Appetizers

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Spring is the season when tulips bloom, birds chirp and cute produce finally starts to show its face at the market. Finally! It’s the season when gatherings are aplenty, like Passover and Easter and Mama’s Day. It’s also the season when I make any excuse to make deviled eggs because deviled eggs!

The biggest problem with deviled eggs is that I can eat like eight in a row and not feel a thing. It’s like they’re not real food that actually makes me full, that’s how much I love them.

For this recipe, I teamed with McCormick Gourmet to make deviled eggs even more southern than they already are. Pimento cheese is a long dear friend of mine. It’s one of those spreads that I want to put on all the things and I have.

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs [click to continue…]

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Everything Soft Pretzels

Everything bagels are my everything; hence the reason why I figured it’d be a slam dunk of an idea to put that everything topping on soft pretzels. It’s like one of those duh-this-will-taste-good-moments. I’m not sure I can properly express my excitement for this recipe because if you can’t sense it then I’m doing a v v bad job articulating how freaking excited I am!

Some people are sesame bagel people. Some people are asiago bagel people. But then…there are everything bagel people and that is where I fit in. My home belongs in between the poppy seeds and the onion flakes and the sesame. It’s a glorious place to be that makes your mouth smell terribly and there’s a good chance you’ll have dark seeds stuck in your teeth but whatever! Basically, everything bagels aren’t first date material. But they’re good life material.

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Smoked Salmon Dip

Sometimes I get super angsty. Can you be older than 15 and still be angsty? Because I am. I want to sit in my room, with Fiona Apple playing, while I fill my journal with everything that’s making me itchy in life. It goes back to that idea that sometimes I enjoy crying—it feels good! (And yes, I know that Joy basically described this same thing like a few days ago but I’m feeling like this too.)

Lately I’ve been feeling the cries come on by all sorts of things: an episode of Shark Tank; when I think too long and hard about how much I love my dog; how fast time goes; how fragile life is, etc. Basically, whatever the scenario, I will find the emotional thread in that shit!

Smoked Salmon Dip [click to continue…]

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Dukkah

in Appetizers, Snacks

Dukkah | www.acozykitchen.com

Ok, yes, I know I just posted about dukkah crackers but this is different! This is just the spice mixture, which you’re supposed to keep in your cupboard, in a jar, so you can sprinkle it on anything and everything.

When I made these crackers I put the nut inside the cracker so the topping wasn’t exactly straight-up dukkah, but together it made up the flavors. I used the remaining topping in like a day. I wanted to make some regular dukkah, but this time with pistachios. I made this right after and it didn’t last long. I put it on chicken, scrambled eggs, beet hummus and even a simple lil’ boiled egg. And I know we’re like a bajillion light years away from Christmas but I think it’d be even great as a gift, too!

For the whole recipe and more photos, hop over to PBS Food.

Dukkah | www.acozykitchen.com

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Collard Green Wraps // www.acozykitchen.com

I read one of those lame trend reports and apparently collard greens are the new kale. Did you know this? I feel like every year there’s always some sort of claim saying something is the new kale. Let’s just all be ok with the fact that kale is NEVER going away. It’s here to stay. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a moment with new greens.

I loooove collard greens. I love them braised like super Southern-style with ham hock and a side of fried chicken and I love them in this healthy iteration: blanched, air-dried and then stuffed with smooth, sumac-spiked hummus, crispy carrots, avocado, sprouts and herbs.

I could eat a million of these and it’s nice to know that it’s a-ok if I do…that’s if Amelia doesn’t steal them before I get to ‘em.

For the whole recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food.

Collard Green Wraps // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Holiday Nuts, Three Ways | www.acozykitchen.com

Invites for holiday parties are started to sprinkle in. I’m always surprised when people invite me to their parties. Is that weird? I’m always like, Oh, I guess they like me? I’m a lil’ weird, I know.

Social situations where I barely know anyone make me super nervous. They make my palms sweat and they make me even more shy than I should be. For this situation I need party ammo. Things I can bring into the maybe-awkward-social situation that will work as lovely conversation starters.

“How ‘bout them nuts?! I made them!” That line will definitely make it more awkward but hopefully the person I’ll be speaking with has a sense of humor and will laugh and I’ll be fast friends.

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet. These nuts are all super easy to make, take under 30 minutes combined and make good presents, too!

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

The first variety is Sweet and Salty Rosemary Marcona Almonds. If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, you’re in for a treat. They’re very different from a traditional California almond. They’re softer in texture, lighter in flavor and are a bit sweeter. You can find them in the bulk bin at your local Whole Foods or (possibly) health food store.

The savory and herbaceous rosemary is lovely with the sweet and saltiness. It’s a no-brainer. And very very holiday-esque. Super into them.

Holiday Nuts | www.acozykitchen.com

The second nut situation we have are Honey Sesame Cashews. They’re sweet and salty and the sesame adds a nice nuttiness to them. If you’re feeling fancy and dramatic, use black sesame seeds. They’ll look really pretty.

McCormickNuts_4 [click to continue…]

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Spicy Shrimp Ceviche w/ Cucumbers and Burnt Peanuts // www.acozykitchen.com

A large part of me (the sweaty part) despises summer, but this year I’m like super into it. I’ve been inspired to make all sorts of stuff. Also, I’ve embraced wavy hairs.

This shrimp ceviche might be my most favorite thing EVER. It’s inspired by the ceviche I always order at one of my favorite LA restaurants, Corazon y Miel. The chef there loooves Peruvian food, you can just tell. I believe he’s from somewhere in Central America and while people like to consider it a Mexican restaurant (and sure there are Mexican influences), it isn’t completely true. It seems like he takes some of his favorite Latin American flavors and sort of does a mishmash of them, creating his own unique takes on traditional dishes.

Spicy Shrimp Ceviche w/ Cucumbers and Burnt Peanuts // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Classic Pimento Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com

I was born in the south and my family has lived there their whole lives but I don’t really consider myself southern, though I’m definitely southern-ish. I have a strong attraction to southern states, people and food. It was really no surprise that I went back to the south for college, North Carolina to be exact.

My first friend (and best friend ’til this day) at college was a svelte costume design major named Tre. We went everywhere together, including the cafeteria. Rumor had it that our school was just one grade above prison food, which as you know re: Orange is The New black is BAD. Naturally since we were in the south, they had pimento cheese at the salad bar. And everyday Tre would eat pimento cheese on white bread. EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I opted for cereal.) I honestly never touched the pimento cheese because if you think it looks a little scary now in my pictures, imagine how it looked at the ‘one grade above prison salad bar’. Rough.

Classic Pimento Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Mayonnaise // ww.acozykitchen.com

This past weekend was ALL about girl time. And by girl time, I mean Amelia and I hanging out on the couch, going on hikes, going to the park, binge-watching Orange Is The New Black and driving around running errands.

My dude went on a dude-camping trip and I wasn’t invited. Even if I was invited, I’m not a big camper, if you hadn’t guessed. I like nature, I like waterfalls and the scenery and all that but I also like taking showers and being able to charge my phone. The real-deal camping is a lil’ tough for me.

Also, this means I can’t binge-watch Orange is the New Black, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Doesn’t it make prison look like fun?! I know prison isn’t fun but the show doesn’t make it seem all that bad. But mainly I like that the characters are flawed and interesting and are usually really good people, just people with off-kilter ethical compasses who made bad decisions.

Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Mayonnaise // ww.acozykitchen.com

Ok, less talkie about TV and more talkie about this asparagus.

When roasting, I always try and go for the thicker asparagus. I find it less stringy and fibrous than the super skinny asparagus.

I mixed a bit of white asparagus in this, too. But you definitely don’t have to.

The mayonnaise! AHH! This dish is technically paleo because paleo peeps looove a good homemade mayonnaise. I personally like how paleo ppl make mayonnaise too. No blender. Just one of these immersion blenders.

Add everything to the jar or cylinder container and then pulse. Everything will come together. It feels magical. Hazelnut oil is a little expensive, so if you don’t want to use it, don’t! The actual hazelnuts will make it super nutty.

Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Mayonnaise // ww.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

Last Friday I bought a $13 movie ticket, along with a small bag of $6 popcorn, and joyfully watched the new Jon Favreau movie, The Chef. I loved it! Sure, there were problems with the movie, like the relationship between him and Sofia Vergara (seems a little unrealistic) but whatever, I took the ride.

Not to give too much of the movie away but part of it was shot in South Florida, where I grew up the majority of my life and it made me miss home in a way I never do. I miss my family, but I rarely miss Florida. My meh-ness toward Florida can usually be summed up with one word: humidity.

Despite the excessive moisture in the air, Miami does have a vibrancy and energy that I really do love. And I love all the Latin people (and food) in South Florida. It made me want the food of my peeps. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with this Peruvian Aji.

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

If you go into a Peruvian restaurant, most likely it’ll be on every single table. We eat it with everything. The ingredients can be tough to find. There’s usually a bit of black mint and fresh aji amarillos peppers in the sauce. So, in order to make it as assessible, I altered the recipe below to be as United States-friendly as possible.

Aji amarillo paste might be the toughest ingredient to find, though if you live near a Latin American market, it’ll most likely be there. It’s also online. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can always add a bit more jalapeño.

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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