I’m currently battling a slight cold. Apparently I had way too much fun at Universal Studio’s Harry Potter world, which by the way, was amazing. I feel like the only person on the planet earth that never really got into Harry Potter. But the advertisements on the radio lured me in so I went with my friend Whitney, her boyfriend Michael and Joshua. And I had SO MUCH FUN. Highly recommend.
And butterbeer? It’s SO GOOD. I kinda want to make a recipe on this here blog for a butterbeer because it’s incredibly unique. Think butterscotch meets cream soda with whipped cream on top.
These cupcakes are for mama’s day. I got extra, extra spring-y up in here to celebrate. I’m super bummed that I won’t be with my mom this year but if you’re lucky enough to be hanging with mom, then make her these.
A few weeks ago I hopped in a car and drove 2 hours north to a small town called Solvang where I checked into a cozy little hotel and put on a robe (my favorite part) and was then scurried off to dinner (not in the robe, I put on real clothes) on a vineyard. Not the usual Monday around these parts but I reveled in being outdoors, tasting wine and food for a few hours straight.
This was all in honor of ALDI grocery stores coming to Southern California. I’m visiting my first ALDI store in a few weeks and can’t wait to show you more. I’m excited about the extensive organic products they have, especially organic butter and organic dairy (my two most expensive splurges in any given week).
In the meantime, here’s a little bit about my experience at the dinner and how it inspired this recipe for a Chocolate Bundt Cake with Almond-y Cream Cheese Frosting.
I know it’s not your birthday but I made you a birthday cake. I’m guessing I probably have never wished you a happy birthday because there are a few of you and I’m not exactly sure when all of your birthdays are. And even if we were friends on Facebook, I never check it because it’s filled with a bunch of people’s kids from high school and random political rants that make my eyes roll back very far into my head, so FB isn’t a reliable birthday reminder for me anymore. So….I figured I’d make you this cake and whenever your birthday shows up, you can just look at this post and know I’m wishing you a happy birthday!!
I love making people birthday cakes. If you follow me on snapchat (acozykitchen), you might’ve caught a glimpse of me making Josh’s birthday cake. I wanted to show step by step how I was putting it together. And then I made the biggest mistake: I left the room. I came back and Amelia had somehow managed to get herself up onto the counter and eat half of it! Yes, nearly half. It was actually very similar to the cake you see pictured: a yellow cake with chocolate frosting (luckily i hadn’t frosted it yet when she consumed a big chunk of it).
When Tessa’s beautiful book showed up in the mail, Layered, I was immediately drawn to this classic. I figured I needed to give it another go, with Amelia far far away from it.
We’re back at it on this Monday morning. I’m wishing you a chill to-do list, lots of coffee and warm memories of a restful weekend. Right now my mom is in town (she’s a teacher and it’s spring break) so I decided to take a mini break, too, which meant that last week was complete insanity trying to prepare for taking a break. But I’m doing it, enjoying it and thriving!
This cake is from Yossy’s new book, Sweeter Off the Vine. Yossy’s book is so beautiful. The chapters are divided by season and fruit. The recipes include everything from cakes to ice creams to popsicles to crumbles. When I saw this rhubarb upside down cake I was like, yussssss.
Upside down cakes are maybe my favorite type of cake because they’re ridiculously easy. No layers. No frosting to make.
I always like creating patterns if I can. And this one couldn’t be simpler, all that’s really required is cutting the ribs of rhubarb to fit the pan, after they’ve cooked with the sugar, vanilla bean and butter.
And let me tell you, butter and rhubarb are SO good together.
Have you ever looked at that list that Google publishes each year, listing out the most Google-d recipes?! It’s sort of fascinating and it’s really no surprise that banana bread is usually on the list.
People love making banana bread. And it’s sort of a duh, of course they do kinda thing because how often have you bought bananas with really good intentions.
You probably wanted to slice them over a bowl of oatmeal, put them in smoothies, eat them with a dollop of almond butter, etc. but then you prob forget about them only to find them brown AF on your counter, wilting away.
When I’m recipe testing, I like to prop up my computer on a cutting board and watch trashy television. It helps cake and pie and cookie failures go down a bit easier.
Oh and my standards for trashy tv are SO low. It has been everything from Say Yes to the Dress (the Atlanta season is my favorite) to Rich Kids of Beverly Hills (oof!) to what I’m currently watching, Teen Mom.
Teen Mom always makes me want to throw things at my computer because the teen boys are usually gigantic babies and can’t get it together. Like, you have 3k worth of speeding tickets and you’re still getting them!! (This actually happened.)
This cake, inspired by my childhood favorite (the sno ball!), was created with Teen Mom playing in the background.
Episode after episode, I still yell at the television over the same thing: usually the boyfriends being immature babies. Not all the dudes are bad but omg most of them are. LIKE GROW UP!
When I think of “romance tips,” I think of those taglines on the front of womens’ magazines. I remember being like twelve always reading them and being curious what it meant to use your tongue in such and such way and what “surprising him” really meant. I sort of can’t believe I was sort of allowed to read those magazines at that age and not allowed to watch rated R movies but whatever.
As an adult, I can now say the one thing you should do to infuse romance into your relationship is not any of those things (I mean, I’m sure they work) but the real thing is to laugh. And a lot. Not like just a chuckle here and there but like really laugh. Laugh so hard tears are rolling down your face. And talk about everything and anything all the time, which most likely will lead to more laughing. And nothing is more funny and more unexpected than pantsing your bf/gf when they least expect it.
I was reading this book called Cooking by Hand one night and came across a description of a recipe (there are barely any photos in the book) called zuccotto. I liked the name and said it like I was an old Italian man: “zuccccotoo!” V exaggerated, you know?
It sounded really interesting: a dessert made with slices of poundcake and put into a mold and stuffed with whipped cream. I did some googling and came across this really fun video of this man making his with lady fingers and flavoring the ricotta with amaretto, chocolate, marscapone and nuts and fruit. When he removed it from the bowl, it looked amazing!
I was sold. I made this with poundcake instead of lady fingers and I stuffed it with a few different flavored ricottas.
I’m currently watching Little Women over and over with a million blankets over me. It’s legit cold in LA, like, maybe colder than New York and other parts of the east coast. WEIRD! But I’m not complaining, I love it, please continue this, LA.
Not sure if you noticed but it’s December and the world has been taken over by gingerbread houses and buche de noels and hot toddies. I’ve been out of town for the past few weekends so the next few days are my first time heading into to holiday soirees.
If you, too, are looking to make something chill and delicious, here are some options:
I’m back from Portland and currently flying my body to Boston for a book signing and wreath-making workshop. I actually really love traveling during the holidays. I love the shitty Christmas lights and decorations in stores and in airports. I think it’s because it reminds me of Home Alone.
If you haven’t heard, SERIAL just dropped season 2. I kinda wish they just posted all of the episodes like Netflix does. I mean, part of me doesn’t because I wouldn’t get anything else done but you know what I mean!
Let’s talk about hot buttered baba au rhums! When Billy came to my house the other day so we could test these, he was like what the hell is that. I explained that they’re kinda like a French version of a tres leches cake and it all made sense to him. (Billy was also Mexican in his past life because he knows more about Thalia and Mexican pop culture than anyone I know.)
If you’ve never made this cake there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. This batter is very wet. Like, you might think I’m playing a joke on you or you made a huge mistake but you didn’t!
2. This cake is yeasted. But it’s a million times simpler than making any form of dough because there’s no forming of any kind. The first rise doesn’t even have to be transferred to a clean bowl. It’s very hands off.
3. This cake is very dry…that is until you but all that hot buttered rum business on top. That’s the good stuff.