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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
One of my favorite summahtime memories was in college. I got a job on a film set in Maryland for a few days and instead of flying, which they offered, I took it as an opportunity to go on a solo road-trip through the south.
It wasn’t too far, actually, maybe six or seven hours. And instead of opting for highway only, I went for the route that took me on a lot of one lane roads, running straight through a bunch of small towns in North Carolina and Virginia.
I packed a large sweet tea, made a super long mix-CD and filled up my Jetta.
Nothing crazy happened. I stopped off at a diner, had hoecakes and ate Western North Carolina BBQ. At dusk, fireflies helped light up the roads. I listened to music my parents did. But mostly I remember thinking that everyone seemed so happy and normal and maybe this whole idea of moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry, which is inherently sort of abnormal, was maybe flawed. Maybe they had it right and I had it all wrong.
When I was a kid, softball practice might’ve been my favorite extracurricular activity ever. It mostly had to do with my love of gossiping with my friends, smacking a ball from time to time and using the $4 I begged from my mom to buy as much candy as possible before she picked me up.
I grew up in a household where everything awesome wasn’t allowed. No candy, no game consoles (this was such a big deal when I was a kid) and no junk food. This meant that when I when I went to the outside world I went ballistic. I made sure to play as many video games as I could and eat as much sugar as humanely possible. The concession stand was my heaven and a must-buy every time was a lemon-y Italian icy. Why this very American concession stand sold Italian icys, I’ll never know but I remember it being so ridiculously sweet and tasting faintly like fake-lemon. “Chemical lemon” is how I like to remember it.
Luckily I grew up and found real recipes for clean, fresh-tasting granitas, much like this one from Erin’s new book, Yummy Supper.
Erin writes one of my favorite blogs on the internets. It’s full of beautiful photography, a friendly voice, someone who you’d hope would be your neighbor and friend, the type of friend who would share her best recipes with you. When I first visited Erin’s blog I didn’t even realize it was gluten-free.
The dishes that you’ll find in her book are ones that are naturally gluten-free; combining fresh food in smart and delicious ways. This dessert is no different. It’s refreshing, simple and ideal for the August heat.
Today I’m giving away three copies of Yummy Supper! To enter do the following:
1. Leave a comment below answering the following question:
“What was the name of your first crush?”
Mine: Jake. I met him at the softball field and didn’t dare to ever speak to him!
Three winners will be chosen at random on Monday, August 25th at noon PST.
I tend to avoid bringing up world events or politics on A Cozy Kitchen. Not because I walk around with rose-tinted glasses on but I honestly figure you get enough of that elsewhere. And plus, this is the place I created to celebrate fun and warmth; devoted to things like cheese, butter and corgis. But this week has been particularly rough and I’m finding it hard to muster up the energy to talk about Aviva throwing her leg across the table.
Robin Williams’ death made me so unexpectedly sad. If you know me, you know that me crying is a very common occurrence, but I was still shocked by how much I cried on Monday. I felt like I lost someone I knew; someone who had been there at so many different times in my life.
Also, the sheer irony in a man who dedicated his life to making so many laugh and yet was dealing with so many personal struggles, is just tragic. It’s a reminder that we really have no idea what’s going in other people’s lives and their own personal struggles are ones we aren’t always privy to. It reinforces my belief in trying to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Oh gosh and #Ferguson. Don’t even get me started. Good gracious. I can’t believe this is happening in 2014…yet I sort of can which is even sadder.
I feel like I’ve told you about my obsession with the Amalfi coast and how all I’ve wanted to do recently is get on a plane, stay in an apartment overlooking the ocean, swim all day and eat all night. The dish that I’m guessing I’d eat copious amounts of is this linguine con le vongole.
Since there’s no trip to Italy in sight, I figured maybe making the dish from the place I’ve been dreaming about might make me feel better. It totally didn’t, but it did make for an amazing lunch so I figured I’d share it with you in case you, too, might be needing a dish to make you want to be in some place other than your desk/current location/grey cubicle, etc.
For this dish, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet spices because it seems like I can’t really make anything without adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. They are staple in my house. A ramekin of them sits right next to the black pepper and salt. I add them to EVERYTHING.