Appetizers

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.

Blistered Blue Lake Beans with Chili, Mint and Orange // 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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Baked Brie with Cherries, Pistachios and Caramelized Honey

Last week I was in New York for three short nights and I can tell you from my experience, Spring has not sprung. Being greeted by twenty-one-degree temperatures, AND after a red-eye flight is kind of a brutal (but I had a pretzel later so all was ok). Luckily Spring is near. I’m not a groundhog or anything but I’m staying positive for all of you east coasters.

I’m sure many of you still dealing with Winter’s lingering attitude can’t wait for brunches. Is there anything better than sitting outside, eating with friends while the warmish April sun looks on? I guess when I think of weekend brunching, I think of Spring. It’s that time when we’re just itching to do everything outside, which includes eating. Cocktails and appetizers and pancakes mixed with lunch food. I probably love the mix of foods most about brunch. It’s not just breakfast, but a healthy mix.

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I baked some cheese for when you’re ready to do this occasion of brunching. I’m hoping you’ll be able to do it soon. (If not, don’t worry because baked cheese also eases sorrows. Trust me.) 

Baked Brie with Cherries, Pistachios and Caramelized Honey // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

This is another installment of Adrianna Loves Butter But Is Eating Healthy-ish. Spring produce motivates me to eat greener, brighter things.

On Monday a pound of arugula (a pound!! that’s a ton of arugula) was dropped on my doorstep and I immediately went into brainstorming mode as to what to do with it. I have pesto and soup and a few other things planned for that arugula, but first, a salad!

Since we’re not exactly in full on Spring-mode yet, I wanted a salad that felt comforting. Something that you’d still want to have on a cold-ish day. There are a bit of beans that help with that, some feta for its wonderful saltiness, some mint and Italian parsley for flavor and the usual suspects of zested garlic and diced shallot.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

This salad isn’t chock-full of unexpected ingredients or combinations that are unusual or particularly interesting. It’s just a good tasting salad.

The internet LOVES weird combos and cheese oozing out of the sides of things. And that’s ok, I do too. But sometimes, I like simple and familiar. This is a friendly salad.

The dressing might be my favorite part. Eating healthier has been a lot of me having to re-teach myself how to cook. I can’t do the things I did in the past (read: put butter in everything). A little cleverness goes a long way.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Spiced Parsnip Fries with Roasted Garlic Yogurt// www.acozykitchen.com

So I’m on this sort of diet thing. It’s not a diet, exactly. It’s more of a don’t-eat-everything-you-want-which-includes-two-doughnuts-in-a-row kind of thing. I’m basically just trying to eat a bit healthier, though tomorrow I’m totally sharing something fun with you.

In the nature of this blog, which is a reflection of what I’m eating and obsessing over, there might be some more healthier recipes popping in and out over the next few months. This will never be a healthy-type blog; I simply love butter too much, but I am almost relearning how to cook and eat in a way. My default is always to finish things with a bit of butter. Bolognese? Finish it with butter. Sear a steak? Top it with a bit of butter? I’m learning how to not cook with so much fat.

I always know I feel better when I work out but it definitely takes effort to get in your car and drive somewhere to work out. I tend to make so many excuses. But right now I’m into it so I’m riding the wave. Also, if all this healthy/workout talk is boring, I’m sorry. Tomorrow I have pop tarts, ok? POP TARTS!

But today, fries that aren’t fries. They’re frauds. Delicious little frauds topped with lemony, garlicky yogurt, Italian parsley and sweet pomegranate seeds.

Spiced Parsnip Fries with Roasted Garlic Yogurt // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Kale and Blistered Pepper Quesadilla // www.acozykitchen.com

My whole goal in life is to take ordinary dishes I ate as a kid and make as fancy and fresh as I possibly can. Today’s project: quesadillas. Don’t get it twisted, I’ve indulged in the classic (very American) version of a quesadilla. It usually involved me, after school, needing some sort of snack. I’d sprinkle a gigantic flour tortilla with hot sauce and fill it with a ton of pre-shredded cheese. And there was usually a glass of lemonade and Total Request Live (TRL!!). I always had a soft spot for Carson Daly–he was almost too nice.

Today’s version is different. There’s pretty kale, Alpine-style cheese, a blistered anaheim pepper, a spoonful of beans and a sprinkling of corn. It’s the fancy quesadilla of my dreams.

A few months ago, I was asked to create a few recipes using different kinds of cheese. I said, yes/ of course/this is my dream. Send me all of the cheeses.

Rosé Roasted Olives with Blue Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com

So they did. And I began tinkering, playing around with different recipes. I love recipe writing, developing, making. It’s maybe one of my favorite things to do ever. And the fact that I can call it a job is dreamy.

My absolute favorite recipe I made are these Rosé Roasted Olives with Blue Cheese. I’ve been wanting to make roasted olives for such a long time. And seriously, the warm blue cheese with the sweet and dry rose and the olives. Ahhh! Best appetizer ever.

There was this Bacon Potato Habanero Cheese Soup that was dreamy, too. It’s the thing you want to eat on a cold day. It’s like eating a gigantic baked potato but lighter and daintier.

And there’s more!

For more cheese-centric recipes, here is the full list:

Rosé Roasted Olives with Blue Cheese (using Salemville Amish Blue Cheese)
Gouda Apple Mustard Tartines (using King’s Choice Aged Gouda Cheese)
Thyme Cheddar Cheese Straws (using 3 Year White Cheddar from Red Leaf)
Broccoli Asiago Macaroni and Cheese (using Stella Asiago)
Swiss Chard Gruyere Leek Strata (using Saxony Alpine-Style Aged Cheese)
Bacon Potato Habanero Cheese Soup (using Great Midwest – Habanero Jack Cheese)

The Strata listed above is probably tied with the roasted olives. Before trying it out, I’d never made a strata before, which is essentially a baked bread pudding but savory and less bread-heavy. It’s the dream breakfast for house guests. If you’re throwing a bunch, make that! It’s one of those dishes you can make a few hours ahead and then bake-off when people show up.

Basically, make all of these cheese recipes because cheese is the best and is my favorite cure-all.

Bacon Potato Habanero Soup // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Beer and Cheddar Cheese Gougeres // www.acozykitchen.com

My dad was in town for a few days and even though he bosses me around, wakes up way too early and always tells me my car needs to be cleaned, I had the best time ever. Living across the country from my parents is hard. When I see them, I see them differently, and after they leave I always tend to think a lot about my childhood.

My dad and I have always baked together. It’s the thing we share. My dad isn’t a pro-baker or anything like that—he does it strictly as a hobby, and for many years it was his favorite hobby. A few years ago, over a holiday break, my dad and I spent two days baking gougeres. We had no idea what we were doing, but we followed a bunch of recipes, tweaked a bunch of stuff and after two days we finally ended up with a batch we deemed totally perfect.

After my dad left town all I wanted to do was make something that felt familiar and something that reminded me of the man who taught me to how to change a tire and the man who taught me the value of never quitting.

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Gougeres // www.acozykitchen.com

Gougeres are made from pate a choux. If you’ve never made it before you may think it’s a weird and wrong.

The recipe begins by cooking butter with water, flour, and in this case, beer. And then you mix in eggs–even though they might not feel like they can actually be incorporated into the dough. They eventually do.

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Gougeres // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Beet Hummus with Crispy Beet Greens // www.acozykitchen.com

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…

Beet Hummus with Crispy Beet Greens // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip // www.acozykitchen.com

Who doesn’t love a cheese pull?!?

My nails usually look a wreck from cooking, so please let’s enjoy the fact that my nails are actually looking civil. I only paint my nails on my days off because polish lasts a total of five hours for me. And please don’t sing the praises of gel nails. They do last a long time, but the time it takes to have them put on and the effort to get them properly removed is too much for me. I can’t deal. I’m way too impatient.

This weekend is the weekend when all of our healthy eating goals of 2014 just go to hell. Kale salads and broths are replaced with piles and piles of chips with melted cheese on ‘em. I’m not mad at this. I plan on making chicken wings, per Wednesday’s recipe. And maybe I might even make some with traditional buffalo wing sauce. I love Frank’s hot sauce, though the wing competitions at buffalo wing places freak me out. I definitely won’t be eating 50 wings that make my face wanna explode, but I might have like 4.

This Spinach Arichoke Dip will also definitely be present. It’s sort of a classic, but I like this version. It’s a tad bit spicy, warm and a little tangy (thanks to the creme fraiche). It’s soooo good.

For the full recipe and pics, go over to PBS Food.

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip // www.acozykitchen.com

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Hot Honey Lime Wings // www.acozykitchen.com

I know I say I’m an enthusiast of lots of things like pie, pancakes and biscuits, and I am…but I’m really a professional when it comes to chicken wings. I’m a chicken wing professional.

If I’m having a bad day, Josh will usually recommend we go bowling and grab a basket of chicken wings. Just the sound of these two events make my terrible day almost an afterthought.

I’ve been reticent to make chicken wings at home because, well, I hate frying stuff at home. And I know you do too. We’re in it together. When I started talking about baking wings, Josh suggested I sprinkle the chicken with a mix of baking powder and salt, which promises super crispy skin, even in the oven. Josh is full of kitchen tricks.

And lo’ and behold, I did it! And guys…the skin crisped up soooo nice.

Hot Honey Lime Wings // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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