugh aside, Husk is at the very top of my must-visit restaurants. His episodes of PBS’s Mind of a Chef are my absolute favorite and his approach to food and story is what draws me in.

Am I missing any? Are there a few that are on your list?

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How To Make a Tomato Sandwich

A few ex-boyfriends ago, I learned an incredibly valuable less: how to properly make a tomato sandwich. I am forever grateful.

During the summers we’d drive to Virginia to his family’s lake house. It was there where I’d buy big-ass tomatoes from old men who sold them out of their pick-up trucks parked alongside the road. They were beautiful and warm from the sun (the tomatoes not the old men). There’s something about a southern tomato that’s just really special. They’re kinda magical.

How To Make a Tomato Sandwich

The first step to a glorious tomato sandwich is salting the tomatoes and allowing them to sit and drain on a few paper towels. This makes it so the tomato sandwich doesn’t end up being soggy. NO SOG ZONE.

I learned that tomato sandwiches MUST be eaten on white bread.

photo 5 [click to continue…]

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Fish Tacos

in Dinner

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com

We’re dealing with a bit of a crazy, scary heatwave that unfortunately is super common in Los Angeles during the month of September. Good ol’ September! All I want to do is bathe in a bath full of ice cubes, drink nothing but cold beer and eat ceviche and fish tacos.

That’s classic hot weather-food. It’s also the food I want to eat when I’m craving something filling and awesome, but also leaves me feeling with a bit of pep in my step.

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com

But mainly I made this because I want to share Stephanie’s new book, Easy Gourmet! It’s a really beautiful book.

The food looks glorious – and easy! If you like Stephanie’s blog, i am a food blog (it’s a must-read!), then you’ll love the book. The same design element from her blog is sprinkled throughout the book, the photos are modern, sleek, austere (in a good way!) and the food makes me want to run to my kitchen and make spicy chicken wings.

Also, Stephanie’s sweet and familiar personality comes through in the recipe head notes.

Fish Tacos | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Chilaquiles | www.acozykitchen.com

The question of today is: why has it taken me so long to make chilaquiles? Seriously, I’m sort of shocked this is the first time I’m posting about them because they might be one of my favorite breakfast dishes EVER.

I’m pretty sure they fall into my ‘favorites’ category because they’re so nimble; they’re great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Since I am so passionate about them, this means I’m also bratty about them.

I like chilaquiles with a bit of beer simmered in. I like them to have a bit of spice. I like there to be cheese, but not too much cheese. And I love the wedges of tortillas to be freshly fried, preferably a tad bit over. This means that when they’re topped with a bunch of sauce, they still have a bit of crunch to them.

This isn’t the right way, it’s just sort of my way.

For this recipe of my beloved Chilaquiles, I teamed up with Mi Rancho tortillas. These tortillas are made with non-gmo corn, yay! And the taco sliders (along with their other products) can be found at stores like Whole Foods or Gelson’s. I really love them.

Chilaquiles | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Amelia | www.acozykitchen.com

I think it’s safe to say that August was a pretty rough month for the entire world. There was a lot of stuff going on; a lot of sad stuff.

For me on a personal level, it was pretty work-focused. I’ve been plugging away at finalizing the recipes and DIYs for The Year of Cozy and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m excited and nervous, but mostly just crossing my fingers you’ll like everything as much as I do.

I tested these cookies a few times…

Cookie

I made these doughnuts way too many times.

Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com

I met Jessica a few years ago (gulp, maybe 3 years ago?), and she’s always been one of my favorite people in the food blogging community. Her recipes are fun, FUN!; her personality in person is exactly the same as her blog; and her photos make me want to leap into the computer screen and eat EVERYTHING she makes.

This book, Seriously Delish, is very much her in book form. Her personality shines through, there are tons of enchilada recipes (thank you, Jessica!) and the food looks slutty and gorgeous all at the same time.

It’s a keeper of a book. And I have a feeling I’ll be gifting it a lot this upcoming holiday season, which I don’t want to really believe is almost around the corner. Please, let’s not say the H-Word, T-Word or C-Word for a while. I can’t deal.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com

Whole Wheat Blueberry Bundt Cake | www.acozykitchen.com_7 [click to continue…]

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Baked Pretzel Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com

Can we talk about Tinder for a second?

I’m currently trying to convince two of my very single friends to sign up for Tinder. I’ve heard nightmare stories, I have, but I also know at least two or three friends who have ended up finding legit relationships on there. Dating is hard. I hated dating. I actually hated dating Joshua…haha. So much wishy-washy BS, so many, like, should I do this or should I text that. Too much guessing, man. You’re either in or you’re out! But I suppose that’s also what can make it exciting and fun.

I’m actually quite fond of my current role, which is being the go-to person for dating advice amongst my friends…mainly because I’m nosey and love being all up in their business. I’ve attempted to be the match-maker, and while I love it, I’m not sure I’m that great at it. Though, there is this couple I set-up in high school and now they’re married, have two kids and a super cute dog, so I have had success!

Baked Pretzel Doughnuts | www.acozykitchen.com

Speaking about success…Pretzel Doughnuts, man. Hello! I teamed with Almond Breeze for this recipe and yes, it’s absolutely dairy-free. If you like, you can substitute the oil for melted butter—it’ll taste delicious. I steeped the Almond Breeze with pretzels for a few hours, in the fridge, until they were nice and soft. I blended the milk mixture, resulting in almond milk that tasted EXACTLY like pretzels…with a hint of almond-y flavor.

PretzelDoughnuts_4 [click to continue…]

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