How to Make Italian Sodas // www.acozykitchen.com

Sometimes (since I’m a nosey person), I wonder what people’s blogging situation looks like. Like, where are they when they’re writing, what are they wearing (not like that, you sicko!), what are they drinking…you know, all that kind of stuff.

So, here’s a very non-glamorous picture of where I write the majority of my blog posts: in bed, wearing sweats and a t-shirt with anti-wrinkling serum all over my face. I usually edit and write the recipe right after I make and shoot the dish, but the blog post is always written right before I press publish or set it on a timer. For me, the idea of writing blog posts weeks ahead of when they’re published feels weird and disconnected. I like it to be almost in real time. I dunno—there’s no right or wrong way, that’s just how I prefer it.

How to Make Italian Sodas | www.acozykitchen.com

I’m so dang excited about these Italian sodas. They’re maybe the prettiest thing I’ve made in quite some time, and my favorite part about this recipe is that it’s an idea-based recipe. You can apply the ratios below to any fruit and be met with delicious results. And seriously how gorgeous are the colors? I LOVE THEM!

If you’ve never had an Italian soda, they’re so rich and refreshing all at the same time. I decided on three flavors: rhubarb, blackberry and strawberry, but feel free to use up any fruit that cooks down well. Other fruit ideas are pineapple, blueberries, mulberries (they just came in season!) and even mangos.

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Arugula Goat Cheese Pasta with Fava Beans with Prosciutto // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m not sure if I’ve told you this but I’ve been on this six-week transformation thingy and it’s almost over. It has required that I workout nearly six days a week, which I actually enjoy, and eat a diet full of healthy, non-fun things, which I clearly do not enjoy.

Of course I’ve cheated here and there because food is what I do and it’s hard, man. I’ve learned on this six-week journey that food for me is so social and emotional and in a way, not to sound cheesy, so heavily tied into my everyday life. So, it’s been hard, but I feel healthy and strong, which was my goal from the very beginning.

Arugula Goat Cheese Pasta with Fava Beans with Prosciutto // www.acozykitchen.com

Last week I made this pasta and ate an entire bowl; as I sat there eating gluten, I thought about how happy pasta makes me. Ahh! I was cheating but I didn’t care. Arugula pesto with walnuts and goat cheese and Spring-y fava beans with salty prosciutto is seriously what makes me happy.

What’s good about this pasta is that it’s relatively light pasta. It’s Spring-y, snappy and doesn’t give you that heavy feeling that’s often associated with meat-based sauces.

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Asparagus Tart // www.acozykitchen.com

The pretty tart that takes exactly zero minutes to throw together. And by zero I mean about 15 minutes. All you need is a sheet of store-bought puff pastry (because seriously who can deal with making it homemade) and a bunch of fresh asparagus. I usually go for the thicker asparagus because I think they’re better for roasting. Those weird fibrous strands don’t really happen when biting into thicker roasted asparagus. Two cheeses, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, lots of pepper and a bit of lemon zest. It’s Spring on a plate!

For the whole recipe and more pictures, jump over to PBS.

Happy Easter!

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Spaghetti Squash Egg Baskets // www.acozykitchen.com

Last night I “slept” with rage in my heart and a pillow tightly pressed against my ear. Somewhere in the abyss, also known as the mini forest thingy right outside my bedroom window, was a dog that clearly was not happy about being put outside. So he or she barked. And then barked and barked for a solid four hours straight, maybe longer. At first I didn’t hear it but then it was ALL I could hear.

Spaghetti Squash Egg Baskets // www.acozykitchen.com

After hour one of said dog’s incessant barking, realizing it wasn’t going to end, I started to run down scenarios in my head.

Do I drive my car to the house and knock on the owner’s door at 3am?

Will they murder me? Do I call the police?

Do police even care about dogs barking?

Or do I just get ear plus because knocking on a stranger’s door at 3am sounds like a murder waiting to happen? Probably get ear plugs. Who likes confrontation? Not me. Poor dog.

If it happens again tonight I have no idea what I’ll do….ahh! What should I do?!

Spaghetti Squash Egg Baskets // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Rye Rhubarb Walnut Crumble // www.acozykitchen.com

I’ve been feeling lazy lately. My bed sheets need changing. Dog hair is accumulating under the credenza in my living room (and everywhere else, if I’m being honest) as we speak, I haven’t brushed my hair in far too long (I can’t find my brush) and I have to bribe myself to wash dishes (read: snacks). It’s probably just a “this-week” kind of thing. But I’m feeling it.

Crumbles are a perfect fit for lazy moods. They’re the lazy person’s pie. They’re for when you’re in a no-make-up-top-knot-slouchy-sweatshirt kind of mood.

Remember when the whole world hated rhubarb? Now it’s like a celebration when stalks show up in the markets. I imagine rhubarb never expected to be this cool, to all of a sudden be in fashion. Almost like how Birkenstocks are now the It-Shoe. It’s true. I have my sights set on a white pair. They’re oddly sleek. Anyway, Rhubarb and Birkenstocks have a lot in common. Both inherently unexciting. Both totally in fashion…or as my mom says it, “Esta in la moda, Adrianna.”

Rye Rhubarb Walnut Crumble // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com

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 watch 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.

Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com

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.

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Blistered Blue Lake Beans with Chili, Mint and Orange // www.acozykitchen.com

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.

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Strawberry Basil Gin and Tonic // www.acozykitchen.com

I was going start this paragraph by saying, “Cocktail season is here!” But then I stopped myself because we all know that it’s always cocktail season on this blog. Duh. This cocktail in particular is seasonal, I suppose, though I see nothing wrong with using frozen strawberries, making this drank doable year-round.

Sure this looks like a pretty simple strawberry basil situation mixed with some gin, but I can assure you it’s a bit more special. I can’t get near strawberries without thinking of adding a dash of black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It’s just too easy! So this cocktail has a bit of weird stuff added to it, but do you expect any less from me? No, you don’t.

Strawberry Basil Gin and Tonic // www.acozykitchen.com

In other news, thanks for all your concern with Amelia. I’m happy to report that she’s back to barking a lot, stealing shoes, drinking my afternoon tea when I’m not looking and so on. So she’s better.

Strawberry Basil Gin and Tonic // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Words usually flow pretty easily for me in this space. I just write like I’m having a conversation with you, like you’re here just chilling with me, sitting on my couch looking around my apartment, being nosey as shit. But today I’m kind of wordless. I’m a little mopey.

A strange heatwave has come through Los Angeles, making it kind of dreadful, honestly, and worst of all, Amelia is sick. She has a bit of a stomach flu that I’m trying to cure with brown rice. I’m hoping she sleeps it off. The psycho in me keeps checking her stomach while she sleeps, making sure it’s rising and falling. I have a feeling I’m going to be one of those crazy mothers who wakes up in the middle of the night to check and make sure the kids are still breathing. It’s a mama thing, I bet.

Today we have artichokes, which if I’m trying to make a good little segue, take a bit of mothering. At least in the beginning anyway. The whole act of cutting and trimming an artichoke is super easy, though I imagine even the most experienced cooks have to google it to be reminded exactly what needs to be done. There’s kind of a lot tasks, man!

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Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

I spent this past weekend in one of my favorite cities, Palm Springs. It’s about an hour and half-long drive east of Los Angeles, making it the most perfect weekend getaway to Angelenos. I really really love it out there, even in the summers when the temperatures soar above a hundred. In terms of aesthetics, it doesn’t get more beautiful. It’s a dreamy combination of mid-century meets Moroccan meets Spanish. Palm trees and bougainvilleas line the streets while old cars drive up and down quiet neighborhood roads. It’s a special place.

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I know a lot of people (I’m not one of them) are headed to Palm Springs for Coachella. I thought it might be a good time to give you guys a guide, listing some of my favorite places in Palm Springs. This isn’t entirely comprehensive; mainly because I spend the majority of my time sitting by the pool and shopping. If you go to Palm Springs you should focus on doing absolutely nothing. It’s a good do-nothing vacation.

(P.S. My friend Claire from The Kitchy Kitchen posted her guide to Palm Springs just this past weekend. Check it out Part 1 and Part 2!)

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Where to Eat

For me, Palm Springs is mainly about sitting by the pool, drinking cocktails, reading and thrifting. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a food destination the way, say, New York or San Francisco are, but there are a few places I really love (and plenty that I have yet to visit).

Tyler’s Burgers – Their burgers are delicious. The place is classic, charming, casual and in a sea of “fancy,” very mediocre restaurants, it’s a total stand-out.

El Jefe – Located in the Saguaro Hotel, super convenient to everything and overall pretty casual. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for margaritas, some beer and good tacos, though the nachos are my fav.

P.S. There’s nothing better than eating a s’mores while poolside.

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Norma’s (at The Parker Hotel) – In terms of the food, I’ve had a few mixed experiences: rubbery pancakes one time and pretty solid eggs benedict another time, but if we’re being honest, The Parker is mainly about the decor, the colors, the vibe. Everything is so freaking beautiful. However, prepare to pay for the prettiness (hello $18 pancakes!).

Hadley's Date Shake

Tinto – Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant, located right next to El Jefe in the Saguaro Hotel. If you’re looking for a nice place to go, eat a few Spanish appetizers and sip on a few glasses of wine, come here!

Hadley Fruit Orchards – On the way out of Palm Springs, stopping for a Hadley date shake is kinda fun. The banana and date is the move. And order a small because they’re just so dang sweet that you won’t be able to finish a medium.

Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

Where to Stay

My boyfriend’s dad has a vacation house in Palm Springs so I’m super lucky in that I don’t have to search for a place to stay. It makes going out there on a whim a reality, which is pretty awesome. In the past, I have stayed at a few hotels in Palm Springs and most of them are pretty lovely. If you’re going with a group, however, I recommend renting a house (see above picture of homemade s’mores). The house rental options are pretty amazing and it’s definitely the more affordable route.

The Parker – Jonathan Adler designed hotel that is so impeccably designed. You won’t be able to walk through the lobby and not want to take at least five Instagram photos. It’s hard! Their lemonade stand out back is dreamy, their pool is divine and beautiful peacocks roam the grounds. It’s on the higher end of hotels, but I say if you can swing it, do!

The Ace Hotel – I love how the rooms at The Ace are decorated. It was one of the first boutique hotels to pop up in the area and I remember going for the first time and being to-die in love with it.

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The Saguaro Hotel- I’ve stayed here a few times and the best part about it is that the beds are comfy and the prices are pretty affordable. The rooms inside are, well, bright. Very very bright.

Korakia Pensione – A gorgeous bed and breakfast that is definitely priced on the upper high end of hotels but man, it is so beautiful. While The Ace is party-central, the Korakia has a different vibe. This is the kind of place you book if you’re looking for rest, relaxation and tasty spa water. Isn’t spa water the best?!

Palm Springs Guide // www.acozykitchen.com

Where to Shop

Honestly, this is my favorite thing to do in Palm Springs; and this comes from someone who isn’t a shopper. I sort of despise shopping, but in Palm Springs it feels different. I always get the sense like I’m on the verge of stumbling upon a treasure that’s been long forgotten about. Here are the places where I treasure hunt:

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall – A large store filled to the brim with everything from furniture to housewares (lamps, plates, etc.). Most things you come across you won’t find appealing but that’s ok, because that’s sort of the name of the game. There will be a few things, though, and it’ll make it all worth it.

The Fine Art of Design – A beautifully curated store that will make you think you’ve stepped into Edith Head’s costume shop. This isn’t necessarily a place where you hunt for treasures; everything is a treasure. Owner, Nicholas Delgado, has done all the work for you. All of the clothes are breathtaking, in mint-condition and really fairly priced, especially considering it’s high-end vintage.

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Dazzles – This one is new-to-me and was actually recommended to me by my friend Whitney (who found out about it from Claire). The picture above of that crazy mid-century dog house is from their “pool area.” Located in an old motel, this places is packed refurbished furniture and tons of glassware.

Victoria’s Attic – I always get lucky when I come to this antique mall. Most of the vintage-y looking props that I use on this blog come from Victoria’s Attic. This place is fully stocked with cool plates, retro glassware and fun vintage kitchen gear.

Vintage Sunday Market – I went for the first time this past weekend and whoa, it’s soooo good. I scored a beautiful Afghani hand-woven rug for a song. I was on a bit of a time crunch or else I would’ve purchased a gajillion other things. It’s not overly crowded, vendors don’t have tons of stuff you have to sift through and everything is fairly priced–you’re bound to find some treasures!

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