Breakfast

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.

Almond Strawberry Smoothie Bowl // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Toasted Almond French Toast // www.acozykitchen.com

They say you can tell a person’s true colors in the darkest of times.

That moment for me was early Monday morning when the Los Angeles earth decided to shake rapidly in the middle of the night. I was mid-crazy dream. I was in the South of France. Amelia and a cat were fighting. I found a Sriracha bottle (how a bottle of Sriracha was just laying on a French country-side road is unknown) and started to throw it at the two of them to quit it. That’s when the earth shook, the doors to my closet trembled and my inner-self went into pure panic mode.

Petrified and confused out of my mind, I jumped out of bed, pushed Josh to wake up and bolted out of the bedroom door. Josh screamed (a very manly scream, I might add), “WHAT IS IT?!?” and him, me and Amelia headed for the bedroom door. Apparently, he thought there was a squirrel in our bed. Why a squirrel, I have no idea…so as we were running out of the bedroom door, he threw the blankets on top of each other, as to try and catch the non-existent squirrel and slammed the bedroom door shut.

Toasted Almond French Toast // www.acozykitchen.com

Amelia was not to be left behind. She was right there. The trembling stopped and I immediately started doing this weird cry/laugh thing I always seem to do when I’m embarrassed/scared/confused.

Josh explained his fear about the small animal in our bed and I just started laughing hysterically. I couldn’t stop.

There are only a few things that can calm my panicked-self. French toast is one of them.

Toasted Almond French Toast // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake // www.acozykitchen.com

Remember Spring Break?! (Maybe you’re in college or high school and are lucky enough to be on Spring break or be on the verge of your break. I’m jealous.)

Where I went to college (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), the thing to do was to drive down to Savannah, Georgia and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I was usually too poor to do this, but I did it one year and OMG that city knows how to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. The entire city shuts down and everyone is in the street, drinking, partying and being spooked by possible ghosts. Savannah is beautifully haunted.

Nowadays, the idea of drinking green beer in the street sounds like hell. Literally, you could not pay me. I’d much rather sit on a quiet beach where I can relax, drink a cocktail and have no one speak to me for hours at a time. That’s what I crave at this age: silence and alcohol.

Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake // www.acozykitchen.com

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Irish Soda Bread Scones with Salty Whiskey Butter // www.acozykitchen.com

My body is aching. I can’t tell if it’s from rigorous work-outs or just cooking my little heart out this week. Nonetheless, I’m about to get my hair professionally blow dried so all is ok in the world. It’s one of the greatest luxuries. If you’re a woman, you understand this sentiment; if you’re a dude, you’re probably confused why salons dedicated to just blow-drying even exist. The answer: because it’s important and blow-drying takes too long!

Last year I made my favorite Irish Soda Bread in the entire world. It was laced with brown sugar, whole wheat pastry flour and OMG there were whiskey-soaked raisins, which let me tell you, completely changed my mind about raisins.

I used to be one of those people who despised raisins. Like, if I saw a “chocolate chip cookie” to only then realize the CCs were raisins, serious side-eye, my friends. Serious. Nowadays I’m a grown-up who has the ability to enjoy some raisins in her baked goods. I’m an ever-evolving human.

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Double Chocolate Dessert Waffles // www.acozykitchen.com

Every year Valentine’s Day approaches and I’m like, oh please make it stop. The other day I was reading Anne’s post, which reminded me how much I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. All those school parties! All the treats, candies and glittery, handmade valentines I’d send my friends—why am I so meh about it now?! Oh yeh…there was that one time…

I was in third grade and had convinced my mom that it was very necessary to go to the grocery store and buy a few dozen of those shitty cupcakes with tons of sprinkles and stuff on ‘em. I was pumped. So stoked. I went to class, I had my cute outfit on, had my Valentine’s day pocket-thingys…you know, the big heart with the front pocket so friends could put V-Day cards in ‘em.

Double Chocolate Dessert Waffles // www.acozykitchen.com

Right before the party we had recess so the adults could set up and get everything ready. This is when things took a turn for the worst.

I remember walking past the swing set, not paying attention at all because my mind was on the party, and then boom! Seemingly out of nowhere a gigantic foot hit my face. I fell to the ground and all I could hear is one kid yelling, “Ew! Gross! She’s bleeding.” I remember saying, “No I’m noooot!” Because, if I was bleeding I knew what that meant; it meant no party. And that was totally unacceptable.

Soon enough an adult headed over and I was carried to the school doctor. I remember looking in the mirror, as the nurse attempted to console me, taking note of my gigantic lip and bloody shirt. Pretty sure I still asked if I could go to the party. I knew the answer but I had to give it one last shot. My dad came rushing from work and took me Chili’s. We sat at the bar area and I drank a milkshake and had the fajitas. It was my favorite, but nothing could top the party.

Double Chocolate Dessert Waffles // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Rye Granola with Sour Cherries and Pistachios // www.acozykitchen.com

And just like that, we’re all back in it…

Last night I set my alarm clock for the first time in a week or so. (Amelia seems to have adjusted because she, too, has been sleeping in—a Christmas miracle!) And I’m surprisingly eating sorta healthy, and not because I set any particular parameters or diet-resolutions, but because my body actually doesn’t want sugar and crazy carbs, at least for now.

I spent the past few weeks sleeping, drinking lots of water, drinking lots of other stuff, catching up with friends and taking the time to just read. It’s been amazing. I think that rest has made me so excited and energized for 2014.

This week I’ll be sharing a few healthy(ish) recipes that aren’t necessarily diet food, but sort of what our bodies are calling for after enduring stuff like marshmallows for dinner.

This granola comes from the queen of granola, Megan Gordon from A Sweet Spoonful. She’s the head lady in charge and granola-maker at Marge Granola, and the author of the newly released book, Whole-Grain Mornings! You guys, you know I love me a grain.

Rye Granola with Sour Cherries and Pistachios // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Ice Cream French Toast // www.acozykitchen.com

Merry Christmas Eve! This French toast is what I like to refer to as “Ice Cream French Toast.” I think the ice cream part is really important. The challah toast is dunked in the ice cream base and then pan fried. It’s maybe my favorite way to make French toast EVER! In my book, it’s sort of the only way.

I’m currently in San Jose with Josh’s family. This is actually going to be my first Christmas not waking up in my childhood bed. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little sad about it, just trying my hardest not to show it.

When I’m back home with at my parents’ house, I usually make this braided situation, but this year I decided to shake it up and make French toast. The best part about this recipe is how you can break up the work. Tonight I’m going to make the creme anglaise, keep it in the fridge so tomorrow morning all I’ll have to do is dunk it and fry up the French toast. Perfect Christmas morning breakfast in PJs and comfy socks. It’s my plan. For the recipe and all that jazz, head over to PBS Food.

Wishing you a super Merry Christmas. xo

Ice Cream French Toast // www.acozykitchen.com

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Spicy Sausage Country Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits // www.acozykitchen.com

Spicy Sausage Country Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits…because you’re worth it, gurlfrien’.

This is the recipe I want to make/eat/eat/eat before all the stupid juice cleanses, resolutions to be a better human, dog mother and eater begin. This is a good I-don’t-give-a-shit-let-me-live meal.

I don’t often make country gravy with biscuits; and it’s not because I love it, but it’s usually just too rich for me. I don’t typically go for the butter on top of cream on top of butter stuff. I need bite; I need heat; I need contrast. For me, this meal is simply just too much.

That’s why I’ve made some tweaks that I think make it a bit more interesting. First, there needs to be some spicy Italian sausage all up in it. That means there’s little instant notes of fennel, shallot and other stuff going on. Yes.

And then, Dijon mustard. Oh yeh. A bit of Dijon mustard in the gravy gives it just a hint of acid that I think the gravy benefits from. It’s not mustardy; I’d say it’s almost nearly undetectable. Of course, I ended up going back and adding a bit more and it was awesome, but you could definitely taste the mustard. The recipe below reflects pre-addition. But, add more if you like!

Spicy Sausage Country Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits // www.acozykitchen.com

This dish has Christmas breakfast written all over it.

Christmas morning breakfast might go down as my favorite meal all year. ALL YEAR!

Is there any meal that’s cozier than Christmas breakfast?!! NO!

This meal is awesome because you can make it the night before, though I do strongly urge the baking of the biscuits to happen the morning of. (There’s nothing quite like a warm, just-got-out-of-the-oven biscuit.)

Spicy Sausage Country Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits // www.acozykitchen.com

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Meyer Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Rosemary Glaze // www.acozykitchen.com

i think you all look super cute today. Nice hair. Your skin looks fresh and pretty. Did you get lots of sleep last night?

We could all use a compliment once in a while. Yesterday I was in need of one, so I took upon myself to speak for Amelia. Whenever I speak for her, I do so using a voice that’s probably very irritating for most, but I find sort of adorable. I’d say it sounds kinda like a four-year old boy who I imagine dresses strangely (I’m talking wearing capes and cowboy boots to bed) and has a slight lisp. We all have animal voices. Mine sounds like that.

So, in my Amelia-voice, I said a bunch of compliments out loud. And then, since I’m super polite, I said thanks to her. If you’re in need for some compliments, which you shouldn’t be because I just said you look cute today, just speak for your animals. If they could speak, they’d probably say all sorts of nice stuff to you.

Do you think I’m weird? Pretty sure I just let my freak-flag fly. I’d like to change the subject now and talk about these muffins! Thanks.

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Rosemary Glaze // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Grapefruit Oatmeal Banana Smoothie // www.acozykitchen.com

I can assure you that cookie week isn’t over, it’s just sort of postponed for a few hours because I came down with a surprise case of food poisoning. I won’t go into details because this is a food blog and we’re all friends but let’s just say that yesterday all I wanted was something that was healthy and light on my stomach. Enter: this smoothie.

I’m not the best at taking care of myself. If Josh isn’t around to make me a smoothie and coffee in the morning, then I usually don’t drink a smoothie. (I always figure out my coffee situation.) But I’m trying to get better. This is a big part of an initiative I like to call “being an adult.”

Grapefruit Oatmeal Banana Smoothie // www.acozykitchen.com

Outshine Fruit Bars sent me over some fruit bars and I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the ingredient list. No weird stuff. Basically just grapefruit juice, but frozen, so I figured it’d be an easy, nice addition to my morning smoothie.

My normal smoothies in the morning look horrifying. Like the most unattractive green color you’ve ever seen. So, I decided to skip the spirulina and maca and acaî in this smoothie recipe, and just keep it sort of classic and simple.

Grapefruit Oatmeal Banana Smoothie // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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