Dinner


Biscuit Sandwiches with Maple Black Pepper Bacon

If you know me, then you know that I love making everything homemade, from scratch: biscuits, pie dough, cinnamon rolls and beyond.

But on occasion, I want to take shortcuts. Don’t we all? We do. Sometimes we simply don’t have the time to wait for dough to proof or time to throw together biscuits. We need our carbs now! And we want them to be tasty.

My problem with most store-bought doughs is that they’re filled with weird ingredients. I usually look at that ingredient list and can’t pronounce half of the items and that kinda bums me out. So, today, I teamed up with Annie’s–they just released Buttermilk Biscuits & Crescent Rolls biscuit dough and crescent rolls in the refrigerated aisle at Target–to share a couple ways to make good quality shortcuts.

Biscuit Sandwiches with Maple Black Pepper Bacon

I’m going to show you three ways to use them:

1. Breakfast – Biscuit and Egg and Maple Bacon Sandwiches. HELLO EASY!

2. Lunch or Dinner – Cherry Tomato Biscuit Cobbler. Delicious and fresh with so much sweetness and acid from the tomatoes.

3. Dessert: Salty Milk Jam Monkey Bread. Obviously this was my favorite.

You can make the milk jam the day before or you can buy dulce de leche, if you’re really looking for a shortcut.

Annie's Buttermilk Biscuits and Crescent Rolls

Biscuit Sandwiches with Maple Black Pepper Bacon

Breakfast

Let’s start with my favorite meal the of day: breakfast. I brushed bacon with a bit of maple syrup and topped it with a ton of black pepper. I always bake my bacon because it’s easier and super hands off. When it comes out, all that needs to be done is to fry off some eggs.

I like my eggs super crispy. Then the assembly happens. I had some fresh basil leaves around because if you can believe it, I haven’t killed my basil plant. It’s actually flourishing. The fresh basil leaves are highly recommended.

These biscuits are buttery with just the right amount of salt (my favorite). They take about 8 minutes to bake up and like two seconds to eat. Pour-over coffee must be served. And maybe orange juice, too.

Biscuit Sandwiches with Maple Black Pepper Bacon [click to continue…]

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Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco, Pickled Onion and Cilantro

I’m not sure if you’ve heard but watermelon salad is the new kale salad. It’s everywhere. So, here I am being a super basic b providing another iteration, but one that, in my humble opinion, is superior to the others. Or at least slightly different.

There’s no feta or balsamic vinegar or parsley. Instead there’s shaved queso fresco, pickled red onion, lots of cilantro, slice of jalapeño and a bunch of lime juice. It’s a refreshing punch in the face during the most hot time in our year.

Watermelon Queso Fresco with Cilantro, Queso Fresco and Pickled Red Onion

These are officially the dog days of summer. Days have been slow in my corner. I’m not that busy. Or as busy as I’m used to being. But that’s ok because it’s a nice slow down before a crazy hectic fall and holiday season. While summer is usually not my season of choice, I’m enjoying the slowness right now. I’m eating lots of bbq, hanging out with Amelia and reading. It’s been a lovely break from the madness.

Oh can we talk watermelons for a second! I’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of watermelons over the course of this summer. I don’t know why (I mean I know why) but I can’t go to the grocery store and NOT buy a watermelon. I usually don’t incorporate it into meals, instead I just eat it plain. I’ve also had a ton of bad watermelon.

WatermelonQuesoFrescoSalad_1

WatermelonQuesoFresco_4

Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips on selecting a watermelon to bring home with you:

1. Tap the watermelon. I should give off a deep but hollow sound. If it sounds a bit dullish, more like a boring thump, then it’s overripe. Eeeesh!

WatermelonQuesoFresco_5

WatermelonQuesoFresco_6

2. The weight of a watermelon matters. It should be heavy for its size.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll open up the watermelon and it’ll be yellow! That was a good day.

Watermelon Queso Fresco with Cilantro, Queso Fresco and Pickled Red Onion

Watermelon Salad (w/ Queso Fresco& Pickled Onion)…That Isn’t Basic

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Watermelon Salad (w/ Queso Fresco& Pickled Onion)…That Isn’t Basic

Ingredients

    Quick-Pickled red onion:
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Watermelon:
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 small seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds), cubed
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, shaved or crumbled
  • 1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. To a small bowl or mason jar, add the red onion. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil then immediately turn off the heat and pour over the onions. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator. Pickled red onions keep in the fridge for 3 to 6 months.
  2. In a serving bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly cracked pepper. Add the watermelon, sliced jalapeño, cilantro and toss gently until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Top with shavings or crumbles of queso fresco, pickled red onion and more cilantro.
http://acozykitchen.com/watermelon-salad/

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Branzino with Grapes Fennel and Charred Salsa Verde

There’s always a bit of drama when serving a whole fish, isn’t there? If you make this and serve it to your friends, they’ll think you’re like a master in the kitchen.

I’m confident in da kitchen. I know how to make biscuits and pie and cake and make a whole fish.

You know what I don’t know how to do that’s super intimidating?! Being a maid of honor. My best friend is getting married and this is my job now and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do and then when I Google it, I come across ridiculous lists like these. Let’s break down this list because my tomboyish heart hates things like this:

1. “Make sure all bridesmaids get their hair and make up done” WHAA! What am I their mom, like these are grown ass women—they’ll be fine!

2. “Toast the couple after the best man. (This is optional, but it is a nice touch.)?! Umm…what is this 1919 before women got to vote, why do I have to do it after the best man and why is my speech optional. I have things to say!

3. “Help the bride change for her honeymoon…” Umm..help her change? She can’t put on a romper and some sandals on by herself?!

Branzino with Fennel and Grapes and Charred Salsa Verde [click to continue…]

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Oven Ribs with Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Let me start by saying thank you so much to all of you who pre-ordered my new book, The Year of Cozy. Your support truly means the world to me.

Now, ribs…

Have you ever had someone be very skeptical about something you’re making. These people can also be referred to as H8TERZ. They drink haterade as they sit there and h8te.

When I was discussing this recipe with my boyfriend, as I often do, he was h8ting HARD. He didn’t like the peach. He didn’t like the bourbon. “It’s too common of a combination.” Blah blah I don’t care. It’s a delicious combination that’s why you see it a lot and I’ve never seen it on ribs so let me live!

Oven Ribs with Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce [click to continue…]

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Tallarines Verde

It’s rainy today. The clouds are rumbling and lightening is lighting up the sky. It’s feels sort of strange since it hardly ever rains here in Los Angeles, let along during the summer months.

The air feels thick and damp. It reminds me of summer days in the south, which makes me want to curl up with the air conditioning blasting and do absolutely nothing. I’m not doing exactly nothing today (there are last minute book edits and other shenanigans) but I am here to let you know about this dish, my favorite childhood meal: Tallarines Verde.

This was one of the recipes mom would make us when she didn’t have a ton of time. My brother and I were obsessed with this dish. I remember always coming into the kitchen and sneaking cubes of queso blanco off of her cutting board—it’s so good and salty and fresh. This green sauce is unlike what you might be accustomed to—it’s creamier and thicker.

Tallarines Verde

Traditionally it’s served with steak on top but she never gave it to us like that. She skipped the steak and would just serve it to us in a bowl. Whenever I eat this, I immediately get nostalgic in a way that almost hurts. It’s an edible reminder that childhood is gone and time moves too quickly. How does that happen? I would hate to be thirteen again, with all of the doubt and anxiety and loneliness I felt as a kid, but man, it really is just moving too quickly for me. Have I ever told you that rain makes me super emo?!

The whole recipe and more stuff is on West Elm’s blog, Front + Main.

See you back on Monday. I’m revealing something to you that is super special to you. I might cry on Monday—should be fun!

Tallarines Verde [click to continue…]

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Spicy Roasted Tomato and Corn Soup

I made soup. And it was good.

Like, it was so good that it made me want to make batches of it now and then freeze it, so I can eat it when it’s cold(ish) out. I am not at all a freezer person. I know people who have whole meals in their freezers. Nope, not me. There’s something about piles of freezer-burned food that just grosses me out. But I’m contemplating doing this before the summer is over because this soup is THAT good.

For the recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food. I’ll be back next week with…popsicles!!! YAY!

Spicy Roasted Tomato and Corn Soup

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'Everything' Hamburger Buns

Remember last week when I made homemade cream cheese and I told you to save that whey?!? Yeah! I put it in hamburger buns. Yass! And since I think I’m particularly clever, I wanted to tie it back to a bagel by adding the “everything” mixture to the top of the burger bun.

Well, I’m pretty happy. I currently feeling myself. I’m patting myself on the back. Skipping in the street. I think I’m smart, but mainly I’m just stoked about making another delicious thing that involves carbs.

If you’ve never made hamburger buns, you’re in for a lil’ treat because not only are they super fun to make, they’re not too, too difficult either.

Homemade Everything Hamburger Buns

These buns were tweaked from King Arthur’s Flour, which in my opinion, has the best burger bun recipe out there. The whey gives these a softer texture but not so soft that it feels like cheap, store-bought white bread. It’s sort of in between of what you would get if you used half water and half milk.

'Everything' Hamburger Buns

'Everything' Hamburger Buns [click to continue…]

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Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Jicama Slaw

Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Jicama Slaw

I sort of have nothing to say today. Do you ever feel that way? Kinda want to write, HERE’S THIS SANDWICH I LIKE!!!

But seriously, I love this sandwich. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in love with a sandwich more.

I’ve always had a deep love for sandwiches. It think it all ties back to my love of carbs: bread, pancakes, biscuits, pasta…if it has all-purpose flour in it, chances are I’m going to love it.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Jicama Slaw

Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Jicama Slaw [click to continue…]

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Jerk Chicken

in Dinner

Jerk Chicken

My eyeballs sting and I’m dosing off which means I really wish I could just write this entire blog post in emojis. That’d be easier.

I’d use emoji flames, emoji nail painting, emoji face with sunglasses. I’m thinking those illustrate my feelings properly about this chicken. I’m feeling myself!

I once dated a Jamaican dude who taught me so many things about myself. A good jerk chicken recipe, unfortunately, was not one of them. It was one of those relationships you have when you’re young and need to learn what you don’t want, what doesn’t work for you. At the time nothing felt like a lesson, it just felt like heartbreak and agony and someone stabbing me in my chest. But after that relationship, I went forward in search of the exact opposite…haha. Is this mean? I’m thinking nah, I’m thinking it’s just a little real.

Jerk Chicken

Anywaze, the one positive thing that came from that relationship was our eating adventures. It was high school, early college, so the food I ate during that time was either The Cheesecake Factory or Peruvian or Jamaican hole-in-the-walls. I ate more lomo saltado and jerk chicken in that time than ever in my life.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken [click to continue…]

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Build a Poke Bowl

I’m back from Chicago where I ate and drank waaaaay too much. I realized that I’m too old for that shit. I’ve never been a big drinker but omg now I’m even less so because it seriously makes me feel like I might die. But it was fun and worth it. I’ll be doing a lil’ round-up of a few of my favorite places I visited…maybe tomorrow or the next day.

But first, recovery food. Poke restaurants are popping up everywhere in LA. It’s the hot new thing, unfortunately most of them are not near my apt so out of pure laziness because I’m allergic to driving and traffic, I make them at home. Also, I love making things at home because it means I can add what I want. I DO WHAT I WANT!

Build a Poke Bowl

I like using really delicious, fatty salmon I get from McCall’s Meat and Fish Co., but really any sort of ahi tuna or other sushi-grade salmon will work.

This is obviously more of an idea than a recipe. I mean, I do mix the sauces together and I do make my own furikake and I do whisk together some mayonnaise and Sriracha but you can just eyeball all of these things. No need for measuring spoons.

Build a Poke Bowl [click to continue…]

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