Dinner

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

Hi from Big Bear Lake! I’m here for a few days and I’m currently very snowed in at a very hipster cabin full of things like vintage kitchen items, lots of Pendleton blankets, an old fire place and a record player that spins lots of Bob Dylan and Iron + Wine.

I’m not mad at all. It’s funny and fun all at the same time. I’m spending my day in the kitchen baking things, shooting things and I’m really hoping I can get Amelia to jump in a big pile of snow so she can do one of these .

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

This is something I made before I left that was A: on the lighter side; B: was crispy. C: was FRESH. I’ve been in the mood for not fatty foods, if that makes sense.

I’m currently on Day 19 and feeling like I can’t eat super fatty meats or bacon or any of that. I’ve never been a huge meat-eater so it’s not the easiest for me to eat meat everyday. Yesterday and the day before I just ate vegetables all day and drank a smoothie because sometimes I get sick of eating (if it’s not like pound cake).

I love the artichokes and lots of lemon in this recipe. I found the almond-coated chicken to be a bit annoying to pan-fry because you really have to clean out the pan between batches or else the almond bits get all burnt. I included that in the instructions below but I wanted to give a special heads up about it.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata

This recipe is super healthy and light and fresh. I love minced parsley, garlic, onion and lemon together. They’re flavors that just go so well. It’s old school, really. Nothing new but still so good.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata [click to continue…]

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Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

You wanna know what’s really good for creative inspiration?! Going on Whole 30. You will dream of all sorts of amazing desserts and delicious-tasting things you cannot eat. I have a huge list of recipes I can’t wait to make! Today I’m making rough puff for the third time and I surprisingly wasn’t THAT tempted to eat it.

I think that means the “sugar dragon” is gone. It’s remarkable because no one loves sweet things more than me.

And next week I’m shooting a bunch of V-Day content so we’ll see how that goes! HAHA. I should be fine but it is a huge drag to not just take a gigantic bite to make sure it tastes OK.

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree

This dish right here is my new favorite. I love normal, American pot roast, but this dish is more my style. It’s a cross between traditional pot roast and Seco, which is a Peruvian dish.

Seco is traditionally a cilantro stew braised with beer. Since I can’t consume beer (even if it’s cooked off), I made it a bit different.

It’s not EXACTLY seco, hence the reason why I’m sticking to “Peruvian-ish pot roast.” But it is SO GOOD. It has a whole lot of flavor; is bright thanks to the cilantro and lime; and the onions, oh they’re so good. The jalapeño adds just the right amount of kick.

Peruvian-ish Pot Roast with Silky Smooth Cauliflower Puree [click to continue…]

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Whole 30 Prep

As you know, I’m on Whole30…also affectionally called (by me) Hell30.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard and that’s because I’m totally addicted to sugar and my body is really mad about it. I’m technically on Day 10 right now and I feel really good.

The good news is that there are so many things you can eat when doing Whole30. And you can have coffee, which is an absolute must in life for me.

Whole 30 Prep

In case you’re unfamiliar with Whole 30, I’ll do a short breakdown:

1. No dairy, no grains, no legumes (this includes soy sauce).

2. There is also a limited number of fruit servings a day (I believe it’s 2).

3. There are also no treats that are meant to resemble fun things, i.e., pancakes, cookies, French fries, etc., even if they use the approved ingredients from Whole 30.

And that’s sort of it. The point is to ween your body off of sugar and other unnatural, processed foods we’re typically used to eating.

As a way to cope with this, I think prepping some foods to have on hand each week is super important. Before I started it, I cooked up a bunch of food and some I used all the time and others I didn’t like.

Whole 30 Prep

Harissa Meatballs [click to continue…]

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Harissa Meatballs

GOOD GRACIOUS! Annnnd we’re back! That break felt so so good. Not gonna lie, I was way burnt out at the end of 2016. I needed a whole lot of days smushed together where I did absolutely nothing.

We went up to the bay for the holidays and then drove back down. Every day we read, hung out at our apt, went to the movies (!!) twice and hung out with a whole lot of friends. It was glorious.

AND, if you didn’t see on Instagram, Joshua and I are engaged! WHAAAT! Yes. On a cliff off the coast of California, near San Francisco, Joshua asked me. It was so sweet and perfect and I cried tears so of pure joy. Josh kept trying to get me to go on a hike that day and I fought it HARD because I was wearing my new boots and I didn’t want to get them muddy and it was sort of rainy. Luckily he convinced me to go on a “light” walk.

Harissa Meatballs

The thing they don’t tell you when you get engaged is the next question…like literally seconds after you tell someone is the annoying question: WHEN/WHERE/HOW R U GETTING MARRIED? And the girl who had to be bribed to wear a bra and cried when she got her period because she couldn’t go to the water park with her dude friends, wants to SCREAM, I DONT FUCKING KNO.

And please no one force me to go to my own bridal shower because I can’t.

So the answer is: who knows. I’m not sure yet but I’m sure it will be figured out. The one thing I have thought a lot about is cake planning! Because I’m that human that wants to make her own cake. Maybe I should figure out the cake part and then go from there. Like when you get dressed and start with your shoes first.

Harissa Meatballs [click to continue…]

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Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

I am the most last-minute holiday person in the entire world. A gigantic part of me actually really loves the adrenaline rush of shopping the week-of. My dad and I would always get our holiday shopping like two days before Christmas and it was always way more fun than being planned and perfect.

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

This year I somehow have it together. I even bought a few hostess gifts to hand out at parties. (And yes, that is a link to cat and dog bingo.)

Luckily one of the main people on my shopping list (my brother) is already taken care of. I’m going to gift him a KitchenAid® Stainless Steel Cookware Set
because he is just got his first adult job (hello first engineering job!) and is moving into a brand new apartment in a brand new city!!

For this post, I teamed up with KitchenAid® to show you how I put their set to good use by making these very fluffy and cloud-like balls of gnocchi.

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce

Gnocchi Preserved Lemon with Alfredo Sauce [click to continue…]

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Winter Fondue

My first date EVER in my entire life was at an upscale fondue restaurant. I think I was 15 or 16 and had been to some nice restaurants before but this time I was by myself, with a boy (!!), not with my parents. For the first time, I sort of felt like an adult. It felt super fancy and I was very into it.

Halfway through the meal, after the lobster, I realized I’m not all that into boiled meat and fish. My favorite part, by far, was the bread dipped into the cheese and dessert, of course. Who doesn’t love melty chocolate with fruit?

Winter Fondue

For this very adult, fondue party, I teamed up with ALDI to score all of the veggies and cheeses. A few weeks ago I walked through ALDI trying to think of all the things I could dip into cheese. The good news is that it’s not a hard task. Mostly everything is delicious in cheese!

I feel like this is an easy winter-party situation that you can throw together. People come over, chop up some winter vegetables and tell everyone to dip them in cheese. Game over!

Winter Fondue [click to continue…]

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Classic Rösti

Wasn’t that lil’ break the absolute best? I needed it. I think we all needed some rest and chillaxation. On Thanksgiving day, there was a long walk with Amelia and Joshua, some cooking (but relaxed cooking), a nice Friendsgiving with lots and lots of wine (thanks to Whitney!!!).

The next day Josh and I went to Seattle for book signing. I LOVE SEATTLE. It’s so rainy and overcast and cozy.

BUT NOW WE’RE BACK. I don’t know about you, but I wish the holiday season lasted about twice as long. The weeks go by so quickly and I love all the decorations and the sparkly lights and the foods.

Classic Rösti

A rösti has been on my to-make list for a v v long time. If you’re unfamiliar, think of it like a latke but bigger and thicker. It’s more cake-like.

I thought about making this rosti out of other things besides potatoes, but the thing I enjoy about them the most is their crispiness. And nothing in the entire world can get crisper than a potato. It’s made for dat crisp.

If you’re asking yourself, “what is the difference between a rösti and a latke?!” not to worry, here’s the answer:

A latke is held together with a bit of flour and egg, while a rösti is only held together with melted butter. It makes the execution a bit tricker.

Latkes are also much thinner than röstis which tend to be thicker and taller. I think both have their home at certain times and certain moods. But right now, I’m all about dat rösti.

Classic Rösti

Since there is no binder, the technique is pretty imperative. I used the technique from Chef Steps because they do a lot of good work over there and it was super duper simple.

Classic Rösti [click to continue…]

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Pumpkin Raclette Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Jalapeño

Every morning, when the sun breaks, my Abuelita Renee sits at the edge of her bed with her rosary in her hand and she recites prayer, bead after bead. She’s probably done this every single morning since she was probably 12 years old in Peru. She’s 82 now.

I’m not all that religious but I think the act of thankfulness, faith and hope is so very beautiful. I think what she does every morning is special. And I know it helps her throughout her day. I was thinking this past weekend what I’m thankful for…

The world feels like it’s crashing, things feel off and full of unrest but in my little world that I’ve created that’s full of friends and close family and Josh and Amelia, I’m happy. I feel thankful that we get to go on walks together.

Pumpkin Raclette Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Jalapeño

Pumpkin Raclette Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Jalapeño

I’m thankful that I’m healthy and wake up every single day feeling good.

I’m thankful for this space on the internet that let’s me create and make money all at the same time.

I’m thankful that my family sacrificed so much to come to this country so I could lead a better life.

Pumpkin Raclette Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Jalapeño

I’m thankful that you’re all here.

I’m thankful that Josh and I can laugh and talk for hours and hours at a time. We still love each other so very much. That feels good to me.

I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. I try and honor them by working even harder.

Pumpkin Raclette Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Jalapeño [click to continue…]

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Squash Saltado

About a year ago, I promised myself I wouldn’t say anything about the election. Mainly because it’s EVERYWHERE and so many things make my eyes roll and make me SO angry but it’s over now. And I’m so glad I stuck to it—until now—because I feel like this probably was one of the only places where it wasn’t all about politics.

A Cozy Kitchen is about corgis and pie and meatballs. What connects us–no matter what our political opinions–is our love of food and fun.

I’m the first generation in this country. Recently my tia Cecilia started a private Instagram where she shares really old photos of my family when they first arrived to The States. Everyone was so young, so unknowing and so incredibly brave.

Squash Saltado

Squash Saltado

Squash Saltado

Squash Saltado [click to continue…]

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Cornbread Chicken and Dumplings

I have been on the verge of almost getting sick for almost a month. And I have this strange pain in my neck. I have no idea what’s wrong with me but I think it’s a combo of maybe overworking myself and just being too scared to go to the chiropractor to get it fixed. I’m probably the absolute worst at going to the doctor because I hate it. It’s time-consuming and it’s scary all wrapped into one. So instead I’ve been subsisting off of wellness shots and wellness formula pills every single day. Let’s hope it works! My neck is another story. I’ve been thinking of getting this fancy pillow to help with my neck pain. Is this stuff interesting?

It’s not, I’m sorry. In other news, I went to Yeezy last night and IT WAS AMAZING.

Cornbread Chicken and Dumplings

Kayne reminds me of childhood but instead of childhood like as a little kid, it reminds me of being in my teenage years and early twenties when I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. It’s nostalgic in a whole other way. Kanye reminds me of my navy blue Jetta that always smelled a delicious combo of fast food and weed.

It took me a while to warm up to Saint Pablo but once I did I was hooked on that too.

I was hoping to get a glimpse of Kim but she was a no show. :(

Cornbread Chicken and Dumplings

Let’s talk chicken and dumplings!

This is my new favorite iteration of them because it combines cornbread into the mix and who doesn’t love cornbread?

If I were to make this again, which I will soon, I might fold some diced jalapeño into the dumplings so they’re a little spicy and sassy. If you want to be crazy, you can mix in some cheese, too.

This bowl situation is all for Cynthia’s (from Two Red Bowls) virtual baby shower. Everyone’s recipes are made in a bowl! Cynthia’s lil’ baby Samuel was born last week! Welcome into the world, little angel! He is so ridiculously cute. Congrats, Cynthia and family!

And a big hug to my homies Alana and Steph for organizing it (you can also see everyone else’s posts under #threeredbowls on the Instagram.

Cornbread Chicken and Dumplings [click to continue…]

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